Well, the lockout is finally over and we can get back to doing what we do best this time of year, and that’s providing you with quality rankings for you to use in preparation for those upcoming fantasy drafts.
Here is a look at my 2011 quarterback rankings along with my personal stat projections for the year for each player.
I have also posted some updates to this now that most of the free agent frenzy is over. Look for the update after the particular original quarterback for that team I had ranked.
- Aaron Rodgers (4,530 yards passing ,31 passing TD’s ,13 interceptions ,325 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD’s) – Rodgers just has so many weapons to choose from plus he gets a 10000000% (per his twitter account) healthy Jermichael Finley this year. Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson’s progression should easily make up for any more Donald Driver decline and the loss of James Jones. It should be another banner year for Rodgers.
- Peyton Manning (4,685 yards passing, 36 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 20 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Even though they say Peyton is in decline and some are worried about the neck injury reports, Peyton is another quarterback with just too many weapons that he can’t help but succeed. A healthy Dallas Clark and Austin Collie all season would go a long way to improve on Manning’s 2010 numbers.
- Michael Vick (3,309 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 12 interceptions, 525 yards rushing, 7 rushing TD’s) – Vick will be phenomenal for your team the 13 or 14 games of the year that he plays for you. You just better hope those two or three games that he misses aren’t during your fantasy playoff weeks. I would draft someone that plays a weak pass defense in the fantasy playoff weeks to back up Vick if you can.
- Drew Brees (4,298 yards passing, 33 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 35 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Brees has been fairly consistent and will find the end zone more with Jimmy Graham developing as a red zone threat. The potential loss of Reggie Bush will hurt his yardage totals though.
- Matt Schaub (4,513 yards passing, 31 passing TD’s, 15 interceptions, 35 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Schaub is another quarterback with a great plethora of weapons at his disposal. He sometimes gets lost in too conservative of play calling by Kubiak, but will still post huge numbers throwing to the likes of AJ, Daniels and Foster.
- Ben Roethlisberger (3,750 yards passing, 26 passing TD’s, 9 interceptions, 165 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD’s) – Big Ben has some nice young pass targets in Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders to go along with old reliable Hines Ward and Heath Miller. It could be a big year for Big Ben as long as those receivers continue along their development curve.
- Eli Manning (3,813 yards passing, 36 passing TD’s, 17 interceptions, 45 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Eli is the Rodney Dangerfield of quarterbacks, he gets no respect. Every season he posts some solid numbers. Granted his interceptions need to come down from his career high last year, but he still throws for a lot of yards and is in the high twenties to low thirties in TD’s almost every year. My TD projection might be a little lofty if they do not bring Steve Smith back for 2011. That would move him down several spots on the list.
- Tony Romo (4,293 yards passing, 26 passing TD’s, 15 interceptions, 80 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – Romo has an all star cast all around him. He just needs to be a leader among his young troops and they can accomplish some great things.
- Philip Rivers (4,070 yards passing, 29 passing TD’s, 12 interceptions, 40 rushing yards, 0 rushing TD’s) – Having a bit off a time wondering how my projection worked out with less yards in 2011 than in 2010 when this year he has V-Jax and a healthy Gates. My gut tells me he should be ranked higher on this list. I will keep him here for now since that is the way the stats worked out.
10. Tom Brady (3,725 yards passing, 30 passing TD’s, 8 interceptions, 40 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – How can Brady be ranked so low you say? Look at the receivers he has to throw to. An aging Wes Welker and Deion Branch. His best weapons are the two tight ends in Hernandez and Gronkowski and you know they only get you so far. The running backs are such a hodge podge who knows what production will come from there in 2011. I really see 2011 as being Brady’s first year of decline. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: Bump Brady up several spots on this list. Newly acquired Chad Ochocinco is definitely a talent improvement at the wide receiver position for the Patriots. I would say it now vaults him back up to #6 on the list.
11. Jason Campbell (3,775 yards passing, 25 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 175 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – I know what you are saying, what is this guy smoking. I initially thought the same thing about Campbell. But I looked at the sum of all the parts and as long as the Raiders sign Zach Miller back which is pretty much a foregone conclusion, these numbers can be obtainable with some emergence from Jacoby Ford and a healthy season from Louis Murphy. UPDATE: Please move Jason Campbell about 10 notches down this list. Jacoby Ford and Heyward-Bey are both injured in training camp and Zach Miller may not be resigning with the team. Sorry for getting so bullish on him, but I thought the young receivers would step up this year. Obviously that won’t be the case.
12. Josh Freeman (3,265 yards passing, 22 passing TD’s, 11 interceptions, 315 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – Looks like Freeman will only grow as his receivers grow more in the game (Will the real Arrelious Benn please step forward?). Give Freeman another two to three years and he will be a major fantasy force at quarterback. For now just expect middle of the pack production.
13. Matthew Stafford (3,907 yards passing, 25 passing TD’s, 15 interceptions, 85 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Naturally this all assumes Stafford can stay upright for a full season, which he hasn’t done in his career yet. You can’t go wrong when you have the receiver they call “Megatron” on your side.
14. Sam Bradford (3,729 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 165 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Bradford takes another step forward in his year two development with the addition of Donnie Avery running back at top speed again.
15. Colt McCoy (3,446 yards passing, 21 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 275 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – Greg Little will add some much needed help at WR and boost McCoy’s 2011 passing numbers.
16. Joe Flacco (3,666 yards passing, 23 passing TD’s, 11 interceptions, 95 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – I thought Flacco would have a breakout season last year but he disappointed. Bolding is getting older. Mason and Heap are over the hill. Rookies Torrey Smith and Tandon Doss didn’t get enough reps this offseason to make a major difference.
17. Jay Cutler (3,601 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 17 interceptions, 175 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – Another ho-hum season for Cutler passing mostly to Bennett and Knox. If they would just get this guy a legitimate receiver. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: The team did address WR by getting Roy Williams who had his career best season under Martz in Detroit. However, they also traded away Greg Olsen from the TE mix. I would say the net effect of the two moves doesn’t move Cutler at all in the rankings.
18. Christian Ponder (3,340 yards passing, 21 passing TD’s, 15 interceptions, 225 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD’s) – Ponder falls into an ideal situation in Minnesota where he can lean heavily on Adrian Peterson to carry the load. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: Donovan McNabb is traded to the Vikings and now has a clear shot at the starting gig in MInnesota. Donovan should actually produce less numbers than originally projected here. The rush yards and TD’s are no longer part of Donny Mac’s game. Plus I was banking on the Vikings retaining Sidney Rice. Now that they did not look, for Donovan to rank after Matt Cassel on this list.
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick (3,118 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 12 interceptions, 75 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Fitzpatrick will post some decent numbers always playing in the come from behind role.
20. Jake Locker (3,183 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 18 interceptions, 275 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – With Kenny Britt by his side along with the strong running of CJ2K, Locker should be able to post some decent numbers. His season totals may be cut into however if Matt Hasselbeck is the starting quarterback for the Titans week 1. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: Hasselbeck did come to town. Look for Hasselbeck to produce these same totals except for the rushing stats which will drop him below Tim Tebow on this list.
21. Matt Ryan (3,615 yards passing, 24 passing TD’s, 12 interceptions, 75 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – I know how is it possible to rank Ryan down this low when he added Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers to his arsenal. Simply the fact that Ryan and the Falcons had a career year against a fairly easy schedule. This year’s schedule is much more difficult and the rookies had a short time to get some reps in the offense.
22. Tim Tebow (2,910 yards passing, 18 passing TD’s, 16 interceptions, 350 yards rushing, 4 rushing TD’s) – The quarterbacks from here on out are basically fill in as needed on a bye week only type. The first of which is Tim Tebow who is still learning how to play the game at this level. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: Denver was unsuccessful in trading Kyle Orton so we may have a quarterback controversy brewing here in training camp. Which quarterback starts drastically effects the receiving group on this team. Something to closely monitor in the next few weeks.
23. Mark Sanchez (3,320 yards passing, 20 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 125 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – During the regular season, he bores you with his average play in a heavy run based offensive scheme. He becomes a totally different quarterback in the postseason.
24. Kevin Kolb (3,400 yards passing, 22 passing TD’s, 18 interceptions, 80 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – Kolb to Fitzgerald has a nice ring to it. Too bad they don’t have a solid threat opposite him and Kolb will struggle some in his first full season at the helm of an offense.
25. Matt Cassel (3,275 yards passing, 22 passing TD’s, 13 interceptions, 75 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – No one will hurt worse with the departure of Charlie Weis than Matt Cassel. The Chiefs will be a more run first team and Dwayne Bowe can’t possibly match his 15 TD season from a year ago.
26. John Beck (3,275 yards passing, 22 passing TD’s, 19 interceptions, 45 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – Beck is the presumed starter for now in Washington. These stats presume they resign Santana Moss into the fold. No Moss, than move him down a few more slots.
27. Chad Henne (3,385 yards passing, 20 passing TD’s, 16 interceptions, 50 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – I thought Henne’s numbers would project higher, but they just don’t. Miami needs to develop some receivers opposite Brandon Marshall to boost any Miami quarterback’s numbers.
28. Charlie Whitehurst (3,015 yards passing, 18 passing TD’s, 14 interceptions, 150 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD) – Wow throwing to Mike Williams, Ben Obamanu and Golden Tate sounds really enticing. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: The Seahawks added a nice piece to the WR group in Sidney Rice. Only problem is they also added Tarvaris Jackson to be the starting quarterback. Tarvaris’s final numbers will be slightly better than these above but not enough to boost him over Chad Henne.
29. David Garrard (2,175 yards passing, 16 passing TD’s, 9 interceptions, 185 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD’s) – Garrard isn’t a terrible option at quarterback, but he is not the guy to lead you on a playoff run or even get you to the playoffs in the first place. The lack of receivers with skills has been his main problem for some time now.
30. Cam Newton (2,000 yards passing, 13 passing TD’s, 19 interceptions, 400 yards rushing, 4 rushing TD’s) – I suspect Newton will struggle in his first full season at the helm in Carolina. Especially if Steve Smith finds an exit door via trade. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: The Panthers did a great job of keeping their current players. Steve Smith and DeAngelo Williams will be back. They also picked up a receiving weapon at TE in Greg Olsen. I would say Newton now moves ahead of John Beck on this list.
31. Andy Dalton (2,975 yards passing, 15 passing TD’s, 19 interceptions, 45 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – He has a lot of weapons but he is a very raw rookie quarterback. He is someone to stash away in dynasty leagues though. FREE AGENT FRENZY UPDATE: Well you can basically take Dalton’s name off the list and replace it with the veteran Bruce Gradkowski. He will start due to his familiarity to Jay Gruden’s offense.
32. Alex Smith (2,500 yards passing, 14 passing TD’s, 12 interceptions, 45 yards rushing, 0 rushing TD’s) – Smith should play for about half the 2011 season showing Kaepernick the ropes of being in the NFL, then he will be booted back to second string duty.
33. Blaine Gabbert (1,130 yards passing, 9 passing TD’s, 10 interceptions, 85 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – These should be close to Gabbert’s numbers once he takes over in Jacksonville at some point in the season.
34. Colin Kaepernick (1,075 yards passing, 5 passing TD’s, 8 interceptions, 125 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD’s) – Kaepernick finishes out the rankings mainly because he only plays for a portion of the season.