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ESPN: Top 100 Keepers

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ESPN: Top 100 Keepers

Postby thriftyrocker » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:24 pm

Engel gives his top 100 keepers
http://insider.espn.go.com/fantasy/foot ... id=2278906

1. Larry Johnson: He became a more complete runner in 2005, as he ran with more authority on interior runs and displayed increased patience before hitting the hole. Should flourish at the top of the RB rankings for many years to come.
2. Shaun Alexander: The Seahawks are a bit concerned about his age (28) as they enter long-term contract negotiations. As a fantasy owner, you shouldn't worry. Durability and high-scoring consistency will continue to be his signatures for at least a few more seasons.
3. LaDainian Tomlinson: Not as reliable as Alexander from a health perspective, and Johnson might have the higher ceiling. But there still isn't a better all-around back in fantasy when he is on his game.
4. Peyton Manning: Yes, his numbers dropped considerably from his unforgettable 2004 season. But he's still going to be at the top of his position for a long time.
5. Carson Palmer: If Manning is No. 1 at his position, Palmer has clearly emerged as 1A. The Bengals just locked him up for six years, and you should follow suit by keeping him on your roster as long as possible.
6. Edgerrin James: He's been near the top of his position for so long, it's hard to believe he'll just be 28 when the '06 season starts. He has played 31 games in the past two seasons, erasing most past questions about his durability.
7. Chad Johnson: He is entering the prime of an exciting career. Like Torry Holt, he'll deliver uncanny numerical consistency, even if one or two guys have better overall years. And his biggest season might not be too far away.
8. Torry Holt: The most reliable player at a position naturally filled with inconsistent performers. Holt always delivers the statistical goods, even with QB changes and a sinking ball club threatening to drag him down.
9. Larry Fitzgerald: Built on an impressive rookie year with a simply marvelous '05 campaign. A complete package of size, hands, smarts and top-notch techniques. He'll be one of the best at his position for a very long time.
10. Clinton Portis: He is finally getting more comfortable in Washington, and at 24 years old, there's a lot of outstanding seasons to come as he learns even more about the finer points of the game.
11. Steve Smith: Coming off a career year, expectations will be very high in '06. But he'll at least come through with a very good, if not spectacular follow-up campaign.
12. Rudi Johnson: Not the most glamorous choice, but he has rushed for more than 1,400 yards and has scored a dozen TDs in each of the past two seasons. And he's only 26 years old.
13. Antonio Gates: Confirmed that he is the new king of the most unstable position in fantasy football in '05. Having him gives you an instant advantage over the opposition every week.
14. Tom Brady: The '05 season taught us just how valuable a steady QB can be. And no one is more dependable than Mr. Patriot, even if others are often more explosive.
15. Tiki Barber: Some of us expected him to drop off sharply this past year, but he set a new career high for rushing yards. He'll be 31 when the new season starts, but you're likely going to get another outstanding year or two out of him. Hold onto him at least one more season.
16. LaMont Jordan: He became one of fantasy football's most versatile RBs this past year. If he can stay healthy for a full season in '06, he'll secure a place among the best players at his position.
17. Terrell Owens: He's likely going to return with big numbers in 2006. Don't miss out, because he will be determined to regain his status as an elite superstar.
18. Donovan McNabb: He'll return healthy in '06 and immediately regain his place among the best at his position. Even without Owens, he'll still be one of the top QBs in fantasy.
19. Randy Moss: Injuries plagued him in '05, although it was clear he missed the on-field rapport he had with Daunte Culpepper. He should rebound from a very disappointing year, and remember just how good he can be before you let his '05 numbers sway you to throw him back into the player pool.
20. Anquan Boldin: There's no denying that he has top-level receiver skills. If he can put a full season of great production together, he could be the very best.
21. Steven Jackson: He struggled to maintain consistency in 2005, but he is nearly unstoppable in the red zone, and he is only 23 years old. Once he gets to the second level, he is nearly impossible for defenders to handle without help.
22. Carnell Williams: When he is healthy, he shows off all the skills of a fantasy superstar. Compared to Priest Holmes in the past, he has to erase any similarities in the injury department.
23. Hines Ward: Bounced back in impressive fashion after a disappointing 2004 season. He's a TD machine who will still perform at a high level for a few more years. He'll be 30 when the '06 season starts.
24. Marvin Harrison: Had another fine season in '05, and there are no apparent signs of an impending major drop-off anytime soon. But he'll be 34 when the new season starts, so he's not ranked higher. He'll be very good for at least another year.
25. Eli Manning: Yes, he was very erratic in '05. But he's only going to get better, and by 2007, he could be a fantasy superstar. Don't miss out on a great future by getting caught up in the inevitable struggles for a second-year starter.
26. Matt Hasselbeck: He is always steady, and sometimes, he can be outstanding. A great running game helps, but he has clearly matured and could be in his prime at age 30.
27. Brian Westbrook; He will return as a major weapon for the Eagles in 2006. You can bump up his value even more in leagues that award points for receptions.
28. Domanick Davis: Continued injury issues and the possibility of the Texans drafting an RB hurt his value. Otherwise, he would be ranked much higher, as there's no doubting his toughness and all-around production.
29. Drew Brees: Obviously proved his breakout '05 season was no fluke, and he should continue to give you few worries at the QB position if you choose to retain his rights. His shoulder problem should not affect his long-term outlook.
30. T.J. Houshmandzadeh: He has quickly developed into a prime target in one of the NFL's best offenses. Seems poised for a career year very soon.
31. Willis McGahee: Struggled often in just his second full season, but should continue to improve next year as the Buffalo offense becomes more stable around him and he converts more scoring opportunities.
32. Samkon Gado: Ahman Green might not be back with Green Bay, and Gado showed enough during the second half of the 2005 season to merit a very good shot at becoming a full-time, very productive starter for the Packers in '06.
33. Chris Chambers: He has never been reliable. But he posted career highs in receptions and yardage while scoring 11 times in '05, so you have to give him the chance to fully prove he has finally realized his tremendous potential.
34. Thomas Jones: After he delivered a 1,300-yard campaign and the season of his life, Cedric Benson might be reduced to a reserve role for at least another year.
35. Deuce McAllister: It might take him some time to fully recover from a knee injury that wiped out his 2005 season, but he could regain much of his past form later in '06.
36. Mike Anderson: He stayed healthy this past season, and proved he can post outstanding numbers even if he shares carries. Hold onto him for one more year.
37. Javon Walker: Whether Brett Favre returns or not, he'll be out to make you quickly forget his lost 2005 season.
38. Kevin Jones: One of the top busts of 2005, he still has the ability to quickly bounce back to be a top-15 RB. Just don't expect top-10 potential and you might not be disappointed.
39. Tatum Bell: Even if Anderson has one more good year, it's still just a matter of time before Bell becomes a top fantasy RB.
40. Julius Jones: Durability and consistency have become major issues. But he still has the pure ability to become a fantasy standout.
41. Daunte Culpepper: He has the natural talent to turn it around, and if he stays healthy and cuts down on his mistakes in '06, those will be major steps forward.
42. Reggie Wayne: His TD numbers dropped significantly in '05, but he will still be a top target for the always-prolific Peyton Manning.
43. Byron Leftwich: His receiving corps is more potent now, and he might finally have his true breakthrough campaign next year.
44. Jeremy Shockey: As Eli Manning continues to improve, he'll enter the best statistical seasons of his career.
45. Reuben Droughns: He has proved to be a tough, versatile performer. If Cleveland improves the offense around him, he should start to score more often.
46. Ricky Williams: Whether his future is in Miami or not, he has proven that he is far from done and can still be very valuable in fantasy leagues.
47. Santana Moss: He has obviously found a comfortable home in Washington. Now let's see if he can prove his '05 season was no illusion.
48. Plaxico Burress: As Eli Manning becomes more consistent, he will regularly produce impressive totals.
49. Ronnie Brown: If a Ricky Williams departure results in more carries after Brown was phased in nicely in '05, he'll quickly rise to fantasy stardom.
50. Todd Heap: Produced fine numbers late in the year for fantasy leaguers when it counted the most. He will continue to be a force in an improving Baltimore passing game.
51. Corey Dillon
52. Tony Gonzalez
53. Andre Johnson
54. Roy Williams
55. Marc Bulger
56. Joey Galloway
57. Michael Vick
58. Ben Roethlisberger
59. Jake Delhomme
60. Willie Parker
61. Darrell Jackson
62. Chris Cooley
63. Lee Evans
64. Rod Smith
65. Donald Driver
66. Alge Crumpler
67. Jamal Lewis
68. Jake Plummer
69. Chris Brown
70. DeShaun Foster
71. Warrick Dunn
72. Donte' Stallworth
73. Cedric Benson
74. Braylon Edwards
75. Trent Green
76. Heath Miller
77. Muhsin Muhammad
78. Samie Parker
79. Chester Taylor
80. Eddie Kennison
81. Reggie Brown
82. Mewelde Moore
83. Priest Holmes
84. Kevan Barlow
85. Eric Parker
86. Frank Gore
87. Ernest Wilford
88. Jason Witten
89. Fred Taylor
90. Mark Clayton
91. Curtis Martin
92. Deion Branch
93. Roddy White
94. Jerramy Stevens
95. T.J. Duckett
96. J.J. Arrington
97. Ahman Green
98. L.J. Smith
99. Matt Jones
100. Chris Perry
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Postby beerman648 » Tue Jan 03, 2006 2:39 pm

Thank you for this. I am having doubts about who I should pick for this year. This just makes it that much harder with 9 of my players being on there and the last 4 being 4 away from each other.
yea i am a cheerleader. go team!!! give me a texans suck. go team! My top 2 favorite teams are in the top 5 picks(texans and titans).
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Postby moonhead » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:26 pm

thanks for the post rocker. interesting stuff. not exactly how i'd rank 'em...but cool to see.
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Postby Sixxgunn » Tue Jan 03, 2006 3:40 pm

It's funny how 90% of his picks he adds "If healthy...". As if we didn't know any player is better healthy!
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Postby CC » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:32 pm

Interesting read but there was one thing that blew my mind.

TJ Houshmandzadeh at 30? Yea, he's pretty good but 30?

Over McGahee, Deuce, Thomas Jones, Javon, and a ton of other players.
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Postby moonhead » Tue Jan 03, 2006 4:34 pm

Canadian_Cheesehead wrote:Interesting read but there was one thing that blew my mind.

TJ Houshmandzadeh at 30? Yea, he's pretty good but 30?

Over McGahee, Deuce, Thomas Jones, Javon, and a ton of other players.


yeah. suspect at best.
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Postby giants! » Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:52 am

42. Reggie Wayne: His TD numbers dropped significantly in '05, but he will still be a top target for the always-prolific Peyton Manning.



Hes a free agent and theyres a good chance he wont be with manning next year
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Postby wet_fantasy » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:25 pm

giants! wrote:42. Reggie Wayne: His TD numbers dropped significantly in '05, but he will still be a top target for the always-prolific Peyton Manning.



Hes a free agent and theyres a good chance he wont be with manning next year



r.wayne will be money if he lands with mcnabb & the eagles.
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Postby onnestabe » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:25 pm

A couple things that jump out at me:

Ricky at 42...All signs point to him remaining a Phin next year and for years to come, which means RBBC. I just don't see how he has more keeper value than guys like Bulger, DJax, and Dunn.

Matt Jones all the way down at 99. He had a good rookie year (very good red zone target), and has all the physical tools to become a great WR in the NFL. I think he has shown that he is learning the position well, and has a better-than-most chance of becoming a stud. I mean, really, he must have at least as much value as TJ Duckett, Eric Parker, and Samie Parker. I would probably put him ahead of some aging veterans such Mushy Muhammy and Curtis Martin in terms of keeper value.
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Postby wet_fantasy » Thu Jan 05, 2006 12:26 pm

giants! wrote:42. Reggie Wayne: His TD numbers dropped significantly in '05, but he will still be a top target for the always-prolific Peyton Manning.



Hes a free agent and theyres a good chance he wont be with manning next year



r.wayne will be money if he lands with mcnabb & the eagles.
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