Fantasy football 2012 cheat sheet

Fantasy football 2012 cheat sheet

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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.

Quarterback

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

Kicker
 
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

Defense
 
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.

Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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Morning Update: Cubs pick up win No. 101, Sale leads White Sox past Rays

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John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

John Lackey sees Cubs lining up for World Series run: ‘It’s all here’

PITTSBURGH — The Cubs have so much going for them, all this blue-chip talent, a clubhouse mix of young players and grizzled veterans, arguably the best manager in the game, an impactful coaching staff and a front office that blends scouting and analytics as well as anyone.

So, no, John Lackey is not at all surprised by the way this clicked into place, 101 wins and counting for the machine built with October in mind.

“Not really,” Lackey said after Tuesday night’s 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. “I had some pretty good offers from other people, and I chose this one for a reason. It’s all here.”

But to win the World Series — and get the jewelry Lackey talks about — you still need some luck, good health and the guts to perform in those Big Boy Games. That reality of randomness and matchups made a pregame announcement some 250 miles away from PNC Park so telling.

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos tore the ACL in his right knee, ending his MVP-caliber season. The National League East champions will lose a .307 hitter with 22-homer power from the middle of their lineup and a veteran presence for a playoff rotation that will likely be without injured ace Stephen Strasburg (right elbow) in the first round.

“That’s a tough one when you lose your catcher, a guy who’s that significant for the pitching staff,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Think about the pitching staff — it’s so different when you know the guy back there is your guy and he knows what’s going on. The communication’s different. The trust factor, all that stuff is different.”

[SHOP CUBS: Get your NL Central champions gear right here]

Within that big-picture context, the Cubs survived as Lackey limited the checked-out Pirates (77-80) to one run across five innings in his fifth start since recovering from a strained right shoulder and coming off the disabled list. Maddon then used six different relievers — staying away from Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman — during a three-hour, 49-minute game that felt more like the Cactus League.

After defecting from the 100-win St. Louis Cardinals team the Cubs bounced out of last year’s playoffs, Lackey finished the regular season at 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA and 188 1/3 innings.

“I’m going to get to 200,” Lackey said.

Beyond wins and losses, Lackey called this season his career best in terms of “those numbers that they’ve made up in the last few years” like WHIP (1.04) and opponents’ OPS (.646) and whatever. And, no, he doesn’t know his WAR, either: “Not even close.”

Yes, the Cubs got the old-school attitude they wanted when they signed Lackey to a two-year, $32 million deal before the winter meetings. For all the talk about the pitching deficit and the New York Mets after their young guns swept the Cubs out of last year’s NL Championship Series, the Cubs are getting their money’s worth with a guy who will turn 38 in October.

The amazing Mets have lost three of those frontline starters — Matt Harvey (thoracic outlet syndrome), Jacob deGrom (nerve damage in his right elbow) and Steven Matz (bone spur in his left elbow) — and are still holding onto the first wild-card spot, which says something about this playoff field.

This doesn’t guarantee anything in October, but the Cubs are just about as close to full strength as they could reasonably hope now. Instead of the silence that would have come with losing an irreplaceable player like Ramos, the sound system in the postgame clubhouse blasted Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Notorious B.I.G. after their 101st win.

“Yeah, we lost Dexter (Fowler) for a bit,” Maddon said. “We lost (Kyle) Schwarber all year. Otherwise, when a couple pitchers got banged up, whether you’re talking about Rondon or Strop, I don’t think that our injuries have been as magnified because we’ve covered them pretty well.

“We still had our moments, like everybody else has. But when you get to right now, we’re getting well, and hopefully that trend continues. But to lose somebody of that magnitude for them, that’s got to be difficult.”