2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks, Updated

Dave StringerCorrespondent IMay 4, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against  the Arizona Cardinals at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Packers  51-45 in overtime.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

With the free agency portion of the offseason nearly complete and the NFL rookie draft in the rear view mirror, it’s time to update my 2010 quarterback rankings.

The initial rankings noted the significant number of solid fantasy performances last season and there’s little reason to doubt a repeat in 2010. The biggest developments since my initial rankings, published in early-March, were as follows:

The only potential major issue to be resolved before training camp is where former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger signs. The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed like a logical destination but they picked up Byron Leftwich from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Teams currently thought to be interested in Bulger include the Chicago Bears and Arizona Cardinals, with the Cardinals an intriguing option given the question marks surrounding Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson .

Each player’s prior ranking is noted in parentheses after the current ranking.

1. (1) Aaron Rodgers , GB

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Fantasy football’s top ranked QB from 2009 returns to the top spot for 2010. What propels him to the top of the projections is his rushing ability (304 yards and five TD last year).

2. (4) Drew Brees , NO

Moves from four to two. The Saints failed to take a running back in the draft and lost Mike Bell to the Eagles, so they figure to match their passing production from a year ago.

3. (2) Matt Schaub , HOU

Schaub led the NFL in passing yards last year but moves down a notch due to the drafting of running back Ben Tate and concerns about Owen Daniels production as he returns to full health.

4. (3) Peyton Manning , IND

He’s fourth because he usually gets a game or two off at the end of the season. Otherwise, he’d be my second ranked quarterback.

5. (6) Philip Rivers , SD

The drafting of Ryan Mathews causes Rivers’ projected points to drop but he moves up a notch due to the trade of Donovan McNabb, my original fifth ranked QB, to the Redskins.

6. (9) Tony Romo , DAL

Coming off a top five fantasy season and moves up two notches due to the addition of a new toy on offense in rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant .

7. (8) Jay Cutler , CHI

He’s going to have to live with the team’s current crop of wide receivers but the Mike Martz factor propels him to the seven spot.

8. (11) Tom Brady , NE

Brady moves back into the top ten with two others falling and the addition of Torry Holt as a decent veteran to play outside with Randy Moss and Wes Welker . Still, there are issues at tight end with an aging Alge Crumpler and a pair of rookies.

9. (10) Eli Manning , NYG

No fancy additions in the draft but Eli moves up a spot due to McNabb and Roethlisberger moving down (drops behind Brady). Nice upside at wide receiver in Steve Smith , Hakeem Nicks , and Mario Manningham and no additions to the depth chart at running back so there’s little reason to think they will run significantly more in 2010.

10. (NR) Kevin Kolb , PHI

Kolb passed for over 300 yards in both games he started last season and benefits from a solid supporting cast. He is a bit of a risk due to his lack of playing time but also possesses major upside and is a great option for dynasty leagues. Kolb will routinely be compared to Aaron Rodgers in his first year as a starter by fantasy pundits leading up to the start of the season.

11. (13) Joe Flacco , BAL

Anquan Boldin was a nice addition and Derrick Mason ’s re-signing was icing on the cake but this is still a run first team with an aging Todd Heap at tight end.

12. (12) Brett Favre , MIN

Sixth ranked fantasy quarterback last year but hard to believe he can duplicate his performance coming off ankle surgery and being a year older. There’s a risk factor here that’s hard to ignore.

13. (18) Alex Smith , SF

Moves up courtesy of a pair of first round offensive lineman in Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati . The 49ers’ offense should surprise in 2010 given the young talent on the roster.

14. (5) Donovan McNabb , WAS

McNabb was ranked fifth previously assuming he would benefit from having perhaps the best young group of offensive skill position players in the league in Philadelphia. There is a big drop off in the talent surrounding him in Washington.

15. (17) Matthew Stafford , DET

Nate Burleson adds a nice deep threat opposite Calvin Johnson and the addition of rookie first round pick Jahvid Best reduces the concerns about the running attack as Kevin Smith fights his way back from injury. Tony Scheffler ’s acquisition also provides insurance in case Brandon Pettigrew isn’t 100 percent at the start of the season.

16. (15) Matt Ryan , ATL

The Falcons rely on the run and there were no fancy additions in the draft. Unfortunately for Ryan, he has to rely on Michael Jenkins once again as his second receiver opposite Roddy White .

17. (19) Vince Young , TEN

Played well last year but still has to be considered a boom or bust candidate. Damian Williams was added in the draft but the team figures to rely on an out of shape Kenny Britt , Nate Washington , and Justin Gage once again in 2010.

18. (16) David Garrard , JAC

The Jaguars ignored the wide receiver in the draft so Garrard has to hope one of Mike Thomas , Jarrett Dillard, or Tiquan Underwood develops opposite Mike Walker. Not much upside here.

19. (26) Mark Sanchez , NYJ

Sanchez figures to improve on a decent rookie season and benefits from the team’s trade for Santonio Holmes as well as the team’s ability to bring in a veteran running back to replace Thomas Jones .

20. (25) Chad Henne , MIA

Henne moves up five spots courtesy of the Brandon Marshall trade. The Dolphins will run plenty in 2010 but Marshall will open it up for the team’s other wide receivers as well as provide a deep threat and plenty of yards after the catch.

21. (24) Matt Leinart , ARI

Leinart will likely be drafted before he should be. He loses Boldin and the offense figures to run much more this year than they did in 2009.

22. (20) Carson Palmer , CIN

The Bengals are going to run heavily again in 2010 and Palmer will almost certainly be drafted before he should be based on his name recognition and past fantasy achievements.

23. (14) Jason Campbell , OAK

It’s worth noting that the Raiders passing offense was significantly better last year when JaMarcus Russell was on the bench in favour of Bruce Gradkowski or Charlie Frye . Campbell is much better than either of those two. Unfortunately, there’s no No. 1 wide receiver.

24. (23) Josh Freeman , TB

Freeman gains a pair of rookie wide receivers in Arrelious Benn and Mike Williams , so he’s looking decent for 2011. This year, not so much.

25. (7) Ben Roethlisberger , PIT

It was a career year for Big Ben in 2009 but he’s facing a four to six game suspension, loses Holmes and the Steelers figure to run more in 2010.

26. (22) Matt Cassel , KC

Unless scatback/slot receiver Dexter McCluster provides a major shot in the arm to the offense, Cassell is destined for fantasy irrelevance. There is little upside here.

27. (27) Matt Hasselbeck , SEA

Hasselbeck is likely keeping the position warm for Charlie Whitehurst.

28. (21) Kyle Orton , DEN

Orton was okay last year but loses Marshall and will likely have to rely on a pair of rookie wide receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker . It will come as no surprise if Brady Quinn or Tim Tebow gets a shot early in 2010.

29. (NR) Sam Bradford , STL

There is no competition in St. Louis but loads of question marks at wide receiver and tight end. There is some upside at receiver but it is difficult to forecast any breakouts in 2010.

30. (29) Matt Moore , CAR

Moore’s prospects got a lot less exciting due to Jimmy Clausen ’s presence. Actually, I wasn’t that excited to begin with.

31. (NR) Jake Delhomme , CLE

He’s been horrible for the last season and a half and the Browns depth chart at wide receiver is absolutely scary.

32. (31) Trent Edwards , BUF

Two people in NFL management circles think Edwards is a starting caliber quarterback and they happen to be the Bills head coach and general manager. Edwards wins the lottery on that one but he won’t win any fantasy games for you, that’s for sure.

33. (NR) Charlie Whitehurst , SEA

Whitehurst is probably the only player likely to enter the season as a backup but almost certainly guaranteed to be starting by midseason.

The following players dropped off the rankings from last time:

NR. (28) Brady Quinn , DEN
NR. (30) Marc Bulger , FA
NR. (32) Bruce Gradkowski , OAK
NR. (33) JaMarcus Russell , OAK
NR. (34) Seneca Wallace , CLE
NR. (35) A.J. Feeley , STL

Dave Stringer is the head fantasy football contributor at DraftBuddy.com , home of the popular Cheatsheet Compiler & Draft Buddy custom cheatsheet and draft tracking tool.