'12 ranks update: Rookies are taking over!

Early Happy Thanksgiving to all! For the occasion, we offer you a little fantasy football gift: the latest end-of-season rankings. OK, so even if there wasn't a holiday this week, we would have done it anyway. This is a big week, with the ESPN standard-league trade deadline at noon ET Wednesday and, of course, three football games and lots of turkey and stuffing Thursday. Enjoy!

Reminder: These are not the Week 12 ESPN staff rankings. Those will be published Wednesday. Good luck in your playoff push!

Quick click by position, for easy reference:

Top 40 Quarterbacks | Top 60 Running Backs | Top 60 Wide Receivers

Top 30 Tight Ends | Top 32 Defense/Special Teams | Top 100 Overall

Top 40 Quarterbacks

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Back and forth we go with the top rookie quarterbacks in these rankings, as Washington Redskins passer/runner Robert Griffin III delivered a near-perfect performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, while Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck tossed three interceptions in a blowout loss to the New England Patriots. Both quarterbacks remain safe starter options in all leagues. It was nice to see Griffin picking up chunks of yardage with his legs, while Luck broke the rookie mark for most 300-yard passing performances (Sunday's performance was his fifth). He'll face the Buffalo Bills this week, making No. 6 likely. Matt Ryan shouldn't be shunned coming off his five-interception nightmare, but the two rookies do pass him in the 2012 ranks.

The other change in the top 10 sees Josh Freeman gently brush past Matthew Stafford. Freeman has posted six consecutive multi-touchdown outings, and the schedule will bring more good tidings in December with a schedule that includes the aforementioned Eagles and New Orleans Saints. Stafford, meanwhile, remains inconsistent week to week, and his schedule isn't as friendly, starting this Thursday against the Houston Texans.

Then again, Jacksonville Jaguars journeyman Chad Henne picked apart the Texans for 354 passing yards and four touchdowns in relief of injured Blaine Gabbert on Sunday. Henne certainly didn't look like a special player with the Miami Dolphins in past seasons, and he isn't special now, but fantasy owners in deep leagues should be interested in adding him, just in case this is our latest Billy Volek situation, with a surprise quarterback having his 15 minutes of fantasy fame. Henne is slated to start for the Jaguars moving forward, and the schedule brings the Tennessee Titans, Bills and New York Jets. He moves into the top 30.

If we knew the San Francisco 49ers would go with Colin Kaepernick as their starter, then he'd rise way up the list, likely into the top 20. But we don't know that for sure, despite the postgame indications Monday regarding Kaepernick and Alex Smith, so don't make the youngster your starter yet. It's anyone's guess when a few of the other injured quarterbacks return to action, too, but fantasy owners should be prepared for the worst. Since last week, things didn't improve for Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Michael Vick of the Eagles, and it's not likely they play again this week. Nor did the news get better for their backups.

Top 60 Running Backs

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