ROTW= Rest of the way. Some of you might not have known that, now you do.
It’s that time of year when you just get that good old fashioned feeling. You know, it’s that feeling where you would do anything to screw your competition in your fantasy league as we head into the playoff stretch. It’s do or die time. The trade deadline is likely rapidly approaching in your league and you need your ducks in a row to give you the best lineup come fantasy playoff time.
Enter the Super Rankings.
But these are not just any Super Rankings. These could be the most important Super Rankings ever published (which doesn’t say a lot since we’ve only been doing this for this season). These ones give you a bit of insight as to what to expect in the last six weeks of the fantasy season. Before we dive head first into the Super Rankings, here are a few notes.
The DIF (Depth-Injury Factor) rating on each player is as accurate as it can be at this current time. Guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Percy Harvin are given the most unbiased ratings as to their health right now (before Week 11). Granted, a lot of things can change even by the time Sunday rolls around.
Remember, these rankings predict how each player will finish the week among their position. If you’ve got a top 12 player every week, you should be starting him. Don’t out-think yourself and plan on benching Peyton Manning in Week 15 for Russell Wilson (who is rated four spots higher), but you may want to use it to find a good backup (like Wilson) just in case Manning were to be injured. Use this as a guide for what guys you need to target or trade away. We will get more accurate with our weekly Super Rankings as the season wears on, this just gives us a peek into the future.
We’re also going to try to give you two strategies for those trying to finagle a lineup together (we’ve all been there). The “win now” strategy is for teams that are on the playoff bubble and need two or three wins to solidify their playoff spot in the next three weeks (Weeks 11-13). The “win the cup” strategy is looking solely at the playoff weeks (Weeks 14-16) and how to attack those games.
Without further ado…
It looks as if the top nine guys on this list are every week starters, when it comes to Carson Palmer at 10 it starts getting dicey. If you find yourself as a playoff team that has been surviving with Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger or Eli Manning, this is a great opportunity to grab some depth.
Win Now: Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton are the attainable guys that should be able to help you steal a few victories in the next three weeks. Palmer gets NO, CIN and CLE, while Dalton faces KC, OAK and SD. Combining Palmer with Tony Romo (who faces Washington in Week 12) gives you the best chance of a makeshift top 10 QB.
Win the Cup: Of all players, Sam Bradford may be the best backup you can find for the playoff run. With Matchups against BUF, MIN and TB, the Super Rankings say that Bradford should give you enough out of the QB position to win in Weeks 14 and 15 (which you need to win to get to the championship). Combining Bradford with Matt Schaub or the aforementioned Tony Romo, looks like it’s enough to put up a winner at the position.
The Pieces are in Place: If you’re scrapping for a QB combo now, Palmer, Romo and Bradford would get you a top nine QB every week for the remainder of the year.
A few surprises make the top 24 that can be had for a discount price right now. Shonn Greene, Mikel Leshoure and Steven Jackson make for some interesting “buy lows,” while Muscle Hamster is suddenly the best RB in the league.
Win Now: Targeting C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson may not be the sexiest idea in fantasy football, but with games against MIA, IND and JAC in the next three weeks, it’s very worth it. If you want to get them for this week, you had better get on the horn, because the Bills play on Thursday night. Mikel Leshoure looks to give two great starts in the next three (GB, HOU and IND). Shonn Greene is attainable and could give you a boost in the next two weeks as well with matchups against STL and NE. Willis McGahee has a great schedule for now and the playoffs (SD, KC, TB, OAK, BAL, CLE), he could single-handedly win a league or two.
Win the Cup: Pay attention to the Giants’ running game as Andre Brown logs a #12 finish in Week 16 and startable numbers in the rest of the playoffs. Also, the struggling and injured Ahmad Bradshaw benefits from the same schedule that includes GB, WAS, NO, ATL BAL after their Week 11 bye. Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas receive significant boosts in Weeks 15 and 16 with matchups against JAC and BUF.
The Pieces are in Place: While we hope you have two or three of the top 12 guys, if you need to sell a few guys on the high end and replace them with Greene, Leshoure, Fred Jackson, Andre Brown and some Dolphins backs, you could feasibly win a championship with parts of that less than exciting group.
Wes Welker has one top 12 ranking for the rest of the season, but two “bench” (outside the top 24) ranks.
Mike Wallace is startable in every game, but not ranked in the top 12 for the rest of the way.
Cecil Shorts III has as many starting grades (3) the ROTW as Larry Fitzgerald, Miles Austin and Steve Johnson and has more starting grades than Andre Johnson and DeSean Jackson.
Steve Smith does not get a starting grade the ROTW. Neither does Brandon Lloyd, sorry Boser.
Win Now: You should be targeting Denarius Moore. He has two top 12 rankings in the next three weeks and another in playoff time. Some owners may be soft on James Jones of the Packers, with both Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings (eventually) returning. Before Jennings gets back to the field, Jones has three top 12 ranks in the next three weeks. Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas have a great schedule for the ROTW and some people might think it’s time to sell high on them (especially after Decker’s disappointing Week 10), thank them for selling them to you. Randall Cobb is the Packers WR to have for the rest of the year.
Win the Cup: Torrey Smith has two #8 finishes in Weeks 14 and 16 (WAS and NYG) and would vibe perfectly with Tampa’s Mike Williams who gets the Saints in Week 15. Michael Crabtree gets two #15 rankings in Weeks 14 and 15 (MIA and NE) as does Sidney Rice (ARI and BUF) and could both be had for next to nothing. Cecil Shorts III gets MIA and NE in Weeks 15 and 16, (mirroring Crabtree’s schedule) and could be a savior if one of your WRs succumbs to an injury.
The Pieces are in Place: I love the combo of Torrey Smith and Mike Williams for the playoff run, while any Packers WR not named Jennings and Denarius Moore could help you get there. If you have one of the top 10 guys on this list and you were to add Smith, Moore and James Jones you could win your league with that combo.
Since you likely only need one TE to survive the remainder of the season and that many of the playoff-bound squads already have secured a Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski, there’s only a few little moves you can make at the TE position.
Win Now: You do not want Kyle Rudolph if you’re trying to win now, but you might in the playoffs. If you have Rudolph you’re going to want to back him up with Jermaine Gresham (KC, OAK, SD), Brandon Myers (NO, CIN, CLE) or Dustin Keller (STL, NE, ARI). All of the sudden Greg Olsen has appeared as a fantasy stud in the Super Rankings as well, and will likely be a waiver wire darling this week after his two TDs against the Broncos last week. You can feel good about Olsen for the rest of the year.
Win the Cup: Dennis Pitta. Yeah I know, I can hardly believe it myself. But with a final schedule of WAS, DEN and NYG, he easily faces the easiest TE schedule in the playoff weeks. The aforementioned Kyle Rudolph faces CHI, STL and HOU in the playoff weeks, which is actually somewhat favorable for TEs. Jermaine Gresham isn’t a bad play either (DAL, PHI and PIT), but not one I would like to bank on.
The Pieces are in Place: You would have a starting caliber TE in five of six weeks with the combo of Dennis Pitta and Dustin Keller or a combo of Kyle Rudolph and Jermaine Gresham. If you’re stuck without one of the great TEs, this is a good route to look at.
Good luck to everyone (not in my leagues) on a “Super” stretch run of the fantasy season.