Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Week 1 Fantasy Football Position Rankings

Here we are. The long awaited Player Rankings for Week 1. This is a weekly post where we will look at every matchup in the league and list the players how we think they will perform.

A few little notes for you:
  • This isn't exactly standard and isn't exactly PPR. Consider it almost a .5 PPR ranking. 
  • Just because these are my rankings, they may not reflect the advice that I give you one-on-one. Sometimes the gut has to outweigh the statistics.
  • Kicker is borderline impossible to predict. My picks are based a lot on strength of offense. Its all about how many times a team will make the red zone.
  • The Defense rankings you see here are what I will be using for Shuffling Defense Strategy. There are a handful of teams in the top 10 that are likely available in your waivers. Snatch them up unless the team you already own is higher.
  • If I happened to skip any player that seems he should obviously be on the list, please bring it to my attention. I likely just forgot him.
  • Feel free to use this post as an Advice post. If you have any roster questions, fire away.
  • IDP rankings are very similar week in and week out. Basically, if the guy is performing well, play him. If he is not, drop him. I'm not in the game of predicting tackles.


Fantasy Football Week 1 Player Rankings
Week 1 Quarterback Rankings:
1.     Philip Rivers
2.     Aaron Rodgers
3.     Tom Brady
4.     Michael Vick
5.     Drew Brees
6.     Matthew Stafford
7.     Matt Schaub
8.     Ben Roethlisberger
9.     Tony Romo
10. Matt Ryan
11. Eli Manning
12. Josh Freeman
13. Kevin Kolb
14. Kyle Orton
15. Joe Flacco
16. Mark Sanchez
17. Sam Bradford
18. Jay Cutler
19. Colt McCoy
20. Matt Cassel

Week 1 Running Back Rankings:
1.     Jamaal Charles
2.     Adrian Peterson
3.     Chris Johnson
4.     Arian Foster (INJ)
5.     Darren McFadden
6.     Peyton Hillis
7.     Frank Gore
8.     LeSean McCoy
9.     Maurice Jones-Drew
10. Beanie Wells
11. Matt Forte
12. Rashard Mendenhall
13. Ray Rice
14. DeAngelo Williams
15. Michael Turner
16. Ahmad Bradshaw
17. Shonn Greene
18. Steven Jackson
19. LeGarrette Blount
20. Jahvid Best
21. Felix Jones
22. Tim Hightower
23. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
24. Knowshon Moreno
25. Joseph Addai
26. Mike Tolbert
27. Cedric Benson
28. Reggie Bush
29. Ryan Grant
30. Mark Ingram
31. Ryan Mathews
32. Marshawn Lynch
33. Fred Jackson
34. Jonathan Stewart
35. Brandon Jacobs
36. Pierre Thomas
37. James Starks
38. Michael Bush
39. Ben Tate
40. Roy Helu
41. LaDainian Tomlinson
42. Willis McGahee
43. Thomas Jones
44. Jerome Harrison
45. Daniel Thomas
Week 1 Wide Receiver Rankings:
1.     Andre Johnson
2.     Larry Fitzgerald
3.     Hakeem Nicks
4.     Calvin Johnson
5.     Vincent Jackson
6.     Roddy White
7.     DeSean Jackson
8.     Santonio Holmes
9.     Mike Wallace
10. Greg Jennings
11. Mike Williams
12. Brandon Lloyd
13. Dwayne Bowe
14. Dez Bryant
15. Reggie Wayne
16. Brandon Marshall
17. Marques Colston
18. Kenny Britt
19. Wes Welker
20. Mario Manningham
21. Steve Johnson            **edit: Add Anquan Boldin here.
22. Santana Moss
23. Miles Austin
24. Percy Harvin
25. Jeremy Maclin
26. Chad Ochocinco
27. Steve Smith
28. Malcom Floyd
29. Plaxico Burress
30. Sidney Rice
31. Nate Burleson
32. Julio Jones
33. Braylon Edwards
34. Johnny Knox
35. Mike Thomas
36. Lee Evans
37. Austin Collie
38. Greg Little
39. A.J. Green
40. Danny Amendola
41. Pierre Garcon
42. Robert Meachum
43. Mike Sims-Walker
44. Jacoby Ford
45. Antonio Brown
Week 1 Tight End Rankings:
1.     Antonio Gates
2.     Jason Witten
3.     Jermichael Finley
4.     Vernon Davis
5.     Jimmy Graham
6.     Dallas Clark
7.     Owen Daniels
8.     Greg Olsen
9.     Kellen Winslow
10. Brandon Pettigrew
11. Zach Miller
12. Lance Kendricks
13. Jared Cook
14. Tony Gonzalez
15. Aaron Hernandez
16. Marcedes Lewis
17. Todd Heap
18. Dustin Keller
19. Jermaine Gresham
20. Benjamin Watson
Week 1 Kicker Rankings:
1.     Neil Rackers
2.     Nate Kaeding
3.     Stephen Gostkowski
4.     Sebastian Janikowski
5.     Mason Crosby
6.     Josh Brown
7.     Alex Henery
8.     Matt Bryant
9.     Rob Bironas
10. Billy Cundiff
11. Jay Feely
12. Jason Hanson
13. Nick Folk
14. John Kasay
15. Ryan Succop
16. Lawrence Tynes
17. David Akers
18. Robbie Gould
19. Adam Vinatieri
20. Matt Prater
Week 1 Defense Rankings: (SDS)
1.     New England Patriots
2.     Philadelphia Eagles
3.     Kansas City Chiefs
4.     Pittsburgh Steelers
5.     New York Jets
6.     San Diego Chargers
7.     Atlanta Falcons
8.     Cleveland Browns
9.     Baltimore Ravens
10. Green Bay Packers
11. San Francisco 49ers
12. New Orleans Saints
13. Arizona Cardinals
14. Detroit Lions
15. Houston Texans
16. Chicago Bears
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Denver Broncos
19. Washington Redskins
20. New York Giants
21. Tennessee Titans
22. St. Louis Rams
23. Oakland Raiders
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
25. Cincinnati Bengals


  1. Thanks, these rankings are very helpful! With Foster risky, I likely have to play 2 RBs and 1 Flex from among the following: Felix Jones, Hightower, Best, and Percy Harvin. Who do you think should be the odd man out? Thanks!

  2. I've got McFadden, Beanie Wells, Mendenhall, and Forte (not a PPR league) which one should I sit?


  3. Would you go with Mario Manningham or DeAngelo Williams at the flex in a standard league?

  4. I've got Jacobs, Moreno, Knox and A.J. Green in a 0.5 PPR. Which of those would you start at the flex position this week?

  5. No Anquan Boldin on the WR list?

  6. Note, not a PPR league...

  7. Hey guys,
    HUGE Cowboys fan. However, I have a choice to play either the NY Jets Defense or the Houston Defense...any thoughts on match-up?
    Also, I have to either play Santonio Holmes or Beanie Wells at the FLEX position. Both also have favorable match-ups. 0.5 PPR. Who do you have?

  8. i have ray rice, bradshaw, greene and hightower and i need to pick 3

  9. How can you not have Anquan Boldin ranked

  10. ghl confusrd by offered trade to me...


    He then Offered:


    I think RB and Receiver down grade for upgrade QB. He never traded last year and my gut is to reject. Am I learning the GHL way right?

  11. Also,

    Thanks for the research...this was the stuff i was looking for last year...thanks also for indicating "gut" "hunches" when that is the reason.

  12. Sorry, and one last question. How would you change Ben Tate's ranking (if at all) if Arian Foster is confirmed to be out for Sunday? I've also got him stashed on my bench. Thanks again!

  13. Benson, Ryan Mathews, or Steve Johnson for a FLEX position. No PPR. Thanks in advance!

  14. Quick questions...week 1, who would you start over the other?

    Romo or Stafford?

    Felix Jones or BenJarvis Green-Ellis?

  15. doesn't sound like a fair trade to me.

  16. Romo and Jones. Cowboys are an all offense team that should explode this year.

  17. yea what gives there

  18. My flex choices are marshawn lynch or willis mcahee. But opponent has knowshon. Who should I pick?

  19. Miles Austin with hamstring issues going against Revis Sunday night with Brian Hartline (in a 14 team) as the best Monday night waiver option available. Keep Austin active or hope for Andre Roberts or Earl Bennet earlier in the day?

  20. Gronkowski or Cook? Standard league

  21. Plus! Aaron Hernandez or Lance Kendricks? I'm leaning towards Hernandez if only to take a regular season wait-and-see approach with Kendricks.

  22. Keep an eye on Foster, I honestly think he will play. Limited maybe, but he'll see the field.
    If he doesnt.. I like Hightower and Jones at RB and Harvin at flex. Harvin has a hell of a matchup, but off the top of my head, I honestly cant name the Vikings WR2.

  23. Damn. That is a hell of a RB corps. Honestly, Mendenhall against the Ravens might have the worst game of the four. Its hard to sit him though, and PPR likely drops Forte a bit.

    McFadden and Wells are definite for me. The other is a tossup. Pitt is looking more like a passing team this season. Forte is going up against a decent ATL rush defense and wont get you any PPR. Coin toss for me. I'd probably go Mendenhall.

  24. D Williams against the Arizona Defense. Manningham still ranks pretty high, but the Giants looked pretty rough all preseason.

  25. Jacobs is up against a pretty bad defense, but really you are just gambling that he'll score a touchdown as Bradshaw will get most of the work. Moreno is against OAK, definitely not a great rush defense, so he could be interesting. Knox might get some work and help you in PPR. Green I'd say no to. Rookie in a bad system against a good defense is disaster.

    I'd probably take a bit of a risk and go Moreno on this one.

  26. Damn. I remember typing his name in there too. Thanks for bringing it up.

    I'd put him right above Santana Moss at number 22

  27. Love the site. Tonight I picked up the Chargers DEF for my SDS. I was leaning towards ARI vs CAR but someone dropped SD a couple days ago.


  28. I'm more of a Cowboys fan than I am a fantasy football fan. Personally, I never start anyone who is playing against the Cowboys. I refuse to cheer for them even in the slightest. So I would go Houston. But, the Jets are ranked higher, and will likely do better.
    I really think that Dallas can hold onto the ball though, so Houston may have more TOs than the Jets.

    Wow, both of them are great plays. Again, with the Cowboys thing, I would play Wells. But Holmes will have the better day. I expect a lot of passes to go to him since the Dallas corners are suspect at best.

  29. Rice, Bradshaw, Greene

  30. Fixed. now have him at 22

  31. I reject too. I've never been a fan of straight up trades like this. My trade advice is to always go with your gut.

    You are right saying that Moreno is a downgrade, Holmes is a downgrade, and Rodgers is a slight upgrade. Not worth it. Good work reading this trade. Turn it down.

  32. Absolutely. This is a game of gut calls and hunches. And by all means, if I suggest something and your gut tells you otherwise, go with that.

    I'm glad that you are enjoying the site. I look forward to helping you again in the future.

    And dont let your leaguemates push you around with these trades. Both of the ones you listed are pretty bad.

  33. If Foster is out, Tate is definitely upgraded. But he will probably split time with Derrick Ward. I'd bump both up since Indy is not an extraordinary rush defense. Tate would go high to mid 20s, Ward would be in the mid 30s

  34. Steve Johnson is my play here. The Browns have no other offensive weapons so Benson is going to have a long day of nothing. Mathews is losing carries to Tolbert. Johnson should be alright against KC, who was average against the pass last season.

  35. As stated in the article that you posted this question on... Stafford over Romo. Jones over BJGE

  36. Thanks for getting to this before me. Definitely a no go on this trade!

  37. Who your opponent has should never dictate who you play.

    I have Lynch ahead of McGahee either way.

  38. Gotta go with Austin. He is playing the best CB in the game, and the Cowboys might be in trouble this week... but still, he is a better play than Roberts and Bennett.

    If you really want to make the gamble, go with Roberts. He has a nice matchup and could actually do pretty well if he is named the WR2 over Doucet.

  39. Cook. Gronk is going against a very tough team against tight ends. And it looks like NE is starting the season like last year and liking Hernandez more than Gronkowski.

  40. I disagree this week. Kendricks is already a favorite target of Bradford. And Hernandez is going up against a team very good at defending TEs last season.

  41. SD was fantastic last year and should carry over. I like the pickup. with them on your roster it might be hard to let them go for the SDS strategy.

  42. Congrats. It worked.

  43. No problem, figured it was just a mistake but checking in case haha

  44. Ok, I drafted Peyton Manning. I have Matthew Stafford as my starter now. I'm going to give Stafford a chance the first couple of weeks to see how he does. If he doesn't pan out early on, I have a guy willing to trade me Eli for Pittsburgh's D straight up. If push comes to shove, should I make the move for Eli and go with ya'lls theory of just picking up a D against a pourus O every week?! Hopefully, this is all mute and Stafford just owns it in Peyton's absence (however long that might be). Thanks for any input and keep up the badass work.

  45. Need help again on my line-up in one of my leagues for week 1. I have a pending trade that will apparently take effect Sunday morning (I thought it wouldn't go through until week 2). I'm getting Andre Johnson and Brandon Jacobs for Calvin Johnson and Lance Moore. (This is a manager who missed the draft and didn't have enough WR on her bench to fill her week 5 bye.) 0.5 PPR with 1 pt per 20 return yards.

    Need 3WR, 2 RB, and one W/R/T Flex.

    Planned WRs: A. Johnson, D. Jackson, and Manningham
    Planned RBs: L. McCoy and Felix Jones
    Planned Flex: J. Best
    The bench: Antonio Brown, D. Amendola, Fred Jackson, B. Jacobs, and T. Jones (KC)

    I was originally planning to tough it out with F. Jones this week. Does the addition of Jacobs change anything? Should I consider Brown since he is slated as the Steelers' KR as well as WR3? Plus, I'm in a tough position with Manningham that is new for me, being my first year in multiple leagues. I'm both playing and facing him, so I don't know how to root!

    My temptation is to replace Manningham with Brown and F. Jones with Jacobs. Am I just tired and not thinking straight?

    Also, thanks for the tweaks to the site colors. Perfect!

  46. I feel your pain. I, too, drafted Manning and patted myself on the back for picking up such a great bargain in the 6th round! Now I'm left with Bradford, who I like, but I'm not sure he's an every game starter!

  47. OK, I've been reviewing my Manning situation and it may not be as grim as I originally thought. I know I have to drop him. I simply can't afford to waste that roster spot. Bradford has a rough start to his schedule, but has one of the best series of matchups anyone could hope for from week 9 through 15 (Ari x2, Cle, Sea x2, SF, Cin). The key is, what to do for weeks 1-8, where I see 5 tough games (Phi, NYG, Bal, GB, NO) and a bye. Here's what I've found.

    Mark Sanchez has better matchups for 4 of those games. If I pick him up, my QB would face Dal instead of Phi in week 1, Jac instead of NYG in week 2, Oak instead of Bal in week 3, and Mia instead of GB in week 6.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick has some decent ones too. KC instead of Phi in week 1, Oak instead of NYG in week 2, and Was instead of NO in week 8.

    Donovan McNabb appears to be the best bye week filler facing Ari in week 5. He also would face Car in week 8 (instead of NO).

    What do you think? If I hang on to Bradford and platoon these 3 guys, much in the same way as your SDS theory, do you think I can pull this off? Or is it better to play Bradford in the tough games and hope he has to throw a lot to catch up? Either way, who do you recommend I go with this Sunday (Bradford, Sanchez, or Fitzpatrick)?

  48. Cleveland Defense or Houston Defense: Houston at home against Kerry Collins (who is 0-7 against Wade Phillips defenses) or Cleveland (Cribbs returning but Cinn may go off/surprise)...I'm leaning toward Cleveland, but would like some reassurance.

  49. I see that you have Dwayne Bowe over Julio Jones in your rankings... but I am really considering starting Jones over Bowe week 1--given the situation. I feel like the Bills have a pretty decent secondary, and will be mostly focusing their efforts on JC (or his tail lights at least).

    And then you look at Jones who will be running around with Tim Jennings, our most undersized corner in Chicago... I don't know. I am slotted to win this week, with ease... is it worth the risk, starting a reach vs. a vet week 1?

  50. Thanks for the compliment.

    Stafford will do great for you. But having Eli as a backup could be good in the long run. Peyton could be out for a while, and Stafford is pretty damn fragile.

    If you have to, I would definitely make that trade. SDS works.

  51. I still like Felix more than Jacobs. Especially in PPR.

    I wouldnt read too much into the return game of the Packers/Saints. When it comes down to it, every single kick off was in the back of the endzone. Return yards are going to decrease greatly this year. I dont think I would start him. See how he does this week, feel him out a bit, and then make the decision next week.

    It could really go either way. For both of them. And it is Week one, so really your gut is as good as mine. If you feel that you need to start Brown or Jacobs. Then by all means do it. I'm just here as devil's advocate.

    Good luck. Thats the downfall of playing in multiple leagues.

  52. He'll be fine. Week 1 will be very tough. But they are going to pass, pass, pass.

  53. I like McNabb in week 5. I picked him up myself for Romo's week 5 bye week.

    You need to remember that this year is just starting out. Only one game has been played. We dont know how a lot of these teams are going to pan out, so don't get way ahead of yourself. Its impressive that you are analyzing bye week and everything. But doing it this much is going to drive you crazy and not be beneficial to your team.

    Also, Sanchez may have a better line of matchups... But he is still Mark Sanchez. When it comes down to picking who to start, you cant always play matchups. You have to play quarterbacks. There are a lot more variables than matchup. Take it week by week. Its good to think about matchup, but also think about the offense as a whole, the quarterbacks value, TDs vs INTs, yardage, coaching, etc.

  54. If you have the week locked up. Then go ahead and make the gamble. You obviously feel very strongly about it.

    I stand behind Bowe being ahead of Jones. WR1 vs WR2. Veteran vs Rookie. etc. Bowe is a lot safer and was a beast last year.

  55. Alright, you convinced me. I'm gonna roll with Felix, despite the Jets. Besides, if Austin is gimpy, that just means Romo will have to do more screens and check downs, right? :) Besides, I feel pretty good about my matchup this week (in this league). I'll keep Best at flex (or maybe switch them, so I can say that "Felix puts the 'I' in 'Flex'." Ha!)

    As for the returns, when I consider playing returners, I only take into consideration those that are returning punts. This rule change is taking all the fun out of kick-offs.

    Oh, and regarding the other post, my wife will be the first to tell you that over-analyzing things is my M.O. :) That's part of why I love this game! The analysis, the positioning, and the wheeling and dealing.

    And speaking of wheeling and dealing, I may have fixed my Manningham problem. I have a trade proposal in with this league's Manning owner that may change Manningham into Hicks. I'll let you know if it works.

  56. hopefully u answer before game time.

    shonne greene or steven jackson?

  57. Of course I answer before the game. I will also be in Twitter answering any last minute questions an hour before kickoff every week.

    I've got Shonn Greene one step ahead. Cowboys first team defense was getting torn up in the preseason and all of last year. If Greene does have the majority of the team carries over LT now, then he could have a lot of yardage.

    S Jackson is not to be underestimated, but he is going up against probably the best looking defense this year in Philly. Three great corners means that they can get away with man-to-man coverage and keep a lot of guys in the box to stop SJax.

  58. Should've knocked on wood before posting this... I lost thanks to Mike Tolbert. I ended up going with Bowe, though. Jones had a promising start. Will end up having to play him regardless since my WR2 (Colston) is out.