RotoWire Partners

Payne's Perspective: A Look at Kevin Payne's Latest Top 200

Kevin Payne

Kevin Payne

Kevin has worked for Rotowire just under a decade and has covered basketball, baseball and football. A glutton for punishment, he roots for his hometown Bills, Sabres and the New York Yankees. He hosts the RotoWire SiriusXM show every Wednesday and Friday and you can follow him on Twitter @KCPayne26.

Here's my updated top-200 cheat sheet for the upcoming football season. I added notes on any players whose movement in the standings changed enough that they demanded some explanation. I also put in notes about players I've had second thoughts about, what those were and why I ultimately did or did not move them. Hit up the comments section, and let me know if you agree or disagree.

1. Adrian Peterson
2. Arian Foster
3. Calvin Johnson
4. Jamaal Charles
5. Doug Martin
6. C.J. Spiller – Obviously, losing goal line work hurts his value. He could still be huge without it, so I'm leaving him here for now.
7. Ray Rice
8. Marshawn Lynch
9. Alfred Morris
10. Trent Richardson – I'm not worried about his recent aches and pains. Richardson said he plans on playing all 16 games. Although, doesn't everyone plan on that?
11. Jimmy Graham
12. Brandon Marshall
13. LeSean McCoy
14. A.J. Green
15. Maurice Jones-Drew
16. Aaron Rodgers
17. Demaryius Thomas
18. Chris Johnson
19. Andre Johnson
20. Lamar Miller – He suffered a minor injury during Tuesday's practice, but I'm not going to move him until there's a more definitive diagnosis.
21. Drew Brees
22. Larry Fitzgerald
23. Steven Jackson
24. Cam Newton
25. Dez Bryant – He's the one guy in the top 25 I'm certain I won't own.
26. Peyton Manning
27. Julio Jones
28. Matt Forte
29. David Wilson
30. Victor Cruz
31. Colin Kaepernick
32. Vernon Davis – This was an aggressive ranking a month ago, and nothing has changed for me to move him. There are reports that he may line up as a wide receiver. It can't hurt his value if there's any stock in those reports.
33. Tom Brady
34. Roddy White
35. DeMarco Murray
36. Frank Gore
37. Danny Amendola
38. Reggie Bush
39. Stevan Ridley
40. Matt Ryan
41. Rob Gronkowski – Reports and opinions have surfaced that he won't be ready to start the season. He doesn't appear close now, and he could start on the PUP list. I initially had an aggressive ranking on him, but I'm backing off that and have moved him down the list.
42. Vincent Jackson
43. Darren McFadden
44. Dwayne Bowe
45. Ryan Mathews
46. Le'Veon Bell
47. Eddie Lacy – Twitter, schmitter. Lacy had an impressive showing in a scrimmage on Saturday and then ran with the first team Tuesday. It's early to see him running with the first team, so I would take it as an indication that he has the inside track to the starter's job. And in case you were wondering, it's not a coincidence that he's back-to-back with Le'Veon Bell here.
48. Wes Welker
49. Robert Griffin – I've thought all along he would be fine for Week 1, and there's nothing right now to indicate that he won't be. For me, RG III's craziest stat last season was the five interceptions, or one every 79 attempts.
50. Jason Witten
51. Ahmad Bradshaw
52. Marques Colston – I didn't move him at all, despite the foot injury. He practiced Monday for the first time and should be ready for the start of the season.
53. Rashard Mendenhall
54. Hakeem Nicks – I'm tempted to move him up a little given his upside. He claims his groin is now 100 percent.
55. Torrey Smith
56. Jared Cook
57. Randall Cobb
58. Matthew Stafford
59. Eric Decker
60. Andrew Luck
61. Mike Wallace
62. Montee Ball – Does anyone really know who the starting running back in Denver is going to be? I moved Ball down; Knowshon Moreno stayed the same; and Ronnie Hillman moved up a little.
63. Tony Gonzalez
64. Mark Ingram
65. Cecil Shorts
66. Josh Gordon
67. Andre Brown
68. Shane Vereen
69. Jordy Nelson – He's missing the rest of training camp after undergoing a procedure, but the good news is that he knows the system and has the complete trust of his quarterback, so it's not like he's a rookie or has moved to a new team. However, he could miss time and won't have the benefit of 4-5 weeks of practice. James Jones gets a little bit of a bump here as a result.
70. Antonio Brown
71.Mike Williams
72. James Jones
73. Russell Wilson
74. Steve Johnson – I'm not thrilled about the hamstring injury, but he still has plenty of time to be ready.
75. Michael Vick – He looks like he has the edge for the starting job in the quarterback competition in Philly.
76. Pierre Garcon
77. Daryl Richardson – No one is talking about the Rams running back situation, but I think it's interesting, especially in PPR formats. Either Richardson or Isaiah Pead is going to return some nice value this season. I'll go with D-Rich.
78. DeSean Jackson – I don't see why people are moving him up because of the Maclin injury. He's too small and not a big enough red zone target to change his value based solely on that. Expect the Eagles to run more if anything.
79. Giovani Bernard
80. Tony Romo
81. Greg Olsen
82. Denarius Moore
83. Reggie Wayne
84. Eli Manning
85. Alex Smith
86. Anquan Boldin
87. Jonathan Stewart
88. Chris Ivory – I moved him down a little with the hamstring issues. Those injuries don't tend to totally go away, and we're into August now. Plus, Bilal Powell has reportedly looked good so far.
89. Ben Roethlisberger
90. Danario Alexander – Just before I submitted the article for publishing, Alexander suffered a torn ACL and was ruled out for the season. He'll be dropped out of the rankings going forward. Malcolm Floyd, Antonio Gates, Vincent Brown and rookie Keenan Allen should all see boosts going forward.
91. Ben Tate
92. Kenny Britt
93. Andy Dalton
94. Bryce Brown – Something of a lightning rod for discussion in my last column.
95. T.Y Hilton – I moved him up a touch with the Heyward-Bay injury, but I still think he's best suited for the role as the slot guy for Andrew Luck.
96. Sam Bradford
97. Miles Austin
98. Justin Blackmon
99. LaMichael James – He's one of those guys that isn't going to end up on any of my teams. I can't envision him as a three-down back if something happens to Frank Gore.
100. Fred Davis – He's a great target if you pass on a tight end early. Davis is supposedly completely healthy, and if Robert Griffin doesn't run as much, the Skins might be passing more, which is why I like Davis.
101. Steve Smith
102. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
103. Carson Palmer
104. Darren Sproles
105. Aaron Dobson
106. Brandon Myers
107. Jay Cutler
108. Johnathan Franklin – He should get touches to start the season, but it looks like fellow rookie Eddie Lacy is in the lead at this point.
109. Kyle Rudolph
110. Tavon Austin
111. Fred Jackson – He could end up as the Bills goal line/short yardage back. It'll be interesting to see how he's used in the preseason or if coach Doug Marrone tips his hand at all about the workload. I didn't move him…for now.
112. Josh Freeman
113. Jermichael Finley
114. Michael Floyd
115. Isaiah Pead
116. Ryan Tannehill
117. Antonio Gates
118. Jonathan Dwyer
119. Chris Givens
120. Greg Jennings – I just don't see it this year for Jennings. Ponder has to take a big step forward, and Kyle Rudolph should get many more red zone targets.
121. Latavius Murray – He's been slipping down the depth chart since he hasn't practiced due to a foot injury. It's tough to win the job as Darren McFadden's backup from the sideline.
122. Matt Flynn
123. Brandon Pettigrew
124. Ryan Broyles
125. Lance Moore
126. Jon Baldwin
127. Kendall Wright
128. Joe Flacco
129. Vincent Brown – I meant to include him in last week's column discussing late-round sleepers. With Alexander ruled out for the season, Brown should get more looks. I'm tempted to move him even higher in my rankings.
130. Ronnie Hillman – I had him at 175 for the last top 200 I submitted. Right now, he's atop the Denver depth charts, but I'm not putting a ton of stock in that.
131. Emmanuel Sanders
132. Brian Quick
133. Greg Little
134. Brian Hartline
135. Sidney Rice
136. Philip Rivers
137. Knowshon Moreno – I had him in this spot a month ago. He was solid when on the field and healthy. The healthy part is the concern here. Even if he is healthy now, I think the Broncos "know" he can't hold up as a three-down back.
138. Brandon LaFell
139. Pierre Thomas
140. DeAndre Hopkins
141. Rod Streater
142. Jake Locker
143. Dwayne Allen
144. Mikel Leshoure
145. Mohamed Sanu
146. Jake Ballard
147. Bilal Powell – Ivory is already hurt. Plus, have we seen that he can handle a full workload over a 16-game season? I know he hasn't had the opportunity, but the injuries so far in a minimal role don't bode well for him staying healthy.
148. Bernard Pierce
149. Vick Ballard
150. Alshon Jeffery – I went back and looked at the previous top 200 and thought I didn't have Jeffery high enough. Now that he's dealing with hamstring tightness (expected to be minor), I'm going to leave him here for the time being.
151. Martellus Bennett
152. Jacquizz Rodgers
153. Robert Turbin
154. Santonio Holmes
155. Brandon Weeden
156. EJ Manuel – The good news: glowing reports on him from camp and Kevin Kolb, predictably, was hurt by slipping on a wet mat. The bad news: Steve Johnson is already dealing with a hamstring injury.
157. Nate Washington
158. Owen Daniels
159. Santana Moss
160. Rashad Jennings
161. Shonn Greene
162. Malcom Floyd
163. Joseph Morgan – He's banged up right now. Watch out for reports about his knee injury.
164. Zac Stacy
165. Jermaine Gresham
166. Cordarrelle Patterson
167. DeAngelo Williams
168. Rueben Randle
169. Zach Miller
170. Joseph Randle
171. Jacoby Jones
172. Stepfan Taylor – Ryan Williams can't stay healthy, and with Rashard Mendenhall's limited upside from an efficiency standpoint, Taylor is more than on my radar.
173. Mike Goodson
174. Robert Woods
175. Jacoby Ford
176. Darrius Heyward-Bey – I did a league with our subscriber's last week and traded for him the day after based on the reports that he was going to open as the No. 2 wide receiver for Indy. Then I moved him down due to the cloudy reports on his knee. The Colts are downplaying it, but now T.Y. Hilton gains the edge by default for the starter's job.
177. Dustin Keller
178. Tyler Eifert
179. Michael Bush
180. Danny Woodhead
181. Ed Dickson
182. Roy Helu
183. Nate Burleson
184. Golden Tate
185. A.J. Jenkins
186. Knile Davis
187. Dexter McCluster
188. Matt Schaub
189. Brandon Lloyd – Where would be a more interesting landing spot, Baltimore or San Francisco?
190. Brandon Gibson
191. Tandon Doss
192. Felix Jones
193. Riley Cooper – The John Rocker of football, Cooper can still make something of an impact given his size and the injury to Jeremy Maclin.
194. Christian Ponder
195. Montario Hardesty
196. Stephen Hill
197. Andrew Hawkins
198. Quinton Patton
199.Marcedes Lewis
200. Percy Harvin – So much on his draft position for me depends on your league. Do you have an IR spot? How deep is the bench? In leagues with five bench spots or fewer and no IR, I'm not drafting him. I'd start thinking about him around Week 8 depending on your record and how his rehab is going.

Dropped out: Dennis Pitta, Jeremy Maclin, Ryan Williams, Donald Jones, Danario Alexander