Thursday, June 2, 2011
Fantasyland: Marshall 23rd-best WR
You know who aren't locked out? ESPN.com's fantasy football folks.
Undeterred by the fact we haven't had free agency or an official workout yet, our intrepid rotagonists have put together their initial top 200 player rankings for 2011.
AFC East fans will be disappointed to find one player among the top 47.
The first AFC East player on the list is New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady at No. 20. He's the fourth quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick and Drew Brees.
Sticking with quarterbacks, you'll need to scroll down to No. 122 to find Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets, the 19th-best fantasy quarterback on the list. Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick comes in at No. 173, which makes him the 25th quarterback. Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne doesn't make the cut.
I'm not sure what's more surprising for the Dolphins: how many receivers are listed ahead of Brandon Marshall or how highly rated rookie running back Daniel Thomas is.
Marshall is the top Dolphins player at No. 60. That makes him the 23rd receiver on the chart. Thomas, without a single NFL snap to his credit, is just seven slots behind Marshall. Thomas is considered the 28th running back in the league from a fantasy standpoint.
Dolphins free-agent backs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams are 119th and 165th overall, respectively. What a falloff.
The New York Jets are well-represented in terms of volume, but their highest-rated player is free agent Santonio Holmes at No. 49. He's the 18th receiver. Braylon Edwards is No. 85 overall and the 33rd wideout.
The Jets' backfield features Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson at Nos. 62 and 102. That makes them the 26th and 42nd fantasy running backs.
Wide receiver Steve Johnson is the highest-rated Buffalo player at No. 52. Running back Fred Jackson is only six slots behind him. Sophomore running back C.J. Spiller is No. 92. Receiver Lee Evans is No. 191.
For the Patriots, BenJarvus Green-Ellis is the highest non-Brady at No. 48, making him the 28th running back. Danny Woodhead is No. 141, or the 48th running back. Patriots receivers Wes Welker and Deion Branch are 55th and 112th. Tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are 134th and 195th.