April is way too early to talk about who is going to win awards. Every year we see players who get off to hot starts but cool off.
Naturally, I’m going to ignore this notion and talk about it now anyway. After failing to get the final out and complete a perfect game in his first start of the 2013 season, Yu Darvish has been one of the best pitchers in the majors through his first 5 starts. With one start left in April, Darvish is 3rd in the AL with a 1.65 ERA and an phenomenal 49 strikeouts (13.5/9) in 32.2 innings. That’s 10 more Ks than Buchholz who is 2nd in the AL and has 5 more innings pitched. Darvish is also 2nd in BAA with .145 and 2nd in WHIP with .080. So far, he has improved on all of his numbers from last season when he went 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA and 221 Ks (10.4/9) and a 1.28 WHIP. He’s improved his 4.2 BB/9 to 2.8/9 this year. He also has not allowed a HR in any of his 32.2 innings.
Now, before I get ahead of myself, it is worth noting that Darvish was very good in April last season as well. He started 5-0 with a 2.18 ERA before going 9-9 with an ERA well over 4.50 from May through August. Although it is worth noting in April of last season, he pitched the same number of innings and had 7 more walks, 16 less strikeouts, and a WHIP nearly twice what his is now. Darvish is no stranger to success after posting an ERA under 2.00 for five consecutive seasons over in Japan while recording more than 9.00 Ks/9 in four of them.
No one since Pedro did it in 2000 has won the AL Cy Young with an ERA under 2.00 and over 250 strikeouts. Something no ones else did in the AL since 1968. This has only been done 3 times in the NL by Cy Young winners and one of them was also Pedro Martinez. This means two things, if Darvish stays on this pace, he’ll win the AL Cy Young hands down. It also means it is only April, and I’ll bet his numbers will change. He just missed history by falling one out short of a perfect game in his first start of the year, in his second season in the MLB. A lot can change between now and October, but if the Cy Young was awarded in April, it seems clear who it would belong to.
Below are my QB rankings for the rest of the season after week 7. My rankings for the other positions will be out later this week but you can find last week’s RB, WR, and TE rankings or last week’s QB rankings.
Last week’s rank is in parenthesis.
1. (1) Aaron Rodgers, GB - In the past 4 weeks, Rodgers has scored at least 24 points with at least 3 passing TDs in each contest.
2. (2) Drew Brees, NO - Brees’s worst week this season gave him 19 points and he’s scored at least 28 in the past 3 weeks. It could be easy to say Brees and Rodgers are tied for first.
3. (6) Robert Griffin III, WAS - Other than the game RGIII left early because of an injury, his lowest total is 21 points. If you removed all of his passing numbers, he’d be on pace to be a top 10 RB based on last year’s numbers.
4. (4) Peyton Manning, DEN - Bye week
5. (3) Tom Brady, NE - Brady’s worst week is 14 points and he’s been very consistent but he’s only passed 20 points once which is why he’s dropped 2 spots.
6. (5) Matt Ryan, ATL - Bye week
7. (7) Cam Newton, CAR - Panthers continue to struggle but Newton is able to get good rushing result. If the next 4 QBs on the list didn’t have bad weeks, he’d be moving down.
8. (8) Eli Manning, NYG - Eli being Eli with some real bad turnovers but no cause for concern as he did throw for over 300 yards.
9. (9) Matthew Stafford, DET - The last minute scoring drive saved his week a bit but something just isn’t right.
10. (10) Andy Dalton, CIN - Terrible week but against a tough D so I’m still loving Dalton for the rest of the year.
Below are my TE rankings for the rest of the season. You can find my QB, RB and WR rankings published earlier this week. You can also find last week’s TE rankings. These rankings are based on a 1/2 PPR scoring system and were done before the Thursday night game.
Last week’s rankings are in parenthesis
1. (1) Tony Gonzalez, ATL - Suffered from the bad day for the Falcons but he’ll bounce back.
2. (2) Rob Gronkowski, NE - Where are the TDs? He’s still getting a lot of looks and hopefully they’ll come.
3. (3) Jimmy Graham, NO - Bye week could get the Saints back on track.
4. (4) Vernon Davis, SF - This was done before the donut last night but for now he gets the 4 spot.
5. (5) Kyle Rudolph, MIN - Second highest TE numbers for week 6 and Ponder seems to have zeroed in on him.
6. (6) Jason Witten, DAL - Back to back big weeks for Witten who seems to be fully recovered from his injury.
7. (10) Aaron Hernandez, NE - Found the endzone in his first game back.
8. (16) Antonio Gates, SD - Finally the day we would expect from Gates.
9. (14) Heath Miller, PIT - Continue to be one of the most consistent TEs in the NFL.
10. (7) Owen Daniels, HOU - Mediocre numbers in a tough week for the Texans.
Below are my WR rankings for the rest of the season. Rankings are based in a 1/2 PPR scoring system. You can also find my QB and RB rankings as well as last week’s WR rankings. Tomorrow I will post TE rankings but in the meantime you can find last week’s TE rankings here.
Last week’s ranking is in parenthesis.
1. (3) A.J. Green, CIN - He is completely unstoppable and I have no issues overtaking Calvin.
2. (3) Percy Harvin, MIN - Still putting up ridiculous numbers without getting receiving TDs.
3. (1) Calvin Johnson, DET - Something about the Lions offense seems off but Calvin has only one game with less than 90 receiving yards.
4. (4) Victor Cruz, NYG - This week’s 14 points almost are a disappointment for him.
5. (5) Roddy White, ATL - Continues to benefit from the Falcon’s offensive explosion this year.
6. (8) Wes Welker, NE - Since week 3 Welker’s lowest reception total is 8 (with 142 yards) and his lowest yardage total is 104 (with 13 receptions and a TD). I’d say he’s a safe play.
7. (6) Brandon Marshall, CHI - Bye
8. (7) Julio Jones, ATL - Last week can be chalked up to a bad day for the Falcons but we expect more out of Jones.
9. (9) Demarius Thomas, DEN - Big play potential and Peyton has looked his way often.
10. (10) Reggie Wayne, IND - Luck will have streaky days but Wayne is always going to be his first look.
Below are my RB rankings for the rest of the season. Points mentioned are based on a 1/2 PPR scoring system. Check out my QB rankings. Rankings for the other positions will be out later this week but you can find last week’s WR and TE rankings. You can also find last week’s RB rankings here.
Last week’s rank is in parenthesis.
1. (1) Arian Foster, HOU - He was held to only 29 yards and still managed 15.5 points.
2. (3) Ray Rice, BAL - 2 TDs gives him his 3rd week of the year over 20 points.
3. (2) Jamaal Charles, KC - The Chiefs were playing from behind too much giving Charles his lowest total since week 2.
4. (4) LeSean McCoy, PHI - He only has 1 rushing TD this year but he’s got at least 13 point in all but one week.
5. (6) Adrian Peterson, MIN - No rushing TDs since week 1 but he’s still putting up good numbers and the TDs will come.
6. (5) MJD, JAC - The bye should help the Jag’s offense get back on track.
7. (7) Frank Gore, SF - The 49ers played plain terrible on Sunday and Gore suffered but he’ll bounce back.
8. (10) Darren McFadden, OAK - Finally had a good total on the ground and got into the endzone as well. This is what I expect from McFadden weekly.
9. (8) Stevan Ridley, NE - Stuffed this week but Seattle has been brutal on opposing RBs this year.
10. (9) Marshawn Lynch, SEA - No beast mode yet this year but the offense in Seattle goes through him.
Below are my QB rankings for the rest of the season as of week 7. To view last week’s QB rankings click here. I will also have this week’s rankings for the other positions coming out later this week but you can check out the RB, WR, and TE rankings as of last week.
Last week’s rank in parenthesis
1. (1) Aaron Rodgers, GB - Any doubts should be silenced after his 6 TD performance.
2. (2) Drew Brees, NO - Bye week should give him a fresh look for next week.
3. (3) Tom Brady, NE - Still only 1 week over 20 points but 395 yards and 2 TDs is a nice thing to see.
4. (5) Peyton Manning, DEN - He now only has 1 week under 20 points and looks like the Peyton who won the Super Bowl a few years ago.
5. (4) Matt Ryan, ATL - 3 picks killed his week but since his previous worst day was 17 points, there’s nothing to worry about.
6. (7) Robert Griffin III, WAS - Only a 6 TD performance could beat him this week as he showed off the arm and leg with his 5th 20+ point performance in 6 starts.
7. (6) Cam Newton, CAR - Bye week should give the offense a chance to regroup but there’s some concerns here if they don’t do it soon.
8 (8). Eli Manning, NYG - Slow week for Eli as the Giants kept the ball on the ground all game but he hasn’t had less than 11 points yet.
9. (9) Matthew Stafford, DET - First 20 point showing of the season but he hasn’t thrown for more than 1 TD in a game yet.
10. (12) Andy Dalton, CIN - Back inside the top 10 since A.J. Green apparently can’t be stopped. Putting up 19 point while turning it over 4 times shows what kind of week he had.
Below are my TE rankings for the rest of the season. The points are based on a 1/2 PPR scoring system and were not updated from the week 6 Thursday game.
1. Tony Gonzalez, ATL - Almost 20 more points than any other tight end and with defenses needing to focus on Jones and White, Tony looks likely to have an outstanding year.
2. Rob Gronkowski, NE - Even with Hernandez coming back, Gronk will still be the better option in NE.
3. Jimmy Graham, NO - Not going anywhere anytime soon.
4. Vernon Davis, SF - Only 1 week this season where Davis didn’t put up double digit points.
5. Kyle Rudolph, MIN - He’s been incredibly consistent and seems to be a safe option for Ponder.
6. Jason Witten, DAL - Hopefully the last week was what Witten will do without an injury but we’ll have to see.
7. Owen Daniels, HOU - Three straight games with a score has his numbers up but I worry about production when he’s not scoring.
8. Brandon Pettigrew, DET - No huge games but 8-9 points a week is nice to have.
9. Jermichael Finley, GB - Hopefully his injury won’t last long but his drops in big situations will continue to hurt his numbers.
10. Aaron Hernandez, NE - Finally starting to get healthy.
Below are my WR ranks for the rest of the season. Any point totals are done based on a 1/2 PPR scoring system.
1. Calvin Johnson, DET - Still the best in the game.
2. Percy Harvin, MIN - Top scorer through 5 weeks and he only has 1 receiving TD!
3. A.J. Green, CIN - No sophomore slump for Green who is tearing it up
4. Victor Cruz, NYG - Much as I hate the Giants their offense looks hot and Cruz is leading the way.
5. Roddy White, ATL - Having Jones on the same team doesn’t seem to be hurting his high value.
6. Brandon Marshall, CHI - Once again on pace for over 100 receptions and it’s nice to see him have a QB not named Henne or Orton.
7. Julio Jones, ATL - The Falcon offense has plenty of targets to go around.
8. Wes Welker, NE - The week 1 poor showing is a thing of the past and Welker is once again leading the Patriot receiving corps. Read more…
Below are my Runningback rankings for the rest of the season. I base the points on a 1/2 PPR format.
1. Arian Foster, HOU - 14.5 points was his worst this season. #1 with no doubt.
2. Jamaal Charles, KC - Other than week 2, he’s rushed for at least 80 yards each week and is clearly the workhorse in KC.
3. Ray Rice, BAL - Lots of receiving yards and no downside to Rice.
4. LeSean McCoy, PHI - Shady hasn’t been fantastic to start but he’s got the moves and the Eagles offense will turn around.
5. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC - Some tough defenses have limited his production so far but he’s shown flashes of brilliance.
6. Adrian Peterson, MIN - The Viking offense has been much better than expected and Peterson doesn’t seem so nimble.
7. Frank Gore, SF - Another ageless wonder who has been tough to stop.
8. Stevan Ridley, NE - Yes, I do think he’s this good. Everyone has to worry about Brady leaving lots of room for Ridley.
9. Marshawn Lynch, SEA - Most of the top RBs have been inconsistent so far and that includes Lynch but he’s always going to get a bulk of the carries.
10. Darren McFadden, OAK - I know he’s started off rather slow but I have faith he’ll turn it around.
11. Trent Richardson, CLE - Consistently finding the end zone but his yardage total is a bit up and down.
12. Matt Forte, CHI - Hoping for some more receptions.
13. Alfred Morris, WAS - Great so far but how long until Shanahan changes his mind.
14. Darren Sproles, NO - Almost all his points through the passing game so adjust based on your PPR status.
15. Ryan Matthews, SD - If he can stay healthy he’s one of the best. Read more…
These are my rankings for QBs for the remainder of the season. The number in parenthesis is last week’s ranking.
1. (1) Aaron Rodgers, GB - Even with a terrible 2nd half this week, still was only 4 points less than Brees.
2. (2) Drew Brees, NO - Can’t stop, won’t stop.
3. (3) Tom Brady, NE - Patriots running so much will lower his numbers a bit but he’s still putting up the numbers.
4. (4) Matt Ryan, ATL - Scored his lowest total of the season this week, 17 points.
5. (7) Peyton Manning, DEN - 4 of 5 weeks over 20 points has me convinced.
6 (5) Cam Newton, CAR - Stuffed this week but he can still add extra points with his legs.
7. (6) Robert Griffin III, WAS - First rough day of the year, not too worried.
8. (9) Eli Manning, NYG - Another great day through the air.
9. (8) Matthew Stafford, DET - BYE
10. (12) Phillip Rivers, SD - Doesn’t seem to be missing VJax too much and Ryan Mathews being healthy only helps.
11. (16) Andrew Luck, IND - Didn’t take long for Luck to figure it out.
12. (10) Andy Dalton, CIN - Maybe he wasn’t ready for a top 10 spot yet but I’m still a believer.
13. (11) Joe Flacco, BAL - Terrible day for the entire offense
14. (13) Ben Roethlisberger, PIT - Lack of TDs was rough but first day under 10 points
15. (14) Jay Cutler, CHI - A good showing this week and he has the team around him but I need to see one more good showing before I believe.
16. (17) Michael Vick - Vick loses 2 fumbles but moves up because he’s scored at least 12 points in all but 1 week even with his 11 turnovers.
17. (15) Tony Romo - BYE
18. (18) Matt Schaub, HOU - Even with the unstoppable offense, Schaub is not putting up huge fantasy numbers.
19. (UR) Alex Smith, SF - Becoming a very sound source of points by not turning the ball over.
20. (UR) Christian Ponder, MIN - His points are 100% based on Percy Harvin’s continued production but there are worse things to bet on.