Quarterback Power Ratings: Ranks 11 through 20
A lot of big-name players were left off the top-10 for various reasons. The most important reason, though, is that I think these next ten players will score fewer fantasy points than the ones in the top 10.
11. Josh Freeman: (3,750 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 280 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, and 17 turnovers) 16.25 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Josh Freeman is probably a surprise here, but his rushing yards really put him on top of the next few guys. Freeman has a few good, young receivers around him, and he has slimmed down to a more traditional weight. I think anyone who doesn't believe those numbers above are possible are people who are just looking for reasons to doubt Freeman. My prediction doesn't have him taking a huge leap over his last few seasons, but it does factor in some minor improvements to his game. Freeman has the best chance of making it into the top-10 because he can do better than these numbers, especially in his rushing game.
12. Jay Cutler: (3,900 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, 175 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 16 turnovers) 16.22 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Freeman gets the nod over Cutler because he has more room to improve than Cutler does. Cutler, I was surprised to find out, has never been a big numbers guy. He is a lot like Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco, only with a bigger attitude and way more interceptions. I'm giving him a few yards because of the Brandon Marshall situation, but he has only had over 4,000 yards once in his career and has never thrown more than 27 touchdowns in a season. All of this combines to make him a top-flight QB2 in fantasy.
13. Ben Roethlisberger: (3,800 yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 130 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, and 13 turnovers) 15.94 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Big Ben has an 89% injury rating, and I really think the above statistics are near the top of his potential at this point in his career. The man just faces way too many games where he is getting injured. His receivers are pretty good, and he does throw a really nice long-ball, but his mobility is decreasing and he is becoming prone to more injuries as he keeps getting beaten up. For injury reasons, I am not drafting Roethlisberger in any drafts.
14. Eli Manning: (4,400 passing yards, 28 passing touchdowns, 33 rushing yards, 0.5 rushing touchdowns, and 20 turnovers) 15.89 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Eli Manning had an absolutely amazing season in 2011, but there is absolutely no reason to believe he will pass for 4,933 yards again this season. That number is 912 yards more than the second best season of his career, and season 8 is not a typical "break-out" season for most players. I'm giving Eli the benefit of the doubt and saying that he will settle somewhere between his 2010 and 2011 numbers, but it just just as likely that he will go back to being a 4,000 yard passer. I think the loss of Mario Manningham will impact this team to some degree,and Martellus Bennett never proved himself to be a good tight end target in Dallas. Eli was good last season, but don't let that impact your judgement this season.
15. Robert Griffin III: (3,000 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, 500 rushing yards, 6 rushing touchdowns, and 20 turnovers) 15.75 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
RG3 has huge potential, and the Redskins players have been talking him up to the point that I expect him to come out of camp like a five-year veteran. The more likely scenario is that he will have struggles like most rookie passers, throwing for less than 200 yards per game and turning the ball over a lot. He is definitely ahead of Luck because of the rushing numbers, even though I predicted Luck to have more passing yards and touchdowns with fewer interceptions. Fantasy really puts running quarterbacks on the top, so RG3 comes in at 15th overall. He will probably have some monster games, but he could also have some real stinkers. Temper your expectations and he will be a nice QB2.
16. Matt Schaub: (4,000 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 30 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 12 turnovers) 15.56 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Schaub had a rough season in 2011 thanks largely to an injury that sidelined him for the end of the season. Even before that, though, Schaub was not putting up very good numbers. The running game and defense are so dominant in Houston that Schaub no longer has to carry the load for this team. There is no reason to believe that Schaub won't hit the 4,000 yard mark, but I don't see any more 4,500 yard campaigns in his future. The receivers on this team are getting weaker while the running game and defense are getting stronger. I already did the math for you.
17. Carson Palmer: (4,000 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 50 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 18 turnovers) 14.69 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Carson Palmer was in a very strange situation last year, but he handled it pretty well. He came into Oakland and played admirably, even if he did have a lot of fun throwing the ball to players on the other team. DHB and Denarius Moore are both a year older, so I would expect their numbers to increase a little from last season, and Run-DMC benefits from the fact that those two receivers can stretch the field. If Palmer can get accustomed to running the play-action, he should find plenty of opportunities to throw the ball up for these receivers and should find success in Oakland.
18. Matt Flynn: (3,600 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 125 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 16 turnovers) 14.66 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Assuming Flynn can beat out T-Jax in Seattle, he has real potential as a QB2 in most fantasy leagues. Most people say that there is no way Flynn can have the same success that he had in Green Bay because the receivers in Seattle are so much worse. That is bullshit for two reasons. First, how often to back up quarterbacks come into games and tear the other defense a new one like Flynn has the two times he started? I don't care how good the receivers are, he must be at least a mediocre starting quarterback, because I'm going to say that Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Alex Smith, Jason Campbell, Matt Cassel, Blaine Gabbert, etc. could not have thrown 6 touchdown passes in that game, and they all started last season.I'm not suggesting that he will be a top-10 quarterback, but would you be surprised if he ended up in the top half of all quarterback in the NFL? Me neither. The second thing is that the Seattle receivers are not that bad. Sydney Rice is a damn good player, Ben Tate kicked ass as a rookie, and Mike Williams will hopefully put a little effort into his game this season. Just because they don't have the same name-recognition yet doesn't mean they aren't good, and if you look at their stats from last season, you would rate them as a slightly above average group of receivers. Flynn deserves this spot.
19. Ryan Fitzpatrick: (3,800 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, 230 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns, and 20 turnovers) 14.44 points per game in standard NFL scoring leagues.
Fitzpatrick must have trouble with the late-season weather, because he has been horrific down the stretch in the last few seasons. Still, he ranks as one of the top 20 quarterbacks by a sizable margin. He just got a huge new contract, and I'm not sure the Bills are going to be happy with him being a mediocre quarterback, but honestly that's all he's ever been. He is perfectly mediocre and should be perfectly mediocre for your fantasy team.
20. Andy Dalton: (3,600 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, 175 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, and 15 turnovers)
I am predicting some modest improvement from Andy Dalton in his second NFL season. He gets the nod over Joe Flacco because he has more potential than Flacco. Dalton hasn't yet fallen into a rut of 3,600 yard seasons (in fact, Flacco is so consistent that I predicted his yardage total to be 3,620), and A.J. Green is much much better than any of the Ravens receivers. Flacco is not asked to win a lot of games, while Dalton will probably find his team trailing at the end of multiple games this season. Dalton also has great mobility, and should help you ever-so-slightly with his running game. He will do pretty well for you the one or two times you ask him to lead your fantasy team this season.
Take a look at my predictions from a month ago, and get ready for the running backs, coming soon.