I do realize that rankings are subjective and more often than not, there will be some disagreement. Be that as it may, that’s what makes rankings so much fun – there’s much room for discussion. Having said that, here are my rankings for the top 10 NFL quarterbacks; below are the rankings along with a brief narrative:
1- Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2007: 68.9% completion rate, 4,806 yards, 50 TD, 8 INT
Brady is as close as you can come to being the perfect fantasy QB. The Patriots’ pass-first offense will pay dividends as he will have the same targets as last year (Randy Moss, Wes Welker). Also consider that New England will have a early cupcake schedule, so that should inflate his numbers appreciatively; he won’t throw 50 TD’s again, but he will ensure that your fantasy team gets to at least the playoffs – if not further. And hope his foot injury isn’t serious. Late-first round.
2- Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2007: 67.6% completion rate, 4,428 yards, 28 TD, 18 INT
Forget about last season; that was an anomaly as he had a horrible first half and a great second half of the 2007 season. I expect Brees to duplicate what he did in 2006, assuming that the Saints’ offensive line breaks down as they did on occasion last season. If the O-line improves, so will Brees’ numbers; he has the weapons at his disposal, so the responsibility falls on the O-line this year. Look for around 30-35 TD’s, 12-17 INT’s. Late first-round.
3- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
2007: 65.4% comletion rate, 4,040 yards, 31 TD, 14 INT
One word describes Manning – consistent. He’s thrown for no less than 4,000 yards in 8 of his 10 seasons, also averaging at least 26 TD’s per campaign. And the weapons he has – Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, Marvin Harrison and Joseph Addai – will make his numbers fantasy heaven for whoever owns him. He may be a risk early on, depending on how much rust he has due to recent knee surgery, but for the most part, a safe pick. Look for around 4,100 yards, 33 TDs’, 15 INT’s. Late first-round/early-second round.
4 – Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
2007: 64.4% completion rate, 4,211 yards, 36 TD, 19 INT, 2 rushing TD’s
Folks, Romo with his current set of weapons could very well surpass Drew Brees as the best QB in the NFC. But then again, if you had Terrell Owens, Patrick Crayton and Jason Witten on your side of the ball, you’d be an All-Star every year too. Now only if the Cowboys’ O-line can remain relatively healthy and not break down around Week 14 or so. Otherwise, an excellent QB to have on your FFL team. The 2 rushing TD’s are a bonus. Early 2nd round.
5- Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
64.9% completion rate, 4,131 yards, 26 TD, 20 INT
We know what Palmer can do with that rocket arm of his. He also has some weapons too in Ocho Cinco (the football player formerly known as Chad Johnson) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh) – although he needs a third WR to complete an already decent arsenal. He is fortunate in that 4 games this season are teams that are deficient somewhat in the pass defense game (the Bengals play Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice each). Just think what Palmer could do if he had a decent O-line? He threw for over 4,000 with the patchwork line in front of him – you get my meaning here, right? Look for 3,800+ yards, 30 TD’s, 20 INT’s from Palmer. Early-second round.
6- Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles
2007: 61.5% completion rate, 3,324 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT, 236 rushing yards
Ah, the dilemma also known as Donovan McNabb. Kind of like the little girl with the curl – when he’s good, he’s really good; but when he’s bad, then watch out!! What would be preferable here is a healthy, 16-game season out of McNabb and more protection from the Eagles’ O-line. Fortunately for him, coach Andy Reid’s offensive scheme is passer-friendly, so McNabb will rack up some decent numbers. The wide receivers simply need to man-up and help MCNabb out as RB Brian Westbrook cannot do it all by himself. He won’t be an embarrassment on your team, but he;s no Tom Brady, either. Look for around 3,500 yards, 26 TD’s, 10 INT’s and 3 rushing TD’s (out of necessity, but in fantasy football, who cares?) Middle-second round.
7- Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks
2007: 62.6% completion rate, 28 TD, 12 INT
Hasselbeck is an above-average QB, by and large. This season will severly test Hasselbeck’s skills as he doesn’t have a true RB (well maybe Julius Jones) and his WR corps is subpar (D.J. Hackett is gone, Deion Branch is coming off knee surgery and Bobby Engram is 35 (old for a WR). Which means that Nate Burleson will have to be like Superman for Hasselbeck to realize any success. Hasselbeck will have to also have to face some NFC East opponents with tough passing defenses and the New England Patriots, as well. I can see Hasselbeck getting around 3,600+ yards, 27 TD’s and 13 INT’s. Middle-second round.
8- Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns
2007: 56.5% completion rate, 3,787 yards, 29 TD, 19 INT, 3 rushing TD’s
The question everyone wants to know: Will Anderson continue his success or will he become a 1-year wonder? I would venture to say that he will get better because of his weapons (Braylon Edwards, Donte Stallworth and Kellen Winslow) and also because he is only 25 years old, so he has lots of upside going for him. Not to mention that the Browns’ offense is tailor-made for Anderson, so lots of passes will be thrown. The weather in December may be a concern as he typically sucks during that month as he will have to face AFC North opponents then. I look for anderson to rack up around 3,500 yards, 30 TD’s and 18 INT’s. Middle-second round.
9- Eli Manning, New York Giants
2007: 56.1% completion rate, 3,336 yards, 23 TD, 20 INT
Eli is growing into the role of QB in New York. One thing he has going for him is that he has a 3-headed monster at RB (Brandon Jacobs, Dedric Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw) should keep opposing defenses honest, allowing Manning to throw around the field, especially to WR Plaxico Burress. And you know that Manning’s confidence is growing, coming off a Super Bowl win. He has to face the NFC East, which is never easy – and Pittsburgh. Ouch. I see 3,400 yards, 25 TD’s and 14 INT’s coming form Manning this season. Mid-to-late second round.
10- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2007: 65.3% completion rate, 3,154 yards, 32 TD, 11 INT, 204 rushing yards, 2 rushing TD’s
While a very good QB, Roethlisberger has the misfortune of playing for a team that is run-oriented, by and large. Plus the fact that the Steelers’ O-line is just average – especially on pass protection. His production will come not so much from passing yardage as it will come from TD passes from the red zone. Not an embarrassment for your fantasy team, but at the same time not who comes to mind as your #1 QB either. Expect from Ben around 3,000+ yards, 28 TD’s, 15 INT’s and 2 rushing TD’s. Mid-to-late 2nd round.