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Welcome, one and all, to the weekly piece that puts my rankings under the microscope and gives me a chance to explain myself against the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) found on FantasyPros. I did decently in Week 1, scoring 29th out of ~130 experts, but if I'm going to beat my 9th place finish from '17 then I've got work to do!

I'll be examining my own ranks against the ECR on a position-by-position basis, as the overall and flex tabs can simply get insane with every position folded in with the others. I focus on QB, RB, WR, and TE -- feel free to holler if you really want K or DEF notes.

If anything strikes a chord, I’m always available for questions via Twitter: @NMariano53. But enough chit-chat, let’s dance.

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Week 2 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

I can immediately see that I’m high on Alex Smith (My Rank: 5, ECR: 9), Jimmy Garoppolo (My Rank: 6, ECR: 12) and Tyrod Taylor (My Rank: 12, ECR: 16). I love the rushing floor that comes with Smith and Taylor, and Tyrod’s deficiencies as a passer, such as holding onto the ball forever, are floated by his mobility. Plus, he clearly loves having Jarvis Landry as a safety valve. Meanwhile, Smith gets to pick on an Indianapolis defense as six-point favorites at home. A healthy Jordan Reed makes Washington's world go 'round.

Garoppolo goes from being one of my strongest “stay away” picks in Week 1 against Minnesota to perhaps my strongest riser, as Vegas pegs San Fran to put up nearly 27 points on a toothless Lions defense that was just put to shame on national television by the Jets. If Marquise Goodwin is ready to rock alongside Pierre Garcon, George Kittle, and Dante Pettis, then look out Week 2.

I’m down on Philip Rivers (My Rank: 11, ECR: 6) with the Chargers likely to stomp on Buffalo from beginning to end. I realize that Joe Flacco just put up strong totals against the same Bills and it’s not like I hate Rivers here, but I definitely prefer others like Smith and Jimmy G, who have less stable rushing situations behind them.

 

Week 2 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

There’s nothing groundbreaking in the higher RB tiers here, though I suppose my ranking James Conner as my No. 4 RB against an ECR of 7 is noteworthy. You can’t argue with his getting 100% of the work in the backfield and the Steelers are a different beast at home. They’re favored by about four in the game that easily has the highest Vegas point total, as it opened at 49.5 and has reached 53 at some books.

Then there’s Javorius Allen, aka Buck, who I have at No. 39 compared to No. 46 by the ECR. No Kenneth Dixon (he’s on the IR now) and an Alex Collins that already fumbled in Week 1 makes Allen a very happy (and involved) boy. I don’t trust Joe Flacco to suddenly be passing left and right, but even if he does then Allen should be his outlet on passing downs. I like his chances to work in more for a TNF game that will see Cincinnati once again without Vontaze Burfict anchoring their LB corps.

I’m about 3-5 slots behind the ECR on Lamar Miller, Carlos Hyde, Royce Freeman, Derrick Henry, and Kerryon Johnson. In simple terms, I think Houston leans on its passing game more with their O-line scrambling to deal with the loss of RT Seantrel Henderson (fractured ankle) and Miller will feel it against a tough TEN front seven.

I think Cleveland against New Orleans screams “Duke Johnson” for Hyde owners. Freeman has to deal with Philip Lindsay now. Derrick Henry looks like the 1B to Dion Lewis, and Kerryon Johnson, while unlikely to deal with LeGarrette Blount’s presence in Week 2, still has to assert himself on a team that may have forgotten how to run the ball (and their defense may be downright awful).

 

Week 2 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

Let’s keep the good times rolling in WR-ville, as last week saw us boost Robby Anderson, Kenny Stills, Tyler Lockett, and Phillip Dorsett while fading Doug Baldwin, Jamison Crowder, and Sammy Watkins. Woo!

This week has me rather high on Mike Evans (My Rank: 8, ECR: 11) because he looked like a world-beater once again in Week 1 as he torched Marshon Lattimore up and down the field. On the other side of the ball in that game is Nelson Agholor, who’s my No. 19 WR compared to an ECR of 23. The Eagles have Zach Ertz and a stout running game (thanks in large part to that beastly O-line), but their WR corps is clearly lacking without Alshon Jeffery. Agholor is a target magnet and the Bucs secondary is already riddled with injuries, making ol’ Nellie a hot play.

You want deeper? Okay, how about Mohamed Sanu? I’ve got him at No. 47 compared to an ECR of 60. The Sanu canoe played just one fewer snap than Julio Jones (56 for Sanu) while Calvin Ridley entered on 46. Jones was a target fiend in Week 1 with 19 looks, but Sanu’s six were fine compared to Ridley’s two and no other receiver seeing a single glance. Austin Hooper saw just four and is a non-factor to me. Sanu has a five-inch height advantage over Carolina’s slot DB Captain Munnerlyn, so won’t you join me on the water in your own glorious canoe?

My lowlights are Davante Adams (My Rank: 16, ECR: 9) because I don’t want to trust a balky shoulder and a sprained knee for Aaron Rodgers against Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. I’m also eight slots lower than the ECR on Randall Cobb and seven with Geronimo Allison, so it’s safe to say that I’m off of Green Bay this week. Fading teams facing Minnesota will likely be a year-long tradition.

And despite my love for Tyrod Taylor, I just can’t join the party on Josh Gordon right now. My rank of 39 feels fair rather than the ECR of 26 because I still respect the aforementioned Lattimore and I worry that Taylor may view Landry as his WR1. It’s not like I’m burying Flash here -- he’s still a fine flex play -- but the ECR is creeping him toward low-end WR2 territory and I can’t make that leap with this matchup.

I also can’t trust Will Fuller (My Rank: 69, ECR: 52) even if he does “suit up”, because we’ve not only seen him be active after reported injuries only to stand on the sidelines all game but also it’s way too early in the season to play injured guys. Oh, and I’m still eight spots lower than the ECR on Sammy Watkins because he’s going to have to prove to me that he’s got a place in that offense that’s worth my time. Being fourth in that pecking order will probably mean disappointing efforts in over 50% of his games.

 

Week 2 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

Tight end doesn’t hold anything very interesting, to be honest.

I’ve got Jack Doyle at No. 7 compared to the ECR’s No. 10 ranking, while bringing Kyle Rudolph down to No. 11 from the ECR’s No. 8 rank. Both are still top-12 plays for me, but I trust how Andrew Luck fed Doyle (and Eric Ebron) early and often compared to Rudolph needing a TD to salvage his Week 1 from the pit of misery. Rudolph saw just two targets...two! Even Laquon Treadwell got four!

Oh, and my fading of TB’s TEs continues with both Howard and Brate outside of the top-18 for Week 2. Howard was in for 65% of Tampa’s snaps compared to 36% for Brate, but both saw just two targets. I think Chris Godwin coming on will help this squad become a better real-life attack, though the fantasy appeal may become maddening for those behind Evans.

 

Week 2 Rankings - Nick Mariano vs. Industry Consensus

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Todd Gurley LAR RB 1 0
2 Alvin Kamara NO RB 2 0
3 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 4 1
4 James Conner PIT RB 8 4
5 Melvin Gordon LAC RB 3 -2
6 David Johnson ARI RB 6 0
7 Antonio Brown PIT WR 5 -2
8 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 7 -1
9 Kareem Hunt KC RB 9 0
10 Julio Jones ATL WR 12 2
11 Joe Mixon CIN RB 15 4
12 Jordan Howard CHI RB 14 2
13 Michael Thomas NO WR 10 -3
14 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 11 -3
15 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 13 -2
16 Rob Gronkowski NE TE 19 3
17 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR 17 0
18 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 16 -2
19 Alex Collins BAL RB 22 3
20 Adrian Peterson WAS RB 25 5
21 Keenan Allen LAC WR 18 -3
22 Leonard Fournette JAC RB 36 14
23 Lamar Miller HOU RB 20 -3
24 Tyreek Hill KC WR 21 -3
25 Mike Evans TB WR 28 3
26 A.J. Green CIN WR 24 -2
27 Jay Ajayi PHI RB 23 -4
28 Stefon Diggs MIN WR 27 -1
29 Kenyan Drake MIA RB 26 -3
30 Adam Thielen MIN WR 33 3
31 Devonta Freeman ATL RB 31 0
32 LeSean McCoy BUF RB 30 -2
33 Juju Smith-Schuster PIT WR 32 -1
34 Jamaal Williams GB RB 43 9
35 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR 38 3
36 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 41 5
37 Dion Lewis TEN RB 39 2
38 Davante Adams GB WR 29 -9
39 T.Y. Hilton IND WR 34 -5
40 Jarvis Landry CLE WR 40 0
41 Demaryius Thomas DEN WR 42 1
42 Nelson Agholor PHI WR 51 9
43 Marshawn Lynch OAK RB 47 4
44 Carlos Hyde CLE RB 35 -9
45 Brandin Cooks LAR WR 44 -1
46 Zach Ertz PHI TE 52 6
47 Golden Tate DET WR 46 -1
48 Corey Davis TEN WR 58 10
49 Peyton Barber TB RB 54 5
50 Marvin Jones DET WR 56 6
51 Travis Kelce KC TE 45 -6
52 Cooper Kupp LAR WR 61 9
53 Allen Robinson CHI WR 48 -5
54 Chris Hogan NE WR 67 13
55 Kenny Stills MIA WR 55 0
56 Royce Freeman DEN RB 37 -19
57 Robby Anderson NYJ WR 68 11
58 Tevin Coleman ATL RB 57 -1
59 Jordan Reed WAS TE 66 7
60 Rex Burkhead NE RB 50 -10
61 Robert Woods LAR WR 72 11
62 Jamison Crowder WAS WR 73 11
63 Amari Cooper OAK WR 63 0
64 Michael Crabtree BAL WR 65 1
65 Bilal Powell NYJ RB 70 5
66 Chris Thompson WAS RB 53 -13
67 Marquise Goodwin SF WR 79 12
68 Tyler Lockett SEA WR 77 9
69 Trey Burton CHI TE 86 17
70 Isaiah Crowell NYJ RB 59 -11
71 Devin Funchess CAR WR 69 -2
72 Pierre Garcon SF WR 81 9
73 Keelan Cole JAC WR 84 11
74 Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR 78 4
75 George Kittle SF TE 80 5
76 Josh Gordon CLE WR 60 -16
77 Jack Doyle IND TE 102 25
78 Kenny Golladay DET WR 76 -2
79 Randall Cobb GB WR 71 -8
80 Sterling Shepard NYG WR 85 5
81 Chris Carson SEA RB 62 -19
82 Chris Godwin TB WR 89 7
83 Jimmy Graham GB TE 92 9
84 Derrick Henry TEN RB 49 -35
85 Alfred Morris SF RB 64 -21
86 Ted Ginn NO WR 91 5
87 John Brown BAL WR 88 1
88 Evan Engram NYG TE 98 10
89 Mike Williams LAC WR 100 11
90 Matt Breida SF RB 75 -15
91 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR 120 29
92 Brandon Marshall SEA WR 103 11
93 James White NE RB 74 -19
94 Jared Cook OAK TE 104 10
95 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE 99 4
96 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB 90 -6
97 T.J. Yeldon JAC RB 82 -15
98 Kelvin Benjamin BUF WR 101 3
99 Jordy Nelson OAK WR 96 -3
100 Javorius Allen BAL RB 107 7
101 DeSean Jackson TB WR 113 12
102 Sammy Watkins KC WR 87 -15
103 Marlon Mack IND RB 109 6
104 Danny Amendola MIA WR 111 7
105 Ryan Grant IND WR 125 20
106 Phillip Dorsett NE WR 118 12
107 Benjamin Watson NO TE 128 21
108 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 97 -11
109 Duke Johnson CLE RB 93 -16
110 Kerryon Johnson DET RB 83 -27
111 Latavius Murray MIN RB 105 -6
112 Tarik Cohen CHI RB 95 -17
113 Jordan Wilkins IND RB 94 -19
114 Allen Hurns DAL WR 110 -4
115 Paul Richardson WAS WR 127 12
116 Geronimo Allison GB WR 106 -10
117 Tyler Eifert CIN TE 123 6
118 Jesse James PIT TE 152 34
119 Dante Pettis SF WR 137 18
120 Theo Riddick DET RB 122 2
121 Cole Beasley DAL WR 126 5
122 David Njoku CLE TE 119 -3
123 Eric Ebron IND TE 132 9
124 C.J. Anderson CAR RB 130 6
125 Dede Westbrook JAC WR 121 -4
126 John Ross CIN WR 112 -14
127 Tyrell Williams LAC WR 115 -12
128 Austin Seferian-Jenkins JAC TE 141 13
129 Jonnu Smith TEN TE 148 19
130 Frank Gore MIA RB 124 -6
131 Mike Wallace PHI WR 114 -17
132 O.J. Howard TB TE 135 3
133 Ty Montgomery GB RB 108 -25
134 Rashaad Penny SEA RB 117 -17
135 Giovani Bernard CIN RB 133 -2
136 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 144 8
137 Donte Moncrief JAC WR 145 8
138 Willie Snead BAL WR 153 15
139 Ricky Seals-Jones ARI TE 136 -3
140 Darren Sproles PHI RB 138 -2
141 Josh Doctson WAS WR 139 -2
142 Will Fuller HOU WR 116 -26
143 Anthony Miller CHI WR 143 0
144 Albert Wilson MIA WR 160 16
145 Charles Clay BUF TE 161 16
146 Nyheim Hines IND RB 147 1
147 Rishard Matthews TEN WR 129 -18
148 Trent Taylor SF WR 179 31
149 Austin Hooper ATL TE 165 16
150 Travis Benjamin LAC WR 175 25
151 Sony Michel NE RB 142 -9
152 Jarius Wright CAR WR 205 53
153 Antonio Gates LAC TE 158 5
154 Ian Thomas CAR TE 157 3
155 Doug Martin OAK RB 156 1
156 Jalen Richard OAK RB 146 -10
157 Torrey Smith CAR WR 191 34
158 Corey Clement PHI RB 134 -24
159 Mike Gillislee NO RB 151 -8
160 Bruce Ellington HOU WR 140 -20
161 Michael Gallup DAL WR 149 -12
162 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 162 0
163 Laquon Treadwell MIN WR 217 54
164 Cameron Brate TB TE 167 3
165 Jake Butt DEN TE 187 22
166 Devontae Booker DEN RB 150 -16
167 Terrelle Pryor NYJ WR 200 33
168 Jermaine Kearse NYJ WR 183 15
169 Terrance Williams DAL WR 210 41
170 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR 173 3
171 Ryan Griffin HOU TE 181 10
172 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 199 27
173 Austin Carr NO WR 215 42
174 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 182 8
175 Taywan Taylor TEN WR 190 15
176 Alfred Blue HOU RB 178 2
177 Tajae Sharpe TEN WR 233 56
178 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 197 19
179 Tre'Quan Smith NO WR 189 10
180 Jaron Brown SEA WR 185 5
181 Christian Kirk ARI WR 193 12
182 D.J. Moore CAR WR 159 -23
183 Spencer Ware KC RB 166 -17
184 James Washington PIT WR 204 20
185 LeGarrette Blount DET RB 131 -54
186 Devante Parker MIA WR 164 -22
187 Chester Rogers IND WR 172 -15
188 Cordarrelle Patterson NE WR 174 -14
189 Jacquizz Rodgers TB RB 177 -12
190 Nick Vannett SEA TE 196 6
191 Will Dissly SEA TE 163 -28
192 Nick Boyle BAL TE 192 0
193 Seth Roberts OAK WR 201 8
194 Neal Sterling NYJ TE 220 26
195 Vernon Davis WAS TE 211 16
196 Tyler Higbee LAR TE 244 48
197 Jonathan Williams NO RB 230 33
198 Kyle Juszczyk SF RB 202 4
199 Jeremy Kerley BUF WR 242 43
200 Cameron Meredith NO WR 186 -14
201 Zay Jones BUF WR 180 -21
202 Marcus Murphy BUF RB 194 -8
203 Adam Humphries TB WR 169 -34
204 Jakeem Grant MIA WR 170 -34
205 Chad Williams ARI WR 207 2
206 Keke Coutee HOU WR 256 50
207 Chris Conley KC WR 261 54
208 Deonte Thompson DAL WR 203 -5
209 Chris Moore BAL WR 279 70
210 Drew Brees NO QB 1 0
211 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 4 2
212 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB 2 -1
213 Cam Newton CAR QB 3 -1
214 Alex Smith WAS QB 9 4
215 Jimmy Garoppolo SF QB 12 6
216 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 7 0
217 Russell Wilson SEA QB 10 2
218 Jared Goff LAR QB 15 6
219 Kirk Cousins MIN QB 8 -2
220 Philip Rivers LAC QB 6 -5
221 Tyrod Taylor CLE QB 16 4
222 Tom Brady NE QB 11 -2
223 Aaron Rodgers GB QB 5 -9
224 Andrew Luck IND QB 14 -1
225 Matthew Stafford DET QB 13 -3
226 Matt Ryan ATL QB 18 1
227 Case Keenum DEN QB 17 -1
228 Dak Prescott DAL QB 20 1
229 Nick Foles PHI QB 25 5
230 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB 19 -2
231 Blake Bortles JAC QB 22 0
232 Ryan Fitzpatrick TB QB 23 0
233 Andy Dalton CIN QB 21 -3
234 Marcus Mariota TEN QB 24 -1
235 Ryan Tannehill MIA QB 29 3
236 Eli Manning NYG QB 26 -1
237 Sam Darnold NYJ QB 27 -1
238 Joe Flacco BAL QB 28 -1
239 Derek Carr OAK QB 30 0
240 Sam Bradford ARI QB 31 0
241 Josh Allen BUF QB 32 0
242 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 33 0
243 Deshone Kizer GB QB 35 1
244 Blaine Gabbert TEN QB 36 1
245 Nathan Peterman BUF QB 34 -2
246 Los Angeles Chargers LAC DST 2 1
247 Los Angeles Rams LAR DST 1 -1
248 Chicago Bears CHI DST 5 2
249 Philadelphia Eagles PHI DST 6 2
250 Baltimore Ravens BAL DST 3 -2
251 Houston Texans HOU DST 7 1
252 Washington Redskins WAS DST 14 7
253 New Orleans Saints NO DST 8 0
254 Atlanta Falcons ATL DST 17 8
255 Tennessee Titans TEN DST 13 3
256 New York Jets NYJ DST 15 4
257 Denver Broncos DEN DST 4 -8
258 Dallas Cowboys DAL DST 24 11
259 Cincinnati Bengals CIN DST 11 -3
260 Seattle Seahawks SEA DST 18 3
261 Pittsburgh Steelers PIT DST 19 3
262 New England Patriots NE DST 10 -7
263 New York Giants NYG DST 20 2
264 San Francisco 49ers SF DST 22 3
265 Minnesota Vikings MIN DST 12 -8
266 Jacksonville Jaguars JAC DST 9 -12
267 Green Bay Packers GB DST 23 1
268 Miami Dolphins MIA DST 21 -2
269 Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB DST 26 2
270 Carolina Panthers CAR DST 16 -9
271 Oakland Raiders OAK DST 30 4
272 Detroit Lions DET DST 25 -2
273 Indianapolis Colts IND DST 32 4
274 Kansas City Chiefs KC DST 29 0
275 Buffalo Bills BUF DST 28 -2
276 Arizona Cardinals ARI DST 27 -4
277 Cleveland Browns CLE DST 31 -1
278 Greg Zuerlein LAR K 1 0
279 Wil Lutz NO K 2 0
280 Chris Boswell PIT K 5 2
281 Matt Bryant ATL K 6 2
282 Robbie Gould SF K 12 7
283 Stephen Gostkowski NE K 4 -2
284 Jake Elliott PHI K 7 0
285 Caleb Sturgis LAC K 8 0
286 Dustin Hopkins WAS K 15 6
287 Harrison Butker KC K 9 -1
288 Brandon McManus DEN K 11 0
289 Daniel Carlson MIN K 17 5
290 Justin Tucker BAL K 3 -10
291 Graham Gano CAR K 16 2
292 Jason Myers NYJ K 22 7
293 Matt Prater DET K 10 -6
294 Cody Parkey CHI K 20 3
295 Brett Maher DAL K 24 6
296 Ka'imi Fairbairn HOU K 21 2
297 Ryan Succop TEN K 19 -1
298 Adam Vinatieri IND K 14 -7
299 Josh Lambo JAC K 18 -4
300 Mason Crosby GB K 13 -10
301 Zane Gonzalez CLE K 28 4
302 Chandler Catanzaro TB K 25 0
303 Randy Bullock CIN K 23 -3
304 Sebastian Janikowski SEA K 30 3
305 Aldrick Rosas NYG K 27 -1
306 Jason Sanders MIA K 31 2
307 Mike Nugent OAK K 32 2
308 Steven Hauschka BUF K 29 -2
309 Phil Dawson ARI K 26 -6

 

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