Pre-Preseason CFB Fantasy Ranks: QBs

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Jim Harbaugh is gone, but Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense should be fine.

Jim Harbaugh is gone, but Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense should be fine.

Fantasy owners didn’t have much debate atop the quarterback rankings last season, but 2011 will be a different adventure. Houston’s Case Keenum was the heavy favorite at No. 1 last year, but a torn ACL against UCLA in Week 3 ended his season and burned the title hopes of many fantasy owners. Keenum was granted an extra year of eligibility, but the injury certainly raises question marks about his value atop the draft board going into next season.

With Keenum sidelined, Auburn’s Cam Newton finished 2011 with the most fantasy points by a quarterback. Newton and Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick were the only two players to finish with over 400 fantasy points last season and both won’t return in 2011.
 
If Keenum isn’t the No. 1 quarterback next season – who is? Tulsa’s G.J. Kinne finished No. 6 overall among quarterbacks in fantasy points last year, but loses coordinator Chad Morris. East Carolina’s Dominique Davis finished No. 5 last season, but loses receiver Dwayne Harris, along with four starters on the offensive line. Oklahoma’s Landry Jones might be the safest pick out of our very early preseason rankings, but there’s not a lot of upside. Hawaii’s Bryant Moniz should be the top quarterback option in the WAC, but receiver Greg Salas is gone and the offensive line must be rebuilt.
 
Quarterbacks are usually the first players off the board in college fantasy drafts, but 2011 may be different. With uncertainty with every contender for the No. 1 quarterback spot, don’t expect a passer to go with the first pick. However, fantasy owners can expect to see solid value in the middle rounds of two-quarterback leagues. With quarterbacks likely to get passed in Round 1, owners having an early selection in Round 2 should like their chances of landing one of the top-five fantasy quarterbacks for 2011.
 
Quarterback battles to watch this spring – 
 
Alabama: AJ McCarron vs. Phillip Sims
Arizona State: Brock Osweiler vs. Steven Threet
Auburn: Barrett Trotter vs. Kiehl Frazier 
Florida: John Brantley vs. Jordan Reed vs. Trey Burton 
LSU: Jordan Jefferson vs. Zach Mettenberger
Miami: Jacory Harris vs. Stephen Morris 
Missouri: James Franklin vs. Tyler Gabbert
Nevada: Tyler Lantrip vs. Mason Magleby vs. Cody Fajardo vs. Tanner Roderick
Notre Dame: Tommy Rees vs. Dayne Crist  
Texas Tech: Seth Doege vs. Scotty Young vs. Jacob Karam vs. Michael Brewer
Washington: Keith Price vs. Nick Montana
 
Keep an eye on these passers – 
 
Tajh Boyd, Clemson – Talent certainly isn’t an issue for Boyd, but his resume includes only 63 pass attempts and zero starts. New coordinator Chad Morris is a Gus Malzahn disciple and helped Tulsa finish No. 6 in scoring offense in 2010. Although the Tigers likely won’t score 40 points per game, Boyd will be one to watch in a fantasy-friendly system. 
 
MarQueis Gray, Minnesota – With Adam Weber out of eligibility, it’s finally Gray’s turn to get the full-time nod under center for the Golden Gophers. Coordinator Matt Limegrover was brought by head coach Jerry Kill from Northern Illinois and under his watch in DeKalb, Chander Harnish emerged as a top-25 fantasy quarterback. Gray may be a year away from fully grasping his potential, but he’s certainly one to watch in keeper leagues and for select matchups in 2011.
 
Nick Foles, Arizona – The offensive line needs to be rebuilt, but Foles will have no shortage of options to throw to. Juron Criner returns, and Dan Buckner (Texas) is eligible after sitting out 2010 due to NCAA transfer rules. The Wildcats have already hinted they will throw more in 2011, increasing Foles’ fantasy value next season.

Geno Smith, West Virginia – New coordinator Dana Holgorsen should bring immediate improvement to West Virginia’s offense in 2011. Holgorsen was a big reason why Oklahoma State finished No. 3 in the NCAA in scoring offense in 2010, and quarterback Brandon Weeden ended the year No. 20 among fantasy passers. Smith needs to stay healthy, but with Holgorsen’s coaching, should emerge as a solid QB2 in 120 formats.

Athlon's Pre-Preseason Top 55 Fantasy Quarterbacks for 2011

Expect many changes as throughout the offseason, but here's an early look at the 2011 big board for quarterbacks.

Rank Player Team Year 2010 Fantasy Points
1 Case Keenum Houston SR 47.5
2 Dominique Davis East Carolina SR 349.7
3 Landry Jones Oklahoma JR 306.9
4 G.J. Kinne Tulsa SR 332.2
5 Bryant Moniz Hawaii SR 358.3
6 Robert Griffin Baylor JR 312.3
7 Ryan Aplin Arkansas State JR 304.3
8 Kyle Padron SMU JR 294.1
9 Denard Robinson Michigan JR 390.9
10 Alex Carder Western Michigan JR 296.6
11 Brandon Weeden Oklahoma State SR 276.6
12 Dan Persa Northwestern SR 263.6
13 Darron Thomas Oregon JR 279.1
14 Andrew Luck Stanford JR 290.3
15 Nick Foles Arizona SR 190.1
16 Russell Wilson NC State SR 316.6
17 Austin Davis Southern Miss SR 286.2
18 Kellen Moore Boise State SR 280.8
19 Zach Collaros Cincinnati SR 253.2
20 Bryan Ellis UAB SR 227.7
21 Corey Robinson Troy SO 210.4
22 Matt Barkley USC JR 222.1
23 Tyler Wilson Arkansas JR 33.1
24 Kolton Browning UL Monroe SO 231.9
25 Geno Smith West Virginia JR 205.1
26 Dayne Crist Notre Dame JR 166.1
27 Chris Relf Mississippi State SR 179.1
28 Taylor Martinez Nebraska SO 257.5
29 Seth Doege Texas Tech JR 2.3
30 Chandler Harnish Northern Illinois SR 270.6
31 Tim Jefferson Air Force SR 251.6
32 Terrelle Pryor Ohio State SR 292.1
33 Nathan Scheelhaase Illinois SO 232.7
34 Jeffery Godfrey UCF SO 242.3
35 Austin Dantin Toledo JR 144.6
36 Jake Heaps BYU SO 123.6
37 Ryan Lindley San Diego State SR 233.6
38 Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M SR 134.4
39 Tyler Bray Tennessee SO 110.5
40 Aaron Murray Georgia SO 248.6
41 Stephen Garcia South Carolina SR 238.4
42 Zac Dysert Miami, Ohio JR 147.2
43 James Franklin Missouri SO 29.6
44 Ryan Radcliff Central Michigan JR 193.8
45 Tyler Lantrip Nevada SR 21.9
46 Kriss Proctor Navy SR 55.7
47 EJ Manuel Florida State JR 57.5
48 Tevin Washington Georgia Tech JR 80.6
49 Derek Carr Fresno State SO 0
50 Kirk Cousins Michigan State SR 187.6
51 Taylor McHargue Rice SO 63.5
52 Tajh Boyd Clemson SO 24.7
53 MarQueis Gray Minnesota JR 129.7
54 Garrett Gilbert Texas JR 201.3
55 Barrett Trotter Auburn JR 15.4

Scoring system rankings based upon - 

Passing TD = 4 points
Rushing/Receiving TD = 4 points
25 passing yards = 1 point
10 rushing/receiving yards = 1 point
Interceptions = -1 point
Fumbles lost = -1 point
2 point conversions = 2 points

 

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<p> It’s never too early to start looking ahead at the 2011 college fantasy season. Athlon takes a look at the returning options at quarterback and some of the names to watch.</p>