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Flex ranks: Already looking top-heavy

9/13/2012

Welcome to Thursday, the day we'll be "flexing" this season. Here are the fantasy flex rankings for Week 2, taking the best -- and not-so best as we near the bottom of the ranks -- running backs, wide receivers and tight ends and combining them into one tidy top 100 list in order to compare players across the flex-eligible positions. Obviously, you should make your own lineup decisions; as with other information available to you on ESPN.com, this is merely a guide.

Need more advice? Check out the Week 2 staff rankings, which you can sort individually by expert, or perhaps your question was answered either in my Wednesday chat wrap or will be by my colleagues today or tomorrow. You can also find me on Twitter (@karabellespn).

Good luck in Week 2 and beyond!

1. Arian Foster, RB, Texans: Still No. 1, but keep an eye on his knee woes, because the team does have depth.

2. Ray Rice, RB, Ravens: Don't be concerned if his rushing attempts remain low.

3. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders: Wow, 13 receptions! He had 19 all of last season. Um, please don't get hurt.

4. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: Yeah, I'd say he's feelin' pretty good.

5. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: The Eagles threw the football a ton last year, too, and McCoy still got his numbers. Don't worry about him. Instead, worry about his quarterback staying upright.

6. Matt Forte, RB, Bears

7. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions

8. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars: So much for the Rashad Jennings experience.

9. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans

10. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: A likely fantasy monster, but as colleague Ken Daube wisely noted, don't forget about Atlanta's other guy.

11. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Can't complain about this week's matchup.

12. DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys

13. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals: Don't overthink the situation with the team's quarterbacks. In Fitz's case, there's ample evidence it doesn't matter who starts.

14. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers

15. Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears

16. Percy Harvin, WR, Vikings

17. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: This won't be the last time he ranks well. In fact, I think he keeps the starting job. Fred Jackson is 31 years old, and apparently brittle.

18. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: Looked fine Sunday for a guy with back problems.

19. Steve Smith, WR, Panthers: Also dealing with a knee issue, and also not a young man (by NFL standards).

20. Chris Johnson, RB, Titans: He's apparently a polarizing fantasy option, the Tim Tebow of running backs. Many are ready to give up on him, but I'm not.

21. Roddy White, WR, Falcons

22. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals: I just don't think his quarterback is all that great.

23. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: The true test will come when Pats coach Bill Belichick has a full complement of running back options.

24. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Giants

25. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants: Instead of debating which Giant to own, can't we just recommend both?

26. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Will get another chance to perfect his spike motion this week.

27. Steven Jackson, RB, Rams

28. Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints

29. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers

30. Wes Welker, WR, Patriots: Another example of a guy who didn't do much in Week 1, and despite months of prepping for drafts and loving the guy, now people think he's done. That's just ridiculous.

31. Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, Giants

32. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: Regardless of who else plays wide receiver for the Packers, he's going to get his numbers.

33. Michael Turner, RB, Falcons: Buy low, within reason. He's not a top-10 running back, but he's not going away, either.

34. Marques Colston, WR, Saints

35. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Bengals: Actually looked strong against the Ravens, so I admit that perhaps this rank isn't quite fair.

36. Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers

37. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos: Don't love him too much. Peyton has other options, too.

38. Darren Sproles, RB, Saints: Nary a rushing attempt in Week 1, but he was on the field plenty.

39. Greg Jennings, WR, Packers: Be prepared to remove him from lineups in case he's scratched. Packers play Thursday. This rank is obviously predicated on him playing. If he's active, he can put up numbers.

40. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

41. Brandon Lloyd, WR, Patriots: I'll still take Welker over Lloyd.

42. Trent Richardson, RB, Browns: He's not the only Brown on the list, but he is the lone Cleveland Brown. Things should improve.

43. Reggie Bush, RB, Dolphins

44. Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens: Came so close to a few big plays Monday. Look for the Eagles to give up a few big plays this week.

45. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts: Take the under on 200 receiving targets this season.

46. Antonio Gates, TE, Chargers

47. Alfred Morris, RB, Redskins: Too much Mike Shanahan evidence to ever trust that a sixth-round rookie keeps the starting job.

48. Miles Austin, WR, Cowboys

49. Mike Wallace, WR, Steelers

50. Willis McGahee, RB, Broncos

51. Aaron Hernandez, TE, Patriots

52. Dwayne Bowe, WR, Chiefs: The problem with sitting him is he's so talented that any game could be a 20-point performance.

53. Shonn Greene, RB, Jets: Hopefully we didn't see his best game of the season already.

54. Steve Johnson, WR, Bills

55. Donald Brown, RB, Colts: Pretty sure he'll get more than nine rushing attempts this week, and he'll catch passes, too.

56. Kevin Smith, RB, Lions: One more week until Mikel Leshoure can steal some, most or all touches.

57. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers

58. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers

59. Peyton Hillis, RB, Chiefs: I'm buying low here, absolutely. Doesn't mean he's a top-10 running back, but good times are ahead.

60. DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles

61. Pierre Garcon, WR, Redskins: A tad concerned about his foot issue, and he's probably a tad overrated from his big game in the first place. It was basically one big play he made.

62. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

63. Jonathan Dwyer, RB, Steelers: Seems like he's getting opportunity, but a foot injury could cost him. Make sure he plays before flexing him.

64. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles: I'm getting the feeling he's not going to play this week, actually. Doesn't mean I'd flex Mardy Gilyard, however.

65. Beanie Wells, RB, Cardinals: Not the best week to rely on him, up in New England.

66. Eric Decker, WR, Broncos: Probably coming at too much of a discount in trades this week. He and Thomas will both produce.

67. Jermichael Finley, TE, Packers

68. Santonio Holmes, WR, Jets

69. Cedric Benson, RB, Packers: Another fellow to buy low on, no matter how you feel about him. Remember, they just played the 49ers. It gets easier.

70. Robert Meachem, WR, Chargers

71. Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers

72. Lance Moore, WR, Saints

73. Tony Gonzalez, TE, Falcons

74. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints: Has to get more touches to keep earning even this modest rank.

75. Michael Bush, RB, Bears: Let's see if he gets a healthy 12 carries in closer games. Not sure he will.

76. Sidney Rice, WR, Seahawks

77. Nate Washington, WR, Titans

78. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: You and I actually have more rushing yards than this guy this season. And we have nary a rushing attempt. By the way, I did not rank still-questionable teammate Jonathan Stewart yet. If he plays, he'd be in the 60s on this list.

79. Anquan Boldin, WR, Ravens

80. Ben Tate, RB, Texans: I'll just say while he's not a great option this week, make sure he's owned in your league, because Foster's situation is probably more precarious than the team is letting on. Seriously. Plan ahead, whether you own Foster or not.

81. Kevin Ogletree, WR, Cowboys: Not a great rank for the Week 1 high scorer at wide receiver. There's a reason for that. Own him, but don't start him.

82. Randall Cobb, WR, Packers: Leaps up 20 spots if Jennings can't go.

83. Nate Burleson, WR, Lions

84. Fred Davis, TE, Redskins

85. Kendall Hunter, RB, 49ers

86. Titus Young, WR, Lions: Way too early to give up on this guy. We're all underrating him a bit.

87. Kenny Britt, WR, Titans: Expected to get 20 or so plays, and no, I don't think this situation is like Adrian Peterson or Maurice Jones-Drew, when they blew away expectations.

88. Brandon LaFell, WR, Panthers: Solid first game, and is likely to matter all year.

89. Roy Helu, RB, Redskins: Don't drop him. I'm telling you, he will matter at some point, perhaps soon.

90. Toby Gerhart, RB, Vikings: I wouldn't drop him, either. Peterson looked great, but a missed game or two wouldn't be shocking.

91. Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Lions

92. Mike Williams, WR, Buccaneers

93. Danny Amendola, WR, Rams: Borderline starter in PPR formats. No, really.

94. James Jones, WR, Packers: I'll take Cobb over him, but each should be relevant.

95. Ryan Williams, RB, Cardinals: This is not the week to use a Cardinals running back, after what the Patriots did to Chris Johnson, but don't cut Williams.

96. Isaac Redman, RB, Steelers: Watch Dwyer's situation, but Redman is not a strong option regardless.

97. Laurent Robinson, WR, Jaguars

98. Stephen Hill, WR, Jets: The Steelers' defense is just a bit better than the Bills'.

99. David Wilson, RB, Giants: Hold on to the football, young fella!

100. Mario Manningham, WR, 49ers: Yes, I'd use him over the future Hall of Famer that just missed the list (whose name is next).

Others: Randy Moss, WR, 49ers; Ronnie Brown, RB, Chargers; Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints; Knowshon Moreno, RB, Broncos; Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders; LeGarrette Blount, RB, Buccaneers; Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Falcons; Jared Cook, TE, Titans; Dexter McCluster, RB/WR, Chiefs.