Fantasy Football: Ranking the Top 10 QBs for 2009
The games don't start for two months and the smartest of fantasy players won't draft until August, but there are plenty of fantasy matters to discuss.
I'm going to start out with my top 10 fantasy QBs, with some thoughts and analysis:
1. Tom Brady (NE)
I think Tom Brady will bounce back just fine from the injury he sustained last season. While he probably won't reach 50 TDs like he did two years ago, I think a 4,500 yard, 40 TD season is in the books, thanks to great wide receivers and no clear No. 1 back.
It's a pass happy team that's tough to defend. I don't see why they would go against the strength of that offense.
2. Drew Brees (NO)
Drew Brees is obviously a safe bet. He threw for 5,000-plus yards and 34 TDs last season.
The New Orleans Saints didn't change much offensively, nor should they have. I can see them trying to run a bit more early in the year, but they'll quickly realize that they need to pass the ball as much as possible because that's the best thing for them to do in order to succeed.
3. Peyton Manning (Ind)
Peyton Manning is probably the most consistent fantasy quarterback ever because you can pencil him in for 4,000 yards and between 28-40 TDs every year.
Losing coaches won't affect his game a whole 'heckuva' a lot (I'll miss your heckuva's, John Madden).
4. Aaron Rodgers (GB)
His numbers last year (4,038 yards, 28 TDs) were terrific for a first year starter and you can't blame Aaron Rodgers for all of the close losses that the Green Bay Packers had last year.
I think this year Ryan Grant comes into the season better than last year, which will open up the pass game and Rodgers will thrive even more than he did a season ago.
5. Philip Rivers (SD)
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of Phillip Rivers in the early going, but he's won me over. He makes his teammates better.
He's so good at spreading the ball around and leading receivers. I don't know if he'll get 34 TDs again because their running problems from last year may be fixed if LT's healthy, but he'll probably get close to 30 no matter what else they have on offense.
6. Kurt Warner (Ari)
Maybe a little low, but I'm worried about his age. It's hard for me to want to trust a guy in his late 30's coming off of a great comeback season.
I think the Super Bowl hangover is going to be there with the Arizona Cardinals. If Kurt Warner plays all 16 games, though, he's probably third on my list.
7. Carson Palmer (Cin)
Remember Carson Palmer?
A comeback year. Playing against the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers twice a year is tough, but if he's healthy like I've read he is, then Palmer is going to be very productive quarterback, once again.
I don't really believe in Cedric Benson at RB, so that means 4,000 yards and 25 TDs for Carson is very likely.
8. Matt Ryan (Atl)
I was very impressed by Matt Ryan's rookie year. I think he builds on it this year, thanks to the acquisition of Tony Gonzalez. It's going to open up the passing game a lot more, giving Ryan more options and I think he'll thrive having those opportunities.
He threw for 3,400 yards and 16 TDs a year ago. I think he'll bump it up to 3,800 and 24 TDs or so. He could be even better than that too.
9. Ben Roethlisberger (Pit)
Is Ben Roethlisberger a surprise on this list? I don't think so.
Last year he only threw 17 TDs, but two seasons ago he threw 31. Look at the schedule this year. It's much easier than last year, which will mean more numbers for Big Ben. Plus, I think Santonio Holmes will emerge as a WR this year with Heath Miller also being a good redzone target.
I think 35,00 yards with 25 TDs is very likely for Roethlisberger.
10. Tony Romo (Dal)
I really think this is going to be a bad year for Dallas. They've got a lame duck head coach with all of these great coaches sitting on the sidelines and the players seem to have given up on him.
Their WR group is well below average, while playing four times against great defenses (Giants and Eagles). Roy Williams is not a No. 1 guy and they know it. Witten's great, but other teams know Romo targets him way too much.
Romo will throw enough to be good, but the Dallas Cowboys don't have enough weapons to help him be a great fantasy QB, like he was two years ago.
I think Jay Cutler and Matt Cassell are both going to be pretty good in their new cities, but neither of them has enough passing targets to put up the huge numbers.
I like Schaub if he plays 16 games, but he never seems to be able to, so I'll stay away from him...I'm staying away from McNabbb and Eli Manning as well. They're both too inconsistent for me, although McNabb has the potential to hit 30 TDs like he's done before.
I don't think any of the other QBs are good enough to throw 25 TDs (maybe Matt Hasselbeck if he bounces back), so I really didn't think much of them.
I'd probably take Brady or Brees towards the end of round one in a draft. After that, I'd wait until round three or four because I don't think there will be that much difference between the third best fantasy QB and the six or seven guys that follow.
Next up: Running Backs.
John C. has been playing fantasy football since 1997. He has been writing online about professional wrestling for the past ten years. This is his first real foray into sports writing. Please be gentle.
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