2014 Season Long Redraft Fantasy Football Player Rankings

by thesanction1

The official start of the NFL season is in 12.91 days as of right now (check as of the time of your reading here).

That’s right, in less than 2 weeks the drama that is the NFL will begin to unfold before our unblinking eyes. If you’re like any of the other 40+ million fantasy sports playing Americans you are waiting with baited breath for kickoff. Some of you have already had your drafts, but the majority of season long drafts will take place over the next two weekends. And in my opinion that’s a good thing: draft day is one of the best days of the year. Very much like Christmas – on draft day your faith and dedication are reliably rewarded. You get to turn all of your research, dedication, and degenerate podcast listening into draft picks; draft picks that will ultimately turn into success in your league; success in your league that will typically turn into cash prizes and respect from your friends; cash and respect that will ultimately turn into a sense of personal happiness and a lifelong aire of calming peace.

That’s right – draft well, and you too can reach a state of fantasy inspired spiritual transcendence (and, as an obligatory side note – if you haven’t checked out any of the Daily Fantasy Sports sites, you are seriously missing the boat… Christmas every Sunday is not an overstatement. Check out my own site’s live beta at Victiv.com).

A ton has transpired this preseason. While I’m typically pro-degeneracy, I have to admit that watching every NFL preseason game is a bridge too far. Luckily for you, I drive a hovercraft. What does that even mean, you ask? It means I don’t do bridges … I watched every single preseason game. Every one of them. Seriously. It’s my job as CIO at Victiv.com. And while I can’t make any claims as to how coherent I was during said games, I can tell you this – watching preseason games this year *was* a job. Between the pandemic penalties and extra points looking like field goals, I was longing for the regular season.

It’s coming. And I want you to be ready for it. As I’ve always insisted – fantasy inspired spiritual transcendence is not only for the 1%. So I’ve condensed all the days of preseason footage I consumed, the hours of listening to the ESPN and CBS podcasts for the latest news and opinions, and the minutes I spent copying, pasting, and editing these rankings in Excel into a definitive list of the top 200 NFL players I’ll be targeting in my drafts this season. You’re welcome, America.

In general, this list is sorted from most to least valuable – at any given point in your draft, all things being equal, you should draft the next man up in the list. I’ll put the list up for reference, and then point out a few things I’d like to highlight for this year that might just help you win your league.

RANK ESPN NAME POS AVG ESPN RANK Diff.
1 1 Adrian Peterson, Min RB 1.8 0
2 2 LeSean McCoy, Phi RB 2.8 0
3 5 Matt Forte, Chi RB 6 -2
4 3 Jamaal Charles, KC RB 3.6 1
5 7 Calvin Johnson, Det WR 7.1 -2
6 10 Jimmy Graham, NO TE 11.4 -4
7 16 Dez Bryant, Dal WR 17.6 -9
8 8 Eddie Lacy, GB RB 8.4 0
9 17 DeMarco Murray, Dal RB 18.1 -8
10 13 Demaryius Thomas, Den WR 14.6 -3
11 19 Brandon Marshall, Chi WR 20.3 -8
12 15 A.J. Green, Cin WR 16.6 -3
13 18 Zac Stacy, StL RB 18.8 -5
14 21 Julio Jones, Atl WR 23 -7
15 22 Alfred Morris, Wsh RB 25.2 -7
16 23 Jordy Nelson, GB WR 25.3 -7
17 4 Peyton Manning, Den QB 5.3 13
18 12 Drew Brees, NO QB 13.7 6
19 29 Giovani Bernard, Cin RB 31.3 -10
20 28 Antonio Brown, Pit WR 30.9 -8
21 26 Montee Ball, Den RB 29.5 -5
22 24 Alshon Jeffery, Chi WR 27.8 -2
23 20 Le’Veon Bell, Pit RB 22.8 3
24 6 Marshawn Lynch, Sea RB 6.6 18
25 14 Doug Martin, TB RB 15.1 11
26 9 Aaron Rodgers, GB QB 10.4 17
27 27 Reggie Bush, Det RB 30.9 0
28 11 Arian Foster, Hou RB 12.6 17
29 30 Randall Cobb, GB WR 33.6 -1
30 49 Roddy White, Atl WR 52 -19
31 42 Pierre Garcon, Wsh WR 45 -11
32 50 Andre Ellington, Ari RB 53.4 -18
33 44 Ryan Mathews, SD RB 45.5 -11
34 45 Wes Welker, Den WR 46.1 -11
35 46 Victor Cruz, NYG WR 46.9 -11
36 47 Keenan Allen, SD WR 47.5 -11
37 25 Julius Thomas, Den TE 29.5 12
38 32 Andre Johnson, Hou WR 35.5 6
39 52 Trent Richardson, Ind RB 53.7 -13
40 31 Rob Gronkowski, NE TE 34.3 9
41 33 Matthew Stafford, Det QB 37.2 8
42 34 Larry Fitzgerald, Ari WR 37.5 8
43 35 Cam Newton, Car QB 38.3 8
44 36 Vincent Jackson, TB WR 38.5 8
45 56 Michael Crabtree, SF WR 58.5 -11
46 43 C.J. Spiller, Buf RB 45 3
47 37 Frank Gore, SF RB 39.9 10
48 39 Ben Tate, Cle RB 40.6 9
49 38 Andrew Luck, Ind QB 40.5 11
50 60 Toby Gerhart, Jac RB 61.9 -10
51 40 DeSean Jackson, Wsh WR 42.2 11
52 51 Percy Harvin, Sea WR 53.5 1
53 61 Rashad Jennings, NYG RB 63.8 -8
54 41 Vernon Davis, SF TE 44.7 13
55 71 Michael Floyd, Ari WR 74.2 -16
56 66 Cordarrelle Patterson, Min WR 70.6 -10
57 72 Jeremy Maclin, Phi WR 75.6 -15
58 73 Joique Bell, Det RB 76.4 -15
59 83 Golden Tate, Det WR 84.8 -24
60 57 Chris Johnson, NYJ RB 58.8 3
61 64 T.Y. Hilton, Ind WR 68 -3
62 70 Shane Vereen, NE RB 74.2 -8
63 78 Bishop Sankey, Ten RB 80.3 -15
64 82 Emmanuel Sanders, Den WR 84.6 -18
65 76 Stevan Ridley, NE RB 77.5 -11
66 67 Steven Jackson, Atl RB 71 -1
67 77 Reggie Wayne, Ind WR 79 -10
68 88 Matt Ryan, Atl QB 90.2 -20
69 95 Darren Sproles, Phi RB 97.8 -26
70 59 Ray Rice, Bal RB 60.5 11
71 55 Jason Witten, Dal TE 58.2 16
72 79 Marques Colston, NO WR 81.1 -7
73 74 Sammy Watkins, Buf WR 77 -1
74 91 Kendall Wright, Ten WR 93.2 -17
75 94 Terrance Williams, Dal WR 97.7 -19
76 63 Torrey Smith, Bal WR 65.9 13
77 93 Dennis Pitta, Bal TE 96.7 -16
78 97 Fred Jackson, Buf RB 100.5 -19
79 58 Colin Kaepernick, SF QB 59.7 21
80 53 Robert Griffin III, Wsh QB 54 27
81 62 Tom Brady, NE QB 65.5 19
82 54 Nick Foles, Phi QB 57.6 28
83 87 Pierre Thomas, NO RB 90.2 -4
84 85 Eric Decker, NYJ WR 86.5 -1
85 68 Julian Edelman, NE WR 71.1 17
86 84 Maurice Jones-Drew, Oak RB 86.5 2
87 92 Anquan Boldin, SF WR 95.1 -5
88 112 Bernard Pierce, Bal RB 113.9 -24
89 86 Mike Wallace, Mia WR 89.8 3
90 96 Danny Woodhead, SD RB 100.2 -6
91 98 Cecil Shorts, Jac WR 102.6 -7
92 69 Jordan Cameron, Cle TE 71.5 23
93 80 Greg Olsen, Car TE 82.1 13
94 102 Tony Romo, Dal QB 104.7 -8
95 65 Russell Wilson, Sea QB 70.5 30
96 103 DeAngelo Williams, Car RB 104.9 -7
97 104 DeAndre Hopkins, Hou WR 106.8 -7
98 100 Chris Ivory, NYJ RB 104.1 -2
99 101 Knowshon Moreno, Mia RB 104.3 -2
100 113 Danny Amendola, NE WR 114 -13
101 157 Kelvin Benjamin, Car WR 136.3 -56
102 114 Lamar Miller, Mia RB 114.8 -12
103 106 Riley Cooper, Phi WR 110.1 -3
104 150 Donald Brown, SD RB 133.4 -46
105 153 Justin Hunter, Ten WR 135.2 -48
106 129 Shonn Greene, Ten RB 125.8 -23
107 149 Heath Miller, Pit TE 133.3 -42
108 182 Devonta Freeman, Atl RB 145.1 -74
109 152 Andre Williams, NYG RB 134 -43
110 154 Terrance West, Cle RB 135.4 -44
111 119 Tre Mason, StL RB 121.4 -8
112 105 Philip Rivers, SD QB 107.9 7
113 107 Dwayne Bowe, KC WR 110.2 6
114 109 Jay Cutler, Chi QB 112.8 5
115 110 Khiry Robinson, NO RB 112.9 5
116 118 Darren McFadden, Oak RB 121.3 -2
117 121 Greg Jennings, Min WR 121.8 -4
118 115 Hakeem Nicks, Ind WR 116.6 3
119 130 Brandin Cooks, NO WR 125.8 -11
120 127 Steve Smith, Bal WR 125 -7
121 135 Mark Ingram, NO RB 127 -14
122 136 Mike Evans, TB WR 127.3 -14
123 170 Rueben Randle, NYG WR 141.3 -47
124 175 Jarrett Boykin, GB WR 142.7 -51
125 145 Tavon Austin, StL WR 132.3 -20
126 144 Jeremy Hill, Cin RB 131.7 -18
127 169 Steve Johnson, SF WR 141 -42
128 141 Eric Ebron, Det TE 129.6 -13
129 147 LeGarrette Blount, Pit RB 132.9 -18
130 111 Kyle Rudolph, Min TE 113.2 19
131 142 Christine Michael, Sea RB 130.2 -11
132 155 Carlos Hyde, SF RB 135.7 -23
133 164 Doug Baldwin, Sea WR 139.1 -31
134 189 Markus Wheaton, Pit WR 147.3 -55
135 117 Jordan Reed, Wsh TE 119.3 18
136 123 Antonio Gates, SD TE 122.6 13
137 161 James Jones, Oak WR 136.8 -24
138 132 Martellus Bennett, Chi TE 126 6
139 148 Coby Fleener, Ind TE 133.2 -9
140 162 Zach Ertz, Phi TE 137.1 -22
141 165 Charles Clay, Mia TE 140.3 -24
142 171 James Starks, GB RB 141.4 -29
143 185 Marqise Lee, Jac WR 146.1 -42
144 167 Odell Beckham, NYG WR 140.8 -23
145 172 Andre Brown, Hou RB 141.7 -27
146 173 Ladarius Green, SD TE 141.8 -27
147 174 Kenny Stills, NO WR 141.9 -27
148 48 Seahawks D/ST D/ST 50.7 100
149 75 Panthers D/ST D/ST 77.4 74
150 134 Bengals D/ST D/ST 126.3 16
151 179 Brandon LaFell, NE WR 143.9 -28
152 181 Knile Davis, KC RB 144.3 -29
153 183 C.J. Anderson, Den RB 145.3 -30
154 184 Roy Helu, Wsh RB 145.9 -30
155 188 Latavius Murray, Oak RB 147.2 -33
156 192 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cin RB 148.9 -36
157 195 Andrew Hawkins, Cle WR 149.3 -38
158 196 Jonathan Stewart, Car RB 150.4 -38
159 198 Delanie Walker, Ten TE 150.8 -39
160 178 Marvin Jones, Cin WR 143.5 -18
161 81 49ers D/ST D/ST 83.6 80
162 89 Matt Prater, Den K 91.3 73
163 90 Broncos D/ST D/ST 92.5 73
164 99 Stephen Gostkowski, NE K 104.1 65
165 108 Johnny Manziel, Cle QB 112.3 57
166 116 Cardinals D/ST D/ST 117 50
167 120 Justin Tucker, Bal K 121.7 47
168 122 Chiefs D/ST D/ST 122.3 46
169 124 Andy Dalton, Cin QB 123.3 45
170 125 Rams D/ST D/ST 124.1 45
171 126 Eli Manning, NYG QB 124.6 45
172 128 Alex Smith, KC QB 125.1 44
173 131 Patriots D/ST D/ST 126 42
174 133 Joe Flacco, Bal QB 126 41
175 137 Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB 127.5 38
176 138 Bears D/ST D/ST 127.5 38
177 139 Sebastian Janikowski, Oak K 128.6 38
178 140 Steven Hauschka, Sea K 129.3 38
179 143 Mason Crosby, GB K 130.6 36
180 146 Josh Gordon, Cle WR 132.5 34
181 151 Josh McCown, TB QB 133.7 30
182 160 Texans D/ST D/ST 136.6 22
183 156 Steelers D/ST D/ST 136 27
184 158 Carson Palmer, Ari QB 136.3 26
185 159 Ryan Tannehill, Mia QB 136.4 26
186 163 Ravens D/ST D/ST 138.3 23
187 166 Browns D/ST D/ST 140.5 21
188 168 Phil Dawson, SF K 140.9 20
189 176 Saints D/ST D/ST 143 13
190 177 Bills D/ST D/ST 143.4 13
191 180 Adam Vinatieri, Ind K 144.1 11
192 186 Robbie Gould, Chi K 146.3 6
193 187 Buccaneers D/ST D/ST 147 6
194 190 Nick Novak, SD K 148.2 4
195 191 Blair Walsh, Min K 148.6 4
196 193 Matt Bryant, Atl K 149.1 3
197 194 Dan Bailey, Dal K 149.3 3
198 197 Alex Henery, Phi K 150.5 1
199 199 Shayne Graham, NO K 152.3 0
200 200 Nick Folk, NYJ K 153.5 0

You should be able to copy and paste these rankings into Excel to make adjustments.

To use these rankings, check out the RANK Diff column to figure out if the player is typically being drafted sooner, or later than I have that player ranked. Players that are being underdrafted, representing good value according to my rankings will have a negative number in the RANK Diff column – the more negative the better the value. Players being underdrafted and representing bad value (again, by my logic) will have a positive number.

I’ve pulled some targeted examples that I think will be key drafts this year to demonstrate the principle. Below is the value list – not the players with the absolute largest RANK Diff – but those that I’m most excited about.

RANK ESPN NAME POS AVG ESPN RANK Diff.
7 16 Dez Bryant, Dal WR 17.6 -9
9 17 DeMarco Murray, Dal RB 18.1 -8
19 29 Giovani Bernard, Cin RB 31.3 -10
30 49 Roddy White, Atl WR 52 -19
32 50 Andre Ellington, Ari RB 53.4 -18
45 56 Michael Crabtree, SF WR 58.5 -11
59 83 Golden Tate, Det WR 84.8 -24
67 77 Reggie Wayne, Ind WR 79 -10
68 88 Matt Ryan, Atl QB 90.2 -20
69 95 Darren Sproles, Phi RB 97.8 -26
77 93 Dennis Pitta, Bal TE 96.7 -16
88 111 Kyle Rudolph, Min TE 113.2 -23
101 157 Kelvin Benjamin, Car WR 136.3 -56
105 153 Justin Hunter, Ten WR 135.2 -48
106 129 Shonn Greene, Ten RB 125.8 -23
107 149 Heath Miller, Pit TE 133.3 -42
108 182 Devonta Freeman, Atl RB 145.1 -74
123 170 Rueben Randle, NYG WR 141.3 -47
124 175 Jarrett Boykin, GB WR 142.7 -51
128 141 Eric Ebron, Det TE 129.6 -13
129 147 LeGarrette Blount, Pit RB 132.9 -18
134 189 Markus Wheaton, Pit WR 147.3 -55

Highlights here include Giovani Bernard, Roddy White, Matt Ryan, Kelvin Benjamin and Shonn Greene. The list of fades is as follows:

RANK ESPN NAME POS AVG ESPN RANK Diff.
17 4 Peyton Manning, Den QB 5.3 13
24 6 Marshawn Lynch, Sea RB 6.6 18
28 11 Arian Foster, Hou RB 12.6 17

As well as all defenses, all quarterbacks, TE’s outside of Gronk, Graham and Thomas, and all kickers. It’s almost impossible to produce a fades list because the general public drafts so differently from those who play fantasy sports with any level of seriousness. While the value list is mostly the result of favorable circumstances, the fades list is a long hodge-podge of general draft theory. If you have specific questions on this, post them – but otherwise just stop drafting Gotskowski in the 9th round and the Seahawks D in the 5th. Seriously. Stop it.

Plan B: A Season Long Fantasy Alternative

I think the above information should help you hold your own in any league. But, inevitably, it’ll be week 3 and Bernard will have pulled a hammy, Calvin will have turf toe, and the Falcon’s offense just wont be performing how I expected. That’s it, right? Better luck next year – or at best if your in a dynasty league it’s time to start rebuilding… No more Sunday funday – who can have fun when you’re the laughing stock of your league? No success, no cash, no respect, and not a chance of transcendence or inner peace… We’ve all been there – it’s the worst thing ever.

Well now there’s another way. If you find yourself in this fantasy middle-ground – take a shot at Daily Fantasy Sports. Flex your intellectual muscles daily by drafting teams and playing against people for real money, every day. Like I said, it’s like Christmas every Sunday – check it out at Victiv.com.

Good luck to all of you (and dear Lord spare Geo’s hamstring and Calvin’s toe). Till next time…