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2013 Draft Prep: Dynasty rankings by position

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy owners who play in dynasty leagues truly want the experience of being a general manager. This is the closest you can get to actually run a franchise.

The idea behind playing in a dynasty league is you draft a team where you retain most or all of your players from year to year. Most owners in dynasty leagues are dedicated Fantasy players since you are committed to your league for the long haul.

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These leagues can be complicated. The scoring can be the same as seasonal leagues (standard, PPR, IDP, etc.) but you will have a limited draft after the league is up and running of just rookies and free agents. Some dynasty leagues involve salary caps, but how you set up your league is up to you.

Here we are going to provide rankings if you are starting a dynasty league for the first time. You can also use these rankings as a guide for making long-term keeper decisions. The key is to find young players on the rise who you can count on for many years.

But don't discount veterans, especially if you have the chance to win now. Guys like Peyton Manning, Steven Jackson, Andre Johnson and Tony Gonzalez might not have much left, but they should still be dominant in 2013.

Quarterback

Dynasty Rankings - Quarterbacks
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Cam Newton, Panthers
3. Andrew Luck, Colts
4. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
5. Drew Brees, Saints
6. Matthew Stafford, Lions
7. Matt Ryan, Falcons
8. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
9. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
10. Peyton Manning, Broncos
11. Tom Brady, Patriots
12. Tony Romo, Cowboys
13. Eli Manning, Giants
14. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
15. Joe Flacco, Ravens
16. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
17. Sam Bradford, Rams
18. Andy Dalton, Bengals
19. Jay Cutler, Bears
20. E.J. Manuel, Bills
21. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
22. Philip Rivers, Chargers
23. Matt Schaub, Texans
24. Geno Smith, Jets

Rodgers will turn 30 this season, but he plans to play seven more years. You can expect at least five of them to be dominant, and he's the easy choice as the No. 1 quarterback. ... Newton gets the nod over Luck and Griffin for the No. 2 spot after averaging 370 Fantasy points in his first two years. ... Brees doesn't have a lot longer to play at 34, but he should still end his career playing at a dominant level, giving him a slight edge over Stafford, 25, and Ryan, 28. ... Kaepernick and Wilson should join Newton, Luck and Griffin as the future stars at this position, and they are easy choices to round out the Top 10 dynasty quarterbacks. ... Peyton Manning, 37, and Brady, 35, might play three more years at best, especially for Manning. Still, based on their current level of play, you should enjoy their production over that span. ... Romo, 33, and Eli Manning, 32 are going to be excellent value for several years, and they are great quarterbacks to pair with potential future standouts in Tannehill, Bradford, Dalton and Manuel. ... Manuel can make the biggest leap of anyone on this list if he starts as a rookie and plays at a high level right away.

Running back

Dynasty Rankings - Running Backs
1. Doug Martin, Buccaneers
2. Trent Richardson, Browns
3. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs
4. C.J. Spiller, Bills
5. LeSean McCoy, Eagles
6. Adrian Peterson, Vikings
7. Arian Foster, Texans
8. Ray Rice, Ravens
9. Alfred Morris, Redskins
10. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks
11. David Wilson, Giants
12. Lamar Miller, Dolphins
13. Stevan Ridley, Patriots
14. Matt Forte, Bears
15. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys
16. Giovani Bernard, Bengals
17. Chris Johnson, Titans
18. Reggie Bush, Lions
19. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
20. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
21. Chris Ivory, Jets
22. Darren McFadden, Raiders
23. Montee Ball, Broncos
24. Steven Jackson, Falcons
25. Frank Gore, 49ers
26. Eddie Lacy, Packers
27. Ryan Mathews, Chargers
28. Darren Sproles, Saints
29. Ben Tate, Texans
30. Marcus Lattimore, 49ers
31. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers
32. Mark Ingram, Saints
33. Shane Vereen, Patriots
34. Zac Stacy, Rams
35. Johnathan Franklin, Packers
36. Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals
37. Ahmad Bradshaw, Colts
38. Bryce Brown, Eagles
39. Bernard Pierce, Ravens
40. Isaiah Pead, Rams
41. Vick Ballard, Colts
42. Mikel Leshoure, Lions
43. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos
44. Andre Brown, Giants
45. Joseph Randle, Cowboys
46. Christine Michael, Seahawks
47. Daryl Richardson, Rams
48. Ryan Williams, Cardinals
49. Andre Ellington, Cardinals
50. Stepfan Taylor, Cardinals

Youth prevails at the top of this list as Martin, 24, Richardson, 21, and McCoy, 24, have plenty of years left to dominate. Richardson would be No. 1 if he didn't already have three nagging injuries (knee, ribs and shin) before training camp even started in his second season. Martin was the No. 3 running back in standard leagues last season and should be very productive for the foreseeable future. ... Charles, 26, and Spiller, 25, get a slight nod over McCoy because they are relatively fresh entering their prime. While McCoy has 835 career carries in four seasons, Charles has just 784 in five years and Spiller has only 388 through three. All three should be awesome though going forward. ... Peterson, 28, is the oldest running back listed until Bush, who is the same age. Still, you'll take what Peterson will give you until he retires based on his amazing career to date. ... Foster is going to get passed over based on his heavy workload (1,010 regular-season carries in four years) and that he'll be 27 when the season starts, but like Peterson he's been so good he should still give you several more years of quality production. ... Put Rice in the same category as Foster, although many owners will be scared of Pierce and his potential increased workload. Let's see it happen first before we panic on Rice. ... The Seahawks might be planning to move on from Lynch in the near future with the drafting of Michael this season, but Lynch should still be dominant as long as he's starting for Seattle. We give Michael the edge long-term over Robert Turbin. ... You have to love the upside of the sophomore running backs in Morris, Wilson and Miller. Don't be surprised if Miller is the best of the bunch. ... I'm skeptical of Jones-Drew, 28, coming off the foot injury last year, which is why he's so low. He's not someone I'm excited about drafting in any format. ... Bernard leads all the rookie rushers, and he's in the Top 20 here because we expect him to shine starting next season. He could even overtake BenJarvus Green-Ellis this year as the featured rusher in Cincinnati, and we don't even have Green-Ellis ranked in the Top 50 because his value is short-term at best. ... Bell also gets the nod over Ball because Bell is in the better situation as the starter for the Steelers. He also has less wear-and-tear coming into the NFL than Ball does from their college careers. ... We're gambling on Ivory being a featured rusher for several years with the Jets. Even though the Jets are trending downward, the addition of Ivory this season was a great move. ... Two running backs with tremendous upside for 2014 are Tate and Lattimore. Tate is a free agent and could be a featured back once he leaves Houston, and Lattimore can be the starter for the 49ers when his knee is healthy. ... The starter for the Rams among Stacy, Pead and Richardson and the eventual starter for the Cardinals in 2014 once Mendenhall is gone (he only signed a one-year deal) among Williams, Taylor and Ellington could become valuable Fantasy options.

Wide receiver

Dynasty Rankings - Wide Receivers
1. Calvin Johnson, Lions
2. A.J. Green, Bengals
3. Dez Bryant, Cowboys
4. Julio Jones, Falcons
5. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos
6. Brandon Marshall, Bears
7. Percy Harvin, Seahawks
8. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
9. Randall Cobb, Packers
10. Victor Cruz, Giants
11. Roddy White, Falcons
12. Hakeem Nicks, Giants
13. Jordy Nelson, Packers
14. Andre Johnson, Texans
15. Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers
16. Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
17. Eric Decker, Broncos
18. Torrey Smith, Ravens
19. Michael Crabtree, 49ers
20. Tavon Austin, Rams
21. Marques Colston, Saints
22. Kenny Britt, Titans
23. Antonio Brown, Steelers
24. Wes Welker, Broncos
25. Danny Amendola, Patriots
26. Cecil Shorts, Jaguars
27. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
28. Pierre Garcon, Redskins
29. Mike Wallace, Dolphins
30. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles
31. Josh Gordon, Browns
32. Justin Blackmon, Jaguars
33. Reggie Wayne, Colts
34. Steve Smith, Panthers
35. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
36. Cordarrelle Patterson, Vikings
37. Mike Williams, Buccaneers
38. Michael Floyd, Cardinals
39. Kendall Wright, Titans
40. Steve Johnson, Bills
41. James Jones, Packers
42. Lance Moore, Saints
43. Keenan Allen, Chargers
44. Danario Alexander, Chargers
45. DeSean Jackson, Eagles
46. Aaron Dobson, Patriots
47. Markus Wheaton, Steelers
48. Vincent Brown, Chargers
49. Denarius Moore, Raiders
50. Rueben Randle, Giants

Take away Calvin Johnson, Marshall and Fitzgerald and the rest of the Top 10 receivers are all 26 and younger, including Green, Jones and Bryant all 24 and Cobb just 22. These receivers are going to dominate the NFL for many years, and this position is in tremendous shape with depth for a long time. ... Nicks could creep back into the Top 10 if he's healthy and remains with the Giants. Both are strong possibilities this season, especially if Nicks signs an extension. ... Bowe should have some of his best years moving forward thanks to Andy Reid joining the Chiefs. We're also expecting a big boost for Torrey Smith, who is entering his third season and first without Anquan Boldin. ... We hope Decker remains in Denver because as long as Peyton Manning is still playing he should continue to shine. Decker led the Broncos and was second in the NFL among receivers with 13 touchdowns last year. ... Crabtree would be a potential Top 10 receiver if he didn't tear his Achilles this offseason. Look for him to come back strong next year, and he should be considered a solid No. 2 option. ... There's a lot to like about Tavon Austin. He may not live up to the hype, but he could be the next Harvin. I'd gamble on him for this season and long-term. ... Britt remains a risky Fantasy option based on his injury history and pension for off-field problems, but he's been out of the news this offseason, which we hope is a sign of things to come. ... Wallace and Maclin have a ton of potential, especially since both are 26 and under. But I want to see Wallace perform at a high level going to Miami, and Maclin is a potential free agent in need of a quarterback upgrade. I would only draft them as No. 3 receivers. ... Gordon scares me since he's one misstep away from being suspended for a year. You can't dispute his talent, but he's been in trouble a little too much for only entering his second season. ... There are a lot of young receivers with upside in Hopkins, Patterson, Floyd, Wright, Allen, Dobson, Wheaton, Brown and Randle. You might prefer to skip over some of the veterans on this list and target the younger options, and hopefully you hit on the next future star. ... Of those guys listed, Patterson has the highest ceiling, but he has the most work to do since he's a raw talent. Floyd might make the biggest leap this season with the addition of Bruce Arians, and we love the upside for Hopkins going to Houston. Since Andre Johnson will be 32 this year, Hopkins could eventually take over as the No. 1 receiver for the Texans.

Tight end

Dynasty Rankings - Tight Ends
1. Jimmy Graham, Saints
2. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
3. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
4. Jason Witten, Cowboys
5. Vernon Davis, 49ers
6. Dennis Pitta, Ravens
7. Greg Olsen, Panthers
8. Tyler Eifert, Bengals
9. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
10. Jared Cook, Rams
11. Jermichael Finley, Packers
12. Martellus Bennett, Bears
13. Dwayne Allen, Colts
14. Coby Fleener, Colts
15. Zach Ertz, Eagles
16. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
17. Brandon Pettigrew, Lions
18. Owen Daniels, Texans
19. Antonio Gates, Chargers
20. Jordan Cameron, Browns
21. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals
22. Heath Miller, Steelers
23. Fred Davis, Redskins
24. Rob Housler, Cardinals

Graham gets the edge over Gronkowski given the latter's injury status coming into this season, but don't overlook Gronkowski long-term. He's only 24 and has been the best Fantasy tight end over the past three seasons. As long as he can stay healthy he should be better than Graham, but that uncertainty puts Graham on top. ... We're buying Rudolph as the next great tight end. He was a Top 10 tight end last year and is just 23 years old, which makes him younger than all the Top 12 guys listed here except Eifert. Imagine how good Rudolph could be with an upgrade at quarterback. ... Witten, 31, Davis, 29, and Gonzalez, 37, are old by NFL standards, especially Gonzalez, but they are still playing at a high level. We're expecting big things from Davis this season, and Gonzalez should go out with a bang in his final year (potentially) in 2013. ... Pitta, Olsen, Cook, Finley and Bennett have the chance to be solid contributors for at least the next five years and should be consistent starting options. Finley's value for 2014 and beyond will be determined where he plays as an impending free agent. ... There are a lot of young tight ends to like for this season and beyond in Eifert, Allen, Fleener, Ertz and Kelce. All have the ability to be Top 10 Fantasy options if they live up to their potential. We also like Cameron with the coaching change in Cleveland this year, but he has to prove himself first after struggling early in his career. ... Gates, 33, and Miller, 30, can still be serviceable starting options, especially this season, but injuries have limited them coming into this year. ... Gresham could move up the rankings if he leaves the Bengals as expected when he's a free agent. It's clear Eifert is the future starter in Cincinnati.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg .

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Player News
Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles players not surprised by McCoy trade
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) While most folks were shocked when the news broke in early March the Eagles were trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills, apparently McCoy's Philadelphia teammates were not

Safety Malcolm Jenkins told NFL Network on Wednesday it was not surprising when it was announced McCoy was being traded for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

"In the locker room a lot of guys weren't surprised by the trade, what we were more surprised of was that it was just a player-for-player trade," Jenkins said. "I think everybody thought we would have gotten more -- Kiko, plus a couple draft picks, you know, somebody else...

"You look at the style of runner that Chip wants in his offense and even though Shady is one of the best backs in the league, he's not necessarily what Chip is looking for all the time. Chip thinks he's a great running back, he knows his talent is there, but our (system) is really predicated on downhill, somebody who is going to hit the hole every time. It's about getting up in the defenders face as fast as you can and that's not necessarily Shady's running style."

The Eagles replaced McCoy's absence in the backfield by signing former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 1,845 yards in 2014, and former Chargers running back Ryan Mathews.

"When you talk about what you can get for -- if you are looking to acquire more talent -- I just think Shady's cap number and what we were able to get in return for Shady, I think made sense," Jenkins said. "And some guys in the locker room who kind of know what's going on weren't surprised by it."


Joe Lombardi: Lions excited to see what Broyles does in offseason
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:57 am ET) The Lions are not yet giving up on wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who has been hampered in his career by knee and Achilles injuries. 

“I think he’s a guy you have a lot of respect for because he’s had three major injuries and fought his way back,’’ Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said Tuesday, per The Oakland Press. “When he’s been in there he’s been productive. We’re excited to see where he is now after a full season of not coming back from an injury. He’s had a full year to be healthy we’re excited to see what he does in the offseasaon.’’


Michael Thomas signs tender with Dolphins
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:54 am ET) Michael Thomas, an exclusive rights free agent, formally signed his one-year tender with the Dolphins on Wednesday morning, reports Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. The 24-year-old played in eight games last season, making 18 tackles, until landing on IR with a chest injury.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Report: Rolando McClain agrees to one-year, $3M deal with Cowboys
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) The Cowboys have reached an agreement with linebacker Rolando McClain on a one-year deal, a source told The Dallas Morning News. McClain's deal will pay him $3 million in base salary and potentially another $1 million in incentives.

McClain made his return to the NFL in 2014 after twice retiring. The former first-round pick thrived in his first season with Dallas, totaling 81 tackles (65 solo), one sack and two interceptions in 13 games. 

Although, he did have some injury issues last season. Knee and groin injuries, as well as an illness forced McClain to miss three regular season games. He was then limited in the playoffs due to a concussion.

McClain remained a sought-after free agent this offseason despite reports he is facing a four-game fine for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Also, an arson investigation into a fire that destroyed his Alabama home in December remains open but inactive.


Texans' O'Brien: WR DeAndre Hopkins can 'be one of the best'
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) Texans head coach Bill O'Brien is very encouraged by the performance of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins last season, per ESPN. O'Brien went as far as to say that Hopkins can be one of the best.

"He had a really productive year," Texans coach Bill O'Brien said. "The thing that we really like about Hop and that we want him to continue to do is his work ethic. He’s a hungry player. He works every single day. He came into the spring a year ago and he was learning the offense and thinking out there, then all of a sudden you could see all the work he put in and learning, he just took off."

Due to the departure of wide receiver Andre Johnson, the progression of Hopkins will be under the microscope as he is now the focal point of the passing offense.

"We just want to see him continue and progress," O'Brien said. "We think he can be one of the best, we think he is one of the best. We have a lot of confidence in him and we’re looking forward to seeing him progress when the offseason program starts."

In two years with the Texans, Hopkins has reeled in 128 receptions for 2012 yards and eight touchdowns.


Giants won't rush WR Victor Cruz back to the field
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(12:12 am ET) Although Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is hopeful that wide receiver Victor Cruz will be ready by training camp, the team will not rush him back, reports ESPN.

"I shouldn't say this, because medically I really don't have a definite answer, but by training camp hopefully, even if it's just to bring him," Coughlin said. "We're not going to just throw him to the wind. He'll work his way through. But I hope that would be the target."

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in week six of the 2014 season, causing him to miss the rest of the year. Coughlin is hopeful that he'll return to be the player that he was before the injury.

"I think he'll be the player that he was, and hopefully better," Coughlin said of Cruz. "But as far as when, I would be careful of what I would say there. Hopefully it's the first game. But if it isn't, you know we've done that one before. We just went through it. But I'm hoping it would be."

The former undrafted free agent has tallied 264 receptions for 3,963 yards and 24 touchdowns.


Lions QB Matthew Stafford to take more chances through the air
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was in new offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi's system for the first time last season. The team plans on taking more chances down the field in Stafford's second season in the new offense, Lombardi said, according to the team's official website.

“In his second year (in the offense) he’s going to be that much more comfortable,” Lombardi said.

“We’ll be able to tailor the offense a little bit more to what he likes and what he’s good at. I thought he played smart football and sometimes to a fault. We’ll look for him to maybe take a few more chances this year with the football.”

Although Stafford didn't take many shots down the field, he did throw a career-low 12 interceptions in 2014. 

The former first overall draft pick has thrown for 21,714 yards with 131 touchdowns and 85 interceptions during his six-year career.


Colts OLB Robert Mathis plans to be ready for training camp
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is not ready to run yet, he told Alex Marvez of SiriusXM NFL. Mathis added that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp.

“It’s not going as fast as I would like to, but we are getting well and we should be clicking in camp,” Mathis told Sirius.

Mathis was suspended for the first four games of last season due to violating the league's substance abuse policy. He then suffered a torn achilles, forcing him to miss all 16 games of the 2014 season.

During his 11-year career with the Colts, Mathis has collected 487 total tackles, 111.0 sacks, 15 passes defensed and 48 forced fumbles.


Lions TE Eric Ebron has been working out with Matthew Stafford
by Dave Peters | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said that tight end Eric Ebron has been working out with quarterback Matthew Stafford in Atlanta this offseason, reports the Detroit News. Lombardi also said that the plan is to have Ebron be the No. 3 weapon in the passing game this year.

Ebron, 21, finished his rookie season with 25 catches for 248 yards and one touchdown. 

"Listen, there's a big learning curve, obviously, for any rookie. And the tight end position is one that requires a lot," Lombardi said, per MLive.com. "As you look back, if you're self critical, maybe we asked a little too much from him from that perspective. I think there was just a volume that he struggled with early.

"But, listen, he was productive, and for anybody the second year is always where you see the biggest jump."


Cowboys' Tony Romo: DeMarco Murray asked me to take a pay cut
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/31/2015) Eagles running back DeMarco Murray was really hoping to remain with the Cowboys this offseason. So much so, he asked quarterback Tony Romo to take a pay cut to remain with the team, Romo said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Tuesday, per the Dallas Morning News.

"DeMarco ended up asking me, 'Why don't you take a pay cut?' I said, 'I will. I would take a pay cut to go do this,'" Romo said. "I was like, 'They're going to restructure me.' That's the same thing in some ways, just for the salary cap purposes. He was like, 'OK, now we're back to being friends again.' I would take $5 million less if meant getting him back.

"He knew that. It was just funny how he was literally worried about that part of it for a week. I'm like, 'That's not the reason.' I'm like, 'Obviously I'll restructure. I would even take a pay cut.' He was like, 'OK, we can be friends again.' It's amazing what you think about in those moments."


 
 
 
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