17 July 2007

Fantasy Football Preview Pt. 3: QB

A few things to keep in mind about the quarterback position in fantasy football... first, you only start one of them. This means that in a typical league, only twelve quarterbacks will be starting per week - so if you don't have one of the guys on this list, you're in a bit of trouble.

Second, even though you want to get one of the top ten quarterbacks, there's no need to draft early. Usually, Peyton will be the only guy taken in the first round, and Carson Palmer will be the only other quarterback taken in the first three rounds. There'll be a group taken in the 4th and 5th, and then a guy or two taken in each round after that.

So: get a top guy, but don't reach or stress too much. Capisce? Cool, on to the rankings. Since none of these guys is Michael Vick or Vince Young, I'm not including rushing stats.

1. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Stats
The first quarterback taken in every mock I've seen for the past, oh, four years or so? Absolutely an elite player, and the only quarterback worthy of being taken in the first round. With a new starting running back in Joseph Addai, Peyton may have to throw even more this year.
Prediction: 370/575, 4400 Yds, 34 TD, 12 INT
Yahoo! Points: 300

2. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
Stats
Palmer typically gets drafted in the third round or so (ADP=28, according to MockDraftCentral.com), the second quarterback taken after Manning I see him as having the potential to equal Manning someday... but this isn't that day.
Prediction: 350/550, 4100 Yds, 30 TD, 13 INT
Yahoo! Points: 271

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Stats
I see Brees, this year, actually putting up similar numbers to Palmer; however, he'll be taken, typically, a round or so later, making him a better value. The loss of Joe Horn will hurt, but the Saints are rapidly becoming the early-Martz Rams - they chuck it all over the field, and nobody stops them.
Prediction: 375/575, 4500 Yds, 25 TD, 11 INT
Yahoo! Points: 269

4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Stats
His touchdown numbers have declined each of the last three years. Moss, Stallworth, and Welker should help with that.
Prediction: 325/525, 4000 Yds, 28 TD, 13 INT
Yahoo! Points: 259

5. Donovan McNabb, Philadelpha Eagles
Stats
Yes, he's an injury risk. Yes, he's playing with questionable receivers. Yes, I rate him as the 5th-best fantasy football quarterback. Why? He's Donovan McNabb, and he's playing QB for Andy Reid. Draft Alex Smith or Jeff Garcia to fill in for the 3 games he'll miss, and you're in good shape.
Projection: 250/400, 3700 Yds, 27 TD, 8 INT
Yahoo! Points: 248

6. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams
Stats
I don't like this guy as a player. Something about him just gets on my nerves. But as a fantasy QB, he's pretty solid. Scott Linehan worries me with his talk about running the ball more, but as long as Holt and Bruce are in town, Bulger is in the top half of starting fantasy QBs.
Projection: 350/575, 4300 Yds, 23 TD, 8 INT
Yahoo! Points: 256

7. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Stats
And now come the young guys... Rivers burst onto the scene last year, after taking the reins from the departed Drew Brees, and showed why the Chargers took him #4 overall in 2004. LDT cuts into his attempts, but also provides a valuable safety valve.
Projection: 300/475, 3500 Yds, 26 TD, 10 INT
Yahoo! Points: 234

8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
Stats
Scatter-armed and unreliable, but he has some targets in Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. The loss of Tiki Barber should send his attempts and his yardage, but unfortunately also his already-painful INTs, skyward.
Projection: 300/575, 3800 Yds, 25 TD, 20 INT
Yahoo! Points: 232

9. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos
Stats
He's started 5 games in his NFL career, and he has 5 INTs. But he also has an absolute gun of an arm, and he has the newly imported Javon Walker. And you've got to cheer for a guy from Vanderbilt, right? Seriously, though, he's a lower-tier fantasy starter. Good potential, but also quite a bit of risk.
Projection: 240/450, 3000 Yds, 25 TD, 15 INT
Yahoo! Points: 205

10. Matt Leinart, Arizona Cardinals
Stats
And we reach the end of the list, with a guy who has terrific receivers (Boldin and Fitzgerald), a quality RB (Edge), but a lousy offensive line. When Leinart isn't on his back, he'll be putting up numbers. But he'll be on his back a lot.
Projection: 275/500, 3200 Yds, 24 TD, 20 INT
Yahoo! Points: 204

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