Chris Wesseling

Dynasty Rankings

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2012 Dynasty Rookie Ranks

Friday, May 04, 2012


Evan Silva, Adam Levitan, and I covered the immediate draft fallout earlier in the week. Silva handed out grades for the NFC teams while I tackled the AFC with help from draft guru Josh Norris. If you’re looking for the top rookies for the 2012 season, Levitan has you covered with 20 impact players. Going the extra mile, Norris highlights the top 32 seniors for next year’s draft.

With rookie drafts coming up this weekend, though, it's time to turn our attention to Dynasty and keeper leagues. I addressed the veteran draft losers on Wednesday. My Top-50 list for standard-scoring leagues with 25-man rosters is as follows:

Top 50 Overall

Tier One

1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Redskins
2. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts
3. Trent Richardson, RB, Browns

Tier Two

4. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers
5. Justin Blackmon, WR, Jaguars
6. David Wilson, RB, Giants
7. Kendall Wright, WR, Titans
8. Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals

Tier Three

9. Isaiah Pead, RB, Rams
10. Stephen Hill, WR, Jets
11. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears

12. Brian Quick, WR, Rams

13. Coby Fleener, TE, Colts
14. Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins
15. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins

Tier Four

16. Rueben Randle, WR, Giants
17. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos
18. A.J. Jenkins, WR, 49ers
19. Chris Givens, WR, Rams
20. Mohamed Sanu, WR, Bengals
21. Ladarius Green, TE, Chargers
22. LaMichael James, RB, 49ers
23. Ryan Broyles, WR, Lions
24. Greg Childs, WR, Vikings
25. Marvin Jones, WR, Bengals
26. Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns

Tier Five

27. Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens
28. Nick Toon, WR, Saints
29. Robert Turbin, RB, Seahawks
30. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
31. Adrien Robinson, TE, Giants
32. Dwayne Allen, TE, Colts
33. Cyrus Gray, RB, Chiefs
34. Tommy Streeter, WR, Ravens
35. DeVier Posey, WR, Texans
36. Chris Polk, RB, Eagles
37. Juron Criner, WR, Raiders
38. Devon Wylie, WR, Chiefs
39. T.J. Graham, WR, Bills
40. Ryan Lindley, QB, Cardinals
41. Brock Osweiler, QB, Broncos
42. Marvin McNutt, WR, Eagles
43. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
44. Lavon Brazill, WR, Colts
45. B.J. Cunningham, WR, Dolphins
46. Michael Smith, RB, Buccaneers
47. Rishard Matthews, WR, Dolphins
48. Orson Charles, TE, Bengals
49. Michael Egnew, TE, Dolphins
50. Danny Coale, WR, Cowboys

A few thoughts on the ranks:

I realize Richardson is the consensus No. 1 pick in early rookie mocks. If your emphasis is on grabbing the player most likely to make a splash in 2012, Richardson is certainly your man. If you’re looking long-term, however, I’d lean toward the two quarterbacks.

As I explained in the quarterback Dynasty ranks a couple of months ago, Griffin and Luck are the most impressive pair of rookies I’ve seen since Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson entered the league together a half-decade ago.

We tend to gravitate toward stud running backs out of habit. Should that remain the case in today’s pass-dominated NFL where starting running backs can’t be relied upon year-in and year-out? Look at this way: Would you rather have a dozen consecutive top-six fantasy finishes, as Peyton Manning did from 1999-2010, or gamble that Richardson is more Adrian Peterson than Ronnie Brown?

While I respect analysts such as Mike Mayock and Greg Cosell, my eyes tell me Richardson isn’t in Peterson’s stratosphere even if he’s an outstanding prospect in his own right.

On several rookie lists, I’ve seen Martin lumped into the top tier with the three studs. He’s certainly a rookie to target in redraft leagues, but his talent level isn’t close to the trio at the top of this list. In fact, I’d strongly consider Blackmon with the fourth pick.

On to the rankings by position.

Quarterbacks

1. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
2. Andrew Luck, Colts
3. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
4. Brandon Weeden, Browns
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
6. Ryan Lindley, Cardinals
7. Brock Osweiler, Broncos
8. Nick Foles, Eagles
9. B.J. Coleman, Packers

In Rotoworld’s pre-draft Dynasty quarterback rankings I gave Griffin the slight edge over Luck, noting that riverboat gamblers should take the leap of faith on RGIII while conservative owners may want to go the safe route with Luck. While I have every confidence that Luck will take the Peyton Manning career path, I see an unholy amalgam of Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cunningham in Griffin. He’s like no one quarterback we’ve seen.

As former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah points out, one thing Tannehill has going for him at the NFL level is quick decision making in the pocket. The athletic No. 8 overall pick took only nine sacks in 531 pass attempts, and throws as well or better on the run than Griffin and Luck. I’d have no problem buying a ticket on the Tannehill ride with an early second-round rookie pick.

I’m not wild about Weeden’s age, pocket mobility, or surrounding talent. Let someone else invest in that roster spot. Wilson is an interesting wildcard considering his skillset and the unproven quarterbacks in Seattle. Ditto Lindley. No quarterback of Osweiler’s height has ever succeeded in the NFL, and he’s blocked until Manning retires or is forced out due to injuries. Foles was overdrafted by the Eagles.

Running Backs

1. Trent Richardson, Browns
2. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
3. David Wilson, Giants
4. Isaiah Pead, Rams
5. Lamar Miller, Dolphins
6. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
7. LaMichael James, 49ers
8. Bernard Pierce, Ravens
9. Robert Turbin, Seahawks
10. Cyrus Gray, Chiefs
11. Chris Polk, Eagles
12. Vick Ballard, Colts
13. Chris Rainey, Steelers
14. Michael Smith, Buccaneers
15. Terrance Ganaway, Jets
16. Edwin Baker, Chargers

Richardson is in a class of his own. Rotoworld’s Evan Silva suggests the Browns’ new three-down back could lead the league in touches as a rookie, with only 2010 draft bust Montario Hardesty and role players Brandon Jackson and Chris Ogbonnaya as backfield competition. The Browns have the pieces in place for a strong run-blocking offensive line after adding second-round RT Mitchell Schwartz.

Martin doesn’t have Richardson’s talent, but he does possess an every-down skillset. Expected to take the starting reins from LeGarrette Blount immediately, Martin is a candidate for 15+ touches per game as a rookie. Wilson will start the season below Ahmad Bradshaw on the depth chart, but the rookie is a bigger threat in space as a true homerun threat. Considering Bradshaw’s checkered injury history, Wilson is a good bet to start games in 2012.

Pead is a favorite of NFL Films guru Greg Cosell, who compares the Rams rookie to Jamaal Charles. New coach Jeff Fisher may have visions of Chris Johnson. Expect Pead to work in as an explosive change-of-pace back behind Steven Jackson before taking over as the starter within the next year or two.

Hillman is getting plenty of first-round love in rookie mocks this week. In which case, I’m assigning him a “do not draft” grade. I see a long term change-of-pace back, a species which is overvalued annually in rookie drafts. I’d prefer to roll the dice on Miller at the top of the second round. James draws comparisons to Sproles, but he’s one dimensional and not as explosive after the catch.


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Chris Wesseling is a senior football editor and Dynasty league analyst for Rotoworld.com. The 2011 NFL season marks his fifth year with Rotoworld and his third year contributing to NBCSports.com. He can be found on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.
Email :Chris Wesseling



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