2010 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 11-20 <br> By Steve Strange
By Steve Strange. Steve Strange, a graduate of Penn State's Center for Sports Journalism in 2006, is currently writing Fantasy is Reality, a book geared around the commissioner aspect of fantasy sports. Steve has been playing fantasy sports of all sorts and sizes since 1997. Feel free to e-mail Steve questions and comments at [email protected].
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 the other 2010 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2010 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material.
Donovan McNabb, QB, Redskins. Bye: 9.
Fantasy question marks surround McNabb's new red-and-gold Redskins gear. After 11 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb has gone cross division. New coach, new targets, same history of injuries, and slightly older, McNabb is one of fantasy football's most interesting players entering the 2010 season.
What to Like: McNabb was carving a nice niche of regular season consistency with Philadelphia, but maybe the Skins can breed new life into McNabb's explosive side. The Eagles disrespected McNabb a few times on his way out. If you do draft Donovan, be sure to start him when he plays Philly in Weeks 4 and 10.
Concern: McNabb has only played a full regular season once in the last six years. The 33-year-old is a walking injury waiting to happen.
X-Factor: Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek excelled under McNabb. I have a feeling Redskins tight end Chris Cooley and McNabb will click. McNabb is used to working with a sub par receiving crew, so Santana Moss and company should not hurt McNabb's productivity too much.
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan knows how to maximize offensive talent, and McNabb will be fueled with revenge.
Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens. Bye: 8.
Flacco improved across the board in his second NFL season. With Anquan Boldin in town and receptions magnet Derrick Mason back, Flacco could be a top 10 quarterback this season.
What to Like: Flacco's another year older, he has a top 10 receiver in Boldin, Donte Stallworth adds depth at receiver, and the Ravens have the best offense in the AFC North.
Concern: The Ravens still have the attitude of a smash-mouth football team. The three-headed monster of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain still resides in the backfield, and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are still spitting swagger on defense. Flacco will need to outshine those guys to have true fantasy worth.
X-Factor: Although Jim Zorn is a horrible head coach (as Hall-of-Fame running back John Riggins hilariously pointed out in a home video last year), he is good at coaching quarterbacks. He was brought in as quarterbacks coach for the Ravens this season.
It's hard to picture Flacco regressing. He should continue to improve, but at the very least he's a low-end No. 1, high-end No. 2 fantasy quarterback.
Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs. Bye: 4.
Fifteen quarterbacks in... time to jack up values based on upside. Cassel had 3,600 yards in 2008 (for the Patriots) and he has a head coach in Todd Haley who loves to throw.
What to Like: Cassel is 28 years old, has little college or NFL wear and tear, and has shown flashes of passing brilliance.
Concern: Cassel has only had one good season, and the thought of relying on receiving targets Dwayne Bowe and Chris Chambers makes me throw up in my mouth.
X-Factor: The Chiefs got running back Thomas Jones on the cheap, and I like the addition. He only caught 10 balls last year, but he usually averages around 30 catches a season. Jones has 289 career receptions. He could be a great third-down safety valve for Cassel.
All quarterbacks at this point are marked with question marks and uncertainty.
Kevin Kolb, QB, Eagles. Bye: 8.
Any Reid loves to throw the football. Anybody playing quarterback for the Eagles has value.
What to Like: Kolb seemed to vibe with star wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tight end Brent Celek in his two starts last season.
Concern: In three NFL seasons Kolb has four touchdowns to seven interceptions.
X-Factor: Scenario: The Eagles open 2010 with losses to Green Bay and Detroit. Kolb throw picks and looks bad, while Vick shows explosiveness in the Wildcat. Can you picture it in your head? I sure can.
Everyone always raves about Kolb's talent and how good he looks in practice. We saw his worth against the Saints and Chiefs last year, but it is hard to forget that ugly 2008 performance against Baltimore. Gamble on the upside, but bet cautiously.
Alex Smith, QB, 49ers. Bye: 9.
Smith was finally good enough to keep the 49ers quarterback job in 2009. He's surrounded by players dripping with fantasy juice (tight end Vernon Davis, WR Michael Crabtree and RB Frank Gore all could be studs in 2010).
What to Like: Smith had 18 touchdowns and 2,350 passing yards in only 11 games in 2009.
Concern: The 2009 season was the first time Smith had more touchdowns than interceptions (he's been playing NFL football since 2005).
X-Factor: Mike Singletary and offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye love to run the football. This is good for Smith in real life. It keeps him from making the real life football mistakes he's been prone to, but the 49ers run-first philosophy limits Smith's fantasy ceiling.
If Smith is ever going to live up to his first-overall pick potential, this is the season to do it. He is 26 years old with high-level weapons.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers. Bye: 5.
If you are a true Steelers fan, this is a hard pick to make. It's hard to root for an alleged sexual assault artist who blows off fans. A story my dad heard from a restaurant owner in Pittsburgh:
Ben was consistently eating for free at the kind restaurant owner's establishment. He would pick up the food from the backdoor and take off. A football was left for Ben to sign for the owner's daughter. Ben picked his free food up, looked at the football, and tossed it in the garbage.
Some people have trouble rooting for this demented individual. Roethlisberger's not welcome on any team I'm associated with; fantasy or otherwise.
What to Like: Roethlisberger is a top level-talent with solid receivers at his disposal.
Concern: He's suspended for the first four to six games, and has lost the trust of the entire city of Pittsburgh. Don't be surprised if he gets booed all season.
X-Factor: If Byron Leftwich starts the season with a couple of wins...
Roethlisberger is a great NFL quarterback. It's hard not to take his talent as the 18th quarterback off the board. If you believe he raped those women, though, don't take him. Fantasy football should be fun. Rooting for those you believe to be criminals isn't enjoyable.
Vince Young, QB, Titans. Bye: 9.
Vince Young started 2009 explaining suicidal thoughts, and finished winning eight of the Titans final 10 games. This guy is the definition of an enigma.
What to Like: Young's a tall running back who plays quarterback. Why do coaches try to slice off fast quarterbacks' greatest attribute in trying to turn them into pocket passers? As a coach your goal should be to adapt the system around the skill set of your talent. Jeff Fischer: Let Vince Young run. Young had 552 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns in his 2006 rookie season. He can eclipse that in the right game plan.
Concern: Young has never thrown for more than 12 touchdowns or passed for more than 2,600 yards in his NFL career.
X-Factor: Chris Johnson is the most explosive burner in the game. If Johnson keeps tearing off 80-yard touchdown runs, that won't be good for Young's fantasy value.
Young's receivers aren't special, and neither is his passing accuracy. Watch the Titans preseason games. If Vince takes off when the pocket collapses, he's worth a backup slot. If he throws the ball away when the blitz comes, he's worthless.
Mark Sanchez, QB, Jets. Bye: 7.
The strength of the Jets defense and running game hurts the fantasy value of Sanchez.
What to Like: Sanchez showed flashes of franchise quarterback talent last season. He also had three rushing touchdowns, which is always a nice bonus.
Concern: Sanchez had 20 interceptions to only 12 touchdowns last season. Game managers can't afford to give the football away.
X-Factor: The Jets paid for WR Santonio Holmes and RB LaDanian Tomlinson because they plan to use them. The Jets are brimming with offensive options. Somebody is going to get balls, whether it is on the ground or in the air. If Sanchez can form a connection with Holmes it will be good for his fantasy value.
Developing quarterbacks on Super Bowl contenders aren't usually good fantasy options.