Post-Draft 2011 QB Rankings

With the NFL Draft behind us, it’s a good time to start thinking about the 2011 rankings. I’ll start with the quarterback position. Below you’ll find a table with my Top 35 fantasy QBs along with their current team (if they have one), their 2011 strength of schedule, their 2010 points per game output adjusted for the 2011 SOS (i.e. if their 2010 performance was translated to their 2011 SOS) and their straight two-year average (schedule bias not removed). Keep in mind these aren’t actual projections, just additional info and the order that I’d draft these players given what we know now. Things will change as some of these free agents (hopefully) find homes for the season.

— I think Mike Vick has a good chance to outscore Aaron Rodgers on a per game basis, but he also is the favorite to miss more games in 2011 given his playing style. He takes a lot of hits, while I think Rodgers learned his lesson about putting his head down when he missed a couple of games with a concussion in 2010.

— Tom Brady’s schedule is quite a bit better this season and I see no reason why he would start to decline given the nature of his offense and the quality of his receiving corps. He could use a playmaker out wide, but he has plenty of weapons to utilize over the middle and he’s one of the best at taking what the defense gives him.

— Ben Rothlisberger is underrated again. He was QB4 in adjusted PPG for 2010 and his schedule looks easier in 2011. Plus, he has a great fantasy playoff schedule.

— I put Big Ben and Peyton Manning in the same tier as Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. I put Romo ahead of Rivers due to his favorable schedule. His SOS projects to be about 5% easier in 2011 (though he didn’t even play a majority of the season) while Rivers’ looks to be almost 6% tougher.

— The next tier runs from QB9 to QB17 and is a great example of why QBBC could be very successful again in 2011. I might grab Big Ben in the 5th or 6th (his current ADP is 5.8), but if there is another good value available at RB, WR or even TE, I may pass on Roethlisberger and go QBBC in rounds 8-12 instead. There are nine QBs in this tier and I’d be happy to have two or three to use in a committee. Eli Manning seems like a good value in the middle of the 7th.

— Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently going in the 12th round, but that’s going to rise into the 9th-10th range (I think) now that Buffalo passed on a QB in the draft. That vote of confidence for Fitzy, coupled with a much improved schedule, could vault him into the Top 12 by season’s end.

— Right now, indications are that Tim Tebow has the inside track to be the Bronco’s starting QB, though we need to keep in mind that Josh McDaniels is no longer running the offense in Denver. John Fox is far more conservative, so we need to take Tebow’s fine fantasy performances late last year with a grain of salt. Also, keep in mind that his adjusted numbers include those games where he only appeared in the Broncos’ goal line offense. He averaged 27.8 points per game in his three starts last season.

— I’m not sure what to make of the next 10 or so guys. There will be a lot of shakeup here as free agency hopefully commences and some of these players find new homes. Kevin Kolb could move up a few spots if he’s given a starting job somewhere, though he wasn’t impressive when he started for the Eagles in 2010. I’d have more confidence in Marc Bulger and Carson Palmer, who have proven they can start in the NFL. Matt Cassel’s schedule is a lot (7.6%) tougher in 2011, so he could take a step back from his respectable 2010 numbers.

— The only rookie (besides Cam Newton) on the list is Christian Ponder, because he seems the most likely to be the starter on opening day. The same can’t be said for Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick, who are each likely dealing with veterans they will have to usurp.

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