NFL Fantasy Football: Week 4 Quarterback Rankings

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIISeptember 29, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots calls an audible during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

No quarterback in the history of the NFL has thrown for as many yards as Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has in a three-game span (1,327 yards).

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Brady leads the NFL in passing attempts (133) and he's on pace to throw a record-breaking 709 times this year. That would break Drew Bledsoe's record of 691 pass attempts set in 1994.

Thirteen quarterbacks have thrown 110-plus times (16-game pace of 586-plus attempts) through Week 3.

From 2003 to 2010, a quarterback threw 586 passes (or more) only 12 times. In fact, it's something that has been done only 33 times in the history of the NFL.

Last year, there were eight quarterbacks that threw 110-plus times by Week 3. From 2001 to 2009, no more than six quarterbacks threw it that much in any given season.

After the 13 quarterbacks that have thrown it 110 times this season, the next seven quarterbacks in the rankings have thrown it 103 to 109 times.

With the quarterbacks airing it out more than ever, it's no surprise that seven quarterbacks are "on pace" to throw for 5,000-plus yards.

Here are some more notes on quarterbacks and passing defenses:

- Only Brady (11) has thrown more touchdowns than Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick (nine), a.k.a. the "Amish Rifle." While they have not faced elite quarterbacks (Colt McCoy, Kyle Orton and Alex Smith), the Bengals rank fifth in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed (188.3 per game) this season.

- For three consecutive weeks, the Patriots pass defense has allowed 369 or more passing yards and two touchdowns. With a favorable matchup, Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell might have his best fantasy week of the year this week against the Patriots. In addition, Campbell has two rushing touchdowns in three games.

- Giants quarterback Eli Manning came up big in what should have been a tough matchup against the Eagles. Not only did he throw for four touchdowns, more importantly, Manning, who was named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week, didn't throw any interceptions. This week, the Giants face the Cardinals, who rank in the bottom eight in passing yards allowed (275 per game) despite facing Cam Newton (in his first career game), Rex Grossman and Tarvaris Jackson.

- For three straight games, Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who ranks second in the NFL in passing yards (1,059), has thrown for three touchdowns. In addition, Brees gets Marques Colston, his best receiver, back this week.

[On a side note, the Saints play four of their next five games on the road. However, the combined record of their opponents is only 4-11.]

- For two consecutive weeks, Eagles quarterback Michael Vick did not finish the game due to injury (concussion then hand contusion). This week, the Eagles face the 49ers and Vick sets the odds at "100 percent" that he'll play. However, will he finish the game?

- In their past two games, the Steelers have not allowed a passing touchdown or more than 160 passing yards. Then again, they faced the Seahawks (Tarvaris Jackson) and the Colts (Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter). This week, they face the Texans and Matt Schaub, who is coming off a 373-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Saints.

- Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is one of nine quarterbacks averaging more than 300 yards per game. With the loss of receiver Kenny Britt to a torn ACL and MCL, Hasselbeck's numbers, which would have eventually slowed even with Britt, could suffer significantly.

- In each of his team's games, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has thrown two touchdowns per game to Calvin Johnson alone. On the season, Stafford ranks fifth in passing yards (977), second in passing touchdowns (nine) and has only two interceptions.

- Counting last year's playoff loss to the Ravens, Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel has thrown for less than 200 yards in five consecutive games. In those five games, Cassel has thrown three touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Here are our top 30 fantasy quarterbacks for Week 4:

1. Tom Brady, Patriots (at OAK)
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (vs DEN)
3. Drew Brees, Saints (at JAX)
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers (vs MIA)
5. Matthew Stafford, Lions (at DAL)
6. Michael Vick, Eagles (vs SF)
7. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (at CIN)
8. Matt Schaub, Texans (vs PIT)
9. Tony Romo, Cowboys (vs DET)
10. Eli Manning, Giants (at ARI)
11. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (at HOU)
12. Matt Ryan, Falcons (at SEA)
13. Cam Newton, Panthers (at CHI)
14. Jay Cutler, Bears (vs CAR)
15. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals (vs NYG)
16. Rex Grossman, Redskins (at STL)
17. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers (vs IND)
18. Joe Flacco, Ravens (vs NYJ)
19. Jason Campbell, Raiders (vs NE)
20. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (at CLE)
21. Mark Sanchez, Jets (at BAL)
22. Kyle Orton, Broncos (at GB)
23. Sam Bradford, Rams (vs WAS)
24. Chad Henne, Dolphins (at SD)
25. Colt McCoy, Browns (vs TEN)
26. Donovan McNabb, Vikings (at KC)
27. Andy Dalton, Bengals (vs BUF)
28. Matt Cassel, Chiefs (vs MIN)
29. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars (vs NO)
30. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks (vs ATL)

Please note: As Sunday approaches, we will update our rankings when necessary on our quarterback rankings page.

For more Week 4 rankings, click here to view our rankings for other positions.

To keep track of all of our updates, you can either (1) follow us on Twitter @EDSFootball or (2) "like" us on Facebook (or both).

If interested, check out our free fantasy football contest for Week 4.

Good luck in your Week 4 matchup(s)!