Fantasy Football

The Science of Ranking: Reviewing the 2009 Fantasy Rookie Rankings

Knowshon Moreno, 2014 RB Rankings

Fantasy rankings are an odd bird, to say the least. There are owners that rely on them and owners that totally dismiss them, claiming that rankings are simply information from the past…Not a picture of what players are going to do, which is what we really need to know.

Let’s be honest about something else — rankings are the quickest way for a Fantasy owner to get some info, and get back to work.

If I’m going to take the time to read how some one else sees a group of athletes in a ranking, I need to have some commentary with it. I’m not as interested in where players are ranked, but why they were put there. That is information that I can really use to help build a team.

As an “up-and-coming” writer (maybe just up), I have had to embrace the rankings piece of fantasy sports. I try to give some insight as to why I place players in a particular order, but I must say, with every stroke of the keyboard, I find myself constantly second guessing my thoughts.

Knowshon Moreno, 2009 Fantasy Rookie Rankings

Knowshon Moreno actually had a decent rookie season, and if Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball falter in 2013, Moreno could emerge again. Photo Credit: Football-Austria

Most readers of Fantasy rankings already have decided where they think players should be placed, they just want to see if anyone agrees with them.  Believe me when I tell you, readers love to let you know when they disagree. Honestly though, its usually in good fun.

If you ever want to really challenge yourself and see how much you know about football, sit down some time and rank a rookie NFL class for an upcoming Fantasy season. Then check the stats at the end of the year, it can humble you in a hurry. Let’s examine the 2009 Fantasy Rookie rankings.

I’m not going to tell you where I found these rankings, but I will tell you this: They were well-thought out and they gave solid reasoning for where players were ranked, even if we have no idea who some of the players are four years later.

Embedded in the rankings, I will give important stats for the 2009 season. Remember, these rankings were to be used in 2009, not as a predictor of four to five years into their careers.

2009 Fantasy Rookie Rankings

1. Knowshon Moreno – RB Denver, 1st round #22

  • 947 yards rushing, 28 catches, 213 yards receiving, 9 total TDs

2. Donald Brown – RB Indianapolis, 1st round #27

  • 281 yards rushing, 3 TDs

3. Chris Wells – RB Arizona, 1st round #31

  • 936 yards from scrimmage, 7 TDs

4. Percy Harvin – WR Minnesota, 1st round #22

  • 60 receptions, 925 yards from scrimmage, 6 TDs

5. LeSean McCoy – RB Philadelphia, 2nd round #53

  • 637 yards rushing, 4 tds, 40 catches for 308 yards

6. Mark Sanchez – QB New York Jets, 1st round #5

  • 2,444 yards passing, 12 tds, 20 picks

7. Hakeem Nicks – WR NY Giants, 1st round #29

  • 47 catches, 790 yards, 6 TDs

8. James Davis – RB Cleveland, 6th round #195

  • 15 yards rushing, 4 catches for 5 yards

9. Kenny Britt – WR Tennessee, 1st round #30

  • 42 catches, 701 yards, 3 rds

10. Glen Coffee – San Francisco, 3rd round #74

  • 226 yards, 1 td

Other notables from 2009 Fantasy Rookie Rankings: Jeremy Maclin, Matt Stafford, Michael Crabtree (all ranked in top 20)

  • Maclin and Crabtree had good years, Stafford played in 10 games and threw for over 2,000 yards.

Some Good, Some Bad

The easiest next step is to sit and pick apart these rankings. Not going to do it. (Coffee over Maclin, really?) I will say this, if an owner used these rankings to help draft, they would have been useful. With only three glaring hiccups (you decide which three they are), the author created a list with some pretty good meat on it at the end of the 2009-10 season.

Remember, these are ROOKIE rankings. Not an overall list, so keep your hysteria to a minimum…

I read this article four years after it was written and thoroughly enjoyed it. The science behind a well-written Fantasy ranking is much more than just assigning a number to an athlete, it’s giving the reader something to think about.

I know there are many Fantasy owners that go to websites and just want to be told what to do. I encourage you to stop and smell the roses a little and ingest some of the great ranking articles out there. You’re not always going to be given sound advice, but you can at least be entertained and probably educated.

When Heath isn’t looking at 2009 Fantasy Rookie Rankings, he writes for 643ball.com. You can follow Heath @hgarrison643 for daily tweets.

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