Fantasy football ADP: Analyzing the top 25 quarterbacks

How’s your attention span? Good. I don’t plan to keep you here too long so you can bounce to the other great content on the site.

After you check out our stuff on the front page, hop on over to our 2010 Fantasy Football Rankings page to get a taste of what we’ve done and what we plan to do. It’s a bit, um, aggressively expansive, but we’ve got a stable of talented writers who have all sorts of opinions.

You will get a taste of those varying opinions in these ADP rankings.

By reading the blurbs about these quarterbacks, no matter how long or short, it should be blatantly obvious whether I agree or disagree with a player’s average draft position (pulled from www.mockdraftcentral.com).

Where necessary, analysis will be expanded in upcoming redraft and dynasty rankings.

ADP: Top 25 quarterbacks

*ADP in parentheses

1. Aaron Rodgers (9.47) — Rodgers should be the top quarterback taken. The draft has to fall just right for experienced fantasy owners to pick Rodgers at his ADP. A half a round later? Snap him up.

2. Drew Brees (11.94) — Another high late-first, early-second ADP. Again, not a huge fan of picking QBs in the first round. However, if you want a true advantage at the position, you must get one of these two players.

3. Peyton Manning (21.83) — Manning in the third round feels like a value…

4. Tom Brady (34.86) — … But not as much as Brady in the fourth. Yes there’s risk, but the reward — if Brady is totally healed and still throwing to those weapons — is huge.

5. Tony Romo (40.84) — Romo in the fourth-fifth area might be the best pick of 2010. Don’t be surprised if he’s the top QB. Romo threw more passes than Brees or Brett Favre in 2009.

6. Philip Rivers (41.19) — The Chargers are a pass-first team now, a move that exaggerated the decline of LaDainian Tomlinson and makes Rivers a top option at QB.

7. Matt Schaub (45.93) — Not touching Schaub in the fifth round. He won’t stay healthy or lead the league in passing again.

8. Jay Cutler (71.05) — ADP puts him in the seventh round, which is a good place to find a mid-range QB. But if Mike Martz makes him throw more, all of his numbers have a chance of going up, including his interceptions.

9. Kevin Kolb (79.27) — Anybody who has been following along knows I’m not a big fan of Kolb. He won’t throw the deep ball as well to DeSean Jackson and could throw as many INTs as TDs in his first season as a starting NFL QB. Don’t pay 8th-round money for a 10th-round QB.

10. Matt Ryan (80.48) — Ninth-round pick, throwing to a top-7 wide receiver, a top-5 TE and with a ground game that should keep defenses honest? Like Ryan here.

11. Joe Flacco (93.02) — Not much of a sleeper, since everyone says he is, but don’t be surprised if Flacco makes the expectations stand up. Lots of weapons in Baltimore. I’d reach on him before the 10th round.

12. Brett Favre (93.20) — Factoring in the current rumors — whether he denies them and says he’s playing if he’s healthy or not — I’m not picking Favre in my first 10 picks. One of these days he won’t be “ageless” anymore.

13. Eli Manning (94.04) — Should be a top-10 QB. I’d call out his name a round (or two) earlier than his ADP. The Giants are not a run-first team anymore.

14. Donovan McNabb (103.73) — Wait until the 10th-11th round for a QB, take McNabb and reap the rewards that were always out of Jason Campbell’s reach.

15. Carson Palmer (110.05) — This ADP should jump a couple spots between now and your draft. The addition of Terrell Owens could crank up this offense.

16. Ben Roethlisberger (121.58) — Read an AP story that Big Ben has “never been better.” I believe it. You’ll have to wait out the suspension, but he’ll put up good numbers when he returns.

17. Matthew Stafford (124.71) — Buy here, especially as part of a QB by committee. Lions are loaded with weapons — Calvin Johnson, Tony Scheffler, Jahvid Best — in the passing game.

18. Chad Henne (129.42) — Another quarterback that would be a nice part of a committee. The Dolphins are still going to run the ball, but the addition of Brandon Marshall changes this offense greatly.

19. Kyle Orton (167.45) — Did you know that last year Orton had his best year as a pro? Threw 21 TDs to 12 INTs and for 3,800 yards? Losing Brandon Marshall is a huge hit, but Orton is another year into the Broncos system. Not sure I’d reach for him, but I’d take him as a backup if he falls a round or two beyond his ADP.

20. Vince Young (180.46) — Since Young’s rookie season in 2006, Titans QBs have averaged around 2,900 yards passing with 13 TDs and 15 INTs. VY is a QB3 with upside — especially after the way he finished 2009, but he’s not a top-20 QB.

21. Matt Cassel (246.73) — In the 25th round, I’d buy Cassel. Yes, the Chiefs are horrible, but with weapons like Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster and a two-headed running attack that could surprise, Cassel might stay off his back long enough to be a surprising QB2 by the end of the season.

22. Josh Freeman (270.66) — We’re in the 28th round and picking QB3s in 10-team leagues by this point. Don’t expect a breakout. Freeman’s a marginal speculative add here.

23. Alex Smith (276.04) — Skip Orton, Young, Cassel or Freeman and pick Smith a round or two earlier than his ADP.

24. Josh Johnson (283.83) — A second TB QB? Yep, and he’s as unexciting as Freeman. There are QBs that won’t make the ADP Top 25 with more upside than these two.

25. Matt Moore (284.20) — With Moore at the helm, the Panthers Steve Smith resembled the old Steve Smith. They still have the horses in the backfield to keep safeties honest. Obviously, rookie Jimmy Clausen is an elephant in the room looking to take Moore’s job. Like Smith, pass over a bunch of guys and pick Moore a round or two before his ADP.

Bonus quarterbacks:

Byron Leftwich (287.21) — Pick him late if you get Roethlisberger. Leftwich is the likely starter during Big Ben’s forced vacation.

Mark Sanchez (287.52) — The Jets are a run-first team, but they have some serious potential in the passing game.

Matt Leinart (291.91) — With all-world receiver Larry Fitzgerald and plenty of other passing threats, this offense is dripping with potential. I wouldn’t wait until the 30th round to pick Leinart … I doubt you even have a 30th round.

David Garrard (293.53) — If Mike Sims-Walker emerges as a WR1 he could take Garrard with him. You’ll only have to waste an end game pick to reap the rewards

Jason Campbell (296.36) — He gets ripped a lot, but he went through four different offensive systems in college and has gone through a handful more as a pro. Still, he completed more than 60% of his passes in every college season, and has improved his completion percentage and QB rating in every season as a pro. If you want/need a QB3 with upside, Campbell has some.

Matt Hasselbeck (298.04) — As much as I’d like to see Hasselbeck resurrected under Pete Carroll, I just don’t see it happening. However, like Campbell and Garrard, when you’re talking about the last pick — or one of your last three — there’s not much pain if he flops.

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