Fantasy football rankings report

by Cory J. Bonini on September 3, 2010 @ 23:00:00 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

Derek Anderson, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals

Reason: The Cardinals appear ready to go with Anderson as their starter, so we increased him to a low-end No. 2 in our rankings. We've seen him post quality fantasy numbers before, but he has also let down fantasy owners in a major way. Temper your expectations, but realize he fits their offense much better than Leinart does.

Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

New York Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw
Ran circles around Jacobs

Reason: Big Ben's suspension was reduced to four games, as expected, and we have increased him to a high-end No. 2 in our rankings.

Ahmad Bradshaw, running back, New York Giants

Reason: Bradshaw has clearly outperformed Brandon Jacobs this preseason, and we have altered our rankings to reflect such. Draft Bradshaw as a No. 3 fantasy back with upside, but Jacobs may steal a lot of his red zone looks.

Fred Taylor, running back, New England Patriots

Reason: Fragile Fred appears to have the most to gain with running back Laurence Maroney's expected reduction in touches. Taylor is a No. 6 fantasy back with as much upside as an injury-prone, 400-year-old tailback can have.

Jerome Harrison and James Davis, running backs, Cleveland Browns

Reason: Rookie rusher Montario Hardesty (knee) will miss the 2010 season, and Harrison stands to gain the most from the injury. Already in competition for the majority of touches, Harrison will probably lead the way for Cleveland. However, we expect to see a committee approach. He's a No. 3 back in PPR leagues and a fourth in non-.

Davis should see more work in what could be a three-way backfield. He isn't worth drafting in standard-depth leagues but could make for a waiver wire pickup down the road.

Reggie Bush, running back, New Orleans Saints

Reason: We reviewed Bush's projected numbers and felt he deserved an increase in touches. He remains a much better option in PPR leagues than standard scoring styles; Bush is a third PPR back and a fourth in all others.

Mike X. Williams, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Reason: Williams is expected to become a starter once wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh is either traded or released. The former USC star has been projected as a No. 4 fantasy receiver in our rankings, but he has upside if he can put it all together.

Eric Decker, wide receiver, Denver Broncos

Reason: The rookie receiver is healthy and has looked sharp in preseason play. With Demaryius Thomas (foot) out indefinitely, Decker has a chance to capitalize on his opportunity. View him as a late-round flier in single-year leagues.

Harry Douglas, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Reason: Upon reviewing our projections, we felt Douglas' numbers were too low. He has been upped a tad, although you shouldn't consider him as anything more than a late-round PPR flier pick.

Deon Butler, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Reason: The expected departure of wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh led us to increasing Butler's projected stats by a fair margin. Butler is a slot receiver and has most value in leagues with point-per-reception scoring. He's a No. 5 option, at best.

Joey Galloway, wide receiver, Washington Redskins

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger
Now a solid backup

Reason: The ageless Galloway should benefit from the Redskins placing receiver Malcolm Kelly (hamstring) on Injured Reserve. Even with extensive playing time, Galloway is best left for the waiver wire.

Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots

Reason: One of New England's two rookie tight ends has a nose for the end zone; Gronkowski has four scores in as many preseason games and has been given a boost in scoring efficiency in our rankings. He's best left for the wire, though, in single-year leagues.

Players on the decline

Matt Leinart, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals

Reason: Leinart appears to have lost his starting job to quarterback Derek Anderson and should be released by all owners. Avoid him in upcoming drafts.

Byron Leftwich, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Reason: Leftwich (knee) suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament and will miss around a month. He has been removed from our rankings.

Laurence Maroney, running back, New England Patriots

Reason: We have decreased Maroney's projected stats as it is expected he will have a lessened role in the offense this season. Maroney could still come around and is a No. 5 fantasy back; he may lose too many touches to be a regular contributor.

Beanie Wells, running back, Arizona Cardinals

Reason: Wells (leg) hasn't been getting the job done this preseason. We were very high on him at one point, and now our lukewarm love has been reflected in his depreciation in our rankings. Wells is a so-so No. 3 in non-PPR leagues.

Pierre Thomas, running back, New Orleans Saints

Reason: The PT Cruiser had a few touches, primarily receptions, shaved from his projected 2010 totals due to our projected increase in touches for Reggie Bush. Thomas has upside but may not touch the ball enough to showcase the full array of his abilities. He is a No. 3 fantasy back with low-end No. 1 potential in PPR leagues.

Brandon Jacobs, running back, New York Giants

Reason: Jacobs' best role will be that of a goal line back, something fantasy owners don't get too excited over. He is expected to lose a lot of touches to running back Ahmad Bradshaw and is now a fourth fantasy back in non-PPR setups.

Michael Bush, running back, Oakland Raiders

Reason: A fractured thumb could cost Bush around a month or so, and we have lowered his numbers slightly after previously dropping them by a few games last week. Expect Darren McFadden to be relied on heavily in the early going. Bush is a slightly risky No. 4 fantasy back.

Montario Hardesty, running back, Cleveland Browns

Oakland Raiders RB Michael Bush
Thumb down

Reason: The promising rookie rusher suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He has been yanked from our projections and should be dropped in all non-keeper formats.

Michael Robinson, running back, free agent

Reason: Robinson was released by the San Francisco 49ers, which prompted us to pull him from our rankings.

Ladell Betts, running back, free agent

Reason: Betts was released by the New Orleans Saints and has exited our rankings.

Braylon Edwards, wide receiver, New York Jets

Reason: We reviewed Edwards' projected stats and shaved a few receptions from his totals. He is still a No. 4 fantasy receiver with marginal upside in the Jets' run-first system.

Kenny Britt, wide receiver, Tennessee Titans

Reason: We reviewed Britt's numbers following his poor offseason and decided to reduce his projected figures substantially. He is a No. 5 receiver with mild upside.

Patrick Crayton, wide receiver, San Diego Chargers

Reason: The Dallas Cowboys traded Crayton to the Chargers. He'll have to learn a new offense and build chemistry with quarterback Philip Rivers in short order if he is to post respectable numbers. Leave him for the waiver wire.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks

Reason: One way or another, via trade or an outright release, Houshmandzadeh doesn't figure to make the Seahawks' Week 1 roster. He'll catch on somewhere, because the Seahawks are liable for the difference in his contract if he signs elsewhere, meaning he could join a team for veteran minimum and receive his full $7 million salary for the 2010 season. He's worth a selection in PPR leagues as a No. 4 or No. 5 wideout.

Malcolm Kelly, wide receiver, Washington Redskins

Reason: Kelly (hamstring) is expected to be placed on Injured Reserve soon and has been removed from our rankings.

Jason Hill, wide receiver, free agent

Reason: The San Francisco 49ers have waived Hill, and we have removed him from our rankings.

Entering rankings/unchanged newsmaker

Dennis Dixon, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Reason: Dixon replaces Byron Leftwich as the Steelers' starting quarterback while Ben Roethlisberger serves his four-game suspension. Dixon is athletic but very raw as a passer. He shouldn't be considered in any fantasy format. Dixon shouldn't even be considered as a bye week fill-in since he is playing the Baltimore Ravens in Week 4.

Chris Ivory, running back, New Orleans Saints

Reason: Ivory has had a strong preseason, including a 76-yard touchdown reception, but he suffered a knee injury in the team's final preseason contest. We added him to the rankings following the release of Ladell Betts. Ivory is a flier in the deepest of leagues as he could see goal line work if he makes the final roster.

Danny Amendola, wide receiver, St. Louis Rams

Reason: Amendola enjoyed a strong rookie season and should have a chance to play significantly in 2010 with the injury to wideout Donnie Avery (knee). Amendola is a flier in deep leagues.

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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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