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Tiering Up-Quarterbacks

Tier One

Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees


The upper echelon of all fantasy quarterbacks, these guys are the only ones who have a legitimate shot to throw for 35 touchdowns. Brady is back and his offensive weapons have improved from his last healthy, record-setting season. He has a better running back in Fred Taylor and a better third receiver in Joey Galloway, who is only two years removed from his last 1,000-yard season. Brees will be gunning for 5,000 yards again in arguably the league’s best passing attack. Remember that he posted 5,069 yards with his top wideout only starting six games last season. Manning will be hard-pressed to have the kind of season he has become accustomed to with all the Colt coaching changes this off-season. The burden for Indy’s offensive production will fall squarely on Manning’s shoulders and it remains to be seen if he can carry that load.


Tier Two

Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Aaron Rodgers


These guys will make great No. 1 fantasy quarterbacks should you not land one of the Tier 1 guys. The players in this tier have a legitimate shot to throw for more than 30 scores. Romo has a ton of pressure on him to perform this season but the word is he’s been re-dedicating himself to football since he gave Jessica the heave-ho. Rivers is on one of the best offensive teams in football and their dynamic attack will allow him to continue to post big fantasy numbers. Warner has arguably the best starting wide receivers in the game but it remains to be seen if he can stay upright for an entire schedule considering he had offseason hip surgery. McNabb has all the incentive in the world to perform at his highest level now that Michael Vick is in the fold and he has the best offensive weapons he has ever had in Philly. Outside of Warner,

Green Bay may have the next best trio of starting receivers in the league and Rodgers should continue to post big numbers, especially if the defense plays like it did last year.




Tier Three

Jay Cutler, Carson Palmer, Matt Schaub, Brett Favre

, Matt

Hasselbeck, Ben Roethlisberger, David Garrard


The gun slingers in this tier represent some serious value in fantasy drafts. You can usually get one of these players after the seventh round. At least a couple of them have the potential to finish in the Top 5 at the position, starting with Schaub. He has the offensive players in place to have a huge year if he can stay healthy and improve his redzone TD percentage. Palmer is another intriguing prospect who averaged over 4,000 yards and nearly 29 TDs in the three seasons prior to last year’s injury-plagued campaign. If he can stay healthy, there is every reason to expect a return to those lofty numbers. Favre is Favre and now he plays for a team with a great defense and an awesome running game, which will help open up the passing attack. This group of signal callers have the opportunity to throw for 25 touchdowns this year. Garrard barely qualifies for this tier based on his ability to run as well as throw for fantasy points.


Tier Four

Kyle Orton, Matt Ryan, Jake Delhomme, Trent Edwards, Chad Pennington, Joe Flacco, Matt Cassel, Jeff Garcia, Kerry Collins, Eli Manning


Field generals in this tier have limited upside either due to their history of a lack of production, being in predominantly run–first offenses or a lack of depth in receiving targets. A couple of these guys jump out as having the potential to ascend to the next highest tier. Orton is a game manager in that he’s never been called upon to win games with his arm but in

Denver, he will enjoy one of the most pass-friendly offenses he’s ever executed. Coupled with a slew of highly skilled receivers in Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, Brandon Stokley and Tony Scheffler, he could be in line for a career year, assuming he excels at grasping coach Josh McDaniels’ complicated offense. Edwards is another interesting candidate because he has two very dangerous receivers in T.O. and Lee Evans and a solid running game to keep the pressure off him. Unfortunately, he will still be limited by the Northeast weather conditions in early winter but he could surprise a lot of folks up until that time. If all goes well for the quarterbacks in this tier, expect at best 20 passing scores.


Tier Five

Jason Campbell, Daunte Culpepper, Marc Bulger, Shaun Hill, Byron Leftwich, Mark Sanchez, Brady Quinn, JaMarcus Russell, Matthew



The best of the rest? Ok, I don’t know what to call these guys but they are only marginal backup quarterbacks in most fantasy league formats. Many of these guys will be competing for their jobs for much of the season and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of their understudies end up with more playing time. Either that or they are in poor offenses with many question marks heading into the season. If the quarterbacks in this tier pass for 15 touchdowns this season, I would be surprised.



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