The Top 40 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks: Nos. 26-30

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst IAugust 16, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Quarterback JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders passes the ball in the first quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the preseason game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on August 13, 2009 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)


*These rankings are based on the ESPN standard scoring system. These rankings are ESPN's, not my own. The analysis is mine.


30. Daunte Culpepper, Detroit Lions

Projected Stats: 129-of-230, 1685 yards, 9 TDs, 10 INTs, 91 points

Culpepper has one of the best and most sizable receivers in the league in Calvin Johnson. In addition, RB Kevin Smith has great versatility that can be utilized in both the rushing and passing game. And Culpepper's experience allows him to create plays on the fly. But his lack of a legitimate second receiver and offensive line will keep him from having true fantasy success.

In "snake" leagues: Draft Culpepper as one of your first two or three backups if in an eight- or 10-team league, or perhaps as your No. 2 quarterback if in a 12-team league

In "auction" leagues: Don't spend more than $28 on Culpepper

In keeper leagues: Take Culpepper somewhere between the ninth and 12th round

In IDP leagues: Select Culpepper between the 11th and 14th round


29. Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans

Projected Stats: 220-of-380, 2414 yards, 11 TDs, 9 INTs, 124 points

Collins got a new weapon this offseason in WR Nate Washington, a big-play receiver who has averaged 16.4 yards per catch since he entered the NFL in 2006. He also still has Alge Crumpler, who has impressed in the Titans' two preseason games, and Bo Scaife, Tennessee's leading receiver in 2008 with 58 catches for 561 yards.

Add in a top rushing attack that can prevent opposing defenses from playing the pass too much, and you'd think Collins is a sleeper. But the Titans are a run-first team, and with that excellent rushing game, they'll stick to their philosophy.

Don't worry about drafting Collins unless in a 12-team league. But if in a 12-team league...

In a "snake" draft: Take Collins between rounds 13 and 15

In an auction draft: Don't spend more than $22 on Collins

In a keeper league: If needed, draft Collins in one of the last two rounds

In an IDP league: Draft Collins between rounds 13 and 15


28. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams

Projected Stats: 227-of-398, 2459 yards, 12 TDs, 16 INTs, 117 points

Since throwing 24 touchdown passes to only eight interceptions in 2006, Bulger has thrown only 22 touchdowns to 28 picks the last two seasons. This trend should continue. His best—and only legitimate—receiver, Donnie Avery, is out until at least early September. TE Randy Carmichael, who caught only 11 passes last year, won't help the receiving shortage.

Bulger could produce some by throwing to RB Steven Jackson out of the backfield, but that's about it.

Simply don't bother with Bulger right now. If at midseason he's performing exceptionally well with Avery back, maybe consider picking him up.


27. Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns

Projected Stats: 204-of-328, 2159 yards, 9 TDs, 8 INTs, 28 rushes, 103 yards, 1 TD, 122 points

With the year-long suspension of receiver Donte' Stallworth, Quinn's fantasy value significantly decreases—even if he becomes the Browns' starter. Without Winslow as a security blanket and only Braylon Edwards—who drops a lot of passes these days—to throw to, Quinn just doesn't have any weapons. 

Josh Cribbs could step up and help Quinn out some, but it wouldn't be enough to make a difference. Besides, Cribbs is much more renowned as a return specialist. Cleveland's running game won't do much to ease Quinn's struggles either.

Pass on Quinn, no matter what kind of league you're in.


26. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders

Projected Stats: 223-of-387, 2641 yards, 14 TDs, 10 INTs, 23 rushes, 89 yards, 1 TD, 155 points

Russell is expected to start this year in place of free agent arrival Jeff Garcia, who is currently battling injuries anyway. Russell could be a sleeper. He has at least one legitimate receiving threat in TE Zach Miller, and if rookie Darrius Heyward-Bey steps up early in the season (as he should, since he was drafted in the top ten this year), Russell could have two nice targets.

RB Darren McFadden can catch passes out of the backfield. He is also part of an up-and-coming running game that should help take some pressure off of Russell this season.

If in a league with fewer than 12 teams, don't bite on Russell. But if you are...

In a snake draft: Take Russell between the eighth and 11th round

In an auction draft: Spend $20-$24 on Russell

In a keeper league: Take Russell in one of the last three rounds

In an IDP league: Draft Russell between the eighth and 11th round 

Top 40 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks: Nos. 36-40

Top 40 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks: Nos. 31-35