Week 1 - Consensus Tiers and Rankings Vizualized

The charts below show you how close or far apart two players are (in term of start/sit) for week 1 based on aggregate expert rankings (standard scoring).  The true distance between players is often not apparent in a rankings list.

For each player I take their average ranking and plot them against their position rank.  To find tiers and clusters, I apply a gaussian mixture model.  Since the flex position has the most debate, I'll start with that section to illustrate how to use these charts.

The graphs and charts are much more useful than the tier lists, so I recommend primarily looking at the graphs.

(I'll post a twitter update if any major updates come out between now and Sunday)


(protip: left click image > right click > open image in new tab)

Suppose you are choosing between Murray (FLEX32), Garcon (FLEX33), and Cobb (FLEX34). The raw expert rankings list might suggest all three of these are close, but when you look at where they are on the graph, you can see that Cobb is not really in the picture.

Between Murray and Garcon, experts are 50/50 so you may as well flip a coin.

  Tier 1: Chris Johnson, Reggie Wayne, DeMarco Murray, Pierre Garcon  
  Tier 2: Randall Cobb, Dwayne Bowe, Marques Colston, Darren McFadden, Vincent Jackson, Lamar Miller  
  Tier 3: Tony Gonzalez, Darren Sproles, Jason Witten, Hakeem Nicks, Torrey Smith, Antonio Brown  
  Tier 4: Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson, Ryan Mathews, Ahmad Bradshaw, Eric Decker, Eddie Lacy, Wes Welker, Daryl Richardson, Cecil Shorts  
  Tier 5: Vernon Davis, Ty Hilton, Mike Wallace, Shane Vereen, Steve Smith  
  Tier 6: James Jones, Miles Austin, Greg Jennings, Steve Johnson  
  Tier 7: Mike Williams, Anquan Boldin, DeAngelo Williams, Lance Moore, Giovani Bernard, Golden Tate, Christopher Ivory, Rashard Mendenhall  
  Tier 8: Chris Givens, Kenbrell Thompkins  
  Tier 9: Montee Ball, Greg Olsen, Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, Ben Tate, Mark Ingram, Emmanuel Sanders  

Quarter Backs

The week one QB situation should be pretty easy, unless you're in a 2 QB league or happened to miss out on one of the top 15 QB's.  Out of the elite 12, Wilson and Newton get the two worst match up's this week (NYG and SEA).

The top 15 QB's this week look in good form. QB should be an easy decision.

  Tier 1: Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers  
  Tier 2: Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford, Robert Griffin III, Tony Romo  
  Tier 3: Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Michael Vick, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger  
  Tier 4: Matt Schaub, Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Josh Freeman, Sam Bradford  
  Tier 5: Ryan Tannehill, Brandon Weeden, Terrelle Pryor, E.J. Manuel, Philip Rivers, Christian Ponder, Jake Locker  

Running Backs

By looking at this chart you can see that some running backs this week are extremely close. For example, 1. Forte/Wilson, 2. Johnson/Murray, 3. McFadden/Miller, 4. Matthews/Bradshaw/Lacy, 5. Ivory/Williams. If you have a choice between any of these pairs then don't stress about it knowing that experts are almost exactly 50/50 on them.

Most other start should be pretty easy to set if you use this RB chart.  Sproles is the last RB2 I'd be able to start with confidence, as after him you have the wildcard Matthews.  In deeper leagues, Vareen is the next last decent option as no one wants to depend on Ivory and the Jets.

  Tier 1: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Doug Martin  
  Tier 2: C.J. Spiller, LeSean McCoy, Marshawn Lynch, Trent Richardson, Alfred Morris  
  Tier 3: Stevan Ridley, Ray Rice, Steven Jackson, Arian Foster  
  Tier 4: Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, David Wilson  
  Tier 5: Reggie Bush, Frank Gore, Chris Johnson, DeMarco Murray  
  Tier 6: Darren McFadden, Lamar Miller, Darren Sproles  
  Tier 7: Ryan Mathews, Ahmad Bradshaw, Eddie Lacy, Daryl Richardson, Shane Vereen  
  Tier 8: Christopher Ivory, DeAngelo Williams, Rashard Mendenhall, Giovani Bernard, Montee Ball  
  Tier 9: Isaac Redman, Mark Ingram, Ben Tate, BenJarvus Green-Ellis  

Wide Receivers

You can see a little bit of heated discussion between Jackson/Colston/Bowe and Brown/Nicks/Smith, but is most leagues these decisions shouldn't come up.  The rankings are actually pretty uniform through WR40-WR45, the only real debate being Austin/Britt.

Unless you got slammed in the draft on WR's, they shouldn't give you any headaches this week.

  Tier 1: Calvin Johnson, Dez Bryant, Julio Jones  
  Tier 2: Brandon Marshall, Demaryius Thomas, A.J. Green, Andre Johnson, Roddy White, Larry Fitzgerald  
  Tier 3: Danny Amendola, Victor Cruz, Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Randall Cobb, Vincent Jackson, Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe  
  Tier 4: Antonio Brown, Hakeem Nicks, Torrey Smith, Jordy Nelson, DeSean Jackson  
  Tier 5: Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Cecil Shorts  
  Tier 6: Steve Smith, Mike Wallace, Ty Hilton, James Jones, Miles Austin, Steve Johnson, Greg Jennings  
  Tier 7: Mike Williams, Anquan Boldin, Lance Moore, Golden Tate, Kenbrell Thompkins, Chris Givens  
  Tier 8: Emmanuel Sanders, Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Michael Floyd, Vincent Brown, Sidney Rice  
  Tier 9: Alshon Jeffery, Denarius Moore, Greg Little, Brian Hartline, Darrius Heyward-Bey, DeAndre Hopkins  

Tight ends

Tight ends this week should be interesting to watch.  TE7-TE11 are completely interchangable, as far as expert rankings go.  That said, if you're in a shallow league and you don't have Cameron, Sudfeld, Cook, Daniels, or Finley, it's probably worth it to pick up one of those guys for the week.  I don't expect Sudfeld to stay this high.

Tier 1: Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten, Vernon Davis

Tier 2: Greg Olsen, Kyle Rudolph

Tier 3: Jordan Cameron, Zach Sudfeld, Jared Cook, Owen Daniels, Jermichael Finley

Tier 4: Fred Davis, Antonio Gates, Brandon Myers, Martellus Bennett, Brandon Pettigrew

Tier 5: Brent Celek, Ed Dickson, Coby Fleener, Julius Thomas


If you've got one of the top 8 kickers for week 1, you're set.  Note how close Janikowsky, Bullock, and Zuerlein are.

This should help you figure out if it's worth dropping and swapping your kicker or not.  For example, Zuerlein is not worth dropping for Bullock, but I would say it's worth dropping Forbath for one of those two.

  Tier 1: Matt Bryant, Stephen Gostkowski, Blair Walsh, Matt Prater  
  Tier 2: Phil Dawson, Justin Tucker, Garrett Hartley, Dan Bailey  
  Tier 3: Sebastian Janikowski, Randy Bullock, Greg Zuerlein  
  Tier 4: Kai Forbath, Steven Hauschka, Adam Vinatieri, David Akers, Josh Brown  
  Tier 5: Shaun Suisham, Alex Henery, Ryan Succop, Robbie Gould  

Defense and Special Teams

  Tier 1: Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks  
  Tier 2: Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Cincinnati Bengals  
  Tier 3: San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos  
  Tier 4: Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens  
  Tier 5: Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, New York Jets  

I post all my updates on twitter as soon as they're available (@borisachen).  Good luck with week 1!