Silva's August Top 150

Evan Silva
Rotoworld
Evan Silva breaks down fantasy matchups on both sides of Thursday night's NFL opener

Matchup: Chiefs @ Patriots

Evan Silva breaks down fantasy matchups on both sides of Thursday night's NFL opener

These rankings are based on standard scoring leagues, albeit with plenty of references to points-per-reception formats (PPR). This is my attempt to essentially map out a fantasy draft, and provide readers with an idea of where I value players. Average Draft Position (ADP), position scarcity, upside, and projected role are all strongly considered in the rankings. I do bump up players I want readers to draft -- sometimes aggressively -- because I think they should pursue them. I bump down players I do not want readers to draft because I believe there is evidence suggesting they're best left avoided.

As is always the case in these Top 150s, I devalue quarterbacks because it is a devalued position in standard, one-quarterback leagues. I think securing a top-four tight end provides owners with a significant week-to-week edge. I recommend an aggressive approach at this position.

For comprehensive player writeups and outlooks, consult the 2014 Rotoworld Draft Guide, which is chock full of league-winning information.

Round One

1. LeSean McCoy -- I explained why Sproles isn't a "threat" on this podcast.
2. Jamaal Charles -- The Charles/Shady tiebreaker is Chiefs suspect O-Line.
3. Adrian Peterson -- Expect improved D under Zimmer, working in AP's favor.
4. Matt Forte -- In PPR drafts, I'd take Forte third overall ahead of Peterson.
5. Eddie Lacy -- Huge TD upside; owners must handcuff with James Starks.
6. Demaryius Thomas -- Set up to set NFL records with Eric Decker gone.
7. Calvin Johnson -- Bump Demaryius, Calvin & Dez ahead of Lacy in PPR.
8. Dez Bryant -- The alpha receiver on a team destined for weekly shootouts.
9. Jimmy Graham -- A fantasy football week winner. Drew Brees' go-to guy.
10. Julio Jones -- Offers No. 1 overall WR ceiling with Tony Gonzalez retired.
11. DeMarco Murray -- Even if DAL plays from behind, will soak up receptions.
12. A.J. Green -- Marvin Jones' injury doesn't hurt. Will remain target monster.



Round Two

13. Rob Gronkowski -- Reports of '50:50' for Wk 1 expected, but grab solid TE2.
14. Jordy Nelson -- 94/1,559/12 pace last season when Aaron Rodgers played.
15. Montee Ball -- 8/4 appendectomy could make him a 2nd-round value pick.
16. Le'Veon Bell -- Finished as a top-10 RB in points per game as 21-year-old.
17. Marshawn Lynch -- More $ from Seattle suggests workload will stay intact.
18. Brandon Marshall -- Top-11 fantasy WR in each of his 4 years with Cutler.
19. Keenan Allen -- 10 TDs last 15 games. Philip Rivers' clear-cut go-to target.
20. Julius Thomas -- Big room for growth in catches & yards post-Eric Decker.
21. Alshon Jeffery -- 24-year-old monster a lock to improve on last year's 7 TDs.
22. Zac Stacy -- Rams bellcow. Value pick at third-round Average Draft Position.
23. Randall Cobb -- 100-catch candidate in dynamic O. Also in contract year.
24. Doug Martin -- Not sweating OL yet. Lead back on run-devoted Bucs team.

Round Three

25. Roddy White -- Lots left in tank. I bet he returns low-end WR1 value in '14.
26. Antonio Brown -- TDs will drop, but still strong bet for around 100 catches.
27. Andre Johnson -- ADP has fallen to late-4th round. Last year's WR12 overall.
28. Jordan Cameron -- Last of week-to-week fantasy difference makers at TE.
29. Aaron Rodgers -- I think Green Bay's offense will lead the league in points.
30. Drew Brees -- Ranks 2nd/1st/1st/3rd/2nd/1st in QB points last six years.
31. Peyton Manning -- Much tougher schedule, older & lost TD scorer Decker.
32. Toby Gerhart -- Rare every-down RB. Will be centerpiece of Jags offense.
33. Giovani Bernard -- Overrated at 2nd-round ADP. Jeremy Hill is better value.
34. Alfred Morris -- Annual zero in pass game, but plenty of touchdown upside.
35. Victor Cruz -- Will be heavily targeted in new quick-hitting passing offense.
36. Arian Foster -- Already injured in camp. Too much risk for 2nd-round ADP.

Round Four

37. Torrey Smith -- 'X' receiver in Kubiak/Shanahan O is annual target monster.
38. Michael Crabtree -- Niners defensive losses give Crabtree a ton of upside.
39. Larry Fitzgerald -- Still centerpiece of Arians' pass game, especially in RZ.
40. C.J. Spiller -- Healthy now, but will continue to be boom-bust weekly player.
41. Joique Bell -- I think he'll lead Lions in carries/rush TDs. Great receiver, too.
42. Vincent Jackson -- Targets will dip, but still lots of yardage/scoring upside.
43. Reggie Bush -- Strong RB2 in PPR leagues. Better as flex play in standard.
44. Andre Ellington -- Boom-or-bust RB2. I'm avoiding at his third-round price.
45. Bishop Sankey -- Some RBBC concerns, but Titans best RB & strong OL.
46. Shane Vereen -- 1,218-yard, 11-TD, 97-catch pace in ten '13 appearances.
47. Ryan Mathews -- Crowded backfield, but clear lead back on run-first team.
48. Mike Wallace -- Playing 2013 D-Jax role in Fins' new Eagles-like scheme.

Round Five

49. Marques Colston -- Undervalued. 98/1,213/8 pace over his last 10 games.
50. Rueben Randle -- My top breakout WR pick. 9 TDs on 60 career catches.
51. Michael Floyd -- Fast-ascending 24-year-old with legitimate WR1 ceiling.
52. DeSean Jackson -- I like Jackson to outproduce Garcon under Jay Gruden.
53. Frank Gore -- Descending, but 3-down back with great OL. Cuff with Hyde.
54. Pierre Garcon -- Could lose 50+ targets with D-Jax in D.C. & Reed healthy.
55. Wes Welker -- Likely one more concussion from retirement. I'm avoiding.
56. Lamar Miller -- Will open season as lead RB under run-first new OC Lazor.
57. Stevan Ridley -- Boom-bust, but double-digit TD lock if he doesn't fumble.
58. Matthew Stafford -- Efficiency should spike with new O & better weapons.
59. Jordan Reed -- Injury flags, but 80-888-6 pace as rookie TE. That's special.
60. Cam Newton -- Robbery at late-7th-round ADP. Better WRs than last year.

Round Six

61. Jeremy Maclin -- Don't expect repeat of D-Jax numbers. More of a WR2/3.
62. Cordarrelle Patterson -- Could frustrate. Better KR than WR at this stage.
63. Ben Tate -- Couldn't stay healthy as HOU backup. Can he as CLE starter?
64. Percy Harvin -- Overvalued in NFL's most wide receiver-unfriendly offense.
65. Jeremy Hill -- Steal at 9th-round ADP. Could lead Bengals in carries/TDs.
66. Rashad Jennings -- ADP has spiked to early 4th round after preseason TD.
67. Golden Tate -- Should be Stafford's clear No. 2 pass option behind Calvin.
68. Eric Decker -- TD scorer. Value pick if Geno Smith just becomes average.
69. Kendall Wright -- Just a WR3. Volume likely to take a hit in new Titans O.
70. Tom Brady -- QB4 overall fantasy pace with Gronk in the lineup last year.
71. Jason Witten -- Romo's clear No. 2 option. Durable 80+ catch candidate.
72. Reggie Wayne -- Knee all systems go. Best bet to lead Colts in catches.

Round Seven

73. Andre Williams -- Already Giants GL back. Better runner than Jennings.
74. Bernard Pierce -- Will get chance to run with lead RB job in Weeks 1 & 2.
75. Emmanuel Sanders -- Dicey WR3. Better in real life than fantasy football.
76. Terrance Williams -- Likely to be inconsistent behind Dez/Witten/Murray.
77. Dennis Pitta -- High-volume role under TE-friendly Kubiak. Solid PPR TE1.
78. Jay Cutler -- Highest ceiling in his QB tier. Surrounded by red-zone beasts.
79. Andrew Luck -- Huge breakout potential if Colts embrace pass-first offense.
80. Nick Foles -- Solid every-week QB1 but '13 efficiency impossible to match.
81. Tony Romo -- Back woes, but will be a shootout QB with no DEF in Dallas.
82. Matt Ryan -- Pass-first offense, healthy WRs, bad DEF, and plays indoors.
83. Robert Griffin III -- Wild card in new offense. Early-camp reports concerning.
84. Kyle Rudolph -- Blowup candidate w/ Norv. Will lead MIN in receiving TDs.

Round Eight

85. Fred Jackson -- NFL's oldest RB, but Bills primary passing-down/GL back.
86. Trent Richardson -- Looked like same old T-Rich in Colts exhibition opener.
87. T.Y. Hilton -- Already week-to-week headache & targets likely to plummet.
88. Maurice Jones-Drew -- Quality RB3/flex behind underrated Raiders O-Line.
89. Terrance West -- 1B to Tate's 1A, but didn't impress in preseason opener.
90. Justin Hunter -- Great fit for Whisenhunt's more vertically-oriented offense.
91. Ray Rice -- Looked like questionable fit for Kubiak ZBS in exhibition opener.
92. Brandin Cooks -- Hype out of control as Cooks' ADP nears the sixth round.
93. Vernon Davis -- With improved supporting cast, a lock to frustrate this year.
94. DeAndre Hopkins -- Like Hopkins as steady WR3 in 2014; WR1/2 by 2015.
95. Josh Gordon -- This is where I'd start considering him with status in limbo.
96. Dwayne Bowe -- Alex Smith has a limiting effect on all perimeter receivers.


Round Nine

97. Kelvin Benjamin -- Candidate for 8-11 TDs as rookie.
98. Sammy Watkins -- Poor QB play on run-first team.
99. Pierre Thomas -- Bump up one round in PPR drafts.
100. Ben Roethlisberger -- Annually underrated QB1.
101. Philip Rivers -- SD run commitment caps ceiling.
102. Steven Jackson -- S-Jax's latest hamstring injury could torpedo his value.
103. Zach Ertz -- Breakout candidate. Could score a lot of TDs in bigger role.
104. Julian Edelman -- Reception total could plummet from 105 into the 70s.
105. Heath Miller -- Healthy now. 71-816-8 in 15 games in same offense in '12.
106. Greg Olsen -- Panthers WRs will be better in the red zone, hurting Olsen.
107. Jarrett Boykin -- Every-week WR3 if he holds onto old James Jones role.
108. Chris Johnson -- Discussed why I would never draft him on this podcast.

Round Ten

109. Devonta Freeman -- Possible RBBC leader if S-Jax misses game action.
110. Ahmad Bradshaw -- Another T-Rich faceplant away from Colts starting job.
111. Ladarius Green -- Played every single 1st-team snap in preseason opener.
112. Colin Kaepernick -- Prime leap candidate with better weapons & worse D.
113. Mike Evans -- Huge long-term ceiling. Likely TD-dependent WR4 as rookie.
114. Marqise Lee -- Sleeper for top fantasy rookie wideout. Tons of opportunity.
115. Jordan Matthews -- Must cut down on drops to earn big early-season role.
116. Russell Wilson -- Low-end QB1 with capped ceiling on run-devoted team.
117. Knile Davis -- Possible top-5 fantasy RB1 if Jamaal Charles misses time.
118. Carlos Hyde -- Should open season seeing 6-8 carries/game behind Gore.
119. Mark Ingram -- Underrated RB3. Favorite to lead NO in carries & rush TDs.
120. Lance Dunbar -- Explosive scatback will play bigger role than most expect.

Round Eleven

121. James Starks -- Must-have Lacy handcuff & lottery ticket in great offense.
122. Bryce Brown -- Won't be low on depth chart for long. Shredding preseason.
123. Christine Michael -- Freak talent behind overworked 28yo Marshawn Lynch.
124. Riley Cooper -- Will be very difficult to trust as role player in deep Eagles O.
125. Danny Amendola -- Worth a look as post-hype value pick in PPR leagues.
126. Chris Ivory -- Jets best inside runner. Also favorite for GL carries over CJ?K.
127. Aaron Dobson -- Finally ready to practice. ADP has dipped to 14th round.
128. Johnny Manziel -- Will play RG3 role under Kyle Shanahan. Upside QB2.
129. Mike Williams -- Intriguing WR4 in TD-heavy leagues. Locked in as starter.
130. Khiry Robinson -- Like Robinson's talent, but he's in a three-man backfield.
131. Dwayne Allen -- Quality rotational TE1 if you're willing to wait on tight ends.
132. Carson Palmer -- Big-time WRs, cake sked, and Cards DEF has lost a ton.

Round Twelve

133. Danny Woodhead -- Low-end PPR RB3. Could lose work to Donald Brown.
134. Martellus Bennett -- Bears No. 4 pass option behind BMarsh/Jeffery/Forte.
135. Jerricho Cotchery -- Underrated WR4. Will be a cheap source of receptions.
136. Andy Dalton -- New OC Hue Jackson wants Dalton to be a game manager.
137. Greg Jennings -- Not sexy, but could be nice late-round value pick in PPR.
138. Andre Holmes -- Looks entrenched as starter. 6'4/215 with big opportunity.
139. Brian Hartline -- Likely to lose volume in more run-focused Dolphins offense.
140. DeAngelo Williams -- Will get 12-14 carries/game, but painfully low ceiling.
141. Kenny Stills -- Will primarily run clear-out routes for Graham/Colston/Cooks.
142. Cecil Shorts -- Expect Marqise Lee to supplant Shorts as Jags top receiver.
143. Travis Kelce -- Having Gronkian August so far. Fits Alex Smith passing style.
144, Roy Helu -- Capable 3-down back. Every-week RB2 if Alf Morris misses time.

Round Thirteen

145. Chris Polk -- Chip Kelly's lead ball carrier (not Sproles) if Shady goes down.
146. C.J. Anderson -- Favorite for carries/GL work over Hillman if Ball misses time.
147. Darren McFadden -- Likely change-of-pace complement to MJD's lead back.
148. LeGarrette Blount -- Must-have handcuff for Le'Veon and possible GL vulture.
149. Kenny Britt -- Still only 25 years old. Locked in as St. Louis' No. 1 receiver.
150. Jonathan Grimes -- Texans No. 2 running back behind injury-plagued Foster.

Also Considered: Brandon Bostick, Charles Clay, Mohamed Sanu, Marvin Jones, Andrew Hawkins, James White, Darren Sproles, Miles Austin, Hakeem Nicks, Knowshon Moreno, James Jones, Marquess Wilson, Jonathan Stewart, Alex Smith, Antonio Gates, Anquan Boldin, Cody Latimer, Jake Locker, Garrett Graham, Doug Baldwin, Tyler Eifert, Markus Wheaton, Benny Cunningham, Tre Mason, Ronnie Hillman, Shonn Greene, Jarvis Landry, Davante Adams, Harry Douglas, Steve Smith, Tavon Austin, Coby Fleener, Delanie Walker, Charles Sims, Eli Manning, Robert Woods, Jace Amaro, Eric Ebron, Robert Turbin, Marlon Brown, Cole Beasley, Ryan Tannehill, Jared Cook, Josh McCown, Sam Bradford, Latavius Murray, Odell Beckham, Lorenzo Taliaferro, Stevie Johnson, Levine Toilolo, Luke Willson, Donald Brown.

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