ESPN Flex rankings!Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Let's start flexing! Welcome to the 2014 version of the flex rankings, and yes, they look pretty much like the ones from past seasons. As always, we combine the top running backs, wide receivers and tight ends into one tidy package, with numerous decent leftovers since there are few injuries and no bye weeks as of yet. Sure, the top-100 list below is simply one man's opinion, and we urge you to make your own decisions, not rely solely on this list, but we aim to inform and entertain. Will you use a running back or wide receiver in your flex spot? It doesn't matter which position it is. It could be a tight end (in fact, I can't recall so many tight ends in my top 100 before, so it might be). Use your best option!
Best of luck to all in Week 1, and we'll be with you for the duration of the season in this very spot and on this very day.
1. Jamaal Charles, RB, Chiefs: Don't overthink it.
2. LeSean McCoy, RB, Eagles: This would be my same 1-2 if it's a PPR format. Flex rankings are always based on ESPN standard leagues, 10 teams and no PPR, by the way.
3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Vikings: I believe reports of him catching many passes are overblown, but I've still got him ranked well.
4. Matt Forte, RB, Bears
5. Calvin Johnson, WR, Lions
6. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks: He was terrific last season, and now he's too old or has too many carries? Well, I'm just not there yet. Just remember his game is on Thursday. There is a Thursday game every week, so get in the habit of setting lineups early and don't clog the flex spot with an obvious Thursday player. Leave yourself flexibility for Sunday!
7. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos
8. Jimmy Graham, TE, Saints
9. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals
10. Arian Foster, RB, Texans: He's healthy enough, and this is a nice matchup. I still believe a big season is pending, and I didn't rank his backup, whoever that is at this moment.
11. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons: So talented, and I think it's unfair to call him brittle. Watch the Falcons this season.
12. Alfred Morris, RB, ********
13. Brandon Marshall, WR, Bears
[+] EnlargeFrank Gore
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports
Frank Gore has been remarkably consistent and faces an underwhelming Cowboys defense.
14. Frank Gore, RB, 49ers: Anyone facing the Dallas defense is going to get a bit of a bump this season. Again, like Foster, your worries on older backs is probably what happens or doesn't later in the season, not Week 1. In that sense, I could see us discussing Gore as a sell-high next week.
15. Andre Johnson, WR, Texans: He didn't exactly have Joe Montana throwing to him last season, and he was excellent. And there's nothing wrong with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
16. Eddie Lacy, RB, Packers: Toughest matchup he'll face? Don't look for reasons to sit him. Seahawks aren't perfect defensively.
17. Zac Stacy, RB, Rams
18. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys
19. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals: You'd think workload won't be remotely a problem early on. In a month it could be if Jeremy Hill isn't overwhelmed.
20. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers: Don't let the fear of Joe Haden convince you to sit a wide receiver that caught five or more passes in every game last year.
21. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Bears
22. DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys
23. Montee Ball, RB, Broncos: Tough to know how many touches he'll get after missing all the preseason games with the appendectomy.
24. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos: No Wes Welker until Week 6, and clearly I like Sanders, but I am wary we're all overrating him some.
25. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Steelers: No suspension, no reason to be worried.
26. Victor Cruz, WR, Giants
27. Andre Ellington, RB, Cardinals
28. Chris Johnson, RB, Jets: Running backs have feasted on the Raiders in recent seasons. And you know Johnson will have a few monster games this year. He'll also go missing quite a bit.
29. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
30. Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants
31. Randall Cobb, WR, Packers
32. C.J. Spiller, RB, Bills: I don't know about you, but the fact he's the kickoff return man does not make me like him more. Over/under on games played set at … 11.5?
33. Roddy White, WR, Falcons: Looked back to normal late last season, if not better, and he's a clear WR2 for me.
34. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Vikings: Surprise! Yeah, I'm a fan of this guy, regardless of matchups.
35. Julius Thomas, TE, Broncos
36. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers: I'm not a big fan of Martin's, but I acknowledge the opportunity and upside. Not a fun matchup this week, though.
37. Vincent Jackson, WR, Buccaneers
38. Reggie Bush, RB, Lions
39. Toby Gerhart, RB, Jaguars: Finally gets his chance. Even if he's average, there should be many, many touches. Also, never presume a blowout loss as a reason for sitting a running back. Philly gives up many yards and points, too.
40. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers: He'll be ranked better pretty much every week after this one.
41. Michael Crabtree, WR, 49ers: Bit of a calf injury, or else the matchup would dictate better placement.
42. Ryan Mathews, RB, Chargers: His touches have to regress some, no?
43. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
44. Marques Colston, WR, Saints: I think he's back to pre-2013 form and the schedule is promising this year.
45. Shane Vereen, RB, Patriots: I remain skeptical he'll get many rushing attempts, but he'll catch passes.
46. Ben Tate, RB, Browns: What's your over/under on games for him, say 12.5? And the September schedule is not favorable.
47. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts
48. Reggie Wayne, WR, Colts
49. Joique Bell, RB, Lions
50. Pierre Garcon, WR, ********: His quarterback looked terrible in August, not that it matters that much. Garcon is the Washington receiver to own.
51. Pierre Thomas, RB, Saints
52. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots: Really underrated, it seems.
53. Steven Jackson, RB, Falcons: Really forgotten, it seems.
54. Fred Jackson, RB, Bills
55. Jordan Cameron, TE, Browns
[+] EnlargePercy Harvin
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
Percy Harvin has played in just 10 regular-season games the past two seasons, so despite his talent, there is reason for pessimism.
56. Percy Harvin, WR, Seahawks: Yeah, I was the guy avoiding him, so I can't really rank him favorably now. Show me. Play at a high level and stay healthy.
57. Vernon Davis, TE, 49ers
58. Mike Wallace, WR, Dolphins: Seems to me if the Miami offense really clicks he's a potential top-10 receiver. Not that I expect this.
59. Shonn Greene, RB, Titans: Plodder certainly has opportunity for a big season. Not that I expect this, either.
60. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers
61. Eric Decker, WR, Jets: We all know which team he no longer plays for. Seems like he's a tad underrated now.
62. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots: Will he play half the game? A third of it? Not a huge risk at tight end, because it won't take much to be worth using. But compared to running backs and wide receivers on a list like this, yeah, he's more of a risk.
63. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Dolphins: Appears to be starting, and who knows, like Decker, everyone seems to loathe him, but he's got skills. The investment is small now.
64. Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens
65. Michael Floyd, WR, Cardinals
66. Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles: Looks like he's on the verge of being hurt on every other play.
67. DeSean Jackson, WR, ********: Good luck achieving another top-10 WR season, fella.
68. Cecil Shorts, WR, Jaguars
69. Chris Ivory, RB, Jets: Kind of, sort of healthy at this point, but will even that last?
70. Kendall Wright, WR, Titans: Would be nice to see him get down the field once in a while.
71. Bernard Pierce, RB, Ravens: This is his big chance with Ray Rice out a couple weeks, but expectations are not high. I'll bet he shares the touches even now with Justin Forsett.
72. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers: A rookie with major upside going a bit under the radar.
73. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers
74. Anquan Boldin, WR, 49ers
75. Golden Tate, WR, Lions
76. Stevan Ridley, RB, Patriots: Wow, this could be a 1,000-yard back, and nobody seems to want him.
77. Trent Richardson, RB, Colts: This could also be a 1,000-yard back, but Ridley just looks so much better doing it, presuming he holds on to the football.
78. Terrance Williams, WR, Cowboys
79. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Raiders
[+] EnlargeDarren Sproles, Brent Celek, Jason Kelce, Nick Foles
Al Bello/Getty Images
The Eagles hope Darren Sproles finds the end zone more than the four times he got there in 2013.
80. Darren Sproles, RB, Eagles: So much more valuable in PPR. Like potentially top-20 overall.
81. Brandin Cooks, WR, Saints
82. Riley Cooper, WR, Eagles
83. Zach Ertz, TE, Eagles: Breakout star.
84. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Panthers: Yes, he's still a starter. Not that it matters much.
85. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans
86. Lamar Miller, RB, Dolphins: Could have won the starting job, but appears he did not.
87. Bishop Sankey, RB, Titans: If you drafted him, be patient. Like mid-October patient.
88. Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
89. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills
90. Danny Woodhead, RB, Chargers
91. Markus Wheaton, WR, Steelers
92. James Jones, WR, Raiders: You know, the Derek Carr move is good for him. And all Raiders.
93. Greg Jennings, WR, Vikings
94. Dennis Pitta, TE, Ravens
95. Ronnie Hillman, RB, Broncos: Hold on to him for another week just to make sure Ball is OK.
96. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Steelers
97. Hakeem Nicks, WR, Colts: Would be nice if he'd play with a chip on his shoulder every week, like that preseason tilt versus the Giants.
98. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers
99. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints
100. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings
Others: Andre Caldwell, WR, Broncos; Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders; Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots; Justin Hunter, WR, Titans; Jordan Reed, TE, ********; Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals; Tavon Austin, WR, Rams; Khiry Robinson, RB, Saints; Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens; Rueben Randle, WR, Giants; Terrance West, RB, Browns; Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears; Kenny Britt, WR, Rams; Donald Brown, RB, Chargers; Andrew Hawkins, WR, Browns; Malcom Floyd, WR, Chargers; Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins; Andre Williams, RB, Giants; Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers