Another Update, Plus Baseball Player Rankings

A new week and yet another update for the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy. The Zeile Consensus Projections and ADP each received an update, which you can obtain by simply opening your copy of the Cheatsheet Compiler, going to the update tab, and hitting the Update Projections button, making sure you are asking for the Zeile (FantasyPros) projections from the available drop-down.

Don’t have the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy yet? They are free, including updates from now to Opening Day. All you need to do is register a member account (or login with your old one and renew access) and go to the download page to get the CC/DB, fantasy baseball version for 2013. Testimonials and/or donations to help pay for our web hosting and time are appreciated.

The CC/DB is in Microsoft Excel, which is software that some of you maybe don’t have on your computer, or don’t use currently or very often, or don’t care to try. I’ve tried to make the Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy as user-friendly as possible, but it is within the confines of Excel which isn’t everyone’s idea of a good time. As a (former) accountant, it was a natural for me, but I understand some reluctance or even frustration using a Microsoft product.

Team 5X5 ADP
1 MIL $46 1.01
2 DET $46 1.02
3 LAA $44 1.03
4 NYY $36 1.07
5 LAD $35 1.04
6 LAA $35 1.06
7 LAD $33 2.02

To help bridge the gap by providing something beneficial to non-Excel users, I posted new player ranking pages on the website. Print and go, with the old pencil and paper draft method. Nothing wrong with that, and you are certain to not spill beer on your laptop at the draft. The rankings are based on standard 5X5 roto scoring with a typical $260 salary cap (i.e. same format as you see in outdated magazines on the racks at the book store), pulled from the Cheatsheet Compiler. There are overall rankings and rankings by position. I’ll update these each time we update the projections in the Compiler.

I hope you find that helpful. Feedback is welcome either here in the blog comments, or on Twitter or Facebook.

Update Closer Rankings – Brian Wilson Injury Concerns

Here are my updated closer rankings for 2011 fantasy baseball. Players that moved from the prior rankings are shown with an up or down arrow, with relevant notes about the change. Also make sure to check out the AL Tiers and NL Tiers of Relief Pitching for detail on how I came up with the original rankings.

Rank Player Team
Tier 1
1 Heath Bell SD
2 Joakim Soria KC
3 Mariano Rivera NYY
4 Carlos Marmol CHC
5 Neftali Feliz TEX
  • Mariano Rivera is on schedule for another productive season, although the presence of Rafael Soriano could mean less work than in the past, and much fewer four and five-out saves.
  • Carlos Marmol is a risk because of his checkered history, but he’s still nasty. Hence, he’s worth the risk. And he’s looked good this spring.
  • Neftali Feliz is still unsure of what his role will be with Texas. The informed opinion is that a starting pitcher has more value than a closer (especially in fantasy), although some “classic” baseball minds might disagree. If Feliz ends up as a starter – a decision that could come later this week – Alexi Ogando is probably the best ninth-inning option for the Rangers. Either way, Feliz has plenty of fantasy value.
Rank Player Team
Tier 2
6 Brian Wilson SF
7 Jonathan Papelbon BOS
8 Jonathan Broxton LAD
9 Andrew Bailey OAK
10 John Axford MIL
  • Brian Wilson underwent an MRI on Saturday which revealed a mild strain of his left oblique muscle, a situation that could land him on the DL to start the season. He felt the injury during his most recent appearance Thursday against the Angels. I’ve dropped him to the second tier as a result. Stay tuned.
  • A week after Andrew Bailey walked off the mound clutching his elbow, the diagnosis isn’t nearly as bleak as first proposed. Dr. James Andrews, who cleaned up Bailey’s elbow in September, said it’s just torn scar tissue and a forearm strain. While it looks as if he’ll throw later in the week and could be ready by Opening Day, he’s clearly an injury risk in 2011. The A’s primary backup is Brian Fuentes, so… do with that what you want. I don’t like the guy.
Rank Player Team
Tier 3
11 Francisco Rodriguez NYM
12 Joe Nathan MIN
13 Jose Valverde DET
14 Matt Thornton CHW
15 Huston Street COL
16 J.J. Putz ARI
17 Chris Perez CLE
18 Brad Lidge PHI
19 Drew Storen WAS
20 Francisco Cordero CIN
  • Because of fears surrounding his return from last season’s Tommy John surgery and a possible closer time-share with Matt Capps, Joe Nathan could be the most underrated closer in baseball this season. He retired all six batters he faced during a minor league game Monday, and while there’s chatter about a split of the closing duties, I think that’s just speculative rubbish. Nathan’s the guy.
  • Francisco Cordero has thrown four consecutive scoreless innings in spring training, but he’ll have a tight leash with Aroldis Chapman in the same bullpen. The veteran reliever showed up to camp in much better shape, possibly because he knows his job hangs in the balance.
Rank Player Team
Tier 4
21 Ryan Franklin STL
22 Daniel Bard BOS
23 Rafael Soriano NYY
24 Brandon League SEA
25 Aroldis Chapman CIN
26 Craig Kimbrel ATL
27 Jonny Venters ATL
28 Joel Hanrahan PIT
29 Leo Nunez FLA
30 Frank Francisco TOR
31 David Aardsma (injured) SEA
32 Brandon Lyon HOU
33 Fernando Rodney LAA
34 Kevin Gregg BAL
35 Matt Capps MIN
  • Craig Kimbrel’s shaky start has led to speculation that the Braves will, in fact, split closing duties between Kimbrel, a righty, and Jonny Venters, a hard-throwing southpaw. If they were both righties, I’d think this plan was ridiculous, but I’m of the opinion that the best guy for the moment should be in the game in those situations, so a lefty-righty split makes sense. There’s still a chance one guy emerges and takes the job, but for now, it’d be wise to keep them close in your rankings, and down in this tier.
  • Kevin Gregg has struggled this spring, trying out some new mechanics that didn’t work out. He’s still the team’s closer, and with Koji Uehara battling elbow discomfort, the job could eventually go to Mike Gonzalez. Personally, I think Gonzalez is the best man for the job.
  • Aroldis Chapman will open the season in the bullpen, but the Reds still envision him as a future starter. Walt Jocketty admits that while the fireballer could be a top-of-the-rotation guy, he’s also a possible closer. He’s not a setup guy, so look for him to move in one direction or the other as soon as June.
Rank Player Team
Tier 5
36 Sergio Romo SF
37 Kyle Farnsworth TB
38 Hong-Chih Kuo LAD
39 Chris Sale CHW
40 Jake McGee TB
41 Evan Meek PIT
42 Luke Gregerson SD
43 Kenley Jansen LAD
44 Joaquin Benoit DET
45 Ryan Madson PHI
46 Koji Uehara BAL
47 Octavio Dotel TOR
48 Brian Fuentes OAK
49 Scott Downs LAA
50 Clay Hensley FLA
  • With the breaking news of the Brian Wilson injury, Sergio Romo vaults to the top of Tier 5. He’d be a great late-round snag in deeper leagues, and I’d spend a few extra bucks on him in NL-only leagues.
  • Kyle Farnsworth is still the apparent closer in Tampa Bay, but Jake McGee is listed on the World Wide Leader’s closer chart as the first-stringer. While I don’t trust ESPN, I do trust these guys.

Fantasy Football Rankings—Wide Receivers, Updated

Here’s the final instalment of this round of my updated fantasy football player rankings. With the quarterbacks, running backs and tight ends already covered, this time we look at the wide receiver position.

There are some significant movements in the rankings. In the top 20, we see Larry Fitzgerald now cracking the top five, Brandon Marshall dropping out of the top ten, DeSean Jackson barely holding on to his ranking in the top ten and Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes seeing significant movement due to Holmes’ trade to the Jets.

Lower in the rankings, Wes Welker drops due to injury concerns, Mike Wallace has his fantasy value solidified, Santana Moss moves way up and Jerricho Cotchery and Roy Williams see their fantasy values plummet.

The biggest developments since my initial rankings, published in early-March, were as follows:

  • Brandon Marshall traded to the Miami Dolphins,
  • Santonio Holmes moving to the Jets,
  • Donovan McNabb traded to the Washington Redskins,
  • Ben Roethlisberger’s four to six game suspension, and
  • Jason Campbell traded to the Oakland Raiders.

The only potential major issues to be resolved before training camp are where Terrell Owens lands and if Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is suspended.

Each player’s prior ranking is noted in parentheses after the current ranking.

1. (1) Andre Johnson, HOU

Has topped 1,500 yards and eight touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. He’s the consensus number one wide receiver for fantasy purposes and I fully expect every ranking to have him here. If not, find a ranking by a sane person.

2. (2) Randy Moss, NE

Wes Welker figures to miss at least a portion of the season so Moss will get plenty of targets and he’s still a threat in the red zone and on deep plays. Unless he pouts, Moss is pretty much guaranteed production.

3. (3) Roddy White, ATL

Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense should improve on a somewhat disappointing 2009 season and White figures to benefit.

4. (4) Miles Austin, DAL

You could make the case that the presence of first round pick Dez White will cut into Austin’s production but Roy Williams figures to lose out from that more than Austin. Bit of a risk because 2009 was a breakout season but he’s obviously Tony Romo’s go to guy in a solid offense.

5. (11) Larry Fitzgerald, ARI

Moves up six spots but still a risk with Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson atop the depth chart at quarterback. Fitz benefits from others moving down.

6. (8) Calvin Johnson, DET

The Lions offense should be more explosive with the addition of running back Jahvid Best and Johnson figures to benefit in the touchdown department. In fact, the Lions offense could surprise in 2010 so Johnson should be considered a bit of a buy low option.

7. (9) Greg Jennings, GB

Dropped to four touchdowns after scoring 21 during the 2007 and 2008 seasons but expect a rebound in 2010.

8. (10) Marques Colston, NO

Mike Bell is gone so maybe the Saints will pass it even more in 2010. Either way, Colston looks like a sure bet to finish in the top ten.

9. (7) Vincent Jackson, SD

If healthy, he’s pretty much guaranteed production. However, monitor his situation since he could be suspended for one or two games due to his off the field troubles.

10. (6) DeSean Jackson, PHI

Plenty of big plays but moves down a bit with the trade of Donovan McNabb. I like Kevin Kolb but expect a slight drop-off from what McNabb would have accomplished this year in Philly.

11. (12) Reggie Wayne, IND

Really slumped during the last seven games of 2009 with 385 yards and two touchdowns which may be a signal that he’s slowing down a bit. The emergence of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie coupled with the return of Anthony Gonzalez figures to impact his production as well.

12. (5) Brandon Marshall, DEN

Simply put, the Dolphins offense runs the ball too much and Chad Henne is too green to put a Dolphins receiver, even one as talented as Marshall, in the top ten. Sometimes, it’s that simple.

13. (13) Sidney Rice, MIN

Bit of a risk due to his breakout performance in 2009 but one I’m willing to take at this point, especially with expectations of Favre returning in 2010.

14. (16) Anquan Boldin, BAL

If he’s healthy, chalk him up for 8-10 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards. Don’t believe the hype that he produced in Arizona only because he had Fitzgerald opposite him.

15. (15) Hakeem Nicks, NYG

Younger version of Boldin, he had 115 fantasy points on only 74 targets, ranking him fifth in fantasy points per target in the league last season (minimum 45 targets), showing how explosive he is. The Giants are sure to have him more involved in 2010.

16. (17) Chad Ochocinco, CIN

A year older but Antonio Bryant won’t cut into his production and they didn’t add anything in the draft that would reduce his role.

17. (20) Steve Smith, NYG

Two Giants in the top 17. Yikes!

18. (18) Michael Crabtree, SF

No change for Crabtree but less risk and more upside potential with the addition of two offensive lineman being taken in the first round.

19. (22) Steve Smith, CAR

Up three spots but a bit more risk if rookie Jimmy Clausen takes over for Matt Moore midseason.

20. (26) Hines Ward, PIT

Loses with the Roethlisberger suspension but gains targets with Holmes departing for the Jets.

21. (21) Percy Harvin, MIN

More convinced than ever that he’s the real deal. Upside at this point but hard to have him higher in the rankings.

22. (19) Mike Sims-Walker, JAC

Talented player who lacks consistency. However, little risk given he’s clearly the top wide receiver in Jacksonville.

23. (23) Dwayne Bowe, KC

Needs to get it together and stay out of Todd Haley’s doghouse. Next screw up could cost him a 16 game suspension.

24. (24) Donald Driver, GB

Only had 185 yards and no touchdowns during the last four regular season games of 2009 so there are some signs he’s slowing down. However, that risk is offset due to his prominence in Green Bay’s solid offense.

25. (28) Mike Wallace, PIT

I liked him before the Holmes trade and I love him now, even with the Roethlisberger suspension. Wallace has an explosive rookie year with 756 yards and six touchdowns, and certainly made the Steelers’ decision to turf Holmes much easier.

26. (38) Braylon Edwards, NYJ

Why is he up 12 spots even with the Holmes addition? I guess I figure the Jets offense will be more explosive in 2010 and he will benefit in the touchdown department. I still have him projected for under 1,000 yards however.

27. (33) Robert Meachem, NO

Has all the tools and major upside playing in the Saints offense. Look for an increased role for Meachem at the expense of Devery Henderson. Recent toe surgery increases Meachem’s risk.

28. (29) Kenny Britt, TEN

Coming off a nice rookie season with over 700 yards and three touchdowns, but with reports that he was so out of shape that the Titans refused to let him practice, apparently it’s gone to his head. Add a risk factor to this second year player.

29. (34) Malcom Floyd, SD

Another case of a player benefiting from an addition on offense, in this case rookie running back Ryan Mathews. The Chargers love tall, physical receivers and that description fits Floyd.

30. (25) Jeremy Maclin, PHI

I like Maclin and think he will be a star but he moves down with Kolb taking over at quarterback.

31. (32) Devin Aromashodu, CHI

Earl Bennett is a little slow, Johnny Knox is a little small and new offensive coordinator Mike Martz has said Devin Hester is best suited for the slot. Although head coach Love Smith disputed Martz’ version of where Hester will line up, Martz is nothing if not stubborn. Add it all up and Aromashodu is the guy I’m gambling on to benefit from Martz’ presence in Chicago.

32. (31) Steve Breaston, ARI

Moves into the starting line-up with Boldin’s departure but I expect Larry Fitzgerald and Early Doucet to get more red zone looks which limits his upside.

33. (27) Wes Welker, NE

It now appears that Welker will miss time in 2010 so he’s moving down, but watch for rehab updates and don’t wait too long to grab him, especially in PPR leagues.

34. (36) Mario Manningham, NYG

If Steve Smith is the real deal (more likely than not), then Manningham has limited upside given Hakeem Nicks is all but guaranteed a starting spot. He is definitely worth taking a flier on though.

35. (35) Nate Burleson, DET

36. (51) Santana Moss, WAS

Moves up a whopping 15 spots courtesy of the Redskins acquisition of Donovan McNabb and rookie offensive tackle Trent Williams.

37. (39) Pierre Garcon, IND

Coming off a solid season but he and Peyton Manning were clearly not always on the same page, hence his completion rate of 51% as opposed to Manning’s overall rate of 68.8%. The Colts prefer reliability and Anthony Gonzalez may bring more of it which would limit Garcon’s upside unless he hits the playbook hard.

38. (41) Derrick Mason, BAL

Up a little but there’s no reason to think he will reprise his role from previous seasons because he and Boldin are similar players, only Boldin is bigger, stronger and faster.

39. (14) Santonio Holmes, PIT

Most significant drop in the rankings due to his trade to the Jets and subsequent four-game suspension. Buy low and hope he contributes heavily over 12 games.

40. (43) Anthony Gonzalez, IND

I like his game but Garcon deserves playing time outside and Collie deserves playing time in the slot. However, he’s a solid option for Manning who has caught 71.8% of the passes thrown his way during his first three years in the league.

41. (40) Lee Evans, BUF

No upgrade at quarterback so no upgrade for Evans.

42. (44) Devery Henderson, NO

What you see is what you get. In six years, the highest fantasy points per game he earned is 8.0. There’s no reason for him to surpass that in 2010.

43. (45) Mohamed Massaquoi, CLE

He was productive as a rookie and has some upside but only a little upside given the Browns quarterback situation and anaemic passing attack.

44. (37) T.J. Houshmandzadeh, SEA

Down seven spots due to rookie Golden Tate’s presence in the line-up.

45. (46) Chris Chambers, KC

46. (NR) Golden Tate, SEA

Our first rookie wide receiver, Tate has a solid opportunity to get playing time in Seattle. If only the quarterback situation were more stable.

47. (42) Earl Bennett, CHI

Definitely not the prototypical wide receiver for a Martz offense given his lack of speed.

48. (49) Chaz Schilens,OAK

On the plus side, the Raiders figure to be better at quarterback with Jason Campbell and he is Oakland’s best receiver. On the minus side, he recently had follow up surgery on his left foot which he broke last August.

49. (50) Early Doucet, ARI

Doucet looks the part but has been inconsistent in Arizona. However, he has ability and could surprise. Doucet represents solid sleeper material.

50. (NR) Dez Bryant, DAL

Cowboys rookie has Pro Bowl potential but giving up his lunch during his first OTA was not encouraging. If he can beat out Roy Williams, he moves way up.

51. (57) Eddie Royal, DEN

What a fantasy roller coaster of an offseason for Royal. Huge fantasy disappointment in 2009 kept him down in the rankings, the Brandon Marshall trade moved him back into the low 30’s and the acquisitions of Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker in the draft leave him at 51, up six spots.

52. (30) Jerricho Cotchery, NYJ

Solid player but way down due to the Holmes trade.

53. (52) Kevin Walter, HOU

Could benefit if Owen Daniels is slow to recover from a torn ACL.

54. (47) Antonio Bryant, CIN

Bryant is mercurial, the Bengals don’t throw it a lot and they have a pile of wide receivers.

55. (NR) Demaryius Thomas, DEN

Head coach Josh McDaniels clearly has no use for any player he didn’t bring in so Thomas figures to get plenty of playing time. Unfortunately, he might be catching (or trying to catch) passes from Tim Tebow by mid-season.

56. (54) Devin Thomas, WAS

It’s nice that Donovan McNabb is in town but not so nice that the Redskins are loading up on journeyman retread wide receivers. Not a sign of confidence in Thomas and fellow third year wideout Malcolm Kelly.

57. (48) Donnie Avery, STL

Avery here is proof that love is not always blind. Hence, this Rams fan puts the first Rams wide receiver in the rankings way down at 57.

58. (55) Josh Morgan, SF

Look for Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis to get most of the targets in 2010.

59. (NR) Arrelious Benn, TB

Guaranteed a spot on opening day, but also guaranteed to be average with Josh Freeman at quarterback. Check back in 2011.

60. (59) Jacoby Jones, HOU

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak says he loves Jones’ potential. If that’s the case, why did they sign Kevin Walter to a lucrative long-term contract?

61. (70) Malcolm Kelly, WAS

Why is he up nine spots? Good question.

62. (60) Jason Avant, PHI

Has improved in each of his four years in the league but unlikely to supplant Jackson or Maclin.

63. (62) Johnny Knox, CHI

Monitor him to see if he cracks the starting line-up.

64. (63) Bernard Berrian, MIN

I don’t like him, never have and Rice and Harvin are too good not to get the targets.

65. (64) Devin Hester, CHI

Upon further reflection, Hester really didn’t show much last year and now he has to learn the Martz offense.

66. (NR) Greg Camarillo, MIA

Probably the best option on the outside opposite Marshall.

67. (68) Laurent Robinson, STL

Was pretty good for two games last year before getting hurt.

68. (65) James Jones, GB

Looks like he’s solidified his spot ahead of Jordy Nelson.

69. (56) Roy Williams, DAL

Here’s the thing—when you catch 44.2% of the passes thrown your way, your team may use its first round pick on a wide receiver to replace you and then your fantasy value plummets, even if you were considered top 20 fantasy material a year ago.

70. (67) Brandon Gibson, STL

I like his game. Gibson showed some potential as a possession receiver and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford is going to need a security blanket. Maybe he surprises in PPR leagues.

The following players dropped off the rankings from last time:

NR (53) Davone Bess, MIA
NR (58) Mike Thomas, JAC
NR (61) Deion Branch, SEA
NR (66) Nate Washington, TEN
NR (69) Patrick Crayton, DAL