The AFC North is an interesting division that possess two top fantasy QB’s, two others with potential, and while Carson Palmer is probably the best of the bunch, at this point, Big Ben gets the nod.

1. Ben Roethlisberger

Roethlisberger will enter his sixth full season in the league as the proud owner of two Super Bowl rings after his Steelers defeated the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

In 2008, he threw for over 3,300 yards with 19 total TDs, two coming via the run.

This year, the same cast of characters are back, but Santonio Holmes is a year older and more dangerous. Big Ben’s offensive weapons remain intact and strong.

Look for 3,500 yards and between 23 to 26 TDs.

2. Carson Palmer

Palmer is the most talented QB in the division stuck on a horrible team. When healthy, he’s right there in the conversation with Manning, Brady and Brees.

Last year, a lingering elbow injury forced him to miss 12 games.

After an off season to strengthen his elbow, Palmer is healthy, and Ochocinco looks rearing to go.

Mix that in with some of the younger receivers and look for a nice comeback season. He will get over 3,500 yards with 20—25TDs.

3. Joe Flacco

For most of his rookie season, he wasn’t called upon to do much, aside from managing the offense and not making mistakes. But towards the end, as Flacco’s confidence grew, OC Cam Cameron opened up the playbook ever so slightly and he produced, finishing with just under 3,000 yards and 16 total TDs, two coming via the run.

While this will still be a team that relies on its running game and defense to win games, look for another step forward in year two with over 3,000 yards and between 18 to 20 TDs.

4. Derek Anderson

Brady Quinn could certainly end up as the starter, and if so, our projections wouldn’t differ too drastically, but our thinking is that Anderson’s the better QB, and his problems last year were due to a horrendous offensive unit and the incessant drops by WR Braylon Edwards in crucial situations.

The forecast in the Dawg Pound isn’t very bright this season as the team dealt TE Winslow to the Bucs and WR Stallworth is suspended indefinitely.

Regardless, look for a team that relies heavily on the run and for Anderson, or Quinn, to throw for 2,500 - 2,700 yards with 15-18 TDs.

Draft Tip

Roethlisberger will probably be selected before Palmer. His name will be called from round four on.

Palmer, coming off a serious injury, will probably last until round six, and could potentially be an excellent fantasy sleeper.

Flacco will be available after round ten and you should be able to scoop up Anderson or Quinn at the end of the draft.


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