In the unlikely event your league has a meaningful game week 17, the 2013 fantasy football season has come to a close. It’s time to look ahead to 2014 and get a handle on where to rank the players. There’s been a decent amount of movement in the rankings and this is true at all positions, except maybe kicker. Also, there are some pretty serious prospects in the upcoming rookie draft.
An anomaly took place in one of my money leagues. A team with Philip Rivers, Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Jimmy Graham, Steven Hauschka, Detroit Lion D/St lost the week 16 superbowl to a team with Peyton Manning, Eddie Lacy, Frank Gore, Andre Johnson, Torrey Smith, T.Y. Hilton, Phil Dawson and the Carolina D/ST. Who’da thunk it? And I really could use the money. These things happen, and even if I maxed out my bench, I still would have lost.
The reason I mention this? Even if you own the top players at four different positions (RB’s count twice) does not guarantee a championship trophy and check. It certainly bodes well for the upcoming season which can’t start soon enough. Every team that was heavily favored and lost, as well as those who were knocked out early by injury or player stupidity, agree.
So how does this impact 2014? You may ask. A couple of usual suspects are no longer the consensus top picks at their positions. Initially. Adrian Petterson and Calvin Johnson are candidates for downward movement on the ranker. Adrian’s concerns are age, wear and tear, poor QB play and bad team management. Also, the emergence of Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy as legitimate and long term superstars in great situations. This puts downward pressure on Adrian’s reign as the number one guy . A couple of other RB’s are making a case for the top four or five, as well. Matt Forte, Marshawn Lynch and DeMarco Murray deserve consideration. Murray would be a serious threat if he didn’t miss four games a year, and Lynch, with a better WR presence, would not not have to take such a beating and would certainly have more room to run. He’s not doing all that badly as is, but c’mon. Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Zach Miller do not command the respect necessary to elevate Lynch to the top spot. A healthy Percy Harvin will go a long way to that end, but it may be too late. Lynch could move on, and Harvin may never be healthy enough to play a full season. Forte is as valuable as any player in the PPR formatted leagues, and had an excellent year for the standard scoring leagues, as well.
Calvin Johnson is the best wide receiver in football. No one else to throw to, except Bush, a knucklehead QB and terrible coaching are his issues. If Calvin is triple teamed, Stafford and his coaches have no idea what to do. It is a bad situation on a bad football team. The Lions have the best WR, one of the better running backs, a QB who throws for close to 5,000 yards per year and one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. Yet, in a season where the other teams in the division are not good enough or healthy enough to compete, the Lions just can’t or won’t get it together. It’s hard to bump Calvin down, but over in Cleveland, Josh Gordon, with literally no running game or QB (Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell!!!!!) is the top fantasy WR after missing the first two games. You have to go back a long way to find a year when Calvin wasn’t the top WR. This is really some accomplishment for Gordon, and if he hasn’t passed Calvin Johnson as the top WR going in to the 2014 fantasy season, then he’s at least pulled even, for now. At the very least he’s made it easier on fantasy owners who missed the opportunity to own Calvin Johnson. At the beginning of the year I argued that Dez Bryant would be the guy to take over the number two spot and make a challenge for number one. This may still happen, but right now, A.J. Green has been passed by Josh Gordon.
This is for a high-numbered keeper and or dynasty league. The true dynasty team s (20 – 53 keepers plus developmental/underclass college players) have a ranker that differs somewhat from what is posted below, but can be useful for them too.
Dynasty and keeper top 150
This is all very preliminary as we won’t see any player movement, the draft or deals for a few months. But since we’re all bored stiff with no fantasy football for a while, at least you have this list to mull over and comment on.
Happy New Year and thanks for your time.