Roto Arcade - Fantasy

Things change fast in the NFL and one of the objectives to fantasy players is to figure out the new landscape quicker than the opposition. With that in mind, I'll be presenting to you weekly position ranks based on "rest of the season" value. What's already happened matters only as an audition; this list would be my cheatsheet if I had a new draft tonight. Your intelligent disagreement is most welcome in the comments, and will help all of us going forward; offer critiques all you want, but attach some logical reasoning with it. Dig in. Rules and specs on the ranks are tagged at the bottom of the post.

Quarterback

1. Peyton Manning(notes)
2. Drew Brees(notes)
3. Philip Rivers(notes)
4. Aaron Rodgers(notes)
5. Tom Brady(notes)
6. Matt Schaub(notes)
7. Joe Flacco(notes)
8. Matt Ryan(notes)
9. Donovan McNabb(notes)
10. Jay Cutler(notes)
11. Ben Roethlisberger(notes)
12. Kurt Warner(notes)
13. Brett Favre(notes)
14. Tony Romo(notes)
15. David Garrard(notes)
16. Eli Manning(notes)
17. Carson Palmer(notes)
18. Matt Hasselbeck(notes)
19. Shaun Hill(notes)
20. Matt Cassel(notes)
21. Kyle Orton(notes)
22. Mark Sanchez(notes)
23. Derek Anderson(notes)
24. Trent Edwards(notes)
25. Jake Delhomme(notes)
26. Jason Campbell(notes)
27. Matthew Stafford(notes)
28. Kevin Kolb(notes)
29. Matt Leinart(notes)
30. Josh Johnson(notes)
31. Vince Young(notes)
32. Kerry Collins(notes)
33. Daunte Culpepper(notes)
34. Chad Henne(notes)
35. Seneca Wallace(notes)
36. Marc Bulger(notes)
37. Kyle Boller(notes)
99. JaMarcus Russell(notes)

Comments: Our buddy Mike Salfino took Rivers as the top quarterback in our midseason draft Wednesday, and given the problems with San Diego's team right now (no running game, all sorts of issues on defense), I can see how the set-up works for Rivers . . . My Rodgers rank assumes that Green Bay's pass protection will improve after the bye; they're getting some key personnel back . . . There is no number low enough for Russell. Man, are the Raiders horrendous when it comes to judging skill players . . . When you get to the bottom of the quarterback list we're considering upside more than floor; that's why some high-end backups are listed in front of starters.

Running Back

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Maurice Jones-Drew(notes)
3. Michael Turner(notes)
4. Chris Johnson
5. DeAngelo Williams(notes)
6. Ronnie Brown(notes)
7. Pierre Thomas(notes)
8. Matt Forte(notes)
9. Steven Jackson
10. Brandon Jacobs(notes)
11. Marion Barber(notes)
12. Steve Slaton(notes)
13. Frank Gore(notes)
14. Brian Westbrook(notes)
15. Knowshon Moreno(notes)
16. Cedric Benson(notes)
17. Kevin Smith(notes)
18. Ryan Grant(notes)
19. Rashard Mendenhall(notes)
20. Ray Rice(notes)
21. Willis McGahee(notes)
22. Clinton Portis(notes)
23. Reggie Bush(notes)
24. Thomas Jones(notes)
25. Donald Brown(notes)
26. Joseph Addai(notes)
27. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes)
28. Jerome Harrison(notes)
29. Marshawn Lynch(notes)
30. Ahmad Bradshaw(notes)
31. Fred Jackson(notes)
32. Beanie Wells(notes)
33. Leon Washington(notes)
34. Tim Hightower(notes)
35. Jonathan Stewart(notes)
36. LeSean McCoy(notes)
37. Carnell Williams(notes)
38. Julius Jones(notes)
39. Derrick Ward(notes)
40. Tashard Choice(notes)
41. Felix Jones(notes)
42. Larry Johnson(notes)
43. Willie Parker(notes)
44. Darren Sproles(notes)
45. Glen Coffee(notes)
46. Ricky Williams(notes)
47. LenDale White(notes)
48. Mewelde Moore(notes)
49. Correll Buckhalter(notes)
50. Shonn Greene(notes)
51. Sammy Morris(notes)
52. Michael Bush(notes)
53. Darren McFadden(notes)
54. Jamal Lewis(notes)
55. Justin Fargas(notes)
56. Kevin Faulk(notes)
57. Le'Ron McClain(notes)

Comments: Here's where I'd really like your input; anyone in the mood to rank their Top 10 or Top 15 backs going forward, put it in the comments. If we get enough good feedback, I'll assemble a Roto Arcade consensus at some point in the next 24-48 hours, just for grins (wisdom of crowds and all that) . . . The Thomas environment is similar to what Edge James enjoyed with the Colts; very few stacked fronts, all sorts of running lanes. I just hope Sean Payton has bought in on Thomas completely . . . Moreno has made a strong pitch the last three weeks and the Denver defense helps the cause; the Broncos won't be playing that many shootouts . . . Tomlinson apologists came out of the woodwork when we questioned him at this time last year; does anyone want to stump for LT now? . . . Here's hoping the Browns will finally give Harrison the role he deserves; maybe he can't hold up under a true featured workload, but it was criminal how infrequently he saw the ball in 2008 . . . Brown picks up the keys to the Miami offense now that Chad Pennington(notes) is down for the count. More defensive attention is a concern, but opportunity is such a huge part of the numbers racket too. He looks like a very safe Top 10 back to me right now.

Wide Receiver

1. Reggie Wayne(notes)
2. Larry Fitzgerald(notes)
3. Andre Johnson(notes)
4. Randy Moss(notes)
5. Calvin Johnson(notes)
6. Vincent Jackson(notes)
7. Steve Smith (NYG)
8. Chad Ochocinco(notes)
9. DeSean Jackson(notes)
10. Anquan Boldin(notes)
11. Greg Jennings(notes)
12. Marques Colston(notes)
13. Roddy White(notes)
14. Steve Smith (CAR)
15. Brandon Marshall(notes)
16. Santonio Holmes(notes)
17. Donald Driver(notes)
18. Dwayne Bowe(notes)
19. Wes Welker(notes)
20. Hines Ward(notes)
21. Santana Moss(notes)
22. Jerricho Cotchery(notes)
23. Mike Sims-Walker(notes)
24. Derrick Mason(notes)
25. T.J. Houshmandzadeh(notes)
26. Terrell Owens(notes)
27. Kevin Walter(notes)
28. Bernard Berrian(notes)
29. Braylon Edwards(notes)
30. Pierre Garcon(notes)
31. Mohamed Massaquoi(notes)
32. Steve Breaston(notes)
33. Lee Evans(notes)
34. Devin Hester(notes)
35. Antonio Bryant(notes)
36. Nate Burleson(notes)
37. Roy Williams
38. Mario Manningham(notes)
39. Patrick Crayton(notes)
40. Percy Harvin(notes)
41. Sidney Rice(notes)
42. Kenny Britt(notes)
43. Eddie Royal(notes)
44. Nate Washington(notes)
45. Mark Clayton(notes)
46. Johnny Knox(notes)
47. Anthony Gonzalez(notes)
48. Devery Henderson(notes)
49. Davone Bess(notes)
50. Josh Morgan(notes)
51. Justin Gage(notes)
52. Torry Holt(notes)
53. Earl Bennett(notes)
54. Andre Caldwell(notes)
55. Hakeem Nicks(notes)
56. Michael Jenkins(notes)
57. Bryant Johnson(notes)
58. Laveranues Coles(notes)
59. Muhsin Muhammad(notes)
60. Ted Ginn Jr.(notes)

Comments: It's all about floor with Wayne, tied to the safest fantasy pick of our lifetime, Manning . . . Jersey's Steve Smith might be the trickiest call into Week 5, are you ready to buy in? He's already piled up 22 first-down grabs, which is just ridiculous. I realize that he'll have to deal with the fickle Meadowlands weather down the stretch, but for my money that angle is a little bit overblown . . . It's never been a question of talent with Sims-Walker, it's just a matter of staying healthy. And Garrard has played pretty well over the last three weeks, to little fanfare . . . Perhaps Cotchery owners shouldn't be jumping for joy over the Edwards arrival, but I've seen too many good things from Sanchez-to-Cotch to drastically take down No. 89 . . . Ginn's part of a receiver rotation in Miami now and I've dropped him in a couple of deeper leagues. While there's nothing special about Bess, he looks like the safest play in Miami now . . . Massaquoi was a second round pick in April and he's had plenty of reps with Anderson so it's not like this story came completely out of nowhere.

Tight End

1. Dallas Clark(notes)
2. Antonio Gates(notes)
3. Tony Gonzalez(notes)
4. Jason Witten(notes)
5. Chris Cooley(notes)
6. Brent Celek(notes)
7. Greg Olsen(notes)
8. Owen Daniels(notes)
9. Vernon Davis(notes)
10. Jeremy Shockey(notes)
11. John Carlson(notes)
12. Heath Miller(notes)
13. Dustin Keller(notes)
14. Jermichael Finley(notes)
15. Todd Heap(notes)
16. Visanthe Shiancoe(notes)
17. Benjamin Watson(notes)
18. Kellen Winslow(notes)
19. Marcedes Lewis(notes)
20. Zach Miller
21. Brandon Pettigrew(notes)
22. Kevin Boss(notes)
23. Sean Ryan(notes)
24. Bo Scaife(notes)
25. Steve Heiden(notes)
26. Anthony Fasano(notes)
27. Chris Baker
28. Tony Scheffler(notes)
29. Martellus Bennett(notes)

Comments: Celek isn't an athletic freak by any means, but he's on the right offense to keep us happy . . . Nothing personal against Winslow and Zach Miller, I just hate their quarterbacks . . . Anything in the Top 14 here and you're probably content . . . Fasano is going to miss Pennington more than anyone in Miami.

Defense

1. New York Giants
2. Minnesota Vikings
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. New York Jets
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Philadelphia Eagles
8. New Orleans Saints
9. Denver Broncos
10. Dallas Cowboys
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Indianapolis Colts
13. Chicago Bears
14. Green Bay Packers
15. San Diego Chargers
16. New England Patriots
17. Buffalo Bills
18. Atlanta Falcons
19. Seattle Seahawks
20. Washington Redskins
21. Arizona Cardinals
22. Tennessee Titans
23. Miami Dolphins
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Jacksonville Jaguars
26. Oakland Raiders
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Detroit Lions
29. Houston Texans
30. St. Louis Rams
31. Kansas City Chiefs
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Comments: I don't know what to do with the Steelers; they clearly haven't looked th same since Troy Polamalu(notes) went out . . . Forget the name brand on the Chargers and Patriots, they're not putting up big fantasy numbers on this side of the ball . . . The low sack total might be misleading with the Jets, given that they've faced Tom Brady and Drew Brees in two of their games . . . Say this for the new Colts regime - it's a lot more aggressive going after the quarterback.


Kicker

1. Stephen Gostkowski(notes)
2. Ryan Longwell(notes)
3. Nate Kaeding(notes)
4. Mason Crosby(notes)
5. David Akers(notes)
6. Steven Hauschka(notes)
7. Jason Elam(notes)
8. Joe Nedney(notes)
9. Robbie Gould(notes)
10. Nick Folk(notes)
11. Adam Vinatieri(notes)
12. Neil Rackers(notes)
13. John Carney(notes)
14. Lawrence Tynes(notes)
15. Kris Brown(notes)
16. Jay Feely(notes)
17. Matt Prater(notes)
18. Jeff Reed(notes)
19. Rian Lindell(notes)
20. Josh Scobee(notes)
21. Shayne Graham(notes)
22. Rob Bironas(notes)
23. John Kasay(notes)
24. Shaun Suisham(notes)
25. Josh Brown(notes)
26. Dan Carpenter(notes)
27. Jason Hanson(notes)
28. Sebastian Janikowski(notes)
29. Olindo Mare(notes)
30. Ryan Succop(notes)
31. Phil Dawson(notes)
32. Shane Andrus(notes)

Ranking Rules and Disclaimers: Assume a yardage/touchdown format, no points per reception. Defensive ranks do not consider special-teams scoring. Player values will fluctuate from league-to-league based on league rules and size, owner personalities and biases, and 1,001 other small factors that you'll know better in your group than I will, removed from it. Weekly ranks are a totally different animal from season-long ranks; the Yahoo! staff releases week-specific ranks on Friday. For another take on season-long value (with a deeper look at player stats and trends), check out Brandon Funston's Big Board.

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