Fantasy Rankings: Peyton Manning Is The Class of AFC South QBs in 2009

Josh SatlerAnalyst IJune 26, 2009

SAN DIEGO - JANUARY 03:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts drops back to pass during the AFC Wild Card Game against the San Diego Chargers on January 3, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

In this division, it all starts and ends with Peyton Manning for fantasy QBs—as it has for the last decade. From that point on, it's mostly guys who can be used as fill-ins when a starter is down or for favorable match-ups.

1. Peyton Manning

The perennial top two or three fantasy QB is back again, after capping off an impressive 2008 campaign with over 4,000 yards and 27 TDs—even though the Colts suffered through numerous injuries to key offensive skill players.

This year, long time standout, Marvin Harrison, is no longer there. But with the likes of Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark, and Joseph Addai out of the backfield to throw the ball to, things should be just fine.

Look for another 3,70o yard-plus season and over 27 TDs.


2. Matt Schaub

The presence of WR Andre Johnson alone puts Schaub in the number two position for the AFC South. IDespite missing five games with a knee injry in 2008, he still managed to throw for over 3,000 yards and 15 TDs.

This year, the Texans have the look of a potential playoff team, and have assembled lots of young talent at the offensive skill positions, so look for Schaub to take a big step forward and throw for over 3,500 yards and 20 TDs.


David Garrard

The Jaguars season imploded in Week One of 2008 after two of their five starting offensive lineman went down with injury for the year.

There was little chance for success from that point on, as it's crucial for an offense to have time to execute its plays—something the Jags weren't afforded.  Overall, Garrard finished with over 3,600 yards and 15 TDs.

This year, the Jags acquired long time Rams standout, Torry Holt, in an attempt to boost the offense. While he's certainly not what he once was, he should provide a safety valve for Garrard and help bring along the younger receivers.

Look for another 3,500 yard season with 15-18 TDs.


Kerry Collins

Vince Young's infamous actions and behavior in Week One of 2008 opened the door to 36-year old Collins. He took full advantage of the situation, leading the Titans to a 13-3 record and passing for over 2,600 yards with 12 TDs.

But make no mistake about it, this is a running team first, and Collins is nothing more than a game manager.

While the team  invested a first round pick in WR Kenny Britt and signed Nate Washington away from the Steelers—potentially leading to a few long TDs—expect similar numbers to last year: 2,500-2,800 yards and 12-15TDs.


Draft Tip

Manning should be the third QB taken in this year's fantasy draft, lasting no longer than round two. Schaub will be a borderline starter and see his name called after round seven.

Garrard will most likely end up going shortly after Schaub, while Collins should only be picked up for depth and used as a one time fill-in when there's a favorable match-up.