Who's the better quarterback to own on your fantasy football teams: Michael Vick or Matt Ryan? Should I keep RB Cedric Benson or pick up RB C.J. Spiller off waivers? Does a trade of WR Reggie Wayne for WR Brandon Marshall make any sense? These are common questions for all fantasy managers every week of the NFL fantasy season. And answering them correctly could be the difference in a fantasy championship and an early end to your fantasy season. But where do you turn for help and answers?
During the preseason of every NFL season, millions of fantasy football fans pour over dozens of player rankings, cheat sheets, and average draft position lists preparing for their league drafts. Then, as the season progresses, they are bombarded with weekly positional player rankings to help them set the starting lineups for only that respective week. However, one list that is oddly nowhere to be found is a ranking list that not only takes into consideration the preseason projections, but also takes into consideration the actual earned full-season statistics as well as their future fantasy expectations. In other words, we need a week-by-week player cheat sheet (just like we have on draft day!).
The preseason projections obviously help with the fantasy draft. And the weekly player projections are great for helping you set your lineups each week. But, we need a list that helps coaches plan long term by ranking players based on actual stats earned thus far and remaining season potential yet to come. This list should answer the question: who should I own for the remainder of season (not just that particular week)? This would be extremely helpful for use in player trades, free agency acquisitions, and waiver wire pickups, as well as simply setting weekly starting lineups. So, without further ado, here is my weekly article called "Fantasy Quarterback Power Rankings" that is designed to uniquely rank quarterbacks for the remaining fantasy season.
Fantasy Quarterback Power Rankings - Week 3:Fantasy points are based on standard Yahoo! fantasy football league scoring rules.
1) Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers: 34.98 fantasy points
52/76 for 522 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 21 yards rushing, and 1 2pt. Conversion.
2) Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints:44.56 fantasy points
55/101 for 664 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs, 0 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD.
3) Tom Brady - New England Patriots:33.08 fantasy points
51/77 for 552 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT.
4) Cam Newton - Carolina Panthers:39.74 fantasy points
37/53 for 556 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 75 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, and 1 Fumble.
5) Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons:51.12 fantasy points
47/67 for 518 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 44 rushing yards, and 1 rushing TD.
Positions 1-5 are generally unchanged from the preseason. Nearly all preseason rankings, cheat sheets, and average draft pick lists had Rodgers, Brees, Brady, and Newton in the top 5. And it will take more than a little under-performance in the first 2 weeks (specifically for Rodgers and Brady) for me to lower my expectations and drop them down the list. Brees has been solid, even though his team has not. And Newton is doing what everyone drafted him to do, pass and run his way to fantasy points. Ryan may be an early-season surprise to many, but I had him around #6 - #7 in the preseason. And with the weapons around him (Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, etc.) and his early season success, I feel solid with him at #5.
6) Eli Manning- New York Giants: 41.72 fantasy points
52/83 for 723 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs, and -2 yards rushing.
7) Robert Griffin III - Washington Redskins: 56.44 fantasy points
39/55 for 526 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 124 yards rushing, and 2 rushing TDs.
8) Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions: 28.70 fantasy points
51/80 for 585 yards, 2 TDs, 4 INTs, and 10 yards rushing.
9) Michael Vick - Philadelphia Eagles: 44.12 fantasy points
52/88 for 688 yards, 3 TDs, 6 INTs, 66 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, and 1 Fumble.
10) Tony Romo - Dallas Cowboys: 37.42 fantasy points
45/69 for 558 yards, 4 TDs, 2 INTs, and 11 yards rushing.
Positions 6-10 see the emergence of Robert Griffin III (generally #11- #13 in preseason rankings). With his tremendous start, he may soon be in my top 5. Stafford has seen a slight decline in the first 2 weeks. But a QB averaging 40 pass attempts/game, and an unstoppable Calvin Johnson to throw to will not fall far. Vick would be in my top 5 if it were not for the turnovers (7: 6 INTs and 1 Fumble). If he continues the production and reduces the turnovers, he will rise.
11) Philip Rivers - San Diego Chargers: 36.30 fantasy points
48/65 for 515 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, and 7 yards rushing.
12) Peyton Manning - Denver Broncos: 30.96 fantasy points
43/63 for 494 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, and 2 yards rushing
13) Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Steelers: 36.20 fantasy points
46/71 for 520 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, and 4 yards rushing.
14) Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts: 31.32 fantasy points
43/76 for 533 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 30 yards rushing, and 1 Fumble.
15) Jay Cutler - Chicago Bears: 26.16 fantasy points
32/62 for 459 yards, 3 TDs, 5 INTs, and 8 yards rushing.
Rivers could very easily be placed in the top 10 (ahead of Romo), and another good game will probably push him up there. Roethlisberger has been solid posting 4 TDs. And Peyton Manning has been very good (with the exception of his 3 INT's in the 1st quarter on Monday Night Football). Surprising to me, Luck has been better than I initially expected (thanks to a quick connection to WR Reggie Wayne), but 4 turnovers are not acceptable. Cutler has been disappointing and stands to drop further if his production does not increase.
16) Carson Palmer - Oakland Raiders
17) Alex Smith - San Francisco 49ers
18) Joe Flacco - Baltimore Ravens
19) Sam Bradford - St. Louis Rams
20) Matt Cassel - Kansas City Chiefs
21) Ryan Fitzpatrick - Buffalo Bills
22) Andy Dalton - Cincinnati Bengals
23) Matt Schaub - Houston Texans
24) Mark Sanchez - New York Jets
25) Josh Freeman - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Please make sure to watch for this list every week. Use it to guide your team through setting starting lineups, making trades, and picking up players through free agency and waivers. Other articles ranking the running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions are also available each week and can be found by clicking on my name at the top of the article and accessing my Yahoo! profile. Also, please feel free to read my many other fantasy football articles found there as well. Good luck with your fantasy team!
Brian Music is one of five inaugural inductees to the 2011 Toyota Legends of Fantasy Football Hall of Fame on Yahoo! Sports. He has participated in fantasy football for 23 years and began playing Yahoo! fantasy football league in 2001, winning trophies in 17 of the 25 leagues that he has played.