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The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

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The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby Sportsanity » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:03 am

Hi all,

THE best Fantasy Forum out there. Really, really nice job and excellent community. Fantasy Football rules!

Since you are all so involved and take your Fantasy Football seriously, as I do, I'm sure many have you have been playing for a while. I've been in a pretty personal league, dear to my heart, for over 15 years.

I think this topic is good fodder for commentary and I am curious about your opinions and fond recollections of the past 10 years. Our league went automated in 2001, so I had all the fantasy records since then. So, I crunched all the numbers and came up with a list of the Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the past 10 years (2001 - present). I posted a piece on Bleacher Report with my results, it includes 31 vivid in-game photos, with one for each of the top 25, and statistical info. There are definitely some surprises in there. I was surprised for sure. But you probably can guess at the top 5, or figure out most of the top 10 (but I doubt you will get all 10). At the end, I also included a quick list of the Top 200 fantasy football players of the decade in case you want to go deeper. It took me forever, btw X-I

Who's the best Fantasy QB of these three: Brady, McNabb, Brees?
Would you believe Thomas Jones is on this list? (12,000 Yds from Scrimmage)
There are 5 defenses on this list. Can you name them? Who's the best fantasy defense of the past ten years?
Who's No. 1? You probably know.

Let me know what you think (be nice, please). Also, of course there are subtle or not-so-subtle differences between how leagues score...but I still think this list manages to cover most fantasy football leagues. Perhaps the order might be a little different in say a PPR league, which mine is not.

Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade

You'll like it. Thanks for checking it out.


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Re: The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby Azrael » Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:00 pm

Speaking specifically in the decade, 2001-2010.

1. Marvin has to make the list. 6 straight years of atleast 1,100 yards and double digit scores.
2. I think Gates has to make the list as well, maybe in place of Green. From 2004-current Gates has scored atleast 8 TDs and recorded atleast 900 yards receiving in 6 of those 7 years. If you owned him you had a sizeable advantage over most other people at that position. You have been guaranteed production every single year since he blew up. He's easily the best TE. Gonzo was good alot of years too but there were a few years his TDs were down. Gates is much more consistent. Trent Green had essentially 3 years where he threw in the 20's for TDs, never more than 27. After 2004, you'd be a sucker for having him on your team. He doesn't belong on the list.

Frank Gore is a pretty consistent fantasy back since he blew up in '06. He probably deserves to be on there too. Maybe instead of Edge. Edge had 3 good years his last 3 seasons in Indy. You can't really count his first 2 seasons in the body of work. They aren't in the decade.

Other than that it's pretty good.
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Re: The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby murphysxm » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:14 pm

First of all, pretty cool idea and I can only imagine how much work this took. Thanks for doing, I enjoyed.

The only thing I would have liked is if it was a little bit more balance position wise. Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates have to be in there. I agree with Marvin being a pretty glaring obmission. I am pretty surpised how low Curtis Martin and Larry Johnson were as well. Also Travis Henry and Kerry Collins seem crazy to me, but worst of all - 30 DST in the top 200? Yuck!

Overall, very well done

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Re: The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby Sportsanity » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:14 pm


Thanks for checking it out and your analysis.

Yes it's hard to picture someone like Aaron Brooks, for example, coming in ahead of Marvin. Those were some sick years bw 2001 and 2006 for Harrison. Scoring, at least in our league and probably in a lot of others, does favor QBs and RBs over WRs. Outside the clinical numbers, though, I do agree that Marvin's fantasy impact seemed and was bigger than represented on this list.

Gates and Gonzalez are pretty close, but Gonzalez got the nod bc he has two extra full seasons in the decade. Gates started in '03. If you just compare Gates and Gonzalez bw 2003 and 2010, then you are right, Gates' numbers are better (Gates having a monster year this year, btw, and he was the best receiver in the league even amongst WRs until a couple of weeks ago). Green came ahead again here bc QBs generally score more points than WRs and TEs. Also, Green started 81 consecutive games during the decade, the equivalent of 5 total seasons. That helps in accumulating points. Brooks btw started 82 in a row (not all in this decade). Wikipedia has a nice list of most consecutive QB starts if you're interested: ... rback_(NFL)

Gore was hurt in this poll bc he started his career in '05. As with Gates/Gonzalez, if you compare Edge and Gore solely in the years they both played, yes Gore is better.

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Re: The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby Sportsanity » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:44 pm


Thanks for your thoughts and kind words.

I had a feeling the TE rankings might cause some hubbub. TEs just don't score as many points as WRs, QBs, or RBs, and a handful of DTs. Our league utilizes 3 slots for either a WR or TE. Many other leagues have a separate slot specifically for a TE, and thus their fantasy impact is magnified (esp by the fact that the talent really thins quickly as you go down the list of available TEs compared to other positions). So someone in a league that plays TEs will have a lopsided advantage if they have any of the top, say, 5 TEs in any given year.

Curtis Martin played only bw 2001 and 2005 this decade - good years too except the last one, so he gets shortchanged on this list, even though his career is better than RBs above him. I was also surprised to see that Larry Johnson only broke 1,000 yards rushing twice. They were sick years in 2005 and 2006 when he broke 1700 yards rushing both times, but outside of that his career was flat. Those couple of years though, he was so awesome that his reputation precedes him to this day. In our league in 2005 and 2006 he was the #2 player in the league, behind Shaun Alexander and LaDainian respectively. In 2006 Larry Johnson was picked 1st in the draft.

Travis Henry had about 7,000 yards from scrimmage and 40 TDs, but came in 95th. The RBs above him had better numbers. And, we're so used to Collins sitting the bench these days, but he did muster nearly 24K yards and 116 TDs in the decade.

Finally, your point about defenses is a good one. I noticed the same thing (30 in the top 200 and also 5 in the top 25) and thought about that. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that a defense is always on the field for every game. Individual players might get hurt, but the defense is always there picking up points in every game of the decade.

Thanks again for reading and good luck in your fantasy leagues, to all. Very exciting year for us - it appears the parity in the NFL is translating very nicely into fantasy football parity and we've got 10 of our 12 teams right now still in the thick of the playoff hunt.

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Re: The Top 25 Fantasy Football Players of the Decade?

Postby default01 » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:05 am

I've only been playing for the past four years so I can't really give as good of commentary as some of the others have on individual players that should be on or off.

I do think the list is flawed though since you're only going by fantasy points in whatever scoring system you may use and compare all positions equally. Wide receivers should be compared to wide receivers and overall rankings should be based on how much better one player was than others at his position. I think you need to go back to your top 10 lists of WRs and TEs, then make a list for QBs and RBs. Maybe expand the lists to top 50 WRs and RBs and top 25 QBs and TEs. Then come up with a system to weight positional values and make a more complete consolidated top 25.

Defenses and kickers shouldn't even be considered. They're never drafted high and are easily replaceable. Defenses have the added bonus of never missing a game and playing for the entire decade even as individual defensive players change. It's ridiculous to compare a team defense to an individual player in a list like this.

And for everyone else who may not want to click through 32 pages for a list of 25, here it is:
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense
24. Trent Green
23. Priest Holmes
22. Baltimore Ravens Defense
21. Carson Palmer
20. Ben Roethlisberger
19. New England Patriots Defense
18. Brian Westbrook
17. Edgerrin James
16. Thomas Jones
15. Green Bay Packers Defense
14. Pittsburgh Steelers Defense
13. Jamal Lewis
12. Terrell Owens
11. Randy Moss
10. Tiki Barber
9. Clinton Portis
8. Matt Hasselbeck
7. Shaun Alexander
6. Drew Brees
5. Tom Brady
4. Donovan McNabb
3. Brett Favre
2. Peyton Manning
1. LaDainian Tomlinson
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