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R.J.'s 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings (Update 8/15)

rjwhiterjwhite Posts: 35Member, Expert Writers
edited September 8 in Expert Player Rankings

Welcome to the new Fantasy Football Cafe.

While you get settled in, here is my set of 2014 redraft rankings as of Aug. 7. You'll find players broken into tiers at each position along with my breakdown of my strategy at each position (ADP data cited comes from Fantasy Football Calculator), as well as a Top 25 Overall. Why only 25? Once you get through the first two rounds, your best selections will depend on how the players remaining in your positional tiers shake out as well as how your specific team is coming along.

These rankings are going to change as the preseason unfolds and as I continue to run through mock drafts and see my preferences continue to develop. I'll try to post at least one update before Labor Day weekend.

Updated: Aug. 15, 9 p.m. ET

Top 25 Overall

1 LeSean McCoy, Phi, RB
2 Jamaal Charles, KC, RB
3 Matt Forte, Chi, RB
4 Adrian Peterson, Min, RB
5 Eddie Lacy, GB, RB
6 Calvin Johnson, Det, WR
7 Jimmy Graham, NO, TE
8 Montee Ball, Den, RB
9 Dez Bryant, Dal, WR
10 Demaryius Thomas, Den, WR
11 Peyton Manning, Den, QB
12 Brandon Marshall, Chi, WR
13 A.J. Green, Cin, WR
14 Giovani Bernard, Cin, RB
15 DeMarco Murray, Dal, RB
16 Jordy Nelson, GB, WR
17 Julio Jones, Atl, WR
18 Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB
19 Drew Brees, NO, QB
20 Antonio Brown, Pit, WR
21 Marshawn Lynch, Sea, RB
22 Alshon Jeffery, Chi, WR
23 Andre Ellington, Ari, RB
24 Alfred Morris, Was, RB
25 Rob Gronkowski, NE, TE

QB

Tier 1

1 Peyton Manning, Den
2 Aaron Rodgers, GB
3 Drew Brees, NO

Tier 2

4 Matthew Stafford, Det
5 Andrew Luck, Ind

Tier 3

6 Matt Ryan, Atl
7 Tony Romo, Dal
8 Colin Kaepernick, SF
9 Philip Rivers, SD
10 Nick Foles, Phi
11 Jay Cutler, Chi
12 Robert Griffin, Was
13 Tom Brady, NE
14 Cam Newton, Car
15 Ben Roethlisberger, Pit

Tier 4

16 Josh McCown, TB
17 Russell Wilson, Sea
18 Eli Manning, NYG

Tier 5

19 Andy Dalton, Cin
20 Carson Palmer, Ari
21 Ryan Tannehill, Mia
22 Jake Locker, Ten

Tier 6

23 Alex Smith, KC
24 Joe Flacco, Bal
25 EJ Manuel, Buf
26 Sam Bradford, StL
27 Johnny Manziel, Cle

Tier 7

28 Ryan Fitzpatrick, Hou
29 Matt Cassel, Min
30 Matt Schaub, Oak
31 Chad Henne, Jac
32 Geno Smith, NYJ

Tier 8

33 Brian Hoyer, Cle
34 Michael Vick, NYJ
35 Teddy Bridgewater, Min
36 Derek Carr, Oak
37 Tom Savage, Hou
38 Case Keenum, Hou
39 Blake Bortles, Jac
40 Mike Glennon, TB

Breakdown

I feel like you should take one of two paths at the quarterback position this year. Either splurge on one of the top three guys in the first two rounds, or wait until Round 8 or 9 to grab your guy. That means passing on Stafford (43.8 ADP), Luck (51.9), Brady (62.6) and Foles (75.0), with the last two being wildly overdrafted even in the context of the position, in my eyes. I love the steady-as-she-goes Romo running an offense that'll need 30 points per game to win to make up for the defense. Kaepernick heads my targets as a guy who will be asked to do more with a quality stable of pass catchers and a fading RB corps. Griffin is a guy I wish I could own in more leagues, but he falls in that range where I'm not looking at QBs. Interesting QB2 types for me this season include Jay Cutler, who I think I've ranked conservatively based on his upside, as well as McCown, Peyton's little brother and Jonathan M. Football, who fits the mold I'm looking for in a backup as a high-upside talent who could turn in a top-five QB season if everything breaks right, even if that has a slim chance of happening.

RB

Tier 1

1 LeSean McCoy, Phi
2 Jamaal Charles, KC
3 Matt Forte, Chi
4 Adrian Peterson, Min
5 Eddie Lacy, GB

Tier 2

6 Montee Ball, Den
7 Giovani Bernard, Cin
8 DeMarco Murray, Dal
9 Marshawn Lynch, Sea
10 Andre Ellington, Ari
11 Alfred Morris, Was

Tier 3

12 Toby Gerhart, Jac
13 Arian Foster, Hou
14 Zac Stacy, StL
15 Le'Veon Bell, Pit
16 Rashad Jennings, NYG
17 Doug Martin, TB
18 C.J. Spiller, Buf
19 Reggie Bush, Det

Tier 4

20 Ryan Mathews, SD
21 Trent Richardson, Ind
22 Lamar Miller, Mia
23 Ben Tate, Cle
24 Joique Bell, Det

Tier 5

25 Frank Gore, SF
26 Bishop Sankey, Ten
27 Maurice Jones-Drew, Oak
28 Shane Vereen, NE
29 Steven Jackson, Atl

Tier 6

30 Pierre Thomas, NO
31 Fred Jackson, Buf
32 Bernard Pierce, Bal
33 Chris Johnson, NYJ
34 Danny Woodhead, SD
35 Terrance West, Cle
36 Jeremy Hill, Cin
37 Ray Rice, Bal
38 Darren Sproles, Phi
39 DeAngelo Williams, Car
40 Christine Michael, Sea

Tier 7

41 Khiry Robinson, NO
42 Chris Ivory, NYJ
43 Andre Williams, NYG
44 Stevan Ridley, NE
45 LeGarrette Blount, Pit
46 Knowshon Moreno, Mia
47 Knile Davis, KC
48 Roy Helu, Was
49 James White, NE
50 Mark Ingram, NO

Tier 8

51 Carlos Hyde, SF
52 Darren McFadden, Oak
53 Devonta Freeman, Atl
54 Shonn Greene, Ten
55 Jonathan Stewart, Car
56 Jonathan Grimes, Hou
57 Bobby Rainey, TB
58 Donald Brown, SD
59 Jacquizz Rodgers, Atl
60 Bryce Brown, Buf
61 Stepfan Taylor, Ari
62 Latavius Murray, Oak
63 Benny Cunningham, StL

Tier 9

64 C.J. Anderson, Den
65 Ahmad Bradshaw, Ind
66 Ronnie Hillman, Den
67 Dexter McCluster, Ten
68 Lance Dunbar, Dal
69 James Starks, GB
70 Robert Turbin, Sea
71 Chris Polk, Phi
72 Ka'Deem Carey, Chi
73 Mike Tolbert, Car
74 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cin
75 Jonathan Dwyer, Ari

Breakdown

I think the Tier 1 backs should be the top five picks in your draft in some order before I'd consider going with the top options at other positions. Guys in Tier 3 like Gerhart and Jennings should receive big workloads and post starter-worthy fantasy numbers even if they don't have the talent of some of the guys in lower tiers. Richardson should be better after an offseason in Indianapolis, and I have confidence the offensive play-calling will be a lot better as well. Miller is a nice sleeper for me with a 64.9 ADP that winds up on my team in the fifth and sixth rounds, which is one reason I'm not taking those mid-tier QBs as discussed above. It's hard to pin down what the Patriots will do with running backs, and I likely have Vereen ranked too low, but it wouldn't surprise me to see James White emerge as a force. Jones-Drew has the best chance of emerging in Oakland, and I feel like Pierce is a great target to potentially serve as the Ravens' lead back, even when Rice returns. A few unexpected rookies could easily emerge as weekly fantasy threats, so don't be afraid to grab freshman like West, Hill, Freeman, Williams and the aforementioned White to round out your depth at the position.

WR

Tier 1

1 Calvin Johnson, Det
2 Dez Bryant, Dal
3 Demaryius Thomas, Den
4 Brandon Marshall, Chi
5 A.J. Green, Cin
6 Jordy Nelson, GB
7 Julio Jones, Atl
8 Antonio Brown, Pit
9 Alshon Jeffery, Chi

Tier 2

10 Vincent Jackson, TB
11 Victor Cruz, NYG
12 Andre Johnson, Hou
13 Larry Fitzgerald, Ari
14 Michael Crabtree, SF
15 Randall Cobb, GB

Tier 3

16 Pierre Garcon, Was
17 Keenan Allen, SD
18 Roddy White, Atl
19 Cordarrelle Patterson, Min
20 T.Y. Hilton, Ind

Tier 4

21 Jeremy Maclin, Phi
22 Percy Harvin, Sea
23 Michael Floyd, Ari
24 Wes Welker, Den
25 Torrey Smith, Bal
26 Marques Colston, NO
27 Kendall Wright, Ten
28 Anquan Boldin, SF
29 Eric Decker, NYJ

Tier 5

30 Mike Wallace, Mia
31 Julian Edelman, NE
32 DeSean Jackson, Was
33 Terrance Williams, Dal
34 Sammy Watkins, Buf

Tier 6

35 Danny Amendola, NE
36 Dwayne Bowe, KC
37 DeAndre Hopkins, Hou
38 Emmanuel Sanders, Den
39 Rueben Randle, NYG
40 Riley Cooper, Phi
41 Brandin Cooks, NO
42 Kelvin Benjamin, Car
43 Reggie Wayne, Ind
44 Golden Tate, Det

Tier 7

45 Cecil Shorts, Jac
46 Brian Hartline, Mia
47 Kenny Britt, StL
48 Rod Streater, Oak
49 Marqise Lee, Jac
50 Doug Baldwin, Sea

Tier 8

51 Marvin Jones, Cin
52 Tavon Austin, StL
53 Steve Smith, Bal
54 Mike Evans, TB
55 Markus Wheaton, Pit
56 Jarrett Boykin, GB
57 Aaron Dobson, NE
58 Andre Holmes, Oak

Tier 9

59 Greg Jennings, Min
60 Kenny Stills, NO
61 Miles Austin, Cle
62 Harry Douglas, Atl
63 James Jones, Oak
64 Jordan Matthews, Phi
65 Justin Hunter, Ten
66 Andrew Hawkins, Cle
67 Odell Beckham, NYG

Tier 10

68 Chris Givens, StL
69 Robert Woods, Buf
70 Donnie Avery, KC
71 Jerricho Cotchery, Car
72 Mike Williams, Buf
73 Hakeem Nicks, Ind
74 Steve Johnson, SF
75 Martavis Bryant, Pit
76 Allen Robinson, Jac
77 Cody Latimer, Den
78 Nate Washington, Ten
79 Jarvis Landry, Mia
80 Kenbrell Thompkins, NE
81 Malcom Floyd, SD

Tier 11

82 Lance Moore, Pit
83 Denarius Moore, Oak
84 Brandon LaFell, NE
85 Jerrel Jernigan, NYG
86 Da'Rick Rogers, Ind
87 Davante Adams, GB
88 Nate Burleson, Cle
89 Jerome Simpson, Min
90 Justin Blackmon, Jac

Breakdown

If you have the guts to take a chance on someone like Toby Gerhart as your RB1, I think this is a great year to start the draft WR-WR and get two Tier 1 guys. I'd be very excited to end up with a Megatron-Nelson combo at the top of the draft if I can't get a Tier 1 RB. I generally end up with one of Hilton, Maclin, T.Smith and Wright to round out my starters at the position, with Boldin finding a spot on my team as a WR4 in most cases. Britt is someone who I think could jump right back into fantasy relevance this season, and I'd be more than happy to spend a bench spot on a guy with his kind of upside. Deep sleepers worth watching include M.Lee, A.Holmes and Hawkins.

TE

Tier 1

1 Jimmy Graham, NO

Tier 2

2 Rob Gronkowski, NE

Tier 3

3 Julius Thomas, Den
4 Vernon Davis, SF
5 Greg Olsen, Car
6 Jordan Cameron, Cle
7 Kyle Rudolph, Min
8 Jordan Reed, Was
9 Jason Witten, Dal

Tier 4

10 Dennis Pitta, Bal
11 Zach Ertz, Phi
12 Ladarius Green, SD
13 Martellus Bennett, Chi
14 Charles Clay, Mia
15 Dwayne Allen, Ind
16 Antonio Gates, SD
17 Tyler Eifert, Cin
18 Heath Miller, Pit

Tier 5

19 Delanie Walker, Ten
20 Garrett Graham, Hou
21 Coby Fleener, Ind
22 Eric Ebron, Det
23 Jared Cook, StL
24 Travis Kelce, KC
25 Ryan Griffin, Hou

Tier 6

26 Tim Wright, TB
27 Levine Toilolo, Atl
28 Marcedes Lewis, Jac
29 Owen Daniels, Bal
30 Mychal Rivera, Oak
31 Jace Amaro, NYJ
32 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB
33 Scott Chandler, Buf
34 Richard Rodgers, GB
35 Jermaine Gresham, Cin

Breakdown

Graham is clearly in a league of his own, as usual. Gronkowski is a fringe Tier 1 guy who is a much better option than the Tier 3 tight ends, so I decided to give him Tier 2 by himself. One of these years, he's going to have a healthy season and pay off in a big way. Tier 3 is pretty large, and there are plenty guys in Tier 4 that I'd be perfectly happy using as a starter. If I don't get one of the top two TEs, I'm waiting on the position unless I can land a Tier 3 guy at an unbelievable value. Deep sleepers include Kelce and Griffin if you have a ton of rosterable TEs in your format.

K

Tier 1

1 Stephen Gostkowski, NE
2 Matt Prater, Den
3 Justin Tucker, Bal
4 Mason Crosby, GB
5 Steven Hauschka, Sea
6 Blair Walsh, Min
7 Dan Bailey, Dal
8 Adam Vinatieri, Ind

Tier 2

9 Robbie Gould, Chi
10 Phil Dawson, SF
11 Ryan Succop, KC
12 Matt Bryant, Atl
13 Nick Novak, SD
14 Shaun Suisham, Pit
15 Jay Feely, Ari
16 Josh Brown, NYG
17 Greg Zuerlein, StL

Tier 3

18 Mike Nugent, Cin
19 Shayne Graham, NO
20 Sebastian Janikowski, Oak

Breakdown

I don't have any words of wisdom here, besides wait until the last round to get a kicker, and never spend more than the minimum in auction formats to grab one.

DST

Tier 1

1 Seattle Seahawks, Sea

Tier 2

2 St. Louis Rams, StL
3 San Francisco 49ers, SF
4 Carolina Panthers, Car

Tier 3

5 New England Patriots, NE
6 Buffalo Bills, Buf
7 Philadelphia Eagles, Phi
8 New York Jets, NYJ
9 Cincinnati Bengals, Cin

Tier 4

10 Kansas City Chiefs, KC
11 Denver Broncos, Den
12 Baltimore Ravens, Bal
13 Arizona Cardinals, Ari

Tier 5

14 Miami Dolphins, Mia
15 Detroit Lions, Det
16 New York Giants, NYG
17 New Orleans Saints, NO
18 Houston Texans, Hou
19 Green Bay Packers, GB

Tier 6

20 Chicago Bears, Chi
21 Washington Redskins, Was
22 Minnesota Vikings, Min
23 Tennessee Titans, Ten
24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TB
25 Jacksonville Jaguars, Jac

Tier 7

26 Atlanta Falcons, Atl
27 Pittsburgh Steelers, Pit
28 Cleveland Browns, Cle
29 San Diego Chargers, SD
30 Indianapolis Colts, Ind
31 Dallas Cowboys, Dal
32 Oakland Raiders, Oak

Breakdown

These should be matchup plays for you each week, but the one defense I'd bother reaching into the middle rounds for is the Seahawks. They are probably a little overvalued with an 88.5 ADP, but if I don't see any other players worth drafting in the eighth round, and I have my eye on several particular late-round sleepers at RB and WR, I don't mind grabbing them. The Bills aren't very highly regarded, but I think they have the potential to be consistently great, and I think they are a nice sleeper if you don't want to stream. While these are my best guesses at seasonwide fantasy point totals, my draft picks, which tend to focus solely on Week 1 matchups, include the Jets (vs. Raiders) and Eagles (vs. Jaguars).

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