2012 ranks: Panthers RBs continue to slide 

October, 23, 2012
10/23/12
11:46
AM ET
Welcome to the final weekend of October football, as fantasy owners begin to wonder where the season went. For some, the playoffs are realistic; for others who didn't enjoy draft day or have much luck in free agency, perhaps they aren't. Regardless, we're here to help, with the weekly edition of end-of-season rankings. Trading is still possible in ESPN standard leagues for another month, so take advantage!

Remember, these are not the Week 8 rankings. Those will be released Wednesday. Enjoy!

Quick click by position, for easy reference:

Top 40 Quarterbacks | Top 60 Running Backs | Top 60 Wide Receivers

Top 30 Tight Ends | Top 32 Defense/Special Teams | Top 100 Overall

Top 40 Quarterbacks



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Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were excellent again in Week 7, though it's not like fantasy owners needed their faith restored with regard to those two. They remain in the top two ranking spots, and I wouldn't argue if you preferred to switch them. However, I do feel the need to make a switch with the next two spots. Let's be clear: New England Patriots leader Tom Brady is doing fine. There's nothing wrong with him or his fantasy value; he's fourth overall in scoring. But Brady just isn't playing at quite the same awesome level he did a season ago. Brady's 18 fantasy points Sunday against the New York Jets was just fine, but that makes six games out of seven he has failed to hit 20 points. Meanwhile, Washington Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III has outscored everyone, and that includes his concussion-induced three-point fantasy game in Week 5. Griffin has been over 20 points every week except that one. Yeah, Griffin is this good.

Meanwhile, the rookie quarterback who set the fantasy world ablaze last season is struggling these days. Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers still managed a usable 15 fantasy points in the team's loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but he has become an inconsistent mess, with fewer season points than Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andrew Luck and Joe Flacco. Newton remains among the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks due to his legs and potential, but he's not Griffin these days, and Matt Ryan and the Manning brothers also pass him. It's possible Newton starts playing better and moves back up, but there's little evidence of that happening right now, and the Chicago Bears are looming in Week 8.

As for other quarterback changes in the rankings, the Baltimore Ravens' Flacco produced one of the worst games by a quarterback in years against the Houston Texans, according to QBR. And yes, that was the same team that was slaughtered by Rodgers (six touchdown passes) a week earlier. Flacco has a total of 24 fantasy points over the past three games, taking him well out of top-10 consideration. However, Andy Dalton and Christian Ponder were disappointing Sunday, so they don't move up. Brandon Weeden of the Cleveland Browns does, and he's top-20. Weeden and Josh Gordon have been a successful pairing of late, with Weeden averaging 17 fantasy points over three games.

Top 60 Running Backs





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