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Howdy, and welcome to the weekly column that puts my rankings front and center and compares them against the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR).  Who am I and why should you care? I was the ninth-most accurate in-season expert on FantasyPros out of 125 last season and am fighting against the incredibly smart field yet again.

One can't regularly land in the top 25% of this field by accident and I absolutely think you should hold us accountable by objective measures such as this. I'll be examining my own ranks against the ECR on a position-by-position basis, focusing here on QB, RB, WR and TE.

Below you will find my rankings and analysis, separated by position. If anything strikes a chord, I’m always available for questions via Twitter: @NMariano53. But enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to it.

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Week 11 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

After failing to top 25 rushing yards in any of his first seven games, Russell Wilson (My Rank: 8, ECR: 10) has put in 133 ground yards over the last two weeks and he continues to drop TD dimes at an unsustainable rate. His 21 pass TDs on just 163 completions is absurd, though Deshaun Watson’s crazy rate from 2017 softened us up to this. With the early hamstring injury seemingly out of the way and the rushing floor back, Russ needs to be treated as a legit top-10 threat every week, let alone one against a battered Green Bay defense.

Speaking of rushing yards, Trubisky’s got 320 of them! He trails only Cam Newton (352) for the lead out of all QBs and is one of five signal-callers with at least three rush TDs. Mix this with a now-healthy Allen Robinson, an emerging Anthony Miller and strong complementary pieces in Tarik Cohen, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel, sprinkle in some Matt Nagy innovation and baby, you’ve got a stew going at home against a Vikings defense that’s better against the run than the pass.

Roethlisberger slapped me across the face last week by going off against Carolina in a game that I never would’ve guessed would yield 52 Pittsburgh points. Never, ever. Alas, that was still at home (and in primetime, if you buy that narrative) and now Big Ben hits the road for a date with the Jaguars. I recognize Carson Wentz and Andrew Luck just put up three-touchdown games against the Jags, but both were road games (the Philly one was in London). Big Ben has thrown 14 TDs and 3 INTs in five home games and 7 TDs vs. 4 INTs in four road contests. I'm not burying him in my ranks, but I can't seat him comfortably near my top-10.

If I pressed you to rank Stafford among QBs thus far (in fantasy points) off the top right now, what would you say? If you answered, “No. 19” then you are a stud (or suffering through owning him). Technically, he’s 24th on average points for any QB who has started a game, but then Matt Barkley is ahead of him. He salvaged Week 10 with some garbage-time scores but looks to be sorely missing Golden Tate on an offense that has begun to embrace the ground game in earnest. I know the name brand has you clinging to hope, but if Marvin Jones is less than 100% then I really, really suggest you abandon ship and embrace the stream life.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 1 0
2 Jared Goff LAR QB 2 0
3 Cam Newton CAR QB 4 1
4 Drew Brees NO QB 3 -1
5 Aaron Rodgers GB QB 6 1
6 Andrew Luck IND QB 7 1
7 Carson Wentz PHI QB 5 -2
8 Russell Wilson SEA QB 10 2
9 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 9 0
10 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB 12 2
11 Matt Ryan ATL QB 8 -3
12 Ryan Fitzpatrick TB QB 13 1
13 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB 11 -2
14 Philip Rivers LAC QB 14 0
15 Kirk Cousins MIN QB 15 0
16 Dak Prescott DAL QB 16 0
17 Marcus Mariota TEN QB 17 0
18 Eli Manning NYG QB 18 0
19 Blake Bortles JAC QB 20 1
20 Matthew Stafford DET QB 19 -1
21 Josh Rosen ARI QB 21 0
22 Alex Smith WAS QB 22 0
23 Joe Flacco BAL QB 26 3
24 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 24 0
25 Case Keenum DEN QB 23 -2
26 Andy Dalton CIN QB 25 -1
27 Derek Carr OAK QB 27 0
28 Taysom Hill NO QB 28 0
29 Jameis Winston TB QB 29 0

 

Week 11 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

I’ve been going against Alex Collins (18 vs. 20) often this season, but Week 11 against a reeling Bengals team should offer the rushing game a solid workload. The Vegas lines aren’t out with Baltimore’s QB situation in limbo, but both a hobbled Joe Flacco or upstart Lamar Jackson/Robert Griffin III should mean the game is more in the hands of its RBs and defense. FootballOutsiders gives Baltimore’s O-line an 80% power success rate, third-best in the NFL, so I’m in on Collins as an RB2.

After a rough first five games, Lamar Miller (20 vs. 25) turned things on in Week 7 with a 22-100-1 rush line (against Jacksonville, of all teams) before turning in an 18-133-1 showing in Week 8. Of course, he came back to earth with a horrid 12-21-0 line against Denver, but at least he had 27 receiving yards on two catches. With Deshaun Watson’s improved health and a Demaryius Thomas trade to soften the Will Fuller injury blow, Houston looks deserving of being third-point road favorites over Washington (who made Peyton Barber somehow look good in Week 10, yielding 61 yards on 13 carries).

Jalen Richard (30 vs. 34) and the Raiders will be desperate for weapons and if they want to actually score touchdowns, something I’m not fully convinced they want to do, they should lean on Richard and Jared Cook (more on that later). I’m with everyone else that Doug Martin is right at the RB2/3 cusp around No. 25, but Richard should get more run if Oakland is left with Seth Roberts as its primary wideout come Sunday.

Highlight-worthy runs such as Dalvin Cook’s (24 vs. 19) 70-yard gallop where he recorded the fastest speed reached by a ballcarrier in ‘18 (22.07 mph) can anchor us, but he still put up just 19 yards on the other nine carries and I’m very worried about Latavius Murray inside the red zone. Cook tallied a 57% snap share against Murray's 45% in Week 9 and Murray got three red-zone opportunities compared to Cook's zero. Oh, and there’s the whole “Minnesota’s facing the Bears defense” thing. The Bears have surrendered one rushing TD to an RB all year and yield an average rushing line of 20-68-0. Bleh.

I don’t want to speak much on Rashaad Penny (34 vs. 28) or the rest of the Seahawks in terms of their ECR because Chris Carson’s status will likely need to be finalized for the value to count for something. While Penny looked great and has the first-round pedigree, Carson and Mike Davis will make this a three-headed monster that likely cannibalizes itself in terms of fantasy value. This goes the same for knocking down the Eagles triumvirate (Josh Adams - 37 vs. 31, Wendell Smallwood - 42 vs. 37, and Corey Clement - 47 vs. 41), who will battle each other and New Orleans’ incredible run defense for fantasy value.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Todd Gurley LAR RB 1 0
2 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 3 1
3 Melvin Gordon LAC RB 2 -1
4 David Johnson ARI RB 5 1
5 Kareem Hunt KC RB 6 1
6 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 4 -2
7 Alvin Kamara NO RB 7 0
8 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 8 0
9 James Conner PIT RB 9 0
10 Leonard Fournette JAC RB 10 0
11 Aaron Jones GB RB 11 0
12 Tevin Coleman ATL RB 12 0
13 Joe Mixon CIN RB 13 0
14 Mark Ingram NO RB 14 0
15 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB 16 1
16 Marlon Mack IND RB 15 -1
17 Dion Lewis TEN RB 18 1
18 Alex Collins BAL RB 20 2
19 Kerryon Johnson DET RB 17 -2
20 Lamar Miller HOU RB 25 5
21 Adrian Peterson WAS RB 21 0
22 Tarik Cohen CHI RB 22 0
23 Jordan Howard CHI RB 24 1
24 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 19 -5
25 Doug Martin OAK RB 23 -2
26 Derrick Henry TEN RB 26 0
27 Peyton Barber TB RB 27 0
28 Mike Davis SEA RB 30 2
29 Ito Smith ATL RB 28 -1
30 Jalen Richard OAK RB 33 3
31 Chris Carson SEA RB 39 8
32 Latavius Murray MIN RB 35 3
33 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 32 -1
34 Rashaad Penny SEA RB 29 -5
35 Royce Freeman DEN RB 34 -1
36 Chris Thompson WAS RB 56 20
37 Josh Adams PHI RB 31 -6
38 Giovani Bernard CIN RB 41 3
39 Nyheim Hines IND RB 36 -3
40 T.J. Yeldon JAC RB 40 0
41 Wendell Smallwood PHI RB 37 -4
42 Theo Riddick DET RB 38 -4
43 LeGarrette Blount DET RB 46 3
44 Devontae Booker DEN RB 50 6
45 Jacquizz Rodgers TB RB 43 -2
46 Ty Montgomery BAL RB 48 2
47 Corey Clement PHI RB 42 -5
48 Jamaal Williams GB RB 47 -1
49 Javorius Allen BAL RB 44 -5
50 Alfred Blue HOU RB 45 -5
51 Spencer Ware KC RB 49 -2
52 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 55 3
53 Carlos Hyde JAC RB 53 0
54 Kapri Bibbs WAS RB 51 -3
55 Jordan Wilkins IND RB 52 -3
56 Wayne Gallman NYG RB 58 2
57 Malcolm Brown LAR RB 54 -3
58 Deandre Washington OAK RB 59 1
59 Rod Smith DAL RB 57 -2
60 Mark Walton CIN RB 62 2
61 Stevan Ridley PIT RB 61 0
62 CJ Ham MIN RB 63 1
63 Benny Cunningham CHI RB 66 3
64 Elijhaa Penny NYG RB 65 1
65 C.J. Prosise SEA RB 64 -1
66 Andy Janovich DEN RB 67 1
67 Dwayne Washington NO RB 74 7
68 Samaje Perine WAS RB 68 0

 

Week 11 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

It’s Davante Adams who should get to pick on Seattle’s Tre Flowers the most, as Marquez Valdes-Scantling (23 vs. 28) should man the slot with Randall Cobb out. This raises his floor with higher-percentage targets closer to Mr. Aaron Rodgers, but a one-week sample without Cobb gave MVS a paltry 5.0 average depth of target (aDOT) against a 10.3 for Equanimeous St. Brown and 13.3 for Adams on the perimeter.

As for Michael Crabtree (29 vs. 37), I realize this means buying into Baltimore’s quarterback situation but he’s primed for a big game. Over their last four games, Crabtree’s 452 air yards lead Willie Snead (308) and John Brown (289) while his 15.6 aDOT also bests both Snead (8.6) and Brown (12.6). He falls into my top-30 but I also won’t twist anyone’s arm into playing him, this is just what my tool is plopping into my lap.

And if tapping into Baltimore’s passing game wasn’t riveting enough for you, how about we head to D.C. and lean on Alex Smith! No? Okay, I get it. But seriously, Maurice Harris (40 vs. 53) leads all Washington wideouts with 34 targets since hitting the field in Week 5 and paces the whole roster with 278 receiving yards, which I know isn’t that enticing, but the potential for more exists as three-point underdogs at home.

Allen Robinson (32 vs. 26) returned to action with a bang in Week 10, logging a superb 133 yards with two touchdowns on six catches. While I love Trubisky for the composite picture that he paints, AR12 is up against a Minnesota secondary that ranks first in the NFL per FootballOutsiders’ DVOA metric against No. 1 WRs. I won't be surprised if he's the erased one while the others put in work.

And then there’s Devin Funchess (39 vs. 33), whose 31 targets over Carolina’s last five games are tied with Christian McCaffrey and Greg Olsen (28) isn’t far behind. But let’s sharpen the lens to their last three games, where the target share rattles out as such: CMC (17), Olsen (16), DJ Moore (13), Funchess (12) and Curtis Samuel (11). The good news for him is that his 11 aDOT still leads the pack within that window. But the Panthers are stuck facing the Lions and Darius Slay already got a limited practice in on Wednesday, so I’d wager he plays and dampens Funchess’ already downward-trending outlook.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Michael Thomas NO WR 1 0
2 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR 2 0
3 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 3 0
4 Davante Adams GB WR 8 4
5 Tyreek Hill KC WR 5 0
6 Adam Thielen MIN WR 4 -2
7 Robert Woods LAR WR 10 3
8 Julio Jones ATL WR 7 -1
9 Antonio Brown PIT WR 6 -3
10 Brandin Cooks LAR WR 9 -1
11 Keenan Allen LAC WR 11 0
12 Mike Evans TB WR 12 0
13 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR 18 5
14 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT WR 13 -1
15 Kenny Golladay DET WR 16 1
16 T.Y. Hilton IND WR 14 -2
17 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR 15 -2
18 Stefon Diggs MIN WR 17 -1
19 Marvin Jones DET WR 23 4
20 Tyler Lockett SEA WR 24 4
21 Amari Cooper DAL WR 19 -2
22 John Brown BAL WR 21 -1
23 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR 28 5
24 Corey Davis TEN WR 20 -4
25 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 22 -3
26 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 27 1
27 DeSean Jackson TB WR 29 2
28 Sammy Watkins KC WR 25 -3
29 Michael Crabtree BAL WR 37 8
30 Doug Baldwin SEA WR 32 2
31 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 31 0
32 Allen Robinson CHI WR 26 -6
33 Sterling Shepard NYG WR 30 -3
34 Golden Tate PHI WR 35 1
35 Christian Kirk ARI WR 39 4
36 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 34 -2
37 Devin Funchess CAR WR 33 -4
38 Demaryius Thomas HOU WR 36 -2
39 Anthony Miller CHI WR 38 -1
40 Maurice Harris WAS WR 53 13
41 Tyrell Williams LAC WR 42 1
42 Chris Godwin TB WR 40 -2
43 Donte Moncrief JAC WR 41 -2
44 Keke Coutee HOU WR 51 7
45 Willie Snead BAL WR 48 3
46 Josh Reynolds LAR WR 47 1
47 Dede Westbrook JAC WR 43 -4
48 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR 45 -3
49 D.J. Moore CAR WR 46 -3
50 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR 44 -6
51 Nelson Agholor PHI WR 57 6
52 Mike Williams LAC WR 55 3
53 Michael Gallup DAL WR 58 5
54 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR 50 -4
55 Cole Beasley DAL WR 56 1
56 David Moore SEA WR 49 -7
57 John Ross CIN WR 52 -5
58 Adam Humphries TB WR 60 2
59 Josh Doctson WAS WR 54 -5
60 Seth Roberts OAK WR 62 2
61 Curtis Samuel CAR WR 59 -2
62 Brandon LaFell OAK WR 61 -1
63 Jamison Crowder WAS WR 72 9
64 Ryan Grant IND WR 63 -1
65 Chester Rogers IND WR 69 4
66 Equanimeous St. Brown GB WR 74 8
67 Taywan Taylor TEN WR 76 9
68 Tajae Sharpe TEN WR 67 -1
69 D.J. Chark JAC WR 70 1
70 Martavis Bryant OAK WR 94 24
71 Dontrelle Inman IND WR 68 -3
72 Laquon Treadwell MIN WR 73 1
73 Chad Williams ARI WR 98 25
74 Allen Hurns DAL WR 64 -10
75 Chris Conley KC WR 66 -9
76 Cam Batson TEN WR 88 12
77 Aldrick Robinson MIN WR 77 0
78 James Washington PIT WR 71 -7
79 Keelan Cole JAC WR 65 -14
80 TJ Jones DET WR 75 -5
81 Tim Patrick DEN WR 80 -1
82 Ryan Switzer PIT WR 78 -4
83 Jarius Wright CAR WR 79 -4
84 Jaron Brown SEA WR 87 3
85 Austin Carr NO WR 82 -3
86 Bennie Fowler NYG WR 83 -3
87 Auden Tate CIN WR 91 4
88 Torrey Smith CAR WR 101 13
89 Travis Benjamin LAC WR 81 -8
90 Demarcus Robinson KC WR 85 -5
91 Brandon Marshall NO WR 99 8
92 Alex Erickson CIN WR 86 -6
93 Michael Floyd WAS WR 89 -4
94 Brandon Powell DET WR 92 -2
95 Jordan Matthews PHI WR 84 -11
96 Cody Core CIN WR 93 -3
97 Chris Moore BAL WR 90 -7
98 Dwayne Harris OAK WR 96 -2
99 Marvin Hall ATL WR 95 -4
100 Justin Hardy ATL WR 100 0
101 Russell Shepard NYG WR 104 3
102 Vyncint Smith HOU WR 105 3
103 Zach Pascal IND WR 107 4
104 J.J. Nelson ARI WR 112 8
105 Darrius Heyward-Bey PIT WR 109 4
106 Chad Beebe MIN WR 106 0
107 Josh Bellamy CHI WR 102 -5
108 Tavon Austin DAL WR 114 6
109 Justin Hunter PIT WR 126 17
110 J'mon Moore GB WR 103 -7
111 Kevin White CHI WR 125 14
112 Sammie Coates HOU WR 120 8
113 Rashad Greene JAC WR 115 2
114 Damiere Byrd CAR WR 130 16
115 Darius Jennings TEN WR 110 -5
116 Josh Malone CIN WR 131 15

 

Week 11 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

We know who Jared Cook (6 vs. 11) is -- a guy with incredible athleticism and inconsistency on a team that is consistently terrible -- but Oakland may be down both Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant on the outside. Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts are not playmakers, which means Cook should be a huge focal point on Sunday in Arizona. He saw nine targets in Week 10 and I’d expect the same here, not to mention he’s one-of-four TEs with 500+ yards, which makes him a top-six play for me.

Heuerman (11 vs. 16) stepped up in Week 9, posting a ridiculous 10-83-1 line on 11 targets to head into Denver’s bye with TDs in two straight games. The Broncos' opponent, the Chargers, have given up four touchdowns to tight ends over their last six games, with the only two non-TD tilts coming from both Oakland contests (awkward, Jared Cook). I'm excited at the prospect of Denver realizing they can integrate Heuerman more into their passing attack and the matchup is at least neutral where I can lean into it.

Here’s a list of Trey Burton’s (9 vs. 5) targets by game thus far: 6, 4, 5, 4, 4, 11, 4, 3 and 4. Can you spot the outlier? In Burton’s favor is his red-zone usage (five TDs), but boy, is it hard to plant him inside the top-eight when he’s averaging four targets. I know, my Chicago offense model is odd but I think Gabriel, Miller and Cohen are going to be bigger. Anyway, this target sadness goes double for Uzomah (21 vs. 17), who has seen 10 targets in Cincinnati’s last three games and is reliant on finding the end zone. This doesn’t bode well when facing the Ravens defense in Baltimore, especially if A.J. Green is out and can’t help drag the Bengals to the red zone.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Travis Kelce KC TE 1 0
2 Zach Ertz PHI TE 2 0
3 Greg Olsen CAR TE 3 0
4 O.J. Howard TB TE 4 0
5 Jimmy Graham GB TE 6 1
6 Jared Cook OAK TE 11 5
7 Austin Hooper ATL TE 9 2
8 Jack Doyle IND TE 8 0
9 Trey Burton CHI TE 5 -4
10 Evan Engram NYG TE 7 -3
11 Jeff Heuerman DEN TE 16 5
12 Eric Ebron IND TE 10 -2
13 Jordan Reed WAS TE 13 0
14 Vance McDonald PIT TE 12 -2
15 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE 14 -1
16 Ricky Seals-Jones ARI TE 15 -1
17 Benjamin Watson NO TE 17 0
18 Nick Vannett SEA TE 19 1
19 Michael Roberts DET TE 31 12
20 C.J. Uzomah CIN TE 18 -2
21 Gerald Everett LAR TE 23 2
22 James O'Shaughnessy JAC TE 29 7
23 Geoff Swaim DAL TE 24 1
24 Jonnu Smith TEN TE 21 -3
25 Ed Dickson SEA TE 33 8
26 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 22 -4
27 Mark Andrews BAL TE 28 1
28 Cameron Brate TB TE 20 -8
29 Vernon Davis WAS TE 27 -2
30 Tyler Higbee LAR TE 30 0
31 Jesse James PIT TE 26 -5
32 Antonio Gates LAC TE 34 2
33 Ryan Griffin HOU TE 36 3
34 Hayden Hurst BAL TE 25 -9
35 Virgil Green LAC TE 35 0
36 Jordan Thomas HOU TE 32 -4
37 Jermaine Gresham ARI TE 39 2
38 Rhett Ellison NYG TE 45 7
39 Matt LaCosse DEN TE 43 4
40 Dion Sims CHI TE 56 16
41 Mo Alie-Cox IND TE 38 -3
42 Levine Toilolo DET TE 42 0
43 Luke Willson DET TE 41 -2
44 Demetrius Harris KC TE 37 -7
45 Xavier Grimble PIT TE 60 15
46 Erik Swoope IND TE 64 18
47 Josh Hill NO TE 40 -7
48 Maxx Williams BAL TE 57 9
49 Tyler Kroft CIN TE 65 16
50 Blake Bell JAC TE 48 -2
51 Darrell Daniels SEA TE 62 11
52 Blake Jarwin DAL TE 52 0

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.