2010 Fantasy Football Analysis – Quarterbacks August 12, 2010Posted by Matt in fantasy football.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees, fantasy football, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, NFL, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, quarterbacks, rankings, Tom Brady, Tony Romo
With the football season looming ever closer, it is time to take a look at one of my favorite pastimes over the past 15 years or so – fantasy football. Everyone knows that I’m a total nerd when it comes to statistics, so it follows that the intricate numbers of fantasy sports are right up my alley. Each year I’ve done an analysis for readers of this blog and 2010 will be no different, so today we begin with the most visible of positions – quarterback.
Five situations to avoid:
The Broncos currently have the woefully mediocre Kyle Orton listed as their starting quarterback, but directly behind him they have both an under-performing former first round draft pick (Brady Quinn) and the messiah from the swamp, Tim Tebow. My guess is that they will split time this season, thus rendering all of them useless in a fantasy league.
With Ben Roethlisberger suspended for the first six games of the season, the Steelers have turned to the scrap heap for a new leader, emerging with Byron Leftwich. I think that’s all you need to know.
I know it sounds like a broken record to say year after year that there is no Raider worth taking, but, again, thee is no need to waste a draft pick on Oakland – not even on new quarterback Jason Campbell, who proved to be rather competent during his time in Washington.
4. St. Louis
I know it is tempting to take the top draft pick of 2010, Sam Bradford, but take my advice and don’t do it. The Rams are excruciatingly bad and Bradford will be little more than an injury-prone tackling dummy.
5. Tampa Bay
Josh Freeman? Who the heck is Josh Freeman? If you ask that question too, avoid him at all costs.
Five players with potential – none of the following athletes made my top ten, but all ten have the potential to be there by the end of the year.
1. Joe Flacco, Bal
Flacco took great strides forward during his second year in the league and this season, with the addition of WR Anguan Boldin, he is poised to break through in an even bigger way. Not known for having a high-flying offense, it remains to be seen if Flacco’s numbers will greatly improve.
2. Jay Cutler, Chi
Cutler has few offensive weapons around him and the Bears’ offense is mediocre at best, so why should he be considered a possible fantasy winner? Four words: offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Martz was the guy behind the high-flying Rams offense of ten years ago, so, if nothing else, Cutler will have the opportunity to sling the ball around as much as he wants.
3. Donovan McNabb, Was
McNabb has proven himself to be a good fantasy option over the years, transforming himself from a running QB to an excellent drop-back passer without hardly missing a beat. This season marks his first in Washington and we’ll just say that he has his work cut out for him. Judging from history, though, he could be a steal.
4. Mark Sanchez, NYJ
Sanchez struggled through his rookie season in 2009, amassing 20 interceptions against only 12 touchdowns, but the Jets decided not to rest on their laurels during the offseason, choosing instead to bolster their receiving corps with Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards. So, there are plenty of good reasons to think of Sanchez at draft time.
5. Alex Smith, SF
Former number one draft pick Alex Smith finally showed up last season, proving his worth for the 49ers while putting up the best numbers of his career. This season he’ll have WR Michael Crabtree for the entire season, meaning that we should see even better things from him.
So, without further ado, here are my top QB picks for 2010.
Top Ten Quarterbacks
10. Carson Palmer, Cin
The sometimes fragile Palmers saw his numbers decline somewhat in 2009, causing everyone to wonder if the days of the high-octane Bengal offense were gone. Then came the offseason when they picked up 1,000 yard receiver Antonio Bryant and the generally great Terrell Owens, to team with Chad Ochocinco. With this many good targets Palmer is almost certain to have a good season.
9. Matt Ryan, Atl
With two years under his belt and great receiving targets in Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez, the young and talented Ryan should have an excellent 2010 and improve on the 22 TDs he threw for last time around. Look for good things from him in 2010 and great things in the future.
8. Tony Romo, Dal
Romo has been one of the most steady fantasy quarterback around over the past few years, posting 26 or more touchdowns in each of the last three seasons and breaking 4,000 yards in two of them. The emergence of Miles Austin as a top receiving threat and the first round draft choice of Dez Bryant means that Romo is destined for another big year.
7. Brett Favre, Min
The will-he-or-won’t-he Favre circus continued again this offseason before he finally squashed all rumors to the contrary and declared that he would again don the purple and gold of the Vikings. In 2009 the 40 year old Favre defied father time and threw for a spectacular 4,202 yards and 33 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions, leading Minnesota to the NFC Championship Game. This season, the team stayed intact for another go at a championship and, barring injury, Favre should again have great numbers.
6. Matt Schaub, Hou
In 2009 Matt Schaub finally showed himself to be one of the elite quarterbacks playing today, completing a league leading 396 passes for 4,770 yards. It doesn’t hurt to have one of the top receivers in the NFL (Andre Johnson) to toss the pigskin to either and expect the two of them to hook up many, many more times again in 2010.
5. Tom Brady, NE
With three Super Bowl championships under his belt and loads of individual accolades, Brady is one of the premier signal-callers of a generation. In 2007 and 2009 (he missed almost all of 08 due to injury), he threw for more than 9,000 yards and 78 touchdowns, and, barring injury, he should again put up excellent stats in the coming season. Randy Moss is aging but still effective and Wes Welker remains a pass-catching machine, so the weapons are in place for Brady to again position himself as one of the best in the league.
4. Philip Rivers, SD
While the departure of the great Ladanian Tomlinson would dismay many teams and players, it could be the best thing that ever happened to Rivers. If nothing else, this will cause the focus of the offense to switch from running to passing, meaning that his excellent numbers could improve even more. Over the past two seasons, Rivers has thrown for a total of more than 8,200 yards and 62 touchdowns and this season could be better than either of those.
3. Peyton Manning, Ind
Along with the aforementioned Tom Brady, Manning is a quintessential quarterback of an era. His consistency is unmatched, throwing for more than 4,000 yards in 10 of his 12 career seasons and never throwing for less than 26 touchdowns. Though he is now in his mid-30’s, Manning should still have a few elite seasons left in him and I expect him to light up the scoreboard numerous times again in 2010.
2. Drew Brees, NO
Brees is ten years into his excellent career, one in which he has earned a Super Bowl title and numerous awards, yet 2010 could be one of his greatest seasons yet. With a newly found championship swagger and a fantastic receiving corps lead by Marques Colston and Devery Henderson, Brees may even improve on the 4,388 yards and 34 touchdowns he racked up in 2009.
1. Aaron Rodgers, GB
It was a toss-up for the top spot between Rodgers and Brees, but I chose due to the fact that he his a few years younger than Brees (26 vs. 31), a good deal more mobile (316 rushing yards and 5 TDs in 2009), and he has most likely not hit his career ceiling. In 2009, Rodgers threw for 4,434 yards and 30 touchdowns, while only tossing 7 interceptions. 30 TDs vs. 7 Ints is a heck of a ratio and that accuracy is one of the main reasons why I’m choosing him as my number one choice in 2010.