Fantasy football rankings can sometimes be deceiving because player values rarely line up perfectly, so that the top-ranked player beats out the second by the exact amount that the second-ranked player beats out the third.
This is particularly evident at the top of this year’s rankings. After his 2012 MVP campaign, Adrian Peterson has become a clear-cut No. 1 pick. If you are sitting with the second pick, you could make a case for at least six different players.
In my rankings, I consider the difference between Peterson and Doug Martin (the No. 2 player) to be larger than the difference between Martin and Alfred Morris (the No. 12 player). However, you would never know it looking at a traditional set of rankings.
This tiered approach can be even more helpful when thinking about positional rankings. If you were to view my WR rankings, you might think that I am quite high on A.J. Green (No. 2 WR). Truth be told, I don’t consider Green to be considerably superior to Brandon Marshall (No. 6 WR), and I would argue that there is actually a larger drop in value from Marshall to Larry Fitzgerald (No. 7 WR). And you can capitalize on this extra knowledge by waiting until your competitors start to draft the initial batch of sub-Calvin Johnson receivers around the end of the second round before hopefully sniping one of the last available WRs in that tier sometime in the third round.
With a clear sense of how players are tiered, you’ll be able to ensure you get proper value.
Alex Case is amNY’s fantasy football columnist.