QB Draft Tier List
2008 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
1. Tom Brady (4802 Yards 50 passing TDs 2 rushing TDs)
2. Tony Romo (4211 Yards 36 passing TDs 2 rushing TDs)
3. Peyton Manning (4040 Yards 31 passing TDs 3 rushing TDs)
4. Drew Brees (4423 Yards 28 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
5. Carson Palmer (4131 Yards 26 passing TDs)
6. Ben Roethlisberger (3154 Yards 32 passing TDs 2 rushing TDs)
7. Donovan McNabb (3324 Yards 19 passing TDs)
8. Derek Anderson (3787 Yards 29 passing TDs 3 rushing TDs)
9. Matt Hasselbeck (3966 Yards 28 passing TDs)
10. Brett Favre (4155 Yards 28 passing TDs)
11. Jay Cutler (3497 Yards 20 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
12. David Garrard (2509 Yards 18 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
13. Marc Bulger (2392 Yards 11 passing TDs)
14. Aaron Rodgers (218 Yards 1 passing TD)
15. Jason Campbell (2700 Yards 11 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
16. Eli Manning (3336 Yards 23 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
17. Jake Delhomme (625 Yards 8 passing TDs)
18. Matt Schaub (2241 Yards 9 passing TDs)
19. Jon Kitna (4068 Yards 18 passing TDs)
20. Kurt Warner (3417 Yards 27 passing TDs 1 rushing TD)
Rarely will you ever draft a high end player like Tom Brady and actually gain value. 4800 yards and 50 TD's out of a QB is arguably worth one of the top picks in any fantasy draft. It is hard to believe he'll have such success again, but at the same time the Brady to Randy Moss combination looks unstoppable so long as the offensive line can hold up the fort. Brady will for sure be the #1 QB taken in most leagues, and most likely will be taken after the top running backs go off the board (Tomlinson, Peterson, Westbrook, Addai, S Jackson, maybe Gore / Barber).
How often do you hear Peyton Manning's name being mentioned with injuries? He hasn't missed a game so we cannot assume he will this season, but that Marvin Harrison and Manning have been hobbled with injuries is a telltale sign for this AFC power. Nearly half of the season Peyton Manning put up 1 or 0 TD's (7 out of 16 games), as the offense lacked a huge playmaker in Harrison. One good note for the Colts was the emergence of Anthony Gonzalez near the end of the season; he became a top WR and a good complement to All-pro Reggie Wayne.
A few other QB's are working their way into annual elite status with the likes of Brady and Manning, namely Drew Brees (4400 yards 28 tds) and Tony Romo (4200 yards 36 passing TDs). Out of sheer volume Drew Brees has tremendous value, especially late in the year when you could count on 325+ passing yards each performance. Some of those attempts may disappear since Deuce is not injured for the year, but we may see a more efficient and less INT prone performance from Brees in return. With TO, Barber and Jason Witten in Dallas, it's hard to see much of a decline from Romo.
Ben Roethlisberger had a fine year but considering the lack of passing yards (just 3100 yards) and throwing volume, Roethlisberger is likely to regress and see his touchdowns go into the 20's instead of 33. If nothing else he is a risk because he is so touchdown-dependent and will not get you the yards if he doesn't find the end zone. Another big reason for a likely decline in TD's for Roethlisberger is that Willie Parker had just 2 after 16 total in 2006. We can expect the running game in Pittsburgh to contribute more points than that in 2008.
Carson Palmer's star has fallen along with the Bengals. Palmer was a clear #2 over Brady before last year but had just 26 TD's and 20 INT's (with 6 TD's in one track meet against the Browns). He also faltered over the last 4 or 5 games last year, costing his owners in the fantasy playoffs. Still, I like Palmer to rebound this year with two elite receivers in TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson. Do remember they lost a mercurial threat in Chris Henry in the off-season, though.
The QB dropoff begins after these 6 quarterbacks, though you can argue Donovan McNabb, Derek Anderson or Matt Hasselbeck belong near Palmer and Roethlisberger. All have some risk involved keeping them in the lower half of the starters in any given fantasy league. McNabb every year is injury prone, Derek Anderson was consistent yet mediocre, while Matt Hasselbeck's receiving core is getting more and more thin by the day. Still I find myself buying into McNabb every year because of his enticing per-game stats and his monster 2006 start.
At this point you are best off playing QB's based on matchups but in deeper leagues you will need to examine potential breakout candidates at the position. David Garrard was quietly efficient for the Jaguars, and should continue a similar trend. Jason Campbell is someone to watch in Washington with Jim Zorn as head coach, a coach that loved to pass in Seattle. Plus, he has looked sharp in camp. Marc Bulger used to be at the elite level but got massacred last year as his offensive line disappeared. When given time, he can still lead a passing attack in that dome with Torry Holt at his side. Jake Delhomme was off to a 2 TD per game start in 2007 until injuries ran his season into the ground. Muhsin Muhammad is back and even though Steve Smith is getting in fist-fights, he still has quite the rapport with Delhomme. One particular situation I always watch for spot starts is in Arizona. Matt Leinart has been throwing well but we all know Kurt Warner can go in there and pass for 3 TD's and 350 yards at any time, and Leinart has a short leash. Warner had 27 touchdowns last year in limited play. Jay Cutler is another guy to watch out in Denver, with the rising Brandon Marshall.
Then there is Aaron Rodgers and that Brett Favre guy who is with the Jets now. Rodgers performed well against Dallas in limited time but it's hard to say what to expect from him. If nothing else he inherits a team that had a solid passing attack last year, in one of Brett Favre's best seasons. As for Brett, you can probably expect good things in New York. The offensive line has been upgraded with Faneca, and he has some WR tools similar to those in Green Bay with Laveraneus Coles and Jerricho Cotchery. He's probably in the 8-10 range of QB's for me, but you can assume there will be someone in your draft who takes him too early based on name. If he drops however by all means grab him at the proper value.