Fantasy football 2012 cheat sheet

Fantasy football 2012 cheat sheet

By David Ferris

These rankings are based on a combined yardagescoring system (4 points for a passing touchdown, 6 points for a rushingreceiving touchdown, one point for every 25 passing yards, one point for every 10 rushingreceiving yards) and will be updated weekly until the season begins. In-season, we will offer weekly rankings based on the matchups at hand.


1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Tom Brady, Patriots
3. Drew Brees, Saints
NOTE: How much is Payton's absence worth?
4. Cam Newton, Panthers
NOTE: Don't chase last year's rushing scores.
5. Matthew Stafford, Lions
6. Michael Vick, Eagles
NOTE: Under the radar, for once.
7. Eli Manning, Giants
NOTE: You never lose money on him.
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
9. Philip Rivers, Chargers
10. Matt Ryan, Falcons
NOTE: A Julio Jones spike could go long way.
11. Peyton Manning, Broncos
NOTE: How good are his skill players?
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
13. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
14. Jay Cutler, Bears
NOTE: Finally gets a star wideout in Chicago.
15. Matt Schaub, Texans
16. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
NOTE: Reported to camp in terrific shape.
17. Carson Palmer, Raiders
NOTE: Decent Oakland debut despite no prep time.
18. Joe Flacco, Ravens
19. Andy Dalton, Bengals
20. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
21. Andrew Luck, Colts
22. Jake Locker, Titans
NOTE: Probably takes over here.
23. Alex Smith, 49ers
24. Christian Ponder, Vikings
25. Sam Bradford, Rams
26. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
27. Matt Flynn, Seahawks
28. Mark Sanchez, Jets
NOTE: Critical year for him, but needs help.
29. Brandon Weeden, Browns
30. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
NOTE: Offense probably better with Skelton.
31. Matt Moore, Dolphins
32. Tim Tebow, Jets
33. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
34. John Skelton, Cardinals
35. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
36. Chad Henne, Jaguars

Running Back

1. Arian Foster, Texans
2. Ray Rice, Ravens
3. LeSean McCoy, Eagles
NOTE: Only the top three are sure things.
4. Trent Richardson, Browns
5. Ryan Mathews, Chargers
6. Darren McFadden, Raiders
7. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
NOTE: Holdouts rarely go into the season.
8. Matt Forte, Bears
NOTE: Not a big touchdown source, but yardage very safe.
9. Chris Johnson, Titans
10. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
11. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
12. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
NOTE: Unproven thus far at goal line.
13. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
NOTE: There's no right answer here.
14. Ahmad Bradshaw, Giants
15. Steven Jackson, Rams
NOTE: New workout regimen has kept him on field.
16. Michael Turner, Falcons
17. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
NOTE: Splashy camp, buzzy name.
18. Fred Jackson, Bills
19. Darren Sproles, Saints
20. Frank Gore, 49ers
NOTE: Lots of competition here.
21. Reggie Bush, Dolphins
22. Isaac Redman, Steelers
23. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
24. Roy Helu, Redskins
25. Willis McGahee, Broncos
26. Stevan Ridley, Patriots
NOTE: Release of Addai opens things up.
27. Shonn Greene, Jets
NOTE: Never going to be a star.
28. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals
29. James Starks, Packers
30. Donald Brown, Colts
31. Ben Tate, Texans
NOTE: Unreal upside if Foster gets hurt.
32. Beanie Wells, Cardinals
NOTE: Target Ryan Williams, later.
33. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers
34. C.J. Spiller, Bills
34. Peyton Hillis, Chiefs
35. Mark Ingram, Saints
NOTE: Disappointing YPC as a rookie. 
37. Mikel Leshoure, Lions
38. Michael Bush, Bears
39. Ryan Williams, Cardinals
40. Toby Gerhart, Vikings
41. Shane Vereen, Patriots
42. Kevin Smith, Lions
NOTE: Unexciting, but they need him.
43. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons
NOTE: Figures to see a lot more work this year.
44. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
45. Pierre Thomas, Saints
46. Jahvid Best, Lions
NOTE: Body won't cut him a break.
47. David Wilson, Giants
48. Evan Royster, Redskins
NOTE: Anyone has a chance in a Shanahan offense.
49. Daniel Thomas, Dolphins
50. Felix Jones, Cowboys
NOTE: No one's really excited anymore.
51. LeGarrette Blount, Buccaneers
NOTE: Martin is shoving him out of the way.
52. Bernard Scott, Bengals
53. Rashad Jennings, Jaguars
54. Isaiah Pead, Rams
55. Tim Hightower, Redskins
56. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers
NOTE: Redman is better short-yardage runner.
57. Robert Turbin, Seahawks
58. LaMichael James, 49ers
59. Delone Carter, Colts
60. Taiwan Jones, Raiders
61. Kendall Hunter, 49ers
62. Brandon Jacobs, 49ers
NOTE: True power doesn't match up to reputation.
63. Marcel Reece, Raiders
64. Mike Goodson, Raiders
65. Joe McKnight, Jets
66. Mike Tolbert, Panthers
67. Alex Green, Packers

Wide Receiver

1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
NOTE: In a tier of his own.
2. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
NOTE: He's done it with spotty QBs before. 
3. Greg Jennings, Packers
4. Roddy White, Falcons
5. Victor Cruz, Giants
6. A.J. Green, Bengals
7. Julio Jones, Falcons
8. Jordy Nelson, Packers
9. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
10. Brandon Marshall, Bears
11. Andre Johnson, Texans
NOTE: Knocked down by constant injuries.
12. Wes Welker, Patriots
13. Marques Colston, Saints
NOTE: Not exciting, but has a super catch rate.
14. Steve Smith, Panthers
15. Percy Harvin, Vikings
16. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
NOTE: All signs point to breakout year.
17. Mike Wallace, Steelers
NOTE: Can this relationship be mended?
18. Miles Austin, Cowboys
19. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
NOTE: Needs to take pro game more seriously.
20. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
21. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
22. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots
NOTE: Looking comfortable in new city.
23. Antonio Brown, Steelers
NOTE: Last year's low-TD count a stone fluke. 
24. Steve Johnson, Bills
25. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
26. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
27. Eric Decker, Broncos
NOTE: Manning will love his precise routes.
28. Torrey Smith, Ravens
NOTE: Can Flacco deliver the deep ball?
29. Reggie Wayne, Colts
30. Pierre Garcon, Redskins
31. Denarius Moore, Raiders
32. Robert Meachem, Chargers
33. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Raiders
34. Greg Little, Browns
35. Malcom Floyd, Chargers
36. Anquan Boldin, Ravens
NOTE: Can't beat the jam anymore.
37. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
38. Lance Moore, Saints
NOTE: Brees trusts him in all spots.
39. Nate Washington, Titans
NOTE: Underrated by all, including the Titans.
40. Santonio Holmes, Jets
NOTE: Nothing special, but the best they have.
41. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
NOTE: Possession guy, but doesn't get deep.
42. Titus Young, Lions
43. Santana Moss, Redskins
44. Sidney Rice, Seahawks
NOTE: Owens signing tells you club is worried here.
45. Kenny Britt, Titans
NOTE: Physical issues, maturity issues.
46. Austin Collie, Colts
47. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
48. Vincent Brown, Chargers
49. Laurent Robinson, Jaguars
50. Brian Quick, Rams
51. Randall Cobb, Packers
52. Randy Moss, 49ers
NOTE: Positive buzz, but Niners promote everyone.
53. Kendall Wright, Titans
54. Nate Burleson, Lions
55. Jon Baldwin, Chiefs
56. Brandon LaFell, Panthers
57. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
NOTE: Don't expect much as a rookie.
58. Michael Floyd, Cardinals
59. Alshon Jeffery, Bears
60. Reuben Randle, Giants
61. Danny Amendola, Rams
NOTE: Solid depth play in PPR formats.
62. Mario Manningham, 49ers
63. Jerome Simpson, Vikings
64. Davone Bess, Dolphins
65. David Nelson, Bills
66. Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers
NOTE: Jump 15-20 spots if Wallace sits.
67. Brian Hartline, Dolphins
68. Stephen Hill, Jets
69. James Jones, Packers
70. Devery Henderson, Saints
71. Leonard Hankerson, Redskins
72. Terrell Owens, Seahawks
NOTE: More fun with him around.
73. Steve Smith, Rams
74. Devin Hester, Bears
75. Jacoby Ford, Raiders
76. Earl Bennett, Bears
77. Dexter McCluster, Chiefs
78. Chad Ochocinco, Dolphins
79. Golden Tate, Seahawks
80. Steve Breaston, Chiefs
81. Donald Jones, Bills
82. Mohamed Sanu, Bengals
83. Mohamed Massaquoi, Browns
84. Lestar Jean, Texans
85. Chaz Schilens, Jets

Tight End

1. Jimmy Graham, Saints
NOTE: Scary that he's still learning how to play.
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
3. Antonio Gates, Chargers
4. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots
NOTE: Could easily get into double-digits this year.
5. Jermichael Finley, Packers
6. Vernon Davis, 49ers
NOTE: Finally learned new scheme late in 2011.
7. Jason Witten, Cowboys
8. Fred Davis, Redskins
9. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
10. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
11. Brent Celek, Eagles
12. Jacob Tamme, Broncos
13. Jared Cook, Titans
NOTE: Trendy breakout pick, let it come to you.
14. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
15. Dustin Keller, Jets
16. Owen Daniels, Texans
17. Greg Olsen, Panthers
18. Coby Fleener, Colts
NOTE: Played with Luck at Stanford.
19. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
20. Heath Miller, Steelers
21. Kellen Winslow, Seahawks
NOTE: No longer a reliable option.
22. Martellus Bennett, Giants
23. Lance Kendricks, Rams
24. Tony Moeaki, Chiefs
25. Dallas Clark, Buccaneers
26. Ed Dickson, Ravens
27. Anthony Fasano, Dolphins
28. Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars
29. Kellen Davis, Bears
30. Scott Chandler, Bills

1. David Akers, 49ers
NOTE: Outlier seasons rarely repeat, don't chase.
2. Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders
3. Mason Crosby, Packers
4. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots
NOTE: Always a bankable offense.
5. Dan Bailey, Cowboys
6. Jason Hanson, Lions
NOTE: Getting close to the end, but still indoors.
7. Alex Henery, Eagles
8. Nate Kaeding, Chargers
9. Matt Bryant, Falcons
10. Matt Prater, Broncos
NOTE: Can connect from Wyoming. 
11. Robbie Gould, Bears
12. Garrett Hartley, Saints
13. Neil Rackers, Redskins
14. Rob Bironas, Titans
NOTE: Super leg, so-so offense.
15. Randy Bullock, Texans
NOTE: Gets a shot at cushy gig.
16. Billy Cundiff, Ravens
17. Mike Nugent, Bengals
18. Dan Carpenter, Dolphins
19. Lawrence Tynes, Giants
20. Shaun Suisham, Steelers
21. Rian Lindell, Bills
22. Josh Brown, Jets
NOTE: A change was needed here.
23. Connor Barth, Buccaneers
NOTE: Might be a good waiver-wire grab in September.
24. Ryan Succop, Chiefs
25. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks
26. Jay Feely, Cardinals
27. Greg Zuerlein, Rams
28. Phil Dawson, Browns
29. Josh Scobee, Jaguars
30. Adam Vinatieri, Colts
31. John Kasay, Saints
32. Olindo Mare, Panthers

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Green Bay Packers
3. New York Giants
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. Chicago Bears
6. Seattle Seahawks
NOTE: Especially nasty at home.
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Detroit Lions
9. Dallas Cowboys
NOTE: Follow the sacks.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers
11. New England Patriots
12. New York Jets
13. Houston Texans
14. Baltimore Ravens
NOTE: A sure bet to be overdrafted - avoid.
15. Denver Broncos
16. Kansas City Chiefs
NOTE: A tough out at Arrowhead.
17. Atlanta Falcons
18. Cincinnati Bengals
19. Arizona Cardinals
NOTE: A few playmakers offer runback juice. 
20. San Diego Chargers
21. Minnesota Vikings
NOTE: Even with Jared Allen, not much here.
22. Tennessee Titans
23. Washington Redskins
24. Carolina Panthers
25. Cleveland Browns
NOTE: A better group than many realize.
26. New Orleans Saints
27. Oakland Raiders
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
30. St. Louis Rams
31. Indianapolis Colts
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
NOTE: Offense will sell them down the river.

Report: Bears looking for Jay Cutler return against Vikings; Matt Barkley on stand-by

Report: Bears looking for Jay Cutler return against Vikings; Matt Barkley on stand-by

FOX insider Jay Glazer confirmed on Sunday that the Bears expect quarterback Jay Cutler will be back from his sprained thumb and able to start against the Minnesota Vikings next Monday night in Soldier Field.

That would put Matt Barkley back where he has been pretty much his entire three-plus-year NFL career. Waiting.

That's the Bears want what every team wants – a young quarterback in the developmental pipeline – is no secret. Ryan Pace is among the NFL executives who speak of drafting a quarterback as much as every year, even if they don’t.

Could the Bears already have that player on their roster?

If Barkley, who was pressed into service when Brian Hoyer went down with a broken arm in last Thursday’s loss to the Green Bay Packers, is in fact that player, he might not be surprised. But the rest of the NFL would be.

"I'm confident that no matter where I am or what the deal is,” Barkley said, after going 6-for-15 with no TD’s and two interceptions, “I can play in this league.”

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

He may be one of the few still holding onto that belief. The Bears picked up Barkley after the Arizona Cardinals discarded him in early September. The Cardinals didn’t see Barkley as even a practice-squad option, which the Bears did and where Barkley was working before Cutler’s thumb injury forced the Bears to sign him to the active roster.

“The [Bears] personnel people thought he was a taller [6-2] guy that stood in the pocket pretty well,” said coach John Fox. “A guy that we thought we could work with, that had some experience and, hopefully, he got a little bit more experience [at Green Bay].”

Barkley has gone from possible No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft to just another touted USC quarterback who failed or were no better than just-OK at the NFL level (Todd Marinovich, Rob Johnson, Matt Leinart, Mark Sanchez), who has thrown 65 NFL passes, none for a touchdown and six that were intercepted, including two in the Bears’ 26-10 loss last Thursday in Green Bay.

The question for Barkley at this point in his career is whether Chicago is his last stop and/or chance. Fourth-round draft picks have played their ways into prominence (Kirk Cousins in Washington, Dak Prescott in Dallas, even Sonny Jurgensen and Norm Van Brocklin if you want to find Hall of Famers), but Barkley has the added challenge of being on his third team and learning yet another offense after beginning this season running Houston and Philadelphia plays for the Bears’ defense.

Barkley offered no excuses for his poor showing (18.3 passer rating). Sort of.

“It definitely would be more beneficial [to have gotten more snaps before Green Bay],” Barkley said. “I’m not going to say what Coach should do; that’s his decision and you’ve got to deal with what you’re dealt.

“Just since I’ve been here, you know, scout-team reps and trying to put our plays into what we’re seeing on cards, you try to do every little thing you can to get better no matter what you’re doing. That’s no excuse.”

Buckeyes not dead by a long shot, but this much is clear: Michigan is Big Ten's top dog


Buckeyes not dead by a long shot, but this much is clear: Michigan is Big Ten's top dog

Make no mistake, Ohio State isn’t out of the championship running because it lost one game on an October night in Happy Valley.

But here’s perhaps the biggest thing we learned on Saturday night: Michigan is the team to beat in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines didn’t prove that all by themselves, of course, because a 41-8 win over lowly Illinois is nothing special to a team in the national-title hunt. But with the Buckeyes falling in stunning fashion to Penn State, a comparison can start to be drawn.

We got a glimpse last weekend, when Ohio State couldn’t turn in nearly the same shut-down performance against Wisconsin that Michigan had two weeks prior. The Wolverines almost completely silenced the Badgers when the two met in Ann Arbor, a 14-7 win for Michigan in which it looked absolutely unbeatable on the defensive side and was a few missed field goals away from holding a much bigger lead. In its matchup with Wisconsin, the Ohio State defense showed up, too, particularly after halftime. But the Badgers still scored more than triple the points they did against the Wolverines and racked up more than 300 yards in the first half alone. The Buckeyes won and looked good doing it, but they looked nowhere near as good as the Wolverines did.

Then came Saturday night, when Ohio State struggled on offense despite some good raw numbers in terms of yardage. And the Penn State defense pressured the heck out of Heisman candidate J.T. Barrett, sacking him six times including on Ohio State’s final two offensive plays of the evening. These Lions are the same that the Wolverines scorched by a 49-10 score in late September. Michigan allowed Penn State to gain just 191 total yards in that game and sacked Trace McSorley six times, all while scoring nearly 50 points on 515 total yards.

Now, a few points.

The main difference when it comes to comparing the two games against Wisconsin and Penn State is that Michigan was at home for both and Ohio State was on the road for both. That’s a big difference, sure.

But the other point is that the Wolverines are doing this to everybody. They are obliterating the competition. Outside of the Wisconsin game — a game against a top-11 team with one of the best defenses in college football — every win has been a blowout. Including the Wisconsin game, the average margin of victory is 38.7. Excluding it, the average margin of victory is 44.

Michigan ranks No. 1 in the country in scoring defense, allowing an average of 10 points a game, and ranks No. 3 in the country in scoring offense, averaging a whopping 48.7 points per game. There doesn’t seem to be a weakness to this team, and there are no “yeah, but” arguments to be found, especially after what Ohio State did against Wisconsin and Penn State, two teams Michigan effectively dominated.

Jim Harbaugh’s crew is barreling toward playing for a national championship, it would seem. Of course, those Buckeyes still stand in the way, and should Ohio State take care of its business between now and the regular season’s final week — easier said than done with undefeated Nebraska still on the schedule — then The Game will be the Big Ten title game play-in we all thought it would be.

That game will still be a clash of the titans. But right this second, there’s a favorite. And it’s Michigan.