2011 NFL Fantasy Football: Our Updated Quarterback Rankings for Week 1
Since we released our initial Week 1 rankings, the Saints and Packers opened up the season with a 76-point shootout.
Both quarterbacks—Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans' Drew Brees—were nearly perfect as they combined for 84 pass attempts, 731 yards and six touchdowns while throwing no interceptions.
In fact, Rodgers shot back at those who criticized the Packers' lack of player-organized offseason workouts when asked about his 14-for-15 and three-touchdown start to the game in the first quarter in his post-game comments.
Here are our updated top 30 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 1 (opponents in parenthesis):
1. Michael Vick, Eagles (at STL): Not counting passing stats (for Vick) or receiving stats (for running backs), Vick finished 23 overall in fantasy points from rushing stats alone compared to running backs. In other words, he's a low-end RB2 in a 12-team league if he didn't throw any passes, but he does.
2. Philip Rivers, Chargers (vs. MIN): Rivers threw for a league-high 4,710 yards with a bunch of waiver-wire players plus Antonio Gates last year. With Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd all in the lineup, the sky's the limit. In fact, my bold prediction for 2011 is that Rivers breaks Dan Marino's single-season passing yardage record.
3. Tom Brady, Patriots (at MIA): Surprisingly, Brady threw for less than 200 yards in both of his starts against the Dolphins last year. Granted, Brady came out after a 38-0 start to one of those games. Either way, that streak ends here.
4. Matt Schaub, Texans (vs. IND): Only one quarterback has more passing yards than Schaub in the past two years combined: Drew Brees. Let's just hope he does better than last year's opening week matchup against the Colts: 9-for-17 passing for 107 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
5. Josh Freeman, Bucs (vs. DET): Provided Tampa's line keeps Ndamukong Suh from bodyslamming Freeman; he should be able to pick apart the Lions secondary, which is still the defense's weakness.
6. Matt Stafford, Lions (at TB): The Lions like to air it out, Stafford can sling it and MegaTron is a physical freak. Stafford is healthy for now, at least.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (at BAL): In the past three years (four matchups), Roethlisberger has thrown exactly one touchdown against the Ravens each game. The Steelers have won the past seven games (counting the playoffs) in which Roethlisberger started, but their matchups typically go down to the wire (discuss game in our NFL Gameday Forum).
8. Matt Ryan, Falcons (at CHI): With the addition of Julio Jones through the draft and expected emergence of Harry Douglas in the slot to go along with Roddy White, Ryan is poised for a big year. That said, Ryan has a tough matchup this week (and an even tougher one next week against the Eagles).
9. Tony Romo, Cowboys (at NYJ): Loaded with weapons, Romo should have a big year. However, the good times might not start rolling until Week 2. The Jets have the league's best cornerback in Darrelle Revis and arguably the best tandem with Revis and Antonio Cromartie.
10. Eli Manning, Giants (at WAS): Although he completed less than half of his pass attempts in the pre-season, Manning is coming off back-to-back 4,000-yard seasons and has two standout receivers in Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
11. Joe Flacco, Ravens (vs. PIT): Flacco played o.k. against the Steelers last year: 250-plus yards and one touchdown in each regular-season game. That's similar to what I expect in Week 1.
12. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals (vs. CAR): The Panthers allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks because they allowed the fourth-most to running backs. (And why I like Beanie Wells this week.)
13. Jay Cutler, Bears (vs. ATL): It's hit-or-miss with Cutler (and that's not a reference to his 52 sacks last year). Cutler threw three (or more) touchdowns five times last year. Cutler threw zero touchdowns five times. In other words, he will play great, badly or somewhere in between.
14. Kyle Orton, Broncos (vs. OAK): Although I expect the Broncos to run more under John Fox, I like the matchup against the Nnamdi Asomugha-led Raiders.
15. Sam Bradford, Rams (vs. PHI): Coming into 2011, Bradford was hyped up (and rightfully so). Unfortunately, Bradford gets Asomugha plus two other Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks in Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Well, there is always next week.
16. Mark Sanchez, Jets (vs. DAL): The Cowboys secondary is banged up with Terence Newman out and Mike Jenkins questionable for Sunday night. In addition, no team allowed more passing touchdowns than the Cowboys last year.
17. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (vs. BUF): Cassel, who suffered a rib injury in the fourth preseason game, was a full participant in practice this week and should be ready to go against the Bills. The loss of Charlie Weis (to the University of Florida) and tight end Tony Moeaki (to a torn ACL) could hurt Cassel's year-over-year production.
18. Kerry Collins, Colts (at HOU): Interestingly enough, Collins played well in his last game, which was against the Colts (28-39 for 300 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions). In fact, he threw for 1,016 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions in his final four games. Maybe we are worried for nothing. Nah, who am I kidding?
19. Colt McCoy, Browns (vs. CIN): McCoy has one career multi-touchdown game. Want to guess against which team?
The rest of our top 30 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 1:
20. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (at KC)
21. Alex Smith, 49ers (vs. SEA)
22. Cam Newton, Panthers (at ARI)
23. Rex Grossman, Redskins (vs. NYG)
24. Jason Campbell, Raiders (at DEN)
25. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (at JAX)
26. Donovan McNabb, Vikings (at SD)
27. Chad Henne, Dolphins (vs. NE)
28. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks (at SF)
29. Andy Dalton, Bengals (at CLE)
30. Luke McCown, Jaguars (vs. TEN)
If you have a question (trade proposal, lineup decision, etc.), feel free to post it in our free fantasy football forum.
Good luck in your Week 1 matchup(s)!
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