It’s been waaaay too long since I put this together, so long that most of you out there probably don’t remember how this works. So we’ll get right into it and cut out the mindless drivel….by the way, I’m sure there will be an update to this next week with all the guys that were inadvertantly left off the list.
Just to recap the rules, this is a ranking of players strictly for the purpose of dynasty leagues. Taking into account only keeper/dynasty status, and a basic scoring system. We’ll count up from #50 to #1. The way it will work is that you would keep the #49 guy on the list over the #50 guy on the list, but not the #48 guy. You’d keep the #9 guy on the list over the #10 guy on the list, but not the #8 guy, etc. The #1 guy on the list is a player you would keep over any and everyone. A player’s ranking from the last posting (early last spring?) is listed in parenthesis. As is usually the case with these things, it’s subjective and many decisions should be based on your entire roster (among other factors) and not just this list.
If you think I’m way off base, sound off: email@example.com.
Falling off the list from last time:
(12) RB Kevan Barlow, San Francisco – Perhaps a little harsh in dropping him completely off the list, but do you have any confidence in him for even just 2005? That said, don’t overlook him on draft day in redraft leagues, I’m tabbing him as a favorite for comeback player of the year.
(17) RB Marshall Faulk, St.Louis – Faulk may still have some spurts of production here and there, but for the long term his ship is readying to set sail.
(21) WR Hines Ward, Pittsburgh – WTF happened in 2004?
(22) RB Fred Taylor, Jacksonville – The fact that the Jaguars to hotly pursued Travis Henry should be a sign that Taylor is not well.
(23) RB Stephen Davis, Carolina – Actually a tough omission from the list, but I see the Foster Era beginning sooner rather than later and now Shelton is in the mix.
(29) RB Chris Brown, Tennessee – Barely knocked off the list, but I think deservedly so. Extremely fragile and now the Titans have options.
(32) WR Charles Rogers, Detroit – Break a collarbone once, shame on me, break your collarbone twice, you’re off my list.
(34) QB Trent Green, Kansas City – Traded in a consistent knack for the 350+ yard game in 2003 for the consistent 200 yard game in 2004.
(35) WR Santana Moss, Washington – Just didn’t do much for me in 2004, or anyone else for that matter.
(36) QB Aaron Brooks, New Orleans – Really fell from grace in 2004, needs to rebound.
(40) QB Steve McNair, Tennessee – His injury free days are clearly behind him.
(41) TE Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City – Couldn’t find it in me to put a TE on the list, the position has just become too deep to warrant it. Which is not to say that I’m cutting Gonzo loose from my dynasty team.
(42) WR Amani Toomer, NY Giants – Steady decline too much to keep him in the top 50.
(47) WR Laveranues Coles, Washington – Eh. Flop in 2004, certainly that’s not what they gave him the big bucks for.
(50) WR Eric Moulds, Buffalo – Was barely hanging onto the list anyways.
50 (45) WR Steve Smith, Carolina – Tough break in 2004, another comeback player of the year candidate, should excel this season.
49 (37) RB Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia – First he signs a one year offer, then holds out? Am I missing something here? Elevator going up to the top floor or not?
48 (unranked) RB Tatum Bell, Denver – Bell will need to establish himself this upcoming year or he will be left behind. Yes, I’ve heard that Mike Anderson is tearing it up, but remember, he is Mike Anderson.
47 (unranked) WR Roy Williams, Detroit – Would be higher if it weren’t for the Lions uncertain offense.
46 (30) WR Anquan Boldin, Arizona – Should rebound from an injury riddled 2004.
45 (38) RB TJ Duckett, Atlanta – There once was a man from Nantucket…whoa, wrong article.
44 (unranked) WR Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay – I very much liked what I saw from in in 2004.
43 (unranked) QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle – Young and entrenched as the starter, you could do worse that’s for sure.
42 (unranked) RB Michael Bennett, Minnesota – If only the Vikings knew how to use a talented RB for fantasy purposes.
41 (rookie) RB JJ Arrington, Arizona – Will play right out of the gate, not my fave of the 2005 class.
A smattering of young and “old” in the ten players above. Some of them, especially Steve Smith and Boldin, I think will have great 2005 numbers.
40 (rookie) RB Cedric Benson, Chicago – Probably not a factor in 2005, especially since he refuses to sign, but will be in 2006 and beyond.
39 (rookie) RB Ronnie Brown, Miami – Ricky is not long for being in Miami.
38 (rookie) RB Carnell Williams, Tampa Bay – Best long term in my opinion of the 2005 rookie crop, decent short term as well.
37 (36) K Jeff Wilkins, St.Louis – Just kidding, wanted to make sure you were reading.
37 (unranked) WR Jerry Porter, Oakland – With Moss on the other side, Porter will enjoy much success being single covered.
36 (unranked) WR Nate Burleson, Minnesota – Conversely, with Moss out of the picture, now becomes the focus of the offense.
35 (44) WR Andre Johnson, Houston – Will continue to improve on a very good 2004.
34 (43) RB Thomas Jones, Chicago – Yes, that’s right, he’s still here. More often than not, the rookie will hold out, not get up to speed in time, and the veteran will continue where he left off last year.
33 (unranked) RB Warrick Dunn, Atlanta – 2004 was a great year for him, bonus for those leagues where receptions are one point each.
32 (unranked) RB Larry Johnson Kansas City – Will likely have a semi-quiet 2005, but once Holmes is out of the way, watch out. Looked tremendous when given the chance last season.
31 (33) WR Darrell Jackson, Seattle – Not a great season in 2004, but has shown to be very consistent year in and year out.
The rest of the top rookies fill in the players above. To repeat, stay away from rookies in redraft leagues, it’s not going to happen for any of them, trust me on that one.
30 (31) RB Tiki Barber, NY Giants – I just can’t see another repeat performance of 2004.
29 (48) RB Steven Jackson, St.Louis – I still see Faulk taking some of his time away, and Martz has no idea how to utilize such skill so he remains relatively low on my list.
28 (unranked) WR Javon Walker, Green Bay – Continues to improve, just outside the “stud” WR category, but he’s knocking on the door.
27 (46) RB Travis Henry, Tennessee – Rescued from Buffalo, should quickly establish himself as the top dog, plays hurt, plays well.
26 (28) WR Terrell Owens, Philadelphia – He’s in camp, he’s out of camp. Might have been higher on the list if I didn’t have to negotiate with his agent, but I’m growing tired of the act.
25 (25) WR Joe Horn, New Orleans – What’s not to like about him, continued to produce despite the Saints misfortunes in 2004.
24 (26) RB De’Shawn Foster, Carolina – If he can ever put a full season together, he rockets right into the top five. However, I’m beginning to wonder if that’s possible since Carolina has other options behind him.
24 (39) RB Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati – Ok, ok, settle down all you Rudi lovers, he’s moving up my list.
23 (24) QB Tom Brady, New England – If Superbowl rings counted in fantasy, he’d be tops on the list. Still, incredibly durable, consistent, and young.
22 (20) RB Corey Dillon, New England – Nothing flashy, just productive, should continue in 2005.
21 (19) QB Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia – Nearly cut him from the list completely thanks to the crap he pulled in weeks 16 and 17 last year. Not cool.
I had a hard time placing Travis Henry on this list, he’s been a tremendous fantasy player before, and personally I don’t see Chris Brown being much of a factor at all in 2005. I’m glad I don’t have Owens on any of my teams, what a nut job.
20 (14) WR Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis – Still one of the best, can Peyton throw that many TDs again?
19 (13) WR Torry Holt, St.Louis – An “off” season in 2004 was still one of the best at his position.
18 (15) RB Clinton Portis, Washington – I’m still not seeing in him what others *love* about him, but he is a starting running back.
17 (unranked) RB Kevin Jones, Detroit – Should improve upon a solid rookie campaign.
16 (unranked) RB Lamont Jordan, Oakland – Finally given a chance, can he become the monster many thought he would be when they drafted him three years ago?
15 (9) RB Priest Holmes, Kansas City – This is no reflection on what his 2005 numbers will be, just that I’m only seeing 2 or maybe 3 more top fantasy seasons from him.
14 (4) RB Ahman Green, Green Bay – I’m not getting a good feeling from Green for this upcoming season, might be the five alarm chile from the cafeteria. Though he does seem to excel in even numbered years.
13 (8) QB Michael Vick, Atlanta – Too steep a drop off in passing yards to stay in the top 10, you gotta have a backup if Vick is your starter.
12 (18) WR Chad Johnson, Cincinnati – Just on the cusp of the top 10, CJ has improved every season and may actually be the top fantasy WR in 2005.
11 (7) RB Domanick Davis, Houston – My feelings on Davis haven’t changed, I still like him more than others, simply been passed by some better talent this ranking.
Things get crowded at the top, so players 11-20 see some of the top fantasy players. Jordan was another tough placement, but I see a solid season from him in 2005 where he establishes himself as Oakland’s RB for the next few years. Vick is falling fast, need to see more passing numbers than rushing numbers from him.
10 (11) QB Duante Culpepper, Minnesota – No Moss? No problem. More chances to run the ball into the end zone.
9 (2) RB Duece McAllister, New Orleans – Still young and extremely talented, not sure what happened to him in 2005. Perhaps a bit of harsh drop on this list, but its tough to stay on top here.
8 (6) WR Randy Moss, Oakland – He’s still the best, and will be out to prove it in 2005.
7 (10) RB Edgerrin James, Indianapolis – Keeps “Edging” up the list, not too many are better than he.
6 (5) RB Jamal Lewis, Baltimore – I have a feeling he’s in for a monster 2005 season.
5 (3) RB Shawn Alexander, Seattle – I’m not as high on Alexander in 2005 as others are, still hard to have him any lower on this list since he’ll end up somewhere playing well for the next 5-6 years.
4 (16) QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis – Pains me to put a QB this high, but Manning deserves it. What a season, especially for those leagues that award six points per TD throw.
3 (49) RB Julius Jones, Dallas – Had some monster games last season, coach has no problem riding him game after game.
2 (27) RB Willis McGahee, Buffalo – Meteoric rise cumlinates with the trading away of Travis Henry.
1 (1) RB LaDanian Tomlinson, San Diego – The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Creme de la creme, best of the best. Tomlinson once again continues his dominance at the top, and is there any real argument to that? I’d love to hear it if you think he’s not the best. Many will scoff at McGahee being so high, maybe even Julius Jones as well, but I expect great things from these two for years to come.