Top 30 NFL Players Through Week 13
Top 30 Players in the NFL right now
Week 13 is over in the NFL, so this is a perfect time to find out who is the best player in the league. This is a list dominated by offensive players, but there are a few that are so good their stats force them into the picture. You may not like some of the players on here, but there’s no denying their ability to play at a high level.
What makes a player the “best”?
I can tell you right now that it is not stats alone, but they do help. Most of the players have dominated the stats sheet from touchdowns, passing yards, receiving yards, sacks and interceptions. I like to call them the “money makers”, Or the stats that get people paid. I was going to toss a punter or kicker on this list, but Rich Eisen is wrong punters are not people.
It's often easy to overlook people because they play with a superstar. The biggest example is the 100 year old tight end that plays for the Atlanta Falcons, Tony Gonzalez. Obviously I am exaggerating when I say 100 years old, but the man is on track to his 1,000 yards in his 16th season in the NFL and that is something that should be noticed.
The players on this list have earned their spot. They are the best in the league and that is something they can be proud of. Here are the top 30 players in the NFL through week 13, enjoy.
Follow Kase Brammer on Twitter @KBlive33
30. Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck
Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck's TD to INT ratio would not suggest that he is a top 30 player in the NFL, but his stats are not the only factor here. The Colts had two wins last year. This year they already have eight wins and are pretty much on their way to the playoffs. Luck is the Colts savior. He has many good years ahead of him.
29. Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson
I know what you are going to say "How is Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ahead of Luck". I am going to tell you why. Wilson has more touchdowns less interception and wins against the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers. Can you name another quarterback in the league who can say that? Seriously though, comment below if you can.
I was the worst kind of fan earlier this season, at first I didn't like him, then I did, then I didn't and now I do again. I was a flip flopper and nobody likes a flip flopper.
28. Arizona Cardinals LB Daryl Washington
The Arizona Cardinals' defense is the lone bright spot in an otherwise terrible year. LB Daryl Washington leads the team with 104 tackles and eight sacks. The Cardinals have a bright future if they can sign a good quarterback that can step in without any learning curve. I will say it again, I believe Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick will be available.
27. St. Louis Rams LB James Laurinaitis
The St. Louis Rams are in the middle of a rebuilding decade. The hiring of Jeff Fisher will most likely change that. Within two years the Rams will be competing for the NFC West Championship. LB James Laurinaitis is the anchor on one of the most improved defenses in the league. He leads the NFL in total tackles, but a lot of that could because they are on the field a lot. Either way the fourth year man should be the leader for years to come.
26. New England Patriots LB Jerod Mayo
The New England Patriots have already clinched a playoff spot. Mostly because Tom Brady is their quarterback, but we will get to him later. LB Jerod Mayo has been a huge part of the Patriots' defense for the last 5 years. He has 69 total tackles with another 49 assists. The Patriots are happy with his play thus far, but if they want to make it far in the playoffs like they do almost every year. Mayo will have to step up his game even further.
25. Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice
Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice is quietly having another great year. I'll admit I have a little Ravens Bias in me, but that does not take away from his almost 1,300 combined rushing and receiving yards. Rice is so small his NFL career has been impressive in general, but he continues to prove that he is the most valuable part of the Ravens' franchise.
24. Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson
Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson is a guy you would not have expected to be in the top 100 after his first three games of the season. However over the past nine games he has rushed for over 900 yards. This is especially impressive considering the Titans have not played with the same quarterback over that span. The combination of Matthew Hasselbeck and Jake Locker do not have the Titans in a position to make the playoffs. Johnson is experiencing his greatest season since he rushed for over 2,000 yards.
23. Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles
Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles is on the worst team in the NFL. You cannot blame that on Charles. He has been productive this season, but you have to think he would be doing a lot better on team that used him a little more consistently. Charles would probably have a shot at 2,000 yards on a better team, but that is not the case right now. He still has over 1,000 yards this season.
22. Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez
Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez is in the middle of one of his most successful seasons as a pro. He is in his 16th season in the NFL and has his team in first place in the NFC looking for that home field advantage. The Falcons will still have to get past their recent playoff woes, but Gonzalez is still looking for that first ring. If the Falcons can get there this season, he will be able to ride off into the sunset as a sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers CB Keenan Lewis
Pittsburgh Steelers CB Keenan Lewis is currently tied for the lead in pass defends. He does not have any interceptions, but that is why he plays defense. The Steelers will need him to get a few interceptions down the stretch, so they can solidify their spot in the playoffs.
20. Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne
The Indianapolis Colts are 8-4 and on their way to the playoffs. WR Reggie Wayne has made Luck's transition into the NFL practically seamless. Wayne has over 1,000 yards this season and is probably pretty happy about the the play of his new quarterback. The Colts are not going to make it to the Super Bowl, but they do have a chance to win one or two games in the playoffs. There are just way too many good teams in the AFC to go through.
19. New Orleans QB Saints Drew Brees
There is one thing we have learned about New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees this season. He is going to be productive and their is nothing defenses can do about it. The only way to stop Brees is make him make enough bad throws to offset the good ones. Brees recently broke his streak of consecutive games played throwing a touchdown, but that will not break his spirit. The Saints are not going to make the playoffs this year, but you can't blame Brees for that. I like to blame Roger Goodell.
18. Denver Broncos LB Von Miller
Denver Broncos LB Von Miller is a sack machine. He has shown that over the past two seasons racking up 27 sacks. The Broncos have been very happy with his play and the scary part is he can only get better. Miller is an important part of a defense that needed a quarterback so they could take this team to the next level. They have that quarterback, so on behalf of the NFL and fans everywhere I'd like to welcome the Broncos to the next level.
17. Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas
Keeping with the Broncos theme, WR Demaryius Thomas has enjoyed the success that is Peyton Manning in his third year in the league. Thomas has already surpassed 1,000 yards and has eight touchdown passes. He has been consistent all season long. Thanks in large to Manning, but that doesn't take away from the kids athleticism or ability to make big time plays in big times situations.
16. Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green
Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green is one of the best young talents in the league. QB Andy Dalton and Green compliment each other quite well. Green has over 1,000 yards this season and ten touchdowns. These are quite impressive numbers for a man who has only been in the league for two seasons. The sky is the limit for the combination of Dalton and Green.
15. Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway
Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway is not the flashiest guy in the league, but he sure is effective. He has two sacks and one interception to go along with his team leading 127 tackles. The Vikings are a long shot to make the playoffs because the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker over them, but they are still a good team with a bright future. Especially if they think about trading for San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith. I'd like to point out that I hate Jim Harbaugh.
14. Houston Texans RB Arian Foster
Houston Texans RB Arian Foster has been fairly consistent all season long. His is fourth in the league in rushing with just over 1,100 yards. His only downside this season is the fact that he is averaging less than four yards per carry. However, Foster leads the league with 13 touchdowns. Foster has been a workhorse since he came into the league. My only worry is that his body will not hold up.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin is a rookie. He has shown the league that he is a big time player. He is another small back that seems to defy logic. Standing at just 5'9" he makes the big boys look silly at times creating space were there is none and before the defenders can do anything about it, he's gone. Props to the rookie for breaking out in the NFL in just his first season. Let's just hope he doesn't follow in Cadillac Williams' footsteps.
12. Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
In my mind, Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is the clear front runner for rookie of the year. It is impressive what luck is doing in Indy, but his stats do not compare to the first year man out of Baylor. Griffin leads all rookies in quarterback rating and total QBR. He has a touchdown to interception ratio of 4:1 which is excellent for any quarterback. He is amazingly fast and his adjustment into the NFL has come with nothing but praise.
11. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan
Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan should be a lot higher on this list, but his five interception effort against the Cardinals is something that probably knocked him out of the top 10. His team is still 11-1 and he has a total QBR that is top three in the league. He also has over 3,500 passing yards. Ryan still makes mistakes that you would expect a rookie to make, but his team is still on top of the NFC.
10. Seattle Seahawks Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks are just about where everyone thought they would be after 12 games. They just got there in an unexpected way. This team has rode Marshawn Lynch for most of the season, but Wilson has been more productive as of late, so I expect a lot of the pressure will be taken off of him. That is not to say his production will go down, he just might get a few less carries. Lynch is in the middle of his most successful season as a pro. He is a running back that has a motor that never stops and is one of the best in the league at making tacklers slip off his legs.
9. Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman has become one of the best shutdown corner backs in the league. He is near the top of the league in pass defends and continues to improve. I like to see more interceptions from Sherman, but that could be in part because quarterbacks don't want to challenge the huge corner back. Sherman may have to sit out the rest of the season if he does not win his appeal for performance enhancing drugs.
8. Chicago Bears CB Tim Jennings
Bears CB Tim Jennings leads the league in pass defends and interceptions. He is a big reason why the Bears have been so good on defense this year. Jennings has more than doubled his interception total this year. The Bears will need him to step up in a big way down the stretch if they want to win the NFC North.
7. Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson
What can I say about Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson? He may be one of the most unstoppable receivers to ever play the game. Johnson struggled early in the season, but he has shown the league that teams cannot simply stop him. He is in the perfect system for what he wants to do. What does he want to do you ask? Catch the football a lot.
6. San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith
San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith has emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the game. His 17 sacks leads the NFL and he has an outside shot at the NFL record. If he doesn't get there, he still has the franchise record which nobody can take away from him, unless of course somebody has a better season in the future.
5. Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is pretty darn good. Especially since his number one receiver was lost early in the season. Rodgers always looks like he is having a lot of fun playing the game. If he didn't win so much I'm sure that wouldn't be the case. Rodgers has a league high 105 quarterback rating and is eighth in total QBR. Rodgers will once again make it to the playoffs and the Packers will be a force as always.
4. Houston Texans DE J.J. Watt
What is the most impressive stat for DE J.J. Watt? I can tell you it's not his sacks or tackles. How about his 15 pass defends for a defensive end. Watt is my clear front runner for defensive player of the year. He is the only reason the Texans have not given up 500 yards a game. You can say he is a dirty player or whatever, but the fact is he gets results.
3. Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson
The Vikings will probably miss the playoffs, but it won't be because RB Adrian Peterson. He is tied for the lead for comeback player of the year, but he is leading the league in rushing by over 300 yards. Peterson has run through almost every single defense he has faced. Keep in mind he is coming off a surgery that slows a lot of player's careers. The injury has not slowed Peterson. He is enjoying possibly the best season of his NFL career.
2. New England Patriots QB Tom Brady
Patriots QB Tom Brady is one of the best in NFL history. That is a statement that is hard to argue. Brady is once again leading the best offense in the league. He is second in total QBR, fourth in touchdowns thrown and has thrown the fewest interceptions among quarterbacks that have played the whole season. Brady is a machine. He doesn't know how to not make the playoffs. Coaching helps, but Brady is the driving force behind the Patriots for the past 13 seasons.
1. Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning
Broncos QB Peyton Manning has defied odds this season. It really makes a fan think he can play until he is 50. Manning leads the league in total QBR with a rating of 81.1. He has thrown for over 3,500 yards and is second in the league in touchdowns. Manning is a different breed of quarterback. In my mind, he is the MVP of the league and the co-comeback player of the year. If there is a quarterback award this season, it should go to Manning.
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