We've now established thrice what everyone already knew anyway: Drew Brees is heading into the season as the consensus No. 1 fantasy football quarterback. This time around, though, we did have quite the knock-down, drag-out battle for a spot toward the top -- the two-hole. Rivals Peyton Manning and Tom Brady did battle, and their average ranking amongst our staff was a near dead heat (2.5 to 2.67).
Click through to see who emerged -- along with the rest of our top 45 quarterbacks. (Last Updated: 8/27/09)
|1. Drew Brees
| Not much more to say at this point. Outside a rash of injuries to his offensive line or an injury to Brees himself, there's no reason to believe he won't eclipse 4,500 yards and 30 touchdowns.
|2. Peyton Manning
| As consistent and durable as they come. A slow start after an offseason knee injury still couldn't keep him under 4,000 yards last season.
|3. Tom Brady
| He's being dropped right back into the offensive machine. The only question is if he'll be tentative once he gets back on the gridiron. Don't count on it. He's a gamer.
|4. Aaron Rodgers
| Not a bad 2008 stat line for his first 16 career starts. Maybe more teams should have a three-year grooming period for first-round picks?
|t-5. Kurt Warner
| The vast potential for another monstrous season here outweighs concerns about his surgically repaired left hip and the departure of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
|t-5. Philip Rivers
| Personally, I'd have him above both Warner and Rodgers, but these are composite staff rankings. Rivers is playing for a contract and has loads of weaponry around him.
|7. Donovan McNabb
| Coming off a career high in passing yards, the Eagles have given him Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy. Team that with the continued development of DeSean Jackson and McNabb's ADP of 61st overall, and he's a huge bargain.
|8. Matt Schaub
|The only thing he needs to do is prove he can stay healthy. He returned with a vengeance last season after succumbing to Jared Allen's low blows. Expect that to continue.|
|9. Jay Cutler
|On our panel, the lowest Cutler was ranked was 12th -- by me, a Bears fan. Guess we aren't as caught up on the whole "who is he going to throw it to?" thing as others.|
|10. Tony Romo
|He's getting drafted, on average, seventh among quarterbacks -- ahead of McNabb. That's bust territory.|
|11. Matt Ryan
| Now that Roddy White is signed and in camp, Ryan can continue his ascent as an elite quarterback.
|12. Carson Palmer
| Ranked as high as ninth among us, we love a bounce-back to prominence now that he's completely healthy.
|13. Matt Hasselbeck
| Hasselbeck leapt into the elite group of passers in 2007, but 2008 was a catastrophe. His bum back is better now and the 'Hawks now have T.J. Houshmandzadeh for him to connect with.
|14. Ben Roethlisberger
| Off-field issues and a possible Super Bowl hangover make him a scary QB1, but he's a fine upper-tier QB2.
|15. Matt Cassel
| Cassel has faced doubts in training camp, but he was impressive against the Vikings in preseason. Dwayne Bowe is also now out of the doghouse.
|16. Eli Manning
|This season marks his first as a starter without Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer. It will be interesting to see how he brings the youth along.|
|17. Trent Edwards
|If he doesn't have a breakout season this time around, he never will. It's his third year -- with 23 career starts under his belt -- and the Bills have lots of offensive firepower.|
|18. David Garrard
| The Jags went out and got some offensive line and receiving help, but the bread and butter of the Jags is unchanged. They will look to run the football and play sound defense.
|19. Jason Campbell
|I just can't get anyone else on his bandwagon with me. No one else ranked Campbell better than 20th, while I had him 16th (sigh).|
|20. Kyle Orton
| He can move the chains. Plus, as bad as the Broncos defense figures to be, he'll have to be throwing frequently.
|21. Joe Flacco
| Better real life leader than fantasy quarterback. Plus, the Ravens figure to prominently feature three running backs -- which doesn't leave tons of room for passing attempts.
|22. Brett Favre
| Someone may draft him too high for name value, but considering his age and potential high-interception count, he should only be chosen as a solid QB2 with upside.
|23. Jake Delhomme||Panthers|
|You know he has job security and Steve Smith. That's about all there is to like.|
|24. Shaun Hill||49ers|
|Played really well down the stretch last season, but he's now competing for his job against former top overall pick Alex Smith.|
|25. Chad Pennington||Dolphins|
|The Fins aren't ready to move to Chad Henne just yet, but Pennington is more game manager than fantasy stud.|
26. Marc Bulger, Rams
27. Brady Quinn, Browns
28. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders
29. Mark Sanchez, Jets
30. Kerry Collins, Titans
31. Daunte Culpepper, Lions
32. Matthew Stafford, Lions
33. Byron Leftwich, Buccaneers
34. Derek Anderson, Browns
35. Matt Leinart, Cardinals
36. Chad Henne, Dolphins
37. Kellen Clemens, Jets
38. Sage Rosenfels, Vikings
39. Luke McCown, Jaguars
40. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
41. Michael Vick, Eagles
42. Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings
43. Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs
44. Dan Orlovsky, Texans
45. Seneca Wallace, Seahawks