The long wait is finally over.
The NFL season kicks off tonight with the New Orleans Saints, the defending Super Bowl champions, hosting the Minnesota Vikings.
Tonight's game features a pair of elite quarterbacks. Drew Brees, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, and Brett Favre, who needs to throw only three touchdowns to become the first NFL quarterback to throw 500 in his career.
Earlier this morning, I released my Week 1 position rankings for fantasy football and here are my top five signal-callers:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at Eagles)
For most of the offseason, I ranked Rodgers second (behind Brees). But let's face it, you can't go wrong with either QB.
In the preseason (for what it's worth), Rodgers and the Packers aerial assault were firing on all cylinders. He completed more than 77 percent of his passes, threw six touchdowns and no interceptions.
In 2009, the Eagles allowed the 10th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.
2. Drew Brees, Saints (vs Vikings)
It's difficult to run versus the Williams Wall, which landed Pierre Thomas on my Sit'em list, and the Vikings secondary is banged up.
Brees is as good as it gets when it comes to spreading the ball around and getting it to the open receiver. If the Vikings can't apply pressure on Brees (and get revenge, if you will), Brees will pick apart the Vikings secondary.
3. Peyton Manning, Colts (at Texans)
There has been plenty of attention placed on how the alignment of officials will impact the Colts' up-tempo passing game. Undoubtedly, Manning will adapt to the rule change.
To help, he has one of the most talented groups of pass-catchers in the league. In fact, the Colts had two of the three players to finish with 100+ receptions, 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns (Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark) in 2009.
4. Matt Schaub, Texans (vs Colts)
I expect a shootout between the Colts and Texans on Sunday.
Schaub, who led the NFL in passing in 2009, has the league's best receiver (Andre Johnson), but Jacoby Jones, who has "next-man speed," should take big strides forward in 2010.
Plus, Schaub gets tight end Owen Daniels back, even if it's for only 15-25 snaps.
5. Tom Brady, Patriots (vs Bengals)
Although he was in an auto accident on his way to "work" this morning, Brady was a full participant in today's practice and should be ready to go on Sunday.
Loaded with weapons, Brady should be in for a big season in 2010. That said, Randy Moss missed yesterday's practice with an "illness" and Wes Welker isn't fully confident yet in his surgically-repaired knee.
The Bengals allowed the sixth-fewest passing yards per game (203.1) in 2009.
And speaking of Week 1, our free fantasy football contest is open for Week 1 entries.