Some might say we've been late to the party on this one, but after much deliberation, we've moved Marion Barber into No. 1 Fantasy RB territory. And, he's also in the Top 10 overall among all Fantasy players.
Read all about it in our updated rankings. You can find the positional rankings here: cbs.sportsline.com/fantasy/football
/rankings and the top 200 here: www.sportsline.com/fantasy/football
Here are the changes ... by position.
- Marion Barber moves into the Top 10. The Cowboys' runner was behind the likes of Marshawn Lynch, Larry Johnson and Ryan Grant before the move, and the reality is that even if his touches remain stagnant, he'll out-score all three of them. But the truth is that his touches should go UP, especially after signing a new contract. Figure we were just late to the boat on this -- Barber has been a late first-round pick in many drafts so far this summer.
- Matt Forte moves up a few notches. We're loving what we're hearing about Forte and how quickly he's adjusted to the Bears' offense so far this season. The combination of that news, the Bears waiving Cedric Benson and then subsequently not signing another free agent leads us to believe that Forte will see a nice chunk of the work in Chicago, with Adrian Peterson also getting some touches. Ask anyone in Chicago and they'd take that over Ced Ben falling down every two yards. Forte is still a No. 3 Fantasy RB, but now he's in the Top 30 at the position and Top 70 overall.
- Giants backup RBs swap places. With Ahmad Bradshaw's arrest and subsequent jail time and expected suspension (our hunch, not official news), Ward takes over as the more valuable rusher behind Brandon Jacobs. I have a feeling that the Giants will play merry-go-round at RB again this season anyway because of injuries. I'm steering clear if I can help it.
- Jamaal Charles debuts. With the news from Kansas City that Charles will get work as a rookie, how could we forget about him? His speed and change-of-pace style compared to Larry Johnson should work out nicely for the Chiefs.
- Brandon Jackson re-debuts. Maybe it's just because we didn't have a Packers backup on the rankings, or because we're not completely sold on Ryan Grant averaging 5.0 yards per tote for the entire season, but we felt like Jackson deserves a spot. We're stealing him in the late rounds of drafts.
- Travis Henry, Shaun Alexander almost off the list. Pretty self-explanatory.
- Jay Cutler down a smidge. Just a small change to put him behind Matt Hasselbeck. If Brandon Marshall falls into a long suspension, then his stock will completely tank.
- Jeff Garcia down. Combination of people staying away from him in drafts, his contract demands and the Bucs' lack of a proven high-stat receiver to go opposite of Joey Galloway. Garcia is a clear-cut backup, not worth platooning at all.
- Vernon Davis up a smidge. The talk out of San Francisco is that Mike Martz loves the options he'll have at his disposal with Davis, and Davis is encouraged by the progress he's making in Martz's offense. Granted, Martz has never had a tight end that produced big stats under his tutelage in recent history, but Davis is not your average tight end. Moreover, if the third-year receiver theory has anything to do with tight ends, then this will be Davis' breakout year. A LOT depends on his quarterback, though.
- Leonard Pope up a smidge. Just a tweak in our projections that resulted in Pope jumping over Randy McMichael and Donald Lee. I'm sure this news just rocks your world.
- Giants DST down a few spots. Strahan retired -- you knew this was coming.
What about Brandon Marshall?
Jamey and I have had noisy discussions over where we'd take Brandon Marshall in a Fantasy draft. For the most part, we agree to not take him anytime before Round 4 and bank on someone rolling the dice on him in late Round 3.
Jamey wants a reduction in his projections. I offer Jamey the opportunity to get real. After his arm laceration, we already had him at 14 games with around 80 catches for around 1,060 yards and seven touchdowns. I think that's very realistic for a well-rounded, aggressive receiver in an offense that needs the passing game to win. The only difference is that the two games he'll miss are for a suspension instead of an arm injury.
One thing is for sure: Marshall isn't the safe pick everyone thought he was after last season ended.