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Offseason Extra: Finding players who win

Senior Fantasy Writer

Peyton Manning might not have won the Super Bowl, but he did help many Fantasy owners to championships this season. Unless you're a Broncos fan, that's all we really care about, right?

Manning, the 2013 Most Valuable Player, set passing records for yards (5,477) and touchdowns (55) while leading the Broncos to Super Bowl XLVIII. Denver was blasted by Seattle 43-8, which won't sit well with Manning, but maybe he can take solace in knowing he had the best win percentage of any player in 2013.

What that means is he helped Fantasy owners on leagues win the most games last season at just over 61 percent. Among the top players, he contributed to more Fantasy wins than Jamaal Charles (59 percent), Josh Gordon (58 percent), Jimmy Graham (57 percent) and Calvin Johnson (56 percent). This was obviously Manning's year.

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But this isn't a study just about Manning's success. This is to show how players affected Fantasy teams and not individual performance. It is based on the winning percentage for Fantasy owners of all players owned in 60 percent or more of leagues on, which came to about 155 players, and shows total wins and not Fantasy titles. Only paid leagues were considered with at least eight Fantasy teams or more. You can see the full data in our chart below.

To put it in perspective, a player on this list might have a high winning percentage – take Dennis Pitta at No. 2 overall – but might never have started for a Fantasy owner at all. That player was just owned on a roster that was highly successful. In Pitta's case, he was likely added by a smart owner with the hope he could make a difference down the stretch in his comeback from hip surgery, even though it didn't pan out.

A better example of this is looking at players who were either drafted late or not drafted at all and the impact they had to Fantasy rosters. Quarterbacks like Jay Cutler and Nick Foles, running backs like Knowshon Moreno and Zac Stacy, receivers like Gordon and Alshon Jeffery and tight ends like Delanie Walker and Julius Thomas were all added to Fantasy teams with quality players drafted in the early rounds to combine for a victorious squad. All of those players were drafted in Round 9 or later or were free agents, and they all had a winning percentage above 52 percent.

You can also see the players who were disappointments, whether due to injury or poor play. Some players with low win percentages and a relatively high Average Draft Position include Tom Brady (45 percent), Robert Griffin III (45 percent) and Eli Manning (44 percent) at quarterback, C.J. Spiller (46 percent), Ray Rice (45 percent) and Trent Richardson (44 percent) at running back, Roddy White (47 percent), Steve Smith (47 percent) and Hakeem Nicks (46 percent) at receiver and Jared Cook (47 percent) and Rob Gronkowski (47 percent) at tight end.

Now, how can we apply this data moving forward to help you in 2014? We'll break down the positions below (the Top 15 at each position is shown) with an angle toward how to best build your team through the draft. For example, does Peyton Manning finishing first in win percentage mean he should be drafted at No. 1 overall? Or is it better to focus on trying to land a top running back like Charles or LeSean McCoy because of their overall success?

No matter how you start your team on Draft Day it's almost more important how you finish in the latter rounds – and being aggressive on the waiver wire. The owners who pay attention throughout the season are usually the ones with a majority of these players on their roster heading into the playoffs. They are also the ones taking home the title in the end.


Win percentage Average Draft Position Fantasy Pts. Position rank by Fantasy Pts.
Peyton Manning, Broncos 0.615 15 523 1
Drew Brees, Saints 0.542 8 435 2
Jay Cutler, Bears 0.536 145 205 21
Matthew Stafford, Lions 0.530 42 336 7
Nick Foles, Eagles 0.520 Not drafted 313 11
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins 0.517 168 285 16
Tony Romo, Cowboys 0.509 59 322 8
Andy Dalton, Bengals 0.507 103 353 3
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 0.502 130 315 10
Philip Rivers, Chargers 0.502 154 352 4
Russell Wilson, Seahawks 0.496 72 321 9
Cam Newton, Panthers 0.496 33 345 5
Alex Smith, Chiefs 0.495 152 299 14
Andrew Luck, Colts 0.493 51 337 6
Carson Palmer, Cardinals 0.485 121 264 17

Looking back on 2013: The quarterback position was somewhat volatile last season because of the top quarterbacks missing key weapons. Five quarterbacks who were drafted as No. 1 options – Brady, Matt Ryan, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson – all were missing their expected No. 1 receiver for the majority of the season (Gronkowski, Michael Crabtree and Percy Harvin) or lost their top target during the year (Julio Jones and Reggie Wayne). That's hard to overcome, and Aaron Rodgers getting hurt was also a tough blow to the position. Only 10 quarterbacks finished with a win percentage above .500, and I'm surprised guys like Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers didn't have more success since they were Top 5 in Fantasy points. It shows that owners didn't have tremendous faith in them based on the teams who added them off waivers, and they definitely had a low start percentage (Dalton was over 45 percent started just once and Rivers was over 70 percent just twice. By comparison, Brady was under 70 percent just twice). Fantasy owners clearly bought into Foles with more confidence, whether he was a starter or not (he never got above 78 percent), but he helped plenty of owners since he went undrafted and finished as a Top 5 quarterback in win percentage.

Looking ahead to 2014: There are two ways to look at the quarterbacks having such few players with a positive win percentage. It can make you want to invest in a top quarterback early in Round 1 or 2 like Manning or Brees (Rodgers would likely have been in the Top 5 based on past results) to guarantee success. Or you can look at other quarterbacks drafted later or not drafted at all (Cutler, Foles, Dalton or Rivers) and build your team that way. It really comes down to personal preference, but keep in mind someone with Manning might have also drafted Charles or McCoy based on ADP, which fortified their win percentage – and vice versa. I plan to wait on a quarterback – most likely in the Round 5-8 range – because of the 10 quarterbacks above .500 seven were drafted in that range or later (Manning, Brees and Stafford are the three drafted in the first four rounds). Also, based on Fantasy points, eight of the Top 12 quarterbacks were drafted in Round 5 or later. Only Manning, Brees, Cam Newton and Stafford were drafted in the first three rounds, although Rodgers likely would have been there also if he didn't miss seven games with a broken left collarbone. I believe you can find a quarterback later in the draft based on the depth at the position, but locking up a workhorse running back is tougher to do.

Running back

Win percentage Average Draft Position Fantasy Pts. Position rank by Fantasy Pts.
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs 0.594 4 307 1
LeSean McCoy, Eagles 0.561 11 277 2
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos 0.552 205 235 5
Matt Forte, Bears 0.551 14 262 3
Eddie Lacy, Packers 0.540 58 206 6
Zac Stacy, Rams 0.537 145 157 18
DeMarco Murray, Cowboys 0.536 28 205 7
Shane Vereen, Patriots 0.533 71 86 43
Le'Veon Bell, Steelers 0.530 64 171 14
Adrian Peterson, Vikings 0.528 1 203 8
Andre Brown, Giants 0.527 85 73 50
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks 0.527 6 238 4
Reggie Bush, Lions 0.522 24 184 11
Rashad Jennings, Raiders 0.514 Not drafted 138 21
Ryan Mathews, Chargers 0.511 62 183 12

Looking back on 2013: Finding a stud running back last season was tough because of all the early-round flops due to poor play (Spiller and Richardson) or injury (Arian Foster and Doug Martin). There were 15 running backs drafted in the first two rounds based on ADP, and only eight (Charles, McCoy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris, Chris Johnson and Reggie Bush) finished as a Top 24 option in standard leagues for Fantasy points. When it comes to win percentage, there were only six of the Top 15 finishers with Charles, McCoy, Forte, Peterson, Lynch and Bush. The good news is there were running backs who came out of nowhere to surprise us like Moreno and Stacy, who not only were Top 5 in win percentage for running backs but also Top 20 in Fantasy points. A Fantasy owner could have drafted well and then added Moreno in Week 2 and Stacy in Week 5 and had a loaded backfield -- or some combination featuring one of those rushers. Andre Brown and Rashad Jennings were other quality free agent additions, and it helped that Eddie Lacy and Le'Veon Bell delivered big with mid-round value. While some of the early-round running backs were busts, there were still some great performances from mid- to late-round options and free agent finds. Those running backs who came out of nowhere, to a certain degree, paid dividends for a lot of winning Fantasy squads.

Looking ahead to 2014: Running backs are going to dominate the early part of your draft, and they should. If you can hit on a top running back in the first two rounds – or if you're lucky, maybe two – your team should be set up for success. And then you should stockpile running back depth with the hope to find the next Moreno or Stacy before they become obvious waiver wire additions. Quarterback and receiver are loaded with talent, but the bottom falls out for running backs as early as Round 4. I have no problem taking three running backs with my first four picks with a receiver or tight end mixed in because the idea is to get as many workhorse running backs as possible. Sure, they might falter like Spiller, Richardson or Rice or get hurt like Foster or Martin. But Rodgers was hurt last year, and Ryan and Luck suffered from injuries to their receivers. Brady had a down year with his production, and you can find a knock on almost every player at any position. We did a mock draft when the season ended where I drafted Bell in Round 1, DeMarco Murray in Round 2, Jordy Nelson in Round 3, Julius Thomas in Round 4, Montee Ball in Round 5 and Kaepernick in Round 6. I don't expect Ball to fall that far if he's named the starter for the Broncos this season, but give me this type of roster next year and I'll be a title contender for sure barring injury based on my talent at running back.

Wide receiver

Win percentage Average Draft Position Fantasy Pts. Position rank by Fantasy Pts.
Josh Gordon, Browns 0.576 108 226 2
Calvin Johnson, Lions 0.560 9 219 3
Michael Crabtree, 49ers 0.550 Not drafted 34 109
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos 0.545 26 227 1
Antonio Brown, Steelers 0.543 66 197 7
DeSean Jackson, Eagles 0.539 69 187 10
A.J. Green, Bengals 0.536 19 208 4
Brandon Marshall, Bears 0.536 20 205 5
Alshon Jeffery, Bears 0.535 151 194 8
Jordy Nelson, Packers 0.530 68 179 11
Dez Bryant, Cowboys 0.525 18 199 6
Keenan Allen, Chargers 0.523 Not drafted 148 17
Pierre Garcon, Redskins 0.521 50 163 14
Julian Edelman, Patriots 0.519 Not drafted 146 18
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers 0.517 38 164 13

Looking back on 2013: I love it when Fantasy owners are aggressive on waivers even if it doesn't pan out. You see Crabtree here, and he played just five games after an Achilles injury prior to the season. He had two games with double digits in Fantasy points and never went above 50 percent started, but he was added to a lot of winning Fantasy squads based on his potential alone. That was likely the case for Jeffery in Week 5 after he was cut in many leagues following a slow start, and Keenan Allen (added in Week 6) and Julian Edelman (added in Week 2, dropped in Week 9 and added again in Week 13) were all significant contributors to quality rosters. Gordon might have been the best value pick in Fantasy leagues last year in Round 10 based on his ADP, and he finished with the best win percentage at receiver and was No. 2 in Fantasy points behind Demaryius Thomas and ahead of Calvin Johnson. The good news for receiver is of the Top 6 drafted based on ADP (Johnson, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, Brandon Marshall, Jones and Thomas) five finished with a win percentage of 53 percent or higher. Only Jones didn't qualify because he missed the final 11 games of the year with a foot injury. But he's expected to make a full recovery for 2014, which is great news for the position.

Looking ahead to 2014: Receiver is the deepest position in the draft, and there will always be players who emerge as late-round picks or off waivers (think Allen in 2013, Randall Cobb in 2012, Victor Cruz in 2011 and Brandon Lloyd in 2010, among many more). But the upper-echelon guys tend to live up to expectations, and looking at last year's ADP we had 13 of the Top 24 receivers drafted (Johnson, Bryant, Green, Marshall, Thomas, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Wes Welker, Pierre Garcon, Eric Decker, Torrey Smith and Antonio Brown) finish as Top 24 options. Had Jones, Cobb and Wayne stayed healthy all season they likely would have been in that group as well. What you should do is grab a stud receiver early on Draft Day to guarantee yourself elite production. Of the Top 30 players overall in Fantasy points at running back, receiver and tight end, 15 were receivers (there were two tight ends and 13 running backs). You can assume Calvin Johnson, Gordon, Thomas, Marshall, Jones, Green and Bryant being drafted in the first two rounds, and Jeffery, Nelson and Cobb could also be gone through Round 3. Those 10, along with Garcon and Brown, make up my Top 12 receivers heading into the season, and I have no problem getting two of them if possible. But if not you can find plenty of mid-round talent like Cordarrelle Patterson, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams, among others. I love finding receivers later in the draft, and this year won't be any different than what we've seen just like the past few seasons.

Tight end

Win percentage Average Draft Position Fantasy Pts. Position rank by Fantasy Pts.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens 0.595 Not drafted 22 54
Jimmy Graham, Saints 0.567 22 217 1
Delanie Walker, Titans 0.529 Not drafted 93 12
Julius Thomas, Broncos 0.524 Not drafted 150 3
Vernon Davis, 49ers 0.523 53 161 2
Jordan Cameron, Browns 0.507 116 133 6
Charles Clay, Dolphins 0.504 Not drafted 118 7
Jason Witten, Cowboys 0.498 49 133 5
Coby Fleener, Colts 0.498 178 88 13
Greg Olsen, Panthers 0.495 97 117 8
Tony Gonzalez, Falcons 0.493 56 135 4
Antonio Gates, Chargers 0.492 78 107 9
Heath Miller, Steelers 0.489 207 63 26
Martellus Bennett, Bears 0.483 112 103 10
Jordan Reed, Redskins 0.480 Not drafted 68 21

Looking back on 2013: Let's take Pitta out of this discussion since he had one good game of the four he played after coming back from hip surgery in Week 14. That would leave us with only six tight ends who had a winning record, and this is a position that is lacking depth of quality options. It was great to see Walker, Jordan Cameron and Charles Clay play at a high level last season, and they not only finished above .500 but also were Top 12 in Fantasy points. Of that trio, only Cameron was drafted in the majority of leagues. We would have likely had Gronkowski with a winning record if he was healthy, but he only played in seven games sandwiched between his back injury and a torn ACL. Outside of Graham and Vernon Davis, tight end was kind of disappointing, save for Thomas coming out of nowhere to finish third in Fantasy points. He was added off the waiver wire in Week 2, and his performance throughout the season likely contributed too many Fantasy victories as a key cog to an already loaded roster. Or, most likely, he replaced a disappointing tight end like Antonio Gates or served as a fill-in for Gronkowski.

Looking ahead to 2014: Running back and tight end are the two most important positions on Draft Day. If you can land a standout tight end early – and we anticipate Gronkowski making a full recovery, which will help tremendously – then your team is in great shape. Ideally, like the draft I referenced in the running back section, you can come away with someone like Thomas, Gronkowski or Davis by Round 4 after two standout running backs and a No. 1 receiver. You might get lucky to find the next Thomas with a late-round pick, and some early-season candidates include Jordan Reed, Zach Ertz and Tyler Eifert, especially if Jermaine Gresham is gone. Kyle Rudolph should rebound with new offensive coordinator Norv Turner, but these are all fall-back options. Don't be afraid to pull the trigger on Graham as a Top 5 overall pick and a definite first-round selection. He is the biggest difference maker at any position in standard leagues since he outscored Davis by 56 points and would have been the No. 4 receiver behind Demaryius Thomas, Gordon and Calvin Johnson. I would love to start my team with Graham in Round 1 and then get a running back like Stacy or Martin in Round 2. That's a great way to begin your draft in any format if Graham plays as expected in 2014.

Win percentage for 2013
Here is a look at the win percentage for Fantasy owners of all players owned in 60 percent or more of leagues on Only paid leagues were considered with at least eight Fantasy teams or more. The Average Draft Position (ADP) data is from 2013, and the Fantasy points are the total from this past season, as well as where each player ranked at his position.
Position Win % Avg. Draft Position Fantasy Pts. Pos. rank by Fantasy Pts.
Peyton Manning, Broncos QB 0.615 15 523 1
Dennis Pitta, Ravens TE 0.595 Not drafted 22 54
Jamaal Charles, Chiefs RB 0.594 4 307 1
Josh Gordon, Browns WR 0.576 108 226 2
Jimmy Graham, Saints TE 0.567 22 217 1
Lions DST 0.563 Not drafted 159 22
LeSean McCoy, Eagles RB 0.561 11 277 2
Calvin Johnson, Lions WR 0.560 9 219 3
Knowshon Moreno, Broncos RB 0.552 205 235 5
Matt Forte, Bears RB 0.551 14 262 3
Michael Crabtree, 49ers WR 0.550 Not drafted 34 109
Demaryius Thomas, Broncos WR 0.545 26 227 1
Antonio Brown, Steelers WR 0.543 66 197 7
Drew Brees, Saints QB 0.542 8 435 2
Eddie Lacy, Packers RB 0.540 58 206 6
DeSean Jackson, Eagles WR 0.539 69 187 10
Chiefs DST 0.538 236 257 2
Seahawks DST 0.537 73 264 1
Zac Stacy, Rams RB 0.537 145 157 18
Jay Cutler, Bears QB 0.536 145 205 21
DeMarco Murray, Cowboys RB 0.536 28 205 7
A.J. Green, Bengals WR 0.536 19 208 4
Brandon Marshall, Bears WR 0.536 20 205 5
Alshon Jeffery, Bears WR 0.535 151 194 8
Panthers DST 0.535 Not drafted 246 3
Shane Vereen, Patriots RB 0.533 71 86 43
Steven Hauschka, Seahawks K 0.531 232 149 5
Jordy Nelson, Packers WR 0.530 68 179 11
Matthew Stafford, Lions QB 0.530 42 336 7
Le'Veon Bell, Steelers RB 0.530 64 171 14
Delanie Walker, Titans TE 0.529 Not drafted 93 12
Adrian Peterson, Vikings RB 0.528 1 203 8
Andre Brown, Giants RB 0.527 85 73 50
Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks RB 0.527 6 238 4
Nick Novak, Chargers K 0.525 Not drafted 148 6
Dez Bryant, Cowboys WR 0.525 18 199 6
Julius Thomas, Broncos TE 0.524 Not drafted 150 3
Matt Prater, Broncos K 0.524 141 162 2
Justin Tucker, Ravens K 0.523 176 152 3
Keenan Allen, Chargers WR 0.523 Not drafted 148 17
Vernon Davis, 49ers TE 0.523 53 161 2
Reggie Bush, Lions RB 0.522 24 184 11
Pierre Garcon, Redskins WR 0.521 50 163 14
Nick Foles, Eagles QB 0.520 Not drafted 313 11
Dolphins DST 0.519 167 172 11
Bengals DST 0.519 100 227 4
Julian Edelman, Patriots WR 0.519 Not drafted 146 18
Cardinals DST 0.518 182 215 6
Phil Dawson, 49ers K 0.518 139 148 7
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins QB 0.517 168 285 16
Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots K 0.517 107 168 1
Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers WR 0.517 38 164 13
Rams DST 0.516 175 205 7
Eric Decker, Broncos WR 0.514 55 192 9
Rashad Jennings, Raiders RB 0.514 Not drafted 138 21
49ers DST 0.513 83 218 5
Andre Johnson, Texans WR 0.511 31 170 12
Ryan Mathews, Chargers RB 0.511 62 183 12
Montee Ball, Broncos RB 0.511 57 87 42
Joique Bell, Lions RB 0.511 193 163 17
Greg Jennings, Vikings WR 0.510 93 104 38
Bobby Rainey, Buccaneers RB 0.510 Not drafted 94 40
Giovani Bernard, Bengals RB 0.510 61 166 16
Harry Douglas, Falcons WR 0.510 Not drafted 114 32
Tony Romo, Cowboys QB 0.509 59 322 8
Dan Bailey, Cowboys K 0.508 202 143 9
Kendall Wright, Titans WR 0.508 183 119 31
Mason Crosby, Packers K 0.508 216 151 4
Jordan Cameron, Browns TE 0.507 116 133 6
Andy Dalton, Bengals QB 0.507 103 353 3
Charles Clay, Dolphins TE 0.504 Not drafted 118 7
Frank Gore, 49ers RB 0.503 30 174 13
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers QB 0.502 130 315 10
Adam Vinatieri, Colts K 0.502 223 147 8
Philip Rivers, Chargers QB 0.502 154 352 4
Chris Johnson, Titans RB 0.502 17 197 9
Fred Jackson, Bills RB 0.501 117 187 10
Riley Cooper, Eagles WR 0.500 Not drafted 136 22
T.Y. Hilton, Colts WR 0.499 79 138 19
Torrey Smith, Ravens WR 0.499 65 138 20
Jason Witten, Cowboys TE 0.498 49 133 5
Coby Fleener, Colts TE 0.498 178 88 13
Donald Brown, Colts RB 0.498 Not drafted 122 26
Wes Welker, Broncos WR 0.497 40 135 23
Danny Woodhead, Chargers RB 0.497 124 146 19
Michael Floyd, Cardinals WR 0.497 114 134 24
Russell Wilson, Seahawks QB 0.496 72 321 9
Cam Newton, Panthers QB 0.496 33 345 5
Pierre Thomas, Saints RB 0.495 127 133 23
Alex Smith, Chiefs QB 0.495 152 299 14
Greg Olsen, Panthers TE 0.495 97 117 8
Andrew Luck, Colts QB 0.493 51 337 6
Broncos DST 0.493 106 169 13
Tony Gonzalez, Falcons TE 0.493 56 135 4
Brian Hartline, Dolphins WR 0.493 171 125 26
Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals WR 0.492 29 153 15
Saints DST 0.492 Not drafted 175 10
Antonio Gates, Chargers TE 0.492 78 107 9
Robbie Gould, Bears Kicker 0.491 213 129 13
Percy Harvin, Seahawks WR 0.491 122 1 179
Anquan Boldin, 49ers WR 0.491 90 160 15
Steelers DST 0.491 149 168 14
Rashard Mendenhall, Cardinals RB 0.491 70 125 25
Chris Ivory, Jets RB 0.490 75 102 37
DeAngelo Williams, Panthers RB 0.490 89 137 22
Andre Ellington, Cardinals RB 0.490 Not drafted 126 24
Heath Miller, Steelers TE 0.489 207 63 26
Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers WR 0.487 126 114 33
Alfred Morris, Redskins RB 0.487 13 168 15
Ravens DST 0.486 140 168 15
Carson Palmer, Cardinals QB 0.485 121 264 17
Jarrett Boykin, Packers WR 0.485 Not drafted 86 54
Patriots DST 0.485 118 172 12
Martellus Bennett, Bears TE 0.483 112 103 10
Mike Wallace, Dolphins WR 0.483 76 126 25
Ben Tate, Texans RB 0.483 99 111 33
Joe Flacco, Ravens QB 0.481 136 245 18
Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars RB 0.481 25 145 20
Victor Cruz, Giants WR 0.481 36 121 29
Jordan Reed, Redskins TE 0.480 Not drafted 68 21
Danny Amendola, Patriots WR 0.480 47 75 59
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals RB 0.479 95 115 32
James Jones, Packers WR 0.479 67 97 43
Golden Tate, Seahawks WR 0.479 104 122 28
Bears DST 0.478 87 149 26
Darren McFadden, Raiders RB 0.476 37 81 47
Darren Sproles, Saints RB 0.476 41 102 36
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs WR 0.476 45 97 42
Marques Colston, Saints WR 0.474 46 124 27
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers QB 0.473 52 305 12
Jared Cook, Rams TE 0.473 92 95 11
Steve Johnson, Bills WR 0.473 86 78 58
Roddy White, Falcons WR 0.473 34 87 52
Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE 0.473 44 83 16
Lamar Miller, Dolphins RB 0.472 43 97 38
Cowboys DST 0.471 195 166 19
Steven Jackson, Falcons RB 0.471 16 115 31
Aaron Rodgers, Packers QB 0.470 12 203 23
Marvin Jones, Bengals WR 0.470 Not drafted 137 21
Matt Ryan, Falcons QB 0.468 32 299 15
Stevan Ridley, Patriots RB 0.468 21 117 30
Garrett Hartley, Saints Kicker 0.467 179 109 24
Steve Smith, Panthers WR 0.467 63 98 41
Tavon Austin, Rams WR 0.466 77 84 55
Rueben Randle, Giants WR 0.464 158 95 46
Terrance Williams, Cowboys WR 0.463 Not drafted 101 40
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars WR 0.462 82 95 45
Denarius Moore, Raiders WR 0.461 133 99 41
Hakeem Nicks, Giants WR 0.460 60 89 51
C.J. Spiller, Bills RB 0.458 5 120 27
Ray Rice, Ravens RB 0.453 7 120 28
Tom Brady, Patriots QB 0.452 27 300 13
Robert Griffin III, Redskins QB 0.449 54 244 19
Eli Manning, Giants QB 0.441 85 205 22
Trent Richardson, Colts RB 0.438 10 109 34

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(1/26/2015) If you have been out of the loop for the last week, then you might be unaware the Patriots have been under a lot of scrutiny since the AFC title game due to improperly inflated footballs used against the Colts. The media hoopla has transformed the controversy into what we know as Deflategate.

If you haven't been out of the loop, then you are well aware of the nonstop coverage it has received the last week and despite the Patriots pleas for it to go away, it just won't.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had to deal with the backlash from Deflategate, and he found himself talking about the subject again Monday morning during an interview with WEEI.

“It’s all speculation,” Brady said. “I’ve tried to wrap my head around it, too. I’ve done that and I’m trying to move past that, because I continue to try to rehash things. I personalized a lot of things and thought this was all about me, and my feelings got hurt. Then I moved past it, because it’s not serving me. What’s serving me is try to prepare for the game ahead. I’ll deal with whatever happens later. I’ll have my opportunity to try to figure out what happened and figure out a theory like everyone else is trying to do. But this isn’t the time for that. Honestly, I’m not interested in trying to find out right now, because we have the biggest game of our season ahead.”

One topic Brady didn't have a problem addressing was the speculation coach Bill Belichick threw him under the bus during a press conference on Thursday. But Brady came to the defense of Belichick, who has won three Super Bowls as the Patriots coach.

“I’ve never once felt that we’re not on the same page,” Brady said. “He’s a great coach. He’s the only coach I’ve ever played for; he’s the only coach I’d ever want to play for. There’s a lot of people over the years that have criticized him, but I’d say there’s not one player who’s ever played for him who’s not had an unbelievable amount of respect for him and how he prepares and his diligence and his preparation."

Giants' Odell Beckham says he played with hamstring tears
by Chris Cwik |
(1/26/2015) Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham said he played all season with two tears in his hamstrings, according to the New York Daily News.

Beckham took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, but admitted he's still not fully healed. Beckham said the injuries prevented him from getting to that "last gear that I wanted to have." He added that the injuries really bothered him against the Eagles and Colts. Beckham said he was "stumbling" and falling over during those games. He added that he's not sure whether he'll ever be 100 percent again.

The rookie had a tremendous season, hauling in 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

Patriots' Tom Brady meeting with NFL after Super Bowl 49
by Chris Cwik |
(1/25/2015) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady doesn't expect to meet with the NFL until after Super Bowl XLIX, according to

The Patriots have been in the headlines all week due to Deflategate, and it appears the situation won't be resolved until after the season. "I believe they're going to do [a meeting] after the season," Brady said. "So we'll deal with it after this game. I think everybody is locked in, ready to go for the Super Bowl." Both Brady and coach Bill Belichick have held separate press conferences during the week to deny the team's involvement in deflating their footballs. 

The Patriots are subject to punishment from the NFL if the league finds any wrongdoing during the investigation. 

Earl Thomas on bad shoulder: 'I'll still play fearless'
by Larry Hartstein |
(1/25/2015) Seahawks safety Earl Thomas, who dislocated his shoulder in the NFC Championship Game, could remain limited in practice this week ahead of the Super Bowl, reports the Seattle Times. But he said he won't be thinking about the injury against the Patriots.

"When I come alive nothing is limited,’’ he said. “I’ll still play fearless, throw my body around, and let whatever happens, happens.’’

Thomas did allow that he might have to rely more on his teammates.

“My mindset is I have an opportunity to really trust my teammates,’’ he said. “This is the first game I’m going to have to trust them because of my injury. So I really, really, really trust my teammates, and that’s what I’m banking on, my teammates doing what they need to do and I need to come through myself.’’

It's unclear if Thomas will need offseason surgery.

The Seahawks are 1-point underdogs after opening as 2.5-point favorites.

Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck pondering retirement
by Larry Hartstein |
(1/25/2015) Colts backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck told he's not sure if he'll retire or return for a 17th season. Hasselbeck, 39, appeared in four games this season and played well, posting a 102.6 passer rating.

He's set to hit unrestricted free agency.