Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesSeptember 1, 2010
Why not? It often seems as if people want to take chances simply for the sake of taking them. When drafting in the first round, your goal is to make that pick count. Brees is a model of consistency and directs one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.
The guy averages 4,575 passing yards and 31 TD's in four years with the Saints. How much more can you reasonably expect from anyone else?
Are you sensing a theme here? Consistently great. Loaded offense. Sounds familiar doesn't it? Peyton is 1B to Drew's 1A. They are the surest bets on the board at quarterback and there's a reason they opposed one another in last season's Super Bowl. Manning could possibly go down in history as both the greatest quarterback in fantasy football history and the NFL's all-time greatest quarterback. Nice legacy.
The NFL's version of A-Rod is everyone else's No. 1 fantasy QB. With good reason, too. The kid has skills and weapons, leading a team on the rise. I just can't see his ceiling being as high as my top two guys, hence Rodgers lands at number three for me.
Brady is as competitive as any player in the entire NFL. He knows how disappointing last season was. He also knows that the window for another Patriots Super Bowl run is closing quickly. Expect him to demand one more huge season from Randy Moss and utilize his talented pair of rookie TE's a lot in the red zone. A healthy Wes Welker will be a huge bonus.
I've always liked Schaub, but I'll always be skeptical about his ability to stay healthy. He finally had the season in '09 that so many people had been expecting from him since he joined the Texans. In order for Schaub to have a strong follow-up in 2010, he'll need Owen Daniels to get healthy in a hurry and a receiver (Jacoby Jones, perhaps) to step his game up. Andre Johnson is the given.
Romo has been anything but consistent since taking over at quarterback for the Cowboys. Lack of reps with future star Dez Bryant combined with not currently having a dependable second option—I'm looking at you Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton—have Romo slipping. If somebody doesn't do something soon (more reps for Kevin Ogletree) to improve Dallas' aerial attack, this could become a full blown slide.
Rivers is a much better NFL quarterback than he is a fantasy QB. For example, his QB rating in 2009 was third in the league while he ranked in the lower half of starting fantasy quarterbacks. Don't fall too in love with this guy.
With star WR Vincent Jackson holding out into the season, who knows if Malcolm Floyd can ascend to the heights of an NFL No. 1 receiver. Look for Rivers to find Antonio Gates in the red zone more often this year, and Legedu Naanee to possibly take off as a viable fantasy starter.
If your league penalizes for interceptions you are permitted to disregard this ranking. However, the overwhelming majority of my leagues these days are not negative points leagues, and based on that scoring system, Cutler's disastrous 2009 season still ranked him among the top eight QB's. He clearly developed a rapport with Devin Aromashodu late last year and now has Mike Martz' aerial show coming to the windy city. Johnny Knox is ready to explode a la DeSean Jackson in '09. Consider this a pure upside play.
I'm buying on Kolb in 2010. He and his weapons in Philly are all in the same age range and these kids are going to get every chance to grow up and grow old together. The Eagles nucleus is flat out scary, and Kolb gets to direct them.
As good as some of the other young QB's around the league have looked, none have the fantasy upside of Kolb. I'm not willing to compare him to A-Rod, but the situation is similar and his mobility is very underrated.
Nobody was happier than Flacco to welcome Anquan Boldin to Baltimore, right? "Joe Cool" has made an impressive impact on the NFL despite never having a true No. 1 wide out at his disposal. Boldin brings that to the Ravens and should provide the impetus for Flacco to become a regular starting fantasy QB in 2010 and beyond. He'll probably never be a top five guy, but he should be dependable.
Brett's back. Bad wheel and all. He's still a fantasy starter, but nowhere near his final ranking from 2009. My heart says Favre has another run in him. My head, however, thinks the future Hall of Famer is finally going to miss some games this season before he hangs up his cleats for good. Missing Sidney Rice for at least eight weeks is going to hurt almost as bad as that ankle.
The younger Manning bro put together his first start-to-finish campaign last season and I expect him to improve along with the development of future fantasy star WR Hakeem Nicks. Steve Smith is Eli's go-to guy and should contribute at least 90 more receptions, while Ahmad Bradshaw's increased playing time will provide more options in the short passing game. An improved defense and heavier emphasis on the run could cost Eli opportunities, though.
Palmer has as many legitimate options as he's ever had at his disposal. If the elbow stays healthy he could be a fantasy starter.
"Matty Ice" was a hot pick to make a big move in 2009 and he disappointed. Not a bad matchup option, but not a starter.
Stafford is the "it" QB sleeper this season. I see no reason not to think he won't step his game up significantly.
I'm torn on VY. I want to believe he has turned the corner, but I fear he's still very immature. Subpar receiving corps as well.
Henne finished last season averaging 274 yards per game and two TD's over his last four games. Brandon Marshall should only aid in his growth.
McNabb has had some struggles learning a new offense after a decade in the NFL. Once he gets it he will be a plus backup.
Big Ben got himself into hot water in the offseason and is suspended for at least four games. If you take a chance at QB, take Roethlisberger to fall back on.
I can go either way on Smith. I'll probably just let someone else have him. A full season with Crabtree could certainly help him keep getting better though.
Cassel has an entire year in Todd Haley's system now and two new weapons on offense. Thomas Jones will help boost the running game and Dexter McCluster should be a playmaker.
Anderson is the man for the Cards. It's official. Whether or not he can regain his 2007 form remains to be seen. At least he has Larry Fitzgerald to throw the ball to.
He really isn't as bad as you think. However, he also isn't as good as the Raiders hope. Stop-gap option or bye week replacement only.
At one point, Hasselbeck was a solid fantasy starter. The seems so long ago now. These days he's barely on the fantasy football radar.