An Updated Look at my 2010 QB Rankings

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An Updated Look at my 2010 QB Rankings

by John Gustafson, john@fantasylion.com

About 4 months ago, I came out with my intital QB rankings for 2010. Now that some situations have become a little clearer, let’s take a pre-draft look at where everyone’s at. I’ve added the round where I would draft each player in ( ) in a 12 team league. Also included are the comments for each player I posted back in December. Now I know some of these guys will and deserve to be drafted higher, but I tend to wait on QBs which will be reflected on the suggested rounds.

THE STUDS

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB (end of round 2)- I still have a huge man crush on A-Rod. I’d love to see the Packers add Ryan Mathews with the 23rd overall pick should he fall to them to bring a little extra something to their running game and take some heat off of Rodgers.

12/22 comments: NFL’s “A-Rod” is bad ass. I’ve had him the last 2 years and want him on my team’s for the next 10.

2. Peyton Manning, IND (early 3rd round)- His Super Bowl performance was heart-breaking, but Manning is as consistent as they come.

12/22 comments: Slow and steady wins the race. Add in a killer instinct and a tremendous amount of weapons and you have a very deadly combo.

3. Drew Brees, NO (middle of round 3)- The guy got it done and deserves all the credit. On top of being a class act, the guy is a pretty good QB as well. He has a lot of options, unfortunately, none of them are truly dominant.

12/22 comments: Sorry still not buying that he’s the #1 fantasy QB. I don’t know why I can’t give him more love, but I just can’t.

4. Philip Rivers, SD (early 4th round)- LT is out, but they’ll likely bring in a new back before all is said and done. However, his weapons in the passing game should still be in tact. Gates is getting older, but he’s still got at least one more good year in him. Jackson’s off the field problems concern me but Floyd and Nanee would be able to fill in for him if he gets suspended.

12/22 comments: He’s a stud and unless the Chargers bring in a new RB, their offense will look very similar in ‘010. Without a consistent running game, PRiv will air out to the league’s tallest receiving corps.

5. Matt Schaub, Hou (mid 4th round)- He managed to stay healthy last year and put up great numbers despite really only having Andre Johnson once Owen Daniels went down. Kevin Walter had a down year as well. Should OD return healthy and Walter return to his old form or Jacoby Jones emerge, this offense could be awfully scary in 2010.

12/22 comments: He’s got the best WR in the NFL and a coach who knows how to move the ball through the air. As long as he stays healthy again next year, Schaub should be solid once again.

6. Tom Brady, NE (mid 4th round)- Welker isn’ t a lock to return by week 1 and Edelman should fill in nicely, but he’s no Welker. Brady & Co should have at least one more year in them. It’d be nice to see Brandon Tate return from an injury plagued rookie season and make an impact as a possible Moss heir.

12/22 comments: Still love the guy, but Randy isn’t getting any younger and his beard is starting to rival Kimbo Slice’s. Brady will still have Welker who is money, but the hopes of seeing a repeat 2007’s statisical phenomenon are long gone.

SECONDARY STARTERS

7. Brett Favre, Min (mid 5th round)- Well it looks like the old man will be back. He has plenty of weapons, doesn’t miss time, and plays in a weak division. I’d take my chances with that.

12/22 comments: Should the old man come back to Min he’ll be just as good next year, if not better. Will he be a Viking? Will he retire? Eh, we won’t know until about a week before the season starts anyways. Enjoy the offseason Brent. I’m sure the rest of your teammates appreciate you hogging the media attention from the comfort of your own home while they are busting their asses in the heat and 2-a-days during the summer.

8. Tony Romo, Dal (late 5th round)- I really like Miles Austin and as long as Romo has someone other than Witten to throw to, he should be in for another productive year. The Cowboys are also being thrown around as a team interested in Oklahoma State stud, Dez Bryant. Bryant would be a nice little upgrade over the dog Roy Williams.

12/22 comments: He can certainly get loose and usually handles weak defenses. The emergence of Austin gives him a top ten ranking, but his inconsistency keeps him out of the top 5.

9. Joe Flacco, Bal (late 6th round but you’d likely be able to get him around the 8th)- I may have Flacco higher than most, but I would draft him as my starter this year. With the addition of Boldin, Derrick Mason should be able to move to the WR2 position where he’s a better fit. He also has all-world Ray Rice to check down to as well. Boldin’s gives this offense a dimension that it was lacking last year which should translate to better numbers for Flacco and Mason.

12/22 comments: Flacco could be ranked higher but his lack of receiving options concerns me. If Mason retires, then what? Hopefully, they go after someone in free agency if he does, because Ray Rice would be about all he’d have if Mason left.

10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pit (7th round)- Oh Ben, Bennie Ben Ben Ben. Hopefully his offseason playtime doesn’t affect his on-field playtime. Not to mention teammate Holmes’ recent offseason trouble as well. Hopefully they can get their act together before the start of the season.

12/22 comments: Ward and Holmes are as good of a 1-2 combo in the NFL that there is and Wallace emerged as a legitimate deep threat in 2009. Add Heath Miller to the mix and the Steelers should have continued success throwing the ball next year.

11. Kevin Kolb, Phi (7th round)- I thought the Eagles would give the kid a chance if McNabb disappointed in the playoffs and now he’s getting that chance. Kolb is a boom-or-bust pick in 2010. Kolb’s situation is similar to Aaron Rodgers’ in 2008. Rodgers came cheaply that year and put up monster numbers. With all the weapons Kolb has, I like his chances to be a nice value in 2010. He averaged 350 yards, threw for 4 TDs and 3 INTs in his two starts in 2009.

Just added 4/6

12. Jay Cutler, Chi (8th round but you’d like be able to get him around the 10th)- Cutler rounds out the QBs I consider starters next year. He’s not a guy you want to reach on, but with the addition of Mike Martz, Cutler could be a great candidate to target if you wait on your QBs and load up at the other positions. His WRs still leave something to be desired, but the team might go after another WR yet. I wasn’t that high on him, but I’m warming up to him especially since most people will pass on Cutler after he threw for a league high 27 INTs last year.

12/22 comments: I still like the guy and think he’s very talented. His options are like the Bad News Bears of NFL WRs. A lot of people may have written Cutler off, but for the first 9 weeks of the season he was a top 10 fantasy QB. His second half slide might result in Cutler being available as late as the 10th round next year. I’d certainly take him there.

BORDERLINE STARTERS/EARLY BACKUPS

13. Donovan McNabb, Was (8th round)- This team gets an upgrade at QB, but it doesn’t do much for me in terms of fantasy. There’s a lot of questions regarding this offense that have me feeling very blah about their fantasy values. Which of their has-been RBs is going to carry the load? Will the OL fail Dono like they did Campbell? I’m not high on Moss, but will this open the door for Thomas? If Shanahan isn’t sold that Thomas is ready, does he pursue Marshall? For now, I’ll take the wait-and-see approach.

12/22 comments: He would be ranked higher if he could stay healthy. DeSean, Maclin, Celek, and McCoy give McNabb the best young options in the league. Kolb waiting in wings? Maybe, but McNabb should be the uncontested starter in 2010…unless he blows it big time down the stretch.

14. Carson Palmer, Cin (9th round)- Well it looks like the Bengals brass were reading my blog by bringing in Antonio Bryant. Bryant should be an excellent complimentary WR to Chad OchoCinco. The Bengals were committed to the running game last year and that should continue, so Palmer may not light it up every week. If they do allow Palmer to throw it more, then perhaps my ranking is too conservative.

12/22 comments: He’s an incredibly talented QB but his options are minimal. Should Caldwell emerge, he could be back in business as a top 10 QB.

15. Eli Manning, NYG (9th round) - Eli had a much better year than I expected him to last year and this should continue in 2010 as he has plenty of options. I really like Nicks going forward and Smith emerged as Eli’s go to guy. Super Mario is also in the mix. The division is there for the taking should Eli & Co step up to the challenge.

12/22 comments: Eli is another QB with a great young WR corps. The continued development with Hakeem Nicks could result in Eli being a must start every week in 2010.

16. Alex Smith, SF (10th round)- As much as I pleaded the Niners not to bring back Smith, they did. Now that he’s here I will list off the “Alexcuses” on why I won’t give up on Alex Smith just yet… 1) For the first time he’s working with the same offensive coordinator that he had the year before. 2) I trust Coach Mike. 3) Vernon broke out when Smith was the starter. 4) They might draft CJ Spiller giving them even more firepower in their offense. 5) Crabtree is getting his first full offseason of work in. The team is also committed to running a system that fits to Smith’s strengths which is a spread attack. The Niners should have gone after McNabb, but I’m hoping Smith proves me wrong this season. If he does, he’ll be a steal as your fantasy backup.

12/22 comments: Will he still be with SF? As a Niner fan, I hope not, but my non-biased side says he will be. If he is, he’d be a solid fantasy backup. He does have very good options to go to.

17. Matthew Stafford, Det (10th round)- With the addition of Nate Burleson, the options are starting to come together. Burleson can’t stay healthy but he should take some heat off of Megatron while he is. Kevin Smith is rehabbing and hopeful to be ready by the start of the season. The team may even add Jahvid Best as a complimentary back to Kevin Smith in the draft. The defensive side of the ball is improving as well which should keep the Lions in more games and allow Stafford to play smarter football and not be forced to make things happen on his own.

12/22 comments: This high ranking is more of a hunch. Stafford put up decent fantasy numbers for a rookie QB playing with basically 1 and half options in the passing game. This team should only get better and the Lions could bring in more help at the WR position. Plus the offseason will give Megatron, Pettigrew, and him a chance to heal.

18. Matt Ryan, Atl (11th round)- Ryan has the tools and has a great #1 WR in Roddy White, but this team is still a run first team so that limits Ryan’s production and his fantasy value. He’s a very safe pick, but I tend to draft aggressively so Ryan may not be a guy I necessarily target this year because most will have him a lot higher. I was a lot more excited about him in December, lol.

12/22 comments: After a solid rookie season, Ryan fell off a bit. Injuries can do that to ya. I do like Ryan to bounce back in ‘010 and be a nice value at the QB position. I imagine he’d probably be available in the 7th round or later and in a division where he gets to see 3 average defenses twice a year, Ryan should be a great option next year.

SOLID BACKUPS

19. Matt Cassel, KC (11th round)- Chambers is back and the team also brought in Thomas Jones. The Jones move should allow Charles to stay healthy by not having to carry the whole load over the course of a full season. Bowe should also have more of an impact getting a full season in and a 2nd year to familiarize with Cassel. This offense could be a nice surprise in 2010. Cassel should come cheaply and make a nice backup and maybe even a potential starter if he can stay consistent.

12/22 comments: If Chambers is back, Cassel will have 3 solid options to go to. The secondary options are not bad either. The implementation of more spread/passing plays may give Cassel the chance to be the starting fantasy QB next year that most owners expected this year.

20. Kyle Orton, Den (12th round)- Orton is here simply because Marshall is still in Denver. If Marshall leaves, or better yet, when Marshall leaves, I’ll probably move Orton into the undraftable list for the likes of Chad Henne or Matt Moore. 

12/22 comments: He’s got a beast in Brandon Marshall to throw to, but he doesn’t utilize much else. Another year in McDaniels system may help him to elevate his game which in turn would elevate his numbers and hopefully the reemergence of Eddie Royal.

21. Vince Young, Ten (12th round)- I may have been a little drunk on the Vince Young Kool-Aid back in December… top 10? Doubtful. He’ll be a guy I target as a backup because he does have a high upside. It will be interesting to see if Kenny Britt can beat out Gage and take over as the team’s #1. If he does, I like VY a little bit more.

12/22 comments: He may move up into the top 10 over the course of the offseason. He’s looked great and has produced solid to great fantasy numbers every week he’s started this year. A fresh start in 2010 may be exactly what VY needs to catapult to fantasy greatness. Having CJ28 certainly helps as well.

22. Matt Leinart, Ari (13th round)- I’m not convinced he can hold off Anderson. If he does, he’ll have plenty of options to work with thus giving him automatic fantasy relevance. I’d feel lot more comfortable with him as my backup to start the season and hope he can play well and not have to worry about getting pulled for Derek Anderson should he stumble.

Just added 4/6

23. David Garrard, Jac (14th round)- Garrard shows flashes, and he does have some decent options, but I won’t pick him as anything more than a backup.

12/22 comments: I know I kind of snubbed this guy considering he’s a top 12 fantasy QB right now, but I still don’t know if I trust the guy. Who knows with a guy like Jack Dick Rio. He may get a wild hair up his —- and want to go in another direction. Hey, he’s done it before, just ask Byron Leftwich.

24. Mark Sanchez, NYJ (14th round)- Sanchez really impressed me in the playoffs. However, the Jets will be a run-first team so Sanchez may have a pretty low ceiling because of it. If the team lets him air it out some more then he could surprise with some decent numbers. Still at this point, he’s nothing more than a fantasy backup.

12/22 comments: As much as I hate on the Jets, I think Sanchez could have a real chance to be a productive player next year. I don’t like Braylon Edwards, but he is capable. Cotchery makes a nice #2 and Keller is effective out of the TE position. The Jets will be able to effectively run the ball so Sanchez could be a steady but unsexy player next year.

THE UNDRAFTABLES

At this point, I’m not drafting these QBs. Moore and Henne may find their way off this list very soon.

  • Matt Moore, Car
  • Chad Henne, Mia
  • Jamarcus Russell, Oak
  • Jake Delhomme, Cle
  • AJ Feeley, Stl
  • Matt Hassleback, Sea
  • Josh Freeman, TB
  • Trent Edwards, Buf
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