Breaking Down Yahoo Sports 2013 Fantasy Football Rankings

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I am sure a majority of you have used Yahoo Sports' freeĀ Fantasy Football Rankings at least once in your life. Whether you're a seasoned veteran, or a novice of the world of fantasy football, Yahoo's ranking system and free leagues have been a cornerstone for many owners who were once fantasy pups. Even today, I will use their rankings system as part of my fantasy football draft strategies when gearing up towards my own drafts. Not solely, but I will add them to my collection of data leading up to draft day.

Since Yahoo had just updated their Fantasy Football Rankings list a few days ago, lets take a look at who they have as their top-20 players at each position. Some are easy to agree with, while some might give the old eyebrow an upturn.


1. Drew Brees
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Cam Newton
4. Peyton Manning
5. Colin Kaepernick
6. Russell Wilson
7. Matt Ryan
8. Tom Brady
9. Robert Griffin III
10. Matthew Stafford
11. Andrew Luck
12. Tony Romo
13. Eli Manning
14. Ben Roethlisberger
15. Michael Vick
16. Joe Flacco
17. Andy Dalton
18. Philip Rivers
19. Matt Schaub
20. Carson Palmer


Does Russell Wilson deserve to be the No. 6 ranked fantasy quarterback ahead of Matt Ryan?

It's pretty easy to see that the most glaring question mark here is having Drew Brees ranked at the top of the list over Aaron Rodgers, who has been a lock as the No. 1 overall choice at quarterback for years. Age and weapons in the passing game are two reasons why I'd pass on Brees this summer. Not to mention he's thrown 33 interceptions over the last two years compared to Rodgers' 14. Brees is good and will be a top-3 to top-5 pick as a QB1 in 2013, but he doesn't deserve to be the guy at the top of the list.

Russell Wilson has been getting a ton of fantasy hype this offseason due to his string of big games to end the 2012 season and the team bringing in Percy Harvin. While there is upside, I can't justify ranking him over Matt Ryan or Matthew Stafford. Both of these guys are in high-passing offenses that figure to get even better with the acquisition of running backs who can both catch passes in Steven Jackson and Reggie Bush. Wilson should average more than the 195 passing yards a game he put up last year, but he's going to need to rely a lot on his rushing yards to sustain such a high ranking.

Michael Vick being ranked in the top-20 period is the last problem I have. He's made more mistakes than Nick Foles in OTA's and doesn't have a firm grasp on the starting job like many think. Since Chip Kelly is starting everyone off, including Vick, on a clean slate, Vick could very well find himself second fiddle come Week One. Many don't consider Foles a fit in Kelly's offense, but we've yet to even get a glimpse of the type of offense he's even going to run.


1. Adrian Peterson
2. Arian Foster
3. Doug Martin
4. Jamaal Charles
5. C.J. Spiller
5. LeSean McCoy
5. Marshawn Lynch
8. Ray Rice
9. Alfred Morris
10. Trent Richardson
11. Steven Jackson
12. Matt Forte
13. Maurice Jones-Drew
14. Stevan Ridley
15. Chris Johnson
16. Frank Gore
17. Lamar Miller
18. Le'Veon Bell
19. DeMarco Murray
19. David Wilson


How Chip Kelly uses LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown will have a huge bearing on McCoy's fantasy value.

Unlike the quarterbacks, there really isn't a glaring problem with this running back list in regards to the top-5. As you can see, due to multiple votes by Yahoo! experts, there were ties between C. J. Spiller, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and DeMarco Murray, David Wilson. The only beef I have in regards to the top-10 is that Lynch should be ranked above McCoy. I've written before that the Eagles plan on using McCoy and Bryce Brown a lot in the run game, so how that pans out fantasy football wise is anyone's guess. With Lynch, you know what you're going to get: 1200-1300 rushing yards and double-digit scores. Because his track record speaks for itself, "Skittles" should be ranked after Spiller.

Maurice Jones-Drew at No. 13 scares me due to his foot injury and because of the Jaguars offense, or lack of one. Even if MJD is 100 percent, that passing game is going to do him no favors. Sticking with the latter half of the top-20: Wilson should be bumped up to, at least, Frank Gore's spot. Wilson is going to get every shot in the world to be the Giants' every-down back. It wouldn't shock me if he puts up close to RB1-type numbers by mid-season. Many still like Andre Brown, but I just don't see his role increasing this year with Wilson closing in on every-down duties.

I don't agree nor do I disagree putting a rookie in the top-20. Le'Veon Bell has no legit competition for carries. And since the Steelers missed out on Ahmad Bradshaw, Bell could be the bell-cow of the Steelers' offense right off the bat.


1. Calvin Johnson
2. A.J. Green
3. Dez Bryant
4. Brandon Marshal
5. Julio Jones
6. Demaryius Thomas
7. Larry Fitzgerald
8. Victor Cruz
8. Roddy White
10. Randall Cobb
10. Percy Harvin
12. Andre Johnson
13. Vincent Jackson
14. Marques Colston
15. Jordy Nelson
16. Dwayne Bowe
17. Reggie Wayne
18. Hakeem Nicks
19. Torrey Smith
20. Danny Amendola


How will Torrey Smith handle the pressures of being the new No. 1 receiver?

Looking at the list, the Yahoo! boys are keeping the theme that the Seahawks are going to be a high-passing offense in 2013. Or at least passing much more than in 2012. That being said, I still don't know if I could rank Percy Harvin above Andre Johnson and Vincent Jackson. Which Harvin will show up this season? The one that racked up over 1300-total yards in 2011? Or the one who could barely reach 700 receiving yards in 2012, while missing almost half the season? Ranking him this high is too much of a wild card for me. Outside of his injury-plagued 2012, Harvin still never reached 1000 receiving yards in his career. His value hinged on his rushing yards. In my opinion, he's not a WR1. Even if he's ranked on the low end. Yahoo! seems to be banking on those rushing yards, coupled with Pete Carroll making him an extreme focal point of Seattle's offense. Russell Wilson won't be asked to throw the ball 25 times a game. And there are only so many balls to go around. The rushing game is what this team is about. Marshawn Lynch is more than capable of picking up the slack on that end. Harvin, in this scenario, is too much of a high-risk/high-reward option. WR2 please.

Just for comparison's sake in regards to Torrey Smith and Danny Amendola: Wes Welker, Antonio Brown, Eric Decker, Mike Wallace and Steve Smith were all ranked below them in that order. I can make a case for each of the guys being ranked above Smith and Amendola. Smith might be the Ravens' new No. 1 receiver, but that doesn't necessarily translate to big fantasy numbers. How will Smith handle the pressure of being double teamed almost every game? It doesn't help that the Ravens have yet to fill the void left behind by Anquan Boldin.

Can Amendola fit right in and take over for Welker in the Patriots offense? Yahoo! seems to think so. The problems at tight end make it look more and more like Amendola will have to step it up in 2013, but injuries and a new offense would force me to take one of the other guys who couldn't crack the top-20. At least those guys have less question marks.


1. Jimmy Graham
2. Jason Witten
3. Tony Gonzalez
4. Rob Gronkowski
5. Dennis Pitta
6. Vernon Davis
7. Kyle Rudolph
8. Greg Olsen
9. Owen Daniels
10. Antonio Gates
11. Martellus Bennett
12. Brandon Myers
13. Jermichael Finley
14. Jared Cook
15. Jermaine Gresham
16. Fred Davis
17. Brandon Pettigrew
18. Jordan Cameron
19. Robert Housler
20. Dwayne Allen


Rob Gronkowski is a question mark coming off back surgery, but I won't argue with his ranking as of right now. There is still a chance he could be ready by Week One. And with the whole Aaron Hernandez fiasco, he will need to ramp up his rehab so the team won't have to rely on slow-footed Jake Ballard to get them through the first six weeks of the season.

Now with the St. Louis Rams, Jared Cook has the upside to be, possibly, a top-10 fantasy tight end in 2013.

Jared Cook should be a TE1 with how the Rams are going to use him this year. Coming off a disappointing career in Tennessee, I can see why he is ranked so low. But the Rams have big plans for him, so he should at least be at the tail end of the TE1 list. On upside alone, I would rank him right after Owen Daniels. Brandon Myers may have been a huge fantasy asset last year, but the Raiders played a lot of catch up in the second half of games. Now on the Giants, most of Myers' fantasy value will have to come from touchdowns. He's nothing more than a TE2 without much upside.

Fred Davis (Achilles) is expected to be on track for training camp, but I would have kept him off the rankings completely. Players coming off such an extreme injury usually don't come back at full strength and don't play like they did before going down. Much of this is mental. If Davis is ready by Week One, I'd rather have someone else take him and deal with the headache.

Two players that were left off this list who can easily replace Rob Housler and Dwayne Allen are Dustin Keller and Tyler Eifert. Keller, playing on a one-year deal, has plenty of upside and is playing with a chip on his shoulder after the Jets failed to re-sign him. A competent quarterback and playing amongst a much more talented group of offensive players will give Keller a boost in fantasy value as a Dolphin. Eifert, while only a rookie, should have a big role right out of the gate. The Bengals are going to use this guy all over the field, at tight end and as receiver. At the very least, he has a much higher ceiling than Housler, who might not have much of a role at all if Michael Floyd hits the grounding running as the Cardinals' No. 2 receiver. Housler is athletic enough to be another weapon for Carson Palmer, but the upside isn't as high as some other tight ends left off this list.


  1. Matt Zawaski says

    A lot of recent Matt Forte interviews all point to the Bears RB being VERY Happy with the new offense in Chicago. The run will still be a staple in Chicago but what has Forte smiling is the short passes out of the backfield. So that with a new O-Line makes Forte someone to keep an eye on in the early rounds.

    • Greg Brosh says

      Forte is right around where he should be on this list. Maybe a little higher in PPR leagues, but I still feel iffy taking him as a top 10 option.

  2. Matt says

    “Which Harvin will show up this season? The one that racked up over 1300-total yards in 2011? Or the one who could barely reach 700 receiving yards in 2012??”

    But he did that in only 9 games with Christian Ponder throwing to him, and Purple Jesus running the ball a ton. Now he’s got Russel Wilson throwing to him, I’d have no problem ranking him over the aging Andre Johnson who now has competition from Hopkins.

    • Greg Brosh says

      But what will the offense look like this year? There’s been talk that Wilson’s cap in regards to passes a game is 26. Not a lot to go around. You still have Sidney Rice, Tate and I still don’t think they are going to be a team that is going to pass that much more. Running the ball with Lynch has been their strength. No way they stray away from that. I think Harvin can have some big games, but I don’t see him being consistent enough on a weekly basis to have WR1 value throughout the season.

      Johnson is coming off a statline of 112/1598/4 and that was with Kevin Walter as the No. 2. Now that the team finally has legitimacy with Hopkins, that should only help Johnson in the end by freeing up attention. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see another 100+ reception year IF AJ can stay healthy all year.

  3. kurt says

    If Brandon Myers is on your fantasy football team, turn yourself in to the police.. no.. join my league =)

    Yahoo is nutz ranking him so high.

    • Greg Brosh says

      Cruz, Nicks and Randle>>>>>>>>>>DHB, Moore, Streater. Too many options ahead of him compared to last season.

      Giants won’t be playing behind nearly as much as Oakland did, where Myers got most of his fantasy value.

      I wouldn’t rank him above Cook, who looks to be the focal point of the Rams offense. I might not even list him ahead of Cameron who looks to have a big breakout season in Cleveland.

      Thinking about it, I should have made a comment that Cameron is ranked way too low as well, but he’s a “what if” prospect than an potential TE1. Whomever lands Cameron late could have great value there.

      As far as Myers, most of his value will come from touchdowns. If that.

  4. Jeff says

    You’re Percy take is dumb. He was a top 3 WR last year before he got hurt. WHich is why he only had 700 yards

    • Kurt Turner says

      He was averaging less than 75 yards per game and only scored 3 touchdowns, how is this top 3? In 2013 will he return punts/kickoffs? Russel Wilson is in his second year (usually a slumping year at QB).. Percy staying healthy is a concern.. New systems are always a concern… and his lack of history as a #1 fantasy producer is a concern. You disagreeing is a concern…