Rotoprofessor’s Top 10 Fantasy Football QB Rankings

May 19, 2009

Written by Eric Stashin the Rotoprofessor

We are still months away from fantasy drafts starting up, but it is never too early to start preparing.  Let’s take a look at an early list for the Top 10 Quarterbacks in the league.  Of course, there is plenty of time for things to change, so we’ll be updating and expanding this list as things move closer.

  1. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints - After throwing for 5,069 yards (leading the league by nearly 500 yards) and 34 TD last season (tied for league lead), do I really need to say more?
  2. Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts - While the departure of an aging Marvin Harrison could have an effect on his performance, the Colts are still loaded with plenty of fire power.  Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez offer very good targets on the outside, as does Dallas Clark from the TE position.
  3. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers - He threw for over 4,000 yards and 34 TD without an elite wide receiver at his disposal.  They didn’t address the position much via free agency or the draft, but a fully healthy LaDanian Tomlinson will certainly help.
  4. Tom Brady – New England Patriots - It’s tough to rank him, as we really just don’t know what we are going to get from him after he missed the majority of 2008 due to injury.  If healthy, he’s clearly among the game’s elite.  Prepare yourself to hear Brady to Moss repeatedly once again.
  5. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys – Could the loss of Terrell Owns actually help him relax and distribute the ball more?  Time will tell.
  6. Kurt Warner – Arizona Cardinals – Even if Anquan Boldin were to be traded, the Cardinals are full of weapons.  He was second in the NFL with 4,583 yards and in this offense there is no reason to expect a regression.
  7. Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles - The addition at left tackle is going to help him immediately, as is first round draft pick Jeremy Maclin.  A solid back up to Brian Westbrook may help to keep him healthy, completely opening up the field for McNabb to work for the entire season.  Put it all together and 2009 could be a big season for him.
  8. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers - If the Packers could keep him off his back the sky is the limit.  With over 4,300 yards and 23 TD he quickly proved that the team made the write decision in moving on from Brett Favre.
  9. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – He’s at a disadvantage, given the team’s propensity to grind it out instead of take to the air.  Still, when healthy, he’s a solid option in all formats with a pair of solid WR in Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes to work with.
  10. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – He was tremendous in his rookie season and adding the best tight end in history just gives him that much more to work with.  While I wouldn’t draft him over the other quarterbacks on this list, he easily could outperform the majority of them by year’s end.

Additional Notes:

  • Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears - The weapons in Chicago takes away from the potential upside he has.
  • Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – There are just too many question marks surrounding his health to rank him in the Top 10.  By year’s end, it shouldn’t be surprising if he ends up there, however.
  • Matt Cassel – Kansas City Chiefs - Is he the product of the Patriots system or does he really have that much talent?  We’ll find out soon enough.
  • Matt Schaub – Houston Texans - With one of the league’s best wide receivers lining up on the outside, he has tremendous potential.
  • Eli Manning – New York Giants - If they find a suitable replacement for Plaxico Burress he could emerge as a Top 10 option.  To date, however, that huge void still remains.

What do you think?  Who got left out of the Top 10 that you feel should be included?  Who should be removed from the list?

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12 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Rad
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    Wow, Brees ahead of Manning. I guess Manning losing his O-coordinator and O-line coach will have some effect on his numbers, but I think I would still take him over Brees even with those impressive number last year. I agree about Cassell, I would draft him as a backup, but I think the Pats system and abbundance of weapons helped his numbers a lot. Good stuff man, can’t wait for draft day.

  2. LestersLegends
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:06 pm #

    I concur with Brees as the top QB.

  3. Rad
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    Really, you’d take Brees ahead of Payton? I guess you can’t go wrong either way. Both are pass happy teams with plenty of weapons. Good stuff Les

  4. LestersLegends
    May 19th, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    In a fantasy league, sure. On a real team I take Peyton.

    Here’s my list from a while back:
    1. Drew Brees
    All he did was pass for 5069 yards and 34 TDs last year despite having his top wideout, Marques Colston, miss five games. In his three years with New Orleans Drew is averaging 4637 yards and 29 TDs. To put it into perspective, Peyton Manning has never thrown for 4600 yards in a season.

    2. Peyton Manning
    Old reliable. He has never thrown less that 26 TD passes in a season. Only twice has his passing yardage dipped below the 4000 yard mark. You can pretty much pencil him in for 4200 yards and 28 TDs. Others may finish ahead of him, but the come at a higher risk. For example, in 2006 the top five QBs were Manning, Brees, Bulger, Palmer, and Kitna. In 2007 it was Brady, Romo, Manning, Big Ben, and Brees. Last year it was Brees, Rodgers, Rivers, Culter, and Warner (Manning was sixth). The two constants are Brees and Manning, who happen to be my top two fantasy QBs for 2009,

    3. Tom Brady
    I know he’s coming off a major injury, but he’s had far more time than Carson Palmer had to rehab when he tore his knee. Brady had 4806 yards and 50 TDs in 2007. 50 TDs. Randy Moss and Wes Welker are still there. Plus, don’t you get the feeling Bill Belichick wants Brady to put up huge numbers to discredit Josh McDaniels’ influence? Matt Cassel was seventh in QB scoring last year, and with all due respect to Mr. Cassel, he is no Tom Brady.

    4. Kurt Warner
    QB is the one position where players can maintain their excellence well into their thirties. As long as Anquan Boldin is with the Cardinals, Warner remains one of the top QBs. Even if he holds out or forces a trade, Warner has great weapons in Fitz, Steve Breaston, and Jerheme Urban.

    5. Aaron Rodgers
    Rogers impressed me last year. He was the second highest scoring QB despite having to deal with the Brett Favre circus and expectations. With a year under his belt and a training camp in which he can just focus on football, I expect Rodgers to be the top young QB next year. He has plenty of weapons and his ability to add points with his feet are a huge help.

    6. Philip Rivers
    I would rank Rivers higher, but I think he’ll have a couple of factors working against him next year. First and foremost, I believe the Chargers Defense will be better in 2009. They won’t be in as many shootouts next year. Second, as their D improves, their reliance on the ground game will increase. LT should be healthy and Sproles will get more carries. Rivers’ yardage will remain around 4000, but the TD number (34) will take a hit.

    7. Tony Romo
    Romo will miss T.O. on the field. It’s had to replace a double-digit TD guy. Roy Williams is solid, but he’s not T.O. Defenses will be able to key in on Jason Witten more, meaning is go-to-guy could have more difficulty getting open. Plus, with a trio of backs in MB3, Felix Jones, and Choice, the Cowboys could get back to more smashmouth football.

    8. Jay Cutler
    In a perfect world Jay Cutler would probably be the third guy on my list. Unfortunately there are several strikes against him. Namely the ongoing drama with his new Coach and the potential four-game suspension of his top target Brandon Marshall. He has the ability to climb this list, but as of now I’m a little leery of his situation.

    9. Carson Palmer
    A healthy Palmer should easily be able to crack the Top 10. Laveranues Coles is no T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but he’s a solid wideout. As long as Chad Ocho Cinco doesn’t force his way out of Cincinnati, Palmer should be able to throw for 4000 and 25 TDs.

    10. Donovan McNabb
    Even if his team won’t give him the tools he needs to do his job, McNabb will find a way to make it work. He always does. Kevin Curtis should be healthy and DeSean Jackson has a year of experience.

    I’d probably move Cutler out and put Ryan in at ten with the addition of Gonzo.

  5. Rad
    May 19th, 2009 at 2:41 pm #

    Nice breakdown man. I agree that Gonzalez should give Ryan another 8-10 TDs and bring up his yardage since he’ll be getting more completions. Good work as always.

  6. LestersLegends
    May 19th, 2009 at 2:42 pm #


  7. Michael from The Hazean
    May 19th, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Brees > Manning

  8. The Hazean - Daily Haze: Updates from Facebook and Twitter
    May 20th, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    [...] shake-up of the top fantasy quarterbacks on the board this summer with Tom Brady falling out of the top three in favor of Philip Rivers. [Lester's [...]

  9. Brandon
    May 20th, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    Let’s stop the insanity…put Brady back atop the list where he belongs.

  10. LestersLegends
    May 20th, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    I’ll stick with the guys not coming off a major knee injury on a team that refuses to give any info on how a guy is progressing.

  11. Ray
    June 16th, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    The top 10 has all the right people but I would definitely take Brady over Rivers. Brady’s options at receiver are ridiculously deep and excel at YAC. In Matt Ryan’s case, I am always skeptical of second year QBs because the league adjusts to their playing styles but with the addition of Tony Gonzalez it is hard to imagine a drop off from last year so I’ll keep in at the number 10. Other than that, I feel like its a pretty solid top 10 mid-June.

  12. LestersLegends
    June 16th, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I too have TB ahead of Rivers now.

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