2011 Fantasy Football Rankings

Sunday, May 22, 2011 at 12:00 pm ET

I've been looking forward to this day. After a great deal of work, the new FFN engine has been turned on for the season. The NerdRank algorithm underwent quite a few modifications and I've sent a tremendous amount of data through it testing for the optimal results. I'm excited to see how it performs this season (assuming that there is one of course). I'm looking forward to improving on FantasyFootballNerd.com's Top 5 Overall Accuracy performance from last year.

Adrian PetersonSpeaking of Top 5, the FFN consensus Top 5 fantasy picks shouldn't come as much of a surprise. While there is some variation between the top three, Adrian Peterson came out on top as the best pick. AP is still a beast who will rack up the yards for you.

1. Adrian Peterson, MIN

2. Chris Johnson, TEN

3. Arian Foster, HOU

4. Jamaal Charles, KC

5. Maurice Jones-Drew, JAC

Maurice Jones-Drew rounds out the Top 5 but I have some hesitations on him. 2010 was a disappointing experience overall for MJD-owners. I might feel better about his ranking if I knew more about his knee situation. He's had meniscus surgery and I have a funny feeling that there's more to the injury than meets the eye.

I was pretty happy to see Aaron Rodgers make it into the Top 10 overall and #1 among quarterbacks. I'm looking forward to wearing my Aaron Rodger's Title Belt T-Shirt from LosersBracket.com, one of my favorite new sites. I was curious to see whether Rodgers or Michael Vick would land at the top of the tier 1 QB's. Other than the concussions from last season, it's hard not to like the consistency from Rodgers. He may not have the rushing yards that Vick is almost assuredly to get you, but he will see more 300-yard games and passing TD's than anyone else.

Two of the more surprising rankings have to be the Detroit Lions at #14 among defenses and rookie Alex Henery at #1 among kickers. Ndamukong Suh had an immediate impact on the Lions last year but he's not a one man team. Detriot's secondary and linebacking corp need to step up their game and the consensus ranking would indicate that the experts think they will. I have to admit that seeing Detroit in the top 15 made me do a double take and I'm still not sure that I'm ready to go that way just yet.

Kickers do not go high in the NFL draft, nor should they when you're doing your fantasy football draft, but Alex Henery went in the 4th round this year to the Eagles. For those of us who have made David Akers a staple kicker on our teams, Henery is worth a look once you're far enough into your draft to grab a kicker. No kicker had been drafted that high since the Pats took Stephen Gostkowski five years ago.

Normally rookies aren't known for making huge impacts in fantasy right away, but dynasty leagues pay particular attention to the rookie class. There were quite a few players in the NFL draft that could have impact this year so I enjoyed the 2011 rookie class review by Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard from CBS Sports, two of my favorite fantasy football analysts. It's hard to argue with their top picks. Mark Ingram, Daniel Thomas, and A.J. Green may not pay off right away, but it's very likely that they will in the next few years.

With the lockout firmly in place, Matthew Lutovsky at the Sporting News has a great Offseason Pop Quiz that was pretty surprising. I'm not going to spoil it, but if I asked you which WR led the league in yards after the catch last season, who would you guess? I assure you that it's probably not who you think. Which of these players was NOT in the Top 5 in passing yards last year: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Schaub, or Eli Manning? Again - not who you probably think.

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