November 19, 2008

The debate rages on about who is the best weapon in football. Is it the flashy quarterback who lofts deep touchdown passes or is it the dynamic backfield option that always seems to have the ball in his hands? For that matter, what about that receiver that always seems to be doing some type of end zone dance? In what follows we will attempt to answer the question of who is the most valuable fantasy player at each position in our weekly column dealing with the Player Rater tool.

What is Player Rater tool you ask? It is an emotionless, statistically driven model that takes into account your leagues rules and tells you which players are performing at the highest level. For the sake of the analysis that follows, here are the "rules" that we will be using.

Four points: Touchdown assFour points: Rushing or receiving touchdownOne point: Per 25 yards passingOne point: Per 10 yards rushing or receivingThree points: Per field goalOne point: Per extra point

Kurt Warner -- 206.2 points

Though he lost his streak of double-digit TD games at eight in Week 11 (he threw just one) he managed to throw for 395 yards, his fourth straight effort of at least 320 yards.

Drew Brees -- 202.1 points

Brees is still throwing for tons of yards (325.1 per game) but he has just six touchdowns the past four weeks.

Jay Cutler -- 201.2 points

Cutler has thrown for 268 yards a game and 11 scores at home while tossing for 298.4 yards per game and eight touchdowns on the road.

Philip Rivers -- 185.7 points

After four-straight outings with at least two touchdown passes, Rivers laid his first egg of the season in Week 11 against the Steelers.

Aaron Rodgers -- 178.6 points

Of his 15 touchdown passes, Rodgers has connected for 10 scores on third down with nine in the first half and six after halftime.

Donovan McNabb -- 177.2 points

He may not know when the game will end, but he is still doing a fine job while on the field though the interceptions are starting to mount (five in the past three weeks).

Peyton Manning -- 176.6 points

Peyton has thrown for at least 220 yards, with at least 21 completions and two touchdowns in each of his past four contests.

Brett Favre -- 163.0 points

Favre has been at his best late in games this season with a 99.7 QB rating and seven touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Matt Cassel -- 150.5 points

After his huge Week 11 (400 yards, three TD), Cassel is averaging 220 yards passing per game, more than Eli Manning (207.9) and Ben Roethlisberger (199.0).

Eli Manning -- 147.8 points

He has kept the mistakes to a minimum with only seven interceptions and two lost fumbles, though he has failed to throw for 200 yards since Week 5.

Clinton Portis -- 149.9 points

He wasn't supposed to play in Week 11 because of a bum knee but he gutted it out for 15 carries and 68 yards. He has only 28 carries for 119 yards in his last two games.

Adrian Peterson -- 147.5 points

For the first time in six weeks AP was limited to fewer than 20 carries as he rushed the ball 19 times for 85 yards against the Bucs, ending a four-week run of at least 110 yards on the ground.

Frank Gore -- 143.9 points

Gore has caught 10 passes the past three weeks while rushing for at least 94 yards in each outing.

Marion Barber -- 140.2 points

Barber is averaging 77.9 yards per game on the ground this season, though that number dips to 64.3 against the NFC East.

Matt Forte -- 137.9 points

The rookie is fourth in the league in carries (205), though it might be argued that the load is starting to wear on him given that he has rushed for fewer than 75 yards in three of his last four games.

Thomas Jones -- 137.3 points

Jones has gone from one touchdown on the ground in '07 to scoring eight times over the Jets' past six games.

Brandon Jacobs -- 135.0 points

Battling a tender knee that certainly hasn't restricted his massive production the past three weeks (316 yards, five touchdowns).

Michael Turner -- 134.2 points

Three straight weeks of at least 25 carries has produced an average of 105 yards per game with three rushing scores.

Chris Johnson -- 123.0 points

Is the rookie run finished? Thirty-one carries the past two weeks has produced just 72 yards without a touchdown.

LaDainian Tomlinson -- 122.0 points

He finally scored a rushing touchdown to end a five-game scoreless streak on the ground. Still has eclipsed 80 rushing yards just once in six games.

Anquan Boldin -- 125.2 points

Already has a career-best 10 touchdowns in just eight games while averaging 99.0 yards per contest.

Larry Fitzgerald -- 117.9 points

Possibly the most consistent top end threat in the league, Fitzgerald has at least five receptions in nine-straight games while he has eclipsed 80 yards seven times.

Roddy White -- 114.7 points

Consistency, thy name is Roddy White (he has at least five receptions in eight consecutive games).

Calvin Johnson -- 111.8 points

The only reliable threat in the Lions passing attack, he has scored three times in four weeks with an average of five receptions and 77 yards per contest.

Andre Johnson -- 107.5 points

Though he has 11 receptions the past two weeks, Johnson has been able to post just 121 yards as he and Sage Rosenfels seem just a bit off.

Greg Jennings -- 106.5 points

Jennings is averaging 86.5 yards per game, a total he has failed to reach in each of his last five games.

Reggie Wayne -- 99.0 points

Wayne continues to battle through injuries, which has him on pace for his fewest yards per game (79.0) in three seasons.

Brandon Marshall -- 95.9 points

Marshall is averaging 89.2 yards per game but he hasn't eclipsed the 90-yard mark since Week 6.

Santana Moss -- 92.8 points

Moss has been held to just 43 yards the past two weeks and to less than 30 yards in three of the past five games.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- 89.5 points

With an average of 9.9 yards per reception, this would mark a fourth straight year of declining totals since his career best 13.4 effort in 2004.

Tony Gonzalez -- 78.3 points

That's five-straight games and counting with at least five receptions for Gonzalez, who has averaged 78 yards a game during the run.

Antonio Gates -- 71.9 points

Perhaps the coming-out party was a bit premature as Gates caught just two passes for 10 yards against the Steelers in his worst performance since his Week 5 debacle (one reception, 12 yards).

Jason Witten -- 66.3 points

Cleary hampered by his rib injury, what was a once historic pace has slowed greatly his past two games (three receptions for 42 yards).

Owen Daniels -- 63.5 points

Wildly inconsistent, he has just two receptions for 27 yards the past two weeks after catching 11 balls for 133 yards in Week 9.

Chris Cooley -- 61.6 points

Simply put, he is a pass-catching machine. Cooley is averaging 5.5 receptions per game this year and has caught at least six balls in three-straight games.

Dallas Clark -- 57.9 points

In four of his last five games he has hauled in at least four passes while scoring three times.

Bo Scaife -- 53.0 points

In two of the past three weeks he has been limited to fewer than 30 yards receiving, though he still has at least three receptions in seven of his last eight games.

Kellen Winslow Jr. -- 52.2 points

He followed up a two-week run of 15 receptions, 175 yards and two scores with a three-catch, 40-yard stinker on MNF.

Greg Olsen -- 47.1 points

Olsen is starting to come on of late, with at least four receptions in three of his last four games.

Zach Miller -- 47.0 points

He somehow keeps producing points (seven receptions for 109 yards the past two weeks) despite the fact that the team's passing attack is comically poor (137 yards a game).

David Akers -- 94 points

Though he has missed four of 26 field goal attempts, Akers is a perfect 9-for-9 the past four weeks.

Matt Bryant -- 91 points

Bryant is 21-for-21 on kicks under 40 yards, and he has converted at least three field goals in three-straight games.

Stephen Gostkowski -- 91 points

Tied for second in the league with eight field goals of between 40-49 yards, Gostkowski has converted 11 kicks the past four weeks.

John Carney -- 90 points

Shocking that you can convert 21-of-22 kicks and find yourself benched in favor of another kicker (Lawrence Tynes).

Mason Crosby -- 88 points

Mason has converted at least two field goals in five-straight games as he has gone 12-for-14 on kicks in that time.

Jason Elam -- 87 points

Elam is 13-for-13 on field goals in the first half but just 8-for-10 after halftime.

Phil Dawson -- 83 points

Dawson is 8-for-8 on kicks of 20-29 yards and 8-for-8 on kicks of 30-39 yards.

Neil Rackers -- 83 points

Rackers is a perfect 13-for-13 the past six weeks and he is 7-for-7 over the past two.

Jay Feely -- 81 points

With 10 conversions on 11 kicks the past three weeks Feely has upped his field goal percentage to 81.8 percent, just ahead of his career 80.9 rate.

You May Like