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2008 Fantasy Football Rankings - Quarterbacks


More 2008 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defenses
Top 150
Sleepers
Busts


Projected points are based on traditional fantasy scoring systems, where you get 1 point for 20 yards passing, 10 yards rushing/receiving; and 6 points for a touchdown. When I post my Top 150, I'll have lists for traditional, PPR and touchdown leagues. I'll also have notifications if a player is better or worse in one of those scoring systems.

A key for these notifications is at the bottom of the page.


Updated Aug. 31

  1. Tom Brady, Patriots
    I doubt Tom Brady breaks records again, but he will definitely put up monstrous numbers as long as Randy Moss is healthy. He's the only quarterback worth taking in the first round of your fantasy league.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,400 passing yards. 37 passing TDs. 80 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 456.

  2. Peyton Manning, Colts
    Despite losing Marvin Harrison for 11 games, Peyton Manning was still able to maintain elite production, throwing for 4,040 yards and 31 touchdowns. He may not be king of the fantasy quarterbacks any longer, but that makes him a better value pick.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,250 passing yards. 32 passing TDs. 30 rushing yards. 3 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 426.

  3. Tony Romo, Cowboys
    Tony Romo was one of my sleepers last year. Sounds silly to say that now, but he wasn't drafted until the eighth round in some leagues. I predicted Romo to throw for 4,150 yards and 25 touchdowns. Romo beat my projections, compiling 4,211 yards and 36 scores. He's the No. 3 fantasy quarterback, but watch out for his December struggles. I lost in the semifinals in one of my leagues despite having the best record, only because Romo didn't do anything against the Eagles in Week 15.

    That said, there seems to be a moderately sized gap between the top three guys and the next tier. For that reason, getting Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Romo should be a goal of yours. Just make sure you don't reach or anything.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: I picked the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl, so I can't say I was surprised to see Tony Romo start 15-of-19 for 166 yards, one touchdown and an interception in the first half. One of Romo's incompletions was a long bomb to Terrell Owens, as Romo missed T.O. by a few feet. Romo's pick was a terrible decision on his part, but they play these preseason games for a reason.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,150 passing yards. 31 passing TDs. 130 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 419.

  4. Drew Brees, Saints
    Drew Brees set the NFL single-season record for completions in 2007 with 443. Despite an increase of about 90 from the year before, Brees had only 10 more passing yards than he had in 2006. This was because he spent all of September using his checkdowns and refusing to go deep. This changed later in the year, so look for a similar campaign from Brees in terms of yardage and touchdowns. As a plus, Jeremy Shockey can only help Brees' fantasy status.

    AUG. 8 UPDATE: Drew Brees threw one touchdown and nine interceptions during New Orleans' 0-4 start last year. Based on his performance on Thursday, it doesn't look like that's going to happen again. Brees looked really sharp in his only drive, going 6-of-7 for 40 yards and a touchdown - and without Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: Drew Brees is in Pro Bowl form. He went 14-of-22 for 199 yards and a touchdown. He made a number of great throws, including a 35-yard sideline fade to Lance Moore. Brees just dropped the ball into Moore's lap and there was nothing Bengals corner Jonathan Joseph could do about it.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,300 passing yards. 29 passing TDs. 40 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 399.

  5. Carson Palmer, Bengals
    Carson Palmer threw for 4,131 yards (coming very close to my projected 4,150) and 26 touchdowns in 2007. Sounds great, but factor this in: Six of those scores came in a crazy 51-45 loss to Cleveland. From Week 13 to 16, Palmer had just two touchdowns and topped 190 yards once. Because he was paired with a clown and several criminals, Palmer wasn't the most reliable quarterback in the NFL.

    The convicts are gone, while Chad Johnson will be drawn to the reporters at training camp like mosquitoes are to blood. With no running game, Palmer will once again air it out early and often. He's a sleeper because publications like ESPN's Fantasy Football guide are ranking him lower than he should be.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Carson Palmer was 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception. That's not bad considering he was pressured on almost every single play, and he didn't have the services of T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chad Johnson (injured on the first drive) and Rudi Johnson. Palmer was throwing to guys like Marcus Maxwell, Antonio Chatman, Glenn Holt and Daniel Coats. Who? Exactly.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: The Bengals managed just one first down to New Orleans' eight in the first quarter. They also had only 22 yards to the Saints' 152. Guess we'll know what happens if both T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson get hurt during the regular season. Neither played in this contest. Carson Palmer still managed to go 11-of-16 for 105 yards, though he was sacked thrice.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 4,000 passing yards. 28 passing TDs. 10 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 368.



  6. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
    Prior to the 2007 season, Ben Roethlisberger had never thrown more than 18 touchdowns. New offensive coordinator Bruce Arians opened up the offense and turned Roethlisberger into a fantasy star. Big Ben had just 3,154 yards, but threw for 32 touchdowns. I don't expect him to match that total, as the running game will have more success in the red zone, but he'll be in the mid-20s.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Ben Roethlisberger was 10-of-17 for just 65 yards. He had to take some short stuff because Minnesota's defensive line made things really difficult for him. However, Roethlisberger threw behind a few of his receivers, particularly in the red zone.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,300 passing yards. 26 passing TDs. 200 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 353.

  7. Jay Cutler, Broncos
    Jay Cutler put up respectable numbers in 2007 (3,497 yards and 20 touchdowns), but he struggled at times. Turns out he had Type I Diabetes, which would explain why he ballooned up to 245 in August and dropped to 202 in December. Cutler's diet has improved to fit his needs, so look for a possible break-out year for the Vanderbilt product. A sleeper quarterback I will be targeting after the first few rounds.

    JULY 27 UPDATE: The NFL Network's Adam Schefter reports that Brandon Marshall could be suspended for four to eight games, as the Bronco wideout has been arrested three times last year, and has a DUI charge pending. Furthermore, Marshall reportedly has looked out of shape at training camp. Forget the sleeper tag. This affectss Jay Cutler's fantasy ranking as well.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: Denver's offense operated like an unstoppable machine with Jay Cutler at the helm. Cutler, who was 16-of-20 for 178 yards and a touchdown, did a great job of finding his targets downfield, looking off safeties and maneuvering in the pocket. It's safe to dub Cutler the No. 7 quarterback in fantasy football behind Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Jay Cutler actually started 1-of-7 for 22 yards. Some of the incompletions were his fault, including two overthrows to Brandon Stokley; some of them weren't (a shot downfield and a tipped pass). However, Cutler was able to rebound off a poor first quarter, going 5-of-6 for 93 yards and two touchdowns in the next 15 minutes, including a sharp 49-yard bomb to Brandon Marshall on a fade pattern.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,800 passing yards. 23 passing TDs. 150 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 349.

  8. Donovan McNabb, Eagles
    Give Donovan McNabb an elite No. 1 receiver, and he can throw for about 3,900 yards and 32 touchdowns. The problem is McNabb doesn't have anyone like Terrell Owens or Roy Williams by his side. He doesn't even have a Donte' Stallworth. Excluding that 2004 campaign, McNabb's career seasonal highs are 3,365 yards and 25 touchdowns. Not exactly anything to get excited about - especially from an injury-prone quarterback.

    AUG. 9 UPDATE: When Donovan McNabb was actually going against Pittsburgh's starters, he actually looked the old McNabb (pre-2005). He moved around well in the pocket and all of his throws were right on the money. McNabb finished 10-of-13 for 97 yards and a touchdown.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Philadelphia's first-string offense looked really sluggish against the Panthers. Though there was a heavy downpour, Donovan McNabb was wildly inaccurate, as he overthrew Kevin Curtis on a key third-down play and DeSean Jackson on a potential touchdown reception. McNabb was also guilty of throwing off his back foot and tossing the ball into quadruple coverage. McNabb wasn't the only one at fault; in the first half, his receivers dropped six passes. Six in one half! How does that happen?
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,400 passing yards. 23 passing TDs. 225 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 342.

  9. Kurt Warner, Cardinals
    Kurt Warner's definitely worth taking late in your draft. If (and when) he gets a chance to start, he'll put up monstrous statistics. He and Brian Westbrook carried one of my fantasy teams to a championship last season, and I'd be more than happy having Warner on my bench until Matt Leinart either gets injured or benched.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Kurt Warner played just two drives. The first possession failed, thanks to an incorrect route and a great play by Chiefs rookie corner Brandon Flowers (more on this later). Warner commanded the Cardinals to a touchdown on the next drive. He finished 6-of-9 for 54 yards.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: I didn't get a chance to see the Raiders-Cardinals yet, but Kurt Warner has been named Arizona's starting quarterback for the regular season. Matt Leinart bombed with a 4-of-12 for 24 yards and three interception showing. It's good that this happened now rather than later; Leinart has thrown nothing but checkdowns this preseason and has yet to prove that he can learn an NFL offense. Warner gives the Cardinals the best chance to win. He's a very solid option as a starting fantasy quarterback. It's also safe to draft Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

    AUG. 31 UPDATE: Ken Whisenhunt finally confirmed that Kurt Warner is Arizona's starting quarterback. I'm not sure what took him so long. Just more proof that you can never trust what a coach says.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,650 passing yards. 26 passing TDs. 10 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 339.

  10. Matt Schaub, Texans
    Matt Schaub is a potential sleeper quarterback because he has the ability to put up solid numbers as long as Andre Johnson is in the lineup. In every full game that Schaub and Johnson played together, Schaub had at least 225 yards and averaged 1.75 touchdowns per game.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Matt Schaub was nearly flawless. He went 14-of-16 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. The kicker is that he didn't even have the services of Andre Johnson. Schaub is a nice mid-round sleeper in fantasy. If Johnson stays healthy, there's a chance Schaub could come close to 3,800 yards and 24 touchdowns.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Matt Schaub, one of my 2008 Fantasy Football Mid-Round Sleepers, began the game 2-of-9 for just seven yards, as all of his throws were off the mark and two balls nearly sailed into the hands of Cowboy defensive backs. After that poor start, however, Schaub completed the first half 10-of-14 for 100 yards and a score. I'm not sure what happened to Schaub in the first quarter, and I'm sure Texans fans were really concerned, but let's give him a mulligan. Schaub must have been confused by a tough defense after facing Jason David last week. His ability to bounce back from a poor start showed me more than a sequence of nine terrible plays.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,700 passing yards. 24 passing TDs. 80 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 337.

  11. Brett Favre, Jets
    I have no idea what sort of stats to project here because I'm not sure where Brett Favre is going to play next year. He obviously won't be released, but he could be traded for a mid-round selection to Tampa Bay, Washington or Baltimore. Or, Favre could step in for the Packers if Aaron Rodgers struggles. I would certainly take him before some of the quarterbacks listed below this point.

    AUG. 8 UPDATE: I was out celebrating my birthday when I heard the Brett Favre-to-Jets news. I nearly dropped by beer when it came on the screen. I can't say this trade makes any sense for the Jets. I had them going 6-10 without Favre, so now I have to bump them to 8-8ish... I could see 9-7. Favre is obviously light years better than Pennington, but I don't know how quickly he can learn the offense. It's not like Favre makes the Jets better than the Patriots, or even guarantees them a second-place finish in the AFC East.

    At any rate, Favre will have two talented receivers at his disposal, but won't enjoy the excellent blocking he had in Green Bay. He should be able to put up solid numbers, but I wouldn't expect him to come close to his 2007 production (4,157 yards, 28 touchdowns).

    AUG. 17 UPDATE: In case you crawled into a hole in an effort to avoid all of the Brett Favre hype, and you want a brief analysis, you've come to the right place. The crowd at Giants Stadium applauded everything Favre did, though he didn't really make any mistakes, save for one errant throw. Favre's initial pass was an 11-yard dart to Jerricho Cotchery on a slant. He led the Jets to a touchdown on his second and final drive, finishing 5-of-6 for 48 yards. Dustin Keller caught the score. Favre autographed the ball and gave it to Keller after the game.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Brett Favre once again looked great for the Jets. He went 9-of-12 for 96 yards. Two incompletions were shots downfield, while the third was a drop by Chris Baker. A beautiful 29-yard pass from a pressured Favre to Brad Smith was negated by an illegal shift penalty called by crooked official Jerome Boger. Boger also nullified an incredible 49-yard Favre-to-Jerricho Cotchery fade touchdown, thanks to another illegal shift by Bubba Franks.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,700 passing yards. 24 passing TDs. 20 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 331.

  12. Eli Manning, Giants
    Despite having a Super Bowl season, Eli Manning didn't exactly light up the stat sheet. He eclipsed 250 yards five times, and managed more than two touchdowns just twice. In the playoffs, Manning never had more than 255 yards and two scores. He was effective at taking care of the football, converting third downs and making clutch throws. That doesn't mean much in fantasy football.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,500 passing yards. 24 passing TDs. 60 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 331.

  13. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
    It's impossible to tell what sort of numbers Aaron Rodgers will put up, but from all the fantasy mock drafts I've seen, Rodgers is going way too low. He looked great against the Cowboys and he was a top-five NFL draft prospect, so I think he'll accumulate respectable numbers.

    AUG. 12 UPDATE: Some of the guys on NFL Live gave Aaron Rodgers a B+ for his performance against the Bengals. I think it's insane to give him anything lower than an A+. Not that all of his throws were perfect; I just find it amazing that he was able to perform so well with all of the pressure stemming from the national media and the Brett Favre situation. He showed great composure when he had a ready-made excuse if he had a bad game. Rodgers proved that he could make all the throws, connecting on multiple downfield strikes, and often looking off the safeties like a seasoned veteran. I'll be shocked if Rodgers has anything short of a very good 2008 campaign. For the record, Rodgers finished 9-of-15 for 117 yards, one touchdown and one pick, although those numbers could have been better if his receivers didn't drop three catchable balls.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: All the talk has been about how much Aaron Rodgers struggled against the 49ers. Detractors point to his 9-of-16 for 58 yards. Well, stats can be deceiving, and this is one instance where that is true. Rodgers made just two poor throws Saturday night. One was a low pass to Donald Driver. The second should have been a pick if 49ers rookie safety Dashon Goldson didn't let the ball hit the ground. So, what happened to Rodgers? How about two key drops - one in the end zone by a wide-open Donald Lee and another that probably would have been a 70-yard touchdown by Donald Driver. Three more of Rodgers' passes were thrown away to avoid pressure.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers put on a Pro Bowl-type performance in Denver. Rodgers went 18-of-22 for 193 yards and a touchdown in two-and-a-half quarters, leading the Packers on four scoring drives. By the way, none of Rodgers' four incompletions were legitimate. Rodgers threw his first away when he was under pressure. The second incompletion was a drop by James Jones. The third was a shot to the end zone at the end of the first half. The last was a nice, deep pass to Jones, who couldn't get both of his feet inbounds (though Packer fans could argue there was pass interference). Anyone watching the game didn't hear the Denver crowd chant "In-Com-Plete" too often before Brian Brohm took the field. Rodgers is a decent QB1 in a 12-man league that you can pick up in the middle rounds of your draft.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers threw one pass - it was a 68-yard dart that he threaded between a few Titans receivers. Greg Jennings caught it and ran 68 yards for a touchdown.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,500 passing yards. 20 passing TDs. 225 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 329.

  14. David Garrard, Jaguars
    David Garrard has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL. He's not an elite fantasy quarterback, however, because his receivers suck and Jack Del Rio loves to pound the ball. Garrard had 2,509 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 starts last season, which translates to 3,345 yards and 24 touchdowns over a 16-game slate, which are pretty mediocre numbers.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: While Miami's offense thrived with Chad Pennington and Ricky Williams, the Jaguars couldn't get anything going. David Garrard started 3-of-7 for 23 yards, and unlike last week, his stats indicated how poorly he performed. On his first throw, Garrard stared down his receiver and was consequently nearly picked off by Akin Ayodele. He later missed Maurice Jones-Drew and overthrew a wide-open Mike Walker downfield on a crucial fourth-and-two. Garrard finished 7-of-14 for 63 yards. The magic that Garrard and the Jaguars had in 2007 looks like it has vanished.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: David Garrard finished 10-of-16 for 118 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, but he was just 7-of-11 for 65 yards, one score and a pick versus Tampa Bay's starting defense. Nothing terrible, but through three preseason games, I still haven't seen the guy who led the Jaguars to a near upset of the New England Patriots in the second round of the playoffs. With Garrard's struggles, I'm far from confident in my prediction that Jacksonville will win the AFC.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: David Garrard still hasn't impressed me this preseason. Garrard went 5-of-8 for 58 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an ugly interception against Redskin backups. While many people, including Matthew Berry, are high on Garrard this year, I question the fact that he has yet to assemble a decent preseason outing.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,150 passing yards. 22 passing TDs. 225 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 317.

  15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks
    Matt Hasselbeck could be overvalued in fantasy football. He threw for 3,966 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, but keep in mind that Mike Holmgren went to a pass-happy offense once he realized how much Shaun Alexander sucked. With Julius Jones and T.J. Duckett in the mix, Seattle will throw less. Also remember that Hasselbeck will be missing Deion Branch for the majority of the year, if not all of it. His top targets include an old man (Bobby Engram), a has-been (Nate Burleson) and a rookie tight end (John Carlson).

    AUG. 12 UPDATE: Another blow for Matt Hasselbeck. This time, Bobby Engram is out 6-8 weeks with a shoulder injury.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,350 passing yards. 23 passing TDs. 75 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 312.

  16. Derek Anderson, Browns
    The starting job is Derek Anderson's to lose. The Browns re-signed him to a 3-year, $24 million deal. Anderson has the physical tools and surrounding cast to succeed. There has been nothing but positive reports about him in minicamps. If you draft Anderson, make sure you have a reliable backup. Taking Brady Quinn late wouldn't hurt either.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: To say that Derek Anderson had an abysmal performance against the Giants is an understatement. Perhaps something to the tone of "Anderson appeared as though he acquired the worst traits of Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton and John Beck this offseason" would be more sufficient. Sure, Anderson was victimized by a drop or two, but he was wildly inaccurate. There was the low throw to Kellen Winslow for what could have been a first down on Cleveland's third drive. There was a pass that was behind Travis Wilson. And another that wasn't close to Steve Heiden. Anderson finished 4-of-10 for 20 yards and a nauseating YPA of 2.0. To make matters worse for the 2007 upstart, Anderson suffered a concussion early in the second quarter. If Brady Quinn looks brilliant next week, Romeo Crennel may say that he's "easing Anderson back off a concussion" and "doesn't want Anderson to re-injure himself."

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Brady Quinn began the game 2-of-5 for eight yards. I was ready to defend him; one of his incompletions was a Donte' Stallworth drop on third-and-three, another was thrown away because of pressure. However, Quinn self-destructed in the second quarter. He nearly tossed a very poor interception to Leigh Bodden in the red zone. On the next drive, he threw another near-pick to Lions safety Gerald Alexander, who had an incredible third preseason game. Quinn finished 14-of-24 for 106 yards, but was just 10-of-18 for 77 yards against Detroit's starting defense. That's a 4.3 YPA, so even his completions weren't that impressive. Quinn botched a great opportunity to stir up a quarterback controversy in Cleveland, though Derek Anderson has looked brutal the past two weeks.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,300 passing yards. 21 passing TDs. 40 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 307.

  17. Jake Delhomme, Panthers
    Jake Delhomme played really well in his only three games last season (624 yards, eight touchdowns, one pick), but he's 33 and coming off elbow surgery. Outside of the 2004 season, Delhomme was never a great fantasy quarterback, so I really don't see the upside in drafting him.

    AUG. 15 UPDATE: Jake Delhomme was an economical 9-of-14, but threw for just 54 yards. We've yet to see any proof that Delhomme is fine coming off Tommy John surgery. By my count, only one of his throws was in the air longer than six yards, which was a nice 12-yard strike to Muhsin Muhammad. Most of his passes were dumpoffs and checkdowns. I'm aware that the weather was poor, but the fact remains that Delhomme's yards per attempt is hovering around three this preseason, which is downright brutal.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: For the first time this preseason, Jake Delhomme has proven that he has solid arm strength despite his recent Tommy John surgery. Delhomme started poorly, tossing a pick to rookie safety Kareem Moore on an overthrow to Steve Smith, who was blanketed by double coverage. However, Delhomme finished 11-of-19 for 159 yards, two touchdowns and that interception. I first noticed the arm strength when Delhomme was scrambling out of the pocket and fired the ball to Steve Smith along the sideline. I'm no longer concerned about Delhomme's elbow, so go ahead and make him your QB2.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,200 passing yards. 21 passing TDs. 30 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 289.

  18. Jason Campbell, Redskins
    Forget the fact that Jason Campbell has to learn the West Coast offense; he was never a great fantasy option in the first place. In 13 games, Campbell compiled 2,700 yards, 12 touchdowns and 11 picks. If you're looking for a backup quarterback, I'd take someone with more upside.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: Jason Campbell continued to look really sharp in his second preseason game in Jim Zorn's West Coast offense. Campbell led the Redskins to a touchdown on the second drive of Saturday night's contest, finishing 7-of-10 for 71 yards. And it's not like Campbell was merely checking down; he threw multiple double-digit-yard strikes to his receivers, particularly Antwaan Randle El, who had three catches for 30 yards.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: If you look at the numbers, you'll see that Jason Campbell was just 6-of-10 for 39 yards. Though Campbell had Clinton Portis' services for the first time this preseason, Carolina's defensive front was in Washington's backfield all evening. On most occasions, Campbell had no time to throw and had to take the short stuff. Contrary to his brutal 3.9 YPA, Campbell took some shots downfield, but was errant on all of them. That said, Campbell's not completely blameless; Panthers corner Ken Lucas dropped what should have been a Campbell interception on Washington's first drive.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Jason Campbell has gotten worse each week this preseason. He was 1-of-4 for three yards and a pick versus the Jaguars' starting defensive unit.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,200 passing yards. 17 passing TDs. 200 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 288.

  19. Jon Kitna, Lions
    Jon Kitna looked really sharp in his first preseason game against the Giants. As long as Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson are in the lineup, you can start Kitna. One concern I have is that Rod Marinelli may switch to Drew Stanton if the Lions are out of playoff contention.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: I don't know why Jon Kitna and the starting offense saw such limited action, but Kitna went 9-of-11 for 98 yards in two drives. Kitna is now 12-of-14 for 174 yards and a touchdown this preseason. Everyone is down on him because of Mike Martz's departure, but a more-balanced offense will give Kitna better protection, and consequently more opportunities to score touchdowns.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,400 passing yards. 18 passing TDs. 40 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 282.

  20. Vince Young, Titans
    Determined to be more of a pocket passer for whatever reason, Vince Young's rushing numbers went down from 552 (in 2006) to 395 last season. Bad news for his fantasy owners. Young will never be an excellent passer, especially with his garbage receivers dropping dozens of balls every week.

    AUG. 16 UPDATE: Vince Young could never get going. He finished 4-of-13 for 37 yards, which gave him a YPA less than three, or John Beck territory. Sure, some drops didn't help Young, but he also had a barrage of poor throws. He seriously didn't look any better than rookies like Brian Brohm.

    AUG. 24 UPDATE: Major concern for Titans fans. Vince Young continued to struggle, going 9-of-18 for 102 yards and a pick. Those numbers, including Young's 5.7 YPA don't look terrible, but the majority of his yardage came after the catch. Young began the game throwing short stuff to Chris Johnson, Bo Scaife and the like, who did a good job gaining yardage after the pass. However, Young became wildy inaccurate in the second quarter, launching a number of passes behind his receivers. Young could have easily tossed three picks, though Roydell Williams was nearly responsible for one. I'd suggest that the Titans should start Kerry Collins, but he was 1-of-8 for 20 yards and nearly threw three interceptions himself.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Vince Young played the entire first half for the Titans despite facing Green Bay's second- and third-stringers. The result? A woeful 13-of-27 for 134 yards. No one in Tennessee's receiving corps is draftable, save for Justin Gage really late.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,650 passing yards. 14 passing TDs. 400 rushing yards. 3 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 275.

  21. Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings
    Last year, I projected Tarvaris Jackson to throw for 1,900 yards and nine touchdowns. Well, guess what? Jackson had 1,911 yards and nine touchdowns. Hmm...

    AUG. 17 UPDATE: Tarvaris Jackson played really well. He finished 7-of-11 for 82 yards and a 23-yard touchdown pass to Martin Nance, though I'm still not convinced Nance was inbounds when he caught the ball. His only mistake was missing a wide-open receiver on one play. It should be noted, however, that Chris McAlister, Samari Rolle, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs were absent from Baltimore's defense.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,600 passing yards. 14 passing TDs. 350 rushing yards. 4 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 273.



  22. Marc Bulger, Rams
    Marc Bulger lost his No. 2 option. His blind-side protector has major injury issues. He's coming off his worst season, and he's played all 16 games only once in his career. The Rams will be throwing the ball a lot because their defense sucks, but I'm not sure if Bulger is always going to be the one under center.

    AUG. 11 UPDATE: Not a good start for Marc Bulger. He threw into double coverage on his first throw. His second pass was batted down. His third attempt was tipped and intercepted by Keith Bulluck. He later fumbled and tossed a few more errant passes, as he was under pressure the entire evening.

    AUG. 17 UPDATE: Marc Bulger was 7-of-14 for 56 yards and two horrible interceptions. On the second pick that he threw, Bulger stared down his wideout and lofted the ball late toward the sideline, allowing Cletis Gordon to make a routine interception. Note that Torry Holt and Steven Jackson weren't in the lineup.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Marc Bulger looked like a different man in his third preseason game. Bulger compiled a quarterback rating of 14 in his two preseason contests, but was 18-of-25 for 182 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens. Even the incompletions weren't bad; two were deep shots and another was a dropped pass by Donnie Avery. So, what was the difference? Torry Holt. Enjoying the presence of Holt for the first time this exhibition campaign, Bulger was really sharp all evening. Holt had four catches for 38 yards. To be fair, a number of Baltimore's defensive starters were missing, including Ed Reed, Chris McAlister, Haloti Ngata and Kelly Gregg.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 3,000 passing yards. 19 passing TDs. 20 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 266.

  23. Philip Rivers, Chargers
    I projected Philip Rivers to have 3,650 yards and 25 touchdowns last year. I was close, as I fell 500 yards and four touchdowns short. Rivers played really well down the stretch - he had 17 touchdowns and only five picks in between Weeks 12 and 19.

    However, Rivers had ACL surgery this offseason to repair an injury he suffered in the second round of the playoffs. Donovan McNabb and Carson Palmer both really struggled coming off ACL surgery, and it would be foolish to expect Rivers to break that pattern. I wouldn't take him unless he fell into the later rounds of my fantasy draft.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: I can speculate how Philip Rivers looked on his first two drives. Rivers, coming off a torn ACL, connected on his first three passes, but they were gains of -1, eight and five. He was sacked once and tossed an incompletion to Chris Chambers after his three hookups.

    AUG. 26 UPDATE: The positive Charger fans can take out of this game is that Philip Rivers looked solid despite coming off ACL surgery. I actually said out loud, "So much for that torn ACL" when Rivers completed a 59-yard bomb to Vincent Jackson. After that, however, Rivers nearly threw a pick-six and later hesitated to run on a play in which he could have gained significant yardage on the ground. Rivers was also sometimes favoring one leg. Matt McGuire observed that Rivers looked awkward at times and didn't seem comfortable dropping back and moving in the pocket. That said, Rivers exceeded expectations, going 11-of-21 for 143 yards.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,950 passing yards. 19 passing TDs. 10 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 263.

  24. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders
    I don't know what to expect from JaMarcus Russell this year. Boasting a powerful arm, Russell will have an opportunity to start all 16 games. With this weight gain, however, there is some concern about his work ethic. If a quarterback can't watch his weight, is he putting in the necessary time to study film? Furthermore, Russell doesn't really have any potent targets outside of Zach Miller and Ronald Curry, as Javon Walker is coming off knee surgery.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,800 passing yards. 16 passing TDs. 75 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 255.

  25. J.T. O'Sullivan, 49ers
    AUG. 20 UPDATE: I've been a doubter of J.T. O'Sullivan, so I'll admit that he did some nice things against the Packers. He converted a third-and-long on his first drive, scrambled away from pressure for a gain of eight yards, found Jason Hill 27 yards downfield amid heavy pressure, and best of all, launched a 59-yard bomb to Josh Morgan for a touchdown late in the first half. However, O'Sullivan made a number of mistakes. For example, O'Sullivan missed Morgan just five yards over the middle. On his next attempt, he threw way behind Isaac Bruce. On the second drive of the game, O'Sullivan nearly tossed a pick to Charles Woodson. A possession later, O'Sullivan heaved what would have been a pick-six into double coverage if Woodson didn't fumble the ball on his way into the end zone. On his final drive, he completely laid out DeShaun Foster, who was pummeled by rookie corner Patrick Lee.

    AUG. 22 UPDATE: For a game that wouldn't have shocked anyone if it ended 4-4, the Bears-49ers tilt on FOX was pretty exciting. Both quarterbacks performed surprisingly well, namely J.T. O'Sullivan, who nailed down the starting gig in San Francisco. O'Sullivan was 7-of-8 for 126 yards and a touchdown, giving him a sick YPA of 15.8. The former Saint and Lion led the 49ers to a field goal on a methodical first drive, but exploded on his third possession, throwing deep darts to Vernon Davis (40 yards) and Jason Hill (37 yards). I wouldn't go nuts and draft O'Sullivan as a starting fantasy quarterback, but he could make for a solid backup and a spot-starter versus porous defenses like the Rams, Lions and Saints.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,900 passing yards. 16 passing TDs. 50 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 252.

  26. Chad Pennington, Dolphins
    Chad Pennington was his economical self in the first quarter, going 5-of-6 for 55 yards. Pennington also scrambled twice for 18 yards. It was clearly evident that Pennington is light years better than John Beck and Josh McCown. I wouldn't draft Pennington in any sort of fantasy league, but he makes Ted Ginn a viable option.

    AUG. 28 UPDATE: It's amazing how much better Miami's offense looks with Chad Pennington under center. The Dolphins scored a field goal on their opening 15-play, 10-minute drive. Ricky Williams totaled a lot of the yardage, but Chad Pennington was able to connect on a third-and-seven and pick up a 13-yard gain with his feet. He was an economical 11-of-15 for 94 yards and a touchdown. Pennington isn't worth drafting in 12-man fantasy leagues, but he opens up some opportunities elsewhere on Miami's offense.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,900 passing yards. 14 passing TDs. 150 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 250.

  27. Trent Edwards, Bills
    Trent Edwards should be able to improve this year, but because he plays for the ultra-conservative Dick Jauron, don't expect anything great fantasy-wise. Not worth drafting.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,900 passing yards. 15 passing TDs. 100 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 245.

  28. Brodie Croyle, Chiefs
    If you're really a believer in Brodie Croyle, take him in the final round of your draft. I just don't see it. Tyler Thigpen could be this team's quarterback by season's end.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Brodie Croyle... I'm trying to be nice here. Umm... he completed more than 50 percent of his passes? OK, never mind. Croyle stinks. He was 7-of-13 for 38 yards, giving him an abysmal YPA of 2.9. None of his completions were greater than eight yards. One of Croyle's long passes sailed in and out of the hands of Cardinals cornerback Eric Green. On another long attempt, Croyle missed a wide-open Devard Darling, who could have scored a touchdown if the ball was anywhere in his vicinity. In short, Croyle looks something in between a poor man's Chad Pennington and a rich man's John Beck.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,500 passing yards. 13 passing TDs. 30 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 206.



  29. Matt Ryan, Falcons
    I'm not sure how much Matt Ryan is going to play as a rookie, but it shouldn't really matter in regular leagues. I wouldn't draft him too high in keeper leagues either; he has no one to throw to besides Roddy White, and he's not an elite prospect in the mold of a Carson Palmer.

    AUG. 24 UPDATE: Matt Ryan looked like the veteran quarterback in this matchup. Ryan went 15-of-21 for 102 yards and a touchdown. As you can tell by his pedestrian 4.9 YPA, Ryan stuck to the short game. He seldom threw downfield, and when he did, the pass was incomplete. Ryan missed two touchdown passes in the second quarter, including a wide-open Roddy White in the end zone. That said, Ryan did a nice job being safe and maneuvering in the pocket to avoid the rush. Ryan finally led Atlanta to a touchdown, though that happened in the third quarter against Tennessee's backups. The Falcons didn't draft Ryan No. 3 overall to be a game manager, but he's just a rookie, so a Chad Pennington-like performance is OK for now.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Not a good showing for Matt Ryan. Playing against a Ravens defense missing most of its stars, Ryan went just 2-of-7 for 17 yards. That can't be good news heading into Week 1.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,200 passing yards. 12 passing TDs. 100 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 198.

  30. Jeff Garcia, Buccaneers
    Jeff Garcia won't last the entire season. He's 38 and his receivers are almost as old as he is. Even if he plays all 16 games, he won't put up any dazzling stats.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Jeff Garcia threw one of the worst passes I've ever seen in my life in the first quarter. Garcia ran a bootleg to the right, threw a pseudo-jump pass, which floated right into the hands of Reggie Nelson. Later, Garcia lofted a soft pass, which was picked off by an unseen Nelson in the red zone. He finished 11-of-18 for 79 yards, one touchdown and two picks. That's an abysmal 4.4 YPA for Garcia. I would avoid all Tampa Bay wide receivers until late in the draft, as the former CFL quarterback's career looks like it's quickly coming to an end.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,200 passing yards. 12 passing TDs. 80 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 196.

  31. Kyle Orton, Bears
    Kyle Orton also performed admirably, but he remains undraftable in a league that has 16 teams or less. Orton was 10-of-17 for 147 yards and two scores. Though the Bears fell behind early, Orton did a good job of not forcing anything and exposing his weak arm. Then again, it was just the preseason...
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 2,200 passing yards. 12 passing TDs. 40 rushing yards. 0 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 186.

  32. Alex Smith, 49ers
    Alex Smith threw for 914 yards and two touchdowns in seven starts last year. There's a chance his numbers could explode under Mike Martz. Then again, there's also a chance Smith will be benched by October. I wouldn't recommend drafting him.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,700 passing yards. 8 passing TDs. 125 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 151.

  33. Brady Quinn, Browns
    You may want to consider Brady Quinn in the later rounds of your draft. If Derek Anderson struggles (first two games are against the Cowboys and Steelers), there's a chance Quinn could step in. If he does, he'll put up the same amazing numbers Anderson compiles. If not, you wasted a late-round selection. Big whoop.

    AUG. 19 UPDATE: Brady Quinn looked very solid in relief of Anderson, albeit about half of his production came when Cleveland's first string was manhandling New York's reserves. Quinn was 8-of-13 for 131 yards and two touchdowns (if you count the so-called Syndric Steptoe "running play.") Quinn showcased his underrated mobility in the pocket and fired a number of accurate throws downfield. He'll have a chance to thrive against the Lions next week.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Brady Quinn began the game 2-of-5 for eight yards. I was ready to defend him; one of his incompletions was a Donte' Stallworth drop on third-and-three, another was thrown away because of pressure. However, Quinn self-destructed in the second quarter. He nearly tossed a very poor interception to Leigh Bodden in the red zone. On the next drive, he threw another near-pick to Lions safety Gerald Alexander, who had an incredible third preseason game. Quinn finished 14-of-24 for 106 yards, but was just 10-of-18 for 77 yards against Detroit's starting defense. That's a 4.3 YPA, so even his completions weren't that impressive. Quinn botched a great opportunity to stir up a quarterback controversy in Cleveland, though Derek Anderson has looked brutal the past two weeks.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 700 passing yards. 4 passing TDs. 60 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 69.

  34. Joe Flacco, Ravens
    There's no reason for Joe Flacco not to be in the starting lineup by midseason. Kyle Boller stinks and Troy Smith doesn't have much upside. Then again, there's no reason for you to draft Flacco. Even if he becomes a solid pro, it's doubtful he does anything as a rookie.

    AUG. 17 UPDATE: The Delware rookie was sacked twice on his first drive, as he was guilty of holding on to the ball too long - one of the major negative attributes Flacco had entering the draft. JoeFlacco also threw a terrible interception that was wiped out by a face mask.

    AUG. 30 UPDATE: Joe Flacco finished 8-of-13 for 72 yards. Half of this production came against Atlanta's starters. I don't think Flacco is ready to start in the NFL just yet, but he has shown tons of promise this preseason.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 1,000 passing yards. 3 passing TDs. 0 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 68.

  35. Matt Leinart, Cardinals
    I can see why people think the Matt Leinart party scandal was overblown, but I can also see the other side of it. After a solid rookie campaign, Leinart regressed in 2007, looking unprepared as he stared down his receivers like a drunk leering at a hot woman at a bar. Was he studying any game film at all? Will he better in 2008? I'm not so sure, though he has more upside than most other QB2's you'll be looking at.

    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Matt Leinart definitely SHOULD NOT be starting for the Cardinals. You may ask, "Hey, Leinart finished 7-of-11 for 62 yards and a touchdown. What gives?" Well, I'm glad you asked. First of all, all but two of Leinart's completions came in the second half when the Chiefs were playing their backups despite the fact that Arizona still had its first-string offensive line on the field. Leinart dropped back to throw six times against Kansas City's starters in the first half. Let's take a look at each of those instances:

    1. Leinart's first pass was thrown into triple coverage. He stared down his receiver. He was nearly intercepted by Chiefs middle linebacker Pat Thomas.

    2. Throw No. 2 was a short pass to Larry Fitzgerald.

    3. Leinart overthrew his target and was almost picked off again.

    4. Jamaica Rector dropped a 6-yard reception.

    5. Pass No. 5 was a 4-yard checkdown to Tim Hightower.

    6. Leinart was sacked and fumbled the ball.

    Leinart commanded his scoring unit to a touchdown in the second half against Kansas City's reserves. Leinart threw all short junk, and just one of his throws was in the air longer than eight yards, which happened to be his only solid pass of the evening - a 14-yard dart to Steve Breaston. I just don't understand how the Cardinals can keep such a superior quarterback on the bench. With Leinart under center, Arizona's passing attack will mirror the Jets' with Chad Pennington. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin will struggle to put up the stats their fantasy owners will be expecting of them.

    AUG. 25 UPDATE: I didn't get a chance to see the Raiders-Cardinals yet, but Kurt Warner has been named Arizona's starting quarterback for the regular season. Matt Leinart bombed with a 4-of-12 for 24 yards and three interception showing. It's good that this happened now rather than later; Leinart has thrown nothing but checkdowns this preseason and has yet to prove that he can learn an NFL offense. Warner gives the Cardinals the best chance to win. He's a very solid option as a starting fantasy quarterback. It's also safe to draft Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Matt Leinart was intercepted on his first pass. I wouldn't necessarily call it a poor throw; it was a shot downfield to Larry Fitzgerald, which I liked because Leinart has thrown a billion checkdowns this preseason. However, things quickly got worse for the former USC superstar. Leinart's second interception was pretty bad. Not only did he cross the line of scrimmage when he was scrambling around; he also underthrew his target and tossed the ball right to Stanford Routt. Leinart's final pick was an ugly duck he heaved downfield into double coverage.

    Let's talk about what the 4-of-12 for 25 yards and three interceptions doesn't tell you. Even before his final two picks, Leinart really looked confused in the offense. An offensive delay of game here, an intentional grounding there... The offense just didn't work well with a discombobulated Leinart at the helm. Even the Raiders announcers commented on how disoriented he looked. Oh, and by the way, Leinart nearly tossed a fourth pick on an overthrow to Leonard Pope.

    I know Ken Whisenhunt has denied ESPN's report that Kurt Warner will be the starting quarterback, but if Whisenhunt starts Leinart for one game over Warner, he's a fool. If Whisenhunt wants to go with a clueless guy who throws nothing but incompletions, interceptions and checkdowns, he can go with Leinart. If he wants to go 5-11 and draft in the top 10 next year, he can start Mr. Beer Bong.

    AUG. 31 UPDATE: Ken Whisenhunt finally confirmed that Kurt Warner is Arizona's starting quarterback. I'm not sure what took him so long. Just more proof that you can never trust what a coach says.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Stats: 200 passing yards. 1 passing TD. 10 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2008 Fantasy Points: 17.



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