With fantasy football heating up and edging closer it's never too early to prepare for your draft. Many websites are popping up all over the internet offering free mock drafts and each have their own pre-season rankings of where they think players should go. Some you may agree with, others you may not. I have come across more that I disagree with than agree with and some have just left me scratching my head. Here is a list of the top 20 QBs in my opinion of what order they should be drafted and by the points they will put up. Feel free to comment on any changes you would have made. I look forward to reading all of them.
I have recently shifted the order around some after watching the first two preseason games and due to some recent signings. Some have moved slightly and some have moved drastically.
NFL fans missed out on watching one of the best quarterbacks in the league last year due to injury. Expect him to return to form in 2009 but give him two or three games to be 100 percent.
Forget two or three games, this guy is ready to go. He's played a surprising amount this preseason in which he has already thrown four touchdowns. Brees is going first in most drafts but with the possibility that Brady and Moss could be back to the form of 2007 or even close, no way would I pass him up.
Drew Brees led the league in yards last year and ended the season with 34 TD and 17 INT. More importantly when his number one receiver went down he didn't miss a beat and that should give fantasy owners some extra faith.
Aaron Rodgers surprisingly finished just two TD behind Warner with 28, while throwing 13 INT and 252 YPG. With a year under his belt, great coaching and two pretty good receivers his numbers will only get better. Brett who?
I recently moved this guy from 5th on my list to #3. I knew he was going to be a great qb in this league but I didn't expect it quite so quick. This will be a great year of many to come for Rodgers. Don't miss out if you have the oppurtunity to take him.
Manning's 27 TD and 12 INT with 250 YPG in 2008 is a pretty good year. That being said, the Colts star has lost one of his favorite targets in Marvin Harrison and has to undergo some coaching changes. All that on top of Joseph Addai coming off injury could slow down the once showstopping offense just a tad. I expect his numbers to slip.
Looking at game one of the preseason I thought I was correct about the Colts having a tough year. Manning completed just one of two passes and was sacked three times. Not a good start. In his last game however he threw two touchdowns in the first half of play. If the o-line holds up Manning will probably be very close to the numbers of last year.
Philip Rivers ended the season with the highest QB rating in the league. He threw for 34 TD and 11 INT. He's a young QB that will only get better. He has many weapons at his dispense and is in a weak division. Need I say more?
I moved Rivers down two spots to number five. Not so much for his play in preseason as Rodgers and Manning looking so impressive. Rivers is still a good grab but I think he has been outplayed by those two guys to this point.
Kurt Warner proved his wealth last year taking the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. He threw for 30 TD, 14 INT and 286 YPG last year in the regular season. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin will both return to give him some great targets.
Watching Kurt in preseason has stumped me a bit. Something looks a little off. No, scratch that, something looks way off. He fumbled twice against the Packers and threw a pick. He looks to be under a lot of pressure from the defense and his drop back seems to be terribly slow. If he can't fix this before regular season he could be in for a bad year. I wouldn't blame you at all if you stayed clear of him. I've dropped him two spots for now.
Now for one of those guys. Many have debated whether Romo will be better with or without T.O. He had 26 TD and 14 INT in 13 games last year, while throwing for 265 YPG. I can accredit six of those TD and 50 extra yards per game to Owens pure talent. Sure, demeanor will be better around Cowboys camp but someone has to step up for Romo. Be it Roy Williams or Jason Witten someone is going to have some extra catches this year. His numbers will fall slightly.
People have been waiting for the Texans to have their year, 2009 could be that year. Last year Shaub had 15 TD and 10 INT in 11 games. With Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter to throw to and Steve Slaton to run and catch out of the backfield, Shaub could be in for a pretty good year. Just add one TD for the five games he missed and he could have thrown for 20 in 2008. I expect them to be much better in 2009.
Shaub has looked pretty good so far this preseason with both games over 100 on the qb rating. If he stays healthy he'll have great numbers. I've moved him up four spots from number 12.
Donovan Mcnabb is a QB better known for doing it on his own. He's had a year to work with 2nd year receiver Desean Jackson and Andy Reid drafted some more weapons to add to the offense. He had 23 TD and 11 INT last year so if Jaremy Maclin and other rookies can pitch in he could be in for a good year.
Well, well, well, what do we have here? Michael Vick has joined the ranks of the Eagles. He could steal a few snaps from Mcnabb this year so I have dropped him three spots to number nine. Plus the fact that Andy Reid seems to not want to use his two deep threats in Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. Of course that could just be a preseason ploy to disguise what they will do in the regular season.
I almost titled this one "Cry Baby." What more could a QB ask for, Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal and a great o-line and running game. Cutler only tasted dirt 11 times in Denver while Orton ate it 27 times. Some of that can be attributed to the fact that Cutler has a little more mobility than Orton but most of it goes to the o-lines and the WRs ability to get open. Now that he's in Chicago he's in for a sharp decline in numbers. They love to run the ball in Chicago so he won't be called upon to throw it 600 times like he did in Denver. They also have no outstanding receiver corps and I feel that if things don't go his way right away then we could see more pouting in Chicago. He had 282 YPG with 25 TD and 18 INT in Denver. His numbers won't come close to that in the "Windy City."
This guy had a lot to prove to me and game one certainly didn't help. He did much better game two and I would have discounted it if it wasn't against the New York Giants defense. If he gets some attempts he could be a decent play. Just remember that he'll be playing in some rough weather later in the year. He's probably a little safer pick than an uncertain Carson Palmer or Matt Hasselbeck. Moved up four from 14. So much for my Man-hate.
Yet another QB that was out last year due to injury. Matt is good when healthy. This year he will have a crop of receivers to throw to. T.J. comes over from Cincinnati. and looks to be a good target for the QB. Also on the team is Nate Burleson, Deion Branch and John Carlson. Seattle has always been pass happy when Matt is healthy and look to return to that form in 2009. My only question is how fast can he get back on par.
Another surprise for me this season is how good Matt has looked so far. He's completed 67% of his passes but one of those games was against the Broncos defense. Still he has huge upside with TJ to throw to this year.
Carson Palmer was another QB that was reduced to being a spectator last year due to injury. Chad Johnson showed that he wouldn't play for anybody but Carson and T.J. has found a new home in Seattle. The o-line scares me here a little and Chad's will to play. They did go out and pick up Laverneus Coles from the Jets and he's no whiner. Don't be surprised if Palmer finds a new favorite target this year. If it all comes together they can be dangerous but it's too many chances for me to take.
Palmer has only played one of their three games so far and that scares me even more. The good news is that Chris Henry has emerged as a number three or possible number two wide reciever threat. We need more snaps from this guy to get a definite hold on his status for this year.
I know I will get grief over this one but hear me out. Kyle Orton had 18 TD and 12 INT last year with the Bears. He was sacked 27 times and his favorite target was a converted CB. Coming to the broncos he will have much better protection, Brandon Marshall (if he stays), and Eddie Royal at his disposal and a crop of RBs to take the pressure off. If they deploy a dink and dunk method in Denver the talent around him will make him look good much as they did for Cutler. His 18 TD with the Bears can easily be upped to 23 with the Broncos.
Moving down three spots to number 13 is Orton. His first game was horrible, throwing three picks. His second game was much better thowing just one pick along with a touchdown. The fact of the matter remains that this guy will throw the ball around 65 to 75% of the time. For that reason he will put up huge numbers off and on. Perfect back up for a 12 team league with huge potential to put up great numbers.
Pennington's numbers last year were by no means amazing. Just 19 TD and seven INT with 228 YPG. Pennington is a little high on my list because of what the players behind him have endured in the offseason. While he won't get you a lot of touchdowns, he won't throw a lot of picks either.
I had Pennington above Shaub, Palmer, Hasselbeck, Cutler and Orton because of injury concerns and the switching of teams between Cutler and Orton. Assuming that the first three stay healthy they will most likely beat Pennington's numbers. However, if your looking for a consistent 225 yds per game and one to two touchdowns Pennington is at least a good back up.
There's no doubt Matt Ryan made an immediate impact for the Falcons. He had a great year for a rookie QB and will only improve. That being said, he only had 16 TD and 11 INT with 215 YPG in his rookie of the year campaign. Those numbers should improve now that he has a year under his belt but they also have a great running game that they love to rely on. If not for the big running game in the ATL he could open it up more.
Also keep in mind that their schedule is not an easy one. I don't expect that his yardage will see a huge increase this year but he could up his touchdowns to around 20 thanks to Gonzalez.
This one is still a big if. If he returns for 2009 he will certainly be worth more than the 18th pick. I can't put him higher though based on the fact that it's no sure thing that he will return. If he does return the question becomes how well did the rehab go and can he last through the season. He had 22 TD and 22 INT last year with the Jets with most of the INT coming late in the season. The last thing fantasy owners need is their QB throwing INT when they need them the most. He'll be good if he returns but maybe not so much when you need him to be. For that he is ranked low.
Moved up two spots from 18. He could end up being a top ten fantasy qb before preseason is over but until then he has a lot of improving to do. That being said he could go off for three td's in his next game. Still a little early to tell.
I could easily put Eli further down on my list but quite frankly I'm a little scared of those Giants fans. I've never been an Eli fan. Not even from his college days at Ole Miss. He's always had a good running game, amazing defense, and Plaxico Burress during his NFL days. In the Super Bowl that he won he had two fumbles and an interception and one of the most spectacular game-saving catches in NFL history. Last year he had 21 TD, 10 INT, and only 202 YPG. While he has cut down on his INt since entering the league, he will go into the 2009 season without Plaxico. In his last four games last year he had only two TD and two INT while never eclipsing the 200 yard mark. Without Burress, he will need a rookie to step up right away. Expect his numbers to fall from last year.
Unlike many others, I expect for Cassel to continue his success in KC. I saw enough from him in NE to make me a believer. At 11-5 he should have been competing in the playoffs and any other year most likely would have been. It won't be easy going in KC though, especially with the loss of Tony G. Dwayne Bowe will most likely be his go to guy and they should put up decent numbers. He had 230 YPG with 21 TD and 11 INT in NE so expect his numbers to fall just a bit. He should still be good for 17 to 18 TD.
Now for my surprise pick or "sleeper" of the draft. Recognize this guy? Well me neither. This guy could shock a lot of people this year if he gets the start. He accumulated 227 YPG, 13 TD and eight INT in eight games last year. With the addition of the talented Michael Crabtree he could draw comparisons to Matt Shaub. If Alex Smith gets the start he could also be worthy of a roster spot. We'll have to wait a little longer to see how this plays out.
Hill was named the regular season starter a short time ago. This is good news for fantasy owners as it gives them another viable option at qb. He will most likely be my target for back up in the hopes that Crabtree will make an appearance sometime soon. He looked good last year without Crabtree so this year should only look better. If Crabtree does show up before regular season it will jump Hill to number 13 on this list.
Trent Edwards certainly has everything around him that a QB needs to succeed. Two great WRs in Lee Evans and Owens and a good runner in Marshawn Lynch to take the pressure off. Last year he accumulated 192 YPG while passing for 11 TD and 10 INT. He completed 65.5 percent of his passes but will have to cut down on the INT. If Owens plays as well as he can he could help make Edwards look like a decent QB.