NFL General

Fantasy Position Breakdown: Quarterbacks

Fantasy football is upon us. Believe it or not, we are a mere month away from gearing up for a season full of jubilation and undoubtedly, tears of loss and regret. And before you can call yourself ready or boldly declare you’re going to steal your league’s championship this year, you’ve got to know where you stand on each position. More importantly, you’ve got to know where you stand on each player.

I’ll be breaking down each team’s star at each offensive position (QB/RB/WR/TE) and letting you know, if you don’t already know, on who to take, and who to definitely stay away from.

Where there is an up and coming young gunslinger like Jay Cutler, there resides a dream shattering disappointment in an Alex Smith. Any quarterback can go from progression to regression in a blink of an eye, so outside of the obvious top ten quarterbacks, one has to know exactly what separates the rest of the hopefuls.

Here is the complete breakdown of the 2008 starting quarterbacks for each team, as well as any quarterback battles heading into the pre-season:AFC

  1. Tom Brady- He’s likely to follow in Dan Marino and Peyton Manning’s footsteps with a major decline in touchdowns after a career year. With such a gaudy receiving corps, though, over 30 is expected.
  2. Trent Edwards- J.P. Losman, how quickly you have been forgotten. Edwards is far from polished, and his receivers are anything but solid. Lee Evans, his supposed lone star, is inconsistent at best.
  3. Chad Pennington vs. Kellen Clemens- Do you really win with either one of these guys? Pennington and his rubber arm won’t get you the stats, but he’s always translated his play into wins. Clemens, on the other hand, has never produced any kind of play to warrant a starter status.
  4. Josh McCown vs. John Beck vs. Chad Henne- Bill Parcells made quite the splash in free agency by landing the journeyman McCown, didn’t he? Sadly, he’s the most experienced and skilled of the three. This is a season long “must avoid” situation. If at any time one of these guys is in your starting line-up it’s a safe bet you’re in a 20 team league, or you just don’t know how to draft.
  5. Peyton Manning- Mr. Consistency. Whether or not Marvin Harrison ever regains form is a moot point after last season. Anthony Gonzalez is primed to take over, and Dallas Clark didn’t shy away from an inflated amount of red-zone looks. Manning is a 30+ touchdown guarantee.
  6. Vince Young- For as heralded as this young gun is, he sure isn’t creating much buzz anymore. It’s amazing how one bad season can take a player down from a hype rise. Talk about mulling over retirement a year into your career sure doesn’t help.
  7. Matt Schaub- He was solid as a first year starter, but only in spurts. Kevin Walter came on ridiculously strong in place of the often injured Andre Johnson, and Jacoby Jones looks to round out the receiving corps. If the running game takes flight, Schaub could be a sleeper.
  8. David Garrard- With Byron Leftwitch and Quinn Gray gone, there really isn’t room for error in Jack Del Rio’s judgment that Garrard’s their guy. With his athleticism and accuracy, he should improve on last season’s numbers. The addition of Jerry Porter does not improve his draft stock, though, despite what some might say.
  9. Ben Roethlisberger- They weren’t kidding about airing it out, where they? Big Ben threw it at will last season on his way to a career best 32 touchdown tosses, and I’ll have you expect the same. Do notice, however, he has yet to surpass 3,500 yards in a season.
  10. Carson Palmer- I’m going to go ahead and come right out with it: for Palmer, 2007 was a fluke. He’s too gifted and accurate of a passer to play like that again. However, will Chad Johnson be around to prove me right? That’s really up to “Ocho Cinco”, now isn’t it?
  11. Troy Smith vs. Kyle Boller vs. Joe Flacco- Flacco won’t see the field unless Smith is downright horrible and Boller skips town. Baltimore is playing Carson Palmer ball with him. Smith, while being the projected starter, does not appear to be a starting quarterback. Having sub-par weapons such as Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton, and a more injured than not Todd Heap doesn’t help, either.
  12. Derek Anderson- The new rendition of Drew Brees will progress in his second season, but expect the interceptions to be the same, if not worse. With the always reliable Joe Jurevicious taking a backseat to the never reliable Donte Stallworth, it’s anyone’s guess how easy it will be for Anderson to find the mark on a consistent basis. Winslow and Edwards will keep things interesting. Oh, and don’t hold your breath on Brady Quinn.
  13. Philip Rivers- He still hasn’t pulled away from rookie mistakes, leaving many to think Drew Brees is the one that got away. Ladainian Tomlinson’s consistently stellar play will rescue him from being a complete failure, but it’s up to Rivers to finally fully utilize the immense talent he now has around him. Chris Chambers just might be his saving grace.
  14. Jay Cutler- Diabetes scare aside, can Cutler get over Brandon Marshall’s foolish games (thank you Jewel) and reconnect for another 100 plus plays? Not having a sure fire proven back along side him might be something to think about.
  15. Jamarcus Russell- Is it just me, or was there virtually nothing to be excited about when Russell playing in limited action last year? I hate to say it, but Raider fans will be missing Dante Culpepper by year’s end, and God help me, maybe even Josh McCown.
  16. Brodie Croyle vs. Damon Huard- The untapped potential versus the not quite seasoned veteran. Hmm. I have to say, the only thing I like about Croyle is his hair, and maybe his long ball. But one has to marvel at the possibilities that lie with a classy guy like Huard, especially if this team just sucks it up and backs him for a full season. My heart goes out, for the second season in a row, to Tony Gonzalez.


  1. Jason Campbell- Mr. Soup is good enough to be granted the starter spot for opening day, despite Todd Collins’ best efforts. The real task will be mastering another new offense, and finally making correct use of such a great talent like Santana Moss. Verdict: Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Not so good.
  2. Tony Romo- The only Favre-like ability Romo has is his risk-taking. It’s obvious he benefits immensely from having one of the greatest ever (Owens) and an elite tight end, both of which Favre rarely had. All hall of fame comparisons aside, Romo is due for another huge year as long as someone can find a niche opposite Owens.
  3. Donovan McNabb- If he can stay healthy, and that’s a big if, this team is his. Honestly, before last season this team was still a Super Bowl contender, and McNabb was a top 10 quarterback. If he has another injury plagued year, this might be it for him. My guess is he has a fluke year and doesn’t get bit by the bug.
  4. Eli Manning- Winning a Super Bowl doesn’t rid of his awful erratic play during every regular season so far in his career. He has yet to put together a consistent season. Still, as long as Plax and Jeremy Shockey are there, Manning is in line for 23-28 touchdowns and 3,500 yards.
  5. Jon Kitna- Word on the street in Drew Stanton isn’t even prepared to re-assume duties at Michigan State. Kitna could drop off production even more and his job would be safe. Regardless, I’d stay away from him. His interceptions will continue to be high, despite supposedly not throwing as much, and his yardage should take a dip.
  6. Aaron Rodgers- Coach Mike McCarthey can finally stop drooling about all the bootleg plays he drew up for Rodgers and finally put them to use. Or can he? (recent Favre uprising) With second round Jordy Nelson rounding out the deepest receiver pool in the league, Rodgers, or Favre, will have to be flat out awful to not take full advantage.
  7. Rex Grossman vs. Kyle Orton- They let go of Cedric Benson, yet they brought back two of the most erratic quarterbacks we have ever been introduced to. And to top it off, they bring back Marty Booker as their number one wide out. Simply amazing.
  8. Tarvaris Jackson- Despite Brad Childress’s continuous ogling over him, this is probably Jackson’s make or break year. With the departure of the ever so unimpressive Troy Williamson and the addition of the underwhelming Bernard Berrian, I don’t see how their can be much upside.
  9. Jake Dehlomme- I almost hope he gets hurt again this year so Chris Berman can quit saying his “daylight come and you gotta go home” phrase. However, you have to love his connection with Steve Smith. If anyone can provide any type of consistency on the other side, this guy is primed for a huge year.
  10. Drew Brees- What’s not to like about Brees and his offense? Marques Colston is beyond impressive at this point, and David Patten looks to continue one of the NFL’s feel good stories. Add a good dose of a hopefully no longer hyped and more productive Reggie Bush, and you have a nice little Drew Brees, NFL MVP stew going.
  11. Jeff Garcia- Does anyone actually believe he can keep this up? Garcia can run his little legs tired all he wants, but nothing can make up for his aging receivers and Coach Jon Gruden’s lofty expectations. Garcia aside, no Buccaneer passer warrants being drafted. It’s like they say, if you have a bunch of quarterbacks, that means you have no quarterback.
  12. Chris Redman vs. Matt Ryan- You’re hearing it here: Chris Redman’s solid showing at the end of last year was the sign of things to come. He ended the season on an ultra high note with 4 touchdown passes, and with reliable target Brian Finneran ready to finally be a solid addition, Redman has another weapon at his disposal. If Roddy White continues his progression and Michael Jenkins be even close to serviceable, Redman might stave off Ryan for the whole season.
  13. Matt Hasselbeck- Truly coming into his own after being handed over the reigns by Mike Holmgren last season. Now that Shaun Alexander is gone, is this team going pass happy? Unlikely, but they have enough talent at receiver to bring hope that Hasselbeck can break into the elite.
  14. Alex Smith vs. Shaun Hill- Hill has reportedly looked awful, and Mike Nolan and Smith have finally made up. Who initiated the long over-due hung first? Jokes aside, this will be Smith’s 4th offensive coordinator in as many seasons. Mike Martz works wonders, I know, but that kind of instability has got to ruin your rhythm.
  15. Matt Leinart vs. Kurt Warner- Either one of these guys should flourish with the best receiver tandem outside of Massachusetts. Warner lacks mobility and Leinart has the stronger arm, but both have their upside. Be weary of drafting Leinart, even if he is the starter, simply for the 2-minute offense scare.
  16. Marc Bulger- The question for Bulger, and more importantly every player in St. Louis, is can they stay healthy? When in top physical condition, Bulger is a top ten player at his position, and when not, well, you saw what happened last year.

If this fantasy rankings article is posted, a follow-up article of the running-back position will be next.

3 replies on “Fantasy Position Breakdown: Quarterbacks”

first reference Please use the full name (first and last) on first reference. Who is Holmgren? Colston? Owens? Martz? The first time you introduce someone, please use the full name. I voted in favor of the this article, but I’d appreciate it if you made these changes.

changes I agree with you. My bad. The changes have been made.

Thanks for reading and voting!


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