Engel's 2007 Rankings: Lewis will feast on soft schedule

Each week, I will update my overall fantasy football player rankings for the 2007 season. These yearly ratings are overall in-season rankings of how players are currently valued. They are not weekly lineup recommendations.

Last week's rankings are in parentheses for each player.
1. Tom Brady, Patriots (1)

2. Tony Romo, Cowboys (2)
3. Derek Anderson, Browns (3)
4. Peyton Manning, Colts (4)
5. Brett Favre, Packers (6)
6. Carson Palmer, Bengals (8)
7. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks (7)
8. Drew Brees, Saints (9)
9. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (5)
10. David Garrard, Jaguars (12)
11. Kurt Warner, Cardinals (14)
12. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers (10)
13. Jay Cutler, Broncos (18)
14. href="javascript:newWin('http://insider.espn.com/nfl/players/fantasy?statsId=6849')">Matt Schaub, Texans (15)
15. Marc Bulger, Rams (13)
16. Jason Campbell, Redskins (16)
17. Jon Kitna, Lions (17)
18. Philip Rivers, Chargers (22)
19. Donovan McNabb, Eagles (11)
20. Vince Young, Titans (19)
21. Kyle Boller, Ravens (23)
22. Eli Manning, Giants (20)
23. Kellen Clemens, Jets (21)
24. Daunte Culpepper, Raiders (24)
25. Trent Dilfer, 49ers (NR)

NOTES: Brady didn't explode as usual in Week 12, but I expect a very quick return to outstanding form. Favre has moved into the top 5 just in time for the big meeting with Dallas, and it's a testament to his enduring greatness that he has re-entered the league's elite this late in his career. Palmer is looking top-level again now that he has Chris Henry back and the running game is starting to come back to life. Brees was the top fantasy quarterback of Week 12 and solidified his status inside the top 10. Roethlisberger is coming off two shaky performances against bad teams, and the bad weather Monday night is only a small part of that. The Jets handled him well in Week 11, and you have to wonder if New York devised a blueprint for containing him more effectively. Garrard has been ultra-reliable, and Warner is a fine starter as long as he can stay on the field. Cutler has thrown for 502 yards and four touchdowns in his past two games. Schaub must prove he can adjust accordingly when Andre Johnson is blanketed by extra defenders. Campbell is making the most of limited weaponry and can certainly be a useful option. Rivers has rebounded recently. McNabb is iffy for Sunday's game against Seattle, and I would put A.J. Feeley in his spot if he was playing regularly. Eli Manning has clearly earned his low ranking. Dilfer looked good against Arizona, but I am still not sold on him after only one impressive week.

Running Backs

1. Brian Westbrook, Eagles (1)
2. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers (2)
3. Joseph Addai, Colts (3)
4. Steven Jackson, Rams (5)
5. Willis McGahee, Ravens (4)
6. Adrian Peterson, Vikings (26)

7. Jamal Lewis, Browns (14)
8. Willie Parker, Steelers (7)
9. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars (8)
10. Reggie Bush, Saints (9)
11. Frank Gore, 49ers (18)
12. Ryan Grant, Packers (19)
13. Clinton Portis, Redskins (6)
14. Earnest Graham, Buccaneers (15)
15. Edgerrin James, Cardinals (12)
16. Marion Barber III, Cowboys (16)
17. Adrian Peterson, Bears (NR)
18. Kolby Smith, Chiefs (47)
19. Maurice Morris, Seahawks (25)
20. Justin Fargas, Raiders (22)
21. Kevin Jones, Lions (27)
22. Brandon Jacobs, Giants (10)
23. Chester Taylor, Vikings (17)
24. Rudi Johnson, Bengals (34)

25. Fred Taylor, Jaguars (31)
26. Laurence Maroney, Patriots (29)
27. Marshawn Lynch, Bills (13)
28. Ron Dayne, Texans (33)
29. Thomas Jones, Jets (24)
30. LenDale White, Titans (21)
31. Reuben Droughns, Giants (38)
32. Travis Henry, Broncos (42)
33. Selvin Young, Broncos (20)
34. Andre Hall, Broncos (39)
35. Warrick Dunn, Falcons (32)
36. Shaun Alexander, Seahawks (35)
37. Jesse Chatman, Dolphins (11)
38. Anthony Thomas, Bills (37)
39. Fred Jackson, Bills (NR)
40. DeShaun Foster, Panthers (30)
41. Patrick Cobbs, Dolphins (NR)
42. Kenny Watson, Bengals (36)
43. Julius Jones, Cowboys (40)
44. Larry Johnson, Chiefs (41)
45. Heath Evans, Patriots (48)
46. Kenton Keith, Colts (49)
47. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers (50)
48. Ahman Green, Texans (45)
49. Garrett Wolfe, Bears (NR)
50. Chris Brown, Titans (NR)
NOTES: Westbrook didn't back down to New England and retains his top spot. Steven Jackson was denied another score late in the Week 12 game against Seattle, but it was apparent he has fully regained his elite form. Minnesota's Peterson is expected to return this week, and even if he doesn't have a great performance in his return, he should be locked into your lineup. It may take a game for him to get rolling again, but his owners' playoff run definitely looks a little brighter. Lewis has been posting fine numbers and will remain a must-start as he continues to flourish against a favorable schedule in the weeks ahead. Gore has started to rediscover his 2006 form. Grant is for real. He is a slasher with good vision who can break loose for a long run any time he reaches the second level of defenders. Portis is starting to fall; he has not scored in three consecutive games, and four of his past five. Graham is very underrated and has emerged as one of the best No. 2 running backs in fantasy football. Chicago's Peterson is a powerful runner who can also catch passes. Add him from your waiver wire this week and plug him in as a starter. Kolby Smith will be dependable, and sometimes outstanding, as he showed Sunday. Morris' value will drop when Alexander returns to practice, which should be soon. Chester Taylor gets an obvious drop with the return of Peterson. Fred Taylor has been a good option for owners who have desperately needed help recently. Maroney needs to do more than just score from short range. Dayne will continue to start as Ahman Green sits out, and he's an adequate option. White's production has really fallen off recently, and you have to wonder if he is more banged up than the Titans are letting on. The Denver situation is very murky, as Henry and Selvin Young are both uncertainties for Week 13, and Andre Hall now has an ankle problem as well. The Miami outlook is even worse; Chatman has a neck injury, and Ricky Williams is already done for the year with a chest injury. Cobbs could be pressed into action. In Buffalo, Fred Jackson could be forced to start with both Lynch and Anthony Thomas hurting.