With NFL training camps well underway and a few players on the shelf for the entire 2013 season, the FOX Sports Fantasy Department has updated its 2013 fantasy football composite rankings. In addition to our overall Top 200 fantasy rankings, we have created position-by-position rankings for owners to review. Just click on the positional links below or for fantasy football cheat sheets you can download and print, click the links to the right.
To help fantasy football owners digest the updated composite fantasy rankings, I broke down some of the most popular areas of fantasy draft interest and provided additional analysis below. Fantasy football owners will be able to learn how much a players' ranking changed from our first published update in late-June.
The Top 12 fantasy football rankings didn’t swing too drastically since our first update. Word has spread across the fantasy football landscape that owners need to target running backs in the first round. Thus, you see Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees lose a little footing in a pass-happy league.
Calvin Johnson’s ranking ranges from No. 3 (Halpin) to No. 12 (Fowler) overall in the August update. No question, Matthew Stafford and Megatron are going to connect for more than just five touchdowns in 2013, but the running back parade pushed him back two spots this time around.
How much of a premium has been placed on fantasy running backs this season? Just take a look at the monthly rankings swing in top rookie running backs.
Montee Ball remains the top fantasy back among the FOX Sports fantasy department, but know that as of the first weekend of August, Ronnie Hillman was listed atop the Broncos’ depth chart in training camp. Hillman shot up our composite fantasy rankings from unranked to No. 161 overall.
Le’Veon Bell receives a slight bump to No. 74 overall (No. 29 RB). He’s been receiving first-team reps with the Steelers. It wouldn’t shock me if Bell supplanted Ball as the top fantasy rookie running back if Hillman continues to cut into the rookie’s touches.
Hello, Eddie Lacy! The Green Bay Packers spent a second-round pick on the big guy (he is NOT fat!) out of Alabama. According to reports, Lacy dominated the team’s intrasquad scrimmage. I repeat intrasquad scrimmage. Since then, Lacy's fantasy stock has reported record highs. I’m not sure I’m buying, but the rest of my colleagues sure do believe – roughly a 6th-7th round draft target. Note: Lacy’s ranking was published before it was learned left tackle Brian Bulaga would miss the entire season with a torn ACL.
By all accounts, Tavon Austin and Sam Bradford are playing nice within the Rams’ new-look offense. Austin jumped 29 spots in the Top 200 rankings. Adam Meyer (No. 95) and John Halpin (No. 106) like him better than Joel Beall (No. 131) and I (No. 152). Sometimes fantasy football is about opportunity and with the Rams’ offense overhauled this offseason, Austin may enjoy enough of an opportunity to shine to warrant WR3 status.
I fully expect DeAndre Hopkins’ fantasy ranking and average draft position to tick upward over the next few weeks. Granted, Arian Foster runs the show in this offense and Andre Johnson still has a little gas left in the tank, but Hopkins’ is impressing the masses in camp. He's definitely worth a flier in rounds 10-13 in my opinion.
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: 2nd-Year QB1
Robert Griffin III
Ryan Tannehill (QB1?)
Waiting on a quarterback is all the rage these days. So, I thought it would be interesting to learn what the FOX Sports fantasy experts thought of second-year quarterback phenoms. It’s like we want to dip our toe in to see how the water feels, but in the end, will most likely leave Kaepernick, Luck, Wilson and RG3 for another owner to gamble on. The foursome is currently ranked in line with their average draft position of the 4th-5th round of fantasy football drafts. It’s eerie how Luck, Wilson and RG3 ranked consecutively in the Top 200, but it’s worth noting Joel Beall is buying Robert Griffin III’s medical reports. He has RG3 ranked No. 25 overall.
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings: Rounds 11-13
Outside Top 15
Fantasy football league titles are often won by those owners who find lightning in a bottle in the later rounds (and/or off the waiver wire on any given week). Now, with the assumption you select a defense and kicker with your last two picks in Round 14 and 15, I think those fliers will be targeted in rounds 11-13.
Pierce continues to enjoy a fantasy football cult following that believe any slip up by Ray Rice means more touches for the Ravens’ second-string back. According to the Baltimore Sun, he added 10 pounds in the offseason, but remains explosive out of the backfield. Pierce gained a little fantasy love towards the end of the 2012 season with two 100-plus-yard performances – one coming against the Colts in the playoffs.
John Halpin is a big believer in Reuben Randle’s fantasy value within the Giants’ offense this season. My only counter-argument to that is Victor Cruz will continue to see the most targets and Hakeem Nicks is about to enter the final year of a contract. Nicks’ health is always a question and is where Halpin sees opportunity.
Adam Meyer Rankings Notes
Biggest leap: Tavon Austin
Fellow rookies Montee Ball and Eddie Lacy gave Austin a run for his money for this crown, but in the end the Rams’ rookie received the greatest boost. Maybe it has to do with Isaac Bruce mentoring Austin. Maybe it's the lack of competition in St. Louis. Maybe it's just the "shiny-new-toy" syndrome. Currently, Austin is listed as one of the top wide receivers on the active depth chart, with Chris Givens leading the way as WR2. I'm a big buyer on Austin and have him ranked 30th on my list of wide receivers, by far the highest among my colleagues. I also watched him on a regular basis when he was with West Virginia when he torched defenses for over 1,200 yards and 12 TDs. I understand that Big East football is nothing compared to the NFL, but speed is speed and his 4.28 (ish) 40-time will transfer well in the dome.
Biggest drop: Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
Other than the injuries of Dennis Pitta, Jeremy Maclin, and Percy Harvin, Fitzgerald's tumble was the most noticeable. I thought Fitz would benefit with Michael Floyd and Kevin Kolb last year, and that didn't pan out too well. I'd like to think that Carson Palmer throwing him passes and the combination of Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams would boost Fitz's numbers, too. There's a lot of depth at wide receiver. Don't spend a high draft pick on the name. Enter a fantasy mock draft or two and see for yourself.