NFL Fantasy Preview: 2010 Quarterback Rankings

drew brees

For the past couple of years, quarterbacks have dominated the top of the list when it comes to total fantasy points.  Having an elite fantasy quarterback can prove to be a key factor for any winning team.  Any fantasy owner will tell you that it is nice to have a Brady, Brees, Manning or Rodgers on your roster.  Such a scenario will allow you to avoid making any difficult decision each week for this ever-so-important position.  However, it is also not a bad idea to wait around for a quality quarterback in the later rounds.  But if you are going to do so, you will want to make sure you get a good one that you can rely on.

Here is a look at our top 20 quarterbacks, with an quick outlook and 2010 stat projections for each.

Other Positions: Running BacksWide ReceiversTight EndsKickers & Defenses

The Studs:

1.  Drew Brees, NO4650 PaYds, 38 TDs, 10 Ints, 1 RuTDs

Dreew Brees is just about as sure of a thing as you will find at the quarterback position when it comes to fantasy football.  His ability to stay in the pocket, deliver precision passes down the field, and avoid big hits has made him a prized commodity on draft days and 2010 should be no different.  With an assortment of weapons around him, expect Brees to have another big year.

2.  Aaron Rodgers, GB4600 PaYds, 32 TDs, 9 Ints, 6 RuTDs

Many people will have Rodgers as their number one quarterback ahead of Brees, and we can’t really complain with that.  Rodgers has made the people of Green Bay quickly forget about Brett Favre after an outstanding 2009 season which saw him pass for 4434 yards and 30 TDs.  At 26-years-old you can only expect him to get better, and with options like Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and Jermichael Finley around him, you can expect another career year for Packers’ play caller.

3.  Tom Brady, NE 4590 PaYds, 37 TDs, 10 Ints, 1 RuTD

Coming off major knee surgery, Tom Terrific put up some big numbers, but he just didn’t seem to be his usual self at times.  With a full season under his belt and no health concerns going into training camp this time around, you can expect Brady to revert back to closer to the 2007 version of himself that threw for 4806 yards and 50 touchdowns, rather than the 2009 version that threw for 4398 yards and 28 touchdowns.

4.  Peyton Manning, IND4400 PaYds, 34 TDs, 13 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Sure he can throw for plenty of yards and plenty of touchdowns, but perhaps the one thing that makes Peyton such a valuable fantasy commodity is the fact that you can rely on him to be under center for every game.  The guy simply does not get injured.  And when you have a quarterback that can put up numbers like Manning, and stay healthy, it can make your life a whole lot easier.

The Second Level:

5.  Matt Schaub, HOU4600 PaYds, 32 TDs, 14 Ints, 0RuTDs

After finally staying healthy for an entire season, Matt Schaub was able to show fantasy owners what many had predicted he was capable of a few years back.  With weapons like Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter around him, the Texans quarterback led the league in passing yards and was a great sleeper for many fantasy teams.  With Houston’s offense expected to be even more potent this season, you can expect Schaub to have another big year.  The only problem is that this time every other owner will know what to expect.

6.  Tony Romo, DAL4400 PaYds, 31 TDs, 10 Ints, 1 RuTDs

Ever since his breakout year in 2007, Romo has established himself as a solid number one fantasy quarterback.  And now with the addition of Dez Bryant to an already solid receiving corp, Romo’s outlook looks bright once again.  Expect him to find Bryant and the speedy Miles Austin downfield often in what should be a stellar fantasy season.

7.  Philip Rivers, SD4150 PaYds, 30 TDs, 12 Ints, 1 RuTD

Philip Rivers has proven himself to be an elite NFL quarterback, but with WR Vincent Jackson and LT Marcus McNeil yet to report for duties, his fantasy value has taken a rather dramatic hit.  This should not scare you away from drafting Rivers, but it does move him down the rankings behind the likes of Schaub, Romo, and in some people’s eyes, Brett Favre.

8.  Brett Favre, MIN4000 PaYds, 30 TDs, 14 Ints, 0 RuTDs

He’s back!  And although Favre may not have a year like 2009, you can still count on him to put up some rather nice fantasy numbers in the QB1 position.  the 40-year-old gunslinger will have to do without the services of Sidney Rice for half the season, but there is plenty of talent in the Vikings line-up, and the loss of one guy should not have as devastating an effect as some may believe.

The Third Tier:

9.  Eli Manning, NYG3950 PaYds, 28 TDs, 12 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Eli quietly posted some strong numbers last season (4021 yards, 27 TDs), and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his stat line improve in 2010.  With another year’s worth of experience for a young receiving corps that includes the likes of Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks, there is a lot of potential for Manning to grow in his 7th NFL season.

10.  Joe Flacco, BAL3800 PaYds, 27 TDs, 12 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Flacco was impressive during his second year as a starter with the Ravens and things should only get better in his third.  With a receiving corps that now includes Anquan Boldin, in addition to Derrick Mason and Ray Rice out of the backfield, expect Flacco to find enough time behind an strong ofensive line to get the ball downfield and post some impressive numbers in 2010.

11.  Kevin Kolb, PHI3700 PaYds, 26 TDs, 14 Ints, 1 RuTD

With McNabb out of the picture in Washington, it is now Kevin Kolb’s turn to run what has always been a pass-heavy offense.  Andy Reid has confidence in the 26-year-old, and if Kolb can keep it that way, he should be able to make the most of the talent around him to be one of this year’s biggest sleepers at the quarterback position.

12.  Matt Ryan, ATL3650 PaYds, 25 TDs, 11 Ints, 1 RuTD

After an impressive rookie season, Matt Ryan failed to meet the high expectations that were placed on him prior to his sophomore year.  However, with a dangerous weapon like Roddy White at his disposal, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan gives fantasy owners the type of season in 2010 that most has anticipated in 2009.

13.  Jay Cutler, CHI3550 PaYds, 26 TDs, 20 Ints, 1 RuTD

When it comes to quarterback that I would prefer to stay away from, Jay Cutler is at the top of that list.  With Mike Martz running the Bears’ offense, you can expect Cutler to have many opportunities to throw the ball down the field, but that may not be a good thing for a guy who tends to throw interceptions as often as he throws touchdowns.

14.  Carson Palmer, CIN3400 PaYds, 25 TDs, 14 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Following an impressive 2007 season, many fantasy experts expected Palmer to become a top level fantasy quarterback.  After all, he had just come off his second consecutive 4000+ yards season and third consecutive 26+ touchdown season.  Unfortunately, Palmer not even been a second tier fantasy quarterback since, as he has struggled to produce in his past two seasons.  This year could be different, however, as he now has Terrell Owens, along with Ochocinco as his top two options.  Don’t be surprised if 2010 is the year that Palmer returns to fantasy stardom.

15.  Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 3000 PaYds, 22 TDs, 8 Ints, 1 RuTD

Ben Roethlisberger would likely be in the second tier with the likes of Romo, Rivers, Schaub and Favre, had it not been for his six game suspension (expected to be reduced to four) to start the season.  Four games can be an eternity in fantasy football, but if you already have your starting quarterback and Big Ben is available as a replacement, take him.  You will be happy you did when he returns.

The Rest:

16.  Alex Smith, SF3350 PaYds, 24 TDs, 15 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Alex Smith was a great addition to many fantasy teams last season after he took over the starting job in San Fran.  Now he will begin 2010 as the full time starter under center and with Crabtree expected to play in his first full season, and Vernon Davis finally breaking out into the top-level tight end many had expected when they drafted him in the first round, it could be a breakout performance for Smith in 2010.

17.  Chad Henne, MIA3200 PaYds, 23 TDs, 10 Ints, 0 RuTD

Chad Henne looked good last year after stepping in for an injured Chad Pennington.  He should be able to continue his strong play this year, espectially with the addition of Brandon Marshall to the Dolphins receiving corps.

18.  Donovan McNabb, WSH3100 PaYds, 23 TDs, 12 Ints, 1 RuTD

The former Eagle now finds himself with the division rival Redskins.  That should hurt his vaule as he will go from a team with plenty of receiving weapons to a team with few, if any.  Don’t expect much from McNabb this season, even if he does manage to stay healthy.

19.  Matthew Stafford, DET3100 PaYds, 22 TDs, 16 Ints, 0 RuTDs

Stafford could be one of the big surprises under center this season.  With Calivin Johnson still in the mix, and the addition of Jahvid Best in the backfield, Stafford will have options.  It will only be a matter of whether he can get the ball to them.

20.  Matt Cassel, KC3000 PaYds, 21 TDs, 15 Ints, 0 RuTDs

After leaving the Pats for the Chiefs, many expected Cassel to be a reliable fantasy quarterback in KC.  Unfortunately, that was not the case last season, but with Charlie Weiss now running the offense, this might be the season that Cassel enters fantasy football relevance.

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