In this 2 part article we will spin you around the league and focus on all 32 teams quarterbacking situations, part one the AFC, part two the NFC.
While the top quarterbacks outscore the top running backs every year, you still must draft solid running backs early to win a fantasy championship. There are a few exceptions at quarterback, players that you would use a lower first round choice for, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are the top two this year. Future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning still remains third but the Colt offensive line did not play well last year, and as age creeps up on Manning his fantasy statistics could falter just a little. He may have just another couple of seasons as an elite fantasy quarterback.
All of my articles are based on a twelve team league that starts 1 quarterback and awards 4 points for a touchdown pass, six points for a scoring run, one point for every 25 yards passing, and a one point deduction for an interception or fumble.
If I list a quarterback as QB I he is one to twelve on my board, QB II thirteenth to twenty fourth, QB III 25th to thirty sixth. All player rankings will be coming as NFL camps start and will be updated accordingly.
As far as Brett Favre goes, I have felt all along that he will play for the Vikings in 2009, while he has not committed to them as of yet, this article will reflect that he will play for them.
Buffalo, Trent Edwards is a low QB II, wide receiver Terrell Owens will help but Edwards threw for just 11 scores in 2009, if Edwards stumbles, head coach Dick Jauron will not hesitate to go with veteran backup Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Miami, Chad Pennington had a career year in 2009, he threw for 8 touchdowns the last four games, he is middle QB II and makes a solid fantasy back up and a possible starter in some match ups, Chad Henne is unproven and could lose the back up job to rookie Pat White.
New England, Tom Brady should come thundering back in 2009 and has an easy early schedule, facing the Bills, Jets, and Falcon pass defenses to start the season, he will never repeat his 2007 statistics, but is a high QB I and will be drafted late in the first round in some drafts. For those of you who were smart enough to handcuff Matt Cassel with Brady last year and saved your season, do the same with second year pro Kevin O’Connell this year who will step in if Brady gets injured again.
Jets, Mark Sanchez should start but he will have modest statistics at best, he is a low QB III, Kellen Clemens is still in the picture but has very little fantasy value..
Ravens, the Ravens ran on 56% of their offensive plays, Joe Flacco will throw a few more passes in 2009 and you can expect a couple more than his 14 rookie touchdown passes this season. Flacco is a low QB II and we need to see how the Derrick Mason situation plays out, Flacco could drop a little if Mason does retire. Troy Smith makes things happen when he does play but has little fantasy value.
Bengals, Carson Palmer is back; he threw 86 touchdown passes and completed at least 62% of his passes from 2005 to 2007. Even without TJ Houshmandzadeh, Palmer is a low QB I. The combination of Laveranues Coles and Chris Henry should fill his void. JT O’ Sullivan will back up Palmer, in normal circumstances I would suggest handcuffing any QB I’s back up, but O’ Sullivan throws a lot of interceptions, if you select Palmer, look elsewhere and make sure you get a quality back up, Palmer’s elbow is healed but is one hit away from missing snaps.
Browns, as of now, Brady Quinn is listed on top of the Cleveland depth chart, ahead of Derek Anderson. The position will not be settled until the third week of camp. I see Anderson as the better quarterback but my feeling is that the Browns management wants Quinn to start. Regardless, both are QB III’s with the winner in camp having the obvious higher value. Keep in mind the Browns offense failed to score an offensive touchdown in the last six games of 2008.
Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger is not your classic championship caliber quarterback, but by improvising outside the pocket like former Ram and Eagle great Roman Gabriel he scores fantasy points. He is high QB II; the offensive line should be a little better and second year wide receiver Limas Sweed gives him a solid third wide receiver who can stretch the field. Veteran Charlie Batch should hold off Dennis Dixon for at least another year and serve as back up, if you select Roethlisberger, take Batch late, the Steelers have proven they have faith in him behind center if Roethlisberger has to miss starts.
Houston, The Houston offense was third last season in total yards, quarterback Matt Schaub has the talent around him, especially wide receiver Andre Johnson to make Schaub a low QB I. Dan Orlovsky and Rex Grossman will battle for the back up position which could have fantasy value because Schaub has missed nine starts in his 2 years in Houston. I see Orlovsky winning the spot and Grossman being released. Keep in mind when Schaub missed games, head coach Gary Kubiak and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, ( former Bronco head coach Mike Shanahan’s son), kept the same playbook for last year’s back up Sage Rosenfels, expect them to do the same if Orlovsky has to play.
Colts, Peyton Manning is a high QB I, third on my board, he will come close to thirty touchdown passes again. Wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez appears to be moving into the released Marvin Harrison’s starting position, but word is Harrison will be re signed by the Colts. Jim Sorgi will back up Manning again, and as has been the case for the past 5 seasons, take Sorgi late in case Manning does get hurt.
Jaguars, David Garrard has trimmed 20 pounds and looks to repeat his fantasy friendly 2007 season. The Jaguars should have the most improved offensive line in football and veteran Torry Holt could surprise and have a big season. Garrard is a middle QB II and should throw around 20 touchdown passes in 2009. Todd Bouman will serve as Garrard’s back up and has almost no fantasy value.
Tennessee, The Titans running game gives Kerry Collins limited fantasy value. Because he does start, Collins is a middle QB III. Vince Young is 44th on my board; he will back up Collins and has almost no fantasy value.
Denver, Head coach Josh McDaniels helped chase possible future super star quarterback Jay Cutler out of town and replaced him with Kyle Orton. Orton threw for eighteen scores and had 7 multiple touchdown pass games with the Bears last season. He is a better quarterback than what is generally perceived about him. If wide receiver Brandon Marshall does play along with Eddie Royal Orton should have a solid fantasy season, he is a middle QB II, and you can wait to select him. Chris Simms will back up Orton; Simms is 40 on the board and only has value if Orton gets injured.
Kansas City, Matt Cassel with throw early and often in new head coach Todd Haley’s system. Cassel parlayed his twenty one touchdown passes last year in relief of Tom Brady into a lucrative deal to lead the Chiefs. Future Hall of Fame TE Tony Gonzalez is gone but Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley and reliable veteran Bobby Engram give Cassel some inviting targets. Cassel is a middle QB II, but you have to play the match ups with him, their schedule is tough. Tyler Thigpen who threw for a surprising eighteen touchdowns in 2008 is a very capable back up, although he will not see any playing time unless the highly paid Cassel is hurt.