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Quarterback Watch - Week 16
Scott Boyter
December 20, 2005
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 IND Peyton Manning After tasting the bitter pill of defeat for the first time all season, Manning is now a huge risk to be forced to the bench for a good portion of the next two games. He deserves the No. 1 ranking, but owners will have to make an excrutiating choice come Christmas Eve.
2 CIN Carson Palmer This is how lightning-fast Palmer has arrived to elite fantasy status. We now expect games like his 274-yard, three-TD outing every week. Look for more of the same against the Bills, since the Bengals will be fighting for the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
3 SD Drew Brees Speaking of fighting, the Chargers will have another survival game against the Chiefs. Brees, fresh off a solid game against the Colts, should be absolutely devastating.
4 NE Tom Brady The Patriots are back and so are Brady's numbers. He was spectacular against the Bucs with 258 yards and three scores. He shredded Tampa's top 10 pass D, so there's no reason he can't do the same against the Jets - even if they're rated No. 3 against the pass.
5 SEA Matt Hasselbeck The feast continued for those who were sharp enough to either draft, or acquire, Hasselbeck with an eye toward his schedule the last few weeks of the season. The Colt defense is strong, but it's hard to say how many regulars will be playing. Hasselbeck should have another great game.
6 KC Trent Green Green had a bad game against the Giants, but so did every other Chief not named Larry Johnson. Kansas City is past desperation status, and their game against the Chargers should be explosive.
7 NYG Eli Manning It's hard to fault Manning for a pedestrian (176 yards, one TD) outing against the lousy KC pass D, since Tiki Barber was so great against KC's lousy run D. But it's hard to have confidence that Manning will fare any better on the road against an aroused Redskin D that can't wait to avenge an embarrassing loss to the Giants earlier in the season.
8 DEN Jake Plummer Plummer continues his rock-solid season, and should have another good game against a Raider pass defense that has given up 17 TDs through 14 games.
9 TEN Steve McNair Can you tell pickings are getting a little slim? Consider this more of a lifetime acheivement award. It's hard to consider McNair truly a top 10 fantasy QB, even if he did have 310 yards and two scores against the Seahawks. But he's been so good for so long, he deserves a mention -- especially since this very well could be his last season. But he also merits consideration as a fantasy starter against a Dolphin pass D that ranks No. 23 and has given up 19 TDs.
10 JAC David Garrard More than a few owners rolled the dice and gave Garrard a start in a crucial fantasy playoff game. He didn't have a passing TD, but did pitch in a running score. Against Houston, he's worth another gamble.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Rex Grossman (CHI) - The Kyle Orton Era is over. Well, at least for the rest of this season. Grossman gets the reigns, although he can't be considered a viable fantasy starter.

Mark Brunell (WAS) - This Cowboy fan gives credit to Brunell for his four TDs in Washington's total decimation of Dallas. His 163 yards won't turn any heads, though. And that Giant defense isn't exactly a walk in the park. Consider Brunell, but look at the rest of your options very, very closely.

Sliding Back

Kurt Warner (ARI) - A knee injury will keep him out of the lineup the rest of the season.

Drew Bledsoe (DAL) - It's surprising it didn't take a body spatula to scrape him off of the FedEx Field turf. Things probably won't get a whole lot better agianst the Panthers this weekend.