Fantasy Players Rankings updated July 30th.
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New Orleans Saints
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||451||659||5010||41||17||30||1|
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was reinstated in late January after serving a 9 1/2 month suspension as punishment for the bounty scandal. Payton’s return will be welcomed by all, especially Drew Brees.
Coming off of consecutive 5000+ yard seasons, Brees and the Saints offense are in uncharted territory for elite fantasy production. Brees has also led the NFL in touchdown passes four of the past five NFL seasons. The return of head coach Sean Payton to the sidelines certainly won’t hurt that consistency either. With Green Bay adding a couple of talented young running backs via this year’s draft, we’re giving Brees the nod as our top signal-caller.
Green Bay Packers
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||355||516||4450||37||9||251||2|
The Green Bay Packers added two rookie RB’s through this year’s NFL draft. Both Eddie Lacy (Alabama) and Johnathan Franklin (UCLA) add much needed depth and versatility to a running back crew that has been extremely average at best. The Packers are very much a pass first team, yet it’s obvious that the running game, or lack thereof, is a focal point for improvement throughout training camp. Fantasy owners may be concerned about the possibility of a more balanced attack from the Green Bay Packers. Yet, if anything, having an improved running game will keep defenses guessing and allow Rogers more breathing room to throw the ball.
Aaron Rodgers is one of safest quarterbacks of the draft class, he should be targeted in the second round of fantasy drafts.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||440||629||4809||35||14||109||1|
Matt Ryan is going to win a lot of fantasy championships this season. He’s one of the best values out there, especially at the deep QB position. Ryan has managed to improve his fantasy points-per-game numbers in EVERY season he has played, and he gained strides last year with accuracy and screen passes. Already blessed with one of the most talented groups of skill-position players in the league, Atlanta has now upgraded their RB spot by bringing in Steven Jackson, who has an excellent set of hands and will allow Ryan another deadly option as a receiver out of the backfield. Matt Ryan’s ADP has him being selected in the fifth or sixth round, as the seventh quarterback off the board. We love him as a Tier-1 fantasy passer and as a tremendous value pick.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||431||619||4850||37||12||5||0|
Believe it or not, Peyton is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. With Wes Welker in the mix now, it’s hard to imagine any defense hindering him in 2013. Rookie running back Montee Ball should be a viable pass protector and pass catcher out of the backfield. Another year of around 4,500 yards and 35 touchdowns for the old veteran should be expected.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||299||501||3900||20||15||602||8|
Newton made some strides last season, improving his timing and touch as a passer and reducing his interceptions. He also managed to stay dangerous with his legs, again rushing for 700+ yards, but did see a reduction in rushing touchdowns. Newton was less consistent throughout the season, starting cold then ending hot, but has been fairly consistent with his season totals over his first two years in the league. Going by those, Cam Newton looks like a safe bet to throw for 20 touchdowns and run for 700 yards and 6-10 additional scores. Adding those up, Newton is still an elite-level fantasy QB and an excellent target for owners who miss out on the top-tier of fantasy signal-callers.
New England Patriots
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||385||590||4450||34||10||45||2|
With the Patriots losing four of their top five receivers and 77% of last season’s targets, Brady’s stock is slipping- and smart fantasy owners will be there to capitalize. With the exception of the 2008 season which he missed, Brady has been a top 10 fantasy signal-caller in every season since 2002. Brady, Belichick, and Josh McDaniels are brilliant offensive minds who will find a system to fit their current roster. Brady should still put up elite fantasy numbers and his consistency still has him as a top-tiered fantasy QB. Don’t hesitate to pull the trigger should people in your draft allow Brady to slide into the fifth round.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||429||702||4850||29||18||151||1|
Stafford was tremendous in 2011 but dropped off last year due to untimely injuries throughout Detroit’s receiving corps. His fantasy value is probably best defined as right in the middle- he’s unlikely to throw for 5000 yards, as he did two years ago, but he’s also unlikely to be hampered by so many injuries and bad luck. Reggie Bush will give Detroit a boost as a dual-threat runner out of the backfield. Meanwhile, Stafford has led the NFL in passing attempts in each of the past two seasons, so the Lions will remain a pass-first squad. Look for Stafford to be an excellent bounce back candidate who should put up elite fantasy QB numbers at a steeply discounted price.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||419||639||4450||28||16||52||1|
The Cowboys signature move the last few years has been to simply implode down the stretch, although statistically Romo became an excellent fantasy quarterback in the late stages of 2012. Romo had only two games in which he passed for two touchdowns in the first 10 games of last season. Yet, he had multiple touchdown games in the final six, including a four touchdown performance against the New Orleans Saints week 16. The team has arguably made no significant upgrades to their offense, and some are even concerned the Cowboys may take a further step back, yet in fantasy football Romo’s an excellent value pick in the later rounds. Tony Romo is a classic example of a player who is a better fantasy option than an NFL one. Fantasy owners who choose to hold off until the middle rounds of their draft would be wise to target Romo as an excellent value pick in the middle rounds. He’s a safe bet for well over 4000 passing yards and 28 touchdown tosses.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||334||1765||14||65||40||280||1|
AP ran for over 2,000 yards and 12 touchdowns after knee surgery and with Christian Ponder as his quarterback. The Vikings lost Percy Harvin to the Seahawks in the offseason, which may mean even more opportunities for Peterson. Defenses will surely stack the box against him, but since when has that been a hindrance? Adrian Peterson is a man among boys and, if healthy, can carry a fantasy team to championship glory.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||328||1535||11||81||52||395||2|
It didn’t take long for fantasy owners to develop a less than healthy man crush on the Muscle Hamster after drafting him last year. The man had over 1,900 yards from scrimmage and 12 total touchdowns. It’s not difficult to see why Martin could be a top 3 fantasy running back in 2013, especially in PPR scoring leagues. Keep in mind that he’ll have guards Carl Nicks and Davin Joseph back from injury. A sophomore slump is hard to envision at this point for Doug Martin.
Kansas City Chiefs
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||279||1480||7||72||55||430||3|
Andy Reid has traditionally leaned on one running back in his offense. Combine that with Charles already being a great all around running back, and you have a recipe for fantasy football success. Expect him to finish a top five running back in all scoring formats. Solid first round pick.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||15||231||1185||8||91||62||570||3|
Chip Kelly is changing the Eagles franchise in many ways, from nutrition, to film study, to the tempo on the field. The Eagles are expected to be a fast paced run-first offense, that will gas their opponents with a hurry-up tempo. McCoy’s speed and elusiveness could absolutely flourish in this system. McCoy’s value may increase when people get a taste of the fast paced Eagle offense in the Preseason. Byrce Brown has some people concerned about carries, but 15 second snap counts will just mean more plays all around. It’s safe to say McCoy will still see a heavy dose of touches this year.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||270||1210||7||90||64||532||3|
Towards the end of last season and into the playoffs, we saw Bernard Pierce start to get more carries. Still, Rice was heavily involved in the offense, totaling 341 carries (including playoffs and Super Bowl). Pierce will most likely continue to take some touches away, but Ray Rice is still a focal point of this offense. He is also one of the few top running backs that can stay consistently healthy. Still a great top five pick.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||301||1244||11||61||43||370||2|
If 1,641 total yards and 17 touchdowns is a disappointing season, I want all of my fantasy running backs to have a disappointing season. Sure there are durability concerns for the Texan workhorse, but he’s almost automatic from inside the five, and reportedly determined for a bounce back?! year. I still expect to see him bow in the end zone quite often this season.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||290||1279||8||79||52||387||1|
The upside Richardson has in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s revamped offense is hard to ignore, especially in PPR scoring leagues (he had 51 catches in 2012). The Browns themselves have said they’re going to surprise some people. Cleveland’s vertical passing attack should give Richardson plenty of running room all season long. If Richardson can stay healthy for a full season, watch out.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||201||1277||7||66||47||415||2|
C.J. Spiller cannot shake the shadow of Fred Jackson. With such an impressive YPC average and display of elusiveness, you would think that Spiller would earn his place on the Bills as the full time starter. Unfortunately, it has been reported that the Bills plan to use both C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson in “multiple” sets in 2013. This complicates things slightly, although it should be pointed out that Spiller actually performed better with Jackson taking the odd carry from time to time. When Jackson got hurt last season, Spiller’s numbers dropped in a full time role. If Jackson’s role helps move the chains, than you shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Spiller looks to be a beast in all leagues, especially PPR.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||270||1246||7||66||47||415||1|
The clear bellcow for the Falcons. Will see plenty of redzone work, as well as more receptions than in the past. Jacquizz Rodgers will see some work, but shouldn’t cut into Jackson’s time as much as one might think. A great second or third round pick.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||14||251||1070||5||71||55||418||3|
Forte has been a pretty consistent fantasy back during his five year career with the Bears. Each season he’s finished with around 1,400 total yards. That’s 1,000 rushing and 400 receiving. There is talk that he could be even more involved in the Chicago passing game this season. This makes Forte a potential RB1 in PPR formats. Still, he does seem to have his ups and downs during the season. With Michael Bush around to possibly vulture his goal line TDs, Forte is a bit of a risk as a RB1. Overall, he’s a very solid RB2 with PPR upside.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||197||105||1586||10||15.1|
He started slow. He was cursed by Madden. He got tackled at the 1 yard line six times. His quarterback had an underwhelming year. With everything working against him, Calvin still shattered the single-season receiving record, came just shy of 2,000 yards, and led all fantasy WRs in points. If healthy, expect another huge year from Megatron.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||182||100||1418||10||14.8|
After a few forgettable years in Miami, Marshall reunited with Jay Cutler and turned back into a beast. He’s in a great position to have another strong season with the Bears in 2013. Marshall was targeted 194 times last season, second only to Calvin Johnson. When you give a great receiver that many chances to make a play, you’re going to see big results. And that’s exactly what fantasy owners saw from him – 118 catches, 1,508 yards, and 11 TDs. As Alshon Jeffery solidifies himself as a strong WR2 option, Marshall should start to see more favorable match-ups from opposing secondaries. He was the most consistent receiver in 2012, never totaling less than 8 fantasy points after Week 3. He’s a lock to be a WR1 this year.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||169||100||1418||10||14.5|
No wide receiver started faster out of the gates last year than A.J. Green. He was a first half fantasy monster. As Dalton’s stats dipped in the second half though, so too did Green’s. Unfortunately for Green, the convoy moves as fast as its slowest ship. As Dalton and the Bengals young weapons continue to mature, it should take some attention off of Green, and give him a chance to really blossom. Third year receivers have a history of breaking out. With Green’s stellar first and second year numbers, it’s hard to imagine how good the guy could be if he makes the historical third year “leap”. Definitely worthy of a Top 5 WR pick, but a lot of his success will rest on Dalton’s shoulders.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||142||90||1310||12||14.5|
Down the stretch last season, the only thing as certain as death and taxes were Dez Bryant touchdown catches. Dallas’ “X-factor” finally arrived in 2012, firing on all cylinders with Tony Romo. If he can keep his act together, he’ll give the receivers ahead of him a run for their money.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||15||159||104||1505||6||14.4|
Andre Johnson is one of the more interesting fantasy players in the world. He doesn’t always stay healthy. But when he does, he has at least 1,500 yards receiving. With DeAndre drawing some attention on the other side of the field, and because defenses always need to respect the Texans rushing attack, a healthy Johnson would be in for another big year.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||130||89||1351||11||15.1|
There may be a lot of cooks in the kitchen in Denver, but Peyton’s no stranger to getting his #1 big numbers. Let’s not forget Thomas was still raw last year and finished in the top 5 in receiving anyways. Expect Thomas to be in for another big year, even with Welker.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||120||85||1225||12||14.4|
Barring injury, Jones should be a top 10 fantasy wide receiver for years to come. The return of Tony Gonzalez will only help him and the Falcons’ offense. It would be surprising if we didn’t see another 1,000+ yard, double-digit touchdown season from Jones again in 2013, as he continues to make his mark as one of the best receivers in the NFL and in fantasy football.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||139||96||1321||8||13.7|
White has been somewhat overlooked since Julio Jones arrived in Atlanta, but smart fantasy owners know that Roddy continues to be a top ten fantasy option that brings a tremendous return on their investment. White has never missed a game in his career, and there are no signs that he’s due to start slowing down anytime soon. Grab this steady performer as your WR1 or WR2 and feel confident that he’ll produce his usual 90 grabs, 1100+ yards, and 8 touchdowns.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||176||87||1204||9||13.8|
Fitzgerald shockingly ended 2012 as a free agent in most fantasy leagues, but through no fault of his own. The once top fantasy option had an assortment of inept quarterbacks that couldn’t seem to put a ball within 10 yards of the sure-handed Fitzgerald. Paired with Carson Palmer this year, Fitzgerald should reemerge as one of the league’s premier wide receivers. Keep in mind he has three of the toughest defensive match ups in his division though.
New York Giants
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||146||85||1197||9||14.0|
Cruz proved his breakout season wasn’t a fluke with a respectable 1,100 yards and 10 TDs in 2012. With that said, he showed some regression. A lot of that was due to the injury to Hakeem Nicks and the loss of Mario Manningham. The Giants struggled all season to find a replacement for Manningham. And with Nicks playing hurt all year, it was easy to lock him down in single coverage and put all of the attention on Cruz. Victor proved he can still put up WR2 numbers with defenses keying on him, but he won’t be a WR1 unless Nicks can stay on the field.
Contract Details: Giants agreed to terms with WR Victor Cruz on a six-year, $45.879 million contract. Cruz is now the NFL’s 17th-highest-paid wide receiver in annual average ($7.65 million). The G-Men have Cruz under control through his age-31 season.
New Orleans Saints
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||140||93||1185||10||16.9|
Despite missing a game and being limited in several others with an injury, and missing his head coach, Graham still finished 2012 as the top scoring fantasy tight end with 85 receptions for just under 1000 yards and 9 scores. With Rob Gronkowski suffering from a myriad of injuries, Graham is the clear-cut number one tight end and should be a safe bet for 90 catches, 1200+ yards, and double digit touchdowns.
New England Patriots
|2013 Fantasy Projection||15||101||71||1006||11||15.8|
The Gronk does nothing but produce when he’s on the field. The only problem is that you don’t always knows when he’s going to be able to suit up. This has been a trying offseason for Gronkowski, as he’s mixed in several surgeries with bizarre off-the-field incidents to make his status for the 2013 opener questionable. As long as Gronkowski can stay out of trouble and suit up, his speed and size will continue to present major matchup problems for opposing linebackers and DB’s. With concerns about his health causing his ADP to slide, Gronk is starting to reek of value in the third or fourth round of fantasy drafts.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||101||93||1185||10||12.7|
Going back to the 2000 season, Gonzalez has NEVER failed to finish as a top six fantasy tight end option. He’s been one of the most consistent and injury-free players in fantasy football too. Gonzo’s return for one final season was terrific news for NFL and fantasy fans as he brings top three tight end numbers back into your draft. Just last season, Gonzalez led the NFL with eight red-zone touchdowns, so there’s plenty left if the tank. Look for Gonzalez’s last season to be just as steady and productive as his last 14 have been- and that means a premier fantasy tight end.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||126||90||1011||6||14.1|
It seems that Jason Witten never receives his fair share of love from the fantasy realm. Despite having a lacerated spleen in 2012, he still didn’t miss a game. In fact, he recorded a career high in receptions (110) and his 1,039 yards were the second most in a season of his career. The one drawback to Witten’s game, something Gronk excels at, is scoring touchdowns, finding the end-zone just three times last year. Still, the fact that Witten hasn’t missed a game since 2003 and consistently puts up good numbers makes him a top five tight end.
San Francisco 49ers
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||101||68||880||7||12.3|
Vernon was non-existent in the Niners offense when Colin Kaepernick took over down the stretch of the regular season. The two found a connection in the playoffs though, as Davis eclipsed the 100-yard mark in both the NFC Championship and the Super Bowl. With Crabtree down for the count, fantasy owners are speculating Davis will emerge as Kaepernick’s top target. Kaepernick would be foolish not to take advantage of Davis’ size, speed, and athleticism. He typically rises to the occasion when the Niners need him most on the biggest of stages. Expect Davis to be one of the top TE options in 2013.
|2013 Fantasy Projection||16||105||71||780||7||11|
It’s now clear that Pitta is the Ravens TE1 after he was targeted 60 more times than Ed Dickson in 2012. With a questionable receiving corps, it’s likely that Flacco will look to Pitta often. With Anquan Boldin now in San Francisco, Pitta is the favorite to lead the Ravens in touchdown catches. Pitta should be a top-five fantasy tight end this year and is an excellent target in the middle rounds for the majority of fantasy owner who miss out on Graham and Gronk.
- Blair Walsh: Walsh was 10 for 10 on field goals of 50 yards or more, and led the NFL with kicks made (35).
- Stephen Gostkowski: The Patriots sure-footed veteran led the NFL in extra points with 66. The Patriots never ease off the gas, making Gostkowski fantasy football gravy.
- Matt Bryant: He’s a dome kicker on arguably the most high-powered NFC offense.
- Greg Zuerlein: The Rams are loaded with offensive talent this season; more trips inside the red-zone mean more points for Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein.
- Matt Prater: The Denver offense was just warming up in 2012. He’ll kick a lot of extra points, but the Broncos will put Prater in range to score often.
- Phil Dawson: The Browns aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. They will sputter in the red-zone, setting up a reliable Phil Dawson to put points on the board.
- Sebastian Janikowski: The Raiders kicker struggled with a few of his 50 plus yard kicks, but was perfect with everything else.
- Justin Tucker: Tucker is a reliable kicker who is clutch when needed. He is a safe and productive fantasy option.
- Garrett Hartley: The Saint’s Hartley was second in the NFL in 2012 in extra points, plus he plays in a dome and is on a very high-scoring offense.
- Dan Bailey: Bailey is another dome kicker who puts points on the scoreboard while listening to Romo rants from the crowd.