Week 4 composite player rankings

This has been an insane week for the National Football League. With scab referees destroying at least one game (possibly two), it seems as though the NFL has finally grown tired of dangerous incompetence and is poised to reach an agreement with the NFLRA. This means that soon we could be screaming and cursing our voices hoarse at unionized officials. Officials who are not only qualified and have a proper grasp on the basic rules and nuances of professional football, but ones who don’t need to have half-hour long conferences each time they need to make a simple holding call.

The only thing that hasn’t changed this week is our collective lust for fantasy football. As always, I’ve collected the rankings of Michael Fabiano/Adam Rank of NFL.com and Dave Richard/Jamey Eisenberg of CBSSPORTS.com and combined them into five convenient charts.

Quarterbacks

Player Fabiano Richard Eisenberg Rank Average
1. Matt Ryan (vs. CAR) 3 1 2 3 2.25
T-2. Robert Griffin III (@TB) 2 5 3 1 2.75
T-2. Aaron Rodgers (vs. NO) 1 7 1 2 2.75
4. Drew Brees (@GB) 5 3 4 4 4
5. Tom Brady (@BUF) 4 6 5 5 5
6. Peyton Manning (vs. OAK) 9 2 9 6 6.5
7. Joe Flacco (vs. CLE) 8 8 6 9 7.75
8. Eli Manning (@PHI) 13 4 7 11 8.75
T-9. Cam Newton (@ATL) 6 13 13 7 9.75
T-9. Matthew Stafford (vs. MIN) 7 12 10 10 9.75
11. Tony Romo (vs. CHI) 10 15 16 8 12.25
12. Philip Rivers (@KC) 12 16 11 12 12.75
T-13. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. NE) 15 9 8 22 13.5
T.13. Christian Ponder (@DET) 18 11 12 13 13.5
15. Michael Vick (vs. NYG) 11 17 14 14 14

Whoa, hey Matt Ryan, didn’t expect to see you here at the top of the QB rankings, yet I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. The Falcons are 3-0 with Ryan throwing eight TDs and only one pick this season.

Michael Vick continues his free fall, and if he has another week where he alternates between making a dazzling play and throwing a crippling INT, he’ll fall off the list entirely.

Running Backs

Player Fabiano Richard Eisenberg Rank Average
1. Arian Foster (vs. TEN) 1 1 1 1 1
2. Maurice Jones-Drew (vs. CIN) 3 2 3 2 2.5
3. Ray Rice (vs. CLE) 2 3 2 4 2.75
4. Marshawn Lynch (@STL) 6 4 5 8 5.75
T-5. LeSean McCoy (vs. NYG) 5 10 4 5 6
T-5. Jamaal Charles (vs. SD) 8 5 8 3 6
7. Darren McFadden (@DEN) 4 12 6 6 7
8. Frank Gore (@NYJ) 13 6 9 14 10.5
9. Ryan Mathews (@KC) 7 13 10 13 10.75
T-10. BenJarvus Green-Ellis (@JAC) 14 11 12 10 11.75
T-10. Adrian Peterson (@DET) 16 7 7 17 11.75
12. DeMarco Murray (vs. CHI) 12 8 14 16 12.5
13. Mikel Leshoure (vs. MIN) 17 16 11 11 13.75
T-14. Cedric Benson (vs. NO) 10 17 13 19 14.75
T-14. Trent Richardson (@BAL) 11 18 23 7 14.75
16. Doug Martin (vs. WAS) 9 23 17 12 15.25
17. Michael Bush (@DAL) 15 19 21 9 16
18. Michael Turner (vs. CAR) 18 24 15 15 18
19. Fred Jackson (vs. NE) 20 14 25 21 20
20. Andre Brown (@PHI) 25 15 27 20 21.5

An injury to C.J. Spiller has allowed Arian Foster to reclaim the top spot in the RB rankings. Spiller’s injury could also mean a heavy workload for Fred Jackson, who is practicing this week and could make his return on Sunday when the Bills take on the Patriots (although I’m sure Tashard Choice will get quite a few touches).

Wide Receivers

Player Fabiano Richard Eisenberg Rank Average
1. Calvin Johnson (vs. MIN) 1 1 1 2 1.25
2. Julio Jones (vs. CAR) 3 3 2 1 2.25
3. A.J. Green (@JAC) 2 2 4 3 2.75
4. Andre Johnson (vs. TEN) 5 4 3 7 4.75
5. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. MIA) 4 9 6 4 5.75
6. Percy Harvin (@DET) 13 8 7 6 8.5
7. Demaryius Thomas (vs. OAK) 9 6 5 18 9.5
8. Vincent Jackson (vs. WAS) 6 12 14 8 10
9. Victor Cruz (@PHI) 12 11 11 9 10.75
10. Wes Welker (@BUF) 7 16 16 5 11
11. Roddy White (vs. CAR) 10 17 8 11 11.5
12. Steve Johnson (vs. NE) 15 5 9 25 13.5
13. Greg Jennings (vs. NO) 16 14 17 10 14.25
14. Hakeem Nicks (@PHI) 8 19 19 13 14.75
15. Steve Smith (@ATL) 11 21 15 15 15.5
16. Dewayne Bowe (vs. SD) 17 15 12 21 16.25
17. Brandon Lloyd (@BUF) 14 13 20 19 16.5
18. Miles Austin (vs. CHI) 23 7 13 26 17.25
19. Eric Decker (vs. OAK) 26 10 22 14 18
20. Jordy Nelson (vs. NO) 24 22 10 17 18.25

Last week against Philadelphia, Larry Fitzgerald finally remembered he was an elite wide receiver, torching the Eagles for 114 yards and a touchdown.

I’m pretty sure I know the reason for his gridiron amnesia, and like everything else in this world, it’s all about me. Fitzgerald knew he was on my fantasy team and he also can’t stand seeing me happy, so as soon as he was nestled comfortably on my bench next to three or four scrub running backs, he had a monster game.

Why doesn’t anyone want me to be happy?

Tight Ends

Player Fabiano Richard Eisenberg Rank Average
1. Jimmy Graham (@GB) 1 1 1 1 1
2. Rob Gronkowski (@BUF) 2 2 3 2 2.25
3. Vernon Davis (@NYJ) 3 5 2 4 3.5
4. Tony Gonzalez (vs. CAR) 4 4 4 6 4.5
5. Martellus Bennett (@PHI) 8 3 5 3 4.75
6. Dennis Pitta (vs. CLE) 5 8 6 9 7
7. Kyle Rudolph (@DET) 7 7 7 8 7.25
8. Antonio Gates (@KC) 12 9 10 5 9
9. Brandon Pettigrew (vs. MIN) 11 6 8 12 9.25
10. Owen Daniels (vs. TEN) 10 10 9 10 9.75
11. Jermichael Finley (vs. NO) 6 13 12 11 10.5
12. Brent Celek (vs. NYG) 9 15 14 7 11.25
13. Fred Davis (@TB) 13 14 18 15 15
14. Jacob Tamme (vs. OAK) 16 12 17 16 15.25
15. Brandon Myers (@DEN) 17 11 16 20 16

As Madden and Sean Tomlinson predicted, in the absence of Hakeem Nicks, Martellus “The Black Unicorn” Bennett became one of Eli Manning’s favourite targets. Bennett had six catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in the Giants 36-7 shellacking of the Panthers on Thursday night.

In fact, Bennett has proven himself to be one of the top tight ends all season, averaging 62 yards and one touchdown per game.

Defense/Special Teams

Team Fabiano Richard Eisenberg Rank Average
1. Arizona Cardinals (vs. MIA) 1 1 3 1 1.5
2. Houston Texans (vs. TEN) 4 2 5 3 3.5
T-3. New York Giants (@PHI) 2 6 6 2 4
T-3. Baltimore Ravens (vs. CLE) 7 4 1 4 4
5. Seattle Seahawks (@STL) 3 7 4 7 5.25
T-6. Atlanta Falcons (vs. CAR) 6 5 8 5 6
T-6. San Francisco 49ers (@NYJ) 11 3 2 8 6
8. Dallas Cowboys (vs. CHI) 9 8 7 10 8.5
9. Chicago Bears (@DAL) 5 15 10 6 9
10. Green Bay Packers (vs. NO) 8 14 9 12 10.75

In one of the most surprising stories of the season the Arizona Cardinals, bolstered by their stifling defense, have started the season 3-0.  In the past two weeks, the Cards have wins over the NFL’s most recent dynasty (New England) and a flawed team that was quick to prematurely label themselves a dynasty (Philadelphia).

That’s it for now folks, come back next week for a deliciously fresh set of rankings.