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Quarterback Watch - Week 9
Scott Boyter
November 1, 2005
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 CIN Carson Palmer Thanks to the Packer defense, Palmer once again seizes the No. 1 position after his three-TD performance. He leads the league in TDs and yardage, and he’s only thrown five interceptions – the same amount Brett Favre threw against Cincinnati. His upcoming schedule looks pretty dicey, though, with two against the Ravens, and one game each with Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in his next four.
2 PHI Donovan McNabb McNabb had an absolutely horrid start in Denver and still rebounded for 283 yards and a score. He’s still No. 2 in yards and TDs.
3 DEN Jake Plummer Plummer skyrockets to No. 3 based on an unbelievable showing against Philadelphia, with 309 yards and four scores. After a bye he goes on the road to take on Oakland’s No. 22 pass defense. The only drawback to Plummer is the Broncos’ fantastic rushing attack.
4 SD Drew Brees Brees has become the bane of LaDainian Tomlinson owners, throwing for five TDs in his last two games. There’s a good chance that his numbers will suffer against the Jets, but his 324-yard, 3-TD outburst against Kansas City is enough to blast him up this list – at least for one week.
5 NYG Eli Manning His numbers were mediocre against the Redskins (146 yards and a TD) but his next three games are against the No. 32 ( San Francisco), No. 25 ( Philadelphia) and No. 23 ( Minnesota) pass defenses in the league.
6 OAK Kerry Collins Collins came back in a big way with 238 yards and three TDs against the Titans. He should carve up the Chiefs next week before hitting a tough stretch on the schedule. After K.C., the Raiders play the Broncos, Redskins and Dolphins.
7 SEA Matt Hasselbeck It would be easy to make the case that Hasselbeck isn’t a top 10 QB, but he’s on this list primarily due to his upcoming schedule. In the next six weeks, Seattle plays Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco (twice), the Giants and Philadelphia. Only the Cardinals sport a top 20 defense (No. 17). None of the others are ranked higher than 25 th against the pass. Now that’s a tasty, tasty schedule.
8 IND Peyton Manning Manning should light up a Patriots’ secondary that surrendered 263 yards and a score to the immortal Kelly Holcomb. But if Manning doesn’t have at least 300 yards and two scores, he’ll be jettisoned from the list.
9 CAR Jake Delhomme Delhomme carved up the Vikings for 341 yards and three scores – not that doing so is that tough against Minnesota. The only reason he’s not higher here is his upcoming schedule, which features consecutive games against teams ( Tampa Bay, the Jets, Chicago and Buffalo) that are all in the top 9 in pass defense.
10 DAL Drew Bledsoe The emergence of Marion Barber, and the overall reluctance of Bill Parcells to air it out, could mean that Bledsoe’s days on this list are numbered. After the bye, Dallas plays the Eagles, Lions and Broncos.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Brad Johnson (MIN) – Daunte Culpepper suffered a season-ending knee injury, giving Johnson the helm of this dysfunctional offense. However, upcoming tilts with the Lions, Giants, Packers and Browns make Johnson worth a look as a free agent pickup.

Sliding Back

Daunte Culpepper (MIN) – The above-mentioned knee injury has brought an end to his bitterly disappointing season.

Mark Brunell (WAS) – Whatever momentum Brunell had generated in the past few weeks disappeared in a truly pathetic 65-yard, no-TD debacle against the Giants’ No. 30-ranked defense. Yes, New York was riding a crest of emotion to honor Wellington Mara, but there was no excuse for Brunell playing that badly. He’s probably still a top 10 QB, but he gets tossed this week – that’s how bad he was.

Brett Favre (GB) – No matter how much bubble gum and Band-Aids the Packers try to apply, the devastation caused by injuries looks to have finally caught up with Favre and the offense. Five picks against a middle-of-the-road Bengal pass D? Don’t look for a top 10 return for Favre this season; at least not until Robert Ferguson comes back.

Tom Brady (NE) – Taking Brady out of the top 10 may be knee-jerking of the highest degree, but it looks as if Corey Dillon is once again healthy, which will take away scoring chances. Also, Brady has tough matchups against the Colts, Dolphins and Saints the next three weeks.