Rankings are mostly self-explanatory, so this intro will be brief. But one thing to keep in mind: while these rankings are meant to be as versatile as possible, they're generally geared towards all-120 leagues that start two quarterbacks and a combination of at least five running backs and receivers (to go along with one tight end, one kicker and one defense).
Here are the main themes this year:
a. Quarterback is deep. I like Denard Robinson and Case Keenum to be the top point-scorers this year, but the depth at the position pushes them down to the 10th and 12th spots, respectively. I think there are at least 30 names that should be reliable starting quarterbacks in all-120 leagues, while the 10 or so names that follow possess intriguing potential, also.
b. Conversely, Iím not seeing as much depth at running back and receiver. Also, in both cases, the positions feature a small group of extreme starpower at the top, with steep drop-offs as you venture into the third and fourth tiers. For that reason, the top tiers of running back and wideout dominate the top 25 for me.
c. At tight end, if you donít have Ladarius Green, you probably donít have anyone special. Green is to college football what Tony Gonzalez was to the NFL in the late 1990s, so expect him to go off the board around the time when most players are still selecting their WR2s. After Green, it looks like the top talents are Vance McDonald, Michael Egnew, Orson Charles and Tyler Eifert. From there, itís a combination of proven low-ceiling options and unproven high-ceiling options. Therefore, after the top five, it makes sense to punt at tight end, as it usually does.
1. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Thereís not much more that can be said about James at this point. He plays in what might be the nationís most prolific offense, and he might be the primary reason why that offense is so good. With 38 touchdowns in the past two years, this is a player you simply canít go wrong with. Heíll remain the engine that drives the Ducks offense.
2. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
The loss of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen is definitely concerning, but itíd take a real daredevil to rank Blackmon anywhere but No. 1 after he totaled 1,859 yards from scrimmage and 22 total touchdowns last year. Last yearís performance was one of the absolute best ever by a college receiveróno one could come close to stopping him. His worst game of last year saw him total eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
After somehow getting overlooked by Arkansasí coaches for all of 2009 and roughly the first month of the 2010 season, Davis was finally given the ball starting around mid-October of last year, and he was an absolute terror from there. He totaled 1,028 yards and 12 touchdowns on the ground in the last seven weeks of the year, and even chipped in 89 yards and a touchdown through the air in that same span. Davisí combination of size, speed and power might be unmatched nationwide, and if he keeps producing like he did last year, Adrian Peterson comparisons might be in order.
4. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Richardson is a bit of an injury concern after missing two games with a knee issue last year, but itís generally safe to expect a huge season for the bruiser in 2011. Mark Ingram is out of the way, and while Eddie Lacy is good enough to steal carries, Richardson should have most of the running game to himself in 2011. That means big numbers for Richardson, who is skilled both as a runner and pass catcher.
5. David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech
Wilson is likely to be one of the nationís most electric players in 2011. Ryan Williams deservedly got lots of hype at Virginia Tech, but Wilson might be even better. Even with Williams and Darren Evans around last year, Wilson still totaled 853 yards and nine touchdowns from scrimmage, not to mention two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Few running backs are more frightening in the open field.
6. Lance Dunbar, RB, North Texas
Dunbar might be the nationís most well-rounded back. Heís a homerun threat, but heís tough and can catch passes, too. He has 3,563 yards and 35 touchdowns from scrimmage in the last two years and is a sheer nightmare for his Sun Belt opponents. He probably wonít do well against Alabama, but every other team on his schedule is probably in for a beating.
7. Lance Lewis, WR, East Carolina
The former junior college transfer brings BCS talent to East Carolinaís Conference-USA schedule, an explosive combination when you factor in the teamís Texas Tech-style offense. Even with Dwayne Harris pulling in 101 catches for 1,123 yards and 10 touchdowns, Lewis was still able to post 89 catches for 1,116 yards and 14 touchdowns. With Harris out of the way, Lewisí numbers should go up in 2011.
8. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Lattimore isnít just goodóheís so good that, at multiple points last year, Steve Spurrier became generally uninterested in passing the ball. Against SEC foes Georgia and Florida, Spurrier called 77 running plays for Lattimore. Those are huge numbers regardless of whoís calling the plays, but Spurrier especially just doesnít have a history of running like that. After finishing his true freshman season with 1,609 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns, we might have Lattimore ranked higher if he hadn't suffered knee and ankle injuries last year.
9. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
Broyles has been simply spectacular the last two years, totaling 220 catches for 2,742 yards as a receiver while finding the end zone a total of 31 times. With quarterback Landry Jones heading into this third year as a starter, thereís no reason to expect that productivity to go anywhere in 2011. Broyles saw his catch-per-game average increase by two from 2009 to 2010, and his yards-per-game increasing by 22 in the same span, so he might not be done improving.
10. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Robinsonís unmatched rushing ability likely makes him the top bet to lead the nation in fantasy points this year. His passing totals of 2,570 yards and 18 touchdowns from a year ago were nothing special, but the 1,702 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground were downright staggering. He ran for 200 or more yards twice last year, and surpassed 100 yards or scored on the ground in all but three games. His slight build makes him an injury worry, but his upside is too much to pass on. Most other college football observers have Robinson ranked much lower this year due to the loss of coach Rich Rodriguez, but new coach Brady Hoke is no dummy. Heíll give Robinson as much work as he can handle.
11. Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan
White was granted a sixth year of eligibility, so Western Michigan fortunately brings back one of the nationís top wideouts from a year ago. He finished last season with 1,378 yards and 12 touchdowns in just 12 games, and that was while sharing the field with fellow star receiver Juan Nunez, who totaled 1,032 yards and 10 touchdowns on 91 catches last year. Nunezís replacement, Robert Arnheim, is no slouch, so White wonít lay claim to all of those catches, but it wouldnít be shocking if his numbers went up a bit this year.
12. Case Keenum, QB, Houston
After being last yearís consensus No. 1 pick, Keenum heads into 2011 as a much riskier target than in years past. He still has huge upside in Houstonís pass-happy offense, but he suffered a torn ACL in September and has 13 interceptions in his last five games. Still, as someone who should throw around 45 (or more) passes per game, Keenum likely is a standout QB1 by default, even if he doesnít throw for over 5,000 yards like he did in 2008 and 2009.
13. Dominique Davis, QB, East Carolina
Davis threw the ball more than any other quarterback in the country last year, with his average of 46.8 pass attempts per game resulting in 3,955 yards and 37 passing touchdowns in 13 games. He also ran for nine touchdowns. He has a rough schedule to start the year, however, with matchups against South Carolina, Virginia Tech and North Carolina in the first month. If your team can survive that stretch, Davis should be a golden QB1 from that point onward.
14. G.J. Kinne, QB, Tulsa
The loss of head coach Todd Graham is a bit concerning, but the in-house replacement of Bill Blankenship should result in the team retaining the pass-happy offense that made Kinne a great fantasy option last year. With 31 touchdowns through the air and 561 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground last year, Kinne is a big threat both as a passer and runner. It helps that his top target, wideout Damaris Johnson, will be back in 2011.
15. Patrick Edwards, WR, Houston
Edwards was the least-hyped Houston receiver among the trio of him, James Cleveland and Tyron Carrier a year ago, but he turned out to be vastly superior to his colleagues. Cleveland and Carrier combined for just 1,280 yards and seven touchdowns receiving while Edwards blazed his way to 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns. He even scored a 14th touchdown on a punt return. With Case Keenum back at quarterback, Edwards has a good chance to outdo last yearís numbers.
16. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona
Criner is the go-to guy in Arizonaís pass-happy spread offense, and the big target emerged as one of the nationís top receivers in 2010. He showed glimpses of brilliance while totaling 581 yards and nine receiving touchdowns in 2009, but he turned his game up several notches in 2011, finishing with 1,244 yards and 11 touchdowns. He did that despite playing through a turf toe injury for much of last year, so he could outdo his 2010 stats if he stays healthy this season.
17. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Blackmonís loss at Oklahoma State is Austinís gain at West Virginia, as offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen will bring the Mountaineers his Houston-style spread offense. That means lots of work for Austin, who moved from running back to receiver last year and proved to be a quick study, finishing with 946 yards and nine touchdowns from scrimmage. With Jock Sanders (who caught 69 passes in 2010) out of the way in West Virginiaís new pass-happy spread, Austinís numbers should explode this year.
18. Marcus Coker, RB, Iowa
With quarterback Ricky Stanzi and running back Adam Robinson gone, Coker suddenly finds himself as the foundation of the Iowa offense. As Shonn Greene showed us in 2008, this should mean very big things for Coker, who was highly impressive as a true freshman last year. The bruiser doesnít show much as a pass catcher, but he totaled 438 yards and two touchdowns as a runner in his three starts.
19. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State
The Turbinator had his 2010 season wiped out by a spring knee injury, but he should be his usual dominant self since in 2011 heís had nearly 1.5 years to recover. He was one of the absolute best players nationwide in 2009, running for 1,296 yards and 13 touchdowns while adding 418 yards and five touchdowns as a pass catcher in 12 games. He probably wonít be quite that good in 2011, but he still figures to be one of the best.
20. Damaris Johnson, WR, Tulsa
Whether itís as a pass catcher, runner or returner, Johnson has shown over the past three years that he just isnít stoppable. His 872 yards and four touchdowns as a receiver last year aren't impressive at a glance, but the picture quickly changes when you add his 560 yards and seven touchdowns as a runner, not to mention his two touchdowns as a returner. G.J. Kinne is back at quarterback for the third year straight, so the ultra-versatile Johnson should have big numbers again in 2011.
21. Adonis Thomas, RB, Toledo
Thomas didnít get the ball much in his first two years at Toledo, but he finally got some work last year and made the most of it. He finished the year with 1,470 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage, including 993 yards and nine touchdowns from scrimmage in the last six weeks alone. If Toledo keeps giving him the ball, thereís no reason to think Thomas wonít carry on in a similar fashion.
22. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Taylor emerged from a crowded Stanford backfield to lead the team with 1,137 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground in his true sophomore season. He also proved to be a skilled pass catcher, taking 28 receptions for 266 yards and a touchdown. Even if he isnít Toby Gerhart, Taylor figures to put up even bigger numbers next year as Stanfordís feature back.
23. Doug Martin, RB, Boise State
Martin was excellent last year, totaling 1,598 yards and 14 touchdowns from scrimmage in 13 games. Itís possible that heíll get the ball a bit more often in 2011, as the loss of receivers Titus Young and Austin Pettis figures to leave the Boise State passing game a bit weakened. If that happens, he could very well be worth ranking higher.
24. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Floydís eligibility at Notre Dame is in limbo due to a DUI arrest, but look for him to get reinstated for his senior year, and look for him to dominate when he gets on the field. Floyd would be ranked higher if he had been more durable over the last two years, as his numbers are in the Blackmon-Broyles territory when heís on the field. He has 2,539 yards and 28 touchdowns as a pass catcher in his 29 career games at Notre Dame, including 1,820 yards and 21 touchdowns in his last 19 games. In his second year with quarterback Dayne Crist in the Brian Kelly offense, a career year is hardly out of the question.
25. Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
If it werenít some uncertainty at the quarterback position thanks to Stephen Garciaís off-the-field shenanigans, Jeffery would probably be ranked higher. He proved heís one of the NCAAís elite receivers last year, when he totaled 1,518 yards and nine touchdowns as a pass catcher in 14 games. His touchdown total was underwhelming when compared to other top-tier receivers, however, so thatís another thing that keeps him out of the top eight.
26. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor
Griffin had no trouble returning from his 2009 ACL tear last year, throwing for 3,501 yards and 22 touchdowns while running for 635 yards and eight touchdowns. But given that he was only one year removed from the injury, it might be reasonable to expect improvement in 2011. Griffinís top two receivers (Kendall Wright and Josh Gordon) are both back, and he should be a bit sharper with another offseason to get his knee in shape.
27. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
The loss of head coach Jim Harbaugh shouldnít be a big deal given that his replacement is David Shaw, who has been Stanfordís offensive coordinator since 2007. While Stanford's ball control offense generally results in less than 30 pass attempts per game for Luck, his fantasy value is nonetheless high due to his extreme efficiencyó8.6 percent of his passes went for touchdowns last year.
28. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska
Martinez is an injury worry after ankle troubles derailed the second half of his 2010 season, but the incredible upside he displayed prior to that point makes him a tempting target at the top of drafts nonetheless. He showed Denard Robinson-like upside in the beginning of the year, running for 737 yards and 12 touchdowns in the first five games. If his health could be guaranteed, Martinez would be worth ranking higher. Things being as they are, however, you want to make sure you land a reliable QB2 if you invest in Martinez.
29. Austin Davis, QB, Southern Mississippi
Davis doesnít have a ton of upside as a passer, but he showed last year that heís enough of a dual threat to qualify as an elite fantasy quarterback. In addition to a solid total of 3,103 yards and 20 touchdowns as a passer, Davis ran for 452 yards and 10 touchdowns. With a favorable schedule and the same offensive scheme in 2011, he should have another big year.
30. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Smith was impressive in his first year as a starter in 2010, throwing 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. But with the arrival of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen (ex-Oklahoma State, Houston), Smithís numbers are about to get even better. With roughly 10 more passes per game and three good wideout targets (Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Brad Starks) in 2011, Smith could make a push for the top five.
31. Bryant Moniz, QB, Hawaii
Moniz led the nation with 39 passing touchdowns and an average of 360 passing yards per game last year, but heís probably in for a bit of a drop off in 2011. Wideouts Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares are gone, and 3,195 yards and 29 touchdowns go with them. The loss of running back Alex Green also hurts, as he scored 19 total touchdowns and averaged 8.21 yards per carry last year. Moniz should still put up big numbers, just not as big as he did in 2010.
32. Royce Pollard, WR, Hawaii
With the departure of Greg Salas and Kealoha Pilares, the Hawaii offense suddenly has a void of 3,195 yards and 29 touchdowns in the passing game. You can even add another 874 yards and two touchdowns when you consider the loss of Rodney Bradley and Alex Green. Pollard posted 901 yards and seven touchdowns among that crowded group a year ago, so he has a chance to put up gigantic numbers with all those catches up for grabs in 2011.
33. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State
Hillman was one of the nationís absolute best running backs as a freshman last year, burning defenses for 1,532 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground in 13 games. He averaged over 20 carries per game, and he might get even more work in 2011 now that star wideouts Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson are no longer around. Hillman is a bit of an injury worry given that he might weigh under 180 pounds, but he held up fine last year, and thereís no doubt at this point that heís a big-time playmaker.
34. Bobby Rainey, RB, Western Kentucky
This might seem low for a player who ran for over 1,600 yards and scored 15 touchdowns a year ago, but itís tough to see Rainey duplicating those numbers two years straight. Not only did Rainey set the bar extremely high, but listed (very) generously at 5-8, 205 pounds, it simply isn't a good idea for Rainey to go another season averaging 30.7 touches from scrimmage per game. If his touches donít go down, the odds are that his production or durability (or both) will suffer for it.
35. Orleans Darkwa, RB, Tulane
Darkwa was excellent as a true freshman last year, posting 824 yards and seven touchdowns from scrimmage in his last six games. He even threw two touchdown passes in the same span. Tulane is historically a great place to find fantasy backs, as Mewelde Moore, Matt Forte and Andre Anderson all put up big numbers in the role that Darkwa currently owns.
36. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
This might seem low for a player who threw 38 touchdowns last year, but Jones falls this far mostly because he offers nothing as a runneróhe finished 2010 with a total of minus-128 yards on the ground. He should at least be a good QB2 in 2011 from his passing abilities, alone, however. Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills are a talented combo at receiver, and Oklahomaís system always provides big numbers.
37. Alex Carder, QB, Western Michigan
Losing star receiver Juan Nunez will hurt, but Carder is still in good shape, as leading 2010 wideout Jordan White was granted a sixth year of eligibility. Also, Robert Arnheim should serve as a solid replacement for Nunez, who was generally a possession specialist for Western Michigan. Carder was a huge hit in his first season as starter last year, throwing 30 touchdown passes while running for six more scores. It might be a bit much to ask for 36 scores again in 2011, but anything less than 30 would be a disappointment.
38. Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee
Poole is the feature back for what might be an underrated Tennessee offense. He finished last year with 1,205 yards and 12 touchdowns from scrimmage, and he might be even better this year. Tyler Bray seems to have the Volunteers passing game in high gear, so Poole should see seven-man fronts and make a good number of trips into the red zone. If he hadnít missed time with a thigh injury last year, we might have him a bit higher.
39. Jason Ford, RB, Illinois
Ford is heading into the year under the radar thanks to Mikel Leshoure hogging the spotlight in Illinois, but Ford should put up nice numbers himself. Heís not the talent Leshoure is, but like Leshoure, Ford is a big bruiser who should have no trouble shouldering a feature back role. Even with Leshoure around, Ford still ran for 480 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
40. Lennon Creer, RB, Louisiana Tech
For some reason Louisiana Techís coaches didnít give the Tennessee transfer the ball consistently until around midseason, and Creer immediately made them look silly for waiting so long. After getting just 54 carries in the first five weeks, Creer went off for 912 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground in his final seven games. If the Louisiana Tech coaches can be trusted to give him the ball consistently, Creer might be worth ranking higher.
41. Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
Harnish is an injury worry after missing some time in 2008 and 2009, but he was too good last year to not be considered a top fantasy option heading into 2011. He totaled 2,530 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air while running for 836 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 gamesómaking him one of the best fantasy quarterbacks over that span. Heíll have a taller task in 2011 with running back Chad Spann gone, but he should be up for it.
42. Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern
Persa is reportedly recovering well from his late-season Achillesí tendon rupture, but itís still a bit scary to invest a high pick in a player with that injury. But if Persa plays anything like he did last year, heíll be worth the pick. His passing totals of 2,581 yards and 15 touchdowns in 11 games were modest, but his 519 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground made him an elite fantasy quarterback.
43. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
James White is still around and is a more talented runner than Ball, but Ball is significantly bigger and will likely get a bigger workload as a result. Also, Ball is a better pass catcher. Either way, with John Clay out of town thereís enough room in the Wisconsin offense for both Ball and White to approach 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns. The one worry with Ball is that White appears to be a rare talent at running back, and he might catch fire to the point that Wisconsin has no choice but to feed him carries at Ballís expense for long stretches.
44. D.J. Woods, WR, Cincinnati
Woods had a strong junior season in 2010, finishing with 898 yards and eight touchdowns through the air while adding 87 yards and two more scores as a runner. He figures to take another step forward in 2011 now that Armon Binns, Cincinnatiís leading 2010 receiver, is no longer on the team. Between Binns and fellow 2010 senior Marcus Barnett, the Cincinnati passing game has a shortage of 100 catches for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns heading into 2011. Woods figures to pick up a good chunk of that.
45. Ray Graham, RB, Pittsburgh
Graham would be worth ranking as high as perhaps the top five if the team were running the same pro-style offense it did in past years, but the arrival of coach Todd Graham means the team will install a Tulsa-style offense. Still, Graham is an elusive playmaker who can easily fit into the schemeóthe issue is just that he wonít get as many carries as he would have previously. But even if Graham doesnít get a big workload as a runner, expect him to make plays as a pass catcher.
46. Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State
Ballard doesnít get a chance to contribute much as a pass catcher, but heíll likely be at least a solid RB2 in all-120 leagues after running for 20 touchdowns in 12 games last year. His workload increased as the year progressed, which is a good sign that he might get more carries in 2011 than he did last year. Expect his total of 981 yards from last year to improve, even if he canít get back to the lofty 20-touchdown mark.
47. Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL)
Millerís fantasy value should see a gigantic increase in 2011, as Damien Berry is no longer around and the teamís new coach, Al Golden, oversaw offenses that provided big numbers to Bernard Pierce and Matt Brown at Temple. Mike James is also a talented player and could steal carries from Miller, but Miller is one of the more talented runners in the country and should make a big impact regardless of Jamesí presence.
48. Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M
Fuller is a bit of a durability worry after dealing with leg and ankle injuries the past two years, but he still managed to finish last year with 72 catches for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns. The reason heís ranked this low, however, is because he totaled just 125 yards and one touchdown over a four-week span in the second half of the year, and that kind of inconsistency is difficult to deal with as a fantasy owner. But if he can stay healthy all year and maintain consistency, Fuller has the upside to rank higher than this.
49. Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati
While 26 touchdowns to 14 interceptions isn't the worst performance, Collaros' 2010 season was generally quite disappointing. Playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the BCS, he was limited both as a runner and a passer. But with a year of experience in head coach Butch Jonesí system, expect 2011 to be better to Collaros, who is one of the nationís better dual threats.
50. Kyle Padron, QB, SMU
The loss of wideout Aldrick Robinson and his 1,301 yards and 14 touchdowns from last year will hurt a bit, but Padron should still post numbers similar to last yearís in 2011. Cole Beasley and Darius Johnson are a solid returning tandem at receiver, and Padron himself should be improved as he heads into his second full season as starter.
51. Darron Thomas, QB, Oregon
Thomas was a big hit in his first season as a starter last year. The memory of Jeremiah Masoli faded quickly as Thomas threw for 2,863 yards and 30 touchdowns while running for 486 yards and five more touchdowns, and thereís not much reason to expect him to slow down in 2011. The loss of receiver Jeff Maehl could hurt a bit, but Oregon does a good job of plugging in replacements year to year.
52. Jeff Godfrey, QB, Central Florida
Godfrey was a very prized recruit for UCF last year, and he wasted no time showing why in his true freshman season. He was the running threat everyone expected him to be, taking off for 566 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he was better than expected as a passer. He completed 66.8 percent of his passes while averaging 9.1 yards per attempt, throwing 13 touchdowns to eight interceptions in the process. With UCFís favorable schedule, big numbers should be in store in 2011.
53. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Klein was a hit as a rushing specialist last year, running for 432 yards and six touchdowns despite starting only one game. With Carson Coffman out of the picture, Klein has the offense to himself in 2011. He might not be the best passer, but the rare rushing ability heís shown to this point makes him a potential QB1 at a QB2 draft expense in all-120 leagues. Out of the quarterbacks listed outside of the top 10, Klein might have the most upside.
54. Eric Page, WR, Toledo
While he isnít big or fast enough to generate a great deal of media attention, Page is nonetheless one of the nationís absolute best players. Despite only turning 20 in September, Page already has 2,306 yards and 16 touchdowns from scrimmage in his name, not to mention three passing touchdowns and three touchdowns on kick returns. Even though defenses single him out, Page has generally remained unstoppableóeven against non-MAC opponents like Ohio State, Boise State, Arizona, Purdue (twice) and Colorado, he still totaled 46 catches for 577 yards and three touchdowns.
55. Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
Burkhead doesnít figure to have a monopoly on the Nebraska running game, but his workload is still in for a big increase now that Roy Helu is gone. Burkhead ran for 951 yards and seven touchdowns last year, while Helu totaled 1,245 yards and 11 touchdowns. With that production up for grabs, Burkhead should be able to match Heluís numbers from last year.
56. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Ellington is one of the nationís most dangerous runners, but heís down this far on the list because he missed most of the second half of last year with a turf toe injury. If he can stay healthy in 2011, though, Ellington is worth ranking higher. There will be more carries available with Jamie Harper gone, but itís not clear how much of that workload Ellington will be able to carry. He ran for 684 yards and 10 touchdowns in the first eight games of last year, so Ellingtonís upside is big.
57. Brandon Bolden, RB, Mississippi
Bolden had a great year in 2010, finishing with 976 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground to go along with 344 yards and three touchdowns as a pass catcher. He'd be ranked higher if his workload was safer, but Mississippi has a weird allegiance to bust recruit Enrique Davis, who stole roughly 10 carries per game last year despite averaging nearly two yards less per carry than Bolden. Jeff Scott is another threat to steal carries. In any case, Bolden will put up numbers if he gets the ball. The question is how often heíll get it.
58. Bryce Brown, RB, Kansas State
Itís not certain who will start at running back for Kansas State, but Brown, a Tennessee transfer, is the current favorite to emerge with the role. Considered by many to be the top running back recruit of 2009, Brown could inherit the offense that allowed Daniel Thomas to run for 1,585 yards and 19 touchdowns last year. If itís announced that Brown is the clear starter for the Wildcats, heís probably worth moving up.
59. Ladarius Green, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
Green is the top fantasy tight end in college football this season, as he was last season. Despite missing two games, Green still finished last year with 794 yards and seven touchdowns on an absurd 18.1 yards per catch. That includes 334 yards and three touchdowns in the final three weeks. Even though he's the only target defenses pay attention to on the Lafayette offense, Green is unstoppable by tight end standards.
60. Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford
It might seem like madness to rank Owusu this high when he's coming off a 396-yard, three-touchdown season, but don't be fooled by those numbers. Owusu is one of the nationís best playmakersóhis 2010 season was wrecked by an undisclosed leg injury. He stands to take a big jump forward in 2011, as five senior Stanford pass catchers from 2010 combined for 2,011 yards and 19 touchdownsóover half of Stanfordís production in each of those categories. Owusu will make up for lost time in 2011.
61. Cole Beasley, WR, SMU
Beasley figures to follow the examples set by Emmanuel Sanders and Aldrick Robinson and become the next elite Southern Methodist wideout in 2011. He already got off to a nice start in 2010, totaling 87 catches for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games. With Robinson out of the way in 2011, those numbers have a great chance to improve. In one of the most time-tested passing schemes in the nation with one of college footballís most productive passers (Kyle Padron), Beasley is playing in an excellent situation.
62. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Woods is the most unproven wideout on the list so far, but heís also one of the most talented. A consensus five-star recruit in 2010, he finished his true freshman season with 64 catches for 786 yards and seven touchdowns (one on a kick return) in 13 games. That included a two-game span against Stanford and California in which he posted 19 catches for 340 yards and five touchdowns. With 2010 seniors Ronald Johnson, Stanley Havili, David Ausberry and Jordan Cameron combining for 132 catches, 1,466 yards and 15 touchdowns last year, Woods will have a chance to post much better numbers in 2011.
63. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International
Hilton has had no trouble establishing himself as one of the nationís best playmakers over the last three years. Whether itís as a receiver, runner or returner, he gets the job done. He only had 848 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games as a receiver last year, but his 282 yards and four touchdowns as a runner (as well as two kick return touchdowns) made him a big fantasy asset. Despite never playing with a quarterback who threw for better than 2,623 yards or 16 touchdowns in a year, Hilton still has a total of 2,867 yards from scrimmage and 29 total touchdowns to his name.
64. Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
Scheelhaase didnít disappoint in his first season as starter, throwing 17 touchdowns to eight interceptions while running for 859 yards and five touchdowns. Heíll need to take up a bigger role heading into his redshirt sophomore season, as running back Mikel Leshoure is gone after totaling 1,902 yards and 20 touchdowns from scrimmage last year. Whether he successfully picks up the slack will determine whether he can make the jump from good to great.
65. Kriss Proctor, QB, Navy
If you can tolerate a missed game or three, you might want to rank Proctor a bit higher. He takes over for Ricky Dobbs in Navyís profitable triple-option offense, so while heíll take lots of hits, heíll also put up nice numbers on the ground. Proctor might be an even better runner than Dobbs, as he ran for over 200 yards in his only start last year.
66. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Moore will remain extremely efficient in 2011, but the Boise State offense might be a bit less aggressive now that Titus Young and Austin Pettis are gone. Tyler Shoemaker and Geraldo Hiwat should be fine replacements, but thereís still no doubt that the offense is less talented than it was a year ago. Consider Moore a high-floor, moderate-ceiling option at quarterback.
67. Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
Ebert was having a very good season in 2010 before quarterback Dan Persa suffered a ruptured Achillesí tendon against Iowa in November. Up to that point, he totaled 54 catches for 849 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games. If Persa hadnít gotten hurt, Ebert would have had a great chance to finish with a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown season in his first year as a starter. With Persa back in 2011, look for the tandem to pick up where they left off.
68. Darius Johnson, WR, SMU
While Beasley is the favorite, Johnson still has a chance to emerge as Southern Methodistís top receiver in 2011. Playing as the third wideout behind Beasley and Aldrick Robinson as a sophomore last year, Johnson finished 2010 with 78 catches for 845 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games. That includes 18 catches for 257 yards and a touchdown in the final two games of the year.
69. Dwight Jones, WR, North Carolina
If quarterback T.J. Yates hadnít graduated this offseason, Jones would probably be ranked in the top 12. Incoming starter Bryn Renner is was a highly rated recruit, but itís not clear if heíll have the same chemistry with Jones that Yates did in 2010, when Jones closed out the year with 842 yards and four touchdowns in the year's final eight weeks. Still, with two years to learn the North Carolina system, Renner should be able to hit the ground running in 2011.
70. Nick Harwell, WR, Miami (OH)
In 2010, Harwell was to the MAC what Robert Woods was to the Pac-10. While Harwell was technically a second-year freshman (he transferred from Air Force Academy Preparatory School), it's still difficult to not be impressed with the 856 yards and six touchdowns he posted over the last nine weeks of the season. Itís a bit concerning that he didnít see the field much before that point, but it looks like he has earned a prominent role in the offense going forward.
71. Kevin Bolden, WR, Southern Mississippi
The junior college transfer showed flashes of brilliance in his first year at Southern Mississippi in 2010, totaling 46 catches for 722 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games. With a year of experience in the Southern Mississippi system, not to mention the departures of pass catchers like Johdrick Morris and DeAndre Brown, Bolden should have little trouble breezing past last yearís numbers. Thanks to a strong running game and efficient play from senior quarterback Austin Davis, Boldenís situation is a favorable one.
72. Zach Line, RB, SMU
Although heís a big back, Line has proved to be a good fit in Southern Methodistís spread offense. He ranked 11th in the nation last year with 1,494 yards on the ground, with 10 of his carries going for touchdowns while averaging 6.1 yards per carry. He doesnít offer much as a pass catcher, as he totaled only 163 yards last year, but itíd be an upset if he didnít breeze past 1,100 yards and approach double-digit touchdowns on the ground.
73. Pat Shed, RB, UAB
Shed only ran for three touchdowns last year so he isn't much of a scoring threat, but he's one of the nation's best pass-catching running backs and does a good job of piling up yardage. He finished last year with 1,318 yards from scrimmage, and heíll be in a good position to improve in 2011. His workload increased as last year progressed, so he should get more work in 2011 than he did last year.
74. Chris Polk, RB, Washington
Polk finished last season in a brilliant fashion, running for 685 yards and five touchdowns in his last four games. But things might get tougher in 2011, as the loss of quarterback Jake Locker means defenses will be able to sell out against the run. Polkís value is further limited by his lack of touchdownsóhis total of 14 rushing touchdowns in his last 25 games is decent, but it doesnít stand out.
75. Tyron Carrier, WR, Houston
Carrier was a gigantic bust last year, totaling just 480 yards and a touchdown as a receiver after posting 2,036 yards and 16 touchdowns the two years prior. But his numbers should swing back upward in 2011. The departures of 2010 seniors James Cleveland and Kierrie Johnson leaves more room for Carrier in the offense, and the return of quarterback Case Keenum is also a big deal.
76. Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Hunter is probably the biggest boom-or-bust player on the list to this point. He only caught 17 passes as a true freshman last year, but he displayed incredible big-play ability, turning those catches into 415 yards and seven touchdowns. The departure of seniors Denarius Moore, Gerald Jones and Luke Stocker, however, leaves a void of 1,994 yards and 15 touchdowns in the Tennessee passing game, so Hunter is a near lock to see his production skyrocket in 2011. Quarterback Tyler Bray showed a lot of big-play ability as a true freshman last year, which makes him a good fit for Hunterís vertical game.
77. Cody Wilson, WR, Central Michigan
Wilson was excellent as a sophomore last year, finishing with 1,232 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns in 12 games. Given that junior quarterback Ryan Radcliff is back, Wilson should be able to carry last yearís success into 2011. Heíd be ranked a bit higher, but Wilson seems like a possession specialist who might not be much of a threat to find the end zone.
78. Bryan Ellis, QB, UAB
Ellis was one of last yearís surprise breakout players, starting the year as a backup but finishing with 2,893 yards and 25 touchdowns as a passer in 10 games. He also had a positive total in the rushing yardage column. Last yearís performance was convincing, and with a favorable Conference-USA schedule, Ellis should be able to put up more big numbers through the air in 2011.
79. James White, RB, Wisconsin
White was a steal of a recruit for Wisconsin last year, as he showed some of the best balance and elusiveness nationwide among running backs. Heíd be ranked much higher if it wasnít for the presence of Montee Ball, but it looks like Ball is the player most likely to earn a feature back role with Wisconsin. Still, look for White to make a big impact, even if he doesnít get as many touches. He ran for 1,052 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 6.74 yards per carry last year, so he can do damage even if he doesn't get a huge workload.
80. Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
Wright is the top receiver in the strong Baylor passing game, led by star quarterback Robert Griffin. He has improved steadily in his three years at Baylor, raising his receiving yardage totals from 649, to 740, to 952 in 2010. His numbers look even better when you take out a fluky three-catch, minus-one-yard effort against Sam Houston Stateóthe result being 953 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. Given the improvement heís shown over his career, it would hardly be surprising if Wright took his game to another level in 2011.
81. Seth Doege, QB, Texas Tech
Doege is the favorite to start at quarterback for Texas Tech in 2011, so heíll be a relatively high selection by default. It's not clear what the expectations should be, however. Outside of a brief showing in 2009, Doege is basically untested. Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield combined for 4,085 yards and 38 passing touchdowns last year, so the upside is definitely there for Doege. It's just not clear where the floor might be.
82. Darriet Perry, RB, Florida International
Florida International has a fairly crowded backfield, but Perry was able to pull away from the pack as last year progressed. He finished the year with 603 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last six games. The one thing limiting his value is the fact that Darrian Mallary and Kedrick Rhodes were both impressive last year, so his carry total might be limited.
83. Mike Ball, RB, Nevada
Ball is perhaps the biggest wildcard in the rankings up to this point. The Nevada offense is in for big changes now that Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua are gone, but it should remain a strong rushing attack, at the least. Ball has only been a situational player to this point for Nevada, but heís been a gigantic big-play threat all the while, totaling 479 yards and nine touchdowns on just 61 carries. Thatís an average of 7.85 yards per carry, and a touchdown roughly every seven carries.
84. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M
Gray was incredible as a starter last year, totaling 834 yards and seven touchdowns from scrimmage in the final five games of last year. Fellow runner and former top recruit Christine Michael would have normally split carries with Gray over that span, but Michael was out with a fractured tibia. But with Michael back in 2011, Grayís value falls from clear RB1 status to ideally no more than an RB2 in all-120 leagues this year.
85. Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
Baker is a talented player, but he falls this far on the list due to his lack of pass-catching production and the crowded backfield he plays in. Le'Veon Bell ran for 605 yards and eight touchdowns last year, so while Baker's 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns were impressive, his upside is limited as long as Bell and Larry Caper are around. He should be close to a lock for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, however, so his floor is relatively high.
86. James Franklin, QB, Missouri
Franklin doesnít figure to be razor-sharp as a passer, but he brings a lot of athleticism to the position and should be a good running threat in Missouriís spread offense. The Missouri offense threw the ball 37.7 times per game last year, so Franklin will get plenty of chances to make plays this year. After running for 116 yards and two scores in very limited time last year, he should prove to be an effective dual threat.
87. Dayne Crist, QB, Notre Dame
Crist isnít guaranteed to start in 2011, but itíd generally be surprising if he didnít. He threw for 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns in eight games last year, his first in head coach Brian Kelly's system. He also provided a nice boost to his fantasy numbers with 74 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Michael Floyd and Theo Riddick are a very good wideout combo, so Crist should be in position to succeed in 2011.
88. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
Weeden is a high-floor option at quarterback this year, but the loss of offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen means he might not have the upside he did a year ago. But with Justin Blackmon still around, Weeden should push 300 yards per game through the air while making another run at 30 passing touchdowns. Still, expect a drop-off of some sort.
89. Ryan Aplin, QB, Arkansas State
Aplin was a monster for his owners last year, scoring 32 touchdowns, with 11 of them and 477 yards on the ground. His snap count is a bit threatened by Phillip Butterfield, but it's tough to see Arkansas State messing with the formula too much, so expect Aplin to be productive again in 2011.
90. Jasmin Hopkins, RB, Northern Illinois
Itís not entirely clear whether Hopkins will be the main running back for Northern Illinois in 2011, but most indications are that heís the top candidate. Hopkins was behind Chad Spann last year and so he didn't get much work, but he was extremely efficient when he did get the ball. He ran for 366 yards and two touchdowns on just 38 carries, which averages out to 9.6 yards per carry. If heís starting, his big-play ability gives him big upside.
91. Vance McDonald, TE, Rice
Keep an eye on McDonaldís classification in your league, as itís not clear whether heíll be officially classified as a tight end or wide receiver. If heís listed as a receiver in your league, heís not necessarily worth drafting, though he would be if he can keep posting the numbers he did late last year.
92. Shawn Southward, RB, Troy
Despite splitting carries with DuJuan Harris the past two years, Southward has still been able to establish himself as one of college footballís more effective runners. He finished last year with 813 yards and nine touchdowns from scrimmage after finishing 2009 with 725 and 12. The departures of Harris and Jerrel Jernigan, however, leaves a void of 142 carries in the Troy offense, so Southward should have his best year yet in 2011.
93. Kamar Jorden, WR, Bowling Green
Jorden was one of the most active possession wideouts in the nation last year, finishing the year with 96 catches for 1,109 yards and four touchdowns. As the low touchdown total indicates, however, Jordenís big-play ability was badly limited in Bowling Greenís dysfunctional offense. The team's quarterbacks combined for 12 touchdowns to 20 interceptions, averaging just 6.1 yards per pass attempt, and that needs to change if Jordenís numbers are to improve in 2011.
94. Conner Vernon, WR, Duke
Vernon usurped Donovan Varner as Duke's top receiver last year, finishing his sophomore season with 73 catches for 972 yards and four touchdowns. If heís going to do better in 2011, however, heíll need improvement at the quarterback spot. Sean Renfree showed some promise late in the year, throwing for 1,394 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in the final five games, but his 15 interceptions in the first seven weeks indicate that he's anything but a safe bet.
95. Tyler Shoemaker, WR, Boise State
Shoemaker is expected to be one of Boise Stateís starting receivers in 2011, which likely makes him a good fantasy asset by defaultóat least as long as quarterback Kellen Moore is around. Shoemaker finished last year with 582 yards and five touchdowns as the team's third wideout, so he'll have a chance to post very nice numbers with Titus Young and Austin Pettis out of the way. As a three-year veteran in Boiseís system, Shoemaker should definitely hit the ground runningóthe only question is how much upside he might have.
96. Tim Jefferson, QB, Air Force
Jefferson was superb in 2010, throwing for 1,459 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 794 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground. Itíd probably be surprising if he produced quite at that level in 2011, and option quarterbacks like him are always an injury worry, but Jefferson has clearly established himself as one of the top dual threats in the country.
97. Mike Shanahan, WR, Pittsburgh
Shanahan isn't exactly an established commodity with just one touchdown in his career, but he figures to see a big upswing in his numbers thanks to the Tulsa-style offense that new coach Todd Graham is bringing to Pittsburgh. Shanahan finished last year with 43 catches for 589 yards and a scoreódecent numbers when you consider the presence of first-round NFL pick Jonathan Baldwin, not to mention the teamís run-heavy disposition. With a year of starting experience with quarterback Tino Sunseri, Shanahan is the favorite to emerge as Pittís leading wideout.
98. Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
Moye quietly turned himself into one of the nationís best receivers last year. He caught fire after the first month of the season, totaling 614 yards and eight touchdowns in his final eight games. His upside is limited by Penn Stateís run-heavy offense, but the lanky playmaker has averaged over 16 yards per catch every year, so he doesnít need many targets to do damage.
99. Patrick Hearn, WR, UAB
Hearn's sophomore year stats from last year might be relatively modest, but he's likely in for promotion after finishing last year with 536 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Bryan Ellis emerged as one of the nationís most prolific passers last year, and three of UAB's top five pass catchers from last year were lost to graduation. Hearn is the favorite to take the lead role after finishing last season on a strong note, totaling 274 yards and three touchdowns in the final four weeks.
100. DeAndre Hopkins, WR Clemson
Hopkins was highly impressive as a true freshman last year, and seemed to steadily improve as the year progressed. In Clemson's new Tulsa-style offense, Hopkins is a player you want to own this year. He's not a blue chip target or anything, but after posting 51 catches for 626 yards and four scores last year, all of which were team-leading, he's someone who has a lot of potential going forward.
101. Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville
Anderson is competing with Jeremy Wright to earn the starting tailback spot at Louisville, and whoever wins it figures to be a strong fantasy asset. Bilal Powell put up big numbers in the role last year, and Anderson is the favorite to seize the spot heading into the fall. Anderson ran for 1,047 yards and eight touchdowns as a freshman in 2008.
102. Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
Rouse is the top running back for a run-heavy, pro-style offense in Fresno, but heís ranked this low because he was a bit inconsistent and had injury troubles last year. But he still managed to finish with 1,260 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage last year, so it seems like heíll finish with nice stats even if he misses a game or two. He might have it a bit rougher than a year ago, however, as Fresno will be breaking in a new starter at quarterback.
103. Rodney Stewart, RB, Colorado
Despite playing on an offense with an inefficient passing game, Stewart managed to run for 1,316 yards and 10 touchdowns. The tiny back is also a skilled pass catcher, finishing 2010 with 290 yards on 29 receptions. He wonít be in a great situation this year, but the same was true of each of the past seasons, too, and that didnít stop him from producing.
104. Montel Harris, RB, Boston College
Itís a bit concerning how Harris has 801 touches from scrimmage in his three years at Boston College, but heís been able to shoulder the workload without slowing down to this point. He finished 2010 with 1,242 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground to go along with 112 yards and another touchdown as a pass catcher. He seems like a lock for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, but he might not get quite as many touches as in recent years, because backup Andre Williams emerged as an effective runner towards the end of last year.
105. Joe Randle, RB, Oklahoma State
Randle is a very talented player and a spectacular pass-catcher, but his role heading into this year isnít entirely certain. Fellow runners Jeremy Smith and Herschel Sims are also top talents, so a committee could be ahead. But Randle is the top of that list due to his unmatched abilities as a receiver.
106. Kenbrell Thompkins, WR, Cincinnati
Thompkins didnít play in 2010, but he should hit the ground running as one of Cincinnatiís top two receivers in 2011. He was a highly prized junior college recruit a year ago, reportedly choosing Cincinnati over programs like Oregon, Alabama and Florida. Alongside D.J. Woods, he figures to serve as a productive target for Zach Collaros.
107. Boise State DST
108. Alabama DST
109. Robert Arnheim, WR, Western Michigan
Alex Carder has the look of a star MAC quarterback, and the departure of the dominant 2010 wideout duo of Jordan White and Juan Nunez means Arnheim is the top candidate to be Carderís No. 1 target in 2011. A former quarterback himself, Arnheim actually led Western Michigan in receiving in 2009, when White and Nunez had their seasons shortened by injury. In any case, although he lacks big-play ability, Arnheim figures to provide steady production in 2011.
110. B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State
He plays in a run-heavy offense and hasn't put up big fantasy numbers to this point, but Cunningham should take his game to the next level in 2011. With Mark Dell graduating, Cunningham should have enough of the Michigan State offense to himself to make a push for 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns. He finished 2010 with 611 yards and nine touchdowns in 12 games after going for 641 and four in 2009.
111. Cody Hoffman, WR, BYU
The big wideout is generally still a bit obscure at this point, but he has a head start in the race to be blue chip 2010 quarterback recruit Jake Heaps' favorite target from here. He finished last year with 527 yards and seven touchdowns as a pass catcher, but 329 yards and six of the touchdowns came within the final five weeks of the year. Look for Hoffman to build on that momentum in 2011.
112. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
The Washington State program doesnít have much reason for optimism these days, but Wilsonís fantastic true freshman season in 2010 is a good starting point. He proved himself to be a great big-play threat, ranking 31st in the nation with 1,006 yards despite catching just 55 passes. Itíd be nice if he were in a more efficient offense, but itís hard to not be sold on Wilson after he burned Stanfordís tough and disciplined defense for 150 yards and a touchdown on the road last year.
113. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona
Assuming Juron Criner (undisclosed) is available this year, Foles will have the opportunity to put up (more) big numbers through the air in 2011. He finished 2010 with 3,191 yards and 20 touchdowns as a passer in 11 games, including 1,343 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final four games. Foles has steadily improved in Arizona, so he could be better in 2011 than he was last year.
114. E.J. Manuel, QB, Florida State
Manuel might be a bit reckless, but he brings lots of playmaking ability for Florida State. Although his opportunities will likely be limited by the generally conservative nature of the Seminoles offense, Manuelís average of nine yards per pass from last year indicates that heíll make the most of it. His fantasy production will also get a nice boost from his running abilityóhe totaled 80 yards and a touchdown on the ground in his two starts last year.
115. TCU DST
116. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Murray was excellent as a redshirt freshman last year, throwing for 3,049 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games. He also proved to be a bit of a dual threat, running for 167 yards and four touchdowns. The loss of receivers A.J. Green and Kris Durham really hurts, but Murray is a standout talent who should be able to hold his own in Georgia.
117. Corey Robinson, QB, Troy
Robinson did very well in his redshirt freshman season at Troy, concluding the season with 3,707 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air in 13 games. He might not have it as easy in 2011, however, as star wideout Jerrel Jernigan is no longer around, and with him goes 4,020 career yards from scrimmage. Still, even if Robinsonís numbers drop off a bit in 2011, he should still be a good QB2 in all-120 leagues, as the Sun Belt isnít known for its defenses.
118. James Sims, RB, Kansas
Sims did very well as a true freshman in 2010, finishing the year with 876 yards and 10 touchdowns from scrimmage despite playing in just 11 games. He figures to get a more consistent workload in his sophomore season, and itíd be a disappointment if the big back didnít approach 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns on the ground. None of the other Kansas running backs were able to average any better than 3.87 yards per carry last year, so Sims easily looks like the top talent available for Kansas.
119. Antwon Bailey, RB, Syracuse
With Delone Carter out of the picture, Bailey should have easy access to a fairly big workload in Syracuse this year. Serving as primarily the third-down back in 2010, Bailey finished with an impressive total 860 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage. While he doesnít look like a big scoring threat, Bailey has a chance to put up big yardage totals with Carter out of the way.
120. Ed Wesley, RB, TCU
Despite formidable talents like Matthew Tucker and Waymon James playing in the same backfield, Wesley has been good enough to emerge as the clear leader among Texas Christianís running backs. He ran for 1,078 yards and 11 touchdowns while averaging 6.5 yards per carry last year, and he might get more work in 2011 since the team might run more often to cope with the loss of quarterback Andy Dalton. His crowded backfield limits his upside, however.
121. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
While Wilson is a great college quarterback and his arrival at Wisconsin is a big deal, his impact will be felt more on the real field than the fantasy realm. Wisconsin's pro-style offense is much more run-heavy than North Carolina State's spread system, so Wilson will get far fewer chances to put up numbers. With a real offensive line and one of the nation's best running games he'll likely find the work much less stressful than it was with the Wolfpack, but his likely increased efficiency won't mean much to fantasy owners when he's throwing roughly 200 fewer passes.
122. Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M
Tannehill could be worth ranking higher than this, as the Texas A&M offense has a ton of talent to offer. But a lot of that talent is at the running back position, where Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael could limit Tannehillís pass attempts a bit. Also, Tannehill had a concerning tendency to only produce against bad defenses last yearóhe threw for 604 yards and seven touchdowns against Kansas and Texas Tech, but he totaled just 504 yards and three touchdowns against Nebraska, Texas and LSU.
123. Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri
Egnew came out of nowhere to be a sheer terror in PPR leagues last year, totaling 90 receptions for 762 yards and five scores in 13 games. In a Missouri offense that should run a bit more often in 2011, however, it seems unlikely that Egnew will approach last year's reception total, though we like his chances of approaching similar (if not better) yardage and touchdown numbers.
124. Orson Charles, TE, Georgia
Charles has always been an exceedingly talented tight end, but the presence of A.J. Green has limited his ability to post big numbers. With Green out of town, Charles could really go off in 2011. Heís not as proven of an option as Egnew, but Charlesí upside might exceed that of all tight ends outside of Ladarius Green and maybe Vance McDonald.
125. Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas
If talent alone were all that went into these rankings, Childs would be much higher. Heís the most productive member of Arkansasí absurdly deep group of wideoutsóall of Childs, Cobi Hamilton, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright could serve as 1,000-yard receivers in a number of offenses. But since theyíre all fighting for the ball at the same time in Arkansas, the fantasy value of each is limited. Childsí season-ending patella tendon injury at the end of October is also a bit concerning, but there isnít any indication that he wonít be ready for 2011.
126. James Rodgers, WR, Oregon State
Rodgers has undergone two surgeries on his left knee since suffering a season-ending injury in October of 2010, and his status for the season is somewhat in question. Rodgers himself insists heíll be ready for the first game, but the lack of information on his initial injury and the subsequent surgeries is leaving potential fantasy owners feeling uneasy. If he does definitely play and is as effective as he used to be, Rodgers warrants top-15 consideration
127. T.J. Moe, WR, Missouri
Moe was an excellent breakout player for Missouri in 2010, ranking ninth in the nation with 92 receptions, turning those catches into 1,045 yards and six touchdowns. His value heading into 2011 isnít as clear, however. New quarterback James Franklin wonít necessarily work as well with Moe as Blaine Gabbert did, and Franklin also figures to run the ball more than Gabbert. Still, Moe was far and away Missouriís most effective receiver last year, so that has to count for something.
128. Alexander Torres, WR, Texas Tech
Not much information has surfaced about the Texas Tech wideout rotation for 2011, but Torres is a good bet to emerge as one of the top targets. He only had 481 yards and three touchdowns last year, but he led the team in receptions in 2009, finishing with 67 catches for 806 yards and six touchdowns. With Lyle Leong and Detron Lewis out of the way, Torres has a good chance to return to his past prominence.
129. Austin Zouzalik, WR, Texas Tech
Right behind Torres is Zouzalik, who finished last year with 31 catches for 432 yards and two scores. He also had 35 catches for 469 yards and two scores as a freshman in 2009. As an expected starter in the Texas Tech pass-happy spread, heíll get a great opportunity to increase his numbers in 2011.
130. Geraldo Boldewign, WR, Boise State
Boldewign only has 160 yards in his name at the college level, but the big target figures to be a decent fantasy asset by default in Boise Stateís nearly infallible offense. He generated a good amount of hype in spring practices, so while heís an unknown to most, expectations are high within the Boise State program. Tyler Shoemaker is the safer selection between the two, but Boldewign might have more upside.
131. Ryan Grant, WR, Tulane
Grant's total of 515 yards and four touchdowns from 2010 isn't especially impressive, but he figures to get a considerable workload increase in 2011. The other three of Tulane's top four pass catchers from last year are all gone, leaving a shortage of 1,509 yards and 13 touchdowns in the 2010 passing game. Itís also promising how Grantís quarterback, Ryan Griffin, showed considerable progress over the course of last year. Griffin finished the year with 1,871 yards, 14 touchdowns and six interceptions in his final seven games after posting 500 yards and two interceptions in his first four.
132. Ohio State DST
133. Cierre Wood, RB, Notre Dame
Wood emerged as Notre Dameís top running back last year, and he should be in for a nice season since Armando Allen graduated. The former top recruit finished last year with 650 yards and five touchdowns from scrimmage in the seasonís final seven gamesómodest but still efficient numbers. His upside is limited by the pass-happy nature of Notre Dameís offense, but Wood is talented enough to produce well as long as heís getting the ball.
134. Keola Antolin, RB, Arizona
Antolin has held a steady presence in the Arizona offense the past three years, but he always had to share the spotlight with Nic Grigsby. Grigsby is gone now, so Antolin should get his biggest workload yet. Despite Grigsby running for 533 yards and eight touchdowns last year, Antolin was still able to lead the team with 668 yards and seven touchdowns, not to mention 204 yards and two touchdowns as a pass catcher.
135. Jeremy Deering, RB, Rutgers
Deering was very impressive as a receiver and wildcat runner last year, but he was moved to running back this offseason. He figures to compete with blue chip recruit Savon Huggins for the lead role in the backfield, though the two might ultimately end up splitting carries. Both players are very elusive big-play threats.
136. Bryce Beall, RB, Houston
If Charles Sims is reinstated by Houston, Beall should probably get knocked out of the top 150. Heís a very productive player for Houston, but with Michael Hayes already around, Beall canít afford to lose any more snaps.
137. Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn
His per-play effectiveness figures to drop now that Cam Newton is no longer around, but Dyer also figures to get a lot more work in his sophomore season. Despite his limitations as a pass-catcher, he should still be within striking range of 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.
138. Oregon DST
139. Florida State DST
140. West Virginia DST
141. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Heís no Ryan Mallett, but in a proven Arkansas system with more skill position talent than any other team in the country, Wilson still figures to put up nice numbers in 2011. With Knile Davis at running back and Greg Childs, Cobi Hamilton, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright at receiver, Wilson has a simply incredible supporting cast around him.
142. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Many rank Barkley higher than this after he scored 28 touchdowns last year, but he loses a couple points for inconsistency. He posted 19 of those touchdowns in just four games, leaving just nine for the other eight games, and his numbers fell off a cliff in the second half of the year (though injuries may have played a role). In any case, Barkley looks primed for a big 2011 season as he tries to sell himself as a high NFL draft pick.
143. Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame
Kyle Rudolph generated lots of hype at Notre Dame, but Eifert might be just as good. Last year was the first time he saw the field at Notre Dame, but he was more than effective as a replacement for Rudolph when he went down for the season with a hamstring injury. Heís almost definitely a top-five tight end heading into this year.
144. Josh Chichester, TE, Louisville
The gigantic tight end is poised for a big 2011 season now that he no longer has to share the field with Cameron Graham, one of the nation's more productive tight ends last year. Even with Graham around, Chichester managed to post an impressive total of 317 yards and five touchdowns in his first year at tight end in 2010. It wouldn't be terribly shocking if Chichester made a push for double-digit touchdowns in 2011, though he doesn't seem likely to post an especially high reception total.
145. Perry Jones, RB, Virginia
Jones teamed up with Keith Payne to give Virginia a rather powerful rushing attack last year, but heís in line for a big promotion in 2011 now that Payne has graduated. Jones totaled 646 yards and a touchdown on 137 carries last year while adding 31 catches for 224 yards and another touchdown and, while those numbers aren't great, they're impressive when you consider how Payne hogged the ball to the tune of 749 yards and 14 scores on the ground and 12 catches for 131 yards and two more scores. Jones won't be the goal-line monster that Payne was, but he still could have surprisingly strong value this year.
146. Jared Hassin, RB, Army
Army football was going wild over the arrival of Hassin well before last year began, but outsiders had no way of knowing what all the fuss was about. It took very little time for everyone to realize what a player Army had in the big runner, however, as Hassin ran for 1013 yards and nine touchdowns (5.3 yards per carry) in his first season with Army. Similarly huge runner Collin Mooney ran for 1,339 yards and eight touchdowns for Army in 2008, so look for Hassin to get more work in 2011 and make a run at Mooney's numbers.
147. J.J. Di Luigi, RB, BYU
Joshua Quezada proved to be a threat to Di Luigiís carries as last year went on, but the skilled pass-catcher probably has enough versatility (and seniority) to hold off Quezada. Di Luigi was quite impressive in his first year as BYU's top back last season, averaging 5.2 yards per carry despite dealing with the team's worst passing attack in years. His ground numbers of 917 yards and eight scores might be maxed out, but the 443 yards and a touchdown he added through the air made up for it.
148. Jeremy Eddington, RB, Rice
Eddington was one of the nation's most intriguing arrivals last year, dwelling mostly in obscurity until the final three weeks of the season. The secret got out quickly, though, as Eddington blazed for 312 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground in that span. Sam McGuffie will likely remain Rice's primary running back, but Eddington's strength, big-play ability and familiarity with the wildcat formation give him more upside. Heís one of the better gamble picks at running back this year.
149. Tino Sunseri, QB, Pittsburgh
Sunseri wasnít especially impressive last year, showing little ability to make plays downfield. Luckily for him, the arrival of former Tulsa coach Todd Graham will shift the offense from a pro-style system to a spread system focused on short passes, which plays to Sunseriís strengths. Heíll throw the ball a lot in 2011, so he could be worth ranking higher if he proves to pick up Grahamís system right away.
150. Alex Gillett, QB, Eastern Michigan
It wasnít always pretty (it never is for Eastern Michigan), but Gillett generally had a successful 2010 season, his first as a full-time starter. While 13 each of passing touchdowns and interceptions isn't impressive, Gillett flashed impressive running ability by taking off for 766 yards and five touchdowns. Consistency was a big problem for Gillett in 2010, but his upside is quite high when he has favorable matchups.