Take a deep breath and release. Ah, do you smell it fantasy football fans? Yes here we are in August, waiting for fall to approach, which means one very important thing: Fantasy Football! And what goes better with football then some good old fashioned fantasy football news? So here it is everyone’s favorite fantasy forecaster, “The Shark” back for more action. Today I break down the top 15 fantasy football quarterbacks and in the upcoming days will break down RBs, WRs, and more.
I am never one to pat myself on the back, but last year I built a pretty nice following of fans and new found friends who came to me weekly for advice on how to set their roster. I also won a championship, made playoff runs in 2 other leagues. All-in-all a pretty good year, but now it’s time for improvement, for all of us. So as I love to say, sit back, read,relax and enjoy!
Quarterbacks from 15-1
15. Jay Cutler, Bears: I was hesitant, but then I looked deeper. He did throw 27 TDs last year, which is a real good number, but he also threw 26 interceptions which is a bad number. He does have some nice factors this year: Mike Martz is in at offensive coordinator, the team is blessed with crazy speed at WR, and Matt Forte cannot possibly be that bad again this year. Cutler also buys himself more grace with having to learn Martz’s complicated system. He’s a solid 2nd QB on any team, as long as INTs are not point deductions.
14. Joe Flacco, Ravens: Last season he looked better than his decent rookie season. Flacco will never be the premier QB, but he has a nice new number 1 in Anquan Boldin, a good TE, and the very versatile Ray Rice, who can only benefit with more catches with more passing. Last season he had 21 TDs and over 3,600 yards, and that stands to only get better. Joe Flacco is a possible starter, more likely a good 2nd QB.
13. Kevin Kolb, Eagles: Some “experts” rate him as high as 7 or 8, but let’s face it, Kolb still has a lot to learn. He does merit some looks due to the fact he inherits a speedy and smart offense. Kolb does have the advantage of a more accurate short game then Donovan McNabb did when here, and Reid’s offense is “old school” West Coast, short, quick passes. Kolb may not be the bomber McNabb was, but with all the talent to get the ball too he can be worth something. Kob is easily a nice 2nd option, unless the Eagles bust out with him as the starter.
12. Alex Smith. 49ers: Did you ever think you would see this again? Smith was pretty much at the end of the line in San Fran last year, before a “we need something to spark us” change found him rejuvenated. Smith comes back at the perfect time, now that the 49ers have added good WR talent, and have found a monster TE to add to a very good running game. If this is the real Alex Smith that was the former number 1 overall pick, the 49ers will be dangerous this year. Good candidate to start for any fantasy squad.
10. Eli Manning, Giants: The time spent by New York in the past drafts to pile up WR’s seems to have paid off for Eli. He is more mature now, and tossed 27 TDs last season to 14 INTs. The Giants may also look away from a running attack that lost some ground last season. Manning will have a lot to work with, and will need it with a shaky looking defense. He should be a starter wherever drafted, but get some good PPG RBs.
9. Brett Favre, Vikings: If he plays a must in the top 10. if he does not play, this is the biggest waste of 30 seconds you will ever commit to. Awesome options at WR, great ground game and a rough and tough offensive line make Brett still look like a big time fantasy guy, even at 40 years old. Let’s hope Favre fans can talk commissioners into holding drafts after August 30th. A definite starter if he plays.
8. Matt Ryan, Falcons: Is it just that the Falcons are not a sexy pick? Ryan had 16 TDs as a rookie and last season, despite missing 2 games he had 22. Ryan learned fast, and his team has improved greatly around him. Roddy White is legit, Tony Gonzalez is an ageless wonder, and if the RBs stay healthy, Atlanta will be a force, and this guy is their leader. Full health all around and he can push 30 TDs. He will be a starter in any league.
7. Tony Romo, Cowboys: Ask most Americans who the president is, and they will tell you. Ask most who is the QB for the Dallas Cowboys, and they can also tell you. Romo seems to get better talent around him every year, if that is even possible. Now Miles Austin is in charge, rookie Dez Bryant looks like a beast, and yet they still have Roy Williams who does have skill if he does not act lazy and the 4th guy is Pat Crayton. Add to it a sensational 3 RB attack and Dallas has to be on paper the best offense in the league. A fear in this, a retooled O-Line and the fact that Romo had 26 TDs each of the last 2 seasons, a number that needs to get bigger to crack the top 5. He is a fantasy starter for sure.
6. Philip Rivers, Chargers: Adding rookie RB Ryan Mathews can only help here. Rivers knows how to move the ball around, and has good talent everywhere. Some are afraid of the O-Line in San Diego, but it won’t phase this guy. What once looked like a cocky, arrogant kid now looks like a hard-nosed, no-nonsense leader. His numbers stay good, and he is only 28. In the 4 leagues I was in last year, Rivers was the starting QB on 3 of the championship teams, just saying! Rivers is a starter and a winner for many owners.
5. Matt Schaub, Texans: The question of “what was Houston thinking” when they picked him up from Atlanta has been answered. Schaub is the leader of one of the best passing attacks in the league and another year of experience can only make him better. No QB, not Manning, Brees, or even Brady threw for more yards than Schaub last season, and being able to play catch with WR Andre Johnson is like getting to share the same bed with Megan Fox, a pure gift. If Houston can solve its little problem at RB and Steve Slaton can get back to catching passes, this offense is pure dynamite. Matt Schaub is a starter and possible top 3 category guy by year’s end.
4. Tom Brady, Patriots: Seems odd that being number 4 can still raise so many eyebrows. Brady is still one of the very best, but when you get right down to fantasy numbers he is slowing up just a touch. 28TDs and 4,400 yards is still outstanding but the few ahead of him are doing more. Also not having Wes Welker to start the season, and having Randy Moss in a contract year can be hurdles for the usually cool Brady. Either way no QB ranked under him on my chart will sneak ahead of him in many drafts. Tom is still the guy for any team, and any owner with him should do well.
2. Drew Brees, Saints: 2 words, Madden Curse. It is this huge hurdle that makes me sweat when I talk Brees in 2010. I am not going to argue his amazing numbers, or the fact he had the most TDs last season, but I am going to argue what has happened to so many players in the past. Outside of that Brees makes any receiver a threat and plays the game like he is controlling it with a big computer, it is all so smooth and all so precise. It is fate vs staggering numbers here, what will you choose? If he survives the curse, your fantasy opponents will be cursed.
1. Peyton Manning, Colts: Back at number 1, like Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Manning is timeless and is still the standard in which NFL QB’s are measured. He comes back to the top spot after finding that Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie can both play good football and he will get Anthony Gonzalez back as well. Oh did I mention that Dallas Clark and Reggie Wayne play here too? He is rarely sacked, rarely turns it over and also now has a good RB committee to keep it fresh and keep defenses guessing, yes more than usual. Should be the top QB taken in most drafts.
Yes here is where I drop a name on you to remember at the end of your draft, while everyone else is drinking the last of the beer and chewing on 6 hour old wings.
Derek Anderson, Cardinals: I know, I know, you are all sick of this guy. However fantasy friends take all this in: In 2007 Anderson took an unknown Browns team to 11-5 and just missing the playoffs in a season where he threw for 3,800 yards and 29tds. He is a big, strong guy at 6ft 6in and yet is fairly nimble. Now put him in with Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, the new found sensation Early Doucet and an improved ground game and Anderson can be taking over and being successful with this bunch by week 3. Let’s face it, Matt Leinart is looking more like Todd Marinovich rather than Kurt Warner so far, and you know with a small taste of success this team has gotten, they will want more. If Anderson still has the confidence, then he can be a super steal given a chance to play here, in my humble opinion of course.
Don’t chuckle when a guy in your league takes a stab at Jimmy Clausen. Yes he is a rookie and rookie QB’s usually do not bode well, but hey Matt Ryan had 16 TDs in his rookie year and he had no one like Steve Smith and had no kind of running backs like DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Carolina is always an unpredictable team, and head coach, John Fox needs to do something new with this team to try and win and try and keep his job. I rarely like rookie QB’s, but there is something that makes me think he has a decent week or 2, but I could be way off.
OK so here is your first glimpse at my notes for 2010. Read and learn, pick wisely and stay tuned for more in the upcoming days. Thanks as always for reading!
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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