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R.J.'s 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings (Update 8/15)

rjwhiterjwhite Posts: 35Member, Expert Writers
edited September 2014 in Expert Player Rankings

Welcome to the new Fantasy Football Cafe.

While you get settled in, here is my set of 2014 redraft rankings as of Aug. 7. You'll find players broken into tiers at each position along with my breakdown of my strategy at each position (ADP data cited comes from Fantasy Football Calculator), as well as a Top 25 Overall. Why only 25? Once you get through the first two rounds, your best selections will depend on how the players remaining in your positional tiers shake out as well as how your specific team is coming along.

These rankings are going to change as the preseason unfolds and as I continue to run through mock drafts and see my preferences continue to develop. I'll try to post at least one update before Labor Day weekend.

Updated: Aug. 15, 9 p.m. ET

Top 25 Overall

1 LeSean McCoy, Phi, RB

2 Jamaal Charles, KC, RB

3 Matt Forte, Chi, RB

4 Adrian Peterson, Min, RB

5 Eddie Lacy, GB, RB

6 Calvin Johnson, Det, WR

7 Jimmy Graham, NO, TE

8 Montee Ball, Den, RB

9 Dez Bryant, Dal, WR

10 Demaryius Thomas, Den, WR

11 Peyton Manning, Den, QB

12 Brandon Marshall, Chi, WR

13 A.J. Green, Cin, WR

14 Giovani Bernard, Cin, RB

15 DeMarco Murray, Dal, RB

16 Jordy Nelson, GB, WR

17 Julio Jones, Atl, WR

18 Aaron Rodgers, GB, QB

19 Drew Brees, NO, QB

20 Antonio Brown, Pit, WR

21 Marshawn Lynch, Sea, RB

22 Alshon Jeffery, Chi, WR

23 Andre Ellington, Ari, RB

24 Alfred Morris, Was, RB

25 Rob Gronkowski, NE, TE


Tier 1

1 Peyton Manning, Den

2 Aaron Rodgers, GB

3 Drew Brees, NO

Tier 2

4 Matthew Stafford, Det

5 Andrew Luck, Ind

Tier 3

6 Matt Ryan, Atl

7 Tony Romo, Dal

8 Colin Kaepernick, SF

9 Philip Rivers, SD

10 Nick Foles, Phi

11 Jay Cutler, Chi

12 Robert Griffin, Was

13 Tom Brady, NE

14 Cam Newton, Car

15 Ben Roethlisberger, Pit

Tier 4

16 Josh McCown, TB

17 Russell Wilson, Sea

18 Eli Manning, NYG

Tier 5

19 Andy Dalton, Cin

20 Carson Palmer, Ari

21 Ryan Tannehill, Mia

22 Jake Locker, Ten

Tier 6

23 Alex Smith, KC

24 Joe Flacco, Bal

25 EJ Manuel, Buf

26 Sam Bradford, StL

27 Johnny Manziel, Cle

Tier 7

28 Ryan Fitzpatrick, Hou

29 Matt Cassel, Min

30 Matt Schaub, Oak

31 Chad Henne, Jac

32 Geno Smith, NYJ

Tier 8

33 Brian Hoyer, Cle

34 Michael Vick, NYJ

35 Teddy Bridgewater, Min

36 Derek Carr, Oak

37 Tom Savage, Hou

38 Case Keenum, Hou

39 Blake Bortles, Jac

40 Mike Glennon, TB


I feel like you should take one of two paths at the quarterback position this year. Either splurge on one of the top three guys in the first two rounds, or wait until Round 8 or 9 to grab your guy. That means passing on Stafford (43.8 ADP), Luck (51.9), Brady (62.6) and Foles (75.0), with the last two being wildly overdrafted even in the context of the position, in my eyes. I love the steady-as-she-goes Romo running an offense that'll need 30 points per game to win to make up for the defense. Kaepernick heads my targets as a guy who will be asked to do more with a quality stable of pass catchers and a fading RB corps. Griffin is a guy I wish I could own in more leagues, but he falls in that range where I'm not looking at QBs. Interesting QB2 types for me this season include Jay Cutler, who I think I've ranked conservatively based on his upside, as well as McCown, Peyton's little brother and Jonathan M. Football, who fits the mold I'm looking for in a backup as a high-upside talent who could turn in a top-five QB season if everything breaks right, even if that has a slim chance of happening.


Tier 1

1 LeSean McCoy, Phi

2 Jamaal Charles, KC

3 Matt Forte, Chi

4 Adrian Peterson, Min

5 Eddie Lacy, GB

Tier 2

6 Montee Ball, Den

7 Giovani Bernard, Cin

8 DeMarco Murray, Dal

9 Marshawn Lynch, Sea

10 Andre Ellington, Ari

11 Alfred Morris, Was

Tier 3

12 Toby Gerhart, Jac

13 Arian Foster, Hou

14 Zac Stacy, StL

15 Le'Veon Bell, Pit

16 Rashad Jennings, NYG

17 Doug Martin, TB

18 C.J. Spiller, Buf

19 Reggie Bush, Det

Tier 4

20 Ryan Mathews, SD

21 Trent Richardson, Ind

22 Lamar Miller, Mia

23 Ben Tate, Cle

24 Joique Bell, Det

Tier 5

25 Frank Gore, SF

26 Bishop Sankey, Ten

27 Maurice Jones-Drew, Oak

28 Shane Vereen, NE

29 Steven Jackson, Atl

Tier 6

30 Pierre Thomas, NO

31 Fred Jackson, Buf

32 Bernard Pierce, Bal

33 Chris Johnson, NYJ

34 Danny Woodhead, SD

35 Terrance West, Cle

36 Jeremy Hill, Cin

37 Ray Rice, Bal

38 Darren Sproles, Phi

39 DeAngelo Williams, Car

40 Christine Michael, Sea

Tier 7

41 Khiry Robinson, NO

42 Chris Ivory, NYJ

43 Andre Williams, NYG

44 Stevan Ridley, NE

45 LeGarrette Blount, Pit

46 Knowshon Moreno, Mia

47 Knile Davis, KC

48 Roy Helu, Was

49 James White, NE

50 Mark Ingram, NO

Tier 8

51 Carlos Hyde, SF

52 Darren McFadden, Oak

53 Devonta Freeman, Atl

54 Shonn Greene, Ten

55 Jonathan Stewart, Car

56 Jonathan Grimes, Hou

57 Bobby Rainey, TB

58 Donald Brown, SD

59 Jacquizz Rodgers, Atl

60 Bryce Brown, Buf

61 Stepfan Taylor, Ari

62 Latavius Murray, Oak

63 Benny Cunningham, StL

Tier 9

64 C.J. Anderson, Den

65 Ahmad Bradshaw, Ind

66 Ronnie Hillman, Den

67 Dexter McCluster, Ten

68 Lance Dunbar, Dal

69 James Starks, GB

70 Robert Turbin, Sea

71 Chris Polk, Phi

72 Ka'Deem Carey, Chi

73 Mike Tolbert, Car

74 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cin

75 Jonathan Dwyer, Ari


I think the Tier 1 backs should be the top five picks in your draft in some order before I'd consider going with the top options at other positions. Guys in Tier 3 like Gerhart and Jennings should receive big workloads and post starter-worthy fantasy numbers even if they don't have the talent of some of the guys in lower tiers. Richardson should be better after an offseason in Indianapolis, and I have confidence the offensive play-calling will be a lot better as well. Miller is a nice sleeper for me with a 64.9 ADP that winds up on my team in the fifth and sixth rounds, which is one reason I'm not taking those mid-tier QBs as discussed above. It's hard to pin down what the Patriots will do with running backs, and I likely have Vereen ranked too low, but it wouldn't surprise me to see James White emerge as a force. Jones-Drew has the best chance of emerging in Oakland, and I feel like Pierce is a great target to potentially serve as the Ravens' lead back, even when Rice returns. A few unexpected rookies could easily emerge as weekly fantasy threats, so don't be afraid to grab freshman like West, Hill, Freeman, Williams and the aforementioned White to round out your depth at the position.


Tier 1

1 Calvin Johnson, Det

2 Dez Bryant, Dal

3 Demaryius Thomas, Den

4 Brandon Marshall, Chi

5 A.J. Green, Cin

6 Jordy Nelson, GB

7 Julio Jones, Atl

8 Antonio Brown, Pit

9 Alshon Jeffery, Chi

Tier 2

10 Vincent Jackson, TB

11 Victor Cruz, NYG

12 Andre Johnson, Hou

13 Larry Fitzgerald, Ari

14 Michael Crabtree, SF

15 Randall Cobb, GB

Tier 3

16 Pierre Garcon, Was

17 Keenan Allen, SD

18 Roddy White, Atl

19 Cordarrelle Patterson, Min

20 T.Y. Hilton, Ind

Tier 4

21 Jeremy Maclin, Phi

22 Percy Harvin, Sea

23 Michael Floyd, Ari

24 Wes Welker, Den

25 Torrey Smith, Bal

26 Marques Colston, NO

27 Kendall Wright, Ten

28 Anquan Boldin, SF

29 Eric Decker, NYJ

Tier 5

30 Mike Wallace, Mia

31 Julian Edelman, NE

32 DeSean Jackson, Was

33 Terrance Williams, Dal

34 Sammy Watkins, Buf

Tier 6

35 Danny Amendola, NE

36 Dwayne Bowe, KC

37 DeAndre Hopkins, Hou

38 Emmanuel Sanders, Den

39 Rueben Randle, NYG

40 Riley Cooper, Phi

41 Brandin Cooks, NO

42 Kelvin Benjamin, Car

43 Reggie Wayne, Ind

44 Golden Tate, Det

Tier 7

45 Cecil Shorts, Jac

46 Brian Hartline, Mia

47 Kenny Britt, StL

48 Rod Streater, Oak

49 Marqise Lee, Jac

50 Doug Baldwin, Sea

Tier 8

51 Marvin Jones, Cin

52 Tavon Austin, StL

53 Steve Smith, Bal

54 Mike Evans, TB

55 Markus Wheaton, Pit

56 Jarrett Boykin, GB

57 Aaron Dobson, NE

58 Andre Holmes, Oak

Tier 9

59 Greg Jennings, Min

60 Kenny Stills, NO

61 Miles Austin, Cle

62 Harry Douglas, Atl

63 James Jones, Oak

64 Jordan Matthews, Phi

65 Justin Hunter, Ten

66 Andrew Hawkins, Cle

67 Odell Beckham, NYG

Tier 10

68 Chris Givens, StL

69 Robert Woods, Buf

70 Donnie Avery, KC

71 Jerricho Cotchery, Car

72 Mike Williams, Buf

73 Hakeem Nicks, Ind

74 Steve Johnson, SF

75 Martavis Bryant, Pit

76 Allen Robinson, Jac

77 Cody Latimer, Den

78 Nate Washington, Ten

79 Jarvis Landry, Mia

80 Kenbrell Thompkins, NE

81 Malcom Floyd, SD

Tier 11

82 Lance Moore, Pit

83 Denarius Moore, Oak

84 Brandon LaFell, NE

85 Jerrel Jernigan, NYG

86 Da'Rick Rogers, Ind

87 Davante Adams, GB

88 Nate Burleson, Cle

89 Jerome Simpson, Min

90 Justin Blackmon, Jac


If you have the guts to take a chance on someone like Toby Gerhart as your RB1, I think this is a great year to start the draft WR-WR and get two Tier 1 guys. I'd be very excited to end up with a Megatron-Nelson combo at the top of the draft if I can't get a Tier 1 RB. I generally end up with one of Hilton, Maclin, T.Smith and Wright to round out my starters at the position, with Boldin finding a spot on my team as a WR4 in most cases. Britt is someone who I think could jump right back into fantasy relevance this season, and I'd be more than happy to spend a bench spot on a guy with his kind of upside. Deep sleepers worth watching include M.Lee, A.Holmes and Hawkins.


Tier 1

1 Jimmy Graham, NO

Tier 2

2 Rob Gronkowski, NE

Tier 3

3 Julius Thomas, Den

4 Vernon Davis, SF

5 Greg Olsen, Car

6 Jordan Cameron, Cle

7 Kyle Rudolph, Min

8 Jordan Reed, Was

9 Jason Witten, Dal

Tier 4

10 Dennis Pitta, Bal

11 Zach Ertz, Phi

12 Ladarius Green, SD

13 Martellus Bennett, Chi

14 Charles Clay, Mia

15 Dwayne Allen, Ind

16 Antonio Gates, SD

17 Tyler Eifert, Cin

18 Heath Miller, Pit

Tier 5

19 Delanie Walker, Ten

20 Garrett Graham, Hou

21 Coby Fleener, Ind

22 Eric Ebron, Det

23 Jared Cook, StL

24 Travis Kelce, KC

25 Ryan Griffin, Hou

Tier 6

26 Tim Wright, TB

27 Levine Toilolo, Atl

28 Marcedes Lewis, Jac

29 Owen Daniels, Bal

30 Mychal Rivera, Oak

31 Jace Amaro, NYJ

32 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TB

33 Scott Chandler, Buf

34 Richard Rodgers, GB

35 Jermaine Gresham, Cin


Graham is clearly in a league of his own, as usual. Gronkowski is a fringe Tier 1 guy who is a much better option than the Tier 3 tight ends, so I decided to give him Tier 2 by himself. One of these years, he's going to have a healthy season and pay off in a big way. Tier 3 is pretty large, and there are plenty guys in Tier 4 that I'd be perfectly happy using as a starter. If I don't get one of the top two TEs, I'm waiting on the position unless I can land a Tier 3 guy at an unbelievable value. Deep sleepers include Kelce and Griffin if you have a ton of rosterable TEs in your format.


Tier 1

1 Stephen Gostkowski, NE

2 Matt Prater, Den

3 Justin Tucker, Bal

4 Mason Crosby, GB

5 Steven Hauschka, Sea

6 Blair Walsh, Min

7 Dan Bailey, Dal

8 Adam Vinatieri, Ind

Tier 2

9 Robbie Gould, Chi

10 Phil Dawson, SF

11 Ryan Succop, KC

12 Matt Bryant, Atl

13 Nick Novak, SD

14 Shaun Suisham, Pit

15 Jay Feely, Ari

16 Josh Brown, NYG

17 Greg Zuerlein, StL

Tier 3

18 Mike Nugent, Cin

19 Shayne Graham, NO

20 Sebastian Janikowski, Oak


I don't have any words of wisdom here, besides wait until the last round to get a kicker, and never spend more than the minimum in auction formats to grab one.


Tier 1

1 Seattle Seahawks, Sea

Tier 2

2 St. Louis Rams, StL

3 San Francisco 49ers, SF

4 Carolina Panthers, Car

Tier 3

5 New England Patriots, NE

6 Buffalo Bills, Buf

7 Philadelphia Eagles, Phi

8 New York Jets, NYJ

9 Cincinnati Bengals, Cin

Tier 4

10 Kansas City Chiefs, KC

11 Denver Broncos, Den

12 Baltimore Ravens, Bal

13 Arizona Cardinals, Ari

Tier 5

14 Miami Dolphins, Mia

15 Detroit Lions, Det

16 New York Giants, NYG

17 New Orleans Saints, NO

18 Houston Texans, Hou

19 Green Bay Packers, GB

Tier 6

20 Chicago Bears, Chi

21 Washington Redskins, Was

22 Minnesota Vikings, Min

23 Tennessee Titans, Ten

24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, TB

25 Jacksonville Jaguars, Jac

Tier 7

26 Atlanta Falcons, Atl

27 Pittsburgh Steelers, Pit

28 Cleveland Browns, Cle

29 San Diego Chargers, SD

30 Indianapolis Colts, Ind

31 Dallas Cowboys, Dal

32 Oakland Raiders, Oak


These should be matchup plays for you each week, but the one defense I'd bother reaching into the middle rounds for is the Seahawks. They are probably a little overvalued with an 88.5 ADP, but if I don't see any other players worth drafting in the eighth round, and I have my eye on several particular late-round sleepers at RB and WR, I don't mind grabbing them. The Bills aren't very highly regarded, but I think they have the potential to be consistently great, and I think they are a nice sleeper if you don't want to stream. While these are my best guesses at seasonwide fantasy point totals, my draft picks, which tend to focus solely on Week 1 matchups, include the Jets (vs. Raiders) and Eagles (vs. Jaguars).



  • BlueBlue Posts: 1,089Member ✭✭

    I agree for the most part, but Gronk is a Tier 1 you just have to worry but injuries. But when he is healthy not even JG is better.

  • murphysxmmurphysxm Posts: 361Member, Moderator mod

    well done RJ, glad to see your work back up and live

  • dolfin99dolfin99 Posts: 36Member, Moderator, Response Team mod

    Injuries, IMO, puts Gronk down a tier as @rjwhite has him ranked.

    On another note, it is GREAT to have you back in the fold over here brother. Your expert analysis is second to none. :)

  • dipset24dipset24 Posts: 44Member

    Well done. I like the rankings and analysis. Thanks

  • m16am16a Posts: 37Member, Moderator mod
    edited August 2014

    Great rankings as always, RJ. Glad to have you back at the Cafe. Just curious, why do you have Forte ranked above AD?

  • fuzzeemonkeyfuzzeemonkey Posts: 26Member

    Great read. Love your thoughts on the tiers you've chosen. Looking forward to the updates during preseason.

  • andy117andy117 Posts: 86Member

    The biggest surprise in your rankings is seeing Cam Newton so low. I'd take him over most of Tier 3 and Brady and Roethisberger from Tier 4.

  • rjwhiterjwhite Posts: 35Member, Expert Writers

    @m16a Forte was a pretty sizable gap better than Peterson last year, averaging 15.7 points per game vs. 13.9 points per game in my standard format league. He has offensive continuity both under center and up front blocking. His scheme includes receivers who are virtually uncoverable 1-on-1, leading to the reduced chance he faces stacked boxes. That's great news, since the Bears used an extra lineman more than any other team last season, per FO. Peterson has a solid line as well, and he has the extra benefit of being Adrian Peterson, but I'm just not as big a fan of his situation as I am Forte. If I'm being honest, I probably have Forte closer to No. 2 than No. 4.

  • dreamFFCafedreamFFCafe Posts: 31Member, Moderator mod
    edited August 2014

    Well done @rjwhite‌ as usual. For the record I have Forte 3 and Peterson 4 also, but I do have 1 and 2 swapped at this point. It is a bit of a toss up for me and McCoy is closing the gap fast.

  • rjwhiterjwhite Posts: 35Member, Expert Writers

    @andy117 I just don't see how Newton succeeds this season. His receiver corps consists of a good tight end, a raw rookie and a bunch of guys who would be buried on other depth charts. They'll need more blocking out of the tight end position as well, with a massive hole opening up thanks to the retirement of Jordan Gross. I think any success the Panthers have will come by playing ball-control offense and churning up clock while relying on the defense to help win low-scoring games. It's going to be hard for them to reach the goal-line consistently, which puts a damper on Newton's potential TD total. And, while this on its own wouldn't be enough to move him much in the rankings, let's not forget that he hasn't been a font of pure optimism and unbridled joy since joining the league. If the Indy offense lags, I can see Luck willing them to win and wringing absolutely everything he can from his supporting cast. I don't have that same confidence in Newton at this time. I didn't drop him from Tier 2 to 4 based on that, but it's enough of a worry to keep him out of the QB1 conversation for me.

  • Lyons91Lyons91 Posts: 101Member

    This is awesome. I think you should put Newton higher than the 4th stage, he will be a good QB this year. I'm not just saying this because I am thinking about keeping him lol. He never has had the supporting cars around him and maybe he runs a little bit more inside the 20 yard line.

  • andy117andy117 Posts: 86Member

    Thanks @rjwhite‌ I think he'll be just fine. I've never been that impressed with his supporting cast before, but at least there was familiarity there.

  • joeylitzjoeylitz Posts: 72Member

    Nice, RJ. For QBs, I've got Ryan and Romo over Luck this year. I think they both have a better shot at TDs than Luck. And I wanted to drop Brady as low as you did, but I can't get past the fact that he still threw for 4,300 yards with last year's team.

    Glad to "see you" and so glad to see the Cafe back up and running with a fresh look.

  • JTsportsguyJTsportsguy Posts: 17Member
    edited August 2014

    More fantasy football rankings for you guys to analyze, along with the rules/strategies to give you the edge.!

  • Lyons91Lyons91 Posts: 101Member

    @JTsportsguy what do you think about keeping Montee Ball for $21 and Percy Harvin for $10 in a $300 auction.

  • CafeKris41CafeKris41 Posts: 2Member

    Having a tough decision at 1, McCoy or Charles

  • murphysxmmurphysxm Posts: 361Member, Moderator mod

    @CafeKris41‌, you are choosing between a Porshe and a Ferrari. Pick the one you like better and don't look back. I am a McCoy guy for the record.

  • The_DarkhawkThe_Darkhawk Posts: 264Member, Community Writers

    I'm on the McCoy train as well

  • Lyons91Lyons91 Posts: 101Member

    @CafeKris41 said:
    Having a tough decision at 1, McCoy or Charles

    Chiefs lost a lot of o line this year. I would go with McCoy

  • joeylitzjoeylitz Posts: 72Member
    edited August 2014

    DD- he's available in the Tundra. For the right price...;)

  • big_d57big_d57 Posts: 36Member

    Why is Jordan Cameron below Olsen and Rudolph? Isn't he the number one option in Cleveland? I guess Olsen is also the number 1 in Carolina and Rudolph will be utilized more in Norv Turner's offense.

  • iggy619iggy619 Posts: 2Member

    Which three should I keep in my Keeper league. Here is the list and next to them is what I would pay, out of a $100 Mill Salary cap. I'll put a star next to players whom im not sure to choose from.
    QB: Colin Kap: $14*
    RG3: 12

    RB: Adrian Peterson: 16*

    TE: Julius Thomas: 3*
    Ladarius Green: 3*
    Jordan Cameron 8*

    WR: Mike Wallace: 6*
    Torrey Smith: 7*
    Cordarrelle Patterson: 5*
    Pierre Garcon: 12*

    I was thinking Colin Kap, Julius Thomas, and Torrey Smith. But All day AP is still there, critics say he may decline this year. But Under Norv and his run happy scheme im not sure. Also with Torrey Smith and Gary Kubiak, they say Gary is good with Recievers. please help. Thank You.

  • gumbyke1gumbyke1 Posts: 108Member

    Drop Kap for Peterson...and Smith for Patterson. Dont even think twice about it. Lock it in and your good.

  • gumbyke1gumbyke1 Posts: 108Member

    This is the only thread I am able to view on this forum. Is something wrong with my browser, or is this it?

  • bajabaxbajabax Posts: 4Member

    I think this is the season that Gore breaks down. Too many miles on those repaired knees.

  • gumbyke1gumbyke1 Posts: 108Member

    I want to say that every year. I am just waiting for the day his kneecap rolls out of his pant leg while he is lined up in the back field and has to call a timeout to go pick it up. However, Gore is the best 31 year old back at defying the odds and shaming skeptics. Its ridiculous... but it gives me anxiety to bet against him.

  • CafeKris41CafeKris41 Posts: 2Member

    @Lyons91 said:
    Chiefs lost a lot of o line this year. I would go with McCoy

    For sure, tough schedule as well Im hearing. Im gonna go McCoy

  • jim3862002jim3862002 Posts: 1Member

    Does anyone know what FF websites offer a Superflex position in their roster settings ?

  • fuqyufuqyu Posts: 77Member

    I see the same thing Gumby does, but before I registered I thought the site had a bunch of topics listed. Am I missing something?

  • gumbyke1gumbyke1 Posts: 108Member

    @fuqyu said:
    I see the same thing Gumby does, but before I registered I thought the site had a bunch of topics listed. Am I missing something?

    Hey I found that once I verified my account via email, I was able to access the rest of the site.

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