With the NFL Lockout behind us like an angry Aryan inmate, most of us have begun our annual preparations for our fantasy football drafts. That is, unless you’re in one of those leagues that already drafted because your commissioner is an impatient d*ckhead, who probably has a wife he only married because she was pregnant, so he needs anything he can get to distract him from reality. If that’s your case, then I’m sorry but this won’t help you.
In all honesty, this probably won’t help most people. So what is this then? It’s my own hastily organized fantasy football position rankings, based on biased logic, gut feelings, and many years of fantasy football angst. All this week and next, I’ll be breaking down each position by telling you which players are the best of their class, will give you the best value in later rounds, will cause you to have fits of rage and disgust, and will help you look smart in front of your friends when you draft them. Now, keep in mind – I’m not an expert. I’m not even a guy who knows stuff. I’m just a dude who makes an occasional funny joke and has vague opinions.
But I’ve won a few leagues over the years and let’s face it – we all live for this sh*t. And we want to read every possible ranking and mock draft that we possibly can before we sit down with our notebooks, laptops, magazines and all-around utter hopelessness. For most of us, it’s validation. For the rest of us, it’s just a way to make worthless games fun. Either way, welcome to my first installment of Burnsy’s Bad Advice: Ranking Your Fantasy Football Quarterbacks. And yes, I’ve based my choices entirely on female celebrities. Because why wouldn’t I?
The Kate Uptons
These are your “can’t go wrong” choices, the guys who will generally provide a large chunk of your team’s points from week-to-week. They’re basically no-brainer choices that you can take in the first or second round, and all you have to decide is which QB is more valuable to you. (Also, I should point out that these rankings are based on which QB you’re latching your season to. I don’t care who your backup is, nor should you, except for one week during the season. That is, unless you pick one of the turds that we’ll discuss later.)
1) Aaron Rodgers – Like I said, the QBs in this group are debatable in order. But my hops-influenced gut tells me that Rodgers will be better than last season, with Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley returning from their respective injuries. The only thing that concerns me about A-Rodg is that the NFC North has grown worse around the Packers and it could be a very easy season for them. He could be the new Peyton Manning – taking a seat later in the season – but you can worry about that after he pulls 30+ points per week.
2) Michael Vick – Most pundits have Vick as their clear cut No. 1 draft pick this season, but the fantasy conservative in me thinks that’s a bit optimistic. On the positive side, Vick isn’t competing anymore. That means he’ll have a whole season to produce 4 touchdown games. But that also means he has a whole season to have his body destroyed. Beyond injuries, I’m also worried that A) The Eagles defense will allow the offense to get up big and quick, saddling the late work on LeSean McCoy; and 2) Vick could become complacent with no competition at his position. Last year he had something to prove. Hopefully he wants to prove that he can win a Super Bowl this season.
3) Tom Brady – Drew Brees should probably be in this spot, what with Brady’s offseason of water slides and grooming, but I just have that feeling that we’re in for another “I’m better than Peyton Manning” season. Obviously, I’m not implying that adding Chad Ochocinco means anything – it doesn’t, because he’s done – but as long as Brady gets to play against the AFC East, he’s in this group.
4) Drew Brees – I love that the New Orleans Saints brought Lance Moore back, because I’ve always thought he could be the lead receiver on a team that has 60 receivers. But Brees clearly has more options than just some guy I think is good. Obviously he’ll hit Marques Colston for 10 TDs, Robert Meachem will have at least 3 80-yard scores, and Moore will do his thing as well. The big bonus is Jimmy Graham, who will be mentioned more in-depth in my tight end rankings. If the Saints have a healthy running game, then Brees won’t be a question.
5) Philip Rivers – Rivers had great numbers last year, so he clearly deserves to be mentioned in the upper crust, but I don’t like him. Yes, it’s because he seems like a massive doucher, but the San Diego Chargers offense just doesn’t feel right. If they resign Malcolm Floyd then I’ll feel better, but I don’t trust Vincent Jackson yet. But if you have a late second round pick and the previous four guys disappear (and they will) then Rivers is the best bet.
The Emma Stones
These quarterbacks are attractive but they probably won’t carry you without a solid supporting cast. And yes, I realize how Simmons-esque that sounds but screw it, I like posting pictures of attractive females to anchor my mundane ramblings on NFL QBs.
6) Peyton Manning – I wouldn’t draft Peyton Manning this season unless he came at great value after the first two rounds. I’m sure he’ll have solid numbers and will be dependable all season, as the Indianapolis Colts will have to fight the whole way. But I don’t have much faith in Indy’s running game, and at 35 Manning is going to start slipping. You could even argue he already has. But maybe I just have an ill regard for the guy who just handcuffed his franchise with a $90 million guaranteed contract.
7) Matt Ryan – There is no reason that this shouldn’t be the season that Ryan jumps into the top tier. Everything would seem to indicate that he’s primed, what with Roddy White ready to become the best receiver in football and the addition of Julio Jones. And, you know, Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner. But we’ve seen QBs suck with equal talent (looking at you, Matt Leinart) so Ryan’s going to need to earn that spot up top. Still, he’ll be good for some big games.
8) Matt Schaub – I think I’m being too generous here, but with Andre Johnson and Arian Foster involved I will still give Schaub the benefit of the doubt. But this is the last time. I want an injury-free season with MVP numbers and a trip to the playoffs already, or I’m putting this guy on the Fantasy PUP – Poopy Useless Poop – next season.
9) Ben Roethlisberger – If the Pittsburgh Steelers had signed Plaxico Burress, Ben might be in the top tier, but they didn’t so he’s not. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have thought too highly of him even then. It’s hard to tell how the Steelers’ offense will work. On one hand, Rashard Mendenhall, who thinks Osama Bin Laden got a bum rap, is a work horse and about to hit his prime. On the other hand, Mike Wallace is the best deep threat in the league, which should make Ben considerably better. I guess the offense is just too balanced, which is good for the Steelers but sh*tty for your fantasy team.
10) Tony Romo – Another guy I wouldn’t even touch with your draft picks, Romo is about one more uninspired season away from being an afterthought. He has great weapons at his disposal – if Dez Bryant can pull his head out of his ass and his pants up – so Romo should be successful. Then again, that’s assuming you think he’s a good QB, which many people don’t.
The Jennifer Anistons
For some reason, people forgo the first two classes of QBs to take their chances with the middle crop. I understand the idea of stocking up on two RBs and two WRs or a top TE first, but these guys are still quite undeserving of the faith that comes with being a fantasy starter. For the comparison to 76-year old Aniston, they’re still considered sexy by people with very poor taste or a distinct desperation.
11) Joe Flacco – To be fair, I really want to have Flacco in a higher group. He was my fantasy man crush last season, but he also broke my heart with some half-assed performances. Did he have a good enough offense? Not really. I blame it more on Cam Cameron than Flacco, but he needs to earn my respect and love back.
12) Jay Cutler – The bad reputation from the bad knee and now the breakup. Factor in a lack of a stud receiver and Cutler is a fantasy curse waiting to happen. Plus the Chicago Bears caved to Mike Martz’s hatred of the tight end position and sent J-Cutty’s bro-dawg Greg Olsen to Carolina. This is going to be ugly.
13) Matt Cassel – Cassel will be better than this ranking suggests. He has to. Dwayne Bowe, Steve Breaston and Jamaal Charles. The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense has no reason to not be successful and high-powered. Still, I don’t feel that good about it.
14) Kevin Kolb – I watched Kolb play in college and he was very good. And that’s all I can say about him because aside from 7 games as a pro, we haven’t seen anything to prove that he’s this incredible talent that was worthy of what Arizona gave up for him, and eventually paid him. This ranking probably has more to do with me wanting him to fail for the absurd $22 million in guaranteed money that the Cardinals gave him, but aside from Larry Fitzgerald I don’t know what the Cardinals have for Kolb to be successful. Maybe they’ll sign Braylon Edwards, but that changes what?
15) Eli Manning – Just ask yourself one thing – do you trust this guy? He has weapons – Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, maybe Steve Smith, and probably Ahmad Bradshaw – but do you trust him? Seriously, take your time and think about it. If you do, then best of luck. But I don’t trust this guy at all beyond serving as a bye week replacement.
16) Josh Freeman – So many people have a hard-on for Freeman after a great season, but have you looked at Tampa Bay’s roster recently? With all due respect to Mike Williams, Michael Spurlock and Maurice Stovall, there’s not a star receiver on this squad. The Bucs don’t necessarily have to spend money until next season, but that didn’t stop the Carolina Panthers from throwing around cash. So why can’t the Bucs spend some cash on a legit receiving threat for Freeman? If they sign one of the remaining top receivers then I’ll give Freeman a little more credit, but until then I’ll stick to Legarrette Blount as my lone Buc draftee.
The Vanessa Hudgens
Young. Talented. Attractive. But do you want to latch your entire fantasy season to one of these guys just yet? You better draft some strong talent ahead of them if you answered yes.
17) Sam Bradford – Everything on paper says that the St. Louis Rams should have a solid offense this season. They still need to re-sign Mark Clayton, but they added Mike Sims-Walker, who I am incredibly biased over because he went to UCF, and he’s a great value addition. I also think that Steven Jackson is going to have a monster season. But still, Bradford as a starter?
18) Matt Stafford – Same story really. He has Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions are becoming considerably better, but if he’s your pick to win your league’s title then you’re either psychic and not sharing your secrets with us or you’ve been hanging out with Kenny Britt.
The Julia Stiles
These guys are just so plain. Maybe they’ll turn in a few strong performances, but otherwise they’re just standing there with pouty faces and men’s hairstyles.
19) Mark Sanchez – If you ask a New York Jets fan, this ranking is blasphemy and I’m just a hater. But other than showing glimpses of Trent Dilfer in the playoffs, Sanchez hasn’t done squat to earn any favor or high regard. However, with Santonio Holmes locked up with a big contract and bottle of Crystal and Plaxico Burress on board, this could finally be the season that Sanchez lives up to his ridiculous hype. I doubt it, though.
20) Matt Hasselbeck – I guess this guy is fine if you like replacing your QB every week or wasting a draft pick by grabbing Jake Locker. Seriously, Tennessee, three years?
21) Chad Henne – Until he learns how to throw high to Brandon Marshall, Henne is worthless.
22) Ryan Fitzpatrick – If I believed in such a thing as sleepers for the QB position, Fitzpatrick could possibly be mentioned as one. Offensive coach, decent RBs, one stud receiver with potential among the others, and he was one of the best fantasy QBs toward the end of last season. Plus, he’s a Harvard boy. Then again, he plays for the Bills.