Welcome to this new weekly column about Fantasy Football. I consider myself an “outsider” because I won’t overwhelm with crazy “insider” stats (like predicting a player will have 2.3 TDs in the coming week like some sites, etc.) – I’ll stick to more basic, useful stats. I also consider myself an “outsider” simply because I’m not an insider. My rankings are based on a player’s overall history, his recent play, the particular match-up, psychological factors and yes, hunches. I will provide you with a different perspective on players and games than you’ll get from other FF websites.
Please feel free to contact us with any specific line-up questions or general thoughts on the rankings.
1. Chris Johnson – Raiders D has a few really good individual players, but I’m pretty doubtful their unit as a whole can slow down Johnson.
2. Maurice Jones-Drew – MJD could go nuts (through the air and on the ground) against a Denver D with a new D Coordinator and without it’s best pass rusher Elvis Dumervil.
3. Jamaal Charles – SD’s defense may struggle this year. Charles was a beast last year as a starter. Jones may take some carries and a TD or two away, but this is a good match-up for Charles.
4. Frank Gore – After the excitement wears off in Seattle and the game gets into a rhythm, Gore will get his.
5. Steven Jackson – AZ should be worried about a healthy Steven Jackson. Tempted to put him in the top 3 this week.
6. Adrian Peterson – AP wasn’t bad last night, but I thought he’d do better.
7. Ahmad Bradshaw – Some will say this is too high for Bradshaw but I have believed Bradshaw should have been the starter last year. Bradshaw should start and Jacobs should come in to wear opponents down at the end of the game.
8. Ray Rice – Rice’s points will come from TDs and receiving – he’s a better play in PPR leagues.
9. Matt Forte – I’m expecting Forte to play with a vengeance this year, especially early on. He’s healthy and he’s good. Detroit won’t be able to slow him down Sunday.
10. CJ Spiller – Spiller is a good player and he’ll be super-excited for his first NFL game. I expect week one to be a big one for him.
11. Joseph Addai – Addai will do some rushing damage, but mostly receptions/TDs in this one – like Rice and D Williams, better play in PPR leagues.
12. Jerome Harrison – good match-up, the Tampa Bay D shouldn’t slow him down.
13. Arian Foster – high scoring game, Foster should do well as Kubiak may opt to focus more on the run than folks think he will to slow down the game tempo – keep Manning off the field.
14. Michael Turner – tough match-up in Pitt, but a healthy Turner can be good anywhere.
15. Jahvid Best – I have a feeling the Bears D will do a decent job against he run Sunday, but Best may get some yards receiving. Good back with a bright future.
16. DeAngelo Williams – I can see DeAngelo doing damage in the passing game (better for PPR leagues) with a possible TD.
17. Cadillac Williams – he runs hard and has an impressive mental constitution – I gave strong consideration to ranking him in the top 7 because he doesn’t have a tough match-up. But with crappier teams I like to wait a few weeks before getting to excited, and TB may be a crappy team again this year.
18. Ryan Grant – not seeing a big week for Grant this week. McCarthy is quick to abandon the run and a surprisingly potent offense guided by Kolb might force McCarthy/Rodgers to attack through the air.
19. Clinton Portis – Portis ran well under Mike Shanahan in the past, I expect a revival of sorts for him this year, until he gets hurt.
20. Cedric Benson – I expect NE to run away with this game. Benson will get his touches but Cincy may end up playing catch-up with Palmer throwing a lot.
Coming tomorrow: The Fantasy Outsider: Part II, QBs
Andy Hayes is a workplace consultant and a weekly sports columnist for TheDC. He lives in Brookfield, WI and has been a Green Bay Packer fan since age one second. Andy is the editor of Packergeeks.com, a Packer blog. He is married and the father of an active 3 year old boy (whom Andy is grooming to be an NFL place-kicker, or punter).