It's go time.
I don't have the data to back this up, but my sense from all your Twitter and Facebook posts is that this coming weekend will see the most live fantasy football drafts of any time all year. After all, the following weekend is Labor Day and blessed regular-season football starts after that, so it's now or never. (In fact, my very own league, the legendary 16-team League of American Recreational Gridiron Enthusiasts -- or L.A.R.G.E. -- will be drafting from Las Vegas this Saturday afternoon.) So in the spirit of fulfilling many requests -- see, we at ESPN.com really do listen to your social media queries sometimes -- here are my rankings for standard-scoring leagues. Unfortunately, there aren't enough hours in the day for me to crank out point-per-reception or any other scoring format rankings, but fortunately in our Draft Kit, our group rankings have you covered in that regard. Just slide your mouse to the right to find the link.
So how did I arrive at these rankings? Art and science, my friends, art and science. Certainly, the fact that I'm the fellow who writes all the player capsules you see when you click on any player on our fantasy football site helps. I did a whole lot of film and statistical research starting way back in March, getting our game ready. I don't tend to rely particularly heavily on looking at NFL schedules before the season begins, nor do I typically let myself be swayed by preseason action. I'm looking at skills first and foremost, closely followed by opportunity. Surely you'll see some overlap between my rankings below and ESPN.com's group rankings, because I'm heavily involved in making the adjustments as news filters in all summer. But the differences, I believe, will be telling.
Remember, you also can find my 10 best value plays (aka 10 flag-planting players) for this season, and 10 super-deep sleepers. In addition, I've added to our Draft Kit my rankings for keeper league drafts, a list that began with the rankings you see below, then accounted for a three-year window for all players. Enjoy! (And to all my co-owners in L.A.R.G.E.: Stop reading this! Make your own draft list! You should be ashamed of yourselves!)
Christopher Harris 2011 Fantasy Football Top 200
Rankings based on 10-team ESPN standard league with 16-player rosters, starting one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one running back/wide receiver, a tight end, a team defense and a kicker.
Christopher Harris is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner. You can ask him questions at www.facebook.com/writerboy.