Fantasy football rankings report
    August 12, 2011 @ 18:05:49 PDT

  Follow @Cory_Bonini'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

Mike Tolbert, running back, San Diego Chargers

Head coach Norv Turner said he'll use a dual-back approach with Ryan Mathews and Tolbert. Expect to see a lot of Tolbert on third down, and he should be a grinder near the goal line. Tolbert is a No. 4 fantasy back in most formats.

Roy Helu Jr., running back, Washington Redskins

The rookie rusher has enjoyed a strong start to training camp and appears to be the most talented back in Washington. His one-cut-and-go style fits Mike Shanahan's preferred zone-blocking scheme very well. Helu could emerge as the primary fantasy back once all is said and done but is currently running as a backup to Tim Hightower.

Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
More work on the way

Bernard Scott, running back, Cincinnati Bengals

Cincy's offense will look to utilize the backs more in the passing game, and Scott is a better receiver than Cedric Benson. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton will be put in position to make quick throws, such as screen and swing passes, which will benefit Scott, who is a No. 5 fantasy commodity.

Roy Williams, wide receiver, Chicago Bears

Roy Dubs was reunited with Mike Martz and has apparently already won the starting split end job. Johnny Knox could have a chance at reclaiming his job, or at least splitting time with Williams, but it appears as though the Martz favorite will see plenty of work in 2011. He's a fourth fantasy receiver with potential for much better. Don't automatically dismiss him because of his recent failures.

Devin Hester, wide receiver, Chicago Bears

Hester has starred for the Bears in training camp, reportedly showing full comprehension of the playbook and a much better command of the route tree. He has secured the starting flanker job but could work out of the slot at times to create mismatches. Hester is really only a fourth-year receiver, so a breakout could be in the cards. He's a No. 4 fantasy choice.

Kevin Boss, tight end, Oakland Raiders

Zach Miller left for the Seattle Seahawks, opening the door for Boss to come over from the New York Giants. The 6-foot-6 tight end makes a great red zone target and has started to come alive in the past few years. Jason Campbell is no stranger to targeting the tight end position, and you should target Boss as a backup with spot-start potential.

Players on the decline

Ryan Mathews, running back, San Diego Chargers

Mathews appears to be just as physically soft as he is mentally. Fantasy owners have to be prepared for the worst, and it looks like his timeshare with Mike Tolbert is going to be nearly a 50-50 split or a hot-hand situation. Mathews' conditioning was poor coming into camp and led to him missing some time with general soreness. At his current asking price, let someone else take a chance on him.

Ryan Torain, running back, Washington Redskins

Torain (hand) is already missing valuable reps and has only fueled the notion that he is too injury-prone to be relied on for fantasy purposes. Roy Helu Jr. has looked sharp, and Tim Hightower is running with the No. 1 unit. Torain is a risky pick and should be viewed as a flier in the early stages of the waning rounds of your draft.

Tashard Choice, running back, Dallas Cowboys

Choice (calf) could be on the verge of losing his job to Lonyae Miller. Never endeared to head coach Jason Garrett, the former Georgia Tech back could be on his way out of Big D.

Montario Hardesty, running back, Cleveland Browns

Still recovering from last year's devastating knee injury, Hardesty hasn't been practicing during training camp. He likely has lost any chance at being the No. 2 back for the Browns, and fantasy owners' expectations of him should be almost nothing.

Stevie Johnson, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

Johnson may see more double-teams without Lee Evans, unless one of the other youngsters steps up. Johnson remains a No. 2 receiver and a worthwhile gamble that last year wasn't a fluke.

Lee Evans, WR, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco's deep pass will help

Lee Evans, wide receiver, Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens acquired the speedy deep threat, and he should benefit from Joe Flacco's superior arm strength. Evans is still risky but is a low-end No. 4 or strong fifth fantasy receiver.

Johnny Knox, wide receiver, Chicago Bears

It appears as though Knox has lost his grasp of the starting split end job in Chicago to Roy Williams. While the third-year receiver may share time, he may be relegated to the role of a deep threat. Cautiously draft him as a fourth receiver and more safely as a fifth.

Chris Cooley, tight end, Washington Redskins

Cooley (knee) still isn't right after offseason knee surgery and may affect him for some time. He also has to deal with an unsettled quarterback situation that isn't pretty in either direction. Cooley is a low-end No. 1 in a very deep class.

Enters rankings

Mike Bell, running back, Detroit Lions

Mikel Leshoure's season-ending ankle injury led the Lions to signing Bell, who has shown he can be a productive inside runner near the goal line. He will battle for the No. 2 job and should be on your radar.

Jerome Harrison, running back, Detroit Lions

Harrison's profile isn't quite that of the powerful Bell or Leshoure, but he will compete for a roster spot and playing time. Stay tuned.

Lonyae Miller, running back, Dallas Cowboys

Miller has impressed during training camp and will push for a roster spot behind Felix Jones and DeMarco Murray. He is worth a final-round flier in deep leagues.

Craig Davis, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

The former first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers is looking to resurrect his career in Buffalo, and he will have that chance with Lee Evans now out of the mix. Injuries are a close friend of Davis, unfortunately.

Donald Jones, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

Jones may get an opportunity now that Lee Evans is a Baltimore Raven. Expect preseason play to help this situation shake out.

Denarius Moore, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders

Moore has stood out in training camp and will battle for playing time throughout the preseason. Keep him on your watch list.

Travis Beckum, tight end, New York Giants

Kevin Boss' departure will allow for Beckum to compete for touches, as he is the best pass-catching tight end on roster. Watch his development during the preseason.

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