Wasting is terrible. I hate wasting time, money or beer. But there are few things I despise more than wasting a high pick on a fantasy quarterback.
It’s completely unnecessary.
Looking at a draft list from last year, Kurt Warner was picked in the 17th round, Philip Rivers was picked in the 15th and Aaron Rodgers was picked in the 13th.
In case you were comatose for the entire season, all three of those guys finished in the top 5.
Now, our league wasn’t filled top to bottom with experts, but there were plenty of questions surrounding each of those players going into the season and I’m sure they were incredible values across almost all formats and in most every league. They faced questions like Matt Cassel, Trent Edwards and Jay Cutler face this season.
Quarterback is the best position in fantasy football to seek out value and while I’m about to tell you that Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the three best QBs in the game, I wouldn’t recommend you draft any of them in standard leagues.
The only exception to this rule is a league that allows you to play two starting QBs. If you have Brees and someone like Warner or Rodgers you are going to have a clear advantage over just about every other team in your league.
With that in mind, these quarterback rankings are intended for standard scoring re-draft leagues:
QB Tier 1
1. Drew Brees, Saints – The most prolific offensive player in the game in standard scoring leagues.
2. Tom Brady, Patriots – Should be back and throwing to those weapons that made him a fantasy god in 2007.
3. Peyton Manning, Colts – Proved last year that he doesn’t need a dominant Marvin Harrison, or a competent running game to throw for 4,000 yards and almost 30 TDs.
QB Tier 2
4. Kurt Warner. Cardinals – Yes, he’s a year older, but those weapons are so dericious.
5. Aaron Rodgers, Packers – Will be a Tier 1 quarterback next year. Lot’s of weapons.
6. Donovan McNabb, Eagles – Still the man in Philadelphia. He can score 40 points in any given week and win your matchup almost single-handedly.
7. Philip Rivers, Chargers – Rivers can’t repeat last year’s performance, can he? Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates hope he can.
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys – With TO he’s a lock for Tier 1. Not sold Roy Williams can handle the responsibility of and hype that goes with being WR1 on America’s Team. But Jessica Simpson’s ex still has a good cache of weapons.
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons – Bulked up over the offseason. The team added Tony Gonzalez and wants to lighten the load on Michael Turner. /Raises eyebrow/ Dare we think about numbers that could put him in Tier 1 in 2010? We dare.
10. Carson Palmer, Bengals – No TJ Housh, but Chad Ochocinco, Laveranues Coles and the Randy-Moss like (?) Chris Henry, coupled with reports that Palmer’s throwing darts out there, has me anticipating a good season. Value in 2009. Ranked as a stud again in 2010.
QB Tier 3
11. Trent Edwards, Bills – The Terrell Owens factor has been beaten around pretty good at Chinstrap Ninjas. TO makes: Lee Evans, a solid No. 1, into a great No. 2; Josh Reed, a questionable No. 2, into a solid No. 3; and opens up the rest of the field.
12. Jay Cutler, Bears – On the surface he has less weapons, but it’ll be interesting to see how Greg Olsen, Devin Hester and Matt Forte evolve with a Pro Bowl-caliber QB at the helm.
13. Matt Schaub, Texans – Schaub gets a lot of love on this site, for obvious reasons. He’s got one of the few receivers worthy of a first-round pick and a stable of other weapons at his disposal. If only he could stay healthy.
14. David Garrard, Jaguars – Let it be known, I’ve got a Garrard man-crush this season. And, in case you were unaware, he was the ninth best fantasy QB in standard scoring leagues last year.
15. Kyle Orton, Broncos – If Brandon Marshall stays, Orton will find some success running that offense.
16. Chad Pennington, Dolphins – You know who the No. 11 QB in standard fantasy scoring leagues was last year? This guy. Look it up.
17. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks – Any time a team adds a player the caliber of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the quarterback has to be happy. Problem is, Hasselbeck has to be right to make this whole thing work.
18. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – Two years ago, Big Ben had 32 TD passes with 11 picks and 3,100+ yards. I wouldn’t count on that again, but he’ll be better than he was a year ago.
19. Eli Manning, Giants – The Giants run the ball down the field. The younger Manning is typically overrated on draft day.
20. Brett Favre/Sage Rosenfels Vikings – Favre’s coming to Minnesota and will throw a lot of long passes, to Vikings receivers and opponents. But Rosenfels will start a game or two.
21. Matt Cassel, Chiefs – I’d like to say Cassel is a sleeper, but he’s got Dwayne Bowe and little else on a bad team.
QB Tier 4
22. Jake Delhomme, Panthers – In 2004 and 2005, he was fantasy relevant. Now, especially with the running game’s success, not so much. But, as I’ve said in other places, any QB throwing to Steve Smith could pop out a good game or two.
23. Duante Culpepper/Matt Stafford, Lions – Oh, Lions fans, what pain you must feel. Yes, the QB will have weapons – Calvin Johnson could pop out a best receiver in the game type season any year now – but I have a feeling the QBs will split starts down the middle. Obviously, in dynasty and keeper leagues, Stafford rockets into low-tier 2/high-tier 3.
24. Shaun Hill/Alex Smith, 49ers – The uncertainty over who should start is aggravating. Hill proved he was better last year, but because of the competition I wouldn’t be surprised to see Smith get a couple starts this year.
25. Jason Campbell, Redskins – Jason, still waiting for you to be a fantasy factor of any kind.
26. Joe Flacco, Ravens – He was not much of a fantasy factor last year with Derrick Mason.
27. Jeff Garcia/JaMarcus Russell – News this week is that the starting QB job is Russell’s to lose. Did you see him play last year? He’ll lose it.
28. Brady Quinn/Derek Anderson, Browns – Like the 49ers competition above, both guys will get playing time and will have a potential play-making WR to throw to.
29. Kellen Clemens/Mark Sanchez, Jets – Sanchez is the future – and should be drafted higher accordingly in dynasty/keeper setups – but whoever the now is will throw to an overrated Jerricho Cotchery and the esteemed duo of Chansi Stuckey and David Clowney.
30. Luke McCown/Freeman/Leftwich/J.Johnson, Buccaneers – Uuuuuuugggly. McCown gets first shot at it, says coach. Byron Leftwich is better. Josh Freeman is possibly the future. Not sure how the Marlins feel about Josh Johnson playing in the NFL. I’m not touching this mess unless they show me something amazing in preseason.
31. Marc Bulger, Rams – Speaking of mess.
32. Kerry Collins, Titans – Chris Johnson and LenDale White get way too many touches, Collins is as old as dirt. (Dirt is Kurt Warner.) Plus, there’s that whole Vince Young is getting paid a lot of money to sit on the bench thing.
33. Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs – His running ability out of the QB slot makes him an interesting wildcat option on a team that will need every gadget it can conjure.
34. Vince Young, Titans – As a wildcat or a starter, Young will be slightly relevant in at least one and a half games this year.
35. Pat White, Dolphins/Troy Smith, Ravens – Like Young and Thigpen, I’d wildcat them a couple times as a coach just to see what happens. Yes, that’s me turning wildcat into a verb.
Other Notable Backups
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF; Chad Henne, MIA; Kevin O’Connell, NE; Rex Grossman, HOU; Patrick Ramsey, TEN; Chris Simms, DEN; Kevin Kolb, PHI; Drew Stanton, DET; Matt Leinart, ARZ; Seneca Wallace, SEA.
Sorry for the novel-esque length, but what do you think? Who’s in your top 10? Speak to us in the comments (they’re below), or start a discussion on our forums.