QB Player Rankings – Week 2
1. Michael Vick (@ Atl) – A decade after being taken with the first pick of the draft, Michael Vick is finally going home. No, not the big house, but the house he grew up in; the Georgia Dome. Actually, he was there once already back in 2009, but it was in limited fashion playing behind Donovan McNabb in an Eagles 34-7 victory—this time Vick will get to work his magic from the first whistle on. As it was last week in St. Louis, it’s almost unfair for a guy with Vick’s skills to be allowed to play in such a stadium. Against a Falcons defense that just lost their best DT in Jonathan Babineaux after giving up 312 yards and two TDs to Jay Cutler, look for Vick to go a little nutty in his Atlanta reunion.
2. Aaron Rodgers (@ Car) – Simply put, Aaron Rodgers and that Packers offense is unstoppable. The season opener on Thursday night last week against New Orleans was an instant classic, though something tells me Rodgers has more to show. With Carolina letting up 309 yards and two TDs to Arizona’s new QB, Kevin Kolb, you can bet one of the best gunslingers in the game will have himself another ass-whooping day.
3. Philip Rivers (@ NE) – Vincent Jackson was somehow kept in check last weekend against the Vikings, but that won’t happen again. Considering he and Brandon Marshall have pretty much the same body type and that New England couldn’t cover Marshall for squat, I’d expect the same out of V-Jax on Sunday. San Diego has an awesome pass D, but with as good as Tom Brady is, this could turn into a shootout. If so, Rivers is gonna explode. I’m not sure much else needed to be said other than that Chad Henne threw for 416 yards against them, but there you go.
4. Matthew Stafford (vs KC) – Stafford is the next big thing; period. Well, that is, if he stays healthy. That said, Kansas City let weak-armed Ryan Fitzpatrick throw all over them in Week One, so why should it be any different for one of the strongest arms in the game in Week Two? It shouldn’t, and it won’t be. Add in the fact that All Pro DB Eric Berry just went down for the season and you’re probably looking at another 300-yard, multi-TD game for the young Lions QB.
5. Tony Romo (@ SF) – Fourth quarter of Week One aside, I still believe Tony Romo will have his finest year in 2011. San Francisco has a super-tough rush D, but their pass defense leaves a little something to be desired. I mean, if the possibly the worst starting QB in the NFL (Tarvaris Jackson) can throw for 197 yards and two touchdowns against you without his best receiver (Sidney Rice), what makes you think you can stop a top-ten QB, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten? You can’t is the answer.
6. Tom Brady (vs SD) – Now you might think I’m crazy for ranking Brady all the way down here at No. 6 after the show he just put on Monday night, but let me explain. First, Monday night was a once-in-a-lifetime type of game—something we might not see again for quite awhile. Second, the Chargers pass D is really nasty. They ranked first in the league in 2010 and then came out and just obliterated the Vikings passing game last weekend by holding Donovan McNabb to a mere 39 yards through the air. Brady is one of the best, and the Patriots could come out the victors in this one, but don’t expect a fantasy onslaught from the Stetson Man.
7. Ben Roethlisberger (vs Sea) – The Pittsburgh Steelers and specifically Ben Roethlisberger have seen enough of the Baltimore Ravens for quite awhile, don’t you think? Luckily, the Seattle Seahawks come to town to turn their season around, so don’t get too down on the big guy just yet. This Pittsburgh offense is as athletic as it gets and I expect every last one of them to have themselves a nice fantasy day… which of course means Big Ben is up for some tasty fantasy numbers.
8. Drew Brees (vs Chi) – It’s tough to put a guy with Drew Brees’ pedigree this low in the rankings, especially since he went off for 419 yards and three TDs last weekend, but I am. I know it’s been proposed that you can basically plug any wide receiver into the Saints system and the offense will be just fine, but Marques Colston being out and Lance Moore still a bit hobbled can’t be a good thing. The Bears pass D is pretty stingy and showed they can hold down a good QB and high-octane offense over four quarters last weekend against Atlanta. Of course, Brees is home in the dome where he’s averaged 2.5 touchdowns and 311 yards per game over the last three seasons, so…
9. Joe Flacco (@ Ten) – Flacco IS what the Ravens thought he would be; a golden-armed stud. Against one of the toughest defenses in the league last week, Flacco had already carved up the Steelers secondary for 180 yards and three touchdowns by the time half the fans were back in their seats from halftime. Joey and the Ravens would cruise to a victory after opening up a 29-7 lead, but you had the feeling Flacco could have done it to them all day. Next up is Tennessee, and if the Titans couldn’t hold Luke McCown to worse than a 91.5 QB Rating last week, how do you think this one will end up?
10. Rex Grossman (vs Ari) – Grossman’s a funny guy. You never know whether to expect one of the worst games you’ve ever seen, or one of the better ones of the season. He pretty much does the opposite of whatever you expect and then once you think you’ve got him pegged, he pulls a 180 on you and loses your ass again. One of these days we’ll get him, and it could very well be this week against an Arizona defense that just gave up a rookie QB record to Cam Newton by allowing him to pass for 422 yards through the air. Would it shock you if I told you Rex has actually done better than that? Well he has… back in 2001 playing for Florida against LSU.
11. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs Oak) – Is this guy the real deal or what? Drafted in the seventh round out of Harvard back in 2005, Ryan hadn’t amounted to much until last season when he racked up 3,000 yards and 23 TDs in just 13 games. Huh? Then this year he puts up a TD four-spot on the Chiefs with 208 yards and zero INTs. He’s kind of an up-and-down type of fantasy player, but he should be able to do some damage against this Raiders D.
12. Matt Schaub (@ Mia) – Miami’s defense isn’t nearly as bad as the Patriots made them out to be last Monday night and in fact, they’re actually pretty darn good. Whatever the case, Schaub and this high-octane Houston offense should still be able to put up some nice numbers on their own—just not Brady-nice.
13. Chad Henne (vs Hou) – Maybe all Chad Henne needed to show he can play at this level was for the Dolphins to commit to not having a running game… Reggie Bush is electric out of the backfield, which is great for Henne, but he still can’t run in between the tackle and never will. Until Miami finds someone who can, this offense will be based on the pass, which alone will boost the fantasy stock of most any NFL quarterback (minus all Arizona QBs from 2010). Last week won’t be repeated, but it won’t be for lack of trying.
14. Mark Sanchez (vs Jax) – Sanchez tied a career-high against the Cowboys on Sunday night attempting 44 passes while completing a career second-best 26 of them. His 335 yards were also one shy of his career mark, but I wouldn’t expect these numbers against the Jaguars this week. He’ll get his share of fantasy points to be sure, like somewhere in the range of 225-250 yards and 1-2 TDs, but once the Jets are in control of this one (which could be pretty quick), they’ll use Greene and Tomlinson to run out the clock.
15. Josh Freeman (@ Min) – Admittedly, I’m not very high on Freeman this year, but I still don’t think he deserves to be higher than No. 14 this week. Coach Raheem Morris has already come out to say he plans on using RB LeGarrette Blount much more in the coming weeks and though it could just be a smokescreen, I don’t think it is. In what is sure to be a rip-roaring, rockin hostile environment like the Metrodome on Sunday (it will be the Vikings first game back there since the roof collapse of 12/12/10), I’m not sure Freeman has the type of day fantasy break-out fans will be hoping for.
16. Kevin Kolb (@ Was) – What I like the most about Kolb as a fantasy player this year is not his own personal ability as a QB, but rather the lack of ability shown on the Cardinals defensive side of the ball. Giving up a rookie record 422 yards passing to Cam Newton last week was really kind of humorous to watch, and I have a feeling this comedy show of defensive ineptitude has a year-long encore to follow. If that is the case, Arizona will be passing the ball quite a bit in the efforts to get back into games… which is of course nice for Kolb and the rest of his fantasy receivers.
17. Kyle Orton (vs Cin) – For as hard as he was crushed by the fans at Mile High Stadium on Monday night, Orton did, in fact, throw for over 300 yards and a TD. Granted, he looked absolutely abysmal at times missing some easy throws and losing a fumble that possibly cost the team a victory, but that doesn’t mean he won’t put up decent fantasy numbers each week. With Knowshon Moreno banged up and Willis McGahee looking awful, Denver may have to turn to the passing game again this Sunday against a Cincinnati team that isn’t as bad as people thought.
18. Jay Cutler (@ NO) – Atlanta’s defense didn’t look nearly as good as advertised, but was it because of their skill-level or because of Jay Cutler? The answer is it was a little bit of both as Cutler proceeded to put his detractors at bay by completing 22 of 32 passes for 312 yards and two TDs. If New Orleans puts up a quick score or two on the Bears, Martz might just break out the old greatest-show-on-turf playbook and possibly get Cutler a good 40 passes in the dome.
19. Matt Ryan (vs Phi) – Ryan may not have gotten off to the start some predicted in Week One against the Bears, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be a bust either. He’s still one of the most talented QBs in the game with some of the best skill-position players in the league surrounding him, so expect better things from him coming up… just not this week. Philadelphia may have the best group of cornerbacks ever assembled in their secondary this season and can shut down any team’s passing game from week to week. Don’t expect Matty Ice to un-freeze until Week Three.
20. Sam Bradford (@ NYG) – It looks like Bradford will be okay enough to play this week against the Giants, and boy will the Rams need him. Losing slot-receiver Danny Amendola for awhile was undoubtedly a huge blow for this up-and-coming team, but double that up with the loss of their workhorse, Steven Jackson (at least for this week), and you might say they are in just a little bit of trouble. The Giants secondary is badly beaten up, however, so I can still see Sammy putting up some decent stats on Monday night.
Rounding out the Top-25...
21. Matt Cassel (@ Det)
22. Eli Manning (vs StL)
23. Colt McCoy (@ Ind)
24. Matt Hasselbeck (vs Bal)
25. Donovan McNabb (vs TB)