Good Value: Quarterback Keepers
Aaron Rodgers, Packers: Rodgers has more than lived up to the billing as Brett Favre's successor from a fantasy perspective. Rodgers is sixth in passing yards and tied for fifth in passing touchdowns. Rodgers has solid receivers, an adequate running game and appears to have nothing but upside for the future. Fantasy owners also benefit from Rodgers facing some of the lower-ranked pass defenses in division foes Minnesota, Chicago and, of course, Detroit.
Jay Cutler, Broncos: Cutler could very easily take the fantasy mantle as the next great young fantasy quarterback. Cutler is third in passing yards, fourth in passing touchdown and has a great pair of receivers in Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal. Cutler also benefits from the Denver defense, which gives up a lot of points, forcing Cutler to throw the ball, to the delight of his owners.
Matt Ryan, Falcons: Ryan is having perhaps the greatest rookie season of any quarterback in NFL history. He has a great running back in Michael Turner and a budding star at receiver in Roddy White. Ryan will continue to improve and could easily be a 25 touchdown-a-year quarterback. Ryan also benefits from playing in perfect weather in Atlanta and his division, the NFC South, boasts some of the better weather for potential fantasy playoff matchups.
Donovan McNabb, Eagles: While McNabb's days in Philadelphia may be numbered and his completion percentage is below average, he still can be a valuable fantasy quarterback. With all the fuss about how poor McNabb has been, he ranks fifth in passing yards and 10th in touchdown passes. McNabb has also done this without having a true No. 1 receiver, and if he moves to a team that has an elite receiver, McNabb could be an outstanding value.
Bad Value: Quarterback Keepers
Matt Schaub, Texans: Schaub puts up solid numbers when he plays, but the concern with Schaub is this: How many games can you get out of him before he gets hurt? Schaub has never played a full season and has missed at least five games per season since he arrived in Houston two years ago. Plus, in his 19 games with the Texans, he has just 21 touchdown passes.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers: Many owners were burned by either keeping Roethlisberger or drafting him way too high this season. Last season was a career year for Roethlisberger as he threw for 32 touchdowns in just 404 attempts. Before last season, he had never thrown for more than 18 touchdowns and had never been a high-yardage guy. Roethlisberger is on pace to throw for about 3,200 yards and 18 touchdowns this season, which is about what you should expect from him next year.
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Philip Rivers, Chargers: Rivers is having a monster year. However, Rivers was much like Ben Roethlisberger before this season. Rivers was a low-20 touchdown passer who was not a high-yardage quarterback. This year, while Rivers is on pace to have about the same number of attempts as the last two seasons, he's completing a higher percentage of passes and for more yards (8.4 YPA this year vs. 6.9 YPA last year). Call it a hunch, but Rivers is much more likely next season to be Ben Roethlisberger than Drew Brees.
Jake Delhomme, Panthers: When Delhomme is good, he's like Peyton Manning; when he's bad, he's Rex Grossman. Couple this with his injury history and perhaps the NFL's best running tandem in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, and Delhomme does not warrant consideration as a quarterback keeper. Delhomme should be around in most drafts long after starters are taken and can serve as a valuable backup.
Carson Palmer, Bengals: Once considered a top-5 fantasy quarterback, Palmer will be coming off a serious elbow injury. On top of that, he struggled when he was healthy in his first four games this season, with three touchdown passes and four interceptions in an 0-4 start for the Bengals. The turmoil in Cincinnati finally appeared to catch up to him. Palmer may eventually get back to fantasy starter status, but there are too many quarterbacks whose performances and upside warrant the decision to sit Palmer.