ELITE Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts Mr. Consistency fell way off of his 2004 numbers. Manning threw for 21 fewer touchdowns and 500+ fewer yards in 2005. But...Manning still had 28 TDs and over 4000 yards in a much more conservative offense! Manning, who hasn't missed a start in 8 years, has the health and offensive weapons to dominate the fantasy quarterback position. Look for Manning to build upon last year's numbers and 104.1 quarterback rating as the Colts adjust to a rookie running back. 2005 Stats TDs – 28 Passing yards – 4037 BIG GUNS Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals Palmer was on the edge of a breakout season in 2005, and breakout he did. Palmer finished the season as the top fantasy quarterback of '05 with 33 TDs and over 3800 yards. Unfortunately, Palmer's last play was a season ending knee injury in a losing playoff effort (which has many fantasy owners worried). But 2006 is new year and Palmer's extensive rehabilitation has him cleared to play. He has the skills, the weapons, and the experience of a breakthrough year under his belt...and all that remains is the mental preparation of testing a restructured knee. Palmer's arm, offense, and experience will again vault the Cincy quarterback to the top of fantasy QBs. Palmer may fall in some drafts due to his knee, but we think he'll be fine. Palmer's final stats will tell the tale and will reward owners who draft him (esp. for those who land him in the 4th round). 2005 Stats TDs – 33 Passing yards – 3836 Tom Brady – New England Patriots Tom Brady led all fantasy quarterbacks in 2005 with 4110 passing yards. Brady never seems to have a favorite target, but is a consistent passer who wins games with his accruacy. Fantasy owners who select Brady to their fantasy team will benenefit from his his consistent 2 TD - 250+ yard performances...as he is rarely shutout. 2005 Stats TDs – 27 Passing yards – 4110 Jake Delhomme – Carolina Panthers Jake Delhomme enters 2006 with a Carolina Panther team that is a favorite to make it to Superbowl 41. Delhomme's offense features a strong running game and last year's top fantasy wide receiver (Steve Smith). However, the knock on Delhomme is inconsistency. Delhomme tends to get his stats from the big play, but in an unpredictable fashion. The feast/famine showed in 2005 as Jake finished half of his games with 1 passing TD or less and 6 games with under 200 yards. But ultimately, Delhomme still finished as a top 10 fantasy quarterback. There will still be a shutout risk from Delhomme, but we see a more consistent 2006 from the Carolina QB....the addition of posession receiver Keyshawn Johnson should help. 2005 Stats TDs – 25 Passing yards – 3421 Eli Manning – New York Giants Eli finished the 2005 season as the 5th ranked fantasy quarterback. He scored consistently with at least 1 TD in every game (except Dallas on 12/4). Manning's yardage totals, however, were up and down and Manning threw a whopping 17 interceptions on the season. But, Eli's still learning and will continue to improve (think back to early Peyton). With a little more passing accuracy, Eli Manning should approach 30 TDs and 4000 yds in 2006...with fewer interceptions. 2005 Stats TDs – 25 Passing yards – 3762 Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle Seahawks The defending NFC champion quarterback may have benefitted from a soft schedule last season, but he still finished in the top 5 of fantasy quarterbacks...and that without the services of primary wide receiver Darrell Jackson for most of the season. It may be more of the same this year as Jackson starts the season with a nagging injury (and top TE Jerramy Stevens expected out until October). Shaun Alexander's return as RB will continue to open up Seattle's quarterback friendly passing game...regardless of the receiver. H-beck will get his stats in '06, but we can't guarantee to whom. 2005 Stats TDs – 26 Passing yards – 3459 SOLID Marc Bulger – St. Louis Rams The Rams haven't been the same team since the Superbowl, but still have most of the offensive weapons in place. However, new coach Scott Linehan is expected to feature more of stud RB Steven Jackson and run him with 20+ carries per game. Sure, Bulger will amass yardage and several touchdowns to top WR Torry Holt, but don't expect the "Greatest Show On Turf" to be revisited in '06...at least not through the air like previous Mike Martz led teams. 2005 Stats TDs - 14 Passing yards – 2297 Kurt Warner – Arizona Cardinals Kurt Warner has arguably the best wide receiving duo in the NFL in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Each of the two caught over 100 balls and combined for over 2800 yards and 17 touchdowns. If, we could guarantee the health of Warner, we'd have him much, much higher in our rankings - but Warner can't seem to last the whole season. Owners who decide to draft Warner with Arizona's up and coming high-powered offense are advised to handcuff Warner with rookie Matt Leinart. A solid draft strategy may be to grab Warner cheap and ride him as long as you can. 2005 Stats TDs – 11 Passing yards – 2713 Byron Leftwich – Jacksonville Jaguars Leftwich is a quarterback that certainly has the skills to be a fantasy contender, but is often under the radar of fantasy draft boards. Most forget that Jacksonville finished the 2005 season with a 12-4 record and have an '06 team building upon last year's success (with a healthier Leftwich). Provided he stays healthy, Leftwich will break into the top ten of fantasy QBs and reward owners who select him in the middle rounds of their fantasy drafts. 2005 Stats TDs – 17 Passing yards - 2123 Michael Vick - Atlanta Falcons Vick is the most athletic QB on the board and is an absolute human highlight reel. The issue is...that Vick still hasn't learned to harness his talent. We look for Mike Vick to improve his decision making skills, accuracy within the pocket, and approach 1000 yards rushing with more of an emphasis in red zone situations (Ashley Lelie should help). But then again, we said this last year and are now forced to knock him further down our fantasy rankings each year. On a positive note for yardage based leagues, Vick's 610 rushing yards last year put him at 32nd overall of NFL rushers and his 6 rushing TDs tied him for 18th. There is no reason to believe he won't repeat his rushing numbers from 2005. And Vick's likely to build upon his passing game...but Mike Vick is a risk - and fantasy owners need to be advised to draft him for his fantasty statistics instead of his explosive potential. 2005 Stats TDs – 21 Passing yards – 2412 Donovan McNabb – Philadelphia Eagles The toughest forecast in predicting fantasy quarterback rankings may be with Donovan McNabb. McNabb is coming off of an injury plagued season,...and one that would like to be forgotten by the Eagles. The implosion of Terrell Owens resulted in his mid-year departure and left the Eagles and their fans scratching their collective heads. For McNabb in 2006, the questions become: Will McNabb stay healthy?...What effect will the loss of T.O. have?... and...Who to/How Often will McNabb throw the ball? Nobody seems to have an answer and we're not going to pretend to have one. McNabb may have the skills to be a top fantasy quarterback, but there will be other fantasy QBs on your board with more knowns and much lower risks. 2005 Stats TDs – 17 Passing yards - 2507 Drew Bledsoe – Dallas Cowboys Bledsoe looked like the Bledsoe of the mid-1990's as he tore apart the Saints' defense in the 'Boys' second pre- season game (and this without T.O.). Although the Cowboys are in one of the NFL's toughest divisions, head coach Bill Parcells seems to finally have Dallas on track to make their mark. The addition of Terrell Owens will only help Bledsoe and should open up the Dallas passing game. If camp is any indication, the Cowboys are giving back-up quarterback Tony Romo significant snaps. Even though Bledsoe is looking sharp early, it may not be a bad idea to handcuff him with Tony Romo in a late round pick-up. 2005 Stats TDs – 25 Passing yards – 3639 Trent Green – Kansas City Chiefs Trent had some amazing stats in 2004 and threw for a ton of yards in 2005 (over 4000), but had a mere 17 TDs. It became very apparent that the Chiefs' strategy was to use Green to get the offense down the field in chunks, but then eat away at defenses with their strong running game. For fantasy owners of Green, the result was nice yardage totals...but a jealousy of the Chiefs' running game and a pointed jealousy of Larry Johnson owners. Point is, Green threw the ball despite the running game's success...and it won't change much this season. As defenses continue to focus on Larry Johnson and the running game in 2006, expect Green's passing attack to open up even further. Look for Green to put similar yardage totals from 2005, but with more TDs. Last year's low number of 17 with 4000+ yards was just silly and can't possibly be repeated. 2005 Stats TDs – 17 Passing yards – 4014 Daunte Culpepper - Miami Dolphins After last year's "boat incident" and subsequent season ending knee injury, Daunte Culpepper went for a whole new change of scenery in Miami. Culpepper has the skills to be a top fantasy QB, but he was awful last season with 12 interceptions and 6 TDs prior to suffering the injury to his knee...and this after coming off of a phenominal 2004 season. Culpepper may end up being a starting fantasy quarterback, but our advice is to watch him closely and bring him in off of your bench once he's shown he's back on his game. It's possible that the change of scenery may help, but changes can go either way. The knee and last year's start add to C-pepp's risk. 2005 Stats TDs – 7 Passing yards – 1564 Jake Plummer – Denver Broncos Although Jake Plummer showed signs of early brilliance last season, it wasn't something he could sustain. This year, however, opens up even more question marks for the erradic Plummer. The acquisition of WR Javon Walker is intriguing, but Walker didn't play last season and it's anyone's guess as to whether he'll regain his 2004 form. The Broncos drafted Jay Cutler in the first round of this year's NFL draft...and Plummer doesn't always do well under pressure. We'll see what happens in Denver. 2005 Stats TDs – 20 Passing yards – 3366 Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints Drew Brees finished 6th in overall fantasy quarterback rankings in 2005, but Brees' change of scenery to New Orleans may require a bit of an adjustment. Brees is definitely an upgrade to Aaron Brooks, but we'd give him a while to learn his new surroundings before making him a starting fantasy quarterback. Brees is a smart QB with incredible field vision and an accurate arm (as evident at Purdue and in San Diego), but New Orleans is a project that will take time. 2005 Stats TDs – 25 Passing yards – 3576 Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers "Big Ben" got it done in Superbowl 40 to become last season's winning superbowl quarterback. But, Ben Roethlisberger isn't exactly a dominant passing QB. Instead, Roeth and the Pittsburgh offense is designed to use the pass to take pressure off of the run...and we don't see that changing significantly. Don't expect the loss of Jerome Bettis to change coach Bill Cowher's strategy in Pittsburgh. The Steelers will still throw the ball, but the offense will continue to be run dominated. 2005 Stats TDs – 20 Passing yards – 2385 ___________________________________________________________ send your fantasy questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
2006 Fantasy Quarterbacks : Ranking Analysis
Scout NFL Network Top Stories
Extra Points: Corey Coleman getting closeFred Greetham recaps the latest Browns news from BEREA.
The OBR11:17 AM
Report: C.J. Anderson Has Torn MeniscusThe verdict is in. C.J. Anderson has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will miss extended time.
Mile High Huddle11:10 AM
Three-and-out: NFL’s best matchups for Week 8Sunday provides some power teams facing each other in each of the time slots, making for a good day and night of viewing.
Scout NFL Network10:22 AM
Bowles: Browns Can Run on AnybodySunday the Jets face a tough task in Browns running back Isaiah Crowell.
Jets Insider8:45 AM
Playoff loss still fresh for many CardinalsThe last two times the Cardinals have been knocked out of the playoffs, the defeats have come on the road in Carolina.