Early 2009 Fantasy Football Preview: AFC Quarterbacks

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IJune 1, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots walks off the field after losing to the New York Giants 17-14 during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

(Above: Brady still the man?)

It's the first day of June, which means all of those premature NFL power rankings and fantasy football rankings are no longer, well, quite as premature.

While everyone (including myself) is discussing LeBron James and his handshake phobia, the Magic and the Lakers, or Bruno's fall into Eminem's lap, I've decided to take that free fall dive into the loving arms of fantasy football.

And yes, the fantasy realm loves me back.

However, let's pace ourselves. After all, it is in fact the first month of summer (first day, no less), and we don't want to generate pre-football heart attacks.

I mean, Brett Favre hasn't even made up his mind yet, so why should the rest of us be getting antsy?

Regardless, here is a team-by-team look at all 32 starting quarterbacks, their weapons, offenses, and how they may destroy or enhance your team.

Still worried about Favre's final decision, camp battles, or injuries? I'll do my best to fill you in, allowing you an early look at which quarterbacks may be the best bets, which could be potential sleepers, and which ones you should stay away from.

Tom BradyNew England Patriots

Matt Cassel is in Kansas City, and Brady is back in camp, meaning two things.

First, you have nothing to worry about.

Second, you have nothing to worry about.

Brady has looked sharp in limited practice, and still has the same awesome weapons he had in 2007 during his 50-touchdown season. This list isn't a ranking, but if it were, I'd have Brady at the top.

Verdict: If you can get him in the second round, you're already winning.

Proj: 4,090 yards, 35 TD, 13 INT

Mark SanchezNew York Jets

Don't buy the Kellen Clemens hype (not that there actually is any).

For better or worse, Sanchez will begin the new Joe Namath era.

It won't be as sexy or productive as either of Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco's seasons last year, but I wouldn't be shocked if the Jets reached the playoffs.

Verdict: Not yet an option for FF

Proj: 2,400 yards, 16 TD, 17 INT

Trent EdwardsBuffalo Bills

I like the addition of Owens, but not the loss of Marshawn Lynch to start the season.

Edwards isn't as bad as people think, and now he has a sound offense around him. He's a borderline top-15 quarterback, and depending on how he looks in pre-season, could crack that barrier quite easily.

Verdict: Sleeper

Proj: 3,555 yards, 26 TD, 14 INT

Chad PenningtonMiami Dolphins

This is probably Pennington's last hurrah with Miami, and something tells me the exciting juice that this offense had last season has all but dried up.

Pennington still doesn't have enticing options, and he's got two quarterbacks breathing down his neck.

He'll be serviceable to start the season, but you won't claim your league's championship if he's your starter.

Verdict: He's a stop-gap

Proj: 3,100 yards, 17 TD, 14 INT

Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh Steelers

If he endures a Super Bowl hang-over, we could see some bad numbers.

Because, as we've learned, the less Big Ben throws, the better he is.

He's still a fantasy quarterback with solid weapons around him, so don't be afraid to snatch him up.

Verdict: Serviceable

Proj: 3,470 yards, 23 TD, 18 INT

Brady QuinnCleveland Browns

Personally, I think Derek Anderson has the better arm and size, but Braylon Edwards favors Quinn, and the organization is more likely to run with the young, more familiar face.

Quinn is actually a good, young quarterback, and I'm not sure why Eric Mangini isn't higher on him.

Regardless, aside from Braylon "Mr. Drop" Edwards, Quinn has no weapons.

Verdict: Things could get ugly

Proj: 2,899 yards, 20 TD, 20 INT

Carson PalmerCincinnati Bengals

He was awful last season, going 0-4 before bowing out with an arm injury.

However, his weapons are still potentially elite, and if he can return to form, could easily put up numbers that will have you kicking yourself for passing him up in the fourth round.

Verdict: Possibly ends the season as a top-5 passer

Proj: 3,884 yards, 27 TD, 17 INT

Joe FlaccoBaltimore Ravens

Flacco proved to be a capable game-manager, and has reportedly looked good over the offseason.

However, the Ravens are likely to base their offense around the run, and Flacco doesn't have superstar options surrounding him.

Verdict: See Chad Pennington

Proj: 3,335 yards, 18 TD, 16 INT

Vince YoungTennessee Titans

Call me crazy, but I don't see Kerry Collins finishing the first half of the season as the starter.

He's up there in age, which makes a regression or an injury extremely likely, and if things aren't going well, he'll be benched rather quickly.

Young may not have a cloudless head on his shoulders, but he still can make things happen with his feet.

Verdict: Young might surprise some people

Proj: 2,467 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT, 430 r yards, 4 TD

Peyton ManningIndianapolis Colts

Manning loses Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and two other important assistant coaches.

That doesn't mean he'll suddenly lose his touch, but there's only so much Anthony Gonzales and Austin Collie can make up for.

Verdict: Draft him below Tom Brady, for sure this time

Proj: 4,300 yards, 33 TD, 19 INT

David GarrardJacksonville Jaguars

He lost Matt Jones, but gained Torry Holt.

Something tells me Garrard won't really notice.

Jacksonville's offense is all about grinding it out, but they were forced to put the ball in the air more last year because of an atrocious offensive line.

Verdict: A better line means Garrard is good again

Proj: 3,090 yards, 20 TD, 12 INT, 260 r yards, 3 TD

Matt SchaubHouston Texans

Schaub has too many weapons to fail. The only problem is, he needs to stay on the field.

If he can play even 13 games, he'll put up huge numbers, while leaving everyone guessing, yet again, what he'd do if he played a full season.

Still, with Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, Steve Slaton, and Owen Daniels, the future looks good for Schaub.

Verdict: He can lead your team to a title

Proj: 3,800 yards, 25 TD, 16 INT

Philip RiversSan Diego Chargers

If Rivers' defense can back him up, unlike in 2008, he could easily approach last year's numbers, and possibly even surpass them.

With a healthy Antonio Gates and LT, Rivers is more confident than ever.

Verdict: Draft him like he's Tom Brady

Proj: 4,270 yards, 30 TD, 16 INT

Jeff GarciaOakland Raiders

I just don't see the JaMarcus Russell experiment lasting more than three or four losses in 2009, and wouldn't be shocked to see him benched in the pre-season.

As long as Garcia wins a few games, Al Davis will let him start. After all, he brought him in for a reason.

Verdict: Nobody in Oakland is worth your while

Proj: 2,300 yards, 15 TD, 9 INT

Matt CasselKansas City Chiefs

Cassel is in a new place with a huge drop-off as far as offensive weapons. He still has good experience from last season, combined with his solid arm and good athleticism.

However, we'll all be left wondering what could have been, had Tony Gonzalez not been traded to Atlanta.

Verdict: Stay away in year one

Proj: 3,700 yards, 22 TD, 23 INT

Kyle OrtonDenver Broncos

Orton was putting together a solid season in Chicago before hurting his ankle. Once he came back, he played admirably through injury, and didn't have the best options out there.

In Denver, he'll have a friendlier offensive line and system, as well as excellent receiving options.

Verdict: Orton could make the leap to elite

Proj: 3,600 yards, 24 TD, 16 INT

The NFC Edition will be made available, depending on the reads/comments for this article. Thanks for reading, and for those basketball enthusiasts, check out my NBA blog: www.robertsroundballreport.com


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