Fantasy football rankings report
    August 19, 2011 @ 15:52:21 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

Cam Newton, quarterback, Carolina Panthers

Oakland Raiders WR Denarius Moore
Moore seizing opportunity?

Newton appears to be the starting quarterback in Carolina, and we projected him as such. He's a long-term option in full-retention keeper leagues and should be considered only in deep non-maintenance single-year leagues.

Tim Tebow, quarterback, Denver Broncos

The controversial passer (rusher?) rose ever so slightly this week because at some point he will get on the field. If Denver isn't very good, the coaching staff has to see what they have in Tebow. Ignore him in all single-season formats during your draft.

Ryan Grant, running back, Green Bay Packers

Grant was given a vote of confidence by the coaching staff, as he has lost six pounds from his 2010 playing weight and looks to have his burst back. He is still a risky No. 3 fantasy back, although this news is encouraging.

Denarius Moore, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders

The rookie wideout has enjoyed a standout training camp and may have already locked up a starting role with Louis Murphy (groin, hamstring) out indefinitely. Moore is worth a speculative pick in the waning rounds of your draft.

Stephen Gostkowski, place kicker, New England Patriots

Gostkowski seems to be fully recovered from last year's quadriceps injury and was bumped up a few spots in this week's release. Confidently select him as your team's fantasy footer.

Houston Texans, defensive team

Wade Phillips' group has a high ceiling and should be able to put enough pressure on quarterbacks to create turnovers. After all, a defensive team's fantasy value is largely dependent on takeaways. Take a chance on them in leagues that are deep enough to roster two units.

Players on the decline

Michael Vick, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles

Vick came down a notch in our rankings, ceding his previously ranked top spot to Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. This had nothing to do with Vick's horrid preseason showing against the Pittsburgh Steelers but rather a way to reflect just how risky he really is. If you are going to take a quarterback that early, go with the safer player: Rodgers. Owners that want to take a huge gamble will still go with Vick and his enormous upside.

Kyle Orton, quarterback, Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers RB Ryan Grant
Spring back in his step

We knocked Orton down just a game's worth, but he really could have much worse fantasy value. Even though he is the best quarterback on Denver's roster, it doesn't mean he will start every game, especially if the Broncos struggle to win games. He's a risky backup, a low-end one at that.

Jimmy Clausen, quarterback, Carolina Panthers

Clausen was projected as starting more than half the year for Carolina, but that appears unlikely to happen now. Continue to bypass him in all fantasy leagues.

Chris Johnson, running back, Tennessee Titans

The longer his holdout lasts, the lower he'll fall in our rankings, within reason. Johnson could struggle with his conditioning and may be more susceptible to soft-tissue injuries having not worked out with the team this offseason. He's a somewhat hazardous No. 1, since we believe the two sides will get something done before the season starts.

Greg Little, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns

Little has been hot and cold in camp. His inconsistent hands have led us to lower him slightly in our rankings. He is still worth considering as a No. 6 receiver in deep leagues because of his physical presence.

Mohamed Massaquoi, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns

We reduced Massaquoi's projected figures because he hasn't had a chance to practice with the team and learn the new offense on the field. He is now out of a walking boot but lost valuable time. He's a flier as a sixth receiver in deep setups.

Louis Murphy, wide receiver, Oakland Raiders

Murphy (groin, hamstring) has been ruled out for at least Week 1 after undergoing an unspecified surgery. He has been downgraded in our rankings and shouldn't be considered in typical leagues.

Jonathan Baldwin, wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs

The rookie reportedly injured his wrist after a locker room altercation with Thomas Jones and will miss the remainder of the preseason. That is all too important of a time to miss for a rookie in a lockout year. Target him only in full-retention keeper drafts.

Craig Davis, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills

Per the usual, Davis (chest) is busted once again and may struggle to make the final roster. Avoid him in all drafts.

Robbie Gould, place kicker, Chicago Bears

Gould missed one kick away from Soldier Field last year and converted only 71.4 percent of his field goal tries at home. The sloppy field conditions have us concerned, and Gould was downgraded slightly because of it. He's a low-end choice as your team's kicker.

Enters rankings

Brian Robiskie, wide receiver, Cleveland Browns

We're really high on Robiskie in his third year. He fits this offense very well and is having a strong camp. The Browns need someone to step up, and the former Ohio State Buckeye has the makings to be that guy. Look for him in your draft as a sleeper No. 5 or sixth receiver.

Dezmon Briscoe, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Briscoe has turned heads in training camp and preseason. It appears he has earned playing time and should benefit from Arrelious Benn (knee) trying to make his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in late December. Briscoe is worth keeping an eye on and is a borderline late-round flier in deep fantasy football leagues.

Lester Jean, wide receiver, Houston Texans

The rookie is making a name for himself in Texans camp, but there may not be enough balls to go around in this offense. Look for him to earn the No. 4 receiver job; he could have a fantasy-worthy game here or there but doesn't warrant a draft choice just yet.

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