*We have recently updated our rankings, they can be found here. (8/26/2011)
There will officially be football played this year, which means your fantasy football draft is coming up sooner rather than later. It’s time to get your fantasy football rankings together, and at The Sports Cannon we are doing our best to help you bring home that league championship.
We’re on our second run of fantasy football positional rankings now, and although some names remain the same, others have risen and fallen in the rankings.
You can see each player’s previous ranking next to their current rank.
How We Rank Them: We look at coaching schemes, the supporting cast, strength of schedules and injury concerns when ranking each player.
The whirlwind that will be free agency will surely change the dynamic of the NFL and fantasy football season. For now, we can only speculate that certain players will re-sign with their current teams. Most, however, are bound for a new city and fresh game plans.
We can’t sufficiently predict their 2011 value without knowing whom they are playing for, so their current rankings are based solely on their athletic capabilities paired with their previous fantasy success.
Without further ado, we present the “Thank God There Is Football” Fantasy Football Rankings 2.0.
1 (3) Andre Johnson, HOU
It's hard to argue not taking Andre Johnson before any other receiver in your league draft, even though he has been the best fantasy receiver only once in his career. The guy is just too consistent and—again—will be the only viable receiver in Houston. Owen Daniels wasn't healthy last season and it showed, but even at 100 percent he doesn't pose much threat to Johnson. Could the Texans go out and sign a receiver in free agency? Likely, but no matter who it is, Johnson will still get his routine 100 catches.
2 (4) Roddy White, ATL
Roddy White was a point-per-reception league owner's dream with his 115 catches and 10 touchdowns. This season he will actually have another viable receiver on the roster with the addition of Julio Jones. but we aren't hot on rookie receivers making an immediate impact. We don't expect White's targets to go down too much. We are concerned about him losing touchdowns to the running game, however. Be sure to check the RB rankings to read why.
3 (6) Calvin Johnson, DET
Megatron is a beast, a freak of nature and—we hate to say it—a good chance of a fantasy let-down this year. I know we still have him ranked highly—anyone would—but the Lions are obviously going to look to run the ball more with Mikel Leshoure, and they also have an extremely tough SOS for fantasy receivers. The addition of Titus Young may have been to stretch the field and thus take coverage away from Johnson, but that may just mean only two corners instead of three.
4 (1) Hakeem Nicks, NYG
Eli Manning's interception count shot back up last year mostly in part to having two unpolished receivers being his go-to guys. This year, both Mario Manningham and Nicks will have had full seasons of serious playing time under their belts, and the Giants will likely look to throw the ball more if Ahmad Bradhshaw leaves in free agency. Nicks has an easier schedule ahead of him, so the sky is the limit for the former Tar Heel.
5 (5) Greg Jennings, GB
He has been called the NFL's best by some analysts but doesn't seem to get that kind of attention elsewhere. Maybe it's because he played in a somewhat crowded receiving corp throughout his career, but we think Greg Jennings will be a household name by the season's end. James Jones could be gone in free agency, and Donald Driver is on his way out of football. That leaves only Jordy Nelson to truly take targets away from Jennings. Just because Nelson had a big game in the Super Bowl, we're not going to forget that he has yet to live up to his preseason hype in the regular season.
6 (2) Mike Wallace, PIT
Wallace has shown he has the speed and deep play ability to replace Santonio Holmes, but he will have to prove he is more than a one-trick pony if he wants to keep up his success. The Steelers have a young receiving corps, with Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown pushing for playing time, but Wallace should be Ben Roethlisberger's main target in 2011.
7 (7) Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ
Fitzgerald's fantasy stock was severely hurt, thanks to his quarterback situation last season. It's likely that the Cardinals will trade for Kevin Kolb this season, making Fitzgerald one of fantasy's best again. Despite playing with a few different sub-par QBs last season, Fitz still found a way to record over 1,100 yards and 90 catches. The addition of a franchise quarterback should greatly help his career-low six receiving touchdowns.
8 (13) Reggie Wayne, IND
Up until his last two injury-riddled seasons, Marvin Harrison was a great fantasy football option. That was entirely thanks to Peyton Manning. I don't need to tell you about Peyton's consistency, so as long as Peyton is under center, his top receiver should remain a top fantasy choice. We had Wayne ranked lower because of Peyton's injury concern, but we've come to our senses and realized that Peyton is Peyton until the day he steps off of the field.
9 (10) Vincent Jackson, SD
Were not sure VJax's value is going to be this great if he leaves San Diego, but for now we envision him playing for the Bolts in 2011. Jackson is the team's only fantasy-team-worthy wide receiver, and his big frame makes him an obvious choice in the red zone. All of this could change, however, depending on where he plays next year. His value probably went get too much higher than this, though.
10 (8) DeSean Jackson, PHL
The outspoken receiver had a very good year with Michael Vick under center, but it wasn't his best. If you are in a PPR league, you may be better off with his sidekick Jeremy Maclin. There is no denying, however, that Jackson can light it up on the field. Now that the Eagles are going into the season knowing Vick is the starter, they can game-plan specifically to his strengths, which means Jackson's six-touchdown count should see a nice spike this season.
Nick Sero is a fantasy football writer for TheSportsCannon.com. You can get all of your news, rankings, cheat sheets and more at TSC, or receive up-to-the-minute news by following us on Facebook and Twitter for up to the minute NFL Free Agency updates.