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Quarterback Watch - Week 1
Scott Boyter
September 6, 2005
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 IND Peyton Manning The undisputed king until proven otherwise. Manning has an immense test on the road against Baltimore, but you’re not going to sit this guy because of a matchup. If he struggles, we may knock him down a peg – but until that happens he stays right here.
2 MIN Daunte Culpepper The Vikes re-vamped their wide receiver corps, but even without Moss, Culpepper will roll again. The Tampa Bay defense isn’t what it used to be, so look for big numbers from No. 11 at home on opening day.
3 PHI Donovan McNabb You just knew the first play of the Bengal preseason game would be a McNabb heave to T.O. Sure enough, they connected for a long TD. So who needs communication? As long as Owens brings it on the field, McNabb is a top 3 QB.
4 STL Marc Bulger Take a gander at the Ram schedule then promptly kick yourself in the rear if you didn’t draft him. This weekend against the 49ers should be the first of many, many profitable games for Bulger owners.
5 NE Tom Brady This seems high, but Brady’s rock solid and he goes against a Raider defense that was regularly shredded last season. He’ll find his level soon enough – this week he’s a top 5 guy.
6 KC Trent Green We’re going on the Chiefs’ word that Green’s recent leg surgery is not serious enough to keep him out. Keep a close, close watch on this situation. If he plays, though, Green should post excellent numbers, as usual.
7 CIN Carson Palmer Sure, this is a risky pick, but Palmer still has Chad Johnson and a pretty good running game. Plus, the Brown D wasn’t that good last season, so there’s every indication Palmer will have a very good day.
8 SD Drew Brees We’ll see soon enough if 2004 was a fluke.
9 CAR Jake Delhomme Delhomme has Steve Smith back, and that reason alone could be enough to bring him back to top fantasy status. Who knows where the Saints’ minds are? We’ll find out in Week 1.
10 OAK Kerry Collins The Patriot defense is obviously stout, and it’s a road game. But Collins has too many weapons not to be considered a top 10 guy – at least at this point of the season.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) – The addition of Peter Warrick, in addition to the apparent improvement of the Seahawks’ group of receivers, makes Hasselbeck a good bet in the early going. Jacksonville will be a tough matchup, however. Especially on the road.

Trent Dilfer (CLE) – Don’t laugh yet. Dilfer has a pretty good group of under-the-radar type receivers and he goes up against the Bengals, who have never been known as stalwarts against the pass.

Sliding Back

Byron Leftwich (JAX) – Leftwich could ultimately have a good season, but that won’t begin to happen until Jimmy Smith gets over his case of the dropsies.

Joey Harrington (DET) – It doesn’t matter how many weapons Matt Millen and Steve Mariucci have surrounded him with. If he is continually under siege as he was in the third preseason game against the Rams, Harrington will have no chance to succeed.