Your Fantasy Rock Team Draft Guide

The suffocating summer humidity is waning, the Pirates are back below .500, and Brady Quinn is getting reps, which can only mean one thing: It’s time to study up for your fantasy football draft. We’ve left fantasy football prognostication to the stat geeks, though, and compiled fantasy rankings of a different sort: Fantasy Rock Rankings. Now the next time you’re at a bar talking about building the Dream Team of rock bands, you’ll have our definitive guide to help you.

Like any fantasy list, our rankings take into account a variety of metrics such as skill level, past performance, age and–instead of strength of schedule–relevance. This is not a “greatest ever” list. It’s not a measure of an artist at his peak, it’s the artist right now. And it’s nowhere near exhaustive; we limited ourselves to picks who are living (sorry, Hendrix and Cobain) and active (sorry, Axl Rose). Also, we’ve ranked the players based on their strongest/most recognizable skill (for example, Jack White is under the Guitarist category, Dave Grohl under Drummer, and so on.)

Remember, you’re building The Ultimate Band around this lineup, this isn’t just a one-off medley performance at the Grammys. You want a group that will sell out shows and has the endurance to live the rock life and pump out some solid albums. So, sure, you may be tempted to take Mick Jagger in the second round, but do you really wanna use such a high pick on a sexagenarian? (Not as cool as it sounds, look it up.) What we’re saying is…choose wisely.


1. Bono (The risk here: Without the U2 lineup behind him, will he be even more insufferable and drive away ticket sales?)

2. Chris Martin of Coldplay (Don’t think he doesn’t have his eye on that number one spot.)

3. Bruce Springsteen (Probably the world’s healthiest looking 61-year-old.)

4. Dave Matthews (You chuckle, but the dude doesn’t just play at music festivals, he started HIS OWN.)

5. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam (With his recent ukulele album, he showed he doesn’t need PJ’s help to succeed.)

6. Mick Jagger

7. Thom Yorke of Radiohead

8. Robert Plant

9. Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs

10. Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine (Of the top 10, she’s the best pure singer.)

11. Anthony Keidis of Red Hot Chili Peppers

12. Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day (Conquered pop punk, trying to conquer Broadway.)

13. Paul McCartney

14. Julian Casablancas of The Strokes

15. Steven Tyler (Will he be too distracted with “Idol”?)

16. Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons

17. Jim James of My Morning Jacket

18. Caleb Followill of Kings of Leon (Like picking a rookie RB in the first round–does the upside outweigh the risk?)

19. Win Butler of Arcade Fire (This pick means you value performance over name recognition.)

20. Alison Mosshart of The Kills (You know exactly what you’re getting with her, because with The Dead Weather, Mosshart proved she could already handle the singing duties for a supergroup.)

21. John Mayer (You might say he should be listed under Guitarist, but we’re sorry, anyone who sings “Your Body Is A Wonderland” is a crooner first, shredder second. End of story.)

22. Michael Stipe of R.E.M. (He’s looking kinda frail these days. Although, he’s been looking frail for about 20 years now.)

23. Elton John (Preoccupied with raising his kid.)

24. Billy Joel (Lots of off-the-field problems.)

25. Liam Gallagher (Or was it Noel? We always mix them up. Either way, you’re getting a real d***head in your lineup.)

26. Jonathan Davis of Korn

27. Brandon Flowers of The Killers

28. David Bowie (Where’s he been?)

29. Roger Daltrey (All members of The Who are penalized a minimum of 10 spots due to the Super Bowl XLIV Debacle. And also, because we secretly blame them for all these.)

30. Jon Bon Jovi

31. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

32. James Hetfield of Metallica

33. Emily Haines of Metric

34. Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley and Jenny & Johnny

35. Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend

36. Adam Levine of Maroon 5

37. Tom Petty (Loses major points in the relevance category.)

38. Zack de la Rocha

39. Cee Lo Green (Already in the midst of a backlash, a Cee Lo pick in a later round means you’re banking on the backlash to the backlash.)

40. Zooey Deschanel of She and Him

41. Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast

42. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden (Rock grit personified when he has a stellar backing band, falls on his face without one)

43. Bob Dylan (It hurts to put him this low…but did you see his corpse perform at the Grammys? Dude’s like Brett Favre at this point, doesn’t know when to hang it up. Draft him at your own risk.)

998. Scott Weiland

999: Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit


1. Jack White (His combination of intensity, work ethic and downright nasty guitar chops make him a lock for the first pick. If he’s in your band, your band will be good. Simple as that.)

2. Kirk Hammett of Metallica (Two words: Enter. Sandman.)

3. Tom Morello (The Jerry Rice of guitar–not the fastest or strongest guy out there, but he does some things that leave you in awe.)

4. The Edge (Like Morello, a technical wizard.)

5. Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys (No frills griminess.)

6. Jimmy Page (Arguably the greatest living guitarist, so why this low? Well, if Jimmy Page makes a new riff today, does it even make a sound?)

7. Prince (Killed it at his Super Bowl Halftime Show. While wearing a babushka in the rain, no less. Skip to the 7:30 mark to see him take everybody to church.)

8. Keith Richards (He dropped this far because we’re pretty sure this “Simpsons” scene was based on him.)

9. Slash

10. John Frusciante, formerly of Red Hot Chili Peppers

11. Angus Young of AC/DC

12. Kim Thayil of Soundgarden

13. Marnie Stern (A blistering vixen in a sea of gruff ax men.)

14. Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead

15. Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs

16. Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age/Them Crooked Vultures

17. Eric Clapton

18. Santana (We’ll forgive him for “Smooth.”)

19. Pete Townshend of The Who (See: The Who corollary above)

20. Joe Perry (Is Aerosmith still a band?)

21. Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule/The Allman Brothers Band

22. Jeff Beck

23. Jamie Hince of The Kills

24. Dave Navarro

25. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam


1. Neil Peart of Rush (Peart’s kit is a vast army of circles threatening to suffocate him as he bats them away for survival. Hard to disagree with Chester Cheetah on this one.)

2. Dave Grohl (John Bonham reincarnated. You do realize all these years you’ve been singing along to his fills on In Bloom,” right? Top that.)

3. Lars Ulrich of Metallica (The #1 pick in the Drumming Faces draft)

4. Travis Barker of Blink-182

5. Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band (While his bandmates are jamming away in their own worlds for 15 minutes on their precious little instruments, he’s doing straight cardio on his massive drum set.)

6. Larry Mullen, Jr. of U2 (The #1 pick in the Lamest U2 Band Member Name draft.)

7. Tre Cool of Green Day (The #1 pick in the Most Annoying Name draft.)

8. Patrick Carney of The Black Keys (He’s like one of those big dudes who awkwardly crams onto a small BMX bike and proceeds to tear up the course. Just watch this and you’ll be sold.)

9. ?uestlove of The Roots (Super crisp, and he brings it every night.)

10. Max Weinberg of the E Street Band

11. Sebastien Grainger of Death From Above 1979 (Plan your picks right, and you could have the #10 and #11 drummers together like Conan did)

12. Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint (A miniaturized, female Dave Grohl.)

13. Tommy Lee

14. Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones

15. Matt Tong of Bloc Party (He has the crispness and stop/start abilities of a drum machine.)

16. Danny Carey of Tool

17. Brann Dailor of Mastodon

18. Phil Selway of Radiohead (Sort of like the Tom Morello of drumming.)

19. Dominic Howard of Muse

20. Nate Donmoyer of Passion Pit (Another one who could be mistaken for a drum machine.)

21. Darren King of Mutemath (Gonzo drumming exemplified.)

22. Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters

23. David Silveria of Korn

24. Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers

25. Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine

26. Animal of The Muppets (Clearly influenced by John Bonham.)

BASSISTS (or, the kickers of fantasy rock)

1. John Paul Jones

2. Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers (Fantasy draft vets know when you’re in the late rounds and you can grab a guy who goes by a single insect-themed moniker and is known for wearing only a sock, you have to take him.)

3. Lemmy of Motorhead (The #1 pick in the Fantasy Badass Motherf***er draft)

4. Bootsy Collins

5. Geddy Lee of Rush (Don’t let “I Love You Man” ruin him for you.)

6. Steve Harris of Iron Maiden

7. Les Claypool of Primus

8. Adam Clayton of U2

9. Jesse Keeler of Death From Above 1979 (And one bassist shall carry the torch of the Great Lemmy.)

10. Stefan Lessard of Dave Matthews Band

11. Nick O’Malley of Arctic Monkeys

12. Carlos D formerly of Interpol

13. Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam

14. Bill Wyman formerly of The Rolling Stones

15. Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs/The Dead Weather

16. Krist Novoselic (A pick here assumes his work on the most recent Foo Fighters album will get him playing more.)

17. Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons (Dude gets props for playing the upright bass.)

18. Jenny Lee Lindberg of Warpaint (Bass, more like BABEss, amiright)

19. Tyler Pope of !!! (Chk Chk Chk) (Yes, that’s the band’s name.)

20. Kim Deal of The Pixies

21. Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth

22. Duff McKagan formerly of Guns N’ Rose/Velvet Revolver

23. Victor Wooten of The Flecktones

24. Mike Dirnt of Green Day (Simply for playing the bass down by his knees.)

25. Sting (Just pray he doesn’t try to pull that New Age crap with your fantasy band.)

Are you pissed off that we slighted your favorite rocker? Let’s hear what your rankings would be in the comments.

Photos: Getty Images