IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER PRO FOOTBALL SEASON AND FANTASY FOOTBALL: QUARTERBACKS

You know it is time for Pro Football when the Hall of Fame game is played. Well are we ready for some football?

I would be remiss without giving my condolences to the family of Frank Gifford. He was part of our football lives and he gave so much to the game of football. He was a star at USC, the New York football Giants where he played numerous positions. But who can forget his calm and reassuring voice of Monday night football as he called the game while Howard Cosell and Dandy Don Meredith entertained the fans with their interesting give and take from the game? Frank Gifford’s class stood out and we will all miss him. Class is a virtue that is disappearing.

This year when it comes to fantasy football, uncertainty presents the manager of your team with some interesting challenges regarding the quarterback position.

There are only 2 safe picks when it comes to who you choose as your quarterback. Andrew Luck and Aaron Rogers stand head and shoulders above the rest this season.

There are other outstanding quarterbacks but some of the high point gathering quarterbacks of yesteryear have large question marks next to their name this season. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have for many years been totally dependable when it comes to point gathering in our fantasy leagues but both of them raise questions. Manning is now 39 years old. The question is when will his performance show the tread wear from many football seasons? He has lost two of his receivers and we shall see if his performance suffers as a result.

Drew Brees is another quarterback whose receiving corps has seen attrition. Will his fantasy value be diminished as a result of losing 2 wideouts, in particular, Jimmy Graham. Cooks is a second year receiver with great skills and Colston is dependable but not the TD threat of his earlier career. Will a new receiver show up? Is Brees a system quarterback who will succeed no matter who is there to catch the ball? It appears that the Saints will be more of a running team, so the question is whether or not that will impact Brees and his production. Both he and Manning are both Hall of Fame quarterbacks but what about this season?

Big Ben Roethlisburger appears poised to have a great fantasy season with a young and excellent receiving corps. Matt Ryan also appears to be headed for a good season. Tony Romo will not have his league leading running back, Murray who is now playing for division rival, the Eagles. Will Romo be forced to throw more if Murray’s replacement running backs can not do the job? Owner Jerry Jones took a big risk by letting Murray go, believing that because of the excellence of the Cowboy offensive line it doesn’t matter who starts at running back. We shall see, but the Cowboy fans might not be happy with Jones decision as the season gets underway.

We already know that Tom Brady will miss 4 games. So where do you draft him in a standard league where quarterback TD’s help your team? You can probably get him much later than normal but be sure to get an excellent backup to give you some points in Brady’s absence, because you don’t want to get too far behind in the team standings during the 4 game suspension days.

Most of the magazines have Cam Newton ranked high, but maybe too high. He and his second year receiver Kelvin Benjamin should do better together now that they know each other better. But he is worth a high pick, I think not.

A healthy Carson Palmer and an excellent wide receiver group should make Carson Palmer a higher pick than the magazines and so-called experts have it.

The first or second tier of quarterbacks this season should include Mark Stafford and Philip Rivers as both will benefit or should benefit from an improved running game. You take the pressure off the quarterback by having a running game and you take the danger of a pass rush and lessen it. More time to throw equates to a better passing game.

Russell Wilson plays for a good team and he has excellent game awareness. He will be a better quarterback option this season because of Jimmy Graham being in the game. Keep an eye out for any potential problems with their running back Lynch before you have confidence in picking Wilson too high.

Other quarterback options are more problematic but I like Nick Foles, Derek Carr, Sam Bradford and Ryan Tannehill to have better seasons. Make sure you have a good backup quarterback because of injuries and who knows your backup may become your starter if the question marks of many quarterbacks come true.

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