NFL Power Rankings

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*** The usual post-week power rankings (including the Adventures of Derek Anderson’s Magic Flask) will be incorporated into overall NFL power rankings for 2016, which will be posted Tuesday morning. ***

NFL Power Rankings: Week 21 – Top 10
Follow @walterfootball for updates.
  1. Carolina Panthers (17-1) – Previously: #1 – The Panthers are the better team in the Super Bowl. There’s no doubt about that. However, there’s a big concern I’d have if I were a fan, and that’s the fact that the players are talking as if they already won the Super Bowl. They were yelling about proving everyone wrong and whatnot, and I fear that they might be overconfident about putting 49 on the Cardinals, who were considered the second-best team in the NFL.

    That said, I’m glad the Panthers are in the Super Bowl. They’re fun to watch, though I still hate that the kids get all of the footballs. I guess my pleas about the fat guy memorabilia collectors being hurt by this trend will continue to be ignored.

    Also, Newton being in the Super Bowl gives us a chance to laugh at one of the many dumb things Skip Bayless has said over the years:

    Look, people say stupid things all the time. I’ve had my share of derp moments – Jimmy Clausen, anyone? – but Bayless is a douche troll, so let’s all laugh at how stupid he and his racist partner Stephen The Smith are.

  2. Arizona Cardinals (14-4) – Previously: #2 – It’s a shame we haven’t seen much of Carson Palmer in the playoffs over the years; otherwise, I may have known not to bet heavily on him in the NFC Championship. Palmer is now 1-3 and hasn’t covered a single spread in the postseason. A classic choke artist. Some will say that Palmer’s injured finger played a factor, but that’s crap. His finger had nothing to do with his horrible decision-making.

    Speaking of Palmer, his ugly performance was so bad that, well, you know where I’m going with this…

    The Adventures of Derek Anderson’s Magic Flask!

    Cam Newton: Derek, this is crucial, It’s the NFC Championship, and we’re favored by only three points. The Cardinals are a great team, so it’s your time to shine.

    Derek Anderson: Don’t worry, Cam. I’m completely sober. It’s terrible, but I’ve been preparing for this moment my entire life. Even my blonde friend Billy is sober.

    Billy Manziel: Yeaah mmanan mnnyy nanammem isisis Biklyl annddn I’mmm coommepellteey soosobberr hic!

    Cam Newton: He doesn’t look sober to me!

    Derek Anderson: Billy, you didn’t drink out of my flask did you!?

    Billy Manziel: I ddrranakk thhee whwhioole thtingng soorryryr hahahah I mmeanan I didndnndt dodood annyuthting hic!

    Cam Newton: DEREK!!!

    Derek Anderson: I’m sorry, Cam! I knew I shouldn’t have dragged this idiot around!

    Cam Newton: Now we’re going to lose for sure!

    Billy Manziel: Dunnn wooeorryr guguys. I hadd oonen ofofo myyy brrooss takakke caare oof thissis.

    *** Meanwhile, on the Arizona sidelines, Carson Palmer is handed the phone. He presumes his offensive coordinator is on the line… ***

    Carson Palmer: Hey coach, that was a rough first drive. What are you seeing out there?

    Unknown Man: Listen carefully, Carson. We are the same people who kidnapped Jake Delhomme’s son years ago. Now, we have your son. You won’t get him back unless you throw this game.

    Carson Palmer: What!? But I can’t let my teammates down!

    Unknown Man: You will. And to make it convincing, please drink the substance in your Gatorade.

    Carson Palmer: Substance? What is it?

    Unknown Man: Nothing that will kill you. Just something from a blonde peer, of sorts. Drink it, Carson, or you’ll never see your son again.

    *** Carson Palmer drinks his Gatorade, which tastes rather funny. Minutes later… ***

    Carson Palmer: OOhhh mamanan I canann’t steeee straiiigighth.

    Larry Fitzgerald: Carson!? What the hell, man!?

    Carson Palmer: Ccarroson whhoo’s Ccarrsonnn mmyyy nammeme isss Cammnn Nnenewwtoon annndd I’mm goonnana thtrorow itt toooo the gguuyss innn bllueue anndnd bllalalkckcc!!!

    Larry Fitzgerald: NO CARSON, NOOOOO!!!

  3. New England Patriots (13-5) – Previously: #4 – Everyone thought the Patriots were going to win. When everyone thinks something will happen, the opposite usually occurs. The public was simply misled by the media, which glorified the Patriots despite the fact that New England hadn’t played anyone all year. That, and this photo was taken of Belichick during the week:

    Despite this, the Patriots were still the better team, and the fact that Denver pulled the upset means that we won’t have as great of a Super Bowl as we should enjoy. Actually, the team that should be representing the AFC should be the Steelers, who led the entire way against the Broncos despite missing Antonio Brown and DeAngelo Williams.

  4. Denver Broncos (14-4) – Previously: #7 – The Broncos were the worst team of the four playing on Championship Sunday, yet they’ll be in the Super Bowl. It’s truly amazing that they won, considering that their offense averaged just 3.8 yards per play. To give you an idea of how bad that is, Brian Hoyer and the Texans maintained nearly the same figure (3.6) in their shutout loss to the Chiefs in the opening round of the playoffs.

    Denver’s defense is amazing, sure, but so is Carolina’s. The difference between the two teams will be the offense, as there is a huge disparity between Cam Newton and Peyton Manning. The general public may not think so, but Manning nearly cost his team by missing numerous touchdowns against the Patriots. He’s just not that good anymore.

    One person disagrees, as we can see in this picture, sent over by Shreyas R:

    At first, it appears as though Manning looks like he’s dropping a deuce. However, if you look carefully, you might just see Matt Millen inserting a kielbasa into one of his 100-percent USDA Men. A special kielbasa that he saved for his Sheriff.

Fantasy Football Studs and Scrubs

Top Fantasy Quarterbacks:
  • Cam Newton: 19-of-28, 335 yards. 2 TDs, 1 INT. 10 carries, 47 rush yards. 2 rush TDs. 1 2-pt conversion.

  • Top Fantasy Running Backs:
  • David Johnson: 15 carries, 60 yards. 1 TD. 9 catches, 68 rec. yards.
  • C.J. Anderson: 16 carries, 72 yards. 3 catches, 18 rec. yards.

  • Top Fantasy Wide Receivers:
  • Philly Brown: 4 catches, 113 yards. 1 TD.
  • Ted Ginn: 1 carry, 22 rush yards. 1 rush TD. 2 catches, 52 yards.
  • Devin Funchess: 2 catches, 21 yards. 1 TD.

  • Top Fantasy Tight Ends:
  • Rob Gronkowski: 8 catches, 144 rec. yards. 1 rec. TD.
  • Owen Daniels: 2 catches, 33 rec. yards. 2 rec. TDs.
  • Greg Olsen: 6 catches, 113 rec. yards.
  • Darren Fells: 2 catches, 36 rec. yards. 1 rec. TD.

  • Top Fantasy IDP:
  • Von Miller: 5 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 INT.
  • Luke Kuechly: 8 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD.
  • Kurt Coleman: 4 tackles, 2 INTs.
  • Jamie Collins: 8 tackles, 2 sacks.

  • Fantasy Scrubs of the Week:
  • Carson Palmer: 23-of-40, 235 yards. 1 TD, 4 INTs. 2 fumbles.

  • James White: 5 carries, 11 yards. 5 catches, 45 rec. yards.
  • Brandon Bolden: 5 carries, 12 yards. 2 catches, 29 rec. yards.
  • Ronnie Hillman: 11 carries, 16 yards. 1 catch, 7 rec. yards.

  • Danny Amendola: 5 catches, 39 yards.
  • Michael Floyd: 3 catches, 37 yards.
  • Larry Fitzgerald: 4 catches, 30 yards.
  • John Brown: 2 catches, 23 yards.
  • Jerricho Cotchery: 2 catches, 17 yards.
  • Jordan Norwood: 2 catches, 16 yards.
  • Demaryius Thomas: 2 catches, 12 yards.

  • Run Defenses, Pass Defense, Pass Protection:

    Something new this year – I’m keeping track of precise run defense, pass defense and pass protection rankings in Excel. The benefit to this is that it’ll be broken down by week. Here are the download links:

    2015 NFL Defensive Rankings Spreadsheet (2007 Excel)

    2015 NFL Defensive Rankings Spreadsheet – (1999-2003 Excel)

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