Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 13

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Fantasy Football 2012: Position Rankings for Week 13
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

One of the challenging things when doing weekly rankings for fantasy football players is finding a way to properly balance the criteria you use to make your selections.

Do you focus on past performances and trends? Do you lean toward matchups? How much do you allow injuries to the opposing team to factor? How much do you trust hunches? (Last week I loved both Ronnie Hillman and Bryce Brown—playing hunches is a boom-or-bust strategy.)

For you, dear readers, I try to balance the weekly stew of information, statistics and gut feelings to offer the perfect ranking. Use it as a guide, trust your own gut and, if all else fails, start as many players facing the Philadelphia Eagles as you can.

Good luck.

 

Quarterbacks

1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (New Orleans Saints)

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Minnesota Vikings)

3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Miami Dolphins)

5. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Kansas City Chiefs)

Elsa/Getty Images

I really, really like Newton this week. He's coming off 37.1 points in standard-scoring leagues against the Philadelphia Eagles, and has now scored 14 or more points in every game since the Panthers' Week 6 bye.

Oh, and he has an amazing matchup. The Chiefs allow 17.9 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks per week (25th in NFL) and give up 126.1 rushing yards per week (20th in NFL), a recipe for success against a strong runner like Newton. 

The Panthers may be 3-8, but they should be able to move the ball and get the win this weekend. Expect big things from Newton.

6. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Philadelphia Eagles)

7. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Washington Redskins)

8. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (New York Giants)

9. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Atlanta Falcons)

10. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Indianapolis Colts)

11. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans (Tennessee Titans)

12. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (San Diego Chargers)

13. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Detroit Lions)

14. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers (St. Louis Rams)*

15. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Denver Broncos)

 

Running Backs

1. Arian Foster, Houston Texans (Tennessee Titans)

2. Trent Richardson, Cleveland Browns (Oakland Raiders)

3. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings (Green Bay Packers)

4. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs (Carolina Panthers)

Oh Jamaal Charles, won't you return to elite status?

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

On this Chiefs team that's probably asking too much, but Charles has been solid for owners this season and has a tasty matchup against the Carolina Panthers, a team that just gave up 204 rushing yards to a Philadelphia Eagles team that was without LeSean McCoy.

Charles has exceeded the 20-point mark just once this season, but he comes into this game having scored double-digit points three straight weeks. Expect Charles to pick up where Bryce Brown left off and run haywire on the Panthers defense.

5. Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers (St. Louis Rams)

6. Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens (Pittsburgh Steelers)

7. Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Denver Broncos)

8. C.J. Spiller, Buffalo Bills (Jacksonville Jaguars)

9. Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots (Miami Dolphins)

10. Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks (Chicago Bears)

11. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins (New York Giants)

12. Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins (New England Patriots)

13. Bryce Brown, Philadelphia Eagles (Dallas Cowboys)

14. Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants (Washington Redskins)

15. Beanie Wells, Arizona Cardinals (New York Jets)

16. Michael Bush, Chicago Bears (Seattle Seahawks)

17. Rashad Jennings, Jacksonville Jaguars (Buffalo Bills)

18. Mikel Leshoure, Detroit Lions (Indianapolis Colts)

19. Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans (Houston Texans)

20. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals (San Diego Chargers)

21. Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders (Cleveland Browns)*

22. Knowshon Moreno, Denver Broncos (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

23. Ryan Mathews, San Diego Chargers (Cincinnati Bengals)

24. Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta Falcons (New Orleans Saints)

25. Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints (Atlanta Falcons)

 

Wide Receivers

1. Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions (Indianapolis Colts)

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (New Orleans Saints)

Trying to predict which weeks Julio Jones will explode and which weeks he'll be a no-show can be a rather frustrating endeavor.

Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

On one hand, he's exceeded 15 fantasy points four times and has hit double-digit points on six occasions. On the other, he's failed to even reach four points three times, and his 20.7 points last week was roughly equivalent to his output from the prior three weeks combined.

But he seems to be fully healthy, and he gets a New Orleans Saints team that allows 27.6 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers each week (30th in NFL) and 298.3 passing yards per game (30th).

I'm guessing this will be one of his big weeks. Here's hoping.

3. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

4. A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals (San Diego Chargers)

5. Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (Tennessee Titans)

6. Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys (Philadelphia Eagles)

7. Victor Cruz, New York Giants (Washington Redskins)

8. Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Denver Broncos)

9. Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis Colts (Detroit Lions)

10. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay Packers (Minnesota Vikings)

11. Eric Decker, Denver Broncos (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

12. Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons (New Orleans Saints)

13. Wes Welker, New England Patriots (Miami Dolphins)

14. Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears (Seattle Seahawks)

15. Cecil Shorts, Jacksonville Jaguars (Buffalo Bills)

16. Marques Colston, New Orleans Saints (Atlanta Falcons)

17. Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (Washington Redskins)

18. Malcolm Floyd, San Diego Chargers (Cincinnati Bengals)

19. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (Detroit Lions)

20. Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (Minnesota Vikings)

21. Santana Moss, Washington Redskins (New York Giants)

22. Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills (Jacksonville Jaguars)

23. Denarius Moore, Oakland Raiders (Cleveland Browns)

24. Brandon LaFell, Carolina Panthers (Kansas City Chiefs)

25. Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins (New England Patriots)

 

Tight Ends

1. Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints (Atlanta Falcons)

2. Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons (New Orleans Saints)

3. Owen Daniels, Houston Texans (Tennessee Titans)

4. Aaron Hernandez, New England Patriots (Miami Dolphins)

5. Martellus Bennett, New York Giants (Washington Redskins)

No player was a bigger tease this season than Martellus Bennett. He scored double-digit fantasy points the first three weeks of the season, making owners think he was finally utilizing his potential.

Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

And then... nothing. He just sort of disappeared, scoring seven or more fantasy points just once in the next eight weeks. 

But I think he could have a reprieve this week. The Washington Redskins give up 10.8 fantasy points to opposing tight ends per week (30th in NFL), and Eli Manning and the passing game seemed to rediscover its mojo against the Green Bay Packers last Sunday.

I'm hoping Bennett gets the memo and picks his game up. 

6. Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers (St. Louis Rams)

7. Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati Bengals (San Diego Chargers)

8. Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers (Minnesota Vikings)

9. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys (Philadelphia Eagles)

10. Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans (Houston Texans)

11. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota Vikings (Green Bay Packers)

12. Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars (Buffalo Bills)

13. Heath Miller, Pittsburgh Steelers (Baltimore Ravens)

14. Brandon Myers, Oakland Raiders (Cleveland Browns)

15. Benjamin Watson, Cleveland Browns (Oakland Raiders)

 

Defense/Special Teams

1. Chicago Bears (Seattle Seahawks)

2. Dallas Cowboys (Philadelphia Eagles)

3. Baltimore Ravens (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Harry How/Getty Images

Here's the deal: If Ben Roethlisberger plays, the Ravens aren't worth starting. If Ben Roethlisberger doesn't play, the Ravens defense will lead you to victory this week. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers turned the ball over eight times last week, and the Cleveland Browns defense turned it into 18 fantasy points. If Roethlisberger doesn't go, the Ravens will absolutely feast on Pittsburgh.

And you'll get the fantasy leftovers. Yum.

4. San Francisco 49ers (St. Louis Rams)

5. New England Patriots (Miami Dolphins)

6. Houston Texans (Tennessee Titans)

7. Arizona Cardinals (New York Jets)

8. Seattle Seahawks (Chicago Bears)

9. Cincinnati Bengals (San Diego Chargers)

10. Cleveland Browns (Oakland Raiders)

 

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