Never Too Early: 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings

Welcome to Day 3 of the 12 Days of Blogs-mas.  If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that:

When I wrote the intro to the Blogs-mas series, I said that Day 3 would be a preview of the events of the forthcoming weekend.  But I also said that those ideas were subject to change.  This is the first change.


There are two types of fantasy owners: those that made their playoffs and those that didn’t.  As you see from above, I’ve already covered the first group.  But have no fear, hard luck losers, because fantasy never stops.  Without further ado, here are some rankings for next year.  These are ordered based on where I’d rank these guys if we were doing something silly like drafting for 2013 right now.


I have an affinity for mobile QBs.

I have an affinity for mobile QBs.

Quarterbacks

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Drew Brees
  4. Robert Griffin III – I can’t wait to hear the “teams will adjust to him” and “he’s an injury risk”  stuff that people said about Cam Newton.  About Griffin, they will be wrong.
  5. Peyton Manning
  6. Matthew Stafford
  7. Cam Newton
  8. Andrew Luck – He’ll only get better.
  9. Matt Ryan
  10. Colin Kaepernick – This could be construed as “all in.”
  11. Eli Manning
  12. Ben Roethlisberger

Honorable Mention: Tony Romo, Russell Wilson, Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton

Spiller has 2009 Chris Johnson ("CJ2K") potential

Spiller has 2009 Chris Johnson (“CJ2K”) potential

Running Backs

  1. Arian Foster
  2. Adrian Peterson – There aren’t enough words to describe how amazing his comeback is.
  3. Doug Martin
  4. Ray Rice
  5. Trent Richardson – Cleveland is a sneaky-attractive landing spot for new coaches and GMs as they have a lot of nice pieces in place along both lines.
  6. LeSean McCoy
  7. Marshawn Lynch
  8. C.J. Spiller – Getting him at RB8 could end up a huge bargain.
  9. Stevan Ridley
  10. Alfred Morris – The Shana-clan won’t get into any shenanigans with him.
  11. Jamaal Charles
  12. Again looking like the guy we know he can be

    Again looking like the guy we know he can be

  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Maurice Jones-Drew – Obviously, this assumes perfect health.
  15. DeMarco Murray
  16. Matt Forte
  17. Ahmad Bradshaw
  18. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
  19. Frank Gore
  20. Mikel LeShoure – He’s ranked 21st right now and missed multiple games early.
  21. Jonathan Dwyer
  22. Shonn Greene
  23. Reggie Bush
  24. Ryan Mathews – Maybe a new coach and GM will help matters.
  25. Darren McFadden – I so badly wanted to drop these last two guys out of the rankings.

Honorable Mention: Willis McGahee, Steven Jackson, Fred Jackson, Darren Sproles

Wide Receivers

  1. Calvin Johnson
  2. A.J. Green
  3. Brandon Marshall
  4. Dez Bryant – Standing by what I said in this tweetwhich was a response expanding on this tweet.  No one agreed that the currently white-hot Bryant would be top-three, and many didn’t agree that he’d be top-five.
  5. Demaryius Thomas
  6. Julio Jones
  7. Percy Harvin – Here’s hoping he doesn’t go through a long hold-out while attempting to re-negotiate the last year in his rookie deal.
  8. Victor Cruz
  9. Reggie Wayne
  10. Vincent Jackson
  11. Marques Colston
  12. Roddy White
  13. Nothing I've seen in the last two weeks tells me he shouldn't be ranked high.

    Nothing I’ve seen in the last two weeks tells me he shouldn’t be ranked high.

  14. Pierre Garcon – This may seem high now, but wait until you see him play the last month of the season.
  15. Andre Johnson
  16. Hakeem Nicks
  17. Randall Cobb – They’ll gear more for him next year, and Greg Jennings is a free agent after this season.
  18. Wes Welker
  19. Miles Austin
  20. Torrey Smith
  21. Antonio Brown – The only thing between him and being a WR1 is red zone presence.
  22. Eric Decker
  23. Jordy Nelson
  24. Mike Williams
  25. Mike Wallace – I don’t expect him to be with Pittsburgh, so this is a bit of a hedge because I don’t know where he’ll end up.
  26. Lance Moore
  27. Stevie Johnson
  28. Steve Smith
  29. Sidney Rice
  30. Jeremy Maclin
  31. Danario Alexander – Will he stay healthy?
  32. Michael Crabtree
  33. Emmanuel Sanders – As I said above, I assume Sanders will be starting for Pittsburgh next season.
  34. Dwayne Bowe
  35. Cecil Shorts – This year’s “darling” WR story won’t be a WR2 for the whole season as long as the Henne-Gabbert combo are throwing to him.
  36. Kenny Britt
  37. Josh Gordon

Honorable Mention: DeSean Jackson, Golden Tate, Denarius Moore, Justin Blackmon, Danny Amendola

He's STILL the #1 TE this year by a pretty good margin

He’s STILL the #1 TE this year by a pretty good margin

Tight Ends

  1. Rob Gronkowski
  2. Jimmy Graham
  3. Aaron Hernandez
  4. Tony Gonzalez
  5. Jason Witten
  6. Heath Miller – The way Todd Haley has used Miller proves this lofty position is not a fluke.
  7. Owen Daniels
  8. Greg Olsen
  9. Jermaine Gresham
  10. Vernon Davis
  11. Kyle Rudolph
  12. Fred Davis – This assumes a healthy return with Washington.

Honorable Mention: Brandon Myers, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Pettigrew, Dennis Pitta

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Posted in Fantasy, Football, Rankings
19 comments on “Never Too Early: 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings
  1. nochance says:

    LeSean/Ahmad far too high

    • I guess I’m assuming McCoy gets a new HC that actually sees the value in running the ball. And I’ve never been a Bradshaw guy so it felt kind of funny putting him there. Which of the guys below him would you rank above him?

      Thanks for coming by to read.

      • Dave says:

        Not the original poster, but seems to me that McCoy’s going to be in a timeshare with Bryce Brown. Maybe there’ll be enough to go around, but has that ever worked out before?

        Anyway, he’s probably ranked right no matter what. Might put Lynch in front of him.

        Also, didn’t Tony Gonzalez say he’s retiring at the end of this season?

      • Dave,

        Thanks for reading and commenting. I didn’t assume a committee in Philly because Bryce Brown has looked good for two weeks while McCoy has looked good for years. I also think with a new regime in Philly that there will be more carries to go around.

        Committees have worked before, and with the new way of the NFL being committee backs for the majority of teams, it will make committees more viable in fantasy because nearly every RB2 and RB3 will be a part of a committee.

        Early in Chris Johnson’s career, he and LenDale White co-existed pretty well. I’m sure there are more examples, but it’s late and a research project isn’t in my future this evening.

        As for Tony G, consider it me assuming that Atlanta won’t win it all and he’ll come back. Certainly not an oversight by any means ;-)

  2. Trey says:

    Where’s Larry Fitzgerald here? You have to assume AZ is going to do something to solve their QB situation in the offseason. Any change here would greatly elevate his status. After all, you can’t fall off the floor.

    • Trey,

      I tried to make the rankings assuming what would happen next year. So assumptions related to Mathews, McCoy, and Mike Wallace were easier to make since two coaches will be fired and the third guy is likely to be on another team.

      While it’s obvious that Arizona HAS to do something at QB, I don’t really know what that is. I probably should have had Fitzgerald there though at least as a WR2.

      Players have fallen off the cliff though before, but you’re right, he doesn’t seem like that kind of guy.

      Thanks for reading.

  3. RDR says:

    What is your take on Ridley? I think he might be a good keeper and you definitively have him ranked high, but does the RB depth of the Patriots worry you that he might become a platoon guy?

    • RDR,

      That worry could be real about Ridley, but it’s could also be real for nearly every RB in the league that isn’t named Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson, or the name of any other sure-fire fantasy RB1’s. I think what you’ve seen from Ridley this year is what you’ll get next year as well – plus or minus 10% and barring injury.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. paul polizzia says:

    thanks for you column as my team was eliminated in week one of the playoffs, I too am looking forward to next year.

  5. James says:

    Very good piece. I have no issue on the whole, though I’m a bit surprised that T.Y. Hilton isn’t at least an honorable mention candidate. His rookie-season numbers – particularly in the second half – compare favorably to other WRs who went on to enjoy breakout second-season campaigns. With Andrew Luck only getting better, Reggie Wayne getting a year older and no other reliable WR option on the roster, I see Hilton surging into low-end WR2 status next season. The consistency will be an issue, but the year-end numbers will be there.

    • James,
      That’s not a bad call on Hilton. My worries are that they may get someone else and keep him in the slot because of his small stature.

      With WR appearing to be so deep once again, there could be a LOT of honorable mention guys. And I wouldn’t be shocked if WR is the position that changes most drastically from now until next preseason

      Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to bookmark!

      • James says:

        That’s a fair call on the potential for a FA acquisition. I suspect Indy knows as well as anyone how important it will be to give Luck as many credible weapons as possible in order to take advantage of his prime years.

        I see a lot of Steve Smith in Hilton … for better or worse. He’ll be a smaller guy with speed to burn who ends up with a lot of 4-95-1 lines, with the occasional 1-18-0 stinker. Touchdowns are completely non-predictive, of course, but with Luck leading the league in yards per attempt, it’s clear the kid loves airing it out – and a guy like Hilton could make a very good living on that arrangement.

        Thanks for the prompt reply – I’ll be sure to ‘mark!

  6. Sir Trey says:

    I’m already looking at keeper ranks…in three leagues and I’ve managed a title in each of them over the past few years, but now I want the third league, which is the keeper one. Joined it last year as the new guy, had to scrounge around for remaining keepers. Got Titus Young, Fred Davis and Peyton Hillis…so that really couldn’t have gone much worse. Thankfully, I drafted better, but now I’ve got a dilemma for my three keepers. My obvious candidates would be Andrew Luck, Doug Martin and C.J. Spiller…but I’m a Niners fan and I picked up Kaepernick midseason.

    I drafted Luck with the full intention of keeping him for years to come, and specifically picked him over RGIII because I figured long-term, running QBs were more of a injury risk. Same logic applies to Kaepernick…but hes a 49er! I normally try separating fantasy business from team fandom but this might be too much…where do you see those two young QBs going?

    And I’m different from the Trey who posted earlier, for the record…

    • “Sir” Trey,

      I like the prospects of both next Luck and Kaepernick next year. Martin and Spiller are definite keepers, regardless of the “penalty” for keeping them (i.e. if you lose a certain draft pick for them).

      Therefore, the decision comes to the QBs. Kaepernick has a higher ceiling because of his running ability, but Luck is less likely to be injured and will never be benched.

      I would use that same “penalty” as my guide in making my decision. If keeping Luck will cost you a 5th round pick while keeping Kaepernick would cost you a 12th, the better value lies in Kaepernick.

      Thanks for stopping by. Keep coming back!

      • Sir Trey says:

        It’s an auction league, so I don’t think Kaepernick costs me anything to keep since he was a midseason pickup – we don’t hold an auction for free agents, so he was “free”. $200 overall budget…Luck would cost $17. Martin $22 and Spiller $16, so they’re all relatively cheap. I’d either have $162 with Martin+Spiller+Kaepernick or $145 with Luck instead.

        And thanks for the reply, I’ll make sure to return!

  7. Molly says:

    I missed out on 2012 fantasy. Def in 2013 and NO it’s never too early. Thanks!

  8. Mark says:

    Eli is driving me crazy the last 3 yrs. Is Tannehill to much of a stretch for a keeper over the Eli-coaster? Thanks!

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