These 2010 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. Bye: 10.
Aaron Rodgers finished the 2009 season as the top fantasy signal-caller, and I think he'll retain that title in 2010.
Rodgers threw for 4,434 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions last year despite having abysmal play from his offensive line for half the season. Following a loss to the Buccaneers on Nov. 8, Rodgers eclipsed the 300-yard and three-touchdown barriers four times in nine games. In that nine-game span, he threw just three interceptions.
Peyton Manning, QB, Colts. Bye: 7.
Peyton Manning is still at the top of his game and his receiving corps is better than ever. The only concern here is whether or not he'll play the entire contest come Week 16. He and Bill Polian really screwed over thousands of fantasy owners last season. If you draft Manning, make sure you have a quality backup - preferably one who has an easy matchup in Week 16 like Joe Flacco (at Browns), Vince Young (at Chiefs), Alex Smith (at Rams), Josh Freeman (vs. Seahawks) or Chad Henne (vs. Lions).
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Bye: 5. AUG. 27 UPDATE:
Tom Brady wasn't exactly going up against Rex Ryan's Jets defense on Thursday night. The Rams are the Rams. But Brady still looked really sharp, going 18-of-22 for 273 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters of play. He connected on a perfect 65-yard bomb to Randy Moss and would have had another big completion had a Rams corner not committed an obvious, but uncalled pass interference penalty. Brady won't post 2007 numbers, but a 40-touchdown season isn't out of the realm of possibility.
AUG. 20 UPDATE:
Tom Brady really looked like he was in rhythm at Atlanta. He went 10-of-12 for 85 yards and a touchdown. One of his two incompletions was a 56-yard bomb to Randy Moss that should have drawn a pass interference penalty. It really looked like a play straight out of 2007 - Brady aired it out well, and Moss beat two Atlanta defensive backs. Brady seems primed for a rebound season.
AUG. 13 UPDATE:
Tom Brady was really sharp in the preseason opener. He was 5-of-8 for 67 yards on two drives, and one of the incompletions was a tipped pass. Despite not having Wes Welker in the lineup, Brady looked great. He's undervalued this fantasy season because of his injury-plagued 2009 campaign.
Tom Brady may not have Wes Welker until Thanksgiving. How will that affect his stats? Well, in the three games without Welker last season, Brady averaged 216 passing yards, 1.3 touchdowns and 1.3 interceptions. Extrapolate that over 16 games, and Brady would have 3,456 yards, 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions on the year. Ouch.
It must be noted, however, that Brady was coming off knee surgery and suffered a broken finger late in the year, which affected his numbers. Brady's health will be a boost to his fantasy stats, as will the addition of Rob Gronkowski.
I'm slightly concerned about his once-pristine work ethic though; ever since he married that super model, Brady has not appeared to be 100-percent committed to football (as evidenced by his skipping minicamps to be with his family when he had an entire offseason to do so).
Drew Brees, QB, Saints. Bye: 10.
I like Drew Brees as a 2010 fantasy prospect, but not as much as everyone else. And it has nothing to do with the Madden Curse. OK, maybe a little.
The big thing here is post-Super Bowl complacency. Not necessarily with Brees, but the entire team. What if the offensive linemen partied too hard and didn't lift as much? What if the receivers are only in 80-percent shape? What if Brees and the coaching staff aren't watching as much film?
It's tough to prepare for the season after a championship because the hunger isn't there anymore. Even Peyton Manning's stats dropped the year after his Super Bowl victory.
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys. Bye: 4. AUG. 29 UPDATE:
Tony Romo went 13-of-18 for 146 yards and an interception that wasn't his fault. Romo grew more frustrated as the night went on. His offensive line couldn't give him a clean pocket, and Felix Jones looked like he didn't know what he was doing half the time. Romo and Jones engaged in a heated discussion on the sidelines following a miscommunication.
Tony Romo finally got over his December inconsistency and finished the 2009 season with 4,483 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. That's pretty amazing considering he didn't have a legitimate No. 1 receiver until Miles Austin-Jones stepped up in Week 5. Also, don't forget all of those instances when Romo had to force the issue to Roy Williams. That's not happening anymore with Dez Bryant on the roster.
Romo concluded the 2009 campaign as the No. 6 fantasy quarterback, but unless he suffers an injury, I'll be surprised if he's not a top-three finisher this year.
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans. Bye: 7. AUG. 29 UPDATE:
Matt Schaub was brilliant against the Cowboys, going 18-of-29 for 183 yards and a touchdown. Several of his incompletions were thrown away. He looks like he's in mid-season form and remains a top six fantasy quarterback.
AUG. 15 UPDATE:
Matt Schaub was perfect in the preseason opener. He was 5-of-6 for 78 yards and a 44-yard touchdown to Andre Johnson. Schaub's sole incompletion was dropped by tight end Joel Dreessen.
Do you know how many times Matt Schaub was limited to less than 260 passing yards last year? Three. That's it. Schaub finished the season with 4,770 yards, 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Barring injury, I don't see any reason for a decline.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Bye: 10.
Philip Rivers finished the 2009 season with 4,254 yards, 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions. More importantly was how he played down the stretch - he eclipsed 260 yards in every game between Weeks 12-16. The only concern with Rivers is that Vincent Jackson won't be available for approximately 2-4 games (suspension), but I don't think that's a huge deal.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens. Bye: 8. AUG. 30 UPDATE:
Now completely healthy, Joe Flacco is making a strong case to be considered an elite NFL quarterback. Flacco went 21-of-34 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a half plus one drive against the Giants. Baltimore's coaching staff has such faith in Flacco that they let him throw on two separate fourth-down attempts. Flacco didn't disappoint, converting both of them.
AUG. 13 UPDATE:
Joe Flacco was very impressive in the preseason opener, going 8-of-12 for 120 yards and a touchdown. He took a pair of sacks because he held on to the ball too long, but that was his only flaw of the night. Flacco looked in complete control of the offense, and seems poised for a big year if he can stay healthy. If you can draft Flacco in the seventh round of a 12-team league, you're getting a steal.
With the additions of Anquan Boldin and Donte' Stallworth in free agency, and Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta in the 2010 NFL Draft, I think you have to consider Joe Flacco as a low-end QB1 right now. Remember, he had a six-game stretch at the beginning of the 2009 season when he threw for 1,674 yards and 11 touchdowns - and that was with Derrick Mason and crap as his targets. Flacco could have pieced together a huge statistical year had he not suffered multiple injuries in the middle of the season.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 7. AUG. 29 UPDATE:
Matthew Stafford continued his preseason tirade against the Browns. He finished 15-of-20 for 159 yards and a touchdown. He also had a 49-yard pass to Nate Burleson wiped out because of a Gosder Cherilus holding penalty. Those numbers were definitely indicative of his play, as Stafford showed off his elite arm strength and accuracy in front of the Detroit crowd. He even converted a 3rd-and-16 to Calvin Johnson, making it look very easy.
Through three exhibition games, Stafford is now 36-of-49 for 350 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He should be considered as a legitimate low-end QB1.
AUG. 23 UPDATE:
The Lions' offense was impressive last week at Pittsburgh, and the unit took it to another level on Saturday. Matthew Stafford was brilliant at Denver, going 13-of-18 for 130 yards and a touchdown. Stafford was in complete control, showing great accuracy and command of the offense, especially when Detroit went no-huddle at the end of the first quarter. Stafford also enjoyed great pass protection, though that's probably because the Broncos don't have a legitimate pass-rusher in the wake of Elvis Dumervil's injury.
AUG. 16 UPDATE:
Matthew Stafford was nearly flawless in the preseason opener, going 8-of-11 for 61 yards, a touchdown and an interception that wasn't his fault. Stafford's three incompletions were two jump balls to Calvin Johnson in the end zone and a pick that bounced out of Jahvid Best's hands.
It shouldn't surprise anyone if Matthew Stafford finishes as a top 12-15 fantasy quarterback this year (I have him 15th). The Lions have surrounded Stafford with talented targets in addition to Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew (Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler). They also added a potent running back (Jahvid Best). Stafford showed flashes of brilliance as a rookie, compiling 296 yards and a touchdown in one half against the Bears, and 422 yards and five scores versus Cleveland.
Stafford is a very high-upside QB2 and someone you should add to your roster during your fantasy draft.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. Bye: 8.
Matt Ryan is the No. 12 quarterback in my 2010 Fantasy Football Rankings, but I definitely would be fine with him as my starter. Ryan missed four games last year with a turf toe, but totaled 2,916 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the remaining 12 contests. Transpose those numbers over a 16-game slate, and you get 3,888 yards, 29 touchdowns and 19 picks - really good QB1 numbers.