Fantasy Football: Updated Quarterback Rankings

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12: Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field and greets Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers after a loss at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12 2010 in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. The Packers beat the Eagles 27-20. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Aside from Peyton Manning's slow recovery from neck surgery, not an awful lot has changed since our quarterback rankings were posted.  As mock and live drafts unfold and the preseason games are played, each player's value has been altered in some way or another.  Matthew Stafford looks unstoppable.  Matt Ryan is airing the ball out. The aforementioned Manning is still not playing.  Michael Vick looks rusty.  How will these changes affect my updated rankings?  The list after the jump is designed to help you with your drafts.  Please note the list is comprised of rank, the player's name, their former rank on my original list, and player analysis.  In each player's analysis, I explain where I would take the player in drafts.

If you're looking for other rankings, check out Fantasy Rundown, which provides rankings from other sources on the internet.

Rank

Name

Former Rank

Analysis

1

Michael Vick, Eagles

1

Unlike last season, this year you are going to have to pay dearly for Vick.  In most leagues he should be a first rounder, considering he is basically a QB/RB Hybrid.  He looked like a rejuvenated man on a mission last season.  The only thing holding him back is injuries due to his wild style of play.  I'd grab him in the middle and end of the first round.

2

Aaron Rodgers, Packers

2

Is # 1 on many draft boards.  Neck and neck between him and Vick.  Already one of the top passing QB's in the NFL, Rodgers thrives in the running game as well, chipping in 356 yards rushing and 4 Td's in 2010.  With the same weapons in 2011, Rodgers is in line for another monster season.   Likely to go in the first round in most leagues.

3

Tom Brady, Patriots

3

Mr. Gisele led the NFL in passing touchdowns and an amazing 36:4 TD:Int Ratio.  Considering he did this with a gimpy Wes Welker, an unhappy Randy Moss (before being traded) and a washed-up Deion Branch makes it that much more impressive.  I wouldn't expect another 36 TD's, but NE will likely be a pass-happy offense again, so expect another monster season by Brady. You're going to have to nab him in the 2nd round to do so.

4

Philip Rivers, Chargers

4

Can you believe Rivers put up his career year throwing passes to the likes of Patrick Crayton and Legedu Naanee?  This just speaks to how truly talented Rivers is; he led the league in passing yards even missing his top two receivers for most of the season.  Imagine what he can do with all of his weapons in tact.  Expect another monster year . 2nd/3rd round.

5

Drew Brees, Saints

6

At times last season Brees didn't look himself, and then we later discover he was nursing a knee injury.  As a result, he threw for a career-high 22 Interceptions in which he may have been forcing the ball in situations he normally wouldn't.  A healthy Brees in 2011 makes for a top fantasy season yet again; my only concern is his knee since he's not a mobile QB and can't just run away from defenders.  Will likely be drafted before Rivers in the 2nd or 3rd round.

6

Tony Romo, Cowboys

7

Thanks to his collarbone injury, Romo may be drafted at a discount this season.  Expect Dallas to be one of the most explosive offenses in the league with the likes of Austin, Bryant, Witten and Felix Jones.  Romo has an arsenal of weapons that will enable him to even reach 2007's lofty numbers. Grab him in the 4th.

7

Peyton Manning, Colts

5

Peyton Manning is the first notable drop since my original QB Ranks.  It remains unclear if Manning will indeed be ready in Week 1 with conflicting reports regarding this recovery from neck surgery.  The signing of Kerry Collins tells me the Colts are at least preparing for Peyton to miss at least a game or two.  His former coach Tony Dungy claims Peyton will play in week 1, but I am still a bit weary.  I can't drop him past Matt Ryan though.  After all, 2010 was just another season for Peyton - 2nd in the league in passing yards and TD passes.  Monitor his injury, and if he falls into the 4th round, pounce. 

8

Matt Ryan, Falcons

8

The Falcons plan to set up a more aggressive aerial attack in 2011. With Michael Turner accumulating so much mileage, look for the Falcons to pass more in 2011, especially with Julio Jones in tow and Harry Douglas healthy.  Ryan set career highs in every category in 2010.  Ryan to White should be a force again in 2011.  I would reach for Ryan in the 5th although he's likely to go in the 6th round.

9

Matt Schaub, Texans

9

The talented QB unfairly labeled with the "injury-prone" tag took a step back last season, but part of that step back is due to the emergence of Arian Foster and the running game.  There was simply no need for the Texans to pass so much with such a legitimate running game.  Defenses will most definitely aim to stop Foster this season, so Schaub has a shot at matching his 2009 numbers.  Take him in the 6th.

10

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

10

Big Ben had an efficient 2010, falling just short of the Super Bowl despite missing the first 4 games of the season.  The passing game should only benefit with the deepest corps of wide receivers since joining the Steelers.  OC Bruce Arians has gone on record saying he'd have liked to pass more in 2010, so look for a big season out of Big Ben.  6th round value likely to go in the 7th.

11

Matthew Stafford, Lions

11

Injuries are the only thing keeping Stafford from becoming a superstar.  However, injuries are a skill too.  Showed glimpses of chemistry with Megatron when healthy by connecting with CJ for 3 TD's in Week 8 against Washington.  Hope his shoulder heals stronger than ever as the sky is the limit for the former # 1 pick.  He can vault into the next tier of quarterbacks if he manages to stay healthy.  I would take him in the 6th/7th round although he's likely to go later in drafts.

12

Sam Bradford, Rams

16

The second year man from Oklahoma vaults 4 spots to # 12, a potential starter in 12-team leagues.  Bradford looked anything but a rookie last season.  He was incredibly poised going for 18-15 TD/Int.  With Josh McDaniels calling the shots in the Rams' offense, look for improvements all across the board in the St. Louis offense.  I can't help but look at Kyle Orton's success airing the ball out so often in 2010 under McDaniels, and see Bradford doing the same in 2011.  Bradford is so much more talented than Orton and will succeed with McDaniels at the helm.  His ceiling is so high that I couldn't help but bump him up.  I'd pair him with Stafford as both are poised to break out this season.  I'd take him in the 8th.

13

Jay Cutler, Bears

12

I seem to be alone in my stance that I expect Cutler to break out in his 2nd year of the Mike Martz-led offense now that he's had one season of grooming.  Hopefully the OL does a better job of keeping him on his feet.  He had 5 games of 3 passing touchdowns or more in 2010,  but on the flip side, he also had 5 games of  zero passing touchdowns.  Cutler is incredibly streaky.  Assuming the O-line keeps Cutler upright, he will throw 25 TD's.  10th round seems appropriate for him as I wouldn't feel comfortable with him as my # 1 QB.

14

Josh Freeman, Bucs

13

I don't think even Mrs. Freeman expected Josh to have that kind of season he had in 2010. 25 TD passes to only 6 interceptions? Are you kidding me?  Freeman does damage with his legs as well as his arm: the talented QB ran for 364 yards last season, 2nd to Mike Vick for all quarterbacks.  However, the Bucs won't sneak up on anyone this season. I'd grab him in the 10th.

15

Eli Manning, Giants

14

Peyton's little brother did throw for a career-high 31 Touchdowns in 2010, but in doing so, he also threw a ridiculous 25 interceptions last season, easily a career high, and needs to be more careful with the ball.  Threw for over 4,000 yards for a second season in a row and likely will do so in 2011 with Manningham and Nicks at his disposal.  Manning is good for an 11th round pick. 

16

Joe Flacco, Ravens

15

Flacco put up career-highs in passing yards (3622) and TD passes (25) in 2010.  Expect him to improve again in his 4th season especially with new toy Lee Evans in a purple uniform.  Flacco can now take advantage of his strong arm and has looked good so far in the preseason.  12th round sounds about right.

17

Kyle Orton, Broncos

17

Slowed down towards the end of 2010 after tremendous start to the season under passing guru Josh McDaniels.  Under new head coach John Fox and a strong focus on the running game, Orton is doubtful to repeat his numbers from the last two seasons.  Should be drafted as a backup as he is not even a lock to end the season in a Denver uniform.

18

Kevin Kolb, Cardinals

18

Was supposed to break through in 2010 until the Michael Vick Experience took over.  We still don't know what to truly expect from Kolb as we have not seen that much of him in his brief career.  Larry Fitzgerald alone will help keep Kolb relevant.  Make sure you have a decent starter if you draft Kolb.  Has some upside.

19

Matt Cassel, Chiefs

19

Incredibly efficient in 2010 with 27:7 TD to Interception Ratio.  Unlikely to repeat his performance with first-place schedule and emphasis on the run game.  Strictly a matchups play.

20

Mark Sanchez, Jets

20

Jets' loosened the reigns a little bit last season, but still only averaged a little over 200 yards/game.  Expect more improvement in 2011 especially with a full season of Santonio Holmes and new red zone target Plaxico Burress.  Possesses some upside, but Jets will stay true to the run-heavy offense.  Likely a bye-week fill-in.

21

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills

22

Can he repeat surprise 2010 season in Chan Gailey offense?  Gailey is known for developing QB's.  Loss of Lee Evans to Baltimore likely won't help chances.  Bye-week replacement QB.

22

Donovan McNabb, Vikings

23

McNabb could barely stay upright in Washington last season, and he was even benched for Rex Grossman at the end of 2010.  Really?  Move to Minnesota means he'll improve his numbers, but this isn't the same McNabb that took the Eagles to the Super Bowl.  Draft him as a backup.

23

Cam Newton, Panthers

27

The # 1 overall pick should beat out Jimmy Clausen, who looked downright awful last season.  Could Newton become a Vince Young-type QB (without the poor attitude)? Upside play.

24

David Garrard, Jaguars

24

Garrard set a career high last year with 23 TD passes and 5 rushing touchdowns, but he has Blaine Gabbert breathing down his neck.  Chances are Garrard loses his job in 2011 due to poor performance.  Best suited as a backup QB on your roster.

25

Colt McCoy, Browns

Unranked

New HC Pat Shurmur runs a West Coast Offense, catering perfectly to McCoy's style of play.  Should benefit in 2011 with new weapon Greg Little at his disposal.  Flier pick in the last rounds.

26

Matt Hasselbeck, Titans

26

Stopgap QB until rookie Jake Locker is ready.  Could put up decent numbers if he remains healthy.  Potential breakout TE Jared Cook, Holdout RB Chris Johnson and Criminal WR Kenny Britt are the most explosive offensive players Hasselbeck has had in years.

27

Jason Campbell, Raiders

29

Lost his job to Bruce Gradowski at one point last season; limited upside, but Oakland could have a surprisingly good offense in 2011 with McFadden and Jacoby Ford.

28

Alex Smith, 49ers

28

Former # 1 overall pick has been mediocre so far in San Francisco.  Jim Harbaugh seems to have enough confidence in Smith, but rookie Colin Kapernick could make this a competition if Smith plays poorly early on.

29

Andy Dalton, Bengals

32

Rookie from TCU was high on many teams' draft boards. Looks likely to start in Cincy with a quite a few weapons: AJ Green, Jerome Simpson, Jordan Shipley, etc.

30

Chad Henne, Dolphins

25

Owns a 27:33 TD/Int Ratio in his career.  Just needs to feed Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush and Davone Bess.  Matt Moore was acquired to put some pressure on Henne.  No upside here. Pass.

31

Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks

30

Has been extremely shaky in the preseason and will likely bring the value of all of the offensive players in Seattle down with him.  The most likely QB on this list to lose his job in 2011.

32

John Beck, Redskins

31

In the middle of facing a quarterback battle with Rex Grossman.  Hasn't played a snap since 2007.  Only good news is Washington's offensive line looks strong so far.

 

The list above should not change too much between now and the season opener.  I am extremely high on the potential break-out players: Stafford, Ryan and Bradford.  I would try to pair them with one another.  If you do indeed happen to draft Michael Vick, make sure you draft a high-upside replacement in case of injury.  In that case, the numbers you will get with Vick and his replacement will likely be better than any other QB on this list.

Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments below.

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