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Quarterback Watch - Week 9
David M. Dorey
November 3, 2004
1 IND Peyton Manning Manning takes over the top spot this week after a monster 472 yard, 5 touchdown effort in Kansas City. He's been incredibly consistent every week and allows the ultimate in confidence as an every week starter.
2 MIN Daunte Culpepper Culpepper slides back a spot and that may not be the last of the slide if Randy Moss doesn't get better soon. In the two games without The Freak, he's only averaging 210 yards a game and only one touchdown. The next three games - @IND, @GB and DET are almost certain to allow him to get back to gaudy numbers even if Moss is not healthy but it's obvious how much Moss adds to the offense.
3 PHI Donovan McNabb McNabb fell back a bit last week against a tough BAL defense but still managed to find Owens enough for a road win. With Westbrook out and two road games coming up, there's no doubt that McNabb will have to deliver the goods to keep Philadelphia on top.
4 STL Marc Bulger Bulger comes off a bye week and while there should be no argument on the top three quarterbacks, the next five could be argued as to where they fall. Bulger heads the tier as a solid canidate for a good showing and with upcoming tough matchups against NE (with Ty Law out) and then SEA, he'll need to come up big to keep the Rams moving along.
5 HOU David Carr Carr slips back into the Top 5 with a solid 276 yard, one touchdown effort against the Jaguar defense and with looming games of @DEN, @IND and GB, he'll be called on to continue to make Andre Johnson one of the best wideouts in the game. Carr has been better lately at finding Bradford and Gaffney as well, expanding the value of the passing game.
6 NO Aaron Brooks The Saints may be inconsistent but Brooks continues to be worth at least a touchdown a week and five of the last six games have been more than 240 passing yards. Brooks will always tease with a monster game but this season his worst is still decent fantasy game.
6 KC Trent Green Green had to move up after throwing for 389 yards and three scores last week and he'll fall far short of that in Tampa Bay this Sunday but his receivers are all healthy again and with matchups against NO, NE, SD and OAK coming up you can be sure he'll continue to be more than just the guy who hands off to Priest.
7 GB Brett Favre Favre seems to be always hurt by midseason and onward in the season and it still doesn't seem to matter. He'll be on bye this week but returns to some tasty offerings this month - MIN, @HOU and STL. The bye week should help him heal but his sore hand has only been painful on snaps, not on throwing bombs to Walker.
8 SD Drew Brees Brees richly deserves to be considered a starting quarterback and that was even before his 281 yard, five touchdown game last week against the Raiders. With the defense always concerned with Tomlinson, this offense is scoring more than any other team and a sweet schedule stretch the next few weeks should keep him here. The addition of McCardell has been a big plus to the offense.
9 DEN Jake Plummer What's not to like about a guy who just threw for 499 yards and four touchdowns? Plummer's downfall is if you get negative points for interceptions and the Broncos will revert to a rushing game when they are able but Plummer has been fairly consistent and increasing both fantasy points and interceptions recently. He may not stay here for long, but a definite solid contributor.
10 NE Tom Brady Brady has now experienced a losing game for the first time in 22 games but he still threw for 271 yards and two scores. With Dillon banged up and the Patriot defense also lessened for now due to injuries, Brady will need to continue to toss a couple of scores a week to start the next winning streak.

(Note – this listing considers the rankings of QB’s if a draft was held today)

Climbing Up The Ladder

Michael Vick (ATL) – As always, Vick surprises and this year it usually means he'll do opposite from what you want. Once you finally bench him against the Broncos in Denver, he pops off for 252 passing yards and two scores to Peerless Price and added 115 rushing yards. Until he does that twice in a row (make that three times maybe), it's hard to consider him a Top 10 again. He has the talent to be there - ask any gushing announcer. He just has been too inconsistent to consider as more than a watch for consistency.

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – The kid just keeps winning and throwing at least one score a week if not two. He's given a rebirth to Plaxico Burress and has the Steeler offense clicking better than in years. He's not had the really big game yet that promised major fantasy points in the future but he's been so rock solid as a rookie that it's hard not to expect him to get even better with more experience.

David Garrard (JAX) – While it is very premature to think Garrard is going to be a 1:1 replacement for Leftwich, he deserves consideration since he'll be heading up an offense that has been passing well and that comes off a bye in week nine to face a three game stretch of DET, TEN and @MIN. Those games should allow him to post some decent numbers against soft secondaries before too much game film is out on him. Leftwich's situation is still developing but any injury involving the knee immediately is a concern.

Sliding Back

Byron Leftwich (JAX) – There's no doubt that Leftwich is developing into a top notch quarterback but an LCL tear in his knee sadly short circuits what was shaping up to be a definite Top 10 season for the youngster. He'll be back eventually but his value takes an obvious and unfortunate free fall for the present.

Chad Pennington (NYJ) – Maybe it's the rushing of Curtis Martin and now Lamont Jordan, and maybe it's the nagging hamstring of Santana Moss, but whatever the reason Pennington continues to be little more than an average quarterback with only the rare tease that he'll get better. With upcoming games against BUF and BAL, it's hard to imagine he'll post any bigger numbers any time soon.