By John McFarland of the Associated Press 1. Tom Brady, New England: Could he really go for record-tying 50 scores again? Odds are he won’t, but then again maybe he’ll hit 60. 2. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis: Unlike every other year, he’s no longer the top QB. But he’s still a pretty close second, even with routine surgery that could make him miss big chunk of camp. 3. Tony Romo, Dallas: Depending on the distraction factor of whoever’s his Hollywood girlfriend at the time, should lock up your fantasy playoff spot before his annual end-of-season statistical meltdown. 4. Drew Brees, New Orleans: Offense that’s been humming along nicely for two years now gets dangerous new threat in TE Jeremy Shockey. 5. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati: Turned into an interception machine for a dysfunctional offense that didn’t score 20 points in four of the last five games. Big potential’s still there, though. 6. Derek Anderson, Cleveland: Top fantasy free agent of 2007 should only get better, especially with speedy target Donte’ Stallworth added to offense. 7. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle: Question here is whether Seahawks continue their 2007 strategy of ignoring the running game. (Their new backfield’s sort of built to be ignored.) 8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh: Won’t get you many yards, but those occasional 4-TD games sure are nice. Lumbering, slow-motion scrambles are fun to watch, too. 9. Eli Manning, NY Giants: Better without Shockey? That whole Super Bowl MVP thing should keep the media from making too much fun of him and the fans from cruelly taunting him — at least until September. 10. Jay Cutler, Denver: Was pretty decent after he realized how easy it is to just throw to Brandon Marshall 20 times a game. 11. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia: Yeah, yeah, the usual preseason talk about “Healthy Donovan” has already started. But please, kids, learn from my mistakes and don’t get suckered into drafting injury magnet too early. 12. Jake Delhomme, Carolina: Was off to a great start last year before injury cost him 13 games, and overhaul of last year’s laughable offense should help. Don’t get too excited about his newfound health, either. 13. Marc Bulger, St. Louis: Has never exceeded 24 TDs and has only played 16 full games once since 2002. May be getting injured right now, in fact. 14. David Garrard, Jacksonville: Jags showed uncharacteristic interest in the forward pass in the offseason, actually shopping for some new receivers. And this guy just doesn’t turn the ball over. 15. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay: Can lookalike of B-movie star Eric Roberts ever overcome the emotional trauma of Brett Favre’s jersey being retired at halftime of the season-opener? (This ranking changes if neither Favre nor his jersey wind up retiring, of course.) 16. Philip Rivers, San Diego: Last year was a big step back for Rivers, who’s always at his best handing the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson. 17. Matt Schaub, Houston: Missed 5 full games and parts of several others in painful first season in Houston, but surging Texans are now officially in favor of hiring qualified offensive linemen. (Just be sure to take backup Sage Rosenfels, too.) 18. Jon Kitna, Detroit: Among the merits of a Mike Martz-free offense, the Lions surely noted, is that Kitna can’t throw interceptions while handing off. 19. Vince Young, Tennessee: Did I really predict a huge year for this guy last year? In proper knee-jerk fashion, let’s go with a disastrous ’08. 20. Matt Leinart, Arizona: Is he healthy? How’s his psyche after losing snaps to Warner? (Move him way down if Kurt Warner beats him out in camp.) 21. Jason Campbell, Washington: Maybe coach Jim Zorn’s offense can help him reach potential. (Or maybe he’ll just hand off a whole bunch.) 22. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland: Huge former top pick is actually preparing for the season rather than battling Al Davis over a contract. He’s more comfortable in the offense, and he denies reports he tipped the scales at 300 pounds. 23. Josh McCown, Miami: Not much good happening in Miami, meaning he’ll have to throw the ball an awful lot. (That’s assuming he wins the three-way QB competition.) 24. Kurt Warner, Arizona: He’s about 50 and no longer bends at the waist, but can somehow still air it out. (Don’t be surprised if he wins starting job in camp). 25. Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota: Mostly looked terrible last year, but showed flashes of competence. It is cool that he sometimes looks a little like actor Omar Epps. 26. Alex Smith, San Francisco: Can new offensive coordinator Martz save him from becoming a massive bust? Cleared 200 yards just twice in last 17 games, and may not even beat Shaun Hill for starting job. 27. Kyle Boller, Baltimore: With Steve McNair no longer producing meager stats and rookie Joe Flacco probably not ready, Boller could make for a decent fantasy backup. 28. Shaun Hill, San Francisco: Could be a real steal if (or when) Smith flames out. (Move him up several notches if he wins the job in camp.) 29. Brodie Croyle, Kansas City: Big targets Dwayne Bowe and Tony Gonzalez are nice, but only if Croyle’s not getting sacked all day or firing more passes sort of near their shins. 30. Trent Edwards, Buffalo: A legitimate 12-TD threat. 31. Kellen Clemens, NY Jets: Also could go for a dozen scores, assuming he wins job from Chad Pennington. 32. The Chicago starter. Orton has cooler hair, but Grossman’s continued NFL employment is somehow kind of heartwarming.
what, first you want a name, now you want us to write your column for you too?!?
Just giving you a hard time of course
These look rather safe to me... the first 8 have no surprises.
I'd rather go:
McNabb Cutler Garrard Bulger Delhomme Eli
but I also feel that these are all relatively close. Cutler and Delhomme have the most upside, and oddly enough, I think Garrard and Eli are probably the safest.
After that grouping, I've been paying less attention, but I like Kitna and Schaub over Rivers or Rogers. The analysis of Warner is spot on... if he wins the job he jumps quite a few spots IMO.
It's interesting... from the standpoint of presenting this stuff in a daily paper, I'd rather see info about tiers. These rankings completely ignore that aspect of rankings, and you could simply focus on that and being doing huge service to your readership methinks.
Best... fantasy advice... EVER. :D
[quote]Always play the players who will get you the most points[/quote]