Are you ready for some football—fantasy football, that is.
There is a no shortage of soap opera storylines at the quarterback position this season in fantasy football. We have a quarterback that got himself traded from Denver to Chicago, another returning from his first major injury to reclaim the title of "King of Fantasy QBs," and a guy older than Abe Vigoda trying to prove that Father Time, a torn rotator cuff and a run-first offense cannot stop him from throwing touchdown passes at age 94.
Here are the Top 40 quarterbacks in fantasy football entering the 2009 campaign:
1. Drew Brees, Saints
This 5,000-yard man still runs the most dangerous offense in football and has more weapons at his disposal than Rambo and the Terminator combined.
2. Tom Brady, Patriots
I would be a lot more concerned about Brady’s comeback if he had ripped up his right elbow and not his ACL. Not only does he still have Randy Moss and Wes Welker, he has Joey Galloway and Chris Baker to throw to, too.
3. Peyton Manning, Colts
The elder Manning has never thrown for fewer than 3,700 yards and 26 touchdowns in 11 seasons. Has never missed a game, either.
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers
This trash-talking touchdown-tosser was tied for the top spot in touchdown passes with former teammate Brees in 2008.
5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Green Bay fans got over Brett Favre real quick thanks to Rodgers’ 4,038 passing yards and 28 touchdown passes last season.
6. Tony Romo, Cowboys
I know the "addition by subtraction" mantra has been mentioned a lot with Dallas this preseason, but I cannot see Romo’s fantasy value going up with Terrell Owens not on the field.
7. Donovan McNabb, Eagles
Putting first-rounder Jeremy Maclin and newly-acquired dog enthusiast Michael Vick together with DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook gives McNabb more speed to work with than he has ever had.
8. Jay Cutler, Bears
Chicago’s cold weather will not bother Cutler after his years in Denver. The pressure should not bother him, either. Having Devin Hester and not much else at wide receiver is already bothering him, however.
9. Carson Palmer, Bengals
Palmer is coming back after a season lost to injury to a team that no longer has T.J. Houshmandzadeh and has the slower Chad Ochocinco replacing elite receiver Chad Johnson.
10. Kurt Warner, Cardinals
After his magical 2008 season where everything went right for him, I have a sinking feeling everything might go the other way for him this season.
11. Matt Ryan Falcons
No need to worry about a sophomore slump, especially with Roddy White signed and Tony Gonzalez now on the team.
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Remember what happened the last time Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl? The following season was a disaster for Big Ben thanks to motorcycle accidents, ruptured appendixes and interceptions. And this preseason has not gotten off to a super start.
13. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
Maybe I am being too hard on Cassel, but if he was really that good wouldn’t he have had more than 21 touchdown passes when he was surrounded by all that Pro Bowl talent in New England?
14. Matt Schaub, Texans
When he stays on the field he can be a Top-10 fantasy quarterback. The problem is Schaub can only stay healthy for 11 games per season.
15. Eli Manning, Giants
Fantasy owners would argue the younger Manning is not worth $97 million.
16. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks
Fantasy owners might forget about Hasselbeck because he was a non-factor in 2008, but if he is healthy and his receiving corps is healthy, he will have a superb season.
17. David Garrard, Jaguars
It’s amazing Garrard has been as good as he has the last two years considering the garbage receivers he has been forced to throw to. An aging Torry Holt really is not a step up, either.
18. Trent Edwards, Bills
T.O. can do a lot of things to make Edwards a better fantasy quarterback, but he cannot stop it from snowing during Edwards’ home games.
19. Brett Favre, Vikings
If interceptions are a positive in your fantasy league, draft Favre in the first round.
20. Jason Campbell, Redskins
No one checks down to running backs and tight ends quicker and more often than Campbell, which is why he struggles to throw for 200 yards every week.
21. Joe Flacco, Ravens
There is no reason to believe Baltimore will suddenly open up the offense this year, so Flacco’s numbers will still be stunted.
22. Jake Delhomme, Panthers
Might throw a little better being another year removed from Tommy John surgery, though you have to wonder if his five-interception fiasco in last year’s playoffs will haunt him.
23. Chad Pennington, Dolphins
This weak-armed wonder could get phased out for Chad Henne and Pat White as the season wears on.
24. Marc Bulger, Rams
An injury-prone quarterback being protected by an injury-prone offensive line and whose top receiver is sidelined with an injury. Oh, and Bulger already broke a pinkie!
25. Brady Quinn, Browns
It is disconcerting that Quinn has yet to shake Derek Anderson in the race for the starting quarterback job in Cleveland.
26. Kyle Orton, Broncos
Not exactly known for being God’s gift to fantasy football.
27. Mark Sanchez, Jets
Do not bank on a Matt Ryan-like rookie season, but do not be surprised if he wins the starting job over Kellen Clemens.
28. Matthew Stafford, Lions
You think the first pick overall might get some playing time on an 0-16 squad? Throwing to Calvin Johnson certainly won’t hurt.
29. Shaun Hill, 49ers
Mike Martz not returning as offensive coordinator is not good news for Hill’s pass attempts.
30. Kerry Collins, Titans
Vince Young could supplant him as starter sooner than you think.
31. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders
Oakland has 17 tailbacks, yet their No. 1 receiver has three names, is unproven and was drafted way too high. Have fun, JaMarcus!
32. Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers
If you think Lefty can stay healthy for 16 games you must also think the best kicker in fantasy football is Mike Nugent.
33. Sage Rosenfels, Vikings
Rosenfels is just as mistake-prone as Favre, just a few decades younger and much less experienced.
34. Derek Anderson, Browns
If Braylon Edwards did not drop all of his passes last year, maybe Anderson would still be a starter.
35. Jeff Garcia, Raiders
I don’t see Garcia pulling a Rich Gannon and bringing Oakland to the Super Bowl.
36. Daunte Culpepper, Lions
Maybe a full training camp will help Culpepper out. Or maybe Culpepper is done.
37. Vince Young, Titans
I am not quite sure why he has been so confident coming into the season considering what happened last year, but I am pulling for him.
38. Kellen Clemens, Jets
Even if he starts for the Jets he probably will not be asked to throw the ball more than 20 times a game.
39. Alex Smith, 49ers
Tim Couch and Ryan Leaf, please move over and make room on the bust couch for Mr. Smith.
40. Matt Leinart, Cardinals
If he can pry himself away from his hot tub and keg, Leinart could get a second chance at throwing full-time to Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin again. Warner is due for an injury.