Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 Fantasy Football Week 1 Rankings

These are my Week 1 rankings as of Tuesday Sept. 4rd @ 10pm. 

Defense and kicker rankings are not included (and probably will not be) so if you have questions regarding those positions, feel free to ask on twitter @FreeRotoAdvice

Quarterback Rankings: 1. Drew Brees, NO vs WSH
2. Tom Brady, NE @ TEN
3. Aaron Rodgers, GB vs SF 
4. Matthew Stafford, DET vs STL
5. Michael Vick, PHI @ CLE 
6. Cam Newton, CAR @ TB
7. Phillip Rivers, SD @ OAK
8. Matt Ryan, ATL @ KC
9. Eli Manning, NYG vs DAL
10. Tony Romo, DAL @ NYG
11. Robert Griffin III, WSH @ NO
12. Jay Cutler, CHI vs IND
13. Peyton Manning, DEN vs PIT
14. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs DEN
15. Matt Schaub, HOU vs MIA
16. Carson Palmer, OAK vs SD
17. Josh Freeman, TB vs CAR
18. Russell Wilson, SEA @ ARI
19. Jake Locker, TEN vs NE
20. Alex Smith, SF @ GB
21. Joe Flacco, BAL vs CIN
22. Sam Bradford, STL @ DET
23. Andy Dalton, CIN @ BAL
24. Andrew Luck, IND @ CHI
25. Matt Cassell, KC vs ATL

Drew Brees earns my top spot this week with a good matchup at home vs. Washington. I expect this game to be a shootout so Robert Griffin III should also post good stats. The Raiders allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to QBs last year, so I expect big things for Phillip Rivers this week. Especially with Ryan Mathews out, he will be passing a ton. Wednesday night's matchup between the Giants and Cowboys should be a high scoring affair, with home starter Eli Manning getting the edge over Tony Romo. I expect a defensive battle Denver and Pittsburgh's Sunday night matchup, as evidenced by my #13 ranking of Peyton Manning and #14 for Ben Roethlisberger

Running Back Rankings:
1. Lesean McCoy, PHI @ CLE
2. Ray Rice, BAL vs CIN
3. Matt Forte, CHI vs IND
4. Arian Foster, HOU vs MIA
5. Chris Johnson, TEN vs NE
6. Darren McFadden, OAK vs SD
7. Marshawn Lynch, SEA @ ARI

8. DeMarco Murray, DAL @ NYG 
9. DeAngelo Williams, CAR @ TB
10. Steven Jackson, STL @ DET
11. Doug Martin, TB vs CAR
12. Jamaal Charles, KC vs ATL
13. Darren Sproles, NO vs WSH 
14. Fred Jackson, BUF @ NYJ
15. Rashad Jennings, JAC @ MIN
16. Michael Turner, ATL @ KC
17. Trent Richardson, CLE vs PHI
18. Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs DAL
19. Kevin Smith, DET vs STL
20. Toby Gerhart, MIN vs JAC
21. Peyton Hillis, KC vs ATL 
22. Stevan Ridley, NE @ TEN
23. Shonn Greene, NYJ vs BUF

24. Frank Gore, SF @ GB 
25. Reggie Bush, MIA @ HOU

26. Donald Brown, IND @ CHI
27. Willis McGahee, DEN vs PIT
28. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, CIN @ BAL
29. Michael Bush, CHI vs IND
30. Mark Ingram, NO vs WSH
31. Cedric Benson, GB vs SF 
32. Ben Tate, HOU vs MIA
33. Ronnie Brown, SD @ OAK
34. Isaac Redman, PIT vs DEN
35. Beanie Wells, ARI vs SEA
36. Mike Tolbert, CAR @ TB
37. C.J. Spiller, BUF @ NYJ
38. Ryan Williams, ARI vs SEA
39. Jonathan Dwyer, PIT vs DEN
40. LeGarrette Blount, TB vs CAR
41. David Wilson, NYG vs DAL
42. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC @ MIN
43. Jacquizz Rodgers, ATL @ KC
44. Pierre Thomas, NO vs WSH
45. Adrian Peterson, MIN vs JAC 
46. Alfred Morris, WSH @ NO
47. Kendall Hunter, SF @ GB
48. Roy Helu, WSH @ NO
49. Evan Royster, WSH @ NO
50. Daniel Thomas, MIA @ HOU

Assumed out: Ryan Mathews, Jonathan Stewart
Assumed active but very limited roles: Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson

Due to the tasty matchup with the Browns (6th most fantasy points allowed to RBs last year), Lesean McCoy claims my top spot in this weeks rankings. At this point, Marshawn Lynch is still ranked 7th at RB for the week, since I expect him to suit up on Sunday but if he ends up sitting, Robert Turbin will be a RB2. With Jonathan Stewart's injury, DeAngelo Williams has the opportunity to dominate carries against the 32nd ranked fantasy defense against the run last year, the Buccaneers. Luckily for the opposing team's starting RB, Doug Martin, the Panthers were 31st. I expect both RBs to have huge games in a high scoring game. While I love Fred Jackson for the season, I don't expect much success running the ball against the stingy Jets defense. However, he will have enough touches to but up a decent statline. Trent Richardson is still less than 4 weeks removed from minor knee surgery. He looked sharp in his return to practice and is expected to start Week 1. Rashad Jennings and Toby Gerhart will be starting this week due to MJD's holdout and AP's ACL injury, and both should be productive. Willis McGahee and Cedric Benson have very tough matchups against the Steelers and 49ers (ranked 5th and 1st in fantasy points allowed to RBs) respectively. Both are merely weak flex plays. I like Ryan Williams better for the season, but for this week, I expect Beanie Wells to still be the starter and get more carries. 

Wide Receiver Rankings:
1. Calvin Johnson, DET vs STL
2. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI vs SEA
3. Andre Johnson, HOU vs MIA
4. Wes Welker, NE @ TEN
5. Brandon Marshall, CHI vs IND
6. AJ Green, CIN @ BAL
7. Roddy White, ATL @ KC
8. Julio Jones, ATL @ KC
9. Percy Harvin, MIN vs JAC
10. Greg Jennings, GB vs SF
11. Dez Bryant, DAL @ NYG
12. Hakeem Nicks, NYG vs DAL
13. Jordy Nelson, GB vs SF
14. Victor Cruz, NYG vs DAL
15. Steve Smith, CAR @ TB
16. Antonio Brown, PIT vs DEN
17. Marques Colston, NO vs WSH
18. Jeremy Maclin, PHI @ CLE
19. Eric Decker, DEN vs PIT
20. Brandon Lloyd, NE @ TEN
21. Miles Austin, DAL @ NYG
22. Steve Johnson, BUF @ NYJ
23. Pierre Garcon, WSH @ NO
24. Demaryius Thomas, DEN vs PIT
25. Vincent Jackson, TB vs CAR
26. Mike Wallace, PIT vs DEN
27. Nate Washington, TEN vs NE
28. Dwayne Bowe, KC vs ATL
29. Desean Jackson, PHI @ CLE
30. Robert Meachem, SD @ OAK
31. Darrius Heyward-Bay, OAK vs SD
32. Reggie Wayne, IND @ CHI
33. Torrey Smith, BAL vs CIN
34. Malcolm Floyd, SD @ OAK
35. Justin Blackmon, JAC @ MIN
36. Santonio Holmes, NYJ vs BUF
37. Titus Young, DET vs STL
38. Denarius Moore, OAK vs SD
39. Michael Crabtree, SF @ GB
40. Lance Moore, NO vs WSH
41. Mike Williams, TB vs CAR
42. Austin Collie, IND @ CHI
43. Anquan Boldin, BAL vs CIN
44. Brandon LaFell, CAR @ TB
45. Danny Amendola, STL @ DET
46. Greg Little, CLE vs PHI
47. Davone Bess, MIA @ HOU
48. Sidney Rice, SEA @ ARI
49. Kendall Wright, TEN vs NE
50. Santana Moss, WSH @ NO

Out: Kenny Britt

Brandon Marshall should make a great first impression on his new team as he will have him way with the weak Colts secondary. The Giants secondary is much better than last year, when they lost several guys to injuries, but I expect Dez Bryant to have a great day against them since he will see tons of targets due to Witten's absence. At this point, I expect Hakeem Nicks to play Wednesday night, and when he is in the lineup he is a stud. When he starts I expect him to be more effective than Victor Cruz, but I like both to have good games. With Champ Bailey matched up against Mike Wallace (and Wallace still getting up to speed), Antonio Brown should see a lot of targets and have a very good game. The last time Demayrius Thomas matched up with Ike Taylor, Thomas stiff-armed his way to a huge playoff winning TD. I expect Taylor to get his revenge on Sunday night while Eric Decker benefits catching several short to intermediate passes. Usually a matchup against Darelle Revis is a nightmare for opposing WRs but Steve Johnson has had great success against him and I expect the Bills to continue challenging Revis this week. I expect some struggles this week for Dwayne Bowe, fresh off his holdout and matching up against Asante Samuel and the Falcons secondary. The Patriots and Raiders let up the most points to opposing WRs last season, so you can count on big games from Nate Washington and Robert Meachem while Malcom Floyd and Kendall Wright should also have decent games. The Vikings allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing WRs so Justin Blackmon should also be able to take advantage and post good stats this week.

Tight End Rankings: 
1. Jimmy Graham, NO vs WSH
2. Rob Gronkowski, NE @ TEN
3. Antonio Gates, SD @ OAK 
4. Vernon Davis, SF @ GB
5. Aaron Hernandez, NE @ TEN
6. Tony Gonzalez, ATL @ KC
7. Fred Davis, WSH @ NO
8. Jermichael Finley, GB vs SF
9. Brent Celek, PHI @ CLE
10. Dustin Keller, NYJ vs BUF 
11. Jacob Tamme, DEN vs PIT
12. Kyle Rudolph, MIN vs JAC
13. Brandon Pettigrew, DET vs STL
14. Jermaine Gresham, CIN @ BAL
15. Greg Olsen, CAR @ TB 
16. Jared Cook, TEN vs NE
17. Owen Daniels, HOU vs MIA
18. Martelleus Bennett, NYG vs DAL
19. John Phillips, DAL @ NYG
20. Coby Fleener, IND @ CHI
21. Ed Dickson, BAL vs CIN
22. Marcedes Lewis, JAC @ MIN
23. Dallas Clark, TB vs CAR
24. Heath Miller, PIT vs DEN
25. Tony Moeaki, KC vs ATL

Assumed out: Jason Witten

Jimmy Graham is my #1 TE for the season, and this week, against the team that allowed the 3rd most points to TEs last season he should have a monster game. Vernon Davis has a great matchup this week against the Packers who struggled against TEs all of last season. Packers TE Jermichael Finley however, has a very tough matchup as the 49ers were 5th best against the TE last season. Other players with good matchups include Dustin Keller and Kyle Rudolph ranked 10th and 12th this week respectively. One of the best teams against the TE last season was the Patriots which is bad news for super sleeper Jared Cook. Especially with Kenny Britt out of the lineup, the Patriots should do a good job shutting Cook down.

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