The first quarter of the NFL season is in the books and we have some surprises as far as top performers go, while others are no surprise at all.
I will be looking at the top 3 highest scoring QB's thus far and will explore RB, WR, and TE in later posts.
When he's not setting records on the field, he's making records off the field.
Peyton Manning is playing at a historic level. It is absolutely amazing watching this man in action and how effortless he makes everything look. He started off the season by absolutely shredding the team that knocked him out of the playoffs last year to the tune of SEVEN touchdown passes, 462 yards passing and no interceptions. That performance made Peyton just the sixth player in NFL history to throw for seven touchdowns in a single game. On top of that, he became one of only two players to complete that feat without throwing an interception. Manning followed up that historic performance with a measly 2 touchdown passes for 307 yards against the Giants en route to destroying his little brother 41-23.
Week 3 against division rivals Oakland, Manning broke the record for most touchdown passes thrown in the first three weeks of a season. He threw for 3 TD's and 374 yards giving him 12 TD's on the season after just three games. Last week Manning took apart the high flying Eagles and I think the Broncos sent a message to the entire league with this performance. I'm sure the entire league was on notice after the first three weeks but for a team to put up 37+ points in the first four games of the season, everyone should be terrified of the Denver Broncos. Denver showed they weren't just all about Peyton Manning as they managed to score yet again from a kickoff return (105 yards no less) thanks to the dynamic Trindon Holiday as well as a blocked punt returned for a TD. Denver slayed the Eagles 52-20 and Peyton didn't even play in the 4th quarter. The 52 points was a new Denver Bronco record. He finished the game with 4 TD's and 327 yards. Peyton has a remarkable 75% accuracy so far with NO interceptions, 16 TD's and 1,470 yards passing. He is without a doubt the best real life AND fantasy QB so far this season and I firmly believe he will continue this play.
The look he's best known for......."Blue Steel"
We're used to seeing Drew Brees amongst the top fantasy QB's every year and it's no different this season. He started the season facing the Atlanta Falcons and managed to not only lead his team to victory but also pass for 357 yards and 2 TD's with 1 INT as the only blemish on the day. Week 2 Brees faced a tough Tampa Bay defense that managed to sack him four times and picked him off twice. One of the picks he threw almost cost the Saints the game as Mason Foster took it 85 yards to the house with 12 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately for the Bucs, Rian Lindell had the chance to put them up 17-13 with just over a minute to go but he missed the 47 yard attempt. With just over a minute to play, down by one point with no timeouts left, Brees orchestrated a 54 yard drive to put the Saints in position to win the game with a 29 yard field goal and Garrett Hartley made no mistake about it. This was not one of Drew's best games at all but he still got the job done for his team when it counted, for fantasy teams though, it was his worst performance of the season so far. He rebounded quite nicely in week 3 against the Cardinals putting together 342 yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT in a 31-7 blowout.
Week 4 Brees was vintage Brees and he LITT UP (Suits reference anyone?) the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football for 4 TD's, 0 INT's and 413 yards. Not only was this Drew's first game of the season without throwing a pick but it was also his most efficient going 30/39. The Saints offensive line needs to do a better job protecting their franchise QB as Brees has been sacked 12 times this season already. After 4 weeks, Drew Brees has 10 TD's, 4 INT's and 1,434 yards passing.
Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaa? Yup, Philip Rivers is the 3rd best fantasy QB after four weeks. I couldn't believe it either. I was a Rivers owner last year and the year before and my hate for him just kept growing as each week passed. I knew I should have stayed away from Rivers last year but I thought he would bounce back because he has shown that he is a talented QB in the past. After disappointing me two years in a row well, fool me once, shame on...shame on you.....fool me...you can't get fooled again!
Without looking at the TD column for Rivers' week 1 stats one would think he had a horrible game. He went 14/29 for just 195 yards but he managed 4 TD's in a losing effort against the Texans. He also threw a costly pick six to Brian Cushing in the 4th quarter that tied the game. Rivers was better in week 2 against the Eagles, he avoided throwing a pick all game and threw for 3 TD's and 419 yards on 36/47. Week 3 was another efficient game as Rivers went 20/24 but it was his worst fantasy performance of the season as he only amassed 184 yards through the air for 1 TD, but again, no interceptions. Rivers got back on track in week 4 against Dallas throwing for 3 TD's, 1 INT and 401 yards on 35/42. Philip has been extremely accurate so far, the past two weeks he has 83.3% accuracy and is at 73.9% on the season. After four weeks Rivers is sitting pretty with 11 TD's, 2 INT's and 1,199 yards.
There you have it, folks. Your top 3 fantasy QB's through the first quarter. Do you think this is how it will shape out at the end of the season or will we see a new top 3?