Cam Newton dance
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Super Bowl 50 features the new guard against the old guard. Cam Newton is the ultimate dual threat quarterback. Peyton Manning has evolved into a game management quarterback. Denver is built on their defense and their ground game.
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1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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super bowl 50

Cam Newton dance
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Here’s the Lester’s Legends fantasy football quarterback rankings for the AFC & NFC Conference Championship Games.
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1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
3. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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Carson Palmer Cardinals
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Here are the Lester’s Legends fantasy football quarterback rankings for the Divisional Round.
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1. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
2. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
6. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
8. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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Big Ben
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Here are the Lester’s Legends fantasy football quarterback rankings for the Wild Card Round.
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1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
4. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
5. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
6. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans
7. A.J. McCarron, Cincinnati Bengals
8. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
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Super Bowl XLV is a matchup of two of the best quarterbacks in football. Both have strong arms and can make plays with their feet. Aaron Rodgers has been a statistical force the past few years while Big Ben is looking to add a third ring.
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With all the attention Aaron Rodgers had in the original Brett Favre drama, he should not be fazed by the extra attention that comes with playing in the Super Bowl.
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Being a multiple Super Bowl winner, not to mention the off-the-field issues Ben Roethlisberger has had in recent years, you know that he won’t shy away from a little extra media coverage.
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Since the circumstances shouldn’t play a major role in determining which quarterback will have the better performance, we’ll have to look to the field. While Rodgers has been the statistical superior player, he’ll also be facing a tougher defense.
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Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, there strength is stopping the run. When Rodgers faced Pittsburgh in 2009, he threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns while adding 22 yards and another score on the ground.
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Big Ben topped him though with 503 yards and three touchdown passes as the Steelers edged the Packers 37-36.
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With the Lombardi Trophy at stake I don’t expect anything like that in Super Bowl 45, but I do expect the offenses to move the football and put some points on the board.
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It’s really close, but I do give one quarterback a slight edge in this one. While I’m taking Pittsburgh to win the game, I think Aaron Rodgers walks away with better numbers.
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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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Tom Brady joined the ranks of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Michael Vick. Elite fantasy quarterbacks that will have to watch the rest of the NFL Playoffs on TV. Here’s how the remaining four quarterbacks shake out for the AFC & NFC Conference Championship Games.
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1.  Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers:  All Rodgers has done in his three playoff starts is average 323 yards with 10 touchdown passes with just one interception. He has also ran for a couple more scores. Think about that. He is averaging four touchdowns per playoff game. The Bears are tough, but Rodgers and the Packers are on fire.
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2.  Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers:  It’s hard to bet against a team that beat Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in their perspective houses, but Big Ben may be even harder to rattle than those two legends because of his ability to shrug off would be tacklers and make improbable plays. He had moderate success (264 passing yards, 25 rushing yards, TD) in their first meeting, and Pittsburgh’s elite defense should give him some short fields to work with. I don’t expect a Herculean effort, but a solid one.
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3.  Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: Cutler did more than hold his own in his playoff debut, throwing for 274 yards and two touchdowns. More surprising though were his 43 rushing yards and a pair of rushing touchdowns. He averaged just 194.5 yards though in two regular season meetings with the Packers, throwing one touchdown and three interceptions. Last year wasn’t much better as he averaged 243 yards with three touchdowns and six interceptions. My feeling is that the Packers pressure gets to Cutler, forcing him into some bad reads.
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4.  Mark Sanchez, New York Jets:  Sanchez rose to the occasion, lighting up the Patriots for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Pittsburgh is a different animal though, as their attacking defense will make things very uncomfortable for Sanchez. They tormented Flacco with James Harrison picking up three of the Steelers’ five sacks. I expect Sanchez to top Flacco’s 125 passing yards, but I’d be surprised if he tops 200.
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Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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The Seahawks certainly put the wild in the Wild Card round. Eliminated were Michael Vick, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning. With that crop of elite quarterbacks out of the mix, let’s take a look at the divisional round rankings.
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1.  Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers:  He’s truly an elite talent. He does not even need to go to his favorite weapon (Greg Jennings) to put up three touchdown passes.  Now he’s Atlanta’s problem. With the 22nd ranked pass defense, I’m thinking another upset is in the making. Win or lose, Rodgers should put up big numbers.
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2.  Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears:  No, I’m not sniffing glue. Yes, I did watch Seattle pull of the upset. They were playing at home though. As long as the weather is decent in Chicago, I think Cutler lights up Seattle’s 27th ranked pass defense. They are also one of four teams to allow 30+ passing touchdowns this year.
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3.  Tom Brady, New England Patriots:  Brady got the Rex Ryan monkey off his back when he threw for 326 yards and four scores in Week 13. Things will be tougher this time around, but I’m still expecting Tom to deliver.
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4.  Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers:  I realize the Ravens made Matt Cassel look like a guy that should be backing up Tom Brady, but he and the Chiefs did not look ready for the next level that comes with playing in the playoffs. Big Ben and the Steelers don’t have that problem. I think Big Ben rises to the occasion and turns in a solid effort.
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5.  Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons:  I pretty much have the same feelings for Ryan and Joe Flacco. Both face tough defenses this week and will lean on the ground game. I give Ryan the slight edge since he’s playing at home.
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6.  Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens:   See above. The only thing I’ll add is that I hope Flacco doesn’t try to run like he did last week because he likely won’t last the entire game.
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7.  Mark Sanchez, New York Jets:   The Patriots were 30th against the pass this year, but it’s a new season now and the stakes are higher. Sanchez had mixed performances against the Pats in their two meanings. Facing Belichick a third time is a daunting task for a young quarterback.
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8.  Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks:  With all due respect to Hasselbeck, I have to rank him last again. They called a great game and his throws were precise. I just don’t see that style working on the road against the Bears.
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Here are my fantasy football quarterback rankings for the Wild Card Round.
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1.  Drew Brees:  With an ailing running game, the Saints will put their quest to repeat on Drew Brees’ shoulders. No worries, he can handle the load.
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2.  Aaron Rodgers:  Rodgers got a taste of playoff action last year. All he did was throw for 423 yards and four touchdowns. He’ll be ready.
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3. Michael Vick:  He’s not at 100 percent, but 75 percent of Vick should be enough.
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4. Peyton Manning:  He’s not as super in the playoffs, but he’s still dominant.
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5. Joe Flacco:  Rushing attack should open things up in the passing game.
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6. Matt Cassel:  Tough matchup, but could throw a lot if they get down early.
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7. Mark Sanchez:  I don’t see a scenario where you’d want to choose him as your playoff QB.
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8. Matt Hasselbeck:  Ditto
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Before you start to break down the rankings for the playoffs, you need to decide who you think will be in the Super Bowl. I’m predicting a Patriots-Saints Super Bowl. As I pave their path to the big game, I will know how many games I expect each playoff team to play in.
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Here’s the breakdown.
Saints (4)
Eagles (3)
Patriots (3)
Colts (2)
Ravens (2)
Steelers (2)
Bears (1)
Chiefs (1)
Falcons (1)
Jets (1)
Packers (1)
Seahawks (1)
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Here are my top quarterbacks based on my above playoff projections.
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1. Drew Brees
2. Tom Brady
3. Michael Vick
4. Peyton Manning
5. Ben Roethlisberger
6. Joe Flacco
7. Aaron Rodgers
8. Matt Ryan
9. Matt Cassel
10. Jay Cutler
11. Mark Sanchez
12. Matt Hasselbeck
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