Without further ado, the “outsider” reveals his take on this week’s QB rankings.
Again, please feel free to contact us with any specific line-up questions or general thoughts on the rankings.
1. Peyton Manning – I am actually envisioning Manning having to throw a lot in this one because Indy could be playing from behind. So he could rack up stats.
2. Matt Schaub – best match-up for a QB this week. Schaub also will have Owen Daniels back (on a limited basis) and Steve Slaton to throw to – in addition to AJ, Jacoby Jones and Kevin Walter.
3. Drew Brees – didn’t have a great night last night.
4. Phillip Rivers – I think the KC/SD game will be a very good one, and Rivers will be throwing a ton.
5. Matt Cassel – Cassel has lots to prove this year and is determined to do it. Cassel has some really interesting receiving options this year in McCluster, Bowe, Chambers, Charles.
6. Tom Brady – Fat new contract usually means mediocre year to follow, not with Brady. Big game to start.
7. Jay Cutler – Cutler might start the season well especially against a questionable Detroit D, but the question will be, how long can he sustain top-level play?
8. Joe Flacco – Balt will need to pass against the Jets. And very suddenly, Flacco has fantastic pass targets in Boldin, Housh, Mason, Heap and his favorite, Ray Rice.
9. Alex Smith – Some experts have big plans for Smith. I’m in a wait-and-see mode with him. He could do well in Seattle, but that place does get loud which can disrupt QB timing.
10. Matt Hasselbeck – I see a bit of a rebirth here for Hasselbeck under Pete Carroll. I expect this offense to be livelier than would seem possible with its unheralded personnel.
11. Chad Henne – Henne could be huge this year. Davone Bess, Brandon Marshall, the two RBs and TE Anthony Fasano all make for quality pass targets. And, I’m guessing lots of defenses will be scheming to stop the Dolphins’ run game – giving Henne a chance to air it out.
12. Tony Romo – I was high on Romo for most of the offseason, then nothing happened really that I can point to, but suddenly I became less high on the guy. Not sure why. Either way, I’m not too keen on his match-up this week in Wash. Wash could make the playoffs.
13. Matthew Stafford – He could be really good. Watched him play at Chicago last year and it was a great game – and Stafford was amazing. Great arm and now some decent receivers in the fold.
14. Carson Palmer – I imagine NE will scheme to stop Cedric Benson, opening up the pass game for Palmer and his loud-mouth due Ochocinco/T.O. Palmer will be throwing a lot Sunday.
15. Kevin Kolb – Kolb could have a big night. He will be throwing at a GB secondary missing 2 starters from last year. And, if Andy Reid is smart, which he is, he’ll have Kolb exploit the middle of the field between and behind Nick Barnett and AJ Hawk (if Hawk starts – if Chillar starts instead of Hawk, Reid may work on the right side of the field against LB Brad Jones).
16. Eli Manning – Eli could get it going against Car, maybe a couple TDs, but I expect this to be the Ahmad Bradshaw show..
17. Brett Favre – Didn’t look good last night.
18. Kyle Orton – Orton may end up having to pass to catch up in Jax. He remains a quietly decent passer who can rack up stats kind of when nobody is paying attention. Keep him on your watch list this year but starting him Sunday would be a really risky play.
19. Derek Anderson – certainly has targets in Fitz, Breaston, Doucet, Wells, Hightower (Hightower had 63 catches last year). Just don’t know if he’s good.
20. Donovan McNabb – I expect McNabb to make Wash better. I like Portis reunited with Mike Shanahan and I think McNabb will make to stock of 2 players rise this year: Santana Moss and Chris Cooley. But on Sunday, I can see a defensive battle with McNabb taking a backseat to Portis/Larry Johnson.
Stay tuned for the third and final installment of this week’s column, The Fantasy Outsider: TEs, Defense/Special Teams and check out yesterday’s column about RBs here.
Andy Hayes is a workplace consultant and a weekly sports columnist for TheDC. He lives in Brookfield, WI and has been a Green Bay Packer fan since age one second. Andy is the editor of Packergeeks.com, a Packer blog. He is married and the father of an active 3 year old boy (whom Andy is grooming to be an NFL place-kicker, or punter).