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 passFour 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
Drew Brees -- 250.9 points
Still piling up the yards (at least 265 yards in nine of 10 games), Brees has thrown for six touchdowns the past two weeks (against three interceptions).
Kurt Warner -- 245.6 points
Over the past three games the turnover issues that have long plagued Warner have returned (five interceptions, two lost fumbles).
Jay Cutler -- 233.8 points
Cutler has thrown for at least 300-yards in three of the past five weeks and in two of those efforts he has thrown for at least 350-yards (Weeks 10 and 13).
Aaron Rodgers -- 230.7 points
With better numbers than Favre so far (2,897 yards, 20 TD, 10 INT), Rodgers has done a masterful job in his first season under center full time.
Philip Rivers -- 214.7 points
Though he has a career-best 23 touchdown passes, Rivers has been unable to generate a single scoring toss in two of the past three weeks.
Donovan McNabb -- 209.1 points
Rebounded in a huge way from his awful Week 12 effort (two interceptions, 59 yards resulting in a benching) to throw for 260 yards and four touchdowns against the Cardinals.
Peyton Manning -- 199.6 points
In five November games, the Colts went 5-0 as Peyton tossed nine scores and only three interceptions.
Matt Cassel -- 191.4 points
Despite the recent success, Cassel has just 13 touchdown passes in 12 games against 10 interceptions for the Patriots.
Brett Favre -- 189.7 points
Over his last four games he has thrown for only five touchdowns but he has also limited the mistakes with just two interceptions.
Tony Romo -- 187.9 points
Despite the missed time, he is actually working on the best effort (per game) of his young career throwing for an average of 284 yards and 2.3 touchdowns per outing.
Matt Forte -- 177.0 points
The 1,012 rushing yards are great, but he also leads all backs with 48 receptions and four receiving scores.
Thomas Jones -- 176.9 points
Jones is up to 1,088 yards, his fourth consecutive quadruple digit effort, and he has been particularly effective of late, averaging 121.8 yards per game the past four weeks.
Adrian Peterson -- 176.5 points
The NFL rushing leader with 1,311 yards, AP has gone for at least 80 yards in six-straight games with six touchdowns in that time.
Michael Turner -- 173.9 points
So much for wearing down with a heavy workload. Turner has 24 or more carries in seven of the past eight games (98.3 yards per game).
Clinton Portis -- 169.5 points
Portis is banged up and has been held to under 70 yards rushing in three of the past four weeks, though he is still averaging 102.3 yards per game.
Marion Barber -- 159.6 points
Limited by the injured toe to just 10 carries and 32 yards in Week 13, Barber is 130 yards from his first 1,000-yard season.
DeAngelo Williams -- 158.7 points
Over the past five weeks he has scored nine times on the ground while rushing for more than 100 yards four times.
Frank Gore -- 156.0 points
Gore has been held to less than 100 yards of total offense in each of the past two weeks (32 and 89 yards), though he is averaging 106.6 yards per game on the year.
Steve Slaton -- 151.4 points
In two of his last three outings he has rushed for at least 130 yards and scored a touchdown (three total).
Chris Johnson -- 150.5 points
After three disappointing weeks (118 yards), Johnson busted loose for 125 yards and two scores against the hapless Lions.
Anquan Boldin -- 144.9 points
Is coming off his worst game in seven weeks with just five receptions for 63 yards in Week 13, numbers that most receivers would love to call their own.
Larry Fitzgerald -- 139.5 points
It's up to 11-straight games for Fitz grabbing at least five passes, though he has only one game of 85-plus yards in five weeks.
Greg Jennings -- 133.7 points
Three straight weeks with an end zone dance for Jennings, who has also grabbed 16 passes for 192 yards the past two weeks.
Roddy White -- 132.9 points
White is second in the NFL with 1,085 receiving yards and in six of his last 10 games, and two of the last three, he has eclipsed 100 yards.
Andre Johnson -- 130.6 points
Three of the past four weeks have produced at least seven receptions for Johnson and seven of the past nine Texans' games overall.
Calvin Johnson -- 129.0 points
If only he had a consistent quarterback. Johnson has gone for at least 65 yards in seven of his last eight games.
Terrell Owens -- 116.1 points
TO has gone five-straight weeks with at least five receptions, and the past two weeks who has been better (12 receptions, 311 yards, two touchdowns)?
Steve Smith -- 112.8 points
Smith hasn't scored in four weeks though he has gone bonkers the past two weeks with 12 receptions for 273 yards.
Randy Moss -- 110.5 points
With four touchdown receptions the past three weeks, he has pushed his season total up to eight, the ninth time in 11 seasons he has scored that many times.
Brandon Marshall -- 109.8 points
He has the same yardage total as Boldin (942), though he has scored seven fewer times with four and just one in eight weeks.
Tony Gonzalez -- 104.6 points
In three of his last four outings he has caught at least eight passes for at least 110 yards while he has scored three times in those four games.
Jason Witten -- 82.9 points
Witten, finally healthy, flashed the skill that made him the best option in the first half of the season with nine catches for 115 yards and a TD in Week 13 after a three-game stretch of a mere four catches and 53 yards.
Antonio Gates -- 77.4 points
Just when you thought you could count on him, he has flat-out disappeared with eight receptions for 66 yards the past three weeks.
Chris Cooley -- 74.1 points
Five straight efforts with at least five receptions and 11-straight with at least four for this pass-catching machine.
Owen Daniels -- 68.8 points
We're at a loss to explain his struggles, we guess you can thank Sage Rosenfels, as Daniels has been held to seven receptions for 80 yards the past four weeks.
Dallas Clark -- 63.3 points
Clark has only one score in five weeks and just three overall after doing 11 end zone dances last year.
Zach Miller -- 59.0 points
The Raiders' only receiving option continues to impress with a four-week stretch of at least three receptions highlighted by his Week 13 effort (five receptions for 79 yards).
Dustin Keller -- 58.0 points
Have a stretch rookie. Keller has caught at least six passes in four-straight games with three of the efforts producing at least 75 yards.
Bo Scaife -- 57.8 points
After his 10-reception masterpiece in Week 10, it's been downhill for Scaife, who has just six receptions and 76 yards in three weeks.
John Carlson -- 57.6 points
The rookie just won't go away, and after a touchdown in Week 12 he produced the first 100-yard game of his career in Week 13 (six receptions, 105 yards).
John Carney -- 114 points
Back in the saddle in New York, Carney is the leader in points thanks to a 27-for-28 line on field goals.
Matt Bryant -- 110 points
In four of his last five games he has made three or more field goals.
David Akers -- 107 points
He already has 24 field goals to tie last year's mark, which was his highest total in three years.
Stephen Gostkowski -- 107 points
Though he has made 90 percent of his kicks on the year, he is just 8-for-10 the past four weeks.
Jason Elam -- 104 points
Elam hit both kicks in Week 13 and still has missed just one of 24 kicks this year of under 50-yards.
Rob Bironas -- 104 points
Bironas has made a 49-yard kick in each of the past two weeks and he is 6-for-6 overall in that time.
Mason Crosby -- 102 points
Mason is averaging nine points a game the past four weeks despite scoring just three points in Week 12.
Ryan Longwell -- 101 points
After three-straight 90-point efforts, Longwell is back in the century club for the first time since '04.
Rian Lindell -- 100 points
Lindell missed two kicks in Week 13, three in three weeks, and hasn't made a kick longer than 39 yards in four.