The first preseason game is officially in the books which means that it’s time to dive head first into your 2010 fantasy football research for the upcoming season without feeling any guilt of being called a “fantasy geek” (I’m totally a fantasy nerd and have been working on my rankings since June so say what you want).
Isn’t fantasy football the best? Each season you start over with a clean slate, an empty roster, but still the same lofty expectations of total league domination!
Hopefully I can be a resource for you along the way, so feel free to post any fantasy football related questions in my blogs and I promise to do my best to answer each and every one of them.
Since the NFL has become such a pass happy league the value of quarterbacks in relation to fantasy football wins has never been more closely tied. Last year an astonishing 10 QB’s tossed for over 4,000 yards! There were plenty of points scored by the QB’s, however those of you that were trying to go the distance with the likes of Jay Cutler, Matt Ryan, and Donovan McNabb probably came up a little short in the end. Don’t make the same mistake this year, the QB position is wildly important to the success of you team, more now than ever before so make sure you really know who and what you’re drafting.
2010 QB Rankings:
- Drew Brees, Saints: Drew Brees is the best quarterback in fantasy football…period. Don’t believe me? How does an average of 4,575 yards and 31 TD’s in his last four seasons as a Saint make you feel?
- Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Rodgers makes a solid case for being ranked ahead of Brees this year, but the biggest separating factor in my opinion is the home field advantage that Brees has over Rodgers by playing a dome, compared to the “Frozen Tundra” that Rodgers calls home.
- Peyton Manning, Colts: If you get “stuck” with Manning don’t get to upset because Manning is far from a slouch, 4,200 yards and 30 TD’s would be an average season for Peyton, but a good season for you!
- Tony Romo, Cowboys: This is where is gets a little dicey, because there’s a distinct “top 3″ and the rest will keep the debates raging for the next month. Romo has plenty of receiving weapons at his disposal which is obviously a plus, but also Romo loves to throw the ball which can make Cowboys fans tear their hair out, but who doesn’t like a fantasy QB that airs it out with wild abandon? Not this guy.
- Phillip Rivers, Chargers: I might be higher on Rivers than others, but take a look at his last two seasons: 4,000+ yards, an average of 31 TD’s, and best yet an extremely low TD to INT ration (Rivers has maintained a 3 to 1 ratio over the last two seasons). I know Vincent Jackson’s status remains uncertain, but with an offensive guru like Norv Turner leading the way, I don’t think the Chargers will stop throwing the ball anytime soon.
- Matt Schaub, Texans: Schaub finally had the explosive season that many had expected he could produce which means he finally stayed healthy. If Schaub can stay healthy he might be in that Brees, Rodgers, Manning neighborhood, the biggest question is are you willing to gamble on that “if”. Over 4,700 yards and 29 TD’s could be worth the risk.
- Tom Brady, Patriots: “Pretty Boy” Tom slips farther this year due to three major reasons. 1) His most reliable target Wes Welker is coming back from a serious knee injury 2) Randy Moss knows this is his last year with the Pats and might lose focus 3) The Pats best O-lineman Logan Mankins is in a contract dispute. He’s still Tom Brady and you should feel like a thief when you grab him much deeper in the draft than he should go.
- Joe Flacco, Ravens: The Ravens have given Flacco everything a QB could ask for. He’s got a dominant O-line, plenty of receiving options, and a great check off option in Ray Rice that can take a 3 yard pass and turn it into 30+ yards. This will be Joe’s 3rd season in the NFL and the sky’s the limit.
- Eli Manning, Giants: This Manning has taken longer to develop than his older brother, but last season Eli Manning finally showed the skills we’ve been expecting for a few seasons. I’m expecting similar numbers this season for Eli as he put up last year: 4,000 yards and 25+ TD’s.
- Jay Cutler, Bears: Cutler was way to overrated last season and disappointed all of his owners while throwing 26 INT’s. This year offensive guru Mike Martz takes over as offensive coordinator and Martz’s track record proves his offensives can put up yards and points. I’m still cautious of Cutler because the Bear’s O-line was horrendous last season and they didn’t upgrade it much this year, not to mention Cutler still lacks a true WR threat.
- #4 from Hattiesburg, MS, Vikings: I won’t say his name (because I can’t stand him!), but he’s worn #4 for the Packers, Jets, and Vikings. You know who I’m talking about. He’s still unsure about whether he’ll return this season (shocking), but if he does #4 will put up some big numbers. I expect his INT’s to double from ’09 (he only threw 7 picks), but the Vikings are stacked and he should benefit.
- Kevin Kolb, Eagles: Kolb takes over for long time starter Donovan McNabb and inherits an offense that’s loaded with play makers. I expect Kolb to be one of this season’s top QB sleepers. With the likes of DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Brent Celek leading the offense, Kolb should be one happy QB.
- Matt Ryan, Falcons: I would not draft Ryan to be my starter, but he could be worth taking as the best #2 QB. Other than Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez (the ageless wonder) Ryan’s options are limited. Add that Michael Turner can’t catch a pass and Ryan is just an average fantasy QB.
- Carson Palmer, Bengals: The Bengals got Palmer what he lacked last season and loaded up on pass catching options to go along with Chad Ochocinco. Now the Bengals might be overloaded with guys that want the ball. I’m looking for a 3,500 yard and 25 TD season from Palmer this year. Draft with confidence.
- Chad Henne, Dolphins: They rewarded Henne’s solid end of season play with bringing in a bona fide #1 WR in Brandon Marshall. Henne would be a great back up QB this season in fantasy and should surprise many folk. Henne is definitely a sleeper this season.
- Matt Leinart, Cardinals: I’ve never been a fan of Leinart, but with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, and Co., Leinart should suffice in Arizona. Tim Hightower’s receiving abilities out of the back field should help Leinart too.
- Donovan McNabb, Redskins: The ‘skins have a completely new group blocking for McNabb, mediocre receivers, and running backs that don’t catch the ball. I’m not impressed.
- Matt Stafford, Lions: Don’t be surprised if Stafford becomes a top 15 QB this season. He’s got big time play makers in Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best, which will help his numbers. 3,500 yards and 20 TD’s would be a great season for last year’s #1 overall pick.
- Mark Sanchez, Jets: The Jets ran the ball 607 times last season and didn’t give Sanchez many opportunities to show his skills, but I expect to see a little more throwing in NY (well technically New Jersey) this year. The Jets didn’t trade for Braylon Edwards last season and Santonio Holmes this summer to have them block all season.
- Alex Smith, 49ers: Once considered a bust, Smith now looks like a “slow learner”. With Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and an off season committed to the O-line, Smith should be able to build off of last season’s success.
- Matt Cassel, Chiefs: Cassel cashed in on Tom Brady’s injury and finally got to become a team’s top QB, but injuries and dropped balls turned ’09 into a bust season. With Charlie Weiss now calling the plays in KC I think Cassel could surprise some people, but not you….because I just told you.
- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: He’ll be suspended 4 games (most likely) so that definitely hurts his fantasy stock, but if you can find someone to hold his place in the beginning of the season, Big Ben might be huge for you in the second half of the season (and playoffs if you get in).
- David Garrard, Jaguars: Outside of Maurice Jones-Drew the Jags are really lacking on offense. I’m not a fan of a guy with such low upside.
- Vince Young, Titans: Once the Titans woke up and realized that Kerry Collins was starting over VY, the Titans went on a roll that nearly got them into the playoffs. Young isn’t going to get you 300 yards in a game, but his rushing abilities, mixed in with Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt could definitely make Young a nice bye week replacement on your squad.
- Kyle Orton, Broncos: The Broncos traded away Brandon Marshall and injuries have been like a plague in Denver this summer making me look away from Orton. He’s very conservative with the ball, so he’s not going to cost you any games, but he’s not going to win any for you either.
- Jason Campbell, Raiders: For some reason people are building up Jason Campbell to be much better than he really is. Campbell will once again have to learn a new offense (something like his 9th since high school) and suffer a beating from lack of protection. Zach Miller is the only true receiving threat he has to rely upon and that’s not very good for a fantasy football. Let others buy the Campbell “sleeper” talk.
- Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks: If (and that’s a big “if”) Hasselbeck can keep his starting job he could have a nice “bounce back” year under Pete Carroll.
- Josh Freeman, Buccaneers: Freeman showed signs of promise towards the end of last season, but the Bucs wide receivers are to young to be reliable. Wait on Freeman for another year.
- Sam Bradford, Rams: He’s the highest paid player in the NFL, but don’t let that fool you, Bradford will struggle this year.
- Trent Edwards, Bills: The Bills are probably the least interesting team relating to fantasy football this year. No thank you.
- Matt Moore, Panthers: If Moore can hold of Jimmy Clausen in training camp Moore proved to have a big arm towards the end of ’09. He and Steve Smith hooked up often, which gives you a glimmer of hope that Moore could be a “sleeper”.
- Jake Delhomme, Browns: He only made my list because I wanted every team to be represented. Bottom line: Jake Delhomme is awful.