Real NFL Power Rankings Week 3

Huge changes in the rankings this week. Call me fickle, but I think it takes two weeks to see the real identity of several teams. To be sure, these rankings will most likely look absurd by week 8, but hey, you don’t read these for the accuracy. Wait…

Sorry for taking  so long to get these up and that I’m mailing these in more than Matthew Berry on his Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast, but I’m driving up to Oregon in six hours, and am still nowhere close to packed yet. Give me a break.

32 (30) – 0-2 – Rams – Went from the most fun to the most aggravating team to watch in just 4 years. Hey St. Louis, don’t worry, the NBA will be here soon. Wait…

Sadly, I don't think this would shock anyone in three years.

Sadly, I don't think this would shock anyone in three years.

31 (29) – 0-2 – Browns – I’m sorry Cleveland, but you’re gonna be in for a rougher Sunday than a Jew on Christmas. (It’s ok, my dad’s Jewish)

30 (28) – 0-2 – Chiefs – It doesn’t get a whole heck of a lot worse than losing to the Raiders at home. On the bright side, they get to play in Philly this weekend. Wait…

29 (31) – 0-2 – Lions – Just when you think the Lions might not be as bad this year, their defense has allowed the most points in the NFL.

28 (27) – 0-2 – Bucs – Don’t you love it when a team gets a new defensive-minded head coach and the defense is even worse than last year?

27 (24) – 0-2 – Jaguars – Earnest Wilford makes over $7 million this season. Really, Earnest Wilford?

26 (23) – 0-2 – Dolphins – When your team doesn’t have a single good wide out, your quarterback is Chad Pennington and your best running back smokes more weed than Snoop Dogg AND lives in the drug capital of the United States, yeah, your team isn’t very good.

25 (26) – 1-1 – Raiders – Is there a player that gets less out of his talent that JaMarcus Russell?

24 (25) – 1-1 – Panthers – I don’t care how decent Delhomme looked on Sunday, he is still worse than your girlfriend making you watch the Notebook and then not even making it up to you afterward.

23 (32) – 1-1 – Bengals – Sorry Cincinnati, I was a little too rough on your Bengals earlier.

22 (17) – 1-1 – Seahawks – As good as Seneca Wallace was at Iowa State, the Hasselback injury hurts. Big time.

21 (19) – 1-1 – Bills – Congrats T.O., on your first touchdown as a Toronto Bill.

20 (18) – 1-1- Redskins – If you picked Washington in your NFL suicide pick this week, you must have been more scared than I was after watching the preview of Jennifer’s Body and realizing Megan Fox would never be attractive to me again.

19 (21) – 2-0- Broncos – Even though I picked Denver as a pre-season sleeper, is there a less deserving 2-0 team?

18 (9) – 0-2 – Titans – “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – George Bush

17 (20) – 1-1 – Texans – That loss to the Jets looks a little bit better now, doesn’t it?

16 (14) – 1-1 – Cardinals -Even though Jacksonville is not good by any stretch of the imagination, winning an early game on the East Coast is big for Arizona.

15 (13) – 1-1 – Packers – I wonder which is worse: picking Green Bay in your suicide pool and getting mocked by all your buddies for losing in week two, or being a Packers fan and getting mocked by the entire NFL for losing to the Bengals. At home.

14 (10) – 1-1 – Cowboys – I can’t figure out which one of these is dumber: the center field hill in the Minute Maid Park, Tyler Perry, the plot of Surrogates or having a mega-scoreboard that hangs too low. My head is about to explode.

13 (16)  – 1-1 – Bears – Usually a team would move up after beating the Steelers, but Jay Cutler is too much of a spoiled, prep school douche bag.

12 (15) – 2-0 – 49ers – I think Shaun Hill’s seven step drop is so ugly that Matt Hasselback got hurt on purpose just so he wouldn’t have to watch it any more from the sideline.

This never gets old.

This never gets old.

11 (22) – 1-1 – Jets – Anyone that can make Tom Brady look like Owen from Dodgeball, earns my prodigious combination of dislike and respect.

10 (5) – 2-0 – Colts – That is about the ugliest way to start a season two and oh.

9 (4) – 1-1 – Eagles – The NFL has to be scripted, no other way this works out so perfectly for Ron Mexico…err Michael Vick.

8 (6) – 1-1 – Chargers – It would suck to be the guy who got suckered into drafting LT in the first round.

7 (8) – 2-0 – Falcons – Hey Atlanta, could you beat Carolina any less convincingly?

6 (2) – 1-1 – Steelers – It’s a good year for curses, they’re making a comeback. Don’t even try to come back Troy, just save yourself for next year.

5 (1) – 1-1 – Patriots – Maybe God isn’t a Pats fan. Or maybe He’s just testing us. I choose to believe the latter.

4 (11) – 2-0 – Giants – I think Eli Manning read my Anti-man Crush story and is now playing well just to spite me.

3 (12) – 2-0 – Saints – There’s a new title-holder for the Greatest Show on Turf.

2 (7) – 2-0 – Ravens – Wow, a  Ravens team that can finally do it all: pass, run and play D. Scary.

1 (3) – 2-0 – Vikings – I have faith. Although a loss to my hometown 49ers this weekend wouldn’t be the end of the world. Hey Brett, can you get all the INT’s out of your system on Sunday? K thanks.

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NFL Power Rankings

Time for the Sports Dude to do some actual analysis. With the NFL season right around the corner, it’s time for everybody’s favorite: the Power Rankings. With pre-season hope still riding high for every team, except possibly the Raiders and the Bengals, one could make the case for any team to top the list, but this is just one simple blogger’s point of a view (albeit a knowledgeable, yet overly-confident college student).

chadAs always, there’s the chance these rankings could very well end up being completely meaningless, but I’m just going to disregard that because at least for right now, I’m 100% not wrong.

Along with my prediction for each team, you’ll get one fantasy player who will exceed expectations (completely free of charge!) How about them apples?

32 – Bengals – What do you get when you put together an already bad NFL team, a publicity stunt appearance on “Hard Knocks,” and a player who legally changed his name to a grammatically incorrect spelling of his jersey number in Spanish? Answer: an even worse NFL team. I pity Bengals fans this season.

Prediction: 3-13.

Fantasy player to watch: Cedric Benson – After never living up to expectations in Chicago, the former number four overall pick quietly had a nice run as the starter last year; could flourish in full-time gig.

31 – Lions – I like what Jim Schwartz brings to the Lions and I guarantee that they will win more games this year than they did last year, although I don’t think it will be by much. Matthew Stafford will be a good NFL quarterback, but not this year. Rookie quarterbacks are almost never successful, especially when they are thrown into bad situations.

Prediction: 3-13.

Fantasy player to watch: Brandon Pettigrew – With Calvin Johnson sure to draw double and triple teams, look for Stafford to use Pettigrew as his security blanket a lot this season.

30 – Rams – Marc Bulger has been awful the past two years, and that was when he had Torry Holt as a go-to receiver. Who is he going to throw to now, Randy McMichael?

Prediction: 4-12.

Fantasy player to watch: Steven Jackson – Is there a single player more important to his team’s offense than him this year? Jackson will get plenty of touches, health is the key.

29 – Browns – Will finally hand starting gig to Brady Quinn. Unfortunately, that means they will have to take their lumps as Quinn learns on the job. I do like what Mangini will bring to the defense, but it’ll take him more than one year to turn things around.

Prediction: 4-12.

Fantasy player to watch: Braylon Edwards – Let’s just say I was visibly angry when my buddy Alon grabbed him right one spot ahead of me in the draft. Could be a top-5 receiver this year at a 6th round value.

28 – Raiders – Until Al Davis goes away, the Raiders will continue dwell in mediocrity (or worse), but there are some exciting pieces to work with. Darren McFadden, Justin Fargess and Michael Bush form a legitimate three-headed monster of a backfield that will take pressure off of developing quarterback JaMarcus Russell, but until someone steps up to help All-Pro CB Nnamdi Asomugha, the sieve-like run defense will be their undoing.

Prediction: 5-11.

sp_raiders_bengals_f04Fantasy player to watch: Darren McFadden – As talented as Adrian Peterson, just needs the help in the trenches; could emerge as a fantasy stud this year. Keep an eye on Zach Miller as well.

27 – Chiefs – Not sold on Matt Cassel outside of New England. When you trade Randy Moss, Wes Welker and a top-5 O-line for Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and the rotting corpse of Larry Johnson, you unquestionably take a step back. Heck, give me Moss and Welker and I could put up 3,000 yards.

Prediction: 5-11

Fantasy player to watch: Dwayne Bowe – A near lock for 1,000 yards and 6 touchdowns. Not sexy, but he will produce.

26 – Buccaneers – Let me get this straight, Byron Leftwich is the starting quarterback? Really? This is the same team that stockpiled like five quarterbacks two years ago. What happened?  Washed up quarterback, new offensive scheme and a defensive-minded head coach. Without even knowing the number, I’ll take the under on every single of their games this season.

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Kellen Winslow Jr – Over 1,100 yards in 2007 and then crashed with the rest of the Browns in ’08. I feel a major comeback with the change of scenery this season.

25 – Jets – They have the same issue as the Lions: starting a rookie QB. Difference is, Mark Sanchez only had one full season under center in college. Is he talented? Yea, no doubt. Would Kellen Clemens be any better? Probably not. But remember, there have only been three quarterbacks to lead their team to at least seven wins in their rookie season: Dan Marino, Kerry Collins and Matt Ryan (as multiple readers have pointed out, Big Ben and Joe Flacco have done so as well, my mistake).

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Defense/ST – Even though Pod Vader from the Fantasy Focus on ESPN isn’t a fan, I think defensive mastermind Rex Ryan will implement a run-first scheme that will keep the defense rested and off the field, and the scoring low.

24 – Seahawks – Quickly becoming a media darling in the putrid NFC West. I wish former-Oregon Duck Max Unger all the best, but I just don’t see it.

Prediction: 6-10

Fantasy player to watch: Matt Hasselbeck – With his receivers healthy again, I could see the gritty Hasselbeck re-emerge as a premier QB in the NFC.

23 – Jaguars – Unfortunately they play in the toughest division in football, and even more unfortunately, three of their first four games are against the AFC South. The other game? The NFC champions Arizona Cardinals. Quite possibly could start the year 0-4.

Prediction 6-10

Fatntasy player to watch: Torry Holt – Had 8 straight 1,000 yard season before the Rams fell apart last year. May be getting older, but the crafty veteran will be the favorite target of surprisingly effective David Garrard.

22 – Dolphins – They had a magical Cinderella season last year, but with the inevitable year-after curse and an off-season for teams to figure out the Wildcat, the Dolphins will come crashing back to earth. Of course, with Parcell’s running the ship, there’s always a chance Miami will jump the Bills and have a shot at the Wild Card come December.

Prediction: 7-9

Fantasy player to watch: Anthony Fasano – Fasano was a favorite red-zone target of Chad Pennington last season, totally seven touchdowns. Fasano should see an increased workload between the 20’s this year as well.

Come back tomorrow for teams 21 through 11.

If you have a disagreement with any of my rankings, please feel free to make your argument in the comments!