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College Fantasy Football: Way-Too-Early 2011 Quarterback Rankings

East Carolina QB Dominique Davis
East Carolina QB Dominique DavisGeoff Burke/Getty Images
Todd at CollegeFootballGeek.comCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2011

The long, cold winter has definitely settled in: 23 degrees, drifting snow. Continually lacing up the ol' Sorel Caribous. Undaunted by the fact that we have not seen the sun in about 26 days, we press on with a watchful eye on the 2011 college fantasy football season.

Now that the underclassmen have declared their intentions, we have a pretty good sense for the talent pool returning. So we put together what we affectionately call our "Way Too Early" 2011 player rankings.

Please understand there is a reason for the title. It is a first glance at the 2011 prospects. A gut feel. We have not fully analyzed returning o-lineman for each school. We have not yet plugged in the incoming stud recruits (signing day is February 2nd). We did not account for all of the new coaching changes, and we have not taken a peek at the upcoming fall schedules.  All of that will come with due time. 

We'll release one article per position per day. Here's the schedule:

Friday, January 21 - Quarterbacks
Monday, January 24 - Running Backs
Tuesday, January 25 - Wide Receivers
Wednesday, January 26 - Tight Ends & Kickers

We are going to pass on defensive rankings until later this spring. So, without further adieu, let us dive into the quarterbacks!


"Way Too Early" 2011 Quarterback Rankings

For the first time in a while, there probably is not a true consensus preseason No. 1 college fantasy QB (as we sit here in January).  Houston's Case Keenum is clinging onto our top spot for the moment, but he is coming off an ACL injury—a worrisome trait for someone residing in our poll position.

If you're a glass half-empty kind of guy, there are holes to punch in the fantasy prospects of both Tulsa's G.J. Kinne and East Carolina's Dominique Davis.  Kinne's head coach jumped ship for Pitt, while Dom lost his leading receiver as well as four offensive linemen.

Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon are both surprisingly back in the fold in Stillwater.  But the guy who masterminded their dramatic offensive rise in 2010, offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, left for Morgantown. As of this writing, head coach Mike Gundy has yet to name a new OC, although it is widely assumed they are going to try to keep the same offensive system in place. Easier said than done.

Hawaii gunslinger Bryant Moniz loses just about everyone around him—eight offensive starters including WR Greg Salas, WR Kealoha Pilares and RB Alex Green. Can the Rainbow Warriors slap together a decent o-line and find a fresh new set of receivers in time for September?

NC State's Russell Wilson will spend another offseason figuring out whether he will take to the diamond or remain on the gridiron. Something tells me he might opt for baseball this time around.

Since Michigan dumped RichRod, Denard Robinson becomes a tough guy to rank. If new head coach Brady Hoke decides to keep Shoelace in a similar offensive system, he'll shoot up our rankings. If there is any uncertainty, well then, D-Rob becomes a risky proposition. Spring should be very interesting in Ann Arbor.


Other QB questions to chew on

* Can North Western's Dan Persa return from a late season Achilles' tendon injury? 

* What will the Boise State passing game look like without star wideouts Austin Pettis and Titus Young?

* Can BYU's Jake Heaps build upon his monster bowl game to become a viable fantasy QB?

* Will Seth Doege win the Texas Tech starting gig?

* What new twists and turns will we find in the Taylor Martinez soap opera? If you could guarantee us that he would be healthy and controversy-free in 2011, we would rank T-Magic much higher than where he currently sits.

* Who will Western Michigan's Alex Carder throw the ball to this fall? Trusty wideouts Juan Nunez and Jordan White are no more in Kalamazoo. Ditto for San Diego State's Ryan Lindley.

* Will Year 2 of the Sonny Dykes Project at La Tech go smoother than last year's disaster?  We expected fireworks and were treated to a fizzled out sparkler instead.

* With Blaine Gabbert off to greener pastures, will newbie James Franklin be able to step in and produce right away at Mizzou?  His supporting cast is outstanding.

* Can new OC Dana Holgorsen transform West Virginia's Geno Smith into a fantasy stud?

* Will senior-to-be Tyler Lantrip be able to even remotely resemble Colin Kaepernick in Reno? Or will host-shot youngster Cody Fajardo get a few reps in Coach Ault's Pistol offense?

* Who wins the quarterback battle in South Bend this spring? It should be fun watching Tommy Rees and Dayne Crist duke it out.

* Can Georgia-transfer Zach Mettenberger steal the LSU starting job out from under incumbent Jordan Jefferson?


Whew! There is certainly a lot to ponder as we head into the spring. Here is how we stack up the signal callers for the time being.


CollegeFootballGeek.com's "Way Too Early" 2011 Quarterback Rankings

1Case KeenumHoustonreturning from ACL injury
2GJ KinneTulsalost HC Todd Graham to Pitt, but talent returns
3Dominique DavisECUloses four o-linemen and WR Dwayne Harris
4Landry JonesOklahomaoffense loaded, Broyles is back
5Robert GriffinBaylornine offensive starters return
6Austin DavisSouthern Missnine offensive starters return
7Brandon WeedenOklahoma St.OC Dana Holgorsen gone, Blackmon returns
8Bryant MonizHawaiiloses eight offensive starters
9Ryan AplinArkansas St.skill players return, old OC is new HC
10Darron ThomasOregonloses three o-linemen and WR Jeff Maehl
11Kyle PadronSMU10 starters return, but Aldrick Robinson is lost
12Russell WilsonNC Stateweighing his options with baseball
13Dan PersaNorthwesternAchilles' injury recovery is huge concern
14Nick FolesArizonaWR Juron Criner returns but four o-lineman are gone
15Denard RobinsonMichigancould be ranked much higher if utilized same way
16Andrew LuckStanfordonly four starters back on offense
17Geno SmithWest VirginiaOC Daa Holgerson should help, foot surgery in Jan.
18Kellen MooreBoise Stateloses both WRs Austin Pettis and Titus Young
19Chandler HarnishNo. Illinoisnine offensive starters return, but RB Spann is gone
20Alex CarderW. Michiganinterior o-line is lost, WR Nunez and Jordan White gone
21Bryan EllisUABsolid line returns, as does RB Pat Shedd
22Chris RelfMississippi St.was a monster in final three games
23Taylor MartinezNebraskathe soap opera continues.  High risk, high reward
24Tyler WilsonArkansas  should fill in admirably for Mallett
25Zach CollarosCincinnatiin for a bounce-back year?
26Jeffrey GodfreyUCFcan he avoid the sophomore slump?
27Nate ScheelhaaseIllinoislots of talent is gone, including LeShoure
28Tim JeffersonAir Force769 rushing yards, 15 rush TDs in 2010
29Seth DoegeTexas Techwould be ranked higher if we knew he was starter
30Kolton BrowningUL-Monroedual threat had a nice freshmen year
31Matt BarkleyUSCfizzled in second half of season after strong start
32Dayne CristNotre Dameif clear cut starter emerges, would be ranked higher
33Corey RobinsonTroyfinished strong—1,000 yards in final three outings
34Ryan LindleySan Diego St.lost HC Brady Hoke, plus WRs Brown and Sampson
35Zac DysertMiami, Ohiocan he win job back from Boucher?
36Ryan RadcliffC. Michiganthrew for 3,358 yards in first year as starter
37Terrelle PryorOhio Statefive-game suspension is a killer
38Kriss ProctorNavyshowed flashes as backup to Ricky Dobbs
39Tyler BrayTennesseehad a promising freshman year to build upon
40Jake HeapsBYUstrong final five games, huge bowl game
41James FranklinMissourirushing threat, lots of weapons to work with
42John BrantleyFlorida Charlie Weis could help Brantley outif he's the starter
43Stephen GarciaSouth CarolinaLattimore and Alson Jeffrey return to help
44Ross JenkinsLa Techlots of competition for job, first year was a bust
45Ryan TannehillTexas A&Mfilled in nicely for Jerrod Johnson
46Aaron MurrayGeorgiaLoses AJ Green
47Steven ThreetArizona StateBrock Osweiler will battle him for job
48Taylor McHargueRicewhoever wins Rice job is a sleeper to watch
49Tevin WashingtonGeorgia Techgreat rushing QB with lots of upside
50EJ ManuelFlorida Stateshowed glimpses past couple seasons

 


51
BJ DanielsUSFterrible bust in 2010.  can he bounce back?
52Alex GillettE. Michigancapable of huge games, but is wildly inconsistent
53Austin DantinToledohad some nice games before injury
54Jordan WynnUtahsolid but unspectacular
55Kirk CousinsMichigan St.only three games of 20+ fantasy points in 2010
56Sean RenfreeDukeinconsistent sophomore year, nice potential
57Garrett GilbertTexas  huge question mark after disastrous 2010 season
58Trent SteelmanArmyfive games of 20+ fantasy points in 2010
59Chris MassonUL-Lafayettefour games of 20+ fantasy points, missed four with injury
60Jordan JeffersonLSUwith RB Ridley gone, will he be asked to do more?
61Danny O'BrienMarylandloses stud WR Torrey Smith, coach Edsall in place
62Rob HenryPurduedual threat who finished strong in last two games
63Matt McGloinPenn Statewill battle Paul Jones and Rob Bolden for job
64Phil BatesOhio  great runner, needs to work on his passing
65Tyler LantripNevadareplacing Colin Kaepernick will be impossible
66Jacory HarrisMiami, FLnew coaching staff, Stephen Morris could win job
67MarQueis GrayMinnesotahas all the tools to be a star, will he be QB or WR?
68Collin KleinKansas Staterunning QB who will need to improve passing game
69Pete ThomasColorado Statedeep sleeper with some upside
70Ryan KatzOregon Stateonly had one 20+ fantasy point game in 2010
71Mike GerardiTemplehad some nice games down the stretch
72Ryan GriffinTulaneplayed well against weak teams on schedule
73Chas DoddRutgersQB Tom Savage is transferring
74Brock MansionCalShane Vereen is gone, but eight starters return
75Tino SunseriPittsburghcould Todd Graham turn him into a stat machine?
76Jeff TuelWashington St.threw for 2,780 yards and 18 TDS
77Jerry DavisBuffalobattled Alex Zordich for time last fall
78AJ McCarronAlabamaPhilip Sims battling for job
79Taj BoydClemsonfinally, Kyle Parker is gone and the job is his
80Ryan NassibSyracusehad a surprisingly good 2010 campaign
81Matt SchilzBowling GreenWR Kamar Jorden returns to help out
82Casey PachallTCUtough to replace Andy Dalton
83Jon BudmayrWisconsinCurt Phillips will fight for starting job
84Wesley CarrollFlorida Int'lTY Hilton returns to help out
85Logan KilgoreMiddle Tennunenviable task of replacing Dwight Dasher
86Tommy ReesNotre Damewhoever wins ND QB job should do well in year two
87Austin BoucherMiami, Ohiowill battle Dysert for starting job
88Mike GlennonNC Statewill jump way up if Russell Wilson plays baseball
89David PilandHoustonwaiting in wings if Keenum is not 100 percent
90Kawaun JakesW. Kentuckyspot starter at best
91Tyler HansenColorado   had a few decent outings before rupturing spleen
92Spencer KeithKent Stateinconsistent.  Had two nice games and five terrible ones
93Nathan StanleyOle Misswith Jeremiah Masoli gone, the job should be his
94Terrance OwensToledowill battle Austin Dantin for starting gig
95Jerome TillerIowa StateAusten Arnaud and Alexander Robinson depart
96Jordan WebbKansas  had a disappointing 2010 season
97Patrick NicelyAkronfour decent outings to go along with 8 awful ones
98Logan ThomasVirginia Techreplaces Tyrod Taylor
99Caleb HerringUNLVhopes to replace Omar Clayton
100Stephen MorrisMiami, FLcould unseat Jacory Harris as the starter


Todd DeVries is the founder of CollegeFootballGeek.com, your premier destination for all things college fantasy football.

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