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Howdy, y'all, and welcome to the weekly column that puts my rankings under the microscope and compares them against the Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR). My hope is to help you understand why I’m significantly higher or lower on players than the expert crowd. Do note that the ECR is likely to shift a bit!

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 sit at 28th out of 130 so far in ‘18. I’m out to show that 2017 was no fluke and you’ve got a VIP pass to the show. 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. I focus on QB, RB, WR, and TE -- feel free to holler if you really want K or DEF notes.

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 chit-chat, let’s get to it.

Editor's Note: When you get any of our full-season NFL Premium and DFS Passes, and you also get our full-season NBA Premium and DFS Pass for free! Take advantage of one of our best offers all year, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!

 

Week 6 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

It appears that Minnesota’s offensive line is as bad as feared over the offseason, which is good news for Kirk Cousins’ fantasy owners and bad news for Minny’s running backs. Some of you in 8-team or 10-team leagues may feel like you’ve got a better play in Cam Newton or hot-pickup Jameis Winston, but Cousins is poised to tear the Cardinals apart. Patrick Peterson can only play against one of Stefon Diggs or Adam Thielen, with Budda Baker and Bene’ Benwikere sure to languish against the other.

I’ve got Ben Roethlisberger (+2) and Russell Wilson (+2) falling to the fringe of 12-team viability, with Philip Rivers my widest faller, going five slots to No. 20 in my rankings. The Chargers are heading east for an early-slate game against an upstart Cleveland team in a contest that Vegas has bet down to 44.5 points from a 46 open.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Patrick Mahomes KC QB 1 0
2 Aaron Rodgers GB QB 3 1
3 Tom Brady NE QB 2 -1
4 Deshaun Watson HOU QB 5 1
5 Matt Ryan ATL QB 4 -1
6 Kirk Cousins MIN QB 8 2
7 Jameis Winston TB QB 6 -1
8 Cam Newton CAR QB 7 -1
9 Jared Goff LAR QB 9 0
10 Andy Dalton CIN QB 10 0
11 Carson Wentz PHI QB 13 2
12 Ben Roethlisberger PIT QB 11 -1
13 Russell Wilson SEA QB 12 -1
14 Andrew Luck IND QB 14 0
15 Blake Bortles JAC QB 17 2
16 Baker Mayfield CLE QB 16 0
17 Joe Flacco BAL QB 21 4
18 Derek Carr OAK QB 20 2
19 Mitch Trubisky CHI QB 19 0
20 Philip Rivers LAC QB 15 -5
21 Alex Smith WAS QB 18 -3
22 C.J. Beathard SF QB 23 1
23 Case Keenum DEN QB 24 1
24 Sam Darnold NYJ QB 26 2
25 Eli Manning NYG QB 22 -3
26 Ryan Tannehill MIA QB 25 -1
27 Marcus Mariota TEN QB 27 0
28 Dak Prescott DAL QB 28 0
29 Josh Rosen ARI QB 30 1
30 Josh Allen BUF QB 29 -1
31 Lamar Jackson BAL QB 31 0

 

Week 6 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

Presumably, nobody is sitting T.J. Yeldon after last week’s stellar showing. But I do worry some may not realize that he’s a true top-10 RB this week against a Dallas unit still missing linebacker Sean Lee. Corey Grant hasn’t done much and Brandon Wilds was just cut for Jamaal Charles, while Austin Seferian-Jenkins has hit the IR and no wideout is showing up as consistent.

The Packers were undone by Mason Crosby’s missed kicks and a wild start against the Lions, which left Aaron Jones out in the cold as Aaron Rodgers tried to will Green Bay back into the game. I still have Jones (+4) within my RB2 circle of trust with the Pack heavily favored (9.5 points as of Wednesday night) against the 49ers on Monday night. San Francisco has given up 676 total yards and six total TDs to opposing RBs through five games and I like Jones’ odds at a strong game.

I like Philadelphia to control the game on the ground and am suspecting the Packers will need to lean on its RBBC with Randall Cobb (hamstring) and fan-favorite Geronimo Allison (concussion) dinged up and possibly out. The prospect of playing Marquez Valdes-Scantling is thrilling, don’t get me wrong, but I highly doubt the pass-run ratio stays unaffected should both WRs miss the game.

I don’t particularly understand the love for LeSean McCoy -- perhaps it’s simply the workload compared to so many “committee backs” in that RB20-35 band, but an ECR of 19 against a Houston defense that’s allowed fewer than 3.5 yards per carry and one rushing TD thus far seems rich. I will gladly take the under on McCoy until he is traded.

Fellow former top fantasy pick Adrian Peterson is another dud waiting to happen. Not only did he separate his shoulder on Monday night and now has that soreness to cope with, but he’s playing on a Washington offense that is inconsistent at its best against a Panthers defense that gets stud LB Thomas Davis back from suspension. Pass.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Todd Gurley LAR RB 1 0
2 Melvin Gordon LAC RB 2 0
3 Christian McCaffrey CAR RB 5 2
4 James Conner PIT RB 6 2
5 Saquon Barkley NYG RB 3 -2
6 Ezekiel Elliott DAL RB 4 -2
7 Kareem Hunt KC RB 7 0
8 Sony Michel NE RB 9 1
9 Joe Mixon CIN RB 8 -1
10 T.J. Yeldon JAC RB 11 1
11 David Johnson ARI RB 10 -1
12 Jordan Howard CHI RB 12 0
13 Carlos Hyde CLE RB 15 2
14 James White NE RB 14 0
15 Marshawn Lynch OAK RB 13 -2
16 Devonta Freeman ATL RB 29 13
17 Dalvin Cook MIN RB 33 16
18 Isaiah Crowell NYJ RB 17 -1
19 Chris Thompson WAS RB 21 2
20 Aaron Jones GB RB 24 4
21 Phillip Lindsay DEN RB 20 -1
22 Chris Carson SEA RB 16 -6
23 Lamar Miller HOU RB 26 3
24 Alex Collins BAL RB 25 1
25 Alfred Morris SF RB 22 -3
26 Adrian Peterson WAS RB 19 -7
27 LeSean McCoy BUF RB 18 -9
28 Dion Lewis TEN RB 35 7
29 Austin Ekeler LAC RB 27 -2
30 Bilal Powell NYJ RB 28 -2
31 Kenyan Drake MIA RB 32 1
32 Royce Freeman DEN RB 34 2
33 Nyheim Hines IND RB 30 -3
34 Tevin Coleman ATL RB 23 -11
35 Javorius Allen BAL RB 37 2
36 Corey Clement PHI RB 36 0
37 Wendell Smallwood PHI RB 31 -6
38 Mike Davis SEA RB 39 1
39 Derrick Henry TEN RB 40 1
40 Tarik Cohen CHI RB 38 -2
41 Ronald Jones II TB RB 42 1
42 Jamaal Williams GB RB 44 2
43 Marlon Mack IND RB 58 15
44 Jalen Richard OAK RB 52 8
45 Latavius Murray MIN RB 41 -4
46 Frank Gore MIA RB 46 0
47 Alfred Blue HOU RB 43 -4
48 Peyton Barber TB RB 45 -3
49 Matt Breida SF RB 76 27
50 Mark Walton CIN RB 57 7
51 Duke Johnson CLE RB 49 -2
52 C.J. Anderson CAR RB 54 2
53 Ty Montgomery GB RB 47 -6
54 Kyle Juszczyk SF RB 48 -6
55 Nick Chubb CLE RB 50 -5
56 Spencer Ware KC RB 55 -1
57 Jordan Wilkins IND RB 51 -6
58 Chris Ivory BUF RB 53 -5
59 Ito Smith ATL RB 56 -3
60 Doug Martin OAK RB 61 1
61 Devontae Booker DEN RB 59 -2
62 Chase Edmonds ARI RB 63 1
63 Rod Smith DAL RB 67 4
64 Raheem Mostert SF RB 69 5
65 Rashaad Penny SEA RB 66 1
66 Malcolm Brown LAR RB 64 -2
67 Wayne Gallman NYG RB 62 -5
68 Jacquizz Rodgers TB RB 65 -3
69 Josh Adams PHI RB 60 -9
70 Roc Thomas MIN RB 68 -2
71 Marcus Murphy BUF RB 72 1
72 Stevan Ridley PIT RB 71 -1
73 Kalen Ballage MIA RB 75 2
74 Damien Williams KC RB 74 0
75 Tommy Bohanon JAC RB 85 10
76 Benny Cunningham CHI RB 84 8
77 Mike Boone MIN RB 81 4
78 Tyler Ervin HOU RB 79 1
79 Samaje Perine WAS RB 91 12
80 Robert Turbin IND RB 70 -10
81 CJ Ham MIN RB 77 -4
82 Alex Armah CAR RB 88 6
83 Cameron Artis-Payne CAR RB 94 11
84 De'Lance Turner BAL RB 83 -1
85 James Develin NE RB 92 7
86 Patrick DiMarco BUF RB 87 1
87 Andy Janovich DEN RB 89 2
88 C.J. Prosise SEA RB 86 -2
89 Anthony Sherman KC RB 82 -7
90 Deandre Washington OAK RB 95 5
91 Justin Jackson LAC RB 97 6

 

Week 6 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

I don’t think anyone needs a nudge to start John Brown, but just in case you do, the man leads the league in air yards by a healthy 104-yard margin over the last three weeks combined. Brown has 603 while DeAndre Hopkins has 499. Antonio Callaway is third with just 378! Anyway, while Joe Flacco isn’t Cool Hand Luke back there in the pocket, he’s clearly slinging it to Brown.

Keke Coutee has done well enough where you may consider playing him over some of my lesser-liked WRs, as he’s totaled 22 targets in just two active games. The resulting 17-160-1 line is beautiful and NFL’s NextGen stats give him five yards of separation at the time of the catch -- good for best in the NFL by a WR.

There are a handful of feasible WR2/3 types that I feel are best viewed as flexes. Both Allen Robinson and Alshon Jeffery carry ECR’s as high-end WR3’s -- near the No. 25 WR -- but Jeffery is up against Janoris Jenkins, who has capped DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas and Devin Funchess to 31 combined PPR points in the past three games, and Robinson will likely see a steady diet of Miami’s Xavien Howard.

Speaking of that Miami-Chicago game, I’m willing to bet that Ryan Tannehill never winds up with enough time to hit Kenny Stills deep. Stills is notoriously boom-bust thus far and hasn’t topped four receptions yet. His reliance on the long ball to make fantasy value results in a “sit” from me. Miami is also ranked second to last with 52 plays run per game. Bleh.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Antonio Brown PIT WR 1 0
2 DeAndre Hopkins HOU WR 3 1
3 Julio Jones ATL WR 2 -1
4 Odell Beckham Jr. NYG WR 4 0
5 Adam Thielen MIN WR 7 2
6 Mike Evans TB WR 8 2
7 A.J. Green CIN WR 5 -2
8 Tyreek Hill KC WR 9 1
9 Davante Adams GB WR 6 -3
10 Juju Smith-Schuster PIT WR 10 0
11 Stefon Diggs MIN WR 11 0
12 Keenan Allen LAC WR 12 0
13 Robert Woods LAR WR 13 0
14 Brandin Cooks LAR WR 25 11
15 T.Y. Hilton IND WR 62 47
16 Cooper Kupp LAR WR 24 8
17 Emmanuel Sanders DEN WR 16 -1
18 Tyler Boyd CIN WR 15 -3
19 Jarvis Landry CLE WR 14 -5
20 Corey Davis TEN WR 22 2
21 Calvin Ridley ATL WR 19 -2
22 John Brown BAL WR 17 -5
23 Doug Baldwin SEA WR 27 4
24 Julian Edelman NE WR 20 -4
25 Allen Robinson CHI WR 18 -7
26 Alshon Jeffery PHI WR 21 -5
27 DeSean Jackson TB WR 23 -4
28 Sterling Shepard NYG WR 30 2
29 Will Fuller HOU WR 26 -3
30 Tyler Lockett SEA WR 29 -1
31 Amari Cooper OAK WR 32 1
32 Demaryius Thomas DEN WR 28 -4
33 Josh Gordon NE WR 34 1
34 Keelan Cole JAC WR 35 1
35 Quincy Enunwa NYJ WR 36 1
36 Devin Funchess CAR WR 33 -3
37 Dede Westbrook JAC WR 43 6
38 Sammy Watkins KC WR 31 -7
39 Kenny Stills MIA WR 41 2
40 Keke Coutee HOU WR 47 7
41 Michael Crabtree BAL WR 38 -3
42 Jordy Nelson OAK WR 44 2
43 Robby Anderson NYJ WR 37 -6
44 Nelson Agholor PHI WR 45 1
45 Mohamed Sanu ATL WR 40 -5
46 Mike Williams LAC WR 42 -4
47 Chris Godwin TB WR 39 -8
48 Taylor Gabriel CHI WR 49 1
49 Courtland Sutton DEN WR 55 6
50 Geronimo Allison GB WR 54 4
51 Donte Moncrief JAC WR 46 -5
52 Larry Fitzgerald ARI WR 48 -4
53 Taywan Taylor TEN WR 51 -2
54 Randall Cobb GB WR 74 20
55 Christian Kirk ARI WR 53 -2
56 Paul Richardson WAS WR 57 1
57 Pierre Garcon SF WR 58 1
58 Antonio Callaway CLE WR 56 -2
59 Willie Snead BAL WR 61 2
60 Marquez Valdes-Scantling GB WR 63 3
61 Jamison Crowder WAS WR 50 -11
62 Ryan Grant IND WR 59 -3
63 Chris Hogan NE WR 52 -11
64 Kelvin Benjamin BUF WR 65 1
65 Marquise Goodwin SF WR 72 7
66 Albert Wilson MIA WR 64 -2
67 Tyrell Williams LAC WR 67 0
68 Chester Rogers IND WR 60 -8
69 Cole Beasley DAL WR 68 -1
70 Devante Parker MIA WR 89 19
71 David Moore SEA WR 71 0
72 Martavis Bryant OAK WR 69 -3
73 Danny Amendola MIA WR 73 0
74 Chris Conley KC WR 76 2
75 D.J. Moore CAR WR 66 -9
76 Cordarrelle Patterson NE WR 79 3
77 James Washington PIT WR 77 0
78 Rashard Higgins CLE WR 110 32
79 Trent Taylor SF WR 80 1
80 Anthony Miller CHI WR 88 8
81 John Ross CIN WR 78 -3
82 Tajae Sharpe TEN WR 98 16
83 Phillip Dorsett NE WR 70 -13
84 Jermaine Kearse NYJ WR 82 -2
85 Jakeem Grant MIA WR 86 1
86 Allen Hurns DAL WR 81 -5
87 Zay Jones BUF WR 75 -12
88 Josh Doctson WAS WR 90 2
89 Adam Humphries TB WR 83 -6
90 Jarius Wright CAR WR 100 10
91 Tavon Austin DAL WR 91 0
92 Kendrick Bourne SF WR 102 10
93 Laquon Treadwell MIN WR 95 2
94 Terrelle Pryor NYJ WR 84 -10
95 Torrey Smith CAR WR 92 -3
96 Chad Williams ARI WR 94 -2
97 Seth Roberts OAK WR 99 2
98 Curtis Samuel CAR WR 97 -1
99 Michael Gallup DAL WR 87 -12
100 Brandon Marshall SEA WR 93 -7
101 Jaron Brown SEA WR 106 5
102 Dante Pettis SF WR 118 16
103 Russell Shepard NYG WR 104 1
104 Jordan Matthews PHI WR 96 -8
105 Travis Benjamin LAC WR 114 9
106 D.J. Chark JAC WR 103 -3
107 Ryan Switzer PIT WR 107 0
108 Aldrick Robinson MIN WR 101 -7
109 Equanimeous St. Brown GB WR 112 3
110 Josh Reynolds LAR WR 85 -25
111 Josh Malone CIN WR 115 4
112 Zach Pascal IND WR 105 -7
113 Victor Bolden Jr. SF WR 135 22
114 Josh Bellamy CHI WR 122 8
115 Deonte Thompson DAL WR 109 -6
116 J.J. Nelson ARI WR 117 1
117 Andre Holmes BUF WR 119 2
118 Derrick Willies CLE WR 108 -10
119 Alex Erickson CIN WR 111 -8
120 Robert Foster BUF WR 123 3
121 Daesean Hamilton DEN WR 124 3
122 J'mon Moore GB WR 143 21
123 Sammie Coates HOU WR 133 10
124 Cody Latimer NYG WR 128 4
125 Chris Moore BAL WR 121 -4
126 Demarcus Robinson KC WR 116 -10
127 Tim Patrick DEN WR 147 20
128 Ray-Ray McCloud BUF WR 120 -8
129 De'Anthony Thomas KC WR 125 -4
130 Jawill Davis NYG WR 132 2
131 Shelton Gibson PHI WR 129 -2
132 Marvin Hall ATL WR 126 -6
133 Khadarel Hodge LAR WR 141 8
134 Maurice Harris WAS WR 113 -21
135 Rod Streater CLE WR 127 -8
136 Marcus Johnson IND WR 131 -5
137 Kevin White CHI WR 140 3
138 Andre Roberts NYJ WR 134 -4
139 Kamar Aiken PHI WR 137 -2
140 Justin Hardy ATL WR 144 4

 

Week 6 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

I have Cameron Brate at No. 8 compared to a No. 10 ECR figure, Kyle Rudolph at No. 9 (ECR: 11), Austin Hooper at No. 11 (ECR: 13) and the likes of C.J. Uzomah (15 vs. 18), Ryan Griffin (16 vs. 22) and Jeff Heuerman (18 vs. 25) rounding out the TE2 class jumpers. Those feeling even bolder can take my elevation of Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee (+5 and +8) up a notch, but only if Brandin Cooks and/or Cooper Kupp misses Week 6.

To address these simply and in order: Brate has at least one week with no O.J. Howard and has shown great chemistry with Jameis Winston in the past, which bodes well in a plus matchup against Atlanta’s porous defense. Rudolph gets the same Kirk Cousins boost for me as I think it’s on the passing game to produce. Hooper faces the Bucs laughable defense.

Uzomah played 92% of snaps in Week 5 and is clearly the TE to own in Cincinnati following Tyler Eifert’s injury. Griffin caught six-of-nine targets for 65 yards in Week 5 and now faces a Buffalo defense that yielded TDs to Rudolph and Jimmy Graham before facing Tennessee dud TEs duo last week. Heuerman draws a Rams defense that was flamed by Jared Cook for 180 yards in Week 1 but has also yielded 40+ yards to a TE in each of their past three games.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve got Trey Burton down at No. 13 compared to a No. 10 ECR thanks to Miami’s stingy defense. Burton isn’t seeing a ton of work in this offense to float his floor and the Dolphins have limited TEs to bottom-10 fantasy points thus far and have also done a good job against slot receivers. Both of these things go against Burton in a game that has seen its projected total drop from a 44-point open to 41.5 at some Vegas books. I’m also five or six slots lower on Geoff Swaim, Ricky Seals-Jones and Charles Clay. Dallas is too inconsistent for me, RSJ can’t get on the same page with Josh Rosen and Buffalo is Buffalo.

Rank Player Name Team Position ECR vs. ECR
1 Travis Kelce KC TE 1 0
2 Zach Ertz PHI TE 2 0
3 Rob Gronkowski NE TE 3 0
4 Jared Cook OAK TE 6 2
5 George Kittle SF TE 5 0
6 Jimmy Graham GB TE 4 -2
7 Jordan Reed WAS TE 7 0
8 Cameron Brate TB TE 9 1
9 Kyle Rudolph MIN TE 11 2
10 Eric Ebron IND TE 8 -2
11 Austin Hooper ATL TE 13 2
12 David Njoku CLE TE 12 0
13 Trey Burton CHI TE 10 -3
14 Vance McDonald PIT TE 14 0
15 C.J. Uzomah CIN TE 18 3
16 Ryan Griffin HOU TE 22 6
17 Nick Vannett SEA TE 16 -1
18 Jeff Heuerman DEN TE 26 8
19 Greg Olsen CAR TE 21 2
20 Rhett Ellison NYG TE 27 7
21 Geoff Swaim DAL TE 15 -6
22 Ricky Seals-Jones ARI TE 17 -5
23 Niles Paul JAC TE 25 2
24 Charles Clay BUF TE 19 -5
25 Dallas Goedert PHI TE 24 -1
26 Antonio Gates LAC TE 20 -6
27 Jesse James PIT TE 29 2
28 Gerald Everett LAR TE 33 5
29 Tyler Higbee LAR TE 37 8
30 Jack Doyle IND TE 32 2
31 Mike Gesicki MIA TE 28 -3
32 Vernon Davis WAS TE 34 2
33 Tyler Kroft CIN TE 40 7
34 Maxx Williams BAL TE 41 7
35 James O'Shaughnessy JAC TE 39 4
36 Ian Thomas CAR TE 30 -6
37 Jonnu Smith TEN TE 31 -6
38 Mark Andrews BAL TE 35 -3
39 Demetrius Harris KC TE 38 -1
40 Hayden Hurst BAL TE 23 -17
41 Jason Croom BUF TE 42 1
42 Erik Swoope IND TE 51 9
43 Virgil Green LAC TE 36 -7
44 Jordan Akins HOU TE 45 1
45 Chris Herndon IV NYJ TE 46 1
46 Eric Tomlinson NYJ TE 43 -3
47 Lance Kendricks GB TE 44 -3
48 Luke Stocker TEN TE 48 0
49 Nick Boyle BAL TE 47 -2
50 Jordan Leggett NYJ TE 49 -1
51 Jordan Thomas HOU TE 57 6
52 Antony Auclair TB TE 62 10
53 Matt LaCosse DEN TE 53 0
54 Darren Fells CLE TE 55 1
55 Logan Paulsen ATL TE 56 1
56 Rico Gathers DAL TE 54 -2
57 Seth DeValve CLE TE 61 4
58 Garrett Celek SF TE 50 -8
59 Neal Sterling NYJ TE 63 4
60 Jermaine Gresham ARI TE 52 -8
61 A.J. Derby MIA TE 70 9
62 Dion Sims CHI TE 66 4
63 David Morgan MIN TE 58 -5
64 Blake Jarwin DAL TE 59 -5
65 Lee Smith OAK TE 64 -1
66 Eric Saubert ATL TE 71 5
67 Jacob Hollister NE TE 67 0
68 Scott Simonson NYG TE 74 6
69 Dwayne Allen NE TE 60 -9
70 Joshua Perkins PHI TE 73 3
71 Xavier Grimble PIT TE 76 5

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.