Welcome to our weekly set of rankings of our top-250 overall players for the rest of the season. I should note that I’m not personally a big fan of massive, position-combining lists and I think positional lists are more useful, however, take this and use it in whatever way you wish. Thanks to this widget from FantasyPros, you can break it down by position as well.
- I’m back to believing in Cam Newton. I had fallen off the wagon for awhile, but after the past few weeks, he’s looked good, even if the running has been limited a bit. He’s back to being a QB1.
- I’m also believing in Alex Smith. Personally, I have trouble just saying that an older player randomly “figures it out” and is all of a sudden legit, but Smith has been good week after week. He’s a low-end QB1 in 12-team leagues. I don’t think this MVP pace is going to keep up, but then again, I said that week after week with Matt Ryan and we all know what happened there.
- It makes me sad, but Tyrod Taylor has dropped fairly significantly. He’s been usable so far, thanks to his legs, but with the loss of Jordan Matthews and now Charles Clay, I just don’t know that there’s a lot of value to be had with Taylor going forward. His legs will continue to provide him with some sort of value, but there’s just not much to throw to outside of Zay Jones, and he just looks lost on the field.
- Deshaun Watson continues to impress, and he’s earned his way into the high-end QB2 conversation. Obviously, this pace isn’t going to keep up, and I think Watson will have some turnover problems, but the guy is extremely talented and has some excellent weapons to work with.
- Ben Roethlisberger looks bad. He joked that maybe he doesn’t have it anymore, but I’m not all that sure that shouldn’t be a serious question. You draft Roethlisberger expecting him to be bad on the road and great at home, but in a home matchup against the Jaguars (who, admittedly, have an excellent defense), he was bad. I just don’t know how you can trust him at all going forward, especially when there are so many better options out there.
- My rankings right now assume that Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension sticks and he’s not back until Week 13. Obviously, that could change, it could even change within the next day or week, but I’m working under that assumption right now. As such, Zeke has dropped fairly significantly, but he’ll still be back in the fantasy football regular season, and hopefully you prepared by picking up either Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris. Speaking of which, they’ve both jumped up in the rankings, and I’m operating under the assumption that McFadden is the lead back, but there is no guarantee of that. I think he will be, but if Morris was, I wouldn’t be shocked. Nor would I be shocked if it ended up being a timeshare, so monitor this closely going forward.
- Between Ty Montgomery’s injury and Aaron Jones’ performance, Montgomery has dropped a bit. I don’t know just how long he’ll be out (he might be back this week, who knows?) but even when he comes back, I wouldn’t be shocked if Jones has earned a cut of Montgomery’s carries. I also wouldn’t be shocked if the Packers were exceptionally cautious with Montgomery. They have postseason aspirations, and Jones is doing just fine, so it wouldn’t be crazy to think that they might say “Hey Ty, take your time and get healthy.”
- Joe Mixon has looked decent and is getting a sizable amount of work. There wasn’t a lot of clarity until recent weeks, but he’s definitely the lead back in the Bengals’ offense, and he’s got loads of talent, so, for now, he’s an RB2 with upside.
- After being a waiver wire darling for a while, Tarik Cohen hasn’t looked great. He’s not eating into Jordan Howard’s workload (nor should he) and he hasn’t been doing a ton as a receiving back. He’s still a flex option with more value in PPR scoring.
- Now that Adrian Peterson is with the Cardinals, he’ll at least get work. I’m not ready to think of him as an amazing fantasy option or anything, he still needs to learn that offense, and I’m not all that sure he’s much better than Chris Johnson was at this point. Plus, that offensive line is garbage, so while a return to relevance is entirely possible for Peterson, I’m looking at him as a potential volume play for now.
- I feel like I talk about Alex Collins every week, but now that Terrance West is out with a calf injury, I think Collins will see more work. Javorius Allen will too, but I think he’s still going to mainly be a receiving back while Collins is a between-the-tackles guy. As long as he holds onto the football, he’s got a lot of potential.
- Duke Johnson looks awesome. He’s not carrying the ball all that much (though with how poorly Isaiah Crowell is playing, they might as well), but he’s catching the ball a bunch, and that’s where his value is. Even in a non-PPR, he’s a solid flex play.
- LeGarrette Blount is back to being involved in the Eagles’ offense, and given how good their offense has been (and the injury to Wendell Smallwood), Blount should still have some solid flex value. You’re kind of hoping for a touchdown, and certainly he takes a hit in PPR, but that offense is running hot and Blount should continue to see work.
- Now that Adrian Peterson is gone (not that he was that much of a threat anyways), Alvin Kamara’s role is pretty clear. He’s the receiving back for the Saints, as he was before, but now we have clarity. He’s a solid flex with a lot of PPR upside.
- Thanks to the fact that the Cardinals’ offensive line is terrible, Carson Palmer is under pressure a lot, which means he’s checking it down to Andre Ellington frequently. In PPR, Ellington is a low-end RB2, but even in standard he’s very useful. His role is defined and I don’t anticipate it changing much, even with the arrival of Peterson (who’s never been much of a receiving back).
- Now that the Giants are out of it, I think they’re going to try and see what they’ve got in Wayne Gallman. He’s shown some flashes this season, and I think the Giants will want to see if he’s the running back of the future. Yea, Orleans Darkwa had the better games last week, but I think it’ll be Gallman. Either way, Paul Perkins is basically worthless now.
- Slowly but surely, Matt Breida is eating into Carlos Hyde’s workload. I don’t think he’s going to supplant him this year if Hyde stays healthy, but I think if you’re a Hyde owner, you 100% should own Breida.
- DeAndre Hopkins has looked amazing, and he’s earned his way into the top-five receivers. He’s a stud and will likely continue to be such all year long.
- Speaking of studs, how good is T.Y. Hilton? I was hesitant about him without Andrew Luck heading into the season, but he’s shown that he can hang with Jacoby Brissett no problem, and as Luck works his way back, Hilton’s value is just going to increase.
- So Amari Cooper kind of sucks now? I wish he didn’t, and I still believe in his talent, but the guy is dropping passes like it’s a clause in his contract. He has the fifth-lowest catch percentage among receivers with 20 or more targets so far this year, and is creating virtually no separation. I think he could turn it around, he’s still young and talented, but he’s not been good at all so far.
- Chris Hogan has settled into the Julian Edelman role very nicely, and I don’t see any reason for that to change. It’s pretty obvious that Hogan is in for the shorter plays while Brandin Cooks is there for the deep balls (Cooks is sixth in the league in average targeted air yards).
- While Will Fuller is a bit touchdown dependent, he’s still a worthy WR3 with plenty of upside. There’s loads of talent there, we’ve seen it in the past, and as long as Deshaun Watson is playing at the level he is, there will be plenty of fantasy value too.
- Sammy Watkins has looked bad, and it’s just been bad news all around for him. Defenses are playing him tight (he has the second-lowest average cushion in the league) and it seems to be causing problems. That, and Jared Goff seems content to spread the ball around to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.
- The Giants have lost both Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandon Marshall, which means Sterling Shepard is the next man up (assuming he’s healthy). We saw how talented Shepard is last year, and as the number one option in that offense, he’ll have at minimum some WR3 value with potential for more. And if he’s out, look for Roger Lewis to be the top option in New York.
- I’m a big fan of Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Even though he’s on the Jets and their terrible offense, he’s exceptionally talented and Josh McCown seems to be looking his way. He’s earned his way into borderline TE1 status for now.
- Cameron Brate has been more involved in the Bucs passing game than I had previously anticipated, but it’s worked quite well so far. He’s also earned his way into the low-end TE1 ranks.
- Now that Tyler Eifert is done for the year, Tyler Kroft is stepping in. I’m not expecting a ton from him, but he had a solid Week 4 (against the Browns, I know) and tight ends have had value in the Bengals offense in the past. He’s a matchup-dependent streamer for now.
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