INDIANAPOLIS --- It didn't take long. There are already players in fantasy football that are making us pull our hair out, and it's only been three weeks.
Most notably at the running back position, with first round picks ruining our fantasy hopes before the first month of the season is over. The experts promised us 2014 would be different from 2013 when it came to so many running backs drafted in the first round being busts.
Not to worry. We here at Colts.com have compiled our top-5 rankings for the rest of the season to give you an idea of who to go after on the trade market, who to sell to try and salvage your season, and who to keep the faith with as the season moves forward.
We will also compare our rest of season rankings to NFL.com's preseason top-5 at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Let's start with the quarterbacks, where Andrew Luck is the number one player in fantasy football, by more than 12 points over the next closest player (Falcons QB Matt Ryan):
NFL.com Preseason QB Rankings
Aaron Rodgers (currently 13th)
Matthew Stafford (currently 11th)
Kevin Bowen's QB Rest of Season Rankings
Peyton Manning (currently 3rd)
Jay Cutler (currently 4th)
Andrew Luck (currently 1st)
Drew Brees (currently 9th)
Matt Ryan (currently 2nd)
Explanation: You are just waiting for Manning to take off in 2014. Demaryius Thomas has to snap out of his funk soon, and now with Wes Welker back, Manning's numbers should rise to the top (20 points each of the first three weeks). Cutler can be such an enigma for Bears fans, but there's no denying the weapons he has around him. With receivers like Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, Cutler isn't falling far. The more I think about Luck it becomes harder and harder not to rate him in the top five. He has eight red zone touchdowns this year (tied for the most in the NFL) and that number alone should help keep him among the fantasy leaders. Just like Manning, the video game type numbers for Brees will start to pile up eventually. With Mark Ingram still sidelined, more of the offensive burden will fall on Brees. Similar to Cutler with Matt Ryan, how can you argue with one of the best receiving duos in the league? It's early, but the Falcons look to be back among the contenders for an NFC playoff spot.
NFL.com Preseason RB Rankings
LeSean McCoy (currently 16th in standard scoring)
Jamaal Charles (currently outside top-50)
Adrian Peterson (well...you know)
Matt Forte (currently 19th RB in standard scoring)
Eddie Lacy (currently outside top-50)
Steve Andress's RB Rest of Season Rankings
Marshawn Lynch (currently 1st)
DeMarco Murray (currently 2nd)
Le'Veon Bell (currently 3rd)
Explanation: I'm not giving up on Forte or McCoy, ESPECIALLY if you are in some type of point per reception league (like most of us are at this point). Their offenses are too good, and they are bell cow backs. I give Forte the slight edge over McCoy, because of the presence of Darren Sproles in Philadelphia taking some of McCoy's receptions away. It's crazy to think three of the top-5 picks at running back (and top picks in most drafts) are complete busts right now. Give Eddie Lacy one more chance at Chicago this week. If he struggles again, it's a full on red alert panic mode situation. Lynch, Murray, and Bell though have each looked fantastic. At worst, I don't see them finishing outside the top-10 at RB. But if the preseason running back rankings have taught us anything, it's to handcuff your RB1s! If you own Lynch, own Robert Turbin. The same applies for DeMarco Murray and Lance Dunbar, plus Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount. The running back position has once again turned into the biggest headache around fantasy football.
NFL.com Preseason WR Rankings
Calvin Johnson (currently 4th in standard scoring)
Demaryius Thomas (currently 36th)
Dez Bryant (currently 8th)
A.J. Green (currently 17th)
Brandon Marshall (currently 10th)
Jim Sorgi's WR Rest of Season Rankings
Julio Jones (currently 1st in standard scoring)
Jordy Nelson (currently 5th)
Antonio Brown (currently 2nd)
Explanation: Barring injury, there's no reason to move Calvin Johnson from the top spot the rest of the season. He can win you weeks, like he did week 1 with 164 yards and two touchdowns. Julio Jones is bonafide and back from his foot injury, tearing up defense. It's never been a question of talent with Jones. When he's on the field, he's not far behind Calvin Johnson. Dez Bryant should remain top-5. He's a touchdown machine, as long as Tony Romo stays healthy. Nobody has more targets through three weeks than Jordy Nelson. That's why the Packers top WR moves into the top-5. Lastly, you just can't talk enough about what Antonio Brown's consistency is worth in fantasy football. The Steelers top wideout has 19 straight games of at least five receptions or 50 yards receiving. Sunday he tries to become the first player in NFL history to make it 20 straight. Oh by the way, he also has 24 straight games with 5 catches and/or a TD. He's even more valuable in PPR leagues.