A Down Year For Fantasy Quarterbacks

Fantasy football owners had it pretty good last season when it came up quarterbacks.  Not only did Tom Brady smash a record with 50 passing TDs, it was a great season across the league for passing yards.  In 2007, a total of seven quarterbacks - Brady, Brees, Romo, Favre, Palmer, Kitna and Peyton Manning - topped 4,000 passing yards to give fantasy owners a solid foundation for their teams.  No matter what else happens, you're doing pretty well if your QB throws for over 4,000 yards.
 
If last year was a fantasy feast, then this year is a fantasy famine.  Three of the names from last season have been injured and there haven't been enough guys stepping up to pick up the slack.  There will be far fewer than seven QBs with 4,000+ passing yards this year.
 
With thirteen games in the books, perennial favorite Drew Brees has already topped 4,000 passing yards, the third season in a row he's met that milestone (Note to San Diego: He was pretty good. Ha-ha!).  Behind him is the very-veteran Kurt Warner with another 4,000+ passing yard season, the third time he's done it as well.
 
Denver's Jay Cutler only needs 321 passing yards to reach that level and he could get that next week against the Colts.  As a side note, in 2006 Jay Cutler was the third quarterback taken in the NFL Draft. The two teams that drafted QBs ahead of Cutler both won their respective divisions this year WITHOUT the quarterbacks they drafted (Vince Young and Matt Leinart, respectively).  Right now, it looks like Denver dodged a bullet when those two guys were taken early.
 
Peyton Manning needs 258 yds per game over the final three games and I'll predict that will happen so that makes number four.  After that, the odds get much longer.  Donovan McNabb needs 260 yds per game which is possible but not guaranteed as he's only averaging 248 yds per game this year.  Aaron Rodgers needs 269 yds per game and Philip Rivers needs 277 yds per game.  Both are possible, but they would also require above average performances from two passing offenses that are out of the playoffs.  I wouldn't count on that.
 
Barring a Matt Cassel-like explosion from somebody, it appears that 2008 will be worse year for gun slinging QBs than 2007 turned out to be.   A lot of people (including me) felt that 2007 proved that QBs could and should be legitimate first round fantasy picks.  2008 may have proven that theory all wrong.

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