Fantasy football: Scouting the quarterbacks

Donovan McNabb could be in another pass-happy offense with the Redskins.
Donovan McNabb could be in another pass-happy offense with the Redskins. (Michele Tranquilli)
Posted: August 25, 2010

Sam Bradford, Rams: No thanks. Ditto for the other rookie quarterbacks out there.

Tom Brady, Patriots: Says he wants to play another 10 years. Even if she is a supermodel, married life will do that to you.

Drew Brees, Saints: That Week 1 opener against Brett Favre and the Vikings should get the fantasy season off to a flying start. First one to 40 wins.

Jason Campbell, Raiders: Campbell is an upgrade at quarterback over JaMarcus Russell. But, then again, Naomi Campbell would be an improvement for the Raiders. Take Naomi. Leave Jason for someone else.

Matt Cassel, Chiefs: Charlie Weis might have struggled on Saturdays, but the Chiefs new offensive coordinator knows his way around quarterbacks. Don't dare make Cassel your starter, but do keep an eye on him.

Jay Cutler, Bears: New offensive coordinator Mike Martz has a serious man-crush on Cutler. He loves his savvy and his intelligence. There's no arguing that Cutler has the tools, but how much do you trust Chicago's inexperienced receivers?

Brett Favre, Vikings: You knew he wasn't going to let the last image of his career be that ridiculous interception in the NFC Championship game. If his ankle becomes problematic, it will affect his fantasy numbers.

Joe Flacco, Ravens: The addition of Anquan Boldin has given the Ravens more depth than they ever have had at wide receiver. Baltimore also brought in veteran Marc Bulger as a mentor. Flacco could be a steal in the middle of the draft.

Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks: Yawn.

Chad Henne, Dolphins: It has been a while since Miami had a relevant quarterback, but Henne might be getting there. If he cuts down his interceptions and keeps Brandon Marshall happy, Henne could work his way into starting consideration in large leagues.

Kevin Kolb, Eagles: It's impossible around here to call Kolb a sleeper, but that's how he's being viewed around the country. The biggest question will be his ability to withstand the 16-game schedule. You might want to grab Michael Vick in the last round, just in case.

Matt Leinart, Cardinals: Now that Kurt Warner is gone, Arizona is diving into the deep end of the hot tub by handing the keys to Leinart.

Byron Leftwich, Steelers: He is still fighting with Dennis Dixon to start during Ben Roethlisberger's suspension. Pittsburgh does have a couple decent early matchups (at Tennessee, at Tampa Bay) that those in two-quarterback leagues might consider.

Eli Manning, Giants: He's 29 years old, coming off the best statistical season of his career and has a variety of targets to throw to. If you decide not to draft an elite quarterback, Eli's a fine choice.

Peyton Manning, Colts: If there's a person picking ahead of you targeting Manning, try to get in his head by mentioning all the recent quarterbacks who have been disasters the year after losing the Super Bowl. Except for Kurt Warner last year, Tom Brady, Rex Grossman, Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb all got hurt or yanked the season after losing the Supe. Manning has never missed a game in his career.

Donovan McNabb, Redskins: Coach Mike Shanahan brought his son Kyle over from Houston to coordinate the offense. Kyle, as Matt Schaub owners will attest off last year, likes to throw the ball.

Kyle Orton, Broncos: Don't sweat Tim Tebow, Orton is the Broncos guy. He shouldn't be yours, however.

Carson Palmer, Bengals: There have been a number of reports out of Cincy noting Palmer's diminished arm strength. Yikes.

Philip Rivers, Chargers: San Diego's best wide receiver (Vincent Jackson) and Pro Bowl left tackle (Marcus McNeill) are holding out, so Rivers getting to 4,000 yards for a third consecutive season could be a challenge.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Cut his interceptions nearly in half while throwing for more yards and touchdowns last year. Enters his third season as a starter and is scratching on the door outside the elite status held for Brees and Manning.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Has been a model citizen in camp and gone out of his way to offer guidance to the team's young receivers, supposedly a first for Big Ben. If Roger Goodell doesn't reduce Roethlisberger's six-game suspension, the earliest he could play is Week 8 since the Steelers have an early bye.

Tony Romo, Cowboys: Has cut down his turnovers, won a playoff game and emerged as a dependable fantasy quarterback. Adding rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant should stretch the field even more for the Cowboys.

Matt Ryan, Falcons: Threw for fewer yards last year compared with his rookie year, but had six more touchdowns which, coincidentally, is exactly how many TDs tight end/security blanket Tony Gonzalez had in his first season with the Falcons. Ryan is not yet a reliable fantasy quarterback, but he is worth a spot as a backup.

Matt Schaub, Texans: Schaub's 4,770 yards last year were the sixth-most in NFL history and more than Brett Favre, Peyton Manning and John Elway ever had in a year. Season-opener against the Colts could set the tone for the season.

Seneca Wallace, Browns: The over/under on turnovers before Jake Delhomme gets yanked is 8 1/2. Colt McCoy is the future.

Vince Young, Titans: Going 8-2 down the stretch was a nice story last year, but meaningless in fantasy circles. He had 10 TD passes in those 10 games and just one game over 250 yards.


On the way up: Eli Manning, Giants

On the way down: Philip Rivers, Chargers

Riskiest pick: Jay Cutler, Bears

Sleeper: Joe Flacco, Ravens

Please avoid: Carson Palmer, Bengals

Top rookie (by default): Sam Bradford, Rams

THE DRAFT BOARD: The Top 32 (bye week next to team name)

1. Drew Brees, Saints 10

2. Peyton Manning, Colts 7

3. Aaron Rodgers, Packers 10

4. Tom Brady, Patriots 5

5. Tony Romo, Cowboys 4

6. Matt Schaub, Texans 7

7. Eli Manning, Giants 8

8. Brett Favre, Vikings 4

9. Philip Rivers, Chargers 10

10. Kevin Kolb, Eagles 8

11. Joe Flacco, Ravens 8

12. Donovan McNabb, Redskins 9

13. Matt Ryan, Falcons 8

14. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 5

15. Chad Henne, Dolphins 5

16. Jay Cutler, Bears 8

17. Carson Palmer, Bengals 6

18. Alex Smith, 49ers 9

19. Matthew Stafford, Lions 7

20. Matt Cassel, Chiefs 4

21. Matt Moore, Panthers 6

22. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks 5

23. Jason Campbell, Raiders 10

24. Mark Sanchez, Jets 7

25. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers 4

26. Seneca Wallace, Browns 8

27. Vince Young, Titans 9

28. Kyle Orton, Broncos 9

29. David Garrard, Jaguars 9

30. Matt Leinart, Cardinals 6

31. Trent Edwards, Bills 6

32. Sam Bradford, Rams 9

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