Discussion

Flex ranks: Maurice Jones-Drew at No. 1

Updated: October 7, 2010, 12:06 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
It's Thursday, time for the flex rankings, in which we create that awesome combination of running backs and wide receivers. It's the perfect blend, kind of like my favorite snack food, the underrated Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. You'll see a new name leading the top 100, but don't read much into that. It's not like the normal contenders for the top spot got bumped down too low. As always, use these rankings as a guide, but ultimately make your own decisions for active rosters, and you'll need to keep up with the news right up to game time Sunday. Looks like things could change plenty in the coming days.

Enjoy, and best of luck with your decisions in Week 5.

1. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: He's first based on the favorable matchup, because his injury concerns have waned and let's face it, he's playing well.
2. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if he runs for only 50 yards … or 200 yards. But I'm still not particularly concerned about him.
3. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: Again, it's the matchup. One way to make sure Alex Smith doesn't cost you a game against eminently beatable Philly is to hand off 25 times.
4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: The acquisition of a certain wide receiver certainly doesn't hurt him. If I was ranking for the rest of the year, Peterson would go first.
5. Arian Foster, RB, Texans: You want accountability? No, I did not think he'd be a top-10 running back this season. Now I do. And if you want to pretend you knew this in August, go right ahead.
6. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams
7. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Nice Week 4 raises hopes for his once-concerned owners.
8. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: Same for him. And now the matchup is favorable.
9. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys: Coming off a bye week, maybe Tony Romo can get more time to throw.
10. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons
11. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans: At least it's an early game this week, so you'll have a better idea on Sunday whether to activate him or not.
12. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions: I won't suggest he's better off with Shaun Hill than Matthew Stafford, because I don't believe it. He'll produce regardless.
13. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants
14. Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns: Totally legit, and yes, the Broncos are probably wondering why they traded him for someone they probably will never need. Looking back, isn't it a bit silly that Brady Quinn was the big name in that trade when it was made?
15. Roddy White, WR, Falcons
16. Austin Collie, WR, Colts: My only concern is he seems to be sitting out plenty of practices. He's not small, but he seems to be banged up quite a bit.
17. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: Let's not assume he'll have the same old problems now that he has a new starting quarterback. I mean, here's my stance: Will Max Hall be any worse than Derek Anderson was? We don't know, of course, but I still don't think the quarterback change hurts Fitz much.
18. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: What fantasy owners fail to realize is Baltimore has played one grueling defense after another. But not this week; they host the Broncos. The reason Kyle Orton throws 75 times per game isn't just because his team can't run the ball. It also can't defend.
19. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers
20. Cedric Benson, RB, Bengals: Big week coming, so don't lose faith in him.
21. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Jets
22. Randy Moss, WR, Vikings: Two words for you: Darrelle Revis. Most weeks Moss will rank much higher than this, so don't view this as a season-long indictment.
23. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: I know how much you all love burly fullback Mike Tolbert, but the Chargers are saying Mathews will be the guy. Believe them.
24. Thomas Jones, RB, Chiefs: Good matchup against the Colts, so I'm probably selling him short here.
25. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens
26. Jahvid Best, RB, Lions
27. Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers: With each passing week, it's more likely Vincent Jackson will not play this season, and Floyd ensures top-20 receiver status.
28. Ryan Torain, RB, Redskins: Don't assume he'll be awesome, but with Clinton Portis out a month, it's his gig. Just remember, this is not the same offensive line or system Mike Shanahan had to work with in Denver, so don't view the running backs similarly, even if Shanahan has coached them previously.
29. Donald Driver, WR, Packers
30. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints: Starting to think he will not play Sunday, but we have to rank him well if he does.
31. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants
32. Chad Ochocinco, WR, Bengals
33. Joseph Addai, RB, Colts
34. Marques Colston, WR, Saints: Starting to think an injury is playing a factor here.
35. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs
36. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles: Don't assume the presence of Kevin Kolb destroys his value, but it also doesn't help.
37. Mark Clayton, WR, Rams
38. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: Keep an eye on his health; he hasn't exactly been durable.
39. Matt Forte, RB, Bears: Kind of an important week in his future evaluation.
40. Marion Barber, RB, Cowboys: Wouldn't surprise me if this is the last week Barber ranks this low.
41. Steve Smith, WR, Giants
42. Mike Tolbert, RB, Chargers
43. Lance Moore, WR, Saints
44. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Has to be owned. Look at his 2009 numbers, and the fact that Marshawn Lynch is gone. Like Barber, watch Jackson rank better after this week.
45. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Broncos: For now, we have to regard him as the team's top receiver.
46. Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals
47. Shonn Greene, RB, Jets: I think his best is yet to come.
48. Terrell Owens, WR, Bengals
49. Mike Bell, RB, Eagles: Ranked him this week only because I see a touchdown in his future, but I'll take the under on 50 yards. He's always hurting.
50. Santana Moss, WR, Redskins
51. Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals
52. Braylon Edwards, WR, Jets
53. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs
54. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos: Shouldn't be a regular 100-yard guy even when he's healthy, so have realistic expectations.
55. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings: Not a good matchup for him, either, but the future will be brighter, at least until Sidney Rice returns.
56. Cadillac Williams, RB, Buccaneers
57. Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jaguars: Says he's frustrated by a lack of targets. Now let's ask fantasy owners if he frustrates them.
58. Johnny Knox, WR, Bears
59. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: Like Fred Jackson, he must be owned on potential alone.
60. Kevin Walter, WR, Texans
61. Brandon Jackson, RB, Packers: Nobody said he'd be a superstar. I certainly didn't. But I did expect a bit more than this.
62. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
63. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers
64. Robert Meachem, WR, Saints
65. Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers: Quietly a nice buy-low guy.
66. Jabar Gaffney, WR, Broncos: Probably a sell-high guy.
67. John Kuhn, RB, Packers
68. Michael Bush, RB, Raiders: If McFadden sits, move him up to, well, pretty much where I have McFadden ranked.
69. Eddie Royal, WR, Broncos
70. Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys
71. Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets: Welcome back! He should quickly notice the difference in a Mark Sanchez and Ben Roethlisberger offense.
72. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants
73. Nate Washington, WR, Titans
74. Ladell Betts, RB, Saints: Move him up 20 spots if Pierre Thomas sits.
75. Mike Thomas, WR, Jaguars: Opportunity is there since it seems the team doesn't care much for Sims-Walker.
76. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys: Popular sleeper pick.
77. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: Used to be a popular sleeper pick.
78. Jason Snelling, RB, Falcons
79. Chris Ivory, RB, Saints
80. Devery Henderson, WR, Saints
81. Willis McGahee, RB, Ravens
82. Mario Manningham, WR, Giants
83. Kenneth Darby, RB, Rams: Pretty wise handcuff to hang on to.
84. Derrick Mason, WR, Ravens
85. Chester Taylor, RB, Bears
86. Lee Evans, WR, Bills: I really have to laugh when I hear people talk about Ryan Fitzpatrick as the savior at quarterback. I mean, he's smart, can manage a game, but … stop right there.
87. Legedu Naanee, WR, Chargers
88. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers: New name for you to keep an eye on, though it seems like they're training him for short-yardage stuff, not the big job.
89. Louis Murphy, WR, Raiders
90. Derrick Ward, RB, Texans: Nice reminder in Week 4 that he should never have been anyone's starter but can help out in relief.
91. Stephen Williams, WR, Cardinals
92. Correll Buckhalter, RB, Broncos
93. Danny Amendola, WR, Rams
94. Rashad Jennings, RB, Jaguars
95. Steve Slaton, RB, Texans
96. Jerome Harrison, RB, Browns: Ah, remember when he was getting 30 carries per week, pre-Peyton?
97. Laurence Maroney, RB, Broncos: Not that I was a big fan in the first place, but it's hard to believe he has been this bad.
98. Steve Johnson, WR, Bills
99. Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Browns
100. Kevin Smith, RB, Lions

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