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With an exciting opening week of football under our belts, here are the Lester’s Legends 2014 Week 2 fantasy football quarterback rankings.
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Manning picked up where he left 2013 off by tossing three touchdowns in Week 1 against the Indianapolis Colts. He gets the Kansas City Chiefs this week at home. The Chiefs allowed 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week to Jake Locker. Manning averaged 363 yards and three touchdowns in two meetings with Kansas City last year.
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2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees threw for 333 yards and a touchdown last week against the Atlanta Falcons. They surprisingly had three rushing touchdowns, which hurt Brees’ fantasy production. Things should return to normal next week against the Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger lit them up to the tune of 365 yards and a score. Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Brandin Cooks and Pierre Thomas give Brees plenty of firepower.
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3.  Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford got off to an impressive start throwing for 346 yards and two touchdowns. He even added a rushing score. Stafford faces the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers gave up 230 yards and two touchdowns to Derek Anderson last week. Imagine what Stafford can do against them with his weapons.
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4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers had the misfortune of playing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL opener, which resulted in 189 yards and one touchdown. Clearly he can do much better against the New York Jets this week. They gave up two touchdown passes to Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders last week. Look for Rodgers to return to form this week.
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5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck threw for 370 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the Broncos. He added 19 yards and a score with his feet. He’s a strong play against a Philadelphia Eagles team that allowed Chad Henne to throw for 266 yards and a pair of scores.
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6.  Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice exploded for 448 yards and three touchdowns against the New Orleans Saints last week. This week he faces the Cincinnati Bengals. They were just exploited for 345 yards by Joe Flacco. Look for Ryan to spread it around to his stable of wide receivers.
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7. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
It took Foles a little time to get warmed up, but he finished with 322 yards and two touchdowns. He goes up against the Colts in what should be a high-scoring affair.
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8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady and the New England Patriots look to bounce back after a stinging loss to the Miami Dolphins. Brady threw for 249 yards and a score. Look for him to exploit a Vikings’ secondary that was not tested in the season opener by the St. Louis Rams.
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9. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick threw a pair of touchdowns early, but was able to put on the brakes after jumping on the Dallas Cowboys. The Chicago Bears should put up more of a fight.
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10. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton threw for 301 yards and a touchdown last week against the Baltimore Ravens. Look for another big game as he trades blows with Ryan and the Falcons. Atlanta gave up 333 yards last week.
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The Next Batch
11. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers vs. Detroit Lions
12. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers
13. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans vs. Dallas Cowboys
14. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys @ Tennessee Titans
15. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants
16. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
17. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
18. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks @ San Diego Chargers
19. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
20. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans @ Oakland Raiders
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The smell of football is in the air. Here are the Lester’s Legends 2014 Week 1 fantasy football quarterback rankings.
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos 
Peyton Manning shattered NFL records last year en route to turning in the finest fantasy football season ever. He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. Last year he threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. Manning threw for 462 yards and seven touchdowns last year in the season opener.
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2.  Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Brees threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns last year. He’ll begin his quest for a fourth straight year with 5,000 yards against the Atlanta Falcons. He averaged 317.5 yards against them last year and has averaged 318.8 yards in his past 12 meetings against them.
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3.  Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice and the Falcons will try to put 2013 behind him in what should be a shootout with the Saints. Ryan has averaged 4,279 yards 28.8 touchdowns over the past four seasons. Matty Ice averaged 298 against the Saints last year and 284 yards with 16 touchdowns in 11 career meetings with them.
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4.  Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford threw for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns last year, bringing his three-year average to 4,885 yards and 30 touchdowns per season. The addition of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron should make Stafford even more dangerous. Look for Stafford to get off to a fast start against the New York Giants.
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5.  Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Equipped with the best wide receiver duo in the league (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery), one of the best pass-catching running backs (Matt Forte) and a solid tight end (Martellus Bennett), Cutler is poised to deliver big numbers in 2014. He’ll get started against the Buffalo Bills.
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6.  Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck threw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 377 yards and four touchdowns with his feet. He threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns against the Broncos last year, with another 29 yards and a score on the ground.
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7.  Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Foles threw for 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions last year. Chip Kelly’s offense could be even more impressive in his second year. While the Eagles will miss DeSean Jackson, look for Jeremy Maclin, Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz to pick up the slack.
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8.  Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers was limited to nine games last year, but he finished with 2,536 yards and 17 touchdown passes. He remains an elite option, but has a tough opening draw against the Seattle Seahawks.
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9. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick gets Michael Crabtree back, which should help his development as a passer, especially when paired with Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Stevie Johnson. Kaepernick faces the Dallas Cowboys. They Boys allowed 286.8 yards and 2.1 touchdowns per game through the air.
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10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady doesn’t have quality outside weapons, but he should still be quite productive against the Miami Dolphins throwing to Rob Gronkowski, Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman.
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The Next Batch
11. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
12. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys vs. San Francisco 49ers
13. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers @ Arizona Cardinals
14. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
15. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins @ Houston Texans
16. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals vs. San Diego Chargers
17. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens
18. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Tennessee Titans
19. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns
20. Eli Manning, New York Giants @ Detroit Lions
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Here is a revised and expanded look at the 2014 Lester’s Legends quarterback rankings.
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
As long as his neck holds up, how can you not rank him No. 1 after his record-breaking season? He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He has great weapons in place. Peyton should have no problem putting up monster numbers once again.
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2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns. That’s three straight years with at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns. He is the poster boy for consistent excellence.
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3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games last year, but I think a rebound is in order. He isn’t quite as dangerous with his feet, which cuts into his fantasy value a little. He is still elite.
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4. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Cutler has to stay healthy to merit this ranking, but he is generally a tough dude. Bears quarterbacks ranked fifth last year with 4,281 yards and tied for fifth with 32 touchdown passes. With the best wide receiver duo (Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery), an elite pass-catching running back (Matt Forte) and a solid tight end (Martellus Bennett), Cutler is a force to be reckoned with.
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5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck threw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 377 yards and four touchdowns with his feet. His ability to run puts him right up there with the best of the best. I expect his passing totals to rise.
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6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns, putting his three-year average at 4,885 yards and 30 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson is an elite talent. Golden Tate was a nice add. I expect the Lions to add help. Jim Caldwell’s presence should also help.
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7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Not having Tony Gonzalez will hurt, but Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas form a potent trio of wide receivers. Ryan has averaged 4,279 yards 28.8 touchdowns over the past four seasons.
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8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton averaged 211.2 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 36.5 rushing yards and 0.4 rushing touchdowns last year. He should continue to deliver with his legs. Carolina once again didn’t help him with new weapons, but he’s still a big dual threat.
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9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has a firm grasp of Chip Kelly’s offense. Expect more growth, even if the numbers take a little hit. A 13.5:1 TD-interception ratio is not sustainable.
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10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady did as much as he could with the talent available to him. He still finished with 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns. Assuming Rob Gronkowski can stay healthy, Brady should continue to put up big numbers.
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11. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Most teams would kill for a quarterback who throws for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Unfortunately Tony Romo will carry a stigma until he can win the big game. For fantasy owners, that’s irrelevant. He’ll continue to put up big numbers. His back issues are a cause for concern, but he’s still a viable starting fantasy quarterback.
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12. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
RGIII likely will still run, but perhaps not as frequently, which should help his chances to avoid the injury bug. With Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed at his disposal, a nice rebound should be in order.
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13. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick was a little disappointing last year finishing with 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air and 524 yards and four scores with his feet. He still should be productive with his feet, but expect more from his arm. A healthy Michael Crabtree and the addition of Stevie Johnson to complement Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin give Kaepernick a solid arsenal.
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14. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Rivers threw for 4,478 yards and 32 touchdowns last year, but his weapons outside of Keenan Allen leave plenty to be desired. I expect a season somewhere in between his 2012 and 2013 season. Perhaps 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns. He’s proof that the quarterback class is very deep this year.
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15. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has 52 touchdowns to just 19 interceptions in two seasons. He adds value by running the ball. A healthy Percy Harvin should only help his passing numbers.
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Johnny Manziel NFL Draft
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Now that the NFL draft is behind us it is time for fantasy football nuts to start breaking down the rookies. Here’s the LestersLegends’ look at the 2014 NFL rookie quarterback class.
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1. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Bortles was not only the first quarterback taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, but he’s also the one most likely to play meaningful snaps in the 2014 NFL season. The third overall pick is 6’5″ and 232 pounds. He threw for 3,581 yards and 25 touchdowns at Central Florida. Bortles should be able to get a shot with Chad Henne holding down the starting job in Jacksonville. Not having Justin Blackmon at his disposal hurts, but the Jags did a nice job of adding Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round.
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2. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
Despite the talk surrounding Johnny Football, don’t expect him to be Johnny Backup all year long. Brian Hoyer is the top man on the depth chart, but with 192 career pass attempts and a big game against a bad Minnesota Vikings defense shouldn’t give him a very firm grip on the job as he recovers from a knee injury. Manziel threw for 3,706 yards and 26 touchdowns to win the 2012 Heisman. He responded to offseason criticism with 4,114 yards and 37 touchdowns last year. Manziel ran for 1,410 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman and “just” 759 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground last year. At 6’0″ and 210 pounds that trend should continue against the bigger, faster NFL players. Like Bortles, Manziel will have to get by without a star player. In Manziel’s case it is Josh Gordon.
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3. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Carr will get to learn behind the newly-acquired Matt Schaub, who has been pretty average the past few seasons despite having Andre Johnson to throw to. Neither Schaub nor Carr have good talent to work with in Oakland, but that could lead to an earlier look at Carr. He threw for 3,544 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore, 4,104 yards and 37 touchdowns as a junior and 5,082 yards and 50 touchdowns as a senior. He has the pedigree. Hopefully he has more success than his big brother David.
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4.  Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
Teddy will get to learn behind Matt Cassel, who will form a bridge to the Bridgewater era. Cassel will likely miss a couple of games during the year, which will give Bridgewater a chance to get his feet wet. If he runs with the job he will never look back. Over the past two seasons the 6’2″, 205 pound Bridgewater averaged 3,844 yards, 29 touchdowns and just six interceptions. He’ll have to add to his frame, but Bridgewater isn’t a running quarterback that you have to worry about getting put in harm’s way.
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5. Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
Zach Mettenberger rounds out the top five only because of Jake Locker’s injury history and a general lack of immediate impact players at the position in this year’s draft crop. Mettenberger is 6’5″ and 235 pounds, but lacks any sort of mobility. He also has character concerns. Mettenberger threw for 3,082 yards and 22 touchdowns. If Locker goes down again, Mettenberger could see some action.
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Super Bowl XLVIII pits the old guard against the new guard when it comes to the quarterback matchup.
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Peyton Manning came into the league in what seems to be a lifetime ago with all the expectations in the world. He has delivered on that promise over the years, including leading the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl XLI victory.
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Peyton has had plenty of success with the Denver Broncos, including setting NFL records with 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He is basically an offensive coordinator on the field. He always seems to be a step ahead of the defense. Even the raised stakes of the playoffs hasn’t slowed him as he has averaged 315 yards and a pair of touchdowns in wins over the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.
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Seattle can get pressure up front and have a talented secondary. I don’t see Peyton having a monster day, but I just can’t go against Peyton in this historic year.
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Meanwhile, Russell Wilson is the new breed of quarterback that can do damage with his arm and his feet. Wilson was a third round pick that was a bit of a surprise last year as he won the starting job over Matt Flynn.
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Wilson averaged 209.8 passing yards, 1.6 passing touchdowns and 33.7 rushing yards. He hasn’t been asked to much in two playoff wins as he has averaged just 159 passing yards, 0.5 passing touchdowns and eight rushing yards. Seattle has relied on its defense and a strong rushing attack featuring Marshawn Lynch.
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Against Denver things are likely to change. The Broncos are going to put points on the boards. As good as Seattle is on defense, I can’t see them shutting down Denver’s high-powered offense. Wilson is going to have to put the Seahawks on his back and make plays with his arm.
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Denver allowed 254.4 passing yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game during the regular season.
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While I think Peyton has the better day, I do think Wilson will put up decent numbers as well.
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Super Bowl XLVIII
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Click here to see the updated and expanded 2014 fantasy football quarterback rankings
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Click here to enter the 2014 Best Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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We are in that time of the year where unless you are a fan of one of the Super Bowl teams you are probably not in football mode. You’ll gear up for the big game next week as you get your party plans and food figured out. Sure, the Pro Bowl is this week, but does anyone really care about that game? It’s cute that they are doing a Pro Bowl Draft, but if the game was in my back yard I might tune in for a drive or two. Why not take a moment and look towards next year’s fantasy draft?
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
As long as he holds up in the Super Bowl and his next checks out, how can you not rank him number one after his record-breaking season? He threw for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns. He has great weapons in place. Peyton should have no problem putting up monster numbers once again.
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2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns. That’s three straight years with at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns. He is the poster boy for consistent excellence.
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3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton averaged 211.2 passing yards, 1.5 passing touchdowns, 36.5 rushing yards and 0.4 rushing touchdowns. He should continue to deliver with his legs. I expect Carolina spends the offseason upgrading his arsenal so he can start doing more damage with his arm.
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4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers was limited to nine games last year, but I think a bounceback is in order. He isn’t quite as dangerous with his feet, which cuts into his fantasy value a little. He still elite.
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5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck threw for 3,822 yards and 23 touchdowns. He added 377 yards and four touchdowns with his feet. His ability to run puts him right up there with the best of the best. I expect his passing totals to rise.
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6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw for 4,650 yards and 29 touchdowns, putting his three-year average at 4,885 yards and 30 touchdowns. Calvin Johnson is an elite talent. I expect the Lions to add help. Jim Caldwell’s presence should also help.
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7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady did as much as he could with the talent available to him. He still finished with 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns. Assuming he has better options next year, Brady should continue to put up big numbers.
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8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Most teams would kill for a quarterback that throws for 3,828 yards and 31 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. Unfortunately Tony Romo will carry a stigma until he can win the big game. For fantasy owners, that’s irrelevant. He’ll continue to put up big numbers.
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9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles threw for 27 touchdowns with just two interceptions. He has a firm grasp of Chip Kelly’s offense. Expect more growth, even if the numbers take a little hit. A 13.5:1 TD-Interception ratio is not sustainable.
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10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson has 52 touchdowns to just 19 interceptions in two seasons. He adds value by running the ball. A healthy Percy Harvin should only help his passing numbers.
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Here are the Lester’s Legends quarterback rankings for the  the AFC & NFC Conference Championship Games of the 2013-14 NFL Playoffs.
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1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning averaged a ridiculous 342.3 yards and 3.4 touchdowns per game. The New England Patriots held him to 150 yards and a pair of scores in the first meeting. I don’t think the Pats will contain him quite as well in this one. Manning has too many weapons. Despite all of his success, Peyton still has plenty to prove. As long as he doesn’t press he should have a big day.
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2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady had 344 yards and three touchdowns in the first meeting with Denver. He averaged 314.9 yards and two touchdowns in the final eight games of the regular season. Brady threw for 198 yards in the playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts. He didn’t throw a touchdown, but that was due to the Patriots scoring six on the ground. Brady will be asked to do more this week. I believe he’ll be up to the challenge.
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3. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick didn’t have a banner regular season, but he’s averaging 211.5 passing yards, a passing score, 56.5 rushing yards and 0.5 rushing touchdowns in two playoff games. Kaepernick was held to 302 passing yards, one passing touchdown (four interceptions) and 118 rushing yards in two games against the Seattle Seahawks. Kaepernick should continue to get the job done with his feet and his arm thanks to having a solid trio of weapons in Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.
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4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson continued to provide reduced production as he was held to 103 passing yards and 16 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints. In two games against the Niners he averaged 170.5 passing yards, a passing touchdown, an interception and 17.5 rushing yards. He could pick up the victory, but I don’t expect Wilson to produce big numbers.
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