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Fantasy Football Top 125

I don’t know if I love the real football season or the fantasy football season more. As far as I’m concerned, you can’t have one without the other.

The NFL gets started on September 9th (the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints do battle in the Superdome), so that means fantasy football drafts are coming on fast. I have three in the next two weeks. I bet you’re in the same boat.

Are you looking for draft help/advice? I’m guessing that you are if you’re reading this article. Don’t pay for a bunch of magazines and expensive online subscriptions, because I’m going to save you a lot of time, money, and trouble.

Every fantasy football magazine or website has a wide range of rankings. The top players are usually the same, but the lists start to vary after that. Take San Diego Chargers rookie running back Ryan Matthews for example. He’s ranked No. 8 by Yahoo! Sports, but he’s listed at No. 43 by Sporting News. It’s hard to know what to think sometimes.

To help it all make sense, I created my own ranking method (yes, I’m a fantasy geek). It’s very simple. I take four fantasy football lists (I used ESPN, Sporting News, Yahoo! Sports, and Rotoworld.com this year) and average out the rankings for every player. The individuals’ highs and lows come together into one number that way. Make sense?

I’ve used the same system over the last three years and every single one of my teams has made the playoffs since I started this. That includes a few championships (and some money in my wallet) as well. You obviously have to make wise decisions on free agents, who you’re playing, etc., during the season, but this list will help you on draft day.

Here is my fantasy football Top 125 (I didn’t alter the list with my opinions…I let the numbers do all the talking):

NOTE: The numbers in parentheses are the players highest/lowest rankings.

1) Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee  (1/1)
2) Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota  (2/2)
3) Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville  (3/3)
4) Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore  (4/5)
5) Frank Gore, RB, San Francisco  (4/6)
6) Michael Turner, RB, Atlanta  (5/8)
7) Andre Johnson, WR, Houston  (7/9)
8) Steven Jackson, RB, St. Louis  (5/15)
9) Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans  (8/16)
10) DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina  (10/17)
11) Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay  (10/17)
12) Randy Moss, WR, New England  (10/18)
13) Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Pittsburgh  (11/18)
14) Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis  (13/21)
15) Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona  (12/25)
16) Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis  (14/21)
17) Shonn Greene, RB, NY Jets  (9/27)
18) Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit  (12/23)
19) Ryan Grant, RB, Green Bay  (14/29)
20) Miles Austin, WR, Dallas  (17/24)
21) Cedric Benson, RB, Cincinnati  (16/28)
22) Brandon Marshall, WR, Miami  (17/30)
23) Roddy White, WR, Atlanta  (20/32)
24) Ryan Matthews, RB, San Diego  (8/43)
25) DeSean Jackson, WR, Philadelphia  (22/30)
26) Jamaal Charles, RB, Kansas City  (11/34)
27) Jonathan Stewart, RB, Carolina  (22/37)
28) Beanie Wells, RB, Arizona  (27/35)
29) Pierre Thomas, RB, New Orleans  (22/38)
30) Tom Brady, QB, New England  (23/40)
31) Tony Romo, QB, Dallas  (24/46)
32) Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay  (30/39)
33) Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans  (33/36)
34) Matt Schaub, QB, Houston  (33/40)
35) Steve Smith, WR, Carolina  (28/50)
36) Phillip Rivers, QB, San Diego  (21/49)
37) LeSean McCoy, RB, Philadelphia  (32/50)
38) Knowshon Moreno, RB, Denver  (25/48)
39) Sidney Rice, WR, Minnesota  (30/48)
40) Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis  (24/58)
41) Anquan Boldin, WR, Baltimore  (36/49)
42) Steve Smith, WR, NY Giants  (38/60)
43) Chad Ochocinco, WR, Cincinnati  (43/47)
44) Dallas Clark, TE, Dallas  (42/54)
45) Antonio Gates, TE, San Diego  (44/48)
46) Ronnie Brown, RB, Miami  (37/59)
47) Felix Jones, RB, Dallas  (37/57)
48) Matt Forte, RB, Chicago  (35/63)
49) Jahvid Best, RB, Detroit  (37/57)
50) Brandon Jacobs, RB, NY Giants  (38/78)
51) Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota  (44/67)
52) Dewayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City  (50/56)
53) Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco  (43/67)
54) Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco  (52/62)
55) Mike Sims-Walker, WR, Jacksonville  (47/83)
56) Jason Witten, TE, Dallas  (53/74)
57) Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay  (52/75)
58) Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago  (39/85)
59) Marion Barber, RB, Dallas  (54/85)
60) Hakeem Nicks, WR, NY Giants  (54/80)
61) Jerome Harrison, RB, Cleveland  (51/80)
62) Tony Gonzalez, TE, Atlanta  (64/70)
63) Brent Celek, TE, Philadelphia  (62/72)
64) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia  (61/82)
65) Percy Harvin, WR, Minnesota  (52/99)
66) Justin Forsett, RB, Seattle  (55/77)
67) Ricky Williams, RB, Miami  (49/84)
68) Vincent Jackson, WR, San Diego  (31/140)
69) Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore  (61/84)
70) Pierre Garcon, WR, Indianapolis  (57/97)
71) C.J. Spiller, RB, Buffalo  (66/93)
72) Fred Jackson, RB, Buffalo  (63/87)
73) Santana Moss, WR, Washington  (69/81)
74) Hines Ward, WR, Pittsburgh  (53/128)
75) Eli Manning, QB, NY Giants  (58/88)
76) Donald Driver, WR, Green Bay  (58/88)
77) Mike Wallace, WR, Pittsburgh  (69/85)
78) Kevin Kolb, QB, Philadelphia  (57/94)
79) Reggie Bush, RB, New Orleans  (60/111)
80) Clinton Portis, RB, Washington  (66/107)
81) Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta  (67/103)
82) Michael Bush, RB, Oakland  (45/126)
83) Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland  (70/122)
84) Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, NY Giants  (62/118)
85) Donovan McNabb, QB, Washington  (72/98)
86) Owen Daniels, TE, Houston  (74/105)
87) Kellen Winslow, TE, Tampa Bay  (80/92)
88) Donald Brown, RB, Indianapolis  (82/99)
89) Laurence Maroney, RB, New England  (59/114)
90) Robert Meachem, WR, New Orleans  (83/103)
91) Arian Foster, RB, Houston  (48/135)
92) Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas  (83/101)
93) Wes Welker, WR, New England  (70/147)
94) Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo  (87/111)
95) Derrick Mason, WR, Baltimore  (87/117)
96) Carnell Williams, RB, Tampa Bay  (76/126)
97) T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Seattle  (78/124)
98) Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona  (82/119)
99) Johnny Knox, WR, Chicago  (77/139)
100) Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee  (93/113)
101) Braylon Edwards, WR, NY Jets  (81/125)
102) Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh  (91/131)
103) Montario Hardesty, RB, Cleveland  (89/130)
104) Thomas Jones, RB, Kansas City  (64/162)
105) Darren Sproles, RB, San Diego  (95/129)
106) Chester Taylor, RB, Chicago  (106/115)
107) Santonio Holmes, WR, NY Jets  (89/126)
108) Visanthe Shiancoe, TE, Minnesota  (108/113)
109) Chris Cooley, TE, Washington  (92/127)
110) LaDanian Tomlinson, RB, NY Jets  (94/133)
111) Steve Slaton, RB, Houston  (97/129)
112) Tim Hightower, RB, Arizona (104/118)
113) Carson Palmer, RB, Cincinnati  (102/140)
114) Zach Miller, TE, Oakland  (79/152)
115) Matt Stafford, QB, Detroit  (94/146)
116) John Carlson, TE, Seattle  (90/161)
117) Terrell Owens, WR, Cincinnati  (78/164)
118) Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh  (99/154)
119) Devin Aromashodu, WR, Chicago  (96/149)
120) Devin Hester, WR, Chicago  (100/168)
121) NY Jets, DEF  (101/183)
122) Malcom Floyd, WR, Atlanta  (79/179)
123) Jerricho Cotchery, WR, NY Jets  (108/169)
124) Philadelhia, DEF  (104/181)
125) Alex Smith, QB, San Francisco  (107/189)

Feel free to print this off and use it as your own.

I try not to make it too difficult on draft day. I usually take the best player available when it’s my turn to pick, but it depends on what holes I need to fill later in the draft. There’s no reason to stress out if you stick to your list. It’s all about having confidence in the work you put in before the draft.

There are obviously still some question marks when you look at my rankings. Buffalo running backs C.J. Spiller (No. 71) and Fred Jackson (No. 72) are back-to-back on the list, and so are Oakland running backs Michael Bush (No. 82) and Darren McFadden (No. 83). That’s where a little extra research is needed. If it were up to me, I’d take Spiller over Jackson and McFadden over Bush.

I really hope my rankings help you out!

Do you have more fantasy football questions? I’m more than happy to share my opinions. You can ask by leaving a comment below, connecting with me on Twitter @lewissports, hitting me up on the new Tim Lewis page on Facebook, or emailing me at tim@timlewissports.com.

I have more fantasy football fun coming you’re way tomorrow. I’ll reveal my All-Sleeper and All-Bust teams. Stay tuned!

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