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The NFC East QBs already face an uphill battle because all four teams in the division possess top-10 defenses from last season, but two still rank in the top eight QBs in the league.
1. Donovan McNabb
McNabb saved his season—and maybe his Philly career—after his benching in Baltimore last season, which came on the heels of five picks over a two game stretch. From that point on, he tossed nine TDs and one INT and carried the Birds all the way to NFC Championship Game. Overall in 2008, he finished just under 4,000 yards and 23 TDs.
This year, he has even more weapons at his disposal. In addition to star RB Brian Westbrook and second year WR DeSean Jackson, the Eagles solidified their offensive line and moved up in the draft to select WR Jeremy Maclin, who should provide an immediate impact in the slot.
Look for a 4,000 yard season and between 25-30 TDs.
2. Tony Romo
Coming into last year’s fantasy draft, Romo was the second rated QB on the draft board after a stellar 2007 campaign. After a tumultuous year, one that included a broken pinkie finger and dissent amongst the receiving corps, mainly T.O., the Cowboys finished off 9-and-7 and missed the post season.In 13 games he finished with 3,448 yards and 26 TDs.
This year, T.O. is gone, which while good for team chemistry, is probably not for fantasy. WR Roy Williams will have to prove he’s capable of being the number one in Big D, otherwise team’s will focus on Witten, which will affect Romo.
Look for another 3,500 yard season, and between 22-25 TDs.
3. Eli Manning
The Manning you want in fantasy football resides in Indianapolis, as the Colts offense is built around the passing game. In New York, the offense begins with the running game, and that will be emphasized to an even greater extent with the release of Plaxico Burress in the off season. In 2008, Manning finished with over 3,200 yards and 21 TDs.
This year, look for a similar stat line: 3,200 yards and between 20-25 TDs.
Although most will point to his drop off in play when Plax was suspended, the offensive game plan didn’t adjust. With an entire off season to adjust according to their personnel, the Giants’ passing game will now focus on its receivers strengths: quickness and speed as opposed to height.
4. Jason Campbell
Does anyone come into the season feeling more slighted than Jason Campbell? The Skins first tried to deal for Jay Cutler, and then attempted to move up in the draft for Mark Sanchez. In the end, none of those deals worked out. In his first year running Zorn’s offense, he amassed 3,245 yards and 13 TDs.
If he can get some more productivity out of last year’s top receivers, Devin Thomas and Malcolm Kelly, to go along with Santana Moss, look for Campbell to once again break the 3,000 yard mark and throw between 15-18 TDs in 2009.
McNabb will be the first QB off the board from the division, most likely between round’s three and five. Romo will also be picked around that time frame, while Manning will last past round 10. Campbell will go towards the end of the draft and be used solely as a fill-in when your starter is out.