Friday, July 23, 2010

Consensus Top 60 for 2010

We are a week away from NFL training camps opening, which means we're roughly 5-6 weeks away from the start of the NFL season and about 4-5 weeks away from most fantasy drafts. At this time of year you get a lot of opinions and conjecture as to who the top fantasy producers will be. Thus far, I've looked at 7 different sets of player rankings and while many of them agree who should go at the top of the draft, the rest is up for debate.

To bring some order to this chaos, I've compiled a comprehensive ranking list of the top 60 players in fantasy football, which represents 5 rounds of a standard 12 team draft. I came up with a fairly simple formula that, in fantasy football, majority rules. So, I lined up all 7 lists each with 150-200 players ranked and went through line by line. Once a player received 4 "votes" or more, he is added to the list in order. If two players received enough "votes" on the same line, the advantage went to the player that had the highest individual ranking from any of the lists. So, it's not a true consensus, however, it's a very interesting exercise and presents a unique view of who all these experts believe to be the top players in fantasy football for 2010.

The 7 fantasy football experts I pulled rankings from are:, Eric Karabell (ESPN), Matthew Berry (ESPN), General ESPN top 200, Christopher Harris (ESPN), Yahoo top 150, and

As you read through, take note of the highest and lowest ranking for each player, some of the ranges (essentially disagreements amongst experts) are staggaring.

Name: (Highest Rank, Lowest Rank)

1.Chris Johnson, RB TEN (1, 2)
2.Adrian Peterson, RB MIN (1, 2)
3.Maurice Jones-Drew, RB JAC (3, 3)
4 Ray Rice, RB BAL (4, 5)
5 Frank Gore, RB SF (4, 11)
6 Steven Jackson, RB STL (5, 21)
7 Andre Johnson, WR HOU (6, 12)
8 Michael Turner, RB ATL (5, 11)
9 Drew Brees, QB NO (7, 10)
10 Aaron Rodgers, QB GB (6, 13)
11 Rashard Mendenhall, RB PIT (8, 19)
12 Randy Moss, WR NE (9, 18)


At the top, 6 of the 7 experts say Chris Johnson, with one taking Adrian Peterson. Most of them agree on the top 4. Beyond that is a little more up in the air. One unique thing about this season is that you may very well see a QB or WR go in the top 5, which would be unheard of in seasons past.

13 DeAngelo Willams, RB CAR (7, 44)
14 Larry Fitzgerald, WR ARI (12, 18)
15 Peyton Manning, QB IND (10, 24)
16 Shonn Green, RB NYJ (15, 31)
17 Ryan Grant, RB GB (12, 23)
18 Reggie Wayne, WR IND (12, 34)
19 Jamaal Charles, RB KC (15, 33)
20 Ryan Matthews, RB SD (9, 33)
21 Cedric Benson, RB CIN (11, 46)
22 Roddy White, WR ATL (19, 27)
23 Calvin Johnson, WR DET (20, 31)
24 Miles Austin, WR DAL (14, 28)

A number of fantasy experts believe that it is paramount that fantasy owners get one of the top ranked WRs and this mindset is reflected in the rankings as the round two rankings show nearly half of the players being WRs. Larry Fitzgerald suffers a drop in ranking from last year due to a new QB in Matt Leinart. Miles Austin makes a huge leap into round 2 consideration after coming out of nowhere to have a huge season last year.

25 Tom Brady, QB NE (15, 26)
26 Brandon Marshall, WR MIA (16, 36)
27 Knowshown Moreno, RB DEN (17, 35)
28 Beanie Wells, RB ARI (22, 38)
29 Greg Jennings, WR GB (26, 35)
30 Tony Romo, QB DAL (16, 57)
31 Jonathan Stewart, RB CAR (17, 49)
32 Sydney Rice, WR MIN (21, 37)
33 Marques Colston, WR NO (26, 36)
34 Desean Jackson, WR PHI (26, 36)
35 Philip Rivers, QB SD (29, 74)
36 Pierre Thomas, RB NO (10, 45)


Tom Brady drops into the third round rankings, but he is still such a big name that I suspect he'll still be the 4th QB off the board. Jonathan Stewart is part of a dynamic one-two punch in Carolina and his ranking at 31 ahead of a number of starting RBs shows how much respect the experts have for the Panther rushing attack.

37 Lesean McCoy, RB PHI (27, 47)
38 Matt Schuab, QB HOU (27, 51)
39 Steve Smith, WR CAR (28, 47)
40 Anquon Boldin, WR BAL (18, 46)
41 Joseph Addai, RB IND (38, 52)
42 Dallas Clark, TE IND (33, 53)
43 Felix Jones, RB DAL (37, 53)
44 Ronnie Brown, RB MIA (43, 51)
45 Steve Smith, WR NYG (38, 53)
46 Antonio Gates, TE SD (32, 56)
47 Matt Forte, RB CHI (35, 81)
48 Brandon Jacobs, RB NYG (36, 68)

Matt Forte goes from a top 5 pick last year to a fourth round ranking in 2010, which is a pretty remarkable drop in just one year. Can he bounce back? If he can return to his 2008 form, he's a great value in the fourth round. We also see the best two TEs of the past several seasons coming off the board in round four. If you can't get a top WR, Clark and Gates have the potential to score and score big in 2010, especially Gates who will be the top target in San Diego as long as Vincent Jackson is suspended/holds out.

49 Mike Simms-Walker, WR JAC (45, 64)
50 Chad OchoCinco, WR CIN (42, 64)
51 Michael Crabtree, WR SF (38, 64)
52 Hines Ward, WR PIT (50, 68)
53 Ricky Williams, RB MIA (48, 93)
54 Vernon Davis, TE SF (33, 68)
55 Dwayne Bowe, WR KC (48, 63)
56 Javid Best, RB DET (36, 95)
57 *Vincent Jackson, WR SD (41, 107)
58 Percy Harvin, WR MIN (45, 79)
59 Brent Celek, TE PHI (53, 65)
60 Donald Driver, WR GB (56, 86)
*suspended first 3 games of 2010 Season


Fantasy experts slot potential breakout Michael Crabtree as a fifth round value as well as his teammate Vernon Davis. If Alex Smith can finally put together a good season behind center (he had a good second half last year) both Davis and Crabtree could be fantasy breakouts. Rooke Lions RB Javid Best is looking to capitalize on incumbant Kevin Smith's knee injury...if he can hold Smith off in training camp, he could be poised for a big rookie year. I like that guys like Best and Crabtree are mixed in with Hines Ward and Donald Driver. These veteran wideouts are often forgotten but year after year seem to put up solid fantasy numbers.
Totals: RB 26, WR 23, QB 7, TE 4 

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