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Working with a Fantasy Football Ranking

Forget wins and whether or not he's a good teammate, the way owners are judged in fantasy football is by one thing: their fantasy football ranking.

A fantasy football ranking is based on many different things. Let's take a look at a modern player to give you an example. The Arizona Cardinals didn't have a winning record last year and their offense struggled to score in the red zone. In terms of fantasy football ranking, it doesn't matter. The Cardinals still had some valuable players. Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald didn't help his team get into the playoffs or win dramatically more games than the year before. But look at his stats: He caught 103 passes for 1,409 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those numbers would give him a very high fantasy football ranking, regardless of how his team is doing.

Conversely, a star player that you might assume has a high fantasy football ranking might not. Look at Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor. Taylor, when healthy, is one of the league's top running backs. He runs for 1,000 yards with a mixture of moves, speed and power. But here's the thing: He doesn't have a high fantasy football ranking. Why? Well there are a couple of reasons. Taylor doesn't catch a lot of passes out of the backfield, which means he won't get any "extra points" that someone like, say, Priest Holmes would get. And here's the big thing: Taylor gets taken out near the goal line for bigger backs. That means he's not getting a chance to score touchdowns which costs him fantasy football points, which would have a negative impact on fantasy football rankings. Therefore, Taylor might have a nice game for the Jags. He might run for 120 yards on 25 carries. But with no catches and no touchdowns, a fullback that runs for a touchdown and catches a couple of passes is almost as good.

You don't have to do all the research yourself to figure out who has a high fantasy football ranking. Fantasy Football Starters.com will help do the work for you. Fantasyfootballstarters.com actually ranks the players for you. You don't have to figure out who has the better fantasy football ranking for a running back (Tiki Barber vs. Larry Johnson?) because our software does it for you.

It's very important to have an idea of a player's fantasy football ranking when you go into the draft. As players get picked, chances are your fantasy football cheat sheets are getting thinner and thinner as players get marked off. With a clear understanding of fantasy football ranking, you can quickly figure out which player should be picked next.

Additionally, it's important to know a players' fantasy football ranking when you're mulling over a trade. If someone's trying to sell you on Fred Taylor, take a look at his fantasy football ranking versus the player to be traded for him. If there's a big difference, obviously, don't do it!

For years, the Rams' Marshall Faulk had the top fantasy football ranking, with many giving the nod to Seahawks' RB Shaun Alexander the past couple of years. This year? We'll have to wait and see who ends up with the most fantasy points after the season.

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