Fantasy football rankings report

by Cory J. Bonini on August 13, 2010 @ 03:57:59 PDT's fantasy football rankings are fluid from week to week - and even on a daily basis if news dictates such. To keep you in the loop, our Rankings Report series will track the changes in a snapshot approach, which will be released each Friday throughout the draft season.

Players on the rise

Michael Bush, running back, Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders RB Michael Bush
Oakland's lead back?

Reason: Bush is expected to be the lead back, and Darren McFadden (hamstring) can't remain healthy. We lowered the amount of projected carries for McFadden and increased Bush's to reflect our new feelings toward the situation. Some owners have him pegged as a No. 3 fantasy back, which is optimistic but could prove to be an accurate valuation. Bush is a safer No. 4 back.

Arian Foster, running back, Houston Texans

Reason: All signs point to Foster being a legitimate contender for carries and not the placeholder for rookie Ben Tate's job that we suspected he was. Foster is primarily a two-down back, which means Steve Slaton should chiefly see the field on third down. We still feel Tate will see increasing amounts of work as the season wears on. Foster is a sketchy No. 4 fantasy back.

Anthony Dixon, running back, San Francisco 49ers

Reason: Running back Glen Coffee surprisingly retired in the midst of a heated training camp battle with Dixon. This leaves Michael Robinson as his only competition. We believe San Fran will add another back if Coffee doesn't change his mind. Dixon is a handcuff to Gore if Coffee follows through with his retirement plans.

Players on the decline

Darren McFadden, running back, Oakland Raiders

Reason: A hamstring injury has McFadden on the sidelines. We feel the Raiders will come to their senses and use the former Razorback as a third-down back. Michael Bush is the better choice as a workhorse. We've decreased McFadden's projected carries. His true value is that of a No. 4 fantasy back in point-per-reception leagues.

Ben Tate, running back, Houston Texans

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster
Will AF carry the load in Houston?

Reason: Tate has been slow to catch on in Houston after missing much of the offseason due to a hamstring injury. We feel he'll receive more touches once the season is well underway, but for now, Arian Foster and Steve Slaton are running with the starters. Tate is a No. 5 fantasy back. 

Willie Parker, running back, Washington Redskins

Reason: The veteran rusher has been demoted to the fourth-string offense, losing his No. 3 spot to Ryan Torain, a former member of the Mike Shanahan-coached Denver Broncos. Parker has no fantasy value at this time.

Arrelious Benn, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Reason: The rookie receiver has struggled to pick up the offense and isn't practicing at an acceptable level to deserve a role in the starting lineup. He is currently running with the third-stringers and shouldn't be considered on draft day in standard formats. His value is in full-retention keeper leagues.

Entering rankings/unchanged newsmaker

Ryan Torain, running back, Washington Redskins

Reason: Torain passed Willie Parker on the depth chart to be the Redskins' No. 3 back. He has history with head coach Mike Shanahan from their time in Denver together. Nevertheless, Torain isn't worth drafting in normal-sized fantasy leagues. He is worth a pickup if Clinton Portis or Larry Johnson go down, though. 

Michael Robinson, running back, San Francisco 49ers

Reason: Robinson will battle rookie Anthony Dixon for the No. 2 job following the unexpected retirement of tailback Glen Coffee. Robinson's only value would be as a handcuff to Gore, should the former Penn State quarterback win the primary backup job. 

Maurice Stovall, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Reason: Surprisingly, Stovall is running with the ones right now and has a chance at holding down a starting spot into the regular season. We're not convinced he will, though. Stovall only has value if he wins the job; in that event, he's a No. 6 fantasy receiver, at best.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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