The quarterback position is typically the most important player on the football field. 99% of the time QB play is crucial to a teams overall success. Over time, the NFL has evolved into a pass-first league.
Sure, you’ll always find a few teams that run the ball 35-40 times a game, but the majority are spreading out the field and throwing as much or more than they run the ball. It’s a trend that will continue and is the reason why front office personnel around the league will almost always do anything to secure a top signal caller. Teams know that without a strong quarterback there’s a good chance you can kiss your playoff hopes goodbye.
The same can be said with fantasy football. Often without a top echelon quarterback leading your team, there is a decent chance you’ll miss the playoffs. Nine out of ten times the team that wins your league probably had a top five QB. That is why I always recommend drafting an elite quarterback over other positions that carry a greater risk. It’s not sexy but it’s safe. Any good fantasy GM will tell you, it always pays to minimize your risk. Investing an early draft pick on a top quarterback is a good way to minimize risk and start the process of building a contender.
These rankings will help give you an idea of how the position is stacking up so far this year. As the season nears I’ll be releasing more in-depth breakdowns of each player and what type of production we are expecting to see this year. We always encourage our readers to take advantage of our ask a question feature. We know that all leagues are different. That is why we offer personalized advice that helps you with your specific league scoring formats.
Usually we don’t see a lot of movement with the position, but this offseason has kind of gone against the norm. Several talented big name players have been on the move. It will be interesting to see how some of these guys adapt to their new systems and new teammates while playing in their new cities.
I feel there are a number of adequate starting caliber players, along with a solid amount of high upside guys throughout these ranks. The question is…who do you want leading your team? The top three guys are easily the elite. In my opinion all three are worth a late first or early second round pick and should provide your team with a solid foundation to build around.
Schaub, Romo, Rivers and Brady were pretty hard to rank. You can make an argument for anyone of these four being ranked ahead of the other. I feel all four are teetering on the fence in terms of being capable of moving into the elite status. All four should provide solid weekly production while minimizing risk. However, I feel all four have a few questions heading into the season that need to be answered, something the top three do not have.
With Schaub it’s simple. Can he stay healthy for another full season? Can Romo finally put it all together? We all know that he has all the offensive weapons anyone could hope for. Will the Chargers go back to their running ways with the addition of 1st round RB Ryan Mathews? Does Brady have enough healthy skill players around him to catapult him back into the elite ranks?
These are all questions that need to be answered. Regardless of the answers I would be comfortable with any one of them leading my team.
Eli Manning just misses out in landing in the second tier. I feel he has progressed into a very good player and enters 2010 with a chance to finish ranked somewhere near the top. He’s a solid sleeper candidate this year just as I felt the same way about Matt Schaub was last year. If I am drafting and I miss out on any of the top seven guys, I’ll be sure to target Eli in the middle rounds.
I ranked Brett Favre as if he’ll play. Do you really think he calls it quits after that interception in the NFC championship game? Is that really the way he wants to finish his career? I don’t think so, the man is way too proud. He’ll return to a stacked Vikings team and will provide another solid statistical season. He and Eli make up the third tier because both have a very good chance of finishing in the top five for their position.
After Eli and Favre it starts to get a little muddied. Joe Flacco, Kevin Kolb, Donovan McNabb and Jay Cutler round out the top 13. All four have the potential to be very good this season. To me Joe Flacco carries the least amount of risk. I feel he’s closer to the third tier than being in the fourth. There’s a good chance I move him up as the season approaches. The kid has all the tools, a solid track record and the Ravens spent the off-season surrounding him with weapons. To me that’s a recipe for success.
Kevin Kolb is the wild card. Some might think I’ve ranked him too high, but I don’t think so. He takes over a very solid Eagles team in which he had the luxury to sit and learn under two very good teachers the last few years. He has all the intangibles and seams like a perfect fit to lead Andy Reid’s west coast offense. Unproven or not, he screams upside.
McNabb on the other hand has not landed in a perfect situation. As we all know he was traded to the Redskins in the offseason in favor of Kevin Kolb. McNabb has had a great career to this point, but I might be a little hesitant to select him to lead my fantasy team. Aside from not having anything close to the weapons he had in Philly, I also think he will have a difficult transition with a new offense in a new city. He could slide further down these ranks as the season nears.
Jay Cutler rounds out the top 13. After a turbulent first season in Chicago, he returns in 2010 with Mike Martz as his new offensive coordinator. If any one can harness Cutler’s gunslinger mentality and turn them into good things it’s Martz. However, if I draft Cutler I’ll be sure to insure him with a solid back up. Cutler could post solid numbers in a new pass happy system, but let’s not forget he lead the league in interceptions last year.
Stay tuned for a complete breakdown with more in-depth write ups on every player ranked coming soon. I left out the rookies on purpose and will breakdown all the newbies next month. Also next month I will get into all of the teams that could have potential Quarterback competitions. I will also talk about the Big Ben situation in Pittsburgh.
1) Drew Brees – NOR – QB
2) Aaron Rodgers – GRE – QB
3) Peyton Manning – IND – QB
4) Matt Schaub – HOU – QB
5) Tony Romo – DAL – QB
6) Philip Rivers – SDC – QB
7) Tom Brady – NEP – QB
8) Eli Manning – NYG – QB
9) Brett Favre – MIN – QB
10) Joe Flacco – BAL – QB
11) Kevin Kolb – PHI – QB
12) Donovan McNabb – WAS – QB
13) Jay Cutler – CHI – QB
14) Carson Palmer – CIN – QB
15) Matt Ryan – ATL – QB
16) Chad Henne – MIA – QB
17) Matt Cassel – KAN – QB
18) Kyle Orton – DEN – QB
19) David Garrard – JAC – QB
20) Matt Hasselbeck – SEA – QB
21) Jason Campbell – OAK – QB
22) Matthew Stafford – DET – QB
23) Mark Sanchez – NYJ – QB
24) Alex Smith – SFO – QB
25) Vince Young – TEN – QB
26) Matt Moore – CAR – QB
27) Matt Leinart – ARI – QB
28) Josh Freeman – TAM – QB
29) Ben Roethlisberger – PIT – QB
30) Trent Edwards – BUF – QB
31) Jake Delhomme – CLE – QB
32) A.J. Feely- STL – QB
33) Byron Leftwich – TAM – QB
34) Derek Anderson – ARI – QB
35) Brady Quinn – DEN – QB
Be on the lookout for our updated ranks as well as wide receiver rankings coming soon.