Every fantasy magazine, every fantasy football website and every person who plays fantasy football has them. Rankings. Based off opinions of where guys will finish in terms of production and when to take them in drafts or compare players in trades.
Re-draft leagues, or those you re-draft from scratch each summer, are the most widely used league formats in fantasy football today. You are focusing on what the player will do for you this season—and this season only. With that being said, and noting that my opinions will vary greatly at times with others, here are my re-draft quarterback rankings at the moment, for 2010 fantasy leagues (be sure to check out our early dynasty QB rankings):
1. Aaron Rodgers, GB. If you owned Aaron Rodgers last year, you likely consumed ways too much Alka-Seltzer. That’s because his O-line was so shoddy, every blitzing defender seemed to get a clear shot at Rodgers. Without really knowing Rodgers potential, we all winced and waited for his name to show up on the injury report. Say all you want about Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or anyone else on this list, but I’ll take the QB who can take a licking and keep on flicking the ball down the field. His line will be much improved, his weapons are young and more than able, and he has a workmanlike running game behind him.
2. Drew Brees, NO. Perhaps he’d be better ranked as 1A. The Saints offense revolves around the passing game, and there are more weapons at Brees’ disposal than you’ll find in a Quentin Tarantino film. The loss of third-down back Mike Bell will potentially lead to more red zone pass attempts, and Brees will continue to rake up the stats, Madden curse or no Madden curse.
3. Peyton Manning, IND. What can one say that hasn’t already been said about this guy during his illustrious career? I was fully expecting him to take a step backwards last season, and he responded by sprinting a 100-meter dash forward. Anthony Gonzalez adds yet another young and able weapon to Manning’s arsenal, and i think No. 18 will have something to prove this season after falling short in the Super Bowl.
4. Matt Schaub, HOU. Here’s where my rankings may conflict with others, but I’m not too worried about that. Schaub’s biggest detractor last season was concerns about him starting a full slate of games. He met that challenge and then some. He throws to the best WR in the game. He has a stellar supporting cast. Many forget how effective Owen Daniels was in the passing game last season before his injury. Daniels will be back this season, and the Kevin Walter/Jacoby Jones combo should provide a solid backup option for Schaub. It is obvious that the Texans are a pass heavy team, and the running game is still a question mark. Plus, the Texans will be in more shootouts than the other teams represented so far on this list.
5. Tony Romo, DAL. After a very productive 2009 season, Romo gets an uber-rookie receiving talent in Dez Bryant to play catch with. Miles Austin showed he can be a solid option, Jason Witten provides a reliable safety net and Felix Jones, who is a huge asset out of the backfield as a receiver, is slated to get more action in the offense.
6. Tom Brady, NE. Some knock Brady’s value this season due to the questions surrounding Wes Welker’s health. However, the Patriots have ample talent available to fill the void, and did nothing to bring in an elite running back to shift the offense’s overall focus away from the pass. Randy Moss should have a huge season … he’s in a contract situation and knows he’s likely out of New England after this season. He will step up his game, which will only help Brady.
7. Philip Rivers, SD. Rivers took the next step in his quarterbacking career last season and produced very solid stats across the board. Concerns about Vincent Jackson’s situation with the Chargers is the only red flag to watch with this young up-and-comer.
8. Jay Cutler, CHI. The 26 interceptions last year was simply unacceptable, and a reason to be sour on Cutler in 2010. However, one has to like the addition of Offensive Coordinator, Mike Martz and the chemistry that is allegedly forming between the two already. The Bears lack any proven receiving commodities, but do have a good mix of speed and size among the weapons.
9. Matt Ryan, ATL. Another head-scratcher, perhaps, for some reading this list. However, Ryan is primed to take the next step in his maturing under center this season. Even in a “disappointing” sophomore season, Ryan finished with 22 touchdowns. Roddy White is an elite receiver, and while Tony Gonzalez isn’t getting any younger, he’s still a reliable option. If you look at Peyton Manning’s stats his first two seasons as a pro QB, you’d be surprised at how similar they are to Matt Ryan’s. That is one of many reasons I have Ryan as one of my QB sleepers in drafts this summer.
10. Brett Favre, MIN. As the chinstrap ninja faithful know, I’m a huge Favre fan, and recently wrote him a letter on his pending yearly late-summer decision on whether or not to play again. Favre was purely amazing stats-wise last season, and there is little reason to think he won’t be effective again as quarterback of the Vikings. All the big-play weapons are still at his disposal, and the Vikings have some juicy matchups again in 2010. Just don’t expect him to throw only seven interceptions again.
11. Eli Manning, NYG. Quietly, Eli has become a solid fantasy QB in the league, and is someone who shouldn’t be overlooked on draft day. The 4,021 yards and 27 TDs were career highs for Manning, and he has emerging weapons in Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham. I’m also a fan of Ramses Barden. The Giants running game doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, and will likely lead to another solid passing campaign from Peyton’s little brother.
12. Joe Flacco, BAL. Sure, the addition of Anquan Boldin, combined with the solid pass-catching ability of Ray Rice out of the backfield and the reliability of Derrick Mason are all reasons to love the potential of young Flacco, but I was sold more-so on his grittiness last season playing through injury and still producing quality stats. The Ravens are on the path to big things, and Flacco is a main cog in that process. He’s another guy I’m targeting later in drafts this summer.
For the rest of these QB rankings, and commentary about QBs who didn't make the list, go here.
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