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Fantasy Football: Top 50 Keeper League Rankings

Fantasy Football: Top 50 Keeper League Rankings
By Vincent Frank on November 08, 2012

A lot of our focus here at eDraft has been on standard fantasy leagues. Of course the primary reason for that is due to the fact that standard leagues are the most popular around the world of fantasy football. Though, it must be noted that keeper/dynasty formats have been on the upswing over the course of the last few seasons. They allow fantasy owners to feel a better sense of ownership and and responsibility for their roster.

In fact, it is probably the closest thing to being an arm-chair NFL general manager. Build your roster to win this season, but also understand that you must keep an eye on the future. It really is my favorite format as it relates to fantasy sports.

With that in mind, lets take a look at the top dynasty players at each position in the NFL today. 


Quarterbacks
Player Team Age
1. Aaron Rodgers Green Bay 28
2. Matt Ryan Atlanta 27
3. Andrew Luck Indianapolis 23
4. Matthew Stafford Detroit 24
5. Drew Brees New Orleans 33
6. Tom Brady New England 35
7. Robert Griffin III Washington 22
8. Cam Newton Carolina 23
9. Eli Manning New York (G) 31
10. Philip Rivers San Diego 30 

 

It is important to take into account age when drawing a conclusion about dynasty drafts, some of which are conducted at mid-stream. However, it is less important at a position where players can actually succeed into their late-30s. All the quarterbacks on this list have a minimum of four good years left in their careers with Brady being the eldest at 35. 

The question becomes is it worth taking someone like Brady short-term and drafting a replacement later on? Or do you go with that youngster such as Andrew Luck and take the inconsistent early-career performances? The happy medium, our course, is finding a way to be able to acquire Aaron Rodgers, who is practically just entering the prime of his career in terms of playing time. 

I have Matt Ryan ranked ahead of Luck here simply because he already has the players in place to be a dominant dynasty league performer. Julio Jones is already a WR1 option in standard leagues and you can expect his production to improve moving forward. 

You see Newton relatively low on this list. That mostly has to do with inconsistent play and indicators of more struggles moving forward. Carolina doesn't have a consistent running game and Newton doesn't have a really good young receiver to throw the ball to. Once Steve Smith calls it quits, there could be some major issues on the outside in Carolina. 

 

Running Backs
Player Team Age
1. LeSean McCoy Philadelphia 24
2. Ray Rice Baltimore 25
3. Trent Richardson Cleveland 21
4. Doug Martin Tampa Bay 23
5. Arian Foster Houston 26
6. Adrian Petrson Minnesota 27
7. Ryan Mathews San Diego 25
8. Maurice Jones-Drew Jacksonville 27
9. DeMarco Murray Dallas 24
10. Darren McFadden Oakland 25

 

I really wanted to put Martin higher than Richardson on this list, but just couldn't do it. The primary reason for that is the fact that the latter is two years younger than Martin. In the world of football we know that is a lifetime for running backs. Though I still believe Martin will be a better all-around fantasy 'back, those two years are important. 

LeSean McCoy and Ray Rice, much like in my preseason standard rankings, sit atop this list. Both are still incredibly young and have produced RB1 numbers over the course of the last three seasons. While McCoy has struggled to an extent this season, don't expect that to continue moving forward. 

Murray and McFadden finish off this list due to their potential, not production. Both have the skill to be a true RB1 in any type of fantasy league, but continue to struggle remaining healthy. If both can actually stay on the field consistently, they will be among the most productive running backs in the NFL. 

 

Wide Receivers
Player Team Age
1. A.J. Green Cincinnati 24
2. Calvin Johnson Detroit 27
3. Julio Jones Atlanta 23
4. Victor Cruz New York (G) 25
5. Mike Wallace Pittsburgh 26
6. Hakeem Nicks New York (G) 24
7. Demaryius Thomas Denver 24
8. Larry Fitzgerald Arizona 29
9. Brandon Marshall Chicago 28
10. Michael Crabtree San Francisco  25

 

While some may disagree with my pick of A.J. Green as the No. 1 wide receiver here, he hasn't even hit his prime yet and is putting up All-Pro numbers. Calvin Johnson put up 2,000 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in his first two seasons. For comparisons sake, Green is on pace to record over 2,500 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first two seasons. That is simply amazing.

Outside of that debate, every other receiver on this list is at or near their mid-20's, most of them haven't seen their best seasons either. Julio Jones and Victor Cruz continued to put up solid numbers for such young players. For his part, Cruz is on pace to eclipse Johnson in both yards and touchdowns in his first two "real" NFL seasons. He is, once again, Eli Manning's favorite target on the outside. As it relates to Jones, he continues to remain inconsistent but is on pace to put up over 1,200 yards and double digit touchdowns in 2012. 

Michael Crabtree makes this list simply because his production is starting to match that tremendous talent level. He put up two touchdowns in the 49ers last game against Patrick Peterson and the Arizona Cardinals. More importantly, Crabtree has quickly become Alex Smith's favorite target in the passing game. Once San Francisco starts to utilize the pass more moving forward, whether it is with Smith at quarterback or not, Crabtree should put up solid WR1 numbers. Imagine that. We were talking about him as a possible bust prior to last season. 

 

Tight Ends
Player Team Age
1. Rob Gronkowski New England 23
2. Aaron Hernandez New England 21
3. Jimmy Graham New Orleans 25
4. Vernon Davis San Francisco  28
5. Jermaine Gresham Cincinnati 24
6. Jermichael Finley Green Bay 25
7. Brandon Pettigrew Detroit 27
8. Kyle Rudolph Minnesota 22
9. Ed Dickson Baltimore 25
10. Coby Fleener Indianapolis 24

 

Aaron Hernandez was six years of age when Tony Gonzalez was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs out of CAL. That is simply crazy. It also represents a changing from the old guard to the new guard among NFL tight ends. As you see above, Vernon Davis, who is only 28, is the oldest player on this list. Davis has just started to hit his prime as a receiving threat in San Francisco. 

Back to Hernandez for a second, he joins my No. 1 dynasty tight end in the form of Rob Gronkowski in New England. Those two are locked up long-term and should be viable TE1 options for the next decade, if not longer. That is astounding. Coby Fleener makes the list over his teammate, Dwayne Allen. However, Allen would have been No. 11 if this list was expanded a bit further. 

A lot of young talent here. Kyle Rudolph and Jermaine Gresham are both under 25 and have what appears to be franchise quarterbacks in the form of Christian Ponder and Andy Dalton. That is a huge reason why both talented tight ends are on this list. 

 

Defenses
Team Average Age
1. Houston Texans 25.7
2. San Francisco 49ers 27.1
3. Seattle Seahawks 26.0
4. Arizona Cardinals 27.0
5. Green Bay Packers 27.5
6. Atlanta Falcons 26.8
7. Chicago Bears 29.1
8. Carolina Panthers 25.2
9. New England Patriots 27.0
10. St. Louis Ramsq 28.5

 

Vincent Frank

Vincent Frank

Favorite Quote:
“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” (Rumi)
Favorite Athlete:
Patrick Willis
Favorite Movie:
Crash
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