Lordy, there sure are a lot of good quarterbacks out there! I’m not going to tell you there aren’t any interchangeable parts in this top 10 because there are. When it comes to these elite to near elite quarterbacks my strategy is to see which ones my league mates have something against and then draft that one!
1. Michael Vick: I’ve spent a lot of time debating between Vick and Rodgers for this #1 spot and I even started the drafting tiers with Rodgers ahead of Vick, but I just can’t do it no more. Vick is too good and even though I still can’t justify taking him in the first round I am all in for the second round if he makes it there. Vick is pretty much a fantasy football machine. A running back/quarterback on a high powered offense. If he was about 20 pounds heavier I’d feel a little better about him going the whole season without sitting out a couple games like he did last year, but as a running quarterback he is setting himself up to have his block knocked off, i.e. decapitated. But I’m going to take that risk in the second round this season because the upside is too insane. With Vick I do think you should be more proactive about grabbing a backup and I could see even grabbing your backup before you grab your starting TE in some cases.
2. Aaron Rodgers: Unless you skipped straight to Rodgers you saw that I had a hard time choosing between him and Vick. Rodgers continues to be a fantasy stud and the return of Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant only means he’s going to have more weapons to work with. He also adds a few rushing touchdowns every season to set himself apart from the Mannees of the QB world. He’s a nice consolation prize if you miss out on Vick, but I am loathe to reach for a QB so I’ll probably miss out on these top tier guys anyway. If he falls pick him up, but otherwise grab a top tier RB/WR.
3. Drew Brees: Last season Brees had a career high in interceptions with 22 and I just don’t see that happening again. His TD numbers will stay consistently high even with the addition of Mark Ingram because that’s Sean Payton’s offense. Deciding what receiver will end up scoring every week might be tough (bet on Jim Graham) but you know Brees will get them the ball. This tier with Brees/Manning/Brady/Rivers (whoops, did I give it away?) is going to continue to produce, but I like Brees to come back into form this season.
4. Peyton Manning: The recent news of Manning still recovering from his disc surgery is somewhat troubling, but not enough for me to drop him much. His numbers overall last year were on par with his previous seasons and unless news happens to get worse I’d be happy to take him as the 4th QB. He’ll have Dallas Clark and Austin Collie back which will help him immensely. He’s still Peyton.
5. Tom Brady: Last season really was one for the ages. He was only the third ranked fantasy QB, but 36 touchdown passes and 4 interceptions are mind boggling numbers and I’ve never even played boggle! His 50 TD year won’t be surpassed, but put those two together and you have a pair of seasons that will go down in history. So why is he 5th? Well, how in the hell can you only throw 4 interceptions again? It can’t happen. He’ll slip a little and with Belichick you just can’t be sure what he’ll do to hurt Brady’s fantasy value. You know he isn’t going to get the rushing TDs like Vick and Rodgers and he doesn’t quite have the weapons of Manning, but you also can’t let him slip too far. He’ll win you some fake games.
6. Philip Rivers: Last season was set up as a bad movie for Rivers. He started the season without his best receiver, but thankfully had Antonio Gates setting the world ablaze, but then down goes Gates! So his two best receivers are just gone and still he ends up as the 5th best fantasy QB! So why 6th this season? Good question. Maybe I can just 3a, 3b, 3c, 3d these guys. Really, with Gates and VJax back this could be a special year for Rivers.
7. Tony Romo: Here starts a new tier, one I’d like to call, I sure hope Romo falls to me in the 5th round of every draft. For me Romo is actually in the tier above, but don’t tell anyone; that would spoil the surprise. Sadly there are a ton of Cowboy fans littering fantasy leagues out there that might grab him before you, but I’m happy to take him in the 4th round which is a little earlier than his ADP right now. Romo has put up elite numbers in the past, but has shown inconsistency and injury problems. With the addition of Bryant and the subtraction of any running back that can run it in from the one, I think he has the ability to be top 5 again this season. Here is a post I wrote during the off season detailing why I like him a little further.
8. Matt Schaub: Schaub had a down year after having a breakout fantasy year in o9, but still finished as the 9th best quarterback. And that was with a hurt Owen Daniels and Andre Johnson. I very much would like to see Kubiak go after a more capable #2 receiver, but they will probably go after help in the secondary which they need badly. Anywho, with AJ and OD back and strong I think Schaub can make another run at eliteness. Arian Foster does help take some pressure off him which reduces his injury risk and Foster is also a nice source of passing yardage with his 604 receiving yards and 2 TDs last season. I’m not reaching for Schaub, but I’ve seen him fall fairly far in drafts and I’ll be there to catch him.
9. Ben Roethlisberger: After missing the first 4 games due to suspension Roethlisberger averaged 266 yards passing a game which was good for 6th in the league. He also averaged 16.75 fantasy points per game started which put him in the top 6 for the season. The Steelers will continue to be an extremely balanced run/pass team, but the emergence of Mike Wallace and possibly Emmanuel Sanders should help him keep those numbers up for an entire season and firmly plant him in this top 10.
10. Matt Ryan: Ryan, like Roethlisberger, is a consistent fantasy performer who isn’t going to blow your socks off unless he’s into that kind of thing, but this isn’t TMZ people! So you really can’t go wrong with him. The good thing, and the thing that is getting people excited is Julio Jones their first round speedster wide receiver. The Falcons have never been able to get that #2 guy to really bring the passing game together and now Jones should be able to open things up for Ryan. We also are probably going to start seeing a bit of a decline in Michael Turner which should make them a little more reliant on the pass. Don’t sit on Ryan, unless you hear that’s his thing, then, well, oh just don’t tell me about it.