Here's an early look at my top 25 quarterbacks for fantasy Week 5.
To clarify, this countdown doesn't lean on a particular stat. It's merely an educated guess of which signal-callers will have the best combination of total yards (passing/rushing) and total touchdowns for the NFL's fifth weekend.
NOTE: The Cowboys, Lions, Buccaneers and Raiders have bye weeks.
Regardless of how these rankings shake out, it shouldn't supersede two important factors that go into regular lineup consideration:
1. Always play your healthy superstars
2. Always ride your gut instinct over a certain guru's analysis
Top 25 QBs For Week 5
1. Drew Brees vs. San Diego
2. Aaron Rodgers @ Indianapolis
3. Matt Ryan @ Washington
4. Tom Brady vs. Denver
5. Robert Griffin III vs. Atlanta
6. Eli Manning vs. Cleveland
7. Andy Dalton vs. Miami
8. Peyton Manning @ New England
9. Cam Newton vs. Seattle
10. Philip Rivers @ New Orleans
11. Michael Vick @ Pittsburgh
12. Joe Flacco @ Kansas City
13. Ben Roethlisberger vs. Philadelphia
14. Andrew Luck vs. Green Bay
15. Matt Schaub @ N.Y. Jets
16. Kevin Kolb @ St. Louis
17. Jay Cutler @ Jacksonville
18. Sam Bradford vs. Arizona
19. Matt Hasselbeck @ Minnesota
20. Christian Ponder vs. Tennessee
21. Matt Cassel vs. Baltimore
22. Ryan Tannehill @ Cincinnati
23. Alex Smith vs. Buffalo
24. Brandon Weeden @ N.Y. Giants
25. Ryan Fitzpatrick @ San Francisco
25a. Mark Sanchez vs. Houston
25b. Russell Wilson @ Carolina
25c. Blaine Gabbert vs. Chicago
1. Are you ready for the 13th clash of Brady vs. Manning? CBS must be positively giddy about the matchup of the NFL's two most prominent quarterbacks...even if it doesn't necessarily guarantee supreme fantasy numbers.
In the previous 12 meetings of Brady vs. Manning, as starting quarterbacks for their respective clubs, Brady has per-outing averages of 236 yards passing and 1.8 touchdowns, with Manning posting averages of 290 yards and two touchdowns.
2. Drew Brees' No. 1 ranking goes deeper than his 446-yard, three-TD dissection of the Packers. In his last four home games, Brees has per-outing averages of 348 yards passing and 3.6 touchdowns. As an intangible bonus, Brees gets another shot at his old club (San Diego). In 2008 (London), the Saints QB passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns against the Chargers.
3. If I was a betting man...Robert Griffin III (1,322 total yards, eight TD in 2012) will fall short of breaking Cam Newton's one-year-old NFL record for QB rushing TDs in a single season (14). But he's a healthy lock for 11 by year's end.
4. Not that we need another reason to start the Falcons' Matt Ryan (1,162 yards passing, 11 TD), but the Redskins have the NFL's second-worst pass defense (326.3 yards per game). In his last three road games on grass, Ryan has averaged 298 yards passing, 3.33 touchdowns and 0.33 interceptions.
5. This could be the week when Indy QB Andrew Luck (846 yards passing, five TD) takes a sizable leap forward in fantasy. If he can crack the threshold of 300 yards or three touchdowns against Green Bay, that might put him in 'automatic-starter' mode for 12- and 14-team leagues.
6. Fingers crossed on rookie Ryan Tannehill (431 yards passing in Week 4) blossoming into a viable fantasy QB, sooner than later. However, it's important to remember that for Weeks 1-3, Tannehill averaged 205 yards passing and 0.6 touchdowns.
Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.