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Shuffle Up: The Robert Griffin redemption

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Pink Panther (USAT)

You should know the drill by now. The rankings in this series are going-forward ranks; these are not Week 8 ranks. We're trying to figure out how to slot the players as if the fantasy season started fresh right this second.

Today the assignment is quarterbacks and wideouts. Have at the prices along to start; commentary will follow later in the day.

$31 Peyton Manning
$29 Drew Brees
$28 Aaron Rodgers
$26 Robert Griffin
$25 Philip Rivers

Griffin hasn't been a flop by any means - he's 11th in fantasy points per start entering this week - but it sure seems like the numbers are about to explode. He's started to run again over the last two weeks, by design and on broken plays; his passing was sharp in the victory over Chicago; and the schedule is an absolute daisy. Look at all the green (denoting a plus matchup) on the Yahoo opponent tab - Denver, San Diego, Minnesota and Philly come calling the next four weeks (it's also favorable late in the season). It took Adrian Peterson about a third of the season before he really kicked into gear in 2012; perhaps Griffin's comeback story is following the same arc.

$24 Matthew Stafford
$24 Matt Ryan
$23 Cam Newton
$23 Tony Romo
$22 Russell Wilson
$22 Andrew Luck
$20 Tom Brady

Brady's numbers are a mess - a tricky slate of opponents has played into that, along with the steady stream of personnel problems. But with Rob Gronkowski finally back, Danny Amendola on the mend, and even pass-catching back Shane Vereen making progress, better days should be ahead. Brady has a career trend of improving his YPA in the second half more often than not; Patriots teams generally get better in the later months. Brady no longer belongs in the elite tier for fantasy, but let's not kick him to the curb, either.

$16 Colin Kaepernick
$15 Andy Dalton
$15 Michael Vick
$14 Terrelle Pryor
$14 Ben Roethlisberger
$13 Jake Locker
$12 Joe Flacco
$11 Alex Smith
$11 Eli Manning
$11 Ryan Tannehill

Locker's quick injury recovery and strong performance against the Niners earns him a spike, even if a chunk of his Week 7 production came in garbage time. He's still waiting on a pair of Jacksonville matchups, and you like him against Denver in Week 14. He looks like one of the more improved players in the league.

$7 Jay Cutler
$6 Geno Smith
$5 Nick Foles
$5 Carson Palmer
$4 Chad Henne
$4 Matt Schaub
$3 Case Keenum
$3 Mike Glennon
$2 Jason Campbell

If I ran the Texans, I'd hand the keys to Keenum for the rest of the year, see if there's anything here. Your season is just about shot and you know the upside of Schaub (nothing special). Keenum showed poise and intelligence in the Kansas City loss, and it was nice to see the Texans pressing the intermediate and deep levels of the field again.

$1 EJ Manuel
$1 Christian Ponder
$0 Blaine Gabbert
$0 Brandon Weeden
$0 Josh Freeman

And here are your wideouts.

$34 Calvin Johnson
$32 Dez Bryant
$31 A.J. Green
$29 Vincent Jackson
$28 Demaryius Thomas
$27 Jordy Nelson
$26 Brandon Marshall
$24 Wes Welker
$23 DeSean Jackson
$23 Justin Blackmon
$22 Eric Decker
$21 Victor Cruz
$21 Torrey Smith

The Jaguars see plenty of garbage time on a weekly basis, and it's a good thing. Their upcoming schedule against the pass is downright nasty: San Francisco, bye, Tennessee, Arizona, Houston, Cleveland, Houston again. Blackmon and friends don't see another plus matchup (by the numbers, anyway) until Buffalo comes calling in Week 15 . . . The Broncos passing game is centered around its big four (tight end Julius Thomas plus the main wideouts), with Knowshon Moreno (23-198-0) and Ronnie Hillman (12-119-0) catching the occasional toss. This type of concentration warms the heart of fantasy football players. Decker, Welker and the two Thomases have combined to catch 24 of Peyton Manning's 25 touchdown passes; the Broncos don't cross us up with fourth and fifth wideouts or fullbacks getting into the mix . . . Marshall keeps a lofty price because I trust Marc Trestman, it's as simple as that. I don't expect this offense to fall off the face of the earth while Jay Cutler is hurt. The bye week also came at a perfect time for the Bears.

$18 Josh Gordon
$18 Antonio Brown
$18 Pierre Garcon
$17 Andre Johnson
$17 Larry Fitzgerald
$16 James Jones
$14 Cecil Shorts
$14 Keenan Allen
$13 Denarius Moore
$13 T.Y. Hilton
$13 Rueben Randle
$13 Marques Colston
$12 Alshon Jeffery
$12 Mike Wallace
$12 Anquan Boldin
$12 Percy Harvin
$11 Roddy White
$11 Steve Smith
$10 Darrius Heyward-Bey
$10 Jarrett Boykin
$10 Harry Douglas
$10 Hakeem Nicks
$10 Kendall Wright
$10 Dwayne Bowe

If I owned Harvin in a trade-friendly league, I'd be kicking tires on league perception before he takes a snap. The Seahawks have no incentive to rush Harvin into heavy use (contrast this to how the Pats desperately needed Gronkowski last week, feeding him targets), and as much as I admire Russell Wilson, this team is centered around its defense and running game first and foremost. Keep both cleats on the ground when appraising Harvin's second-half potential . . . I've always been a Roddy White fan, but we're almost two months into this injury-plagued season and he's still not practicing. It's hard to imagine him being 100 percent at any point this season . . .Randle still makes bonehead mistakes now and then, but his athleticism also flashes on the screen every week. I wish we could say the same thing about Nicks, who hasn't looked right all year.

$9 Terrance Williams
$9 Kenbrell Thompkins
$9 Danny Amendola
$9 Michael Floyd
$9 DeAndre Hopkins
$9 Steve Johnson
$8 Vincent Brown
$8 Nate Washington
$7 Greg Jennings
$7 Golden Tate
$6 Julian Edelman
$6 Brian Hartline
$6 Sidney Rice
$5 Mike Williams
$5 Brandon LaFell
$5 Jeremy Kerley
$5 Emmanuel Sanders
$5 Stephen Hill

Mike Williams has just 11 targets the last two games (counting the Thursday loss), while Vincent Jackson has 35. Tim Wright is another mouth to feed; he's been productive in three of his past four games and finally found the end zone in Week 8. The Bucs will get their share of garbage time - Mike Glennon threw a whopping 29 passes in the fourth quarter Thursday - but I still don't like what Williams is putting on the tape.

$4 Aaron Dobson
$3 Marvin Jones
$3 Jerome Simpson
$3 Riley Cooper
$3 Tavon Austin
$3 Eddie Royal
$3 Robert Woods
$3 Ted Ginn
$2 Austin Pettis
$2 Chris Givens
$2 Doug Baldwin
$2 Miles Austin
$2 Ryan Broyles
$2 Lance Moore
$2 Donnie Avery
$2 Leonard Hankerson
$2 Kenny Stills
$2 Marlon Brown

Miles Austin isn't healthy and the two receivers after him on the depth chart might be better anyway. Credit the Cowboys, they're not overvaluing the name brand here . . . For the first time in five years, Ginn looks like he actually belongs in the league. He's gone for 62 yards or more in four of seven weeks.

$1 Rod Streater
$1 Santonio Holmes
$1 Randall Cobb
$1 Cordarrelle Patterson
$1 Mohamed Sanu
$0 Jerricho Cotchery
$0 Andre Roberts

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