The NFC East has three established quarterbacks and one messy situation.
Michael Vick is the number one fantasy quarterback in the division. He’s a bit of a risk in part because of injuries and in part because he’s never had a season like last year. He has the tools to succeed and the weapons around him to flourish, but we won’t know if he still has the drive to be a better quarterback. He’s easily a top tier QB1, but he has more risk than the likes of Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Manning. Kevin Kolb is one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league. He could find himself traded, possibly to Arizona. He makes a decent QB2 if he’s a starter.
Tony Romo put up big numbers when he is healthy. Dez Bryant is immature, but he gives Romo another quality weapon. He’s averaged 2699.5 yards and 1.9 touchdown passes per game over the past four years (51 games). His lack of playoff success keeps him from the Brady, Peyton, and Brees discussions, but he is possibly the best value among fantasy quarterbacks because of it.
Eli Manning reached 4000 yards for the second straight season. Not bad for a team that historically likes to run the football. His career high of 31 touchdowns gives him an average of 29 over the past two years and 25 over the past six. He really formed a nice rapport with Hakeem Nicks and remains a solid QB1 if you want to address other needs or a high-end QB2.

Then there is Washington. Donovan McNabb is as good as gone, which marks the second straight season he’s been sent packing. I don’t know if he’s a starting caliber quarterback anymore. Even if he finds a new gig, his fantasy days are most likely behind him. Rex Grossman could be brought back, but it appears John Beck could get a chance to show what he can do. This is a situation to avoid. Not only are the QB options mediocre at best, but they are running thin in the playmaker department.

Also check out:

Image courtesy of Icon SMI


Hakeem Nicks had a solid rookie season for the Giants last year. He caught 47 passes for 790 yards (16.8 ypc) and 6 TDs. He had 411 yards after the catch, which is an impressive number given his relatively few receptions. He is big at 6’0″, 215 lbs with good speed, making him difficult to bring down. He should turn in another solid season, but are people drinking a little too much of the Giants’ Kool-Aid?


Nicks has an ADP of 53 (19th WR) according to Mock Draft Central. I have him as my 24th WR (click to see my WR rankings), but I wouldn’t be comfortable taking him quite so early. I prefer the likes of Dwyane Bowe, Percy Harvin, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Pierre Garcon, and others that have lower ADPs. If Nicks is on my team, it will be as a WR3. I don’t see that happening based on this scenario.


It’s not that I dislike him, but I am going to temper my expectations. I am predicting 65 catches for 950 yards and 6 TDs. Not bad numbers, but not numbers you expect out of the fifth pick of the fifth round in fantasy drafts either. Not unless they are coming from a tight end.

The problem is the Giants have a lot of options in the passing game. Steve Smith is the clear #1. Mario Manningham figures to see at least as many targets as Nicks. Kevin Boss and Ahmad Bradshaw, provided they can stay healthy, should also have decent roles in the passing attack.

I’m also expecting a more balanced attack this year. The Giants attempted 542 passes to just 443 running plays. I would expect fewer attempts from Manning and more carries from Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Andre Brown, if he can recover from his Achilles injury, could formulate the three-head monster the Giants used with great success in 2008.

If the Giants are running more and passing less, it stands to reason the G-men WRs will suffer, especially considering how many quality options they have. Throw in his injury history from last year, and I just can’t trust him quite at 53.

What are your thoughts on Hakeem Nicks?


The G-Men had question marks at WR and turned out three that had solid seasons. The running game took a step back. I see the running game bouncing back at the expense of the air attack.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Difficult
First they have to travel to Minnesota in Week 14. They return home to face the Eagles. Then they travel to Green Bay in the fantasy championship.

Five Star Fantasy Options

Four Star Fantasy Options
Eli Manning – Manning had an impressive season throwing for 4021 yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs, a 62.3 completion percentage, and 93.1 passer rating. All of those numbers, except for the INTs, were career bests. He is a decent starting fantasy QB, but as I said, I expect the Giants to utilize the rushing attack more.

Steve Smith – Smith came out of nowhere to deliver for the G-Men in a big way. He had 107 catches for 1220 yards and 7 TDs. I expect a step back from Smith, but he still should be a solid WR2.

Three Star Fantasy Options
Brandon Jacobs – His 835 yards and 5 TDs were a far cry from the 1089 yards and 15 TDs he had in 2008. He suffered through injuries last year, which have been a problem most of his career. If he can stay healthy he can approach double-digit TDs. I wouldn’t bank on 1000 yards for him though.

Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw almost certainly will have more total yards than Jacobs. Health could be a concern for Bradshaw as well, but he is very talented.

Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had fewer catches (47) and yards (790) than Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, but he offers the most upside. He has big play ability. Consistency could be an issue.

Giants Defense/Special Teams – They had a myriad of injuries in the secondary, but should be improved in that department. They are always a good bet to pile up the sacks.

Two Star Fantasy Options
Mario Manningham – Manningham was second in receptions and yardage last year, but is likely to be the third receiver this year. There will be times that you want to use him, but he’s more of a depth option at this point.

Kevin Boss – Boss had 567 yard and 5 TDs last year, which is solid, but I don’t seem much room for improvement. He’s a high-end TE2, but I wouldn’t want him as my starter.

One Star Fantasy Options
Andre Brown – What will Brown do for you? He’s coming off a serious Achilles injury so you will have to see his progress before you consider him. He’s probably at least a  year away (if he ever makes it at this level).

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Eli Manning under Center
Image courtesy of Icon SMI

I like Eli more as a reality QB than a fantasy one.  Even with Derrick Wards’ departure, this is still a run-first team.  Without a clear #1 WR, it’s hard to consider Eli anything more than a backup fantasy QB, especially considering the swirling winds he often plays in at Giants Stadium.  The Giants have drafted plenty of WRs the past few years so it’s time for Steve Smith, Mario Manninghma, Sincorice Moss, and Rookie Hakeem Nicks to step up.  Domenik Hixon will likely be his most reliable WR.  Kevin Boss is a serviceable TE for Eli that can gain yards after the catch. 

Eli has some nice regular season matchups in Week 4 vs. Kansas City, Week 6,against New Orleans, Week 7 against Arizona, and Week 12 against Denver.  He has a tough fantasy playoff schedule at home against Philly, at Washington, and at home against Carolina.  He’d be a nice compliment to Matt Ryan, Donovan McNabb, and Kurt Warner who have byes in Week 4, Tony Romo and Peyton Manning who have byes in Week 6, or Matt Hasselbeck who has a bye in Week 7.  I think you’ll see typical Eli numbers with 3300 yards and 21 TDs.

My good pal and Giant fanatic Joe Z. was kind enough to analyze the offseason plans for the New York Giants.

Most wondered at the time of the Plaxico Burress shooting whether or not the New York Giants would be able to focus and block out the immense distraction that the situation provided.  In hindsight, the immense media scrutiny paled in comparison to actual loss of Burress on the field.   Not only did Eli Manning lose his top target, but defenses were able to play an extra defender up in the box to target to stop the run game.   With Burress’s future being cloudy at best, coming up with a way to ease the pressure on the run game, as well as allow Steve Smith and Domenick Hixon to be secondary receivers should be the Giants primary offseason goal.   

The first person to potentially fill the gap is Burress himself.  While its uncertain whether or not he’ll face jail time or how long a potential suspension would be, the Giants have publicly stated that they have not yet closed the door on him.  While he has been a distraction in the past, many teammates have said that they would welcome him back.  This would not cost anything additional other than already reserved cap space, and might be the easiest option for the Giants going forward.  This was assuming that Burress would come back to the Giants on his hands and knees begging forgiveness, which given how he let his teammates down would have seemed to be the logical emotion.  However, a potential roadblock popped up in the form of Drew Rosenhaus and how he sent out a league wide email stating Plaxico was one of his clients desiring a trade.   If clarity comes with his legal situation and its certain that he’ll be playing in Week 1, I still can’t see a team being willing to give the Giants enough that they’d want to give him up.  

If the Giants determine that they have to move on, the only rumored names that could truly represent an upgrade for the Giants are Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmanzadeh; and neither will be easy to acquire.  All rumors of Boldin’s availability have come out of Boldin’s camp, not from Arizona.  As much as Boldin wants out, he is signed at a bargain price for Arizona, and it would take a bounty to acquire him.  Given his production and bargain cap number, Arizona might not decide to trade Boldin until after the Giants need to make a decision on their offseason intentions.

The free agent market only offers one receiver that could potentially provide number one receiver production.  TJ Houshmanzadeh is the anti-Burress in terms of attitude and distractions, but even if he were interested in leaving, he seems to be a candidate to be franchised by Cincinnati since they are under the cap and probably won’t be able to attract many marquee free agents until they start winning.

Its very rare to draft a receiver and receive number one production.  It will be even rarer to get that receiver at the back end of the first round after Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin are long gone.

Before they resolve the number one receiver situation, its likely that the Giants will have locked up the services of Brandon Jacobs to a long term deal.  Last week, they franchised Jacobs, a move so rare for the Giants that you have to look all the way back to Jumbo Elliot to find the last time they did that.  The Giants want Jacobs back, and Jacobs wants to be back, so it would be surprising if they can’t find the middle ground on a long term deal.  Given that, it likely means that Derrick Ward will move on to another destination.  While the Giants loved having Ward, someone will likely offer a starting spot and more dollars than the Giants can, given that they have in house candidates to replace him.  Most fans would logically think Ahmad Bradshaw will be the guy, but reports are that the Giants are very high on Danny Ware, so an interesting battle for that lead backup job could develop in training camp.

The Giants also appear to be close to locking up Eli Manning to a long term deal.  The structuring of his bonus will be a key factor in whether or not they end up with the ability to pursue any free agents beyond Brandon Jacobs.  Giants fans have watched Eli go through some significant bumps in the road, and he’ll never be as good as his brother, but Eli has proven to be a top ten quarterback and many teams would kill to have the stability at the Quarterback position that Eli provides the Giants.  

The offensive line received praise throughout the season and looks to return in tact next season.  Depending on how the Giants internally evaluate the long term future of young linemen such as Kevin Boothe, Guy Whimper, and Adam Koets will determine whether the team pursues a linemen or two to develop and take over eventually for Shaun O’ Hara, Rich Seubert, or Kareem McKenzie as they each now have eight plus years in the league.  

Defensively, the Giants will receive a huge upgrade when Osi Umenyiora returns to his place in the lineup.  While Mathias Kiwanuka did a nice job moving back to replace Umenyiora, the dropoff was noticeable.  The defensive stats don’t show any true problems, but at no time was the pass rush anywhere near the level that it had been when Strahan, Tuck, and Umenyiora were harassing Quarterbacks.  Fred Robbins had a Pro Bowl quality year, but getting Osi back will be wonderous for this team. 

The secondary also will return in tact minus James Butler.  2008 1st round pick Kenny Phillips proved to be ready to replace Butler going forward.  Corey Webster in his fifth year will be elder statesmen of the starting secondary, so there is nowhere to go but up for that unit.   Any drafting to the defensive line or secondary will be done solely because the person picked provided too much value to pass up at the position they were selected. 

The Giants do have major concerns at linebacker.  They spent the entire year with below average starters on the outside, and by the end of the year Antonio Pierce had become a liability in the middle.  The Giants face a difficult decision with Pierce , as he is clearly the Quarterback of the defense and probably can’t be replaced intelligence wise in one year.  However, the sight of Brian Westbrook, DeAngelo Williams, and Adrian Peterson flying past Pierce has to haunt every Giant fan as they reminisce back to 2008.  Luckily, the draft and free agent class are deep at linebacker, so the Giants should have opportunities to upgrade.  Throw in the fact that Kiwanuka could conceivably return back to the linebacking corps and the team should have no trouble getting the unit back up to par.  One angle to watch would be whether the Giants are able to clear the cap space after the Jacobs and Manning signings to pursue Karlos Dansby out of Arizona.  Ohio State’s James Laurinaitis or USC’s Clay Matthews could be targets for the team with their first round pick.  

Knowing that Wide Receiver and Linebacker are the two areas of need for the Giants, its important to note that they have extra 2nd and 5th round picks from the Jeremy Shockey trade.  This depth could allow the Giants to trade up in the draft, or to potentially package some picks to a cap starved team to help fill needs.  

Overall, General Manager Jerry Reese fit a home run with his first draft in 2007.  However, he has not yet acquired a marquee player via free agency nor trade in his tenure, and this is the offseason where his creativity to do so is needed and up for judgment.”

KFFL Free Agent Tracker:

Pos Player Name FA Status Previous Team Current Team
QB David Carr Re-signed New York Giants New York Giants
QB Andre’ Woodson Re-signed New York Giants New York Giants
QB Anthony Wright UFA New York Giants Free Agent
RB Reuben Droughns UFA (Cut) New York Giants Free Agent
RB Brandon Jacobs Franchised New York Giants Free Agent
RB Derrick Ward UFA New York Giants Free Agent
RB Danny Ware RFA New York Giants Free Agent
WR Amani Toomer UFA New York Giants Free Agent
TE Martrez Milner Re-signed New York Giants New York Giants
PK John Carney UFA New York Giants Free Agent
C Grey Ruegamer UFA New York Giants Free Agent
DL Jerome McDougle UFA New York Giants Free Agent
DL Michael Strahan UFA New York Giants Free Agent
DL Renaldo Wynn UFA New York Giants Free Agent
CB Kevin Dockery RFA New York Giants Free Agent
CB Sam Madison UFA (Cut) New York Giants Free Agent
CB R.W. McQuarters UFA New York Giants Free Agent
SS Sammy Knight UFA (Cut) New York Giants Free Agent
FS James Butler UFA New York Giants Free Agent

Player A
230 completions in 371 attempts (62.0%)
2624 yards
19 TDs
8 INTs, 2 Fumbles
91.3 Passer Rating
194.3 Fantasy Points

Player B:
281 Completions in 445 Attempts (63.1%)
2948 yards
19 TDs
12 INTs
85.3 Passer Rating
207.1 Fantasy Points

When you look at the numbers it is hard to differentiate the two Mannings.  Knowing the Giants propensity to pound the football on the ground, it’s probably obvious that Player B and his 74 additional passing attempts is Peyton.  Considering how much his team utilizes the ground game, Eli’s numbers are very impressive.  We’re talking a little more than a point per game difference.  This is with his #1 wideout Plaxico missing games to suspension, injury, and gunfire.  Just knowing how much he counted on Plaxico last year, it’s pretty amazing to think Eli is having an even better season this year.

When you look at the success their respective teams are having you can’t help but side a little with Eli.  A year after Tiki Barber left, the Giants had to deal with Michael Strahan retiring.  Then Osi Umenyiora goes down.  Jeremy Shockey gets dealt.  Plax plays in just ten games.  How have the Giants responded?  How about by going 11-1?  They have won seven straight after being tripped up by Cleveland.

The Colts have had to deal with a lot of injuries this year as well.  Bob Sanders, the heart and soul of their defense, has missed several games.  Jeff Saturday, a key cog in their Offensive Line, has missed several games.  Joseph Addai missed a couple of games. Even Peyton himself was a little shaky to start the year as he missed so much time to his Bursa Sac injury.  Yet, if the season ended today the Colts would be in the playoffs thanks to their five-game winning streak.

So to answer the question, which Manning is better…Peyton or Eli?  Prior to the Giants playoff run I would have you committed for asking that question.  While my answer remains Peyton by a slim margin, Eli has really narrowed the gap.

New York Giants Preview

29 August 2008

The team is truly Eli Manning’s now that Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan have retired in subsequent years.  Not to mention the respect he gained as he picked up his game on the Giants improbable Super Bowl Run.  Not that they are the Champs, everybody will be gunning for them.  Playing in one of the toughest divisions in football doesn’t help matters.

Offensively I don’t see a lot of differnce between last year’s model and this one.  Their Offensive Line is still intact.  The triple-headed rushing attack of Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Derrick Ward will wear teams down.  Eli Manning will pass for around 3500 yards and 22-25 TDs while throwing around 16-18 INTs.  Plaxico Burress will continue to be Eli’s top target, but I expect Steve Smith to finally start to show his worth.  Kevin Boss will try to replace Jeremy Shockey.  While he won’t produce like Shockey, he won’t disrupt like Shockey either. 

Defensively life will be more difficult with the retirement of Michael Strahan and the season-ending injury suffered by Osi Umenyiora.  Those 22 Sacks are going to be hard to replace.  I expect Justin Tuck to become one of the most dominating forces in the game, but he won’t be enough.  They will need some production from elsewhere.  Not only are there star lineman gone, but #2 tackler Gibril Wilson went to Oakland and #3 tackler Kawika Mitchell went to the Bills.  Rookie Kenny Phillips should help their secondary, but they will need their defensive front to put pressure on the QB or Giants fans could have some long Sundays.

I don’t see the Giants making it back to the playoffs, much less repeating.  Losing Strahan and Osi will prove too costly.  I’m predicting a 7 to 9 win season for the G-Men.  The Giants like being underdogs though so anything is possible.

Fantasy-wise Eli is a low-end starter/high-end backup fantasy QB.  He simply throws too many INTs for my liking as a fantasy guy.  Brandon Jacobs is the highest value of the RBs and Ahmad Bradshaw is the one I would use as a handcuff.  Plaxico makes a decent #1 WR or an outstanding #2.  Steve Smith and Amani Toomer are worth a flier in late rounds.  The same goes for TE Kevin Boss.  My expectations of their defense lowered after the Osi injury.  They still are worth a start vs. the right matchup.

Week 1
Colt Brennan (WAS) – 9/10, 123 passing yards, 2 TDs
Marcus Mason (WAS) – 18 carries, 98 yards & 16 carries for 80 yards
Calvin Johnson (DET) – 4 catches, 78 yards
Brett Ratliff (NYJ) – 14/20, 252 yards, 2 TDs
David Clowney (NYJ) – 4 catches, 163 yards, 2 TDs
Martin Rucker (CLE) – 5 catches, 70 yards
LaMont Jordan (NE) – 19 carries, 76 yards, TD
Robert Meachem (NO) – 4 catches, 129 yards
Garrett Wolfe (CHI) – 9 carries, 64 yards, 1 catch, 25 yard
DeSean Jackson (PHI) – 5 catches, 51 yards
Seneca Wallace (SEA) – 15/20, 165 yards, 3 TDs
Louis Rankin (OAK) – 8 carries, 91 yards
Josh Morgan (SF) – 4 catches, 68 yards
Billy McMullen (WAS) – 6 catches, 55 yards
Jared Lorenzen (INDY) – 12/23, 117 yards, 2 TDs
Decori Birmingham (CAR) – 17 carries, 70 yards
Jacob Tamme (INDY) – 5 catches, 57 yards
Roddy White (ATL) – 5 catches, 47 yards, 1 TD
Michael Bennett (TB) – 19 carries, 74 yards, TD, 4 catches, 16 yards
Quinton Ganther (TENN) – 8 carries, 115 yards, 2 TDs
Chris Johnson (TENN) – 6 carries, 77 yards, TD
Dane Looker (STL) – 4 catches, 73 yards
David Anderson (HOU) – 6 catches, 67 yards
Jacob Hester (SD) – 13 carries, 49 yards, 2 TDs
Miles Austin (DAL) – 5 catches, 64 yards

Week 2
Trent Edwards
(BUF) – 9/11, 104 yards, 2 TDs
Robert Royal (BUF) – 2 catches, 20 yards, 2 TDs
Tony Hunt (PHI) – 5 carries, 79 yards, TD
DeSean Jackson (PHI) – 7 catches, 71 yards
Adimchinobi Echemandu (OAK) – 3 carries, 77 yards
Lavelle Hawkins (TENN) – 2 catches, 70 yards, TD
Brett Ratliff (NYJ) – 13/19, 148 yards
Rock Cartwright (WAS) – 6 carries, 90 yards
David Clowney (NYJ) – 4 catches, 59 yards
Chad Henne (MIA) – 17/26, 133 yards
Todd Bouman (JAX) – 9/13, 126 yards, TD
Ricky Williams (MIA) – 10 carries, 43 yards, TD
Ted Ginn, Jr. (MIA) – 4 catches, 58 yards
Ryan Hoag (JAX) – 3 catches, 71 yards
Ray Rice (BAL) – 8 carries, 77 yards, TD
Martin Nance (MINN) – 3 catches, 74 yards, TD
Michael Turner (ATL) – 4 carries, 113 yards
Jacob Tamme (INDY) – 3 catches, 57 yards
Larry Johnson (KC) – 14 carries, 61 yards
Tim Castille (ARI) – 4 catches, 45 yards, TD
Jacob Hester (SD) – 12 carries, 59 yards
Antonio Pittman (STL) – 9 carries, 67 yards
Randy McMichael (STL) – 3 catches, 54 yards
Matt Schaub (HOU) – 14/16, 187 yards, 2 TDs
Drew Brees (NO) – 12/17, 147 yards, 2 TDs
Kevin Walter (HOU) – 6 catches, 100 yards, TD
David Anderson (HOU) – 3 catches, 61 yards
Lance Moore (STL) – 3 catches, 65 yards
Brad Johnson (DAL) – 9/12, 114 yards, TD
Jay Cutler (DEN) – 16/20, 178 yards, TD
Brandon Marshall (DEN) – 6 catches, 59 yards, TD
Eddie Royal (DEN) – 2 catches, 67 yards
Josh Morgan (SF) – 5 catches, 114 yards, TD
Justin Forsett (SEA) – 15 carries, 136 yards, TD
Jordan Kent (SEA) – 4 catches, 50 yards
Kellen Davis (CHI) – 3 catches, 55 yards, TD
Ryan Fitzpatrick (CIN) – 11/14, 111 yards, TD
John Standeford (DET) – 4 catches, 85 yards
Calvin Johnson (DET) – 3 catches, 76 yards, TD
Jerome Simpson (CIN) – 5 catches, 114 yards
Ken Dorsey (CLE) – 9/11, 143 yards, TD
Brady Quinn (CLE) – 7/12, 124 yards, TD
Eli Manning (NYG) – 4/7, 52 yards, 2 TDs
Danny Ware (NYG) – 10 carries, 97 yards
Domenik Dixon (NYG) – 4 catches, 63 yards, 2 TDs
Syndric Steptoe (CLE) – 3 catches, 80 yards, TD

I did my tenth Live Mock Fantasy Football Draft today.  This time I used Mock Draft Central.  The thing I liked about this site is there is much more flexibility.  You can sign up for a variety of team sizes, rounds, and even styles.  If you are in a PPR league you can do a PPR mock draft.

I had the ninth pick in a ten team 15 round mock draft.   I opened up with Larry Johnson.  I followed up with Reggie Wayne in the 2nd round.  He’s just more likely to reach lofty numbers (1400 yards, 10 TDs) than some of the second tier RBs.  In the 3rd round I went with Steve Smith.  I went with Reggie Bush in the 4th round.  In the 5th I opted for Roy Williams to finish off my starting WR corps.  In the 6th I grabbed Kellen Winslow, Jr.  In the 7th I chose LenDale White for RB depth.  In the 8th I added WR depth with Dwayne Bowe.  In the 9th I decided I must grab a QB so I took Eli Manning.  I couldn’t resist Marc Bulger in the 10th despite having Eli.  In the 11th I opted for Kenny Watson for RB depth.  In the 12th I selected Philadelphia Defense.  In the 13th I chose Sammy Morris for RB depth.  In the 14th I took Devin Hester for giggles.  I finished up with Jason Elam since i was forced to take a Kicker.

Eli Manning
Marc Bulger

Larry Johnson
Reggie Bush
LenDale White
Kenny Watson
Sammy Morris

Reggie Wayne
Steve Smith
Roy Williams
Dwayne Bowe
Devin Hester

Kellen Winslow, Jr.


Jason Elam

With training camp approaching, I figured what better time to take a look at the QBs around the league. 

We profiled the Big Dogs, now it’s time to look at the guys who the other half of your league will be starting.

Second Tier
These aren’t the flashy picks that you can walk away from your draft with your head held high because you got one of the game’s best gunslingers.  That’s not to say you can’t be proud of you team because you opted to wait until you got better value for your QB slot.  In most leagues the QBs will score the most points.  That’s just the way it is.  What’s more important than actual points though is point differential.  If you get a QB that averages 18 points per week, he’s only 2 points per week worse than a 20 point guy.  Now if by choosing that 18 point QB (instead of the 20 point QB) you get a Running Back that averages 12 points (instead of an 8 point RB you’d get if you opted for the 20 point QB) then you’d be ahead two points per week.  Before I have to break into long division, let’s steer away from the mathematics and move onto who the Second Tier QBs are.

Matt Hasselbeck - Matt reminds me a lot of Trent Green from a few years ago.  He puts up solid numbers every year, but is never considered a “must-have” QB.  He’s averaged nearly 24 TD passes per year to 13 INTs the past five years.  He’s also averaged over 3400 yards during that stretch.  His best year came last year when he tossed nearly 4000 yards and 28 TDs (both career highs).  With Shaun Alexander out of the picture, I can see Seattle remaining a pass first team.

Marc Bulger – Last year Bulger was a Big Dog.  This year he becomes on of the best QB values.  The Rams were just a mess last year.  Injuries to Bulger and Steven Jackson kept St. Louis from ever getting in a rhythm.  I can see them bouncing back in a big way.  The beauty of picking Bulger is, even if he misses, you won’t be in that bad of shape.  I’d probably try and grab another second tier or the best of the third tier QBs shortly after selecting Bulger just to be safe. 

Donovan McNabb – McNabb has Big Dog talent, but annual health concerns make drafting the former Syracuse star a risky proposition.  He’s only played in 75% (48 of 64) of the Eagles’ game the past four seasons and 68.75% (33 of 48) the past three.  As big of a name as he’s been in fantasy circles, he’s never reached the 4000 yard plateau and has only suprassed 25 TDs once.  Personally, I’m not high on him.

David Garrard – He grew up right before our eyes last year.  That run vs. Pittsburgh was an instant classic.  He showed great poise last year and an ability to avoid the big mistake.  If you’re in a league that penalizes for INTs, David’s whopping 3 didn’t cause much of a dent in your tally.

Eli Manning – A guy who’s far too familiar with INTs is Eli Manning.  He’s thrown 55 in his past three seasons (18.3 per year).  However, he’s also tossed 71 TDs (23.7 per) in that span while averaging close to 3450 yards per year.  Oh, and he won that little game they call the Super Bowl.  Manning should be much more relaxed next year now that he’s A) stepped out of his brother’s shadow and B) given himself some breathing room from New York fans and media.

Philip Rivers – I didn’t like the way Rivers mocked and ridiculed Jay Cutler last year, but he has produced back-to-back solid seasons.  He’s averaged 3270 yards, 21.5 TDs, and 12 INTs while completing over 60% of his passes.  He has some great weapons in LT and Antonio Gates, and having a whole offseason to work with Chris Chambers should pay dividends.

Jay Cutler – Speaking of Cutler, he has the potential of having a pretty solid year for the Broncos.  The departure of Javon Walker won’t be too hard to overcome because of the limited role he played last year.  A few things will need to fall in place for Cutler to be counted on for your fantasy team.  Brandon Marshall will need to be healthy (mentally and physically) first and foremost.  Second, he’ll need to get some production out of Darrell Jackson, Keary Colbert, and Brandon Stokley.

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