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SI PLAYER RANKINGS FOR 2009 with 2008 stats PASSING YDS. PER GAME TOUCHDOWNS INTERCEPTIONS 300-YARD GAMES RUSHING YDS. PER GAME BYE WEEK
1. Drew Brees, Saints 316.8 34 17 10 -0.1 5
2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers 252.4 28 13 4 12.9 5
3. Peyton Manning, Colts 250.1 27 12 4 1.3 6
4. Philip Rivers, Chargers 250.6 34 11 5 5.3 5
5. Kurt Warner, Cardinals 286.4 30 14 7 -0.1 4
6. Donovan McNabb, Eagles 244.8 23 11 3 9.2 4
7. Tom Brady, Patriots 76.0 0 0 0 0 8
8. Jay Cutler, Bears 282.9 25 18 8 12.5 5
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons 215.0 16 11 2 6.5 4
10. Matt Cassel, Chiefs 230.8 21 11 3 16.9 8
11. Tony Romo, Cowboys 265.2 26 14 6 3.2 6
12. Carson Palmer, Bengals 182.8 3 4 0 9.5 8
13. Matt Schaub, Texans 276.6 15 10 4 6.2 10
14. Trent Edwards, Bills 192.8 11 10 0 8.4 9
15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks 173.7 5 10 0 9.9 7
16. Kyle Orton, Broncos 198.1 18 12 1 3.3 7
17. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers 206.3 17 15 3 6.3 8
18. Eli Manning, Giants 202.4 21 10 1 0.6 10
19. Chad Pennington, Dolphins 228.3 19 7 2 3.9 6
20. Jason Campbell, Redskins 202.8 13 6 2 16.1 8
21. Joe Flacco, Ravens 185.7 14 12 0 11.3 7
22. Kerry Collins, Titans 167.3 12 7 0 3.1 7
23. Brady Quinn, Browns 172.7 2 2 0 7 9
24. Sage Rosenfels, Vikings 238.5 6 10 0 0.3 9
25. Jake Delhomme, Panthers 205.5 15 12 0 1.3 4
26. Mark Sanchez, Jets* 246.7 34 10 3 1.2 9
27. Matt Leinart, Cardinals 66.0 1 1 0 1.3 4
28. Marc Bulger, Rams 181.3 11 13 1 2.7 9
29. David Garrard, Jaguars 226.3 15 13 2 20.1 7
30. Jeff Garcia, Raiders 226 12 6 3 12.3 9
31. Luke McCown, Buccaneers 0 0 0 0 7.5 8
32. JaMarcus Russell, Raiders 161.5 13 8 0 8.5 9

*Rookie (college statistics)

Talking Points

• Drew Brees challenged Dan Marino's NFL season-passing-yardage record in 2008, and this year he should have Marques Colston and Reggie Bush back healthy. The Saints play a last-place schedule too.

ON THE RISE

• Aaron Rodgers may seem high on my list, but check the numbers: In '08 he had the fourth-best fantasy season of any player, after Brees, Philip Rivers and DeAngelo Williams. Now Rodgers has a full season under his belt, and he's facing a more forgiving schedule than he did last year.

• Considering his '09 stats, you'd think Kurt Warner would be rated higher. But he's 38, and last season was the first one since 2001 in which he held up for 16 games. That's too much risk. If you take Warner, use a late pick to grab his backup, Matt Leinart. With Warner's injury history and Arizona's excellent receivers, Leinart is the only backup worth drafting.

• Tom Brady is rated as high as seventh only because he's Tom Brady. Any other QB coming off a major knee injury and playing under a new coordinator wouldn't be.

UNDERRATED

• I like Jay Cutler more than most. With his arm strength, he will get the ball into tight spots and make Chicago's receivers look better than they have.

• He's new to K.C. and short on experience, but Matt Cassel will do fine: a strong No. 1 target in Dwayne Bowe, a savvy possession receiver in Bobby Engram and a head coach who last year coordinated the high-flying Cardinals offense. Plus, their running game is so weak the Chiefs will have to throw.

• The second quarterback drafted last April, Mark Sanchez (Jets), makes my list, but the first, overall top pick Matt Stafford (Lions), doesn't—not this year, in the NFC North, behind that offensive line in Detroit.

PHOTOMORRY GASH/AP (RODGERS) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (CUTLER)
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)