Clearly on the roster bubble, the TMR Top 200 is back for Week 2, but with a few modifications.
First, we carefully listened and read all of your feedback. And by "we" I mean some poor intern and by "listened and read" I mean thumbed through them quickly on his phone while waiting in line for coffee. Most you of you seem to like the idea of flex rankings and rankings early in the week to help with free-agent pick-ups. Most of you weren't in love with the quarterbacks being included in the flex rankings.
So we have decided to separate out the quarterbacks -- if you have an OP position that allows quarterbacks, usually, you'll want to play a second quarterback -- and we separated out the defenses and the kickers as well, because you never need to decide between those and skill players. So you'll now see four lists below: my flex rankings for running back, wide receiver and tight end, my quarterback ranks, defense ranks and kicker ranks. When we're looking at a full slate of games, that will add up to 202 players. After the Thursday games and in bye weeks, I won't be able to rank 32 defenses, so it'll be short of that number. But whatever ... TMR200 sounds a lot better than TMR202 or TMR183 or any number in between. It's my column, I can name it what I want to. And if you have a problem with it, keep it to yourself, or next week, the QBs are back in the ranks. You've been warned.
If you want to see how they compare to the other ESPN rankers, those will be released Wednesday and updated throughout the week. If you want my flex ranks, they are right here. If you want my ranks for PPR leagues, you'll have to wait. One thing at a time. Which brings me to a good transition about how these ranks are put together.
These are designed with an ESPN standard 10-team league in mind. That is to say, four points for a touchdown pass, one point per every 10 yards rushing and receiving, no added points for receptions and so on.
If you study the ranks, it'll be fairly easy to see who some of the players in this week's Love/Hate will be. Hopefully the photo department is digging up some Jake Locker photos as we speak. Among quarterbacks who are available in a lot of ESPN leagues and who show up high on the initial ranks are Carson Palmer and the aforementioned Locker.
There aren't a ton of running backs I love this week who would be available in a competitive league, but Justin Forsett, Ahmad Bradshaw, Bobby Rainey and Isaiah Crowell are roster worthy, if not necessarily start worthy. Meanwhile, Kelvin Benjamin, Markus Wheaton and Allen "more real than fluke" Hurns need to be owned in a lot more leagues. I suspect after Wednesday morning that will be corrected, but probably not enough.
Slim pickings at tight end this week, though if you are in a deep league and super desperate, Niles Paul will get some work, Larry Donnell gets a nice matchup with Arizona off his solid Monday night game and I've discussed Levine Toilolo a few times. Those streaming defenses should look to the Houston Texans (still available in about 40 percent of leagues), the Tennessee Titans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Updated Friday to remove players from Thursday's Ravens/Steelers game and on an ongoing basis to reflect the latest news and opinions.