Quarterbacks

July 24, 2005

With the clampdown on pass-defense rules last season, elite quarterbacks reemerged as the most important fantasy performers. Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper top the list, but there's value farther down in Kerry Collins and Carson Palmer. And it's always good strategy to have quality depth. A backup could bring a bounty when someone else is shopping for a starter.

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    YARDS PER GAME TDS INTS
1. Peyton Manning, Colts
Passer who set NFL records for TD tosses and rating (121.1) in '04 gets better with age
284.8 49 10
2. Daunte Culpepper, Vikings 294.8 39 11
3. Trent Green, Chiefs 286.9 27 17
4. Donovan McNabb, Eagles 258.3 31 8
5. Kerry Collins, Raiders 249.6 21 20
6. Marc Bulger, Rams 283.1 21 14
7. Byron Leftwich, Jaguars
New coordinator Carl Smith wants to throw downfield more; good news for Leftwich, who likes to go deep
210.1 15 10
8. Drew Brees, Chargers 210.6 27 7
9. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks 241.6 22 15
10. Tom Brady, Patriots 230.8 28 14
11. Michael Vick, Falcons 154.2 14 12
12. Brett Favre, Packers
Surpassed 4,000-yard mark for fourth time in career in '04; another year like that may be too much to ask of his 36-year-old body
255.5 30 17
13. Carson Palmer, Bengals 206.9 18 18
14. David Carr, Texans 220.7 16 14
15. Jake Plummer, Broncos 255.6 27 20
16. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 187.2 17 11
17. Jake Delhomme, Panthers
Lost top wideout, Muhsin Muhammad (NFL-high 16 TD catches in '04), who jumped to Bears
242.9 29 15
18. Brian Griese, Bucs 239.3 20 12
19. Aaron Brooks, Saints 238.1 21 16
20. Chad Pennington, Jets 205.6 16 9
21. Joey Harrington, Lions 190.4 19 12
22. Eli Manning, Giants 115.9 6 9
23. Kyle Boller, Ravens
New WRs Derrick Mason and rookie Mark Clayton give Boller weapons like he's never had; new coordinator Jim Fassel will stretch field
159.9 13 11
24. Kurt Warner, Cardinals 205.4 6 4
25. J.P. Losman, Bills 8.0 0 1
26. Steve McNair, Titans 167.9 8 9
27. Trent Dilfer, Browns 66.6 1 3
28. Drew Bledsoe, Cowboys 183.3 20 16
29. Gus Frerotte, Dolphins**
Dolphins need potent Ronnie Brown--Ricky Williams ground attack to succeed; that means not putting Frerotte in position to make mistakes
172.5 7 2
30. Rex Grossman, Bears 202.3 1 3
31. Patrick Ramsey, Redskins 185.0 10 11
32. Alex Smith, 49ers* 238.5 32 4
*Rookie (college stats) **2003 stats

Stats in charts from 2004 season

SPOTLIGHT

Kerry Collins

With wideout Randy Moss on one side, Jerry Porter on the other and crafty coach Norv Turner calling the plays in Oakland, Collins should have an excellent chance to exceed his career highs in passing yards (4,073, for the Giants in 2002) and touchdowns (22, for the Giants in '00). Throw in the promise of a revamped running game with the signing of free agent Lamont Jordan (formerly of the Jets), and the 11th-year quarterback could be sitting pretty in the pocket as his dual deep threats slice up secondaries. As the potential 21st century answer to the original Mad Bomber, Daryle Lamonica, the strong-armed Collins can please Al Davis by making big plays deep down the field. Collins and the offense will have to do plenty of that if the Raiders' dubious defense isn't vastly improved.

COLOR PHOTOROBERT B. STANTON/WIREIMAGE.COM

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)