In July and August we were so young and unspoiled. Then, September rolled around and we could barely contain our naughty parts. But the season brought with it some harsh realities. One being that you have no control of what happens on the field! Now, it’s January; cold and dark and even if you won your league, there were times this season you doubted who you were, questioned your faith, and felt the taint of bad decisions. Well, today we’re going to take a look back on the 2009 season without malice or bias. Oh, wait, WITH malice and bias, a lot of it. We’ll use the standard ESPN scoring for the official final rankings and see where we had them in preseason and then make excuses as to why we were wrong.
This was the year of the quarterback. A total of 10 QB’s had over 4,000 yards which smashes the record of 7 in 2007. I’m sure this has nothing to do with new rules that cart quarterbacks around in Pope Mobiles.
1. Aaron Rodgers: ARodg was sacked over and over until he thought he was a defective weeble. But he took his lumps and the Pack Attack finally turned things around. His 3rd down prowess was unreal and his scrambling ability boosted his stats once again with 5 rushing touchdowns. Now, if he could just stop doing that Freddy Mitchell championship belt move. Preseason Rank #5, 2009 Projections: 4000/29/13 – 2/125, Final Numbers: 4434/30/7 — 5/316
2. Drew Brees: He is by far the most reliable QB year to year for fantasy right now. I don’t usually recommend taking a QB in the first round, and I probably never will, but I did give this little tidbit, “Will Rivers or Rodgers give you comparable numbers in the 3rd or early 4th round? Maybe, possibly, and could be, but will Brees give you top 5 overall fantasy numbers? I think so.” And that’s me quoting me, stealing from Grey. Rodgers did give you the numbers so it was worth waiting on him, but Brees is not going to disappoint. Preseason Rank #1, 2009 Projections: 4650/36/14, Final Numbers: 4388/34/11 — 2/33
3. Brett Favre: Um, yeah, Favre wasn’t around when I made the projections, but I’m not going to blow smoke up your arse and tell you we’re going to a Charlie Weis welcome to Kansas City BBQ party. My reaction to the signing was, “This should help most of the fantasy prospects of the Vikings, at least until Brett’s arm flops off his torso and shimmies down a Metrodome drainage pipe.” His arm stayed attached and he forgot how to throw interceptions. His season really was nothing short of miraculous. Preseason Rank DNR, Final Numbers: 4202/33/7
4. Peyton Manning: It’s Peyton Manning, what can I say. The guy is too good to be real. If there were Stepford Quarterbacks he would be their leader. He’s not slowing down. He threw a few more picks than we are used to, but he also had his most attempts since ’02. This all came after Anthony Gonzalez went out early in the first game of the season. He took two green receivers in Collie and Garcon and made them a cool shade of (whatever color denotes good). Preseason Rank #3, 2009 Projections: 4300/32/9, Final Numbers: 4500/33/16
5. Matt Schaub: I invited Schaub to a couple of my teams and was glad to have him at my party. He led the league in yardage, which was partially due to the Texans anemic running game/Kubiakian mind games, but also due to Schaub’s ability. He lost Owen Daniels which hurt, but Andre Johnson picked up the slack. If the Texans get Daniels back and maybe grab another WR in free agency, Schaub will be worth a top pick (and even if they don’t do those things). Preseason Rank #9, 2009 Projections: 3550/26/12, Final Numbers: 4770/29/15
6. Tony Romo: I wrote back in the day, “He has his BFF Witten, a good receiver in Roy (I play offense) Williams, a deep threat in Miles Austin and good running backs, with good hands. A great season in Big D isn’t a lock, but Romo has the skill and the team to shut up his detractors.” Looking back I have two regrets, using the term BFF and calling Roy Williams good. Preseason Rank #7, 2009 Projections: 4000/26/14 – 1/50, Final Numbers: 4483/26/9 — 1/105
7. Tom Brady: Lady and gentlemen, your comeback player of the year! Huh? I think a comeback player of the year should be someone you expect to be in jail, a mental institution, or an infirmary instead of scoring touchdowns (think Cedric Benson, Vince Young or Cadillac Williams). I expected a lot more from Brady this year. Wes Welker’s injury early in the season didn’t help, but the Patriots never really hit on all cylinders. Preseason Rank #2, 2009 Projections: 4550/35/13, Final Numbers: 4398/28/13 — 1/44
8. Philip Rivers: Rivers did about what I expected of him, but LT vultured a few of his touchdowns while pretty much being horrid otherwise. Rivers looks like my 6 year old nephew throwing the ball, but unlike my nephew he doesn’t hit himself in the head with the ball. Preseason Rank #4, 2009 Projections: 4150/34/13, Final Numbers: 4254/28/9 — 1/50
9. Ben Roethlisberger: For an ADP of around 100 Big Ben was a good value pick. This year was the year of the quarterback when 4300 yards and 26 TDs gets you ninth in the fantasy books. I didn’t foresee the Steelers turning to a throw first attitude and as soon as Big Ben starts moving up the draft board next year, the Stillers will probably get back to running first and second and throwing third. Preseason Rank #14, 2009 Projections: 3450/21/14 — 1/50, Final Numbers: 4328/26/12 — 2/82
10. Donovan McNabb: If Donovan hadn’t missed a couple games with broken ribs, he would have lifted his numbers above my projections, but still wouldn’t have gotten to the 6th best fantasy QB. Like I said, the competition was fierce this year. I thought we had gotten rid of Favre! McNabb was up and down as usual, but he is still solid and his young receivers should keep him in the fantasy cash monies for a few more years. Preseason Rank #6, 2009 Projections: 3750/25/12 – 1/125, Final Numbers: 3553/22/10 — 2/140