Shuffle Up and Deal: NFL ranks, rest-of-season

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, in theory, 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. Dig in.

Rules and specs on the ranks are tagged at the bottom of the post.

Quarterback

Comments: Talk about a top-heavy group. I hope you feel good about your top guy, because there isn't a lot of safety in the middle tiers. Owners with two good QBs should find more of a trade market than usual . . . I'll be very surprised if Quinn isn't quarterbacking the Browns at some point in October (if not sooner) . . . A big week for Schaub, who hasn't played well at all and has a solid backup (Rosenfels) pushing him . . . Even if Leinart is called on to play at some point, my expectations for him are very low.


Running Back

Comments: Did Tomlinson look explosive to you Monday night? Not on my set, he didn't . . . I'm not sold on Reggie Bush the runner, but his pass-catching skills will be liberally used while others heal up . . . You never want to overrate one week of results, but Slaton looked legitimate at Tennessee, making plays both inside and outside . . . "Sell high on Julius Jones" is very easy to write, but come on, who's really buying? I think it's a forced hold because there's no market, but your league might be different . . . Mendenhall's rank is on the assumption that Parker's injury isn't that bad. We'll see . . . Be patient with Grant, the schedule will lighten up soon.

Wide Receiver

Comments: Quick, who leads the NFL in targets? Why, it's our No. 17 receiver . . . Now might be a good time to speculate on a healing Seattle receiver, Engram or Branch . . . It far too early to be worried about Andre Johnson; if there's even the slightest bit of a discount out there, pounce . . . One more no-show from Crayton and I'll bury him to the CFL.


Tight End

Comments: Winslow is one of the few Browns still earning his paycheck these days . . . Keller had a quiet four catches and might be ready to sneak into start-consideration later in the year; don't add here, but monitor . . . Don't watch Davis play every week, you'll need therapy by November.

Kicker

Comments: It's a situational position, not a punt-pass-kick competition. That's why a guy like Josh Brown is forever buried - it's a comment on his offense, not him.

Defense

Comments: A good fantasy defense pressures the quarterback consistently, gets fourth-quarter tee-off-time, and doesn't need gimmicks to get to the pocket. Keep those themes in mind as you're scouting, and if you're a week-to-week streamer, try to find a defense from a favored team and up against a spotty offense/quarterback.

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, released every Tuesday.

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