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Preseason Schedule Analysis
The “Big Boards”
8/25/09

Since most of America is in front of the computer at work (or looking for work) more than we care to be, late August and early September can serve as a reminder of what it is like to live. For me, there are few times during the year I look forward to more than my money league drafts. Being on the cusp of building a championship team and outwitting your opponents is a feeling hard to describe, but one worth experiencing for the sheer excitement and exhilaration it can produce.

However, that feeling of adrenaline shooting through your veins can come to a quick halt if you don't feel like the most prepared owner in your league on draft day. Even though many fantasy owners play just for bragging rights, the goal for money leaguers and non-money leaguers alike is the same: win. In my experience, winning starts in the offseason with preparation, continues at the draft when you can calmly select value over need, which carries over nicely into the season when it is time to make a trade or two. Ideally, all of this lands you firmly in the playoffs with an above-average chance to claim the league championship.

As I mentioned before, "value" in drafting is key. Need has to outweigh value on occasion, but for the most part, it can't hurt to take the best player left on the board. And it is with both need and value in mind that I present my "Big Board" in your attempt to earn both the respect and envy of your fellow fantasy leaguers in 2009.

Before I get to the boards, though, I would like to forewarn each of my readers about the player’s rankings and subsequent place on the board. I will push a player down my board if I cannot trust him to stay healthy all season. If you take the time to tear down each position I provide below, you will notice that I don’t follow the point totals or averages to a tee. Outside of trust issues, I will push a player down my board – despite a higher average or overall point total – if I believe he will simply be more consistent throughout the season or if his playoff schedule appears treacherous – no, I don't claim to see the future, but history tells us that defenses like Baltimore, Minnesota and Pittsburgh will end more fantasy championship dreams than they help. All too often, fantasy owners and even the so-called "experts" get tied into the final fantasy point totals. Don't get me wrong, I want all my players to have 300+ points at the end of the season. But as the old saying goes, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey"; if my RB1 gives me seven spectacular performances along with six duds during the regular season, there's a fairly decent chance I may end up 7-6. I don’t want that and neither should you.

Note: I increased the size of my board from 100 from a year ago to 175 so 12-team league owners could have a reference tool that included 2 QBs, 4-5 RBs, 4-5 WRs, 1-2 TEs, a K and a defensive unit. Also, this year, I added in the bye weeks and the same color coding that I used in my previous PSAs to designate poor, neutral and advantageous matchups during Weeks 14-16.

Here is the scoring system that I used to rank the players:

Without further ado, the “Big Board” for owners in PPR leagues…

 PPR Big Board
Overall Pos Rank Pos Bye Player Pt Total Avg 14 15 16
1 1 RB 7 Maurice Jones-Drew 333 22.2
2 2 RB 9 Adrian Peterson 287 19.1
3 3 RB 5 LaDainian Tomlinson 282 18.8
4 4 RB 9 Steven Jackson 295 19.7
5 5 RB 5 Matt Forte 274 18.3
6 6 RB 6 Frank Gore 282 18.8
7 7 RB 10 Steve Slaton 265 17.7
8 8 RB 7 Chris Johnson 266 17.7
9 1 WR 8 Randy Moss 312 20.8
10 2 WR 7 Calvin Johnson 301 20.1
11 3 WR 10 Andre Johnson 294 19.6
12 9 RB 6 Ronnie Brown 276 18.4
13 4 WR 4 Larry Fitzgerald 291 19.4
14 1 QB 5 Drew Brees 335 22.3
15 5 WR 4 Steve Smith (CAR) 277 18.5
16 10 RB 4 Brian Westbrook 241 18.5
17 2 QB 8 Tom Brady 331 22.1
18 11 RB 10 Brandon Jacobs 213 16.4
19 6 WR 4 Anquan Boldin 259 19.9
20 7 WR 8 Wes Welker 276 18.4
21 8 WR 5 Marques Colston 274 18.3
22 9 WR 6 Greg Jennings 259 17.3
23 10 WR 4 Roddy White 253 16.9
24 3 QB 6 Peyton Manning 297 19.8
25 12 RB 6 Marion Barber 245 16.3
26 13 RB 5 Pierre Thomas 230 15.3
27 14 RB 7 Kevin Smith 235 15.7
28 15 RB 4 Michael Turner 216 14.4
29 16 RB 8 DeAngelo Williams 222 14.8
30 11 WR 6 Reggie Wayne 245 16.3
31 12 WR 9 Terrell Owens 253 16.9
32 17 RB 8 Clinton Portis 205 13.7
33 4 QB 5 Philip Rivers 297 19.8
34 18 RB 9 Darren McFadden 222 14.8
35 19 RB 5 Ryan Grant 214 14.3
36 5 QB 5 Aaron Rodgers 288 19.2
37 6 QB 4 Donovan McNabb 286 19.1
38 7 QB 8 Carson Palmer 285 19
39 13 WR 8 Chad Ochocinco 232 15.5
40 14 WR 7 Eddie Royal 233 15.5
41 15 WR 6 Anthony Gonzalez 222 14.8
42 16 WR 4 DeSean Jackson 219 14.6
43 17 WR 8 Dwayne Bowe 246 16.4
44 20 RB 7 Ray Rice 222 14.8
45 21 RB 9 Marshawn Lynch 195 16.3
46 22 RB 7 Knowshon Moreno 220 14.7
47 23 RB 8 Derrick Ward 203 13.5
48 1 TE 5 Antonio Gates 217 14.5
49 2 TE 6 Jason Witten 217 14.5
50 24 RB 8 Cedric Benson 196 13.1
51 18 WR 7 T.J. Houshmandzadeh 225 15
52 19 WR 6 Roy Williams 207 13.8
53 8 QB 10 Matt Schaub 269 17.9
54 9 QB 4 Kurt Warner 263 20.2
55 25 RB 6 Joseph Addai 193 12.9
56 26 RB 5 Reggie Bush 218 16.8
57 3 TE 6 Dallas Clark 197 13.1
58 4 TE 4 Tony Gonzalez 203 13.5
59 5 TE 5 Greg Olsen 205 13.7
60 20 WR 8 Laveranues Coles 226 15.1
61 21 WR 9 Lee Evans 212 14.1
62 22 WR 9 Bernard Berrian 205 13.7
63 23 WR 5 Vincent Jackson 204 13.6
64 24 WR 5 Lance Moore 200 13.3
65 10 QB 6 Tony Romo 253 16.9
66 11 QB 4 Matt Ryan 245 16.3
67 12 QB 5 Jay Cutler 252 16.8
68 27 RB 6 Donald Brown 159 10.6
69 25 WR 10 Kevin Walter 204 13.6
70 28 RB 8 Willie Parker 177 11.8
71 29 RB 4 Jonathan Stewart 175 11.7
72 30 RB 4 LeSean McCoy 158 10.5
73 31 RB 10 Ahmad Bradshaw 158 10.5
74 32 RB 9 Thomas Jones 160 10.7
75 33 RB 8 Rashard Mendenhall 164 10.9
76 34 RB 9 Leon Washington 157 10.5
77 26 WR 9 Percy Harvin 198 13.2
78 6 TE 8 Chris Cooley 190 12.7
79 7 TE 8 Kellen Winslow 206 13.7
80 35 RB 8 Larry Johnson 149 9.93
81 27 WR 7 Brandon Marshall 185 12.3
82 28 WR 8 Hines Ward 198 13.2
83 29 WR 8 Santonio Holmes 198 13.2
84 30 WR 9 Braylon Edwards 183 12.2
85 31 WR 9 Jerricho Cotchery 191 12.7
86 36 RB 7 LenDale White 146 9.73
87 37 RB 4 Chris Wells 145 9.67
88 38 RB 4 Tim Hightower 160 10.7
89 32 WR 8 Santana Moss 176 11.7
90 7 TE 7 John Carlson 178 11.9
91 8 TE 9 Dustin Keller 165 11
92 39 RB 8 Earnest Graham 150 10
93 40 RB 9 Jamal Lewis 148 9.87
94 41 RB 6 Felix Jones 91 8.27
95 42 RB 8 Kevin Faulk 148 9.87
96 43 RB 9 Shonn Greene 139 9.27
97 44 RB 7 Julius Jones 143 9.53
98 33 WR 7 Derrick Mason 190 12.7
99 34 WR 5 Donald Driver 184 12.3
100 35 WR 7 Torry Holt 184 12.3
101 36 WR 5 Devin Hester 180 12
102 37 WR 5 Chris Chambers 176 11.7
103 38 WR 8 Antonio Bryant 174 11.6
104 39 WR 8 Chris Henry 175 11.7
105 40 WR 9 Donnie Avery 175 11.7
106 13 QB 8 Ben Roethlisberger 235 15.7
107 9 TE 10 Owen Daniels 154 10.3
108 10 TE 6 Vernon Davis 156 10.4
109 41 WR 4 Steve Breaston 175 11.7
110 45 RB 9 Fred Jackson 139 9.27
111 46 RB 4 Jerious Norwood 139 9.27
112 47 RB 8 Fred Taylor 131 8.73
113 48 RB 5 Darren Sproles 131 8.73
114 14 QB 7 Kyle Orton 231 15.4
115 15 QB 8 Matt Cassel 231 15.4
116 16 QB 9 Brett Favre 222 14.8
117 17 QB 10 Eli Manning 227 15.1
118 18 QB 9 Trent Edwards 228 15.2
119 49 RB 9 James Davis 161 10.7
120 42 WR 6 Ted Ginn 168 11.2
121 43 WR 4 Michael Jenkins 167 11.1
122 50 RB 7 LeíRon McClain 127 8.47
123 51 RB 8 Jamaal Charles 127 8.47
124 52 RB 8 Laurence Maroney 118 8.43
125 53 RB 7 Willis McGahee 111 7.4
126 11 TE 7 Bo Scaife 154 10.3
127 12 TE 9 Zach Miller 153 10.2
128 44 WR 10 Steve Smith (NYG) 161 10.7
129 19 QB 8 Jason Campbell 222 14.8
130 20 QB 7 Matt Hasselbeck 220 14.7
131 13 TE 5 Jeremy Shockey 133 8.87
132 45 WR 7 Justin Gage 165 11
133 54 RB 9 Chester Taylor 101 6.73
134 55 RB 8 Ladell Betts 100 6.67
135 21 QB 7 David Garrard 216 14.4
136 22 QB 4 Jake Delhomme 217 14.5
137 1 DT 8 Steelers DST 161 10.7
138 2 DT 10 Giants DST 155 10.3
139 46 WR 6 Josh Morgan 157 10.5
140 47 WR 5 Earl Bennett 156 10.4
141 48 WR 7 Nate Washington 155 10.3
142 49 WR 4 Muhsin Muhammad 161 10.7
143 50 WR 8 Devin Thomas 151 10.1
144 51 WR 4 Kevin Curtis 147 9.8
145 52 WR 6 Davone Bess 138 9.2
146 53 WR 10 Domenik Hixon 135 9
147 14 TE 9 Visanthe Shiancoe 112 7.47
148 15 TE 4 Brent Celek 109 7.27
149 3 DT 5 Chargers DST 146 9.73
150 4 DT 7 Ravens DST 141 9.4
151 56 RB 9 Michael Bush 114 7.6
152 57 RB 7 Edgerrin James 104 6.93
153 58 RB 10 Chris Brown 90 6
154 59 RB 6 Tashard Choice 71 4.73
155 60 RB 7 Justin Forsett 88 5.87
156 61 RB 6 Glen Coffee 62 4.13
157 62 RB 8 Sammy Morris 104 6.93
158 63 RB 10 Danny Ware 68 4.53
159 23 QB 7 Kerry Collins 199 13.3
160 54 WR 9 Sidney Rice 126 8.4
161 55 WR 6 Isaac Bruce 136 9.07
162 56 WR 7 Nate Burleson 112 7.47
163 5 DT 5 Bears DST 126 8.4
164 6 DT 7 Titans DST 122 8.13
165 7 DT 5 Packers DST 116 7.73
166 8 DT 9 Vikings DST 115 7.67
167 9 DT 8 Patriots DST 113 7.53
168 24 QB 6 Shaun Hill 199 13.3
169 57 WR 5 Robert Meachem 96 6.4
170 10 DT 6 Cowboys DST 110 7.33
171 11 DT 9 Jets DST 104 6.93
172 12 DT 8 Bengals DST 111 7.4
173 16 TE 9 Randy McMichael 115 7.67
174 17 TE 6 Anthony Fasano 108 7.2
175 18 TE 7 Tony Scheffler 118 7.87

Undoubtedly, many of you are likely shocked by the overall point difference between Jones-Drew and Peterson. Try to think of it this way: Brian Westbrook led most PPR leagues in scoring in 2007 despite missing a game and lacking an elite WR option to take the focus away from him, which in part led to his career-high 90 receptions. Jones-Drew is the same kind of all-purpose back, is a better short-yardage and red zone rusher and has missed just one game in three years. Considering Pocket Hercules' highest-touch season was last year with 235, it becomes a bit frightening to think what he could do with 300 behind a better and healthier offensive line AND a receiver in Torry Holt, who - while he is on the downside of his career - represents the best receiver the Jags have started since the days of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell. I believe 2,000+ total yards and 15-16 TDs is achievable for him this season.

Jackson-Forte-Gore should spark a lively debate as well. In the end, it comes down to the amount of work I believe Jackson will receive in the passing game. I don't foresee another 90-catch season in his future, but 70-80 is a possibility since he is the best receiver the Rams have. No one will argue that St. Louis is in a rebuilding phase this year, but it does have the makings of a good run-blocking line, so Jackson should be able to sport some nice rushing totals when the Rams are close to their opponent and add some solid production in the passing game when the team falls a score or two behind. He's also the first example on this board of how a top RB can be a high first-round lock in PPR and a borderline first-round pick in non-PPR (more on that below). Forte is like Jackson in a lot of ways, but probably won't see quite the same number of passes Jackson will, which is why he falls just short of the Rams' RB here. Gore should be in for his highest workload since 2006, but doesn't seem to have the knack for the end zone quite like Forte or the receiving upside Jackson does. Quite honestly, though, I could make a strong argument for any one of these backs over the other two.

Michael Turner

Michael Turner: PPR victim.

Let's skip all the way down to two of PPR's biggest victims: Turner and DeAngelo Williams. Go ahead and believe Turner is a lock for a repeat of 2008 if you want, because I don't. There were seven games last season in which Turner averaged more than 4.0 yards per carry. Five of those teams (Detroit, Green Bay, Kansas City, Oakland and St. Louis) aren't on the Falcons' 2009 schedule, and all five finished 26th or worse in terms of rushing yardage allowed per game. Add in the fact that despite his gaudy numbers from a season ago, he still finished behind a part-time back (MJD) and another one who missed two games (Westbrook) in PPR leagues. As for Williams, he is a good receiving back, but the Panthers - up to now - haven't chosen to feature that part of his game yet. Unfortunately, four of the five opponents I mentioned for Turner above were also on Williams' schedule last year but are not on the slate for this season. Because Williams will run against a more difficult schedule in 2009, he is going to need Jonathan Stewart to be an injury liability for most of the season, since a healthy Stewart probably eats up at least another 160-170 carries, leaving D-Will to make his attempt at recapturing fantasy glory again this year on 230-250 carries. I, for one, don't count on certain players getting hurt (unless they have an overwhelming history of such a thing), but for Williams to come anywhere close to his 2008 standards, he will need Stewart to miss substantial time. Furthermore, over the last 30+ years, only Clinton Portis followed one 5.5 YPC season with another. Williams is an elite talent, but a 100-200 yard drop in total yards and a 7-8 TD decrease should be expected. If that is production is acceptable for you in the middle of the first round, by all means, go get him.

Lynch is an intriguing player to me in the fourth round. I'm typically not all that thrilled about having a player on my roster that I KNOW won't be able to play for me for three games, but if you can get past that, rarely can an owner find a RB2 in the fourth round they can count on for 20 touches per game. For owners of Steve Smith a season ago that went on to win their league title, you understand that a short suspension at the beginning of the season is not the worst thing in the world if the player you are waiting on can be a vital part of the foundation of your fantasy team.

I've cooled ever so slightly on Ray Rice because Willis McGahee will probably steal more snaps than he should, but in a PPR league, I would not have any qualms about the second-year back serving as my RB2. The same goes for Ward, who I can't foresee stealing goal line duties away from Earnest Graham. With that said, he has 40-50 catch upside, so even if he only scores 5-6 times, he should be a solid and consistent RB2 producer.

I don't need the Brandon Marshall headache this season. Injured players who don't get their way and want out of town have a tendency of carrying that onto the field with them, with Chad Ochocinco circa 2008 being the latest example. (Child please!) Give me all the young upside backs (Brown, McCoy, Bradshaw, Mendenhall), Harvin and a couple of mid-level TE1ís before him.

I probably have Kevin Faulk too low here, but with another capable pass-catching back like Fred Taylor on the roster, it's hard for me to see another 58-catch, 161-touch season out of him again in 2009. On the other hand, I feel like Breaston could be over-ranked here because he would be the most likely of the Arizona WRs to suffer in the catch department if/when the Cardinals decide to balance out their run-pass ratio a bit more. I would have liked to place Hixon a lot higher than his current spot, but I see too much competition in the Giants' deep-ball receiving ranks to go too crazy over him. Mario Manningham could easily steal some of his potential downfield targets as could rookie Ramses Barden. Fellow rookie Hakeem Nicks will also need work, but in the end, I have to believe Steve Smith is Manning's most trusted target. In PPR, that means a lot...

Now, the "Big Board for non-PPR owners, (with the only scoring change being the obvious drop of a point per reception).

 Non-PPR Big Board
Overall Pos Rank Pos Bye Player Pt Total Avg 14 15 16
1 1 RB 7 Maurice Jones-Drew 274 18.3
2 2 RB 9 Adrian Peterson 264 17.6
3 3 RB 5 LaDainian Tomlinson 236 15.7
4 4 RB 6 Frank Gore 229 15.3
5 5 RB 5 Matt Forte 220 14.7
6 6 RB 10 Steve Slaton 222 14.8
7 7 RB 7 Chris Johnson 227 15.1
8 1 WR 8 Randy Moss 221 14.7
9 8 RB 6 Ronnie Brown 236 15.7
10 9 RB 4 Michael Turner 209 13.9
11 10 RB 9 Steven Jackson 232 15.5
12 2 WR 7 Calvin Johnson 208 13.9
13 11 RB 4 DeAngelo Williams 199 13.3
14 3 WR 4 Larry Fitzgerald 196 13.1
15 4 WR 10 Andre Johnson 189 12.6
16 1 QB 5 Drew Brees 335 22.3
17 12 RB 10 Brandon Jacobs 196 15.1
18 13 RB 5 Pierre Thomas 198 13.2
19 14 RB 6 Marion Barber 197 13.1
20 15 RB 4 Brian Westbrook 192 14.8
21 5 WR 4 Steve Smith (CAR) 184 12.3
22 6 WR 5 Marques Colston 187 12.5
23 2 QB 8 Tom Brady 331 22.1
24 7 WR 5 Greg Jennings 179 11.9
25 8 WR 4 Roddy White 170 11.3
26 3 QB 6 Peyton Manning 297 19.8
27 9 WR 4 Anquan Boldin 169 13
28 10 WR 8 Wes Welker 168 11.2
29 11 WR 6 Reggie Wayne 161 10.7
30 12 WR 9 Terrell Owens 174 11.6
31 16 RB 8 Clinton Portis 189 12.6
32 17 RB 5 Ryan Grant 190 12.7
33 18 RB 7 Kevin Smith 187 12.5
34 4 QB 5 Philip Rivers 297 19.8
35 5 QB 5 Aaron Rodgers 282 18.8
36 6 QB 4 Donovan McNabb 286 19.1
37 7 QB 8 Carson Palmer 285 19
38 13 WR 8 Chad Ochocinco 157 10.5
39 14 WR 6 Anthony Gonzalez 149 9.93
40 15 WR 4 DeSean Jackson 143 9.53
41 16 WR 7 Eddie Royal 145 9.67
42 17 WR 8 Dwayne Bowe 149 9.93
43 19 RB 9 Darren McFadden 189 12.6
44 20 RB 7 Ray Rice 180 12
45 21 RB 8 Cedric Benson 174 11.6
46 22 RB 9 Marshawn Lynch 161 13.4
47 1 TE 5 Antonio Gates 143 9.53
48 8 QB 10 Matt Schaub 269 17.9
49 2 TE 6 Jason Witten 133 8.87
50 23 RB 7 Knowshon Moreno 174 11.6
51 24 RB 8 Derrick Ward 158 10.5
52 18 WR 5 Vincent Jackson 144 9.6
53 19 WR 9 Bernard Berrian 144 9.6
54 20 WR 8 Laveranues Coles 142 9.47
55 21 WR 7 T.J. Houshmandzadeh 141 9.4
56 22 WR 6 Roy Williams 138 9.2
57 9 QB 4 Kurt Warner 263 20.2
58 10 QB 6 Tony Romo 253 16.9
59 11 QB 4 Matt Ryan 245 16.3
60 23 WR 9 Percy Harvin 145 9.67
61 24 WR 9 Lee Evans 138 9.2
62 12 QB 5 Jay Cutler 252 16.8
63 3 TE 6 Dallas Clark 128 8.53
64 4 TE 4 Tony Gonzalez 128 8.53
65 5 TE 5 Greg Olsen 131 8.73
66 25 RB 6 Joseph Addai 162 10.8
67 26 RB 8 Willie Parker 162 10.8
68 27 RB 7 LenDale White 138 9.2
69 28 RB 4 Jonathan Stewart 156 10.4
70 29 RB 5 Reggie Bush 152 11.7
71 30 RB 6 Donald Brown 121 8.07
72 25 WR 8 Santonio Holmes 137 9.13
73 26 WR 10 Kevin Walter 131 8.73
74 27 WR 7 Brandon Marshall 118 7.87
75 28 WR 5 Lance Moore 126 8.4
76 29 WR 8 Hines Ward 123 8.2
77 31 RB 9 Shonn Greene 136 9.07
78 32 RB 8 Rashard Mendenhall 136 9.07
79 33 RB 8 Larry Johnson 135 9
80 6 TE 8 Kellen Winslow 126 8.4
81 30 WR 9 Braylon Edwards 120 8
82 31 WR 9 Jerricho Cotchery 120 8
83 7 TE 8 Chris Cooley 118 7.87
84 34 RB 9 Thomas Jones 131 8.73
85 35 RB 10 Ahmad Bradshaw 131 8.73
86 36 RB 4 LeSean McCoy 125 8.33
87 32 WR 8 Chris Henry 130 8.67
88 37 RB 9 Jamal Lewis 129 8.6
89 38 RB 8 Earnest Graham 134 8.93
90 39 RB 4 Tim Hightower 132 8.8
91 40 RB 4 Chris Wells 127 8.47
92 8 TE 7 John Carlson 115 7.67
93 41 RB 9 Leon Washington 108 7.2
94 42 RB 6 Felix Jones 76 6.91
95 43 RB 7 Julius Jones 122 8.13
96 33 WR 7 Derrick Mason 120 8
97 34 WR 7 Torry Holt 118 7.87
98 35 WR 9 Donnie Avery 118 7.87
99 36 WR 5 Chris Chambers 117 7.8
100 37 WR 5 Devin Hester 115 7.67
101 38 WR 5 Donald Driver 111 7.4
102 39 WR 8 Antonio Bryant 111 7.4
103 40 WR 8 Santana Moss 109 7.27
104 44 RB 8 Fred Taylor 110 7.33
105 45 RB 8 Laurence Maroney 104 7.43
106 46 RB 7 Willis McGahee 98 6.53
107 47 RB 5 Darren Sproles 97 6.47
108 9 TE 9 Dustin Keller 100 6.67
109 41 WR 6 Ted Ginn 107 7.13
110 42 WR 4 Steve Breaston 107 7.13
111 13 QB 8 Ben Roethlisberger 235 15.7
112 14 QB 7 Kyle Orton 231 15.4
113 15 QB 8 Matt Cassel 231 15.4
114 48 RB 9 Chester Taylor 72 4.8
115 49 RB 7 LeíRon McClain 107 7.13
116 50 RB 9 James Davis 123 8.2
117 51 RB 9 Michael Bush 100 6.67
118 16 QB 10 Eli Manning 227 15.1
119 17 QB 9 Trent Edwards 228 15.2
120 18 QB 9 Brett Favre 222 14.8
121 19 QB 8 Jason Campbell 222 14.8
122 20 QB 7 Matt Hasselbeck 220 14.7
123 43 WR 7 Nate Washington 104 6.93
124 44 WR 4 Michael Jenkins 103 6.87
125 45 WR 4 Muhsin Muhammad 101 6.73
126 46 WR 7 Justin Gage 100 6.67
127 47 WR 10 Steve Smith (NYG) 99 6.6
128 10 TE 10 Owen Daniels 93 6.2
129 11 TE 9 Zach Miller 94 6.27
130 12 TE 6 Vernon Davis 94 6.27
131 52 RB 7 Edgerrin James 98 6.53
132 53 RB 4 Jerious Norwood 95 6.33
133 48 WR 10 Domenik Hixon 92 6.13
134 49 WR 6 Josh Morgan 97 6.47
135 50 WR 4 Kevin Curtis 97 6.47
136 54 RB 9 Fred Jackson 94 6.27
137 55 RB 8 Kevin Faulk 93 6.2
138 56 RB 8 Sammy Morris 91 6.07
139 57 RB 8 Jamaal Charles 84 5.6
140 58 RB 10 Chris Brown 83 5.53
141 59 RB 8 Ladell Betts 69 4.6
142 60 RB 6 Tashard Choice 64 4.27
143 13 TE 7 Bo Scaife 87 5.8
144 14 TE 5 Jeremy Shockey 83 5.53
145 21 QB 7 David Garrard 216 14.4
146 22 QB 4 Jake Delhomme 217 14.5
147 51 WR 5 Earl Bennett 98 6.53
148 52 WR 8 Devin Thomas 99 6.6
149 1 DT 8 Steelers DST 161 10.7
150 2 DT 10 Giants DST 155 10.3
151 61 RB 6 Glen Coffee 55 3.67
152 62 RB 10 Danny Ware 61 4.07
153 50 WR 6 Isaac Bruce 84 5.6
154 51 WR 7 Nate Burleson 67 4.47
155 15 TE 9 Visanthe Shiancoe 69 4.6
156 53 WR 6 Davone Bess 76 5.07
157 54 WR 9 Sidney Rice 79 5.27
158 3 DT 5 Chargers DST 146 9.73
159 4 DT 7 Ravens DST 141 9.4
160 15 TE 7 Tony Scheffler 74 4.93
161 16 TE 9 Randy McMichael 69 4.6
162 17 TE 6 Anthony Fasano 67 4.47
163 18 TE 4 Brent Celek 66 4.4
164 55 WR 5 Robert Meachem 64 4.27
165 56 WR 6 Patrick Crayton 66 4.4
166 5 DT 5 Bears DST 126 8.4
167 6 DT 7 Titans DST 122 8.13
168 7 DT 5 Packers DST 116 7.73
169 8 DT 9 Vikings DST 115 7.67
170 9 DT 8 Patriots DST 113 7.53
171 63 RB 8 Bernard Scott 98 6.53
172 64 RB 5 Kevin Jones 71 4.73
173 10 DT 6 Cowboys DST 110 7.33
174 11 DT 9 Jets DST 104 6.93
175 12 DT 8 Bengals DST 111 7.4

Unlike the PPR rankings above, I believe it is more of personal preference at the top between Peterson and Jones-Drew in non-PPR. I prefer MJD because he is capable of a 100-yard game on the ground or through the air, not to mention multiple scores. However, Vikings HC Brad Childress has noted during training camp how much Peterson has improved in the passing game. In the end, though, I think Chester Taylor and Percy Harvin pick away at Peterson's touches just enough to leave him #2 overall.

In non-PPR leagues, consistency is even harder to find at RB than in PPR, due to loss of the potential fantasy points per game that come as a result of the backs catching passes. Thus, it is even more important to grab the RBs who are dual-threats AND their team's #1 option in the red zone. I believe my top five reflects that. Moving on, I placed Slaton just above Chris Johnson because of the injury risks that I believe both Chris Brown and Arian Foster are. If they both break down, Slaton's value skyrockets to #3 overall, ahead of LT.

Randy Moss

Randy Moss: 17+ TDs in '09?

I have Moss as my #1 overall WR this year and would be shocked if he can't deliver in that regard. Moss is the only WR in league history to have THREE seasons of 17 or more receiving TDs; I wouldn't doubt if he makes it four. I'm amazed that some sites have him as low as fourth as he is essentially the team's deep threat AND #1 red zone option.

The next subset brings me to the four high-end RBs that I'm a bit leery of for one reason or another (Brown, Turner, Jackson, Williams). Entering his second season after ACL surgery, Brown really only needs the coaching staff to realize that Ricky Williams doesn't need to be getting significant carries anymore to justify his spot on this list. This is about as high as you are going to see Brown on any draft list, but if the Dolphins commit to him as I think they will, I have no problem leaving him where I have him. Turner is a polarizing player for many owners, some of which have him as a clear #1 overall pick in non-PPR leagues. I just don't see it - he will perform like a #1 overall pick in some weeks, but since he is a one-trick pony (no receiving numbers to speak of), he is apt to give his owners 5-6 clunkers over the course of the year. To me, that is too many for a potential top-five pick. Jackson is a dual-threat and his team's best red zone option, but I have a bad feeling he will be more inconsistent than Turner because his supporting cast is the worst of any player in the top 10. I'm more than happy to take him in PPR because he will probably post 60-70 receptions (which will make him a much more consistent back in that format), but I'd just as soon pass on him in the first round of non-PPR leagues. Williams is an exceptional all-around talent with a good offensive line in a run-heavy offense. His biggest issues are the presence of Jonathan Stewart, a line that has no quality depth behind its starting five, a schedule that is brutal at the end of the season and a defense that isn't going to be as good as it was a season ago, which - with a healthy Stewart - will cut his rushing attempts. I'm a big fan of D-Will, but there are an awful lot of things that need to go right for him (again) to come anywhere close to his first-place finish in 2008.

While most people rank Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson 1-2 at WR, I think they are clearly 3-4 at best. Boldin was the man in Arizona for most of last season until succumbing to injury late in the season, allowing Fitzgerald to absolutely go crazy in the postseason. However, Fitzgerald is a downright consistent fantasy performer, making it hard to pass on him after Moss. The only think that concerns me about Johnson is the health of Schaub. If his QB finally gives us a 16-game season, AJ may give us a season for the fantasy record books. However, until Schaub gives us that full season, I'm not going to hand Johnson a #1 ranking because I am not someone who believes Dan Orlovsky is going to step in for five games and allow Johnson to consistently produce as if nothing happened to the starting QB. Conversely, Iím a bit more confident in Matt Leinartís ability to maintain Fitzgerald and Boldinís consistency if Warner was to go down for any length of time.

In fantasy, my definition for a WR2 or RB2 is someone who can produce like a WR1 or RB1, but is inconsistent enough to the point where an owner can't count on him in the same way he/she would a WR1 or RB1. That brings me to Chad Ochocinco, who for several years gave his owners average production at best for a few games at a time only to give us about 3-4 dynamite games to boost up his final numbers. As maddening as that can be for an owner, it isn't often to find a fantasy No.2 at any position that can single-handedly win games for his owners. In other words, DONíT take Ochocinco if you want WR1 numbers almost every week. DO take him if you can pair him up with a Fitzgerald-type and live with a few dreadful performances over the course of the season.

Unlike previous years where I could take him as a RB2 in the late fourth round, I'm not sure I want any part of Reggie Bush this season in non-PPR leagues. Offseason knee surgery and his inability to stay on the field all season have pretty much soured me on him as a non-PPR asset. Headed in the other direction in the fantasy stock market is Berrian, who is one of my latest big risers. His new QB has long been able to make a team's deep threat a viable fantasy property and Berrian should be no different.

I'm guessing the biggest question readers will have in the fifth round area (49-60) is: Why is Houshmandzadeh is so low and Harvin so high? I don't think there is much doubt T.J. will be the lead dog in the Seahawks' passing game, but I am not encouraged about the questions concerning his supporting cast. Will LT Walter Jones miss substantial time? Does a potential absence of Jones mean we'll see Hasselbeck get injured again? (Starting C Chris Spencer is already out indefinitely.) These questions - along with the new run-heavy offense of OC Greg Knapp should mean lower overall numbers for Housh. Harvin, on the other hand, is having plays installed into the offense just to get him touches...when is the last time anyone could say that about a rookie WR? I'm thinking he will still last until the seventh round in most 12-team leagues, but I would say he is a pretty good bet to live up to my high billing.

Donald Brown and LeSean McCoy are receiving plenty of hype already, so I'll focus on Shonn Greene, another rookie who I think will be a pleasant surprise for his owners. The Jets' plan for him is to use him in a role similar to that of a younger Marion Barber in which he gets to pound away at a tired defense in the fourth quarter. I suspect he will quickly become the goal-line back as well, so if you can live with next-to-no production from him in the passing game, the Jetsí rookie should be a solid flex/RB3 play.

Much like Harvin, Chris Henry doesn't appear to have a certain role cemented in the Bengals' offense outside of "big-play WR". I don't need to tell you though that very few nickel corners can cover "Slim", so while his snaps and catches may be limited, he could be one of the best WR3 selections an owner can make in a non-PPR league this season.

I would really like to give Felix Jones a higher ranking, but I have this unshakable feeling he won't make it through the season once again. If you don't have that same feeling, feel free to move him up into the 6-7 round area.

Some may find my grouping of Daniels, Miller and Davis odd in the 128-130 pick area. If Daniels could keep his current level of production up and combine that with his rookie year of scoring touchdowns (5), I'd be all for moving him up into John Carlson territory. On the other hand, Miller's production can only go up in my mind as the Raiders' passing game improves, slowly but surely. Every year, Vernon Davis is supposed to realize his vast talent but never seems to reach expectations. As he enters his fourth season, Davis is just now getting acclimated to the first offensive philosophy that suits his game since he's been a Niner. He's only one year removed from a 52-catch, four-TD season (14 games), so it isn't as if he hasn't produced already. With an OC that wants to get him the ball and an offense that needs him to produce, this has to be the year Davis steps forward or he probably never will.

Kickers

Hey, kickers are people too. Quite honestly, it seems everyone has their own take on where kickers should be selected. I personally think if a Rob Bironas is sitting out there to be had and you are comfortable with your bench players at the other positions, why not take a kicker who will probably be an every-week starter for you? To be quite honest, does your 15th round pick at WR, RB or TE stand a better chance at making it to Week 2 than your kicker? It's doubtful.

With that said, kickers really should only be considered in the final two rounds, depending on your leagueís drafting requirements. (For example, I have played in leagues where all owners are required to draft two defenses. If you have already selected the Steelersí defense, there is a good chance your #2 defense wonít be staying around very long.) As for what I look for, I usually target kickers with 50-yard power in their legs on teams with strong running games and good defenses that I feel wonít produce in the red zone for one reason or another. Obviously, some of my top picks below donít fit all the criteria, but Bironas is an obvious example from a season ago that shows there is some merit to that philosophy.

 Kickers
Bye Player FPts Avg
10 Kris Brown 126 8.40
8 Stephen Gostkowski 124 8.27
8 Shayne Graham 120 8.00
7 Rob Bironas 119 7.93
10 Lawrence Tynes 119 7.93
4 Jason Elam 119 7.93
5 Robbie Gould 118 7.87
9 Ryan Longwell 116 7.73
9 Jay Feely 115 7.67
4 David Akers 115 7.67
5 Mason Crosby 114 7.60
5 Nate Kaeding 113 7.53
5 John Carney 113 7.53
4 Neil Rackers 113 7.53
6 Nick Folk 112 7.47

I'll be back next week with some updates to the Big Boards before we turn this space into more of a strategy/observation column to get you through the season. In the meantime, don't hesitate to e-mail me with any questions or suggestions if there is something that you feel would make the "Big Board" an even better drafting tool.

And with that, good luck in your drafts!