Quarterbacks - 2007 Fantasy Final

We're starting the final analysis of fantasy players from the 2007 fantasy season. Beginning with the quarterback position, we've listed the best of '07 based upon performance.

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QUARTERBACKS

1. Tom Brady - Most fantasy football fans gaffed when I ranked Tom Brady at the top of all 2007 fantasy QBs in my annual preseason rankings (nearly every other FF expert had him 4th or 5th). But Brady demonstrated by week 3 that he was on top to stay and the Brady-Randy Moss combo would be unstoppable. Tom Brady threw 3 or more TDs in his first 10 games (totaling 37 against only 4 INTs during that period) on his way to 50 TDs for the season to break Peyton Manning's TD passing record of 49 set in 2005. When it came to finishing in FFLs, Brady and the Patriots didn't disappoint. The Pats finished with a 16-0 record as head coach Bill Belichick left Brady and supporting cast in each game through the final minutes...regardless of the domination by New England (and much different than Tony Dungy's approach in Indy when Manning set his 49 TD passing record). Bottom line: Tom Brady was the best NFL quarterback in 2007...and he put up a performance that rivals the best of all time.

2. Tony Romo - If not for Brady, Tony Romo would have been even more of a buzz. Romo started the season off like a seasoned veteran and made it a point to put last year's playoff finale behind him. With several 4-TD performances, Romo compiled a whopping 36 TDs for 2007. But given Romo's stellar performace, there was a fantasy downside...Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys wrapped up their playoff position early and mailed in the last few games. Romo threw a mere 32 completions and just one TD (with 5 INTs) in his last 3 games. The injury to Terrell Owens didn't help, but Romo's lack of production in weeks 15-17 (the heat of the FLL playoffs) was a punishing blow for owners who rode his fantastic performances all season.

3. Peyton Manning - To the surprise of many, Peyton Manning threw the exact number of TDs (31) in '07 that he did in 2006 (and he finished at the top of all QBs with those same numbers last year). Sure...Manning was overshadowed by Brady and Romo this season, but it shouldn't diminish from Manning's performance in 2007. Manning was without top wide receiver Marvin Harrison, but made the most of WR Reggie Wayne and TE Dallas Clark. Manning was very consistent on the season while rewarding his fantasy owners with at least one TD and plenty of yards in all but weeks 11 and 17...with a nice 3-TD / 300+ yard game in week 16 (during most FFL superbowls).

4. Drew Brees - Drew Brees took a sub-500 team in 2005 and made them a contender in 2006...which elevated huge Brees' expectations for 2007. But Brees and the New Orleans Saints struggled desperately at the beginning of '07...to the tune of many fantasy owners cutting the reigns of Brees - he threw just one TD and 9 (NINE) INTs heading into week 6!?! But those who held onto Brees (or traded for him) were highly rewarded with 27 passing TDs between week 6 and 17 after the Saints offense loosened up (the 27 TDs over the period amounted to more than every other QB...except Brady, of course, who had 34 during the same period). Brees may not have had a flying start to his season, but was huge to anyone who stuck with him and/or grabbed him cheaply from a bailing owner.

5. Derek Anderson - Derek Anderson?...this guy didn't even start the season and was certainly not on any fantasy radars. Cleveland was thought to have a desperate offense and had Charlie Frye warming up for rookie Notre Dame sensation Brady Quinn. But somehow Anderson got into the week one game and never looked back. Anderson totaled 18 TDs over his first 6 starts and put Cleveland's offense on the map...blinding fantasy owners with disbelief and daring the few who capitalized early on the Anderson phenom. Derek Anderson was plucked from FFL waiver wires around the 3rd week of the season and ultimately rewarded owners with 32 total TDs and 3787 passing yards...a nice gift for owners fortunate enough to land him.

6. Ben Roethlisberger - Thought previously to be an average fantasy quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger surprised in week one with 4 scores and didn't let up all season. Big Ben's 32 passing TDs placed him 3rd overall (behind Brady and Romo). With only 11 interceptions (2nd best behind Brady), a 104.1 passer rating, and an extremely consistent year,...it was ultimately Roeth's relatively low yardage numbers (3154) which dropped him to 6th in final FFL rankings. Fantasy playoffs? - Big Ben threw 3 TDs in weeks 15 & 16 prior to sitting out week 17...great for owners with a week 16 FFL superbowl!

7. Brett Favre - Wasn't this guy going to retire at the end of 2006?!? Brett Favre performed in 2007 reminiscant of the mid-90's. Favre finished with his highest passer rating (95.7) since 1996 and his 3rd highest season yardage total (4155) of his 17 year career...and his 28 passing TDs weren't bad either. Going undrafted in some leagues, Brett Favre was a top fantasy performer in 2007 and a huge bonus for those who grabbed the Ironman on the cheap.

8. Matt Hasselbeck - After an injury sidelined him in 2006, Matt Hasselbeck attempted to fulfill his top 5 fantasy QB expectations. But Hasselbeck battled injury concerns all season in his passing offense as the Seahawks stuggled to keep their top wide receivers on the field. Despite injury challenges in the Seahawk offense, H-beck was extremely consistent over the course of the season...finishing all but one game (week 5) with at least one TD. With very similar totals to Favre, Matt Hasselbeck was a productive fantasy quarterback in 2007 (although not quite the value of Favre since many predicted top 5 numbers and drafted Hasselbeck accordingly).

9. Carson Palmer - With a wealth of talent on offense, Carson Palmer entered the season as one of the favorites in FFL camps. Palmer finished 3rd among QBs in 2006 (behind Manning and Brees) and was expected to capitalize upon his surrounding talent...and it appeared he would as Palmer threw for 8 TDs in his first two games. But...Cincy fizzled and so did Palmer as the Bengals started off 2-6 and had fans again questioning what head coach Marvin Lewis had done to derail such a talented team (remembering that the Bengals lost 7 of their final 12 to miss the playoffs in 2006). Carson Palmer's 26 TDs / 20 INTs / 4131 yards weren't horrible,...but his supporting cast (Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry) and huge preseason expectations made Palmer a near fantasy bust for those whom drafted him high in 2007.

10. Kurt Warner - Keep in mind that Warner didn't start the Cardinals' first 5 games and he had only 2 passes in game 6. Given that, Warner was HUGE down the stretch with 21 TD passes over the last 8 weeks (more than any other QB - including Brady)! Warner finished with 3 TDs in each of the last 4 games...HUGE for fantasy owners in their fantasy playoffs. Other than perhaps Derek Anderson, Kurt Warner was the best pickup of all fantasy QBs in 2007...congrats to all whom had the foresight to grab him off the wire and stick with him through the last half of the season.

11. Eli Manning - Brother Eli is considered as a decent QB capable of great things, but he's still throwing to the wrong color jersey (cut 'n pasted from last year's analysis and continuing to hold true). On the positive side, Eli tossed 4 TDs in weeks 1 and 17 and was otherwise consistent with at least one TD in every week (except 16 where he was blanked). On the other hand, however, it's tough for fantasy owners to win with only one TD per game from their QB...esp. if he's throwing INT's at a near 1:1 match. Giants' fans would be wringing Eli's neck in other seasons with his INT rate and a poor 73.9 passer rating, but Eli has done something different this year...he's won games and has the Giants poised well for the playoffs with a 10-6 final regular season record.

Top Fantasy Quarterbacks 2007

QB

Pass Comp

Pass Att

Pass Yards

Pass Rtng

Int

Pass TDs

Rush Yds

Rush TDs
Tom Brady
398
578
4806
117.2
8
50
98
2
Tony Romo
335
520
4211
97.4
19
36
131
2
Peyton Manning
337
515
4040
98.0
14
31
-5
3
Drew Brees
443
655
4428
89.4
18
28
52
1
Derek Anderson
298
527
3787
82.5
19
29
76
3
Ben Roethlisberger
264
404
3154
104.1
11
32
204
2
Brett Favre
356
535
4157
95.7
15
28
12
0
Matt Hasselbeck
352
562
3966
91.4
12
28
97
0
Carson Palmer
373
575
4131
86.7
20
26
10
0
Kurt Warner
281
451
3417
89.8
17
27
15
1
Eli Manning
297
529
3336
73.9
20
23
69
1

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