Top Ten Quarterbacks for 2009
Click here for my Second Half rankings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images courtesy of Icon SMI