NFL.com is holing LIVE fantasy football chats on Fridays and Sundays during the regular season. But if you don’t get your question answered, checking out our weekly player rankings is a great tool to help make those difficult lineup decisions a little easier.
The rankings are posted on the site every Tuesday and are updated each day throughout the week as needed, right up until Sunday morning.
In an effort to help explain how players are ranked, let’s take a look at some of the guidelines I use to make final determinations.
First, I consider a player’s value. Not just from this season but overall. We all know Aaron Rodgers is outplaying Peyton Manning after two weeks, but the latter has far more value. So Rodgers would need an incredibly favorable matchup to be ranked ahead of him. That actually happened this week with Jay Cutler. He’s the top-scoring fantasy player on NFL.com and faces a great matchup against New Orleans, so he has moved ahead of Manning for Week 3.
Second, I look at a player’s current value based on his recent performances and the events surrounding him this season. With Tom Brady out of action, Randy Moss has fallen behind the likes of Brandon Marshall and Calvin Johnson. Marshall and Johnson have both been hot, while Moss is coming off a bad stat line in a win over the Jets. Despite the fact that his stock has fallen a bit in Brady’s absence, Moss is still a top-10 fantasy wideout based on his overall value.
Third, I examine the matchups. Is Frank Gore more valuable than Adrian Peterson in fantasy football? Of course not. But because he faces the Lions and their league-worst run defense, Gore is ranked ahead of A.P. this week. Of course, the fact that Peterson is dealing with a hamstring issue is also a factor and brings us to our fourth guideline.
If a player is listed on the injury report and expected to be questionable or a game-time decision, that’s going to hurt his value. A perfect example of this is LaDainian Tomlinson. He’s missed practice time and has been hindered due to an injured toe, so he falls down the running back rankings. However, his elite value keeps him in the top five at the position.
The fifth and final factor is bad weather. And we’re not talking about possible showers (God knows even weather forecasters can’t forecast the weather). But if there’s expected to be a ton of rain, wind, snow, etc., then a player’s ranking might be affected.