Weekly Rankings: Tom Brady rises, Arian Foster falls

The kickoff of the 2013 NFL season is just a week away. And first things first: If you haven't signed up for fantasy football on NFL.com, what are you waiting for?

We've finally moved past Week 3 of the NFL preseason, which is good news. It means we're pretty close to being locked into our final rankings of the preseason. Of course, I always reserve the right to change my mind.


1. Drew Brees
2. Peyton Manning
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Colin Kaepernick
5. Tom Brady
6. Andrew Luck
7. Matt Ryan
8. Cam Newton
9. Robert Griffin III
10. Tony Romo
11. Matthew Stafford

12. Russell Wilson
13. Michael Vick
14. Andy Dalton
15. Jay Cutler
16. Carson Palmer
17. Ryan Tannehill
18. Josh Freeman
19. Philip Rivers
20. Alex Smith
21. Brandon Weeden
22. Joe Flacco
23. Sam Bradford
24. Eli Manning


* It wouldn't surprise me if Brees and Sean Payton go into (expletive) you mode and attempt to break Brees' already gaudy single-season passing record.

* Brady has finally made the long hike back into my top five. If we've seen anything during the preseason, it's Brady makes average receivers better. Seriously, would undrafted Kenbrell Thompkins be the darling of preseason if he was catching passes from Geno Smith or Jeff Tuel?

* Despite being sixth and seventh on the list, the guys I always end up with during my mocks are Luck and Ryan based on average draft position. There isn't going to be much of a drop from these guys.

* I'm loving Cutler and Palmer more and more as backup quarterbacks.

Running Backs

1. Adrian Peterson
2. LeSean McCoy
3. Doug Martin
4. Jamaal Charles
5. C.J. Spiller
6. Trent Richardson
7. Marshawn Lynch
8. Alfred Morris
9. Ray Rice
10. Matt Forte
11. Arian Foster
12. Steven Jackson
13. Chris Johnson

14. Stevan Ridley
15. Frank Gore
16. Lamar Miller
17. Reggie Bush
18. Darren McFadden
19. Maurice Jones-Drew
20. David Wilson
21. DeMarco Murray
22. Chris Ivory
23. Darren Sproles
24. Daryl Richardson
25. Rashard Mendenhall
26. Eddy Lacy
27. Ahmad Bradshaw
28. Knowshon Moreno


* Curious why we always say to get your running backs early? Look at the fall off after Stevan Ridley. If you go QB or WR very early in your draft, you could end up with Gore, Miller or Bush as your No. 1 back.

* Arian Foster continues to worry me. His yards per carry and yards per reception have seen steep declines in recent years. He could run into the Shaun Alexander wall this year. But if I'm at the back end of the first round, I would be happy with him as a No. 2 back.

* Moreno is a guy to pick up because it looks like he's going to be the top guy. If he falters, the Broncos could end up with more pass attempts than the Lions.

Wide receivers

1. Calvin Johnson
2. Dez Bryant
3. Julio Jones
4. Larry Fitzgerald
5. A.J. Green
6. Brandon Marshall
7. Demaryius Thomas
8. Randall Cobb
9. Roddy White
10. Vincent Jackson
11. Reggie Wayne
12. Andre Johnson
13. Marques Colston
14. Dwayne Bowe
15. Steve Smith
16. Danny Amendola
17. Pierre Garcon
18. Victor Cruz
19. Mike Wallace

20. Greg Jennings
21. Antonio Brown
22. DeSean Jackson
23. Hakeem Nicks
24. Cecil Shorts
25. Wes Welker
26. Eric Decker
27. James Jones
28. Stevie Johnson
29. Torrey Smith
30. Kenny Britt
31. Josh Gordon
32. Jordy Nelson
33. Miles Austin
34. T.Y. Hilton
35. Chris Givens
36. Kenbrell Thompkins
37. Tavon Austin
38. Anquan Boldin
39. Alshon Jeffery
40. Stephen Williams


* Fitzgerald has been a top-five fantasy receiver in every odd-numbered year of his career. Oh look, it's 2013!

* Having talked to some people in the Eagles organization, I can't recommend Jackson enough. He's going to get the ball on those "extended handoffs" and he's going to be a PPR monster, too. Forget the last couple of years, Jackson is going to be huge.

* Givens is still my guy in St. Louis.

* Stephen Williams is worth a look. He's going to be the top receiver in Seattle.

Tight End

1. Jimmy Graham
2. Vernon Davis
3. Rob Gronkowski
4. Jason Witten
5. Tony Gonzalez
6. Kyle Rudolph
7. Owen Daniels
8. Jordan Cameron
9. Brandon Myers
10. Jermichael Finley
11. Greg Olsen
12. Tyler Eifert


* Davis is going to excel for the 49ers. Don't be worried about his recent struggles. The team doesn't have much of a choice, right?

* The Cameron bandwagon is now a complete runaway train. If I miss Davis in the fifth or sixth round, I play it cool and target Cameron. The only problem is, my buddies read this stuff and I might have to reach for him in my league of record.

Kickers and Defense

Draft Sebastian Janikowski and pickup whomever is playing the Oakland Raiders.