AFC North: Fantasy QB Rankings


In the first installment of my fantasy series, I’ll be taking a look at the AFC North quarterbacks from a fantasy football perspective. Here are the fantasy rankings according to ESPN’s Projections:

9. Joe Flacco, Baltimore

15. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh

22. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati

31. Jake Delhomme, Cleveland

And here’s what I think:

Flacco – Flacco should be much better this season with the additions of Anquan Boldin, Donte Stallworth and two rookie tight ends. Ray Rice is also a skilled receiver out of the backfield, so the Ravens should be throwing a bit more than usual this year. But Baltimore still appears to be a run-first team and I think No. 9 might be just a tad high for Flacco. I’d probably knock him down a spot or two.

Roethlisberger – No way he should be this high. Big Ben will be missing at least four games due to a league-imposed suspension for misbehavior. He should be able to put up solid numbers once he returns, but Pittsburgh also lost Santonio Holmes in the offseason. I expect a more run-heavy approach from the Steelers this season and less impressive stats from Big Ben as well. I’d knock him down a few pegs. He’s a nice backup to have, but I wouldn’t want him as my fantasy starter.

Palmer – Carson Palmer is not getting any love this offseason and this ranking proves it. You can not convince me that there will be 21 other fantasy quarterbacks who are better than Palmer this season. In case you missed it, Cincinnati revitalized its passing attack with the addition of Antonio Bryant, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley in the offseason. Yes, the Bengals will still be a run-first team, but don’t be surprised if you see a lot of deep balls from Carson and company. Quite frankly, I’d take Palmer ahead of Big Ben solely because he doesn’t have to sit out any games this season. I got Palmer in the 10th round in one of my leagues and I consider that to be a downright steal. Keep him in mind as a high-ceiling sleeper this year.

Delhomme – Sheesh, it’s hard to get excited about the Browns offense this year. And it’s hard to get excited about Delhomme, who has old age, injuries, and frequent interceptions working against him. I hate to say it, but his ranking seems about right. I’d prefer Delhomme over whoever starts in Buffalo, but not anyone else. Maybe the Browns young receivers will blossom this year and Delhomme will have a solid season, but that seems to be pretty unlikely. I’d pick somebody else.

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