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2016 Fantasy Football Rankings: Standard | PPR

We're constantly updating out Fantasy Football rankings here at CBS Sports, but it's not often we take the time in this space to explain why (beyond the obvious).

Throughout the preseason I'll update you on the risers and fallers in our rankings as well as one outlier per week. The outlier will be a player I like (or dislike) more than Dave and Jamey.


Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
Current RB Rank:
Heath Cummings 24th/Dave Richard 23rd/Jamey Eisenberg 23rd

Jeremy Langford
ATL • RB • #43
Aug. 18 at Patriots
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This is a tough one because we're dealing with a contrast between beat writer reports/coach speak and actual preseason performance. You have to take both with a grain of salt this time of year, but I think it's looking like I was too low on Langford because of things we were hearing.

Langford was outstanding Thursday night, but that's not even why I'm moving him up. What's more important to me than how he played is how much he played. Langford has played 90 percent of the first-team snaps in the preseason, which conflicts with the reports the Bears were planning on using a committee.

Maybe the most important fact we've seen is that Jordan Howard isn't even the second running back right now for the Bears. I love Howard as a player and thought he had a chance to make an impact, but it doesn't look like the Bears feel the same. If Jacquizz Rodgers is the main threat to Langford's workload, it's looking like the latter is more of a No. 2 RB now.

Christine Michael, RB, Seattle Seahawks
Current RB Rank:
Heath Cummings 47th/Dave Richard 49th/Jamey Eisenberg 43rd

Christine Michael
IND • RB • #38
Aug. 18 vs. Vikings
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Plenty has been written about Michael so I'll keep this short. We've all moved Michael up in the last week but I think it's evident we all still view him as a handcuff for the time being. The hype is likely going to get out of control once again with Michael, so even though he's moving up our board I wouldn't be surprised if you have to reach higher than this to have him on your team.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Current QB Rank:
Heath Cummings 10th/Dave Richard 16th/Jamey Eisenberg 12th

Matthew Stafford
LAR • QB • #9
Aug. 18 vs. Bengals
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Much like Eli Manning, Stafford is a guy I moved up my rankings this week because of his surroundings. He was downgraded rightfully coming into the year because Calvin Johnson isn't there anymore. Well, the addition of Anquan Boldin and the early reports on Marvin Jones have changed my mind. The Lions profile as a high-paced, high-volume attack that Stafford could thrive in if he has three quality options to throw to. There's no way to compare anyone on this roster to Calvin Johnson, but this is the deepest set of weapons Stafford has ever had.

Other Risers: Derrick Henry, Devin Funchess, Tajae Sharpe


Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots
Current RB Rank:
Heath Cummings 25th/Dave Richard 21st/Jamey Eisenberg 21st

Dion Lewis
NYG • RB • #33
2015 stats
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Jordy Nelson, Steve Smith and Jamaal Charles all came off the PUP list in the past week, which only highlighted the fact that Dion Lewis mysteriously didn't. This is the Patriots, so any type of convoluted theory you can come up with is possible. I'm not going to speculate as to why Lewis isn't practicing, but if you're drafting this weekend I don't know how you can take him as your second running back in standard leagues.

If anything, we should be more patient with players like Charles and Nelson. They know what they're doing, and really only need to get in shape. Lewis is a guy that has had six productive games in five years in the league. Sure, those games were impressive and I expect him to do something similar when he's fully involved in the offense. I'm just becoming less and less sure that his full involvement will start in Week 1.

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers
Current WR Rank: Heath Cummings 20th/Dave Richard 19th/Jamey Eisenberg 19th

Kelvin Benjamin
NYG • WR • #85
2014 stats -- missed all of 2015
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We had Chris Harris on the podcast this week and he didn't specifically talk about Benjamin, but he does have a theory on training camp I think you could apply to Benjamin. He says you should feel free to ignore most of the good news coming out of camp, but take note of the bad.

There has been plenty of bad coming out about Benjamin, and an equal amount of positive notes regarding Devin Funchess. If you only listened to training camp notes, you might think Funchess was the No. 1. I fully expect Benjamin to outperform Funchess this season, but I'd rather have the latter at his ADP.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
Current RB Rank:
Heath Cummings 37th/Dave Richard 37th/Jamey Eisenberg 37th

Jay Ajayi
Aug. 12 at Giants
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There are a few problems with Ajayi, who continues to fall in all three of our rankings. The obvious concern is Arian Foster is going to take is job -- that's seems more and more likely. The bigger concern may be that Ajayi wouldn't be productive even without Foster. The Dolphins offensive line is a mess right now and Ajayi hasn't shown us anything to make us think he's a talented NFL back.

Other Fallers: Breshad Perriman, Eric Ebron, Jordan Howard


Larry Fitzgerald
Current WR Rank:
Heath Cummings 22nd/Dave Richard 32nd/Jamey Eisenberg 31st

Larry Fitzgerald
ARI • WR • #11
2015 stats
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I'm pretty comfortable being the high guy on Fitzgerald. Probably because I was for all of 2015 as well. It worked out OK. The Cardinals have the best corps of wide receivers in the league, and I prefer John Brown in standard leagues if he's healthy. But Fitzgerald is still a huge value, especially in PPR leagues.

I get why everyone gets excited about Michael Floyd -- he finished very strong. But imagine how different those second-half game logs would look if you included Fitzgerald's 8-176-1 in the playoffs against Green Bay. Fitzgerald is still the No. 1 target in this offense.

The other argument I hear for Floyd over Fitzgerald is that the former is the team's top red-zone threat now. Here is their red-zone production from 2015:

Targets REC TD
Fitzgerald 18 13 8
Brown 16 10 6
Floyd 10 4 2

If anything, I feel like I may be selling Fitzgerald short but that doesn't really matter. He's being drafted at the end of the fifth round as the 27th wide receiver off the board. Snag him at the end of the fourth and enjoy the borderline No. 1 WR production.