Wednesday, August 12, 2009


**Updated 8-19

1. Drew Brees
2. Tom Brady
3. Peyton Manning
4. Aaron Rodgers
5. Philip Rivers
6. Kurt Warner
7. Matt Ryan
8. Donovan McNabb
9. Tony Romo
10. Matt Schaub
11. Matt Cassel
12. Jay Cutler
13. Carson Palmer
14. Eli Manning
15. Kyle Orton
16. Ben Roethlisberger
17. Matt Hasselbeck
18. Brett Favre
19. Trent Edwards
20. David Garrard
21. Jason Campbell
22. Chad Pennington
23. Jake Delhomme
24. Shaun Hill
25. Joe Flacco
26. JaMarcus Russell
27. Marc Bulger
28. Brady Quinn
29. Mark Sanchez
30. Byron Leftwich

NOTES: As we've already discussed, Brees gets the nod as the top overall QB by a hair over Brady and Manning. Those three form the upper tier of the list ...

Just below them are two young guns, Rodgers and Rivers, who I think are capable of being the top fantasy QB if none of the other three big guys really has a standout year. But I think one of them will, and my guess is Brees. ...

Warner obviously has the talent and the amazing receiving corps to be a top-flight fantasy QB, but I worry that his deal with the devil could expire yet again at age 38. If you're drafting him, please get a trustworthy backup QB (or Matt Leinart) ...

There's a dropoff after Ryan and McNabb, who are helped by offseason acquisitions in the passing game. ...

Romo has to be devalued a bit after losing Terrell Owens as a target. He'll still throw it a bunch, though. ...

I view Schaub, Cassel, Cutler, Palmer, and Orton similarly: all have big upside, but each could blow up in your face, for a variety of reasons. ...

Hasselbeck will show you he has something left, but there will be hiccups along the way. ... Edwards will be a good spot starter. He and T.O. will have a few monster games when the matchups dictate, but at other times, when the weather's bad in Buffalo especially, he'll be useless. ...

Is this the year Campbell takes The Leap? I'd give him a shot, but only if I was pairing him with a rock-steady guy like Brees or Manning as my No. 1. Campbell could easily become droppable a few weeks in. ...

Bulger took a big tumble - remember when he was a top-five fantasy QB? I'm not going down that road. ...

In cases where one of the lower-ranked guys doesn't win a starting job, you can pretty much substitute with the guy who beats them out - Derek Anderson for Quinn, Kellen Clemens for Sanchez, etc. - and keep them ranked right where they're at. If an NFL team doesn't have a clear-cut starter at this point, the eventual starter's fantasy prospects are tied much more to the team around them than their individual talent. In other words, the Vikings QB, whoever it is, might be worth a late-round flier simply because he'll be throwing to Percy Harvin and working behind a good offensive line.

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