With our third item on the countdown list up, today we take a look at Fantasy Football rankings for Quarterbacks, round by round, with a few food for thought opinion notes by yours truly. Later in the week we will address Tight Ends, and then next week D/ST units and IDP.
Just like the other articles, you can look here to see where I used to stand and find some other links to outside sites. As Free Agency has shaken out and teams have (or haven't) made certain moves, it has an impact on players, so I've updated some things on my lists and will show them to you below.
Remember, we are assuming a 12 team league here. My rankings don't really change whether you use a 4 or 6 point per TD system, but I will put an asterisk on guys I feel may be HIGH RISK in leagues that count sacks against the QB (which is common).
1st Round QBs: Aaron Rodgers
2nd Round QBs: Drew Brees, Tom Brady
3rd Round QBs: Peyton Manning, Michael Vick*
4th Round QBs: Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub
5th-6th Round QBs: Eli Manning, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger*, Matt Ryan
7th-8th Round QBs: Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco*, Matt Cassel
9th Round+ QBs (My Choices for #2): Jay Cutler*, Kyle Orton*, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford
The Rest of the Top 24: Donovan McNabb*, Kevin Kolb, Matt Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith, David Garrard
Some Thoughts: Sam Bradford has some offensive help this year and could really have a coming out party. I'd take him as a #2 if I had a really good #1 who doesn't miss games, like Manning or Rivers. Jay Cutler could be posed to have a really nice season. I reject the homer argument, he is coming off of back to back 25 TD, 3000 yard seasons...If his yardage was a few hundred higher (not hard over a whole season) and his sack totals just a little lower (high 30s), he would be a top 10 QB. I think it happens this year. I still don't trust Michael Vick, injuries and running QBs both scare me...but when he plays, he is fantastic. If you are going to draft him, you will have to bite in the first 2 rounds and you MUST pair him with a good back up, such as Matt Cassel or Joe Flacco who puts up good numbers and is highly under valued this season.
Stuff That "Bears" Repeating: In my "too early" series I told you the following:
Don't break the bank for a QB unless it is the right player at the right spot. There are going to be at least 6 guys throwing for over 4000 yards this year, and you don't need to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick to get them. The total point differential between the #1 and #6 QB in 2010 was 2 points per game...something top tier RBs can get you over the next tier easily.
I meant it then, and I mean it now. The drop off is not that big. Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, and Eli Manning put up great Fantasy numbers every year, but Brees, Brady, and Peyton Manning have the face and get drafted ahead of them every season. Rodgers will jump onto that high drafted train this year, and so will Vick...so if you are patient and hold out until the 4th-6th round to get your first QB, and then stack them with a high quality back up in round 8 or so, it lets you get RBs and WRs early and still get good production from the QB spot. A good example might be Ben Roethlisberger and Jay Cutler, or Philip Rivers and Matt Cassel, or even Matt Schaub and Joe Flacco. The top 14 QBs all have a great shot at being top 10 this year (even though only 10 can) so why not have 2 and save those 1st-3rd round picks for elite receivers and running backs? Just my 2 cents.