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Weekly rankings: Running backs find a new Forte


The moment Tony Romo threw that critical interception against the Denver Broncos, the Twitterverse was on fire with people deriding the Cowboys quarterback. I don't have the exact statistics, but I think I saw a number where about 3.5 million tweets occurred seconds after Romo threw that fateful pick.

All right, I might have exaggerated the number. But don't think I missed all of those memes and other nonsense going out there. All the jokes at Romo's expense. Even I sent out a tweet after it happened.

But mine was not facetious. It was vintage Romo in that he won me another fantasy game. In fact, this guy has been clutch when it has mattered most. Romo had over 400 yards and four touchdowns against the Saints in Week 16 of the fantasy playoffs last year. That performance won me a fantasy title.

Thousands shared stories telling us why they love football in a contest to win a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII. We chose 10 finalists. Now you choose the winners.

Romo had four touchdowns against the Giants in Week 14 and three touchdowns against the Bucs in Week 15 of the 2011 fantasy playoffs on the way to another fantasy title for me. This guy has been beyond clutch.

So you need to back off Romo here. Save your disdain for somebody who truly deserves it. Like Dana from "Homeland" or something. Seriously, she is on the verge of killing the series. If anybody with the capabilities could make a copy of the show with all of the Dana bits edited, I would be your best friend.

Let's get to the rankings.


1. Peyton Manning
2. Andrew Luck
3. Aaron Rodgers
4. Drew Brees
5. Robert Griffin III
6. Tony Romo
7. Jay Cutler
8. Tom Brady
9. Cam Newton
10. Colin Kaepernick
11. Russell Wilson
12. Joe Flacco
13. Alex Smith
14. Philip Rivers
15. Nick Foles
16. Matthew Stafford
17. Terrelle Pryor
18. Eli Manning
19. Sam Bradford
20. Carson Palmer
21. Mike Glennon
22. Ben Roethlisberger
23. Andy Dalton
24. Geno Smith

* If the Twitter war between the Broncos and Jags is any indication, I hope this is a game that has a lot of points thrown out there. But we're almost wasting a great matchup because we're already starting the Broncos stars.

* What kind of world are we living in when Jay Cutler is a better option than Tom Brady? But if we're going straight matchups, he certainly is. Oh no, this is when the Giants rise up, right? Against my Bears. Oh boy.

* Cam Newton was bad against the Birds, but he's got a better matchup this week. I'm not yet ready to give up on him.

* Matthew Stafford could move up when we hear more about Calvin Johnson.

Running backs

1. Matt Forte
2. Adrian Peterson
3. LeSean McCoy
4. Arian Foster
5. Jamaal Charles
6. Alfred Morris
7. Marshawn Lynch
8. Ray Rice
9. Doug Martin
10. Reggie Bush
11. Knowshon Moreno
12. DeMarco Murray
13. Frank Gore
14. Giovani Bernard
15. Darren Sproles
16. Trent Richardson
17. Le'Veon Bell
18. David Wilson
19. Bilal Powell
20. Danny Woodhead
21. Eddie Lacy
22. DeAngelo Williams
23. Willis McGahee
24. Fred Jackson
25. Zac Stacy
26. Chris Johnson
27. C.J. Spiller
28. Maurice Jones-Drew
29. LeGarrette Blount
30. Marcel Reece

* Matt Forte has a great matchup and the Bears have lost two consecutive games, so you hope there is no chance this team overlooks the Giants.

* Don't tell LeSean McCoy he's just No. 3 this week. No offense, of course.

* I'm not sure how comfortable I feel in a world where Bilal Powell is a much better fantasy option than C.J. Spiller and MJD. Do you even need to draft a running back in the second round anymore?

Wide receivers

1. Dez Bryant
2. Brandon Marshall
3. Eric Decker
4. Wes Welker
5. Calvin Johnson
6. Demaryius Thomas
7. A.J. Green
8. Randall Cobb
9. Torrey Smith
10. Josh Gordon
11. Pierre Garcon
12. Jordy Nelson
13. DeSean Jackson
14. Vincent Jackson
15. T.Y. Hilton
16. Victor Cruz
17. Justin Blackmon
18. Antonio Brown
19. Larry Fitzgerald
20. Alshon Jeffery
21. Steve Smith
22. Reggie Wayne
23. Andre Johnson
24. Marques Colston
25. Danny Amendola
26. James Jones
27. Cecil Shorts
28. Hakeem Nicks
29. Austin Pettis
30. Mike Williams
31. Kenbrell Thompkins
32. Anquan Boldin
33. Greg Jennings
34. Leonard Hankerson
35. Emmanuel Sanders
36. Vincent Brown
37. Julian Edelman
38. Robert Woods
39. Keenan Allen
40. Denarius Moore

* We are going to leave Calvin Johnson out of the No. 1 spot because even if he comes back, how healthy will he be? Plus, Dez Bryant has become the man for the Cowboys. He's just ridiculous.

* Yes, doubling down hard on all the Bears' offensive players. If this is a low-scoring Thursday night game, well, it was fun while it lasted.

* Is it my imagination or has Torrey Smith taken the crown of most-underappreciated WR1 from Brandon Marshall? Just saying.

* T.Y. Hilton will end the season as the Colts' leading receiver. This guy is legit. This reminds me of when Reggie Wayne finally pushed Marvin Harrison aside.

* The overcorrection is coming for Demaryius Thomas, isn't it?

Tight ends

1. Jimmy Graham
2. Julius Thomas
3. Jordan Cameron
4. Jason Witten
5. Rob Gronkowski
6. Vernon Davis
7. Martellus Bennett
8. Antonio Gates
9. Greg Olsen
10. Coby Fleener
11. Garrett Graham 
12. Jermichael Finley
13. Jordan Reed
14. Heath Miller
15. Brent Celek
16. Brandon Myers
17. Brandon Pettigrew
18. Jermaine Gresham
19. Kyle Rudolph
20. Dallas Clark

* Jimmy Graham will always be No. 1, but we have a new No. 2 this week with Julius Thomas. Don't look at this as a demotion at all. All three guys would be top 20 WRs if you could play them in the flex spot.

* Maybe this will be the week Rob Gronkowski returns. You know he's just about guaranteed a touchdown the first game back, right?

* I hope you noticed I've removed Jared Cook completely from this list. And I'm cool with that.


1. Sebastian Janikowski
2. Robbie Gould
3. Matt Prater
4. Stephen Gostkowski
5. Alex Henery
6. Steven Hauschka
7. Blair Walsh
8. Dan Bailey
9. Garrett Hartley
10. Mason Crosby
11. Phil Dawson
12. Ryan Succop
13. Justin Tucker
14. Mike Nugent
15. Billy Cundiff
16. David Akers
17. Adam Vinatieri
18. Dan Carpenter
19. Nick Novak
20. Greg Zuerlein

* Again, going all-in on Bears players. I really, really hope this doesn't come back to haunt me.

* Mason Crosby is available in way too many leagues for this to be possible.


1. Kansas City Chiefs
2. Chicago Bears
3. Denver Broncos
4. San Francisco 49ers
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Seattle Seahawks
7. Arizona Cardinals
8. Indianapolis Colts
9. Cleveland Browns
10. Tennessee Titans
11. Dallas Cowboys
12. St. Louis Rams
13. Baltimore Ravens
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
15. New Orleans Saints
16. Detroit Lions
17. New York Giants
18. Oakland Raiders
19. Houston Texans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers

* No obvious choice for a defense to shuffle in this week, but if you've played along all year, we've ridden Kansas City rather well, so we still have that working for us. Tennessee has been great lately, so there is a possibility. Cleveland is a possibility, but check out the Indianapolis Colts. Late game in San Diego, so you can get some late-Monday points to help you out.

Did you know that Adam Rank won last year's Expert's League title? Oh that's right, it's like the only thing he ever talks about. Well congratulations, Rank. You finally did something. What have you done for us lately? Let's worry about 2013 and stop living in the past. Typical Lakers fan, am I right? Oh, if you found this useful (as if) check him out on the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program". And follow him on Twitter, please. He's taking us to lunch if he gets 17 more Twitter followers today. And we only got 15 the last time, so step up fantasy enthusiasts!