You have been dominating your high school buddies' re-draft league for years. Maybe the other attorneys at the law firm are too busy with real life to compete with you in fantasy football. You, however, are addicted. You are a fantasy football junkie, and you have a primal need to satisfy that competitive fix.
Michael Jordan retired at least once because of his Alexander the Great syndrome. After he conquered the world of basketball, he sat down and cried because there was nothing left to keep his competitive juices flowing. Luckily for re-draft owners, there is another level left to conquer: the dynasty format.
In dynasty leagues you keep every player on your roster from year to year. Your goal is build a dynasty that rivals the 1970s Steelers, 1980s 49ers, 1990s Cowboys, or the recent Patriots teams. Just as the Colts have Peyton Manning as the face of their franchise, so, too, can you. It's conceivable that you could have a player of Manning's caliber on your roster for his whole 15-17 year career in a dynasty league.
Dynasty leaguers generally stay involved throughout the calendar year, from the free agency and trade period, to the NFL Draft, and through training camp. The key to roster building and annual competition is to maintain a balanced nucleus of players that provides the best opportunity for success in the present while continuing to contend down the road.
On to the rankings . . .
1. Peyton Manning IND 32 - With Clark re-signed and Gonzalez ready to step up if Marvin doesn't snap back, Manning's consistency trumps Brady's career year.
2. Tom Brady NE 31 - Remains the NFL's best QB; Moss' return guarantees another great season, but Brady is not going to hit 50 TDs again.
3. Ben Roethlisberger PIT 26 - Easily the third best QB in the NFL and may bypass one of the Big Two in the next couple of years.
4. Carson Palmer CIN 28 - Can he bounce all the way back from an extremely disappointing season? Chad Johnson is going nowhere, and Chris Henry will be available for a full season . . . if he stays out of jail.
5. Tony Romo DAL 28 - Will move up if Dallas brings in a talented WR; two straight disappointing playoff performances and an over-reliance on T.O. leave room for doubt about level of future dominance.
6. Drew Brees NO 29 - Should be good for a consistent 4,000 yards and 25-30 TDs every year for the next few years, but what's with the Saints re-signing their own dreck at WR & TE the past couple of weeks?
7. Donovan McNabb PHI 31 - QBs like Eli Manning and Phil Rivers have been ranked ahead of him, in which case McNabb is the ideal buy low candidate for dynasty leaguers.
8. Jay Cutler DEN 25 - Impressive yards per attempt and completion numbers bode very well for future; would have liked to have seen a better acquisition than Keary Colbert, but Scheffler and Marshall form a very nice duo.
9. Marc Bulger STL 31 - Al Saunders and an improved offensive line could bring production back in line with career norms, but don't expect many TDs.
10. Matt Hasselbeck SEA 33 - Who is he going to be throwing to this year? With the Seahawks making an effort to upgrade the running game, he can't count on abnormally high passing attempt numbers again.
11. Derek Anderson CLE 25 - A window to make his mark as the Browns' franchise QB with the addition of Stallworth as a #3 weapon behind Edwards and Winslow; slightly worrisome word out of the Columbus Dispatch is that Anderson's 2009 bonus could essentially make his new contract a one-year deal if he doesn't play up to expectations.
12. Vince Young TEN 25 - Deserved a better fate last season after seeing a freakish number of TDs called back due to penalty, drops by a lousy receiving crew, or poor route running/miscommunication. Still has plenty of upside and the possibility of a true break-out season if the light flips on with improved weaponry.
13. Matt Schaub HOU 27 - He's going to have to stay healthy for all 16 games to shake the injury concerns, but there's a lot to like here. The yards per attempt and completion percentage were very promising, so he just needs to find Johnson and Daniels in the end zone more often to take the next step to reliable #1 as opposed to an aspiring Bulger.
14. David Garrard JAX 30 - A much better QB than commonly believed, but he's not likely to surpass last year's passing quality. If the running game slips from true dominance, does Garrard's production see an uptick from the increased attempts or do the passing lanes start to close with the defense no longer selling out against the run?
15. Eli Manning NYG 27 - The 64,000 Question: Did the epiphany occur in the last six weeks, or was it simply the flip-side of an inconsistent QB hitting a hot streak? I believe the latter, and I can't see how even a true believer can feel comfortable relying on a streaky, inconsistent Eli as a QB1 going forward.
16. Matt Leinart ARI 25 - High risk, high reward; after Warner's performance, there's going to be pressure to perform well right from the start. But if he does, he could easily see a 25 TD, 3700 yard season.
17. Philip Rivers SD 26 - Good news and bad news: The good news is that Rivers finally delivered consistently under pressure once the playoffs started. The bad news is that he showed flashes of David Carr happy feet and lack of arm strength during the season. Even worse, the ACL injury he suffered happened later in the season than Daunte Culpepper's, Carson Palmer's, and Donovan McNabb's . . . all of whom were much better QBs and struggled considerably in their first season back from injury. Why would we expect Rivers to do anything but disappoint in '08?
18. Aaron Rodgers GB 24 - Legit concern that he's been injury-prone in limited duty, but the pieces are already in place for him to succeed; just as importantly, he has both his coach and his GM glowing about his vast improvement over the past year.
19. Brady Quinn CLE 23 - Derek Anderson's $5M bonus before next season basically makes the 2-QB system a one year experiment. Quinn could definitely exploit an opening if Anderson doesn't show himself to be the Browns franchise QB in '08. The future is uncertain, but one of the two Browns QBs is likely to be starting elsewhere next season.
20. Jason Campbell WAS 26 - It would be foolish not to count on an adjustment period to the West Coast Offense and a new coaching staff; we've all seen him look very poised at times and extremely underwhelming at other times, so it will be interesting to watch his growth throughout '08. Remember the Losman/Grossman Effect: young QBs don't always get better.
22. JaMarcus Russell OAK 23 - Top of the line arm, perfect size, prodigious talent, but the footwork was an absolute mess and questions persist about his decision making; his career could go either way, and unfortunately, Oakland isn't exactly the ideal proving ground for a developing QB right now.
23. Jake Delhomme CAR 33 - Would make for the ideal throw-in on a larger deal if you believe he'll fully recover from Tommy John surgery; job security issues damage his long-term dynasty value, but he could recoup quite a bit of value in '08 with a more explosive offense featuring the always special Steve Smith plus the move to DeAngelo Williams at RB, and the additions of D.J. Hackett and Muhsin Muhammad.
24. Trent Edwards BUF 24 - Positive marks for poise, smarts, and an ability to lead an offense, but he needs to take a major step forward in playmaking and consistency; an upgrade in weapons would be nice as new OC Schonert plans to open up the passing game.
25. Drew Stanton DET 24 - Jon Kitna will be on a much shorter leash, so expect Stanton to get a chance at some point in '08; if Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams remain in Detroit, Stanton makes for a very intriguing high upside pet project.
26. Kellen Clemens NYJ 25 - Jets have nicely revamped a previously problematic offensive line and may be the favorites to land Darren McFadden. With an O-Line and a friendly running game, Clemens will be better able to get the ball to Coles and Cotchery.
27. Kevin Kolb PHI 24 - The new Matt Schaub? The new Aaron Rodgers? Either way, his value likely depends substantially on your league's roster size. He's a very nice stash as long as you realize he's a roster ornament for at least another year. Hope for one of the following: in-season injury to McNabb, a post-2008 McNabb trade, or Kolb becomes the new Schaub-like savior for a QB-desperate franchise.
28. Shaun Hill SF 28 - More of a game-manager type than Martz' previous QBs, but he does offer athleticism, a quick release, and the ability to lead an offense. There's some upside here, and if he beats out Alex Smith for the starting job, the whole 49er offense should receive a boost in value.
29. Tarvaris Jackson MIN 25 - If-big IF-Tarvaris can put it together, Berrian and a more experienced Sidney Rice offer some intriguing potential. I just can't get over the fact that he's the exact opposite of what the current Vikings franchise needs in a QB.
30. Jon Kitna DET 36 - Still has a window on '08 value with playmakers Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, but his margin for error is razor-thin with Stanton waiting in the wings . . . and Kitna is never a strong bet to defeat his margin of error.
31. Kurt Warner ARI 37 - Simply put, he needs Leinart to fall on his face in the pre-season. Warner threw up valuable fantasy numbers the last 12 games of '07 and can do it again if given the opportunity.
32. Daunte Culpepper UFA 31 - The opportunity isn't likely to be forthcoming (nor should it be), but Culpepper makes for a nice high-upside, albeit long shot, stash. Better to carry a long shot with high upside than a player you will never use even if he does get an opportunity to play.
33. Alex Smith SF 24 - Two of his three NFL seasons have produced historically bad performances. I don't think he beats Shaun Hill in a fair competition, but the 49ers have a lot invested here.
34. John Beck MIA 27 - Thoroughly unimpressive in a four game rookie trial. It remains to be seen if he'll be given the reigns to start in '08, but either way there's not going to be much of a grace period.
35. J.P. Losman BUF 27 - It's getting awfully late in the game for Losman to find a starting opportunity via trade. His best bet for value would be with Chiefs, Falcons, Vikings, or Ravens.
36. Jeff Garcia TB 38.5 - He's a better NFL than fantasy QB at this stage of his career and a poor bet at age 38 to stay as healthy and productive as last season.
37. Chad Pennington NYJ 32 - Due a hefty bonus and salary this season, the onus is on the Jets to find a taker. It's simply not practical to have a backup QB making that kind of scratch; the Vikings would be a perfect match.
38. Byron Leftwich UFA 28 - I still say he can help several teams around the league as a starting QB. For all of the talk about the long windup, he's long been a low turnover QB without a sack problem.
39. Sage Rosenfels HOU 30 - The Practically Perfect Backup QB could pick up some value if traded to the Vikes, but will certainly drop a tier if he remains in Houston.
40. Luke McCown TB 27 - The better of the Passing McCown Brothers has flashed some interesting ability in small doses. Would have to beat out Griese to get on the field this season, but this McCown could conceivably have a future as a starter down the road.
41.Troy Smith BAL 24 - Not ready yet to help an offense put up consistent points, but he has shown impressive field general abilities. Still raw, but may get a shot down the road.
42. Kyle Orton CHI 25 - Plucky. That's it. That's the list. OK, neckbeard. That's on the list too. Woe are the Bears.
43. Rex Grossman CHI 28 - Come on. He's simply odious. Before last season, I called him a "turnover prone, inconsistent, inaccurate headcase." I was feeling nice that day.
44. Brodie Croyle KC 25 - If Grossman is odious, then Croyle is, of course, appallingly bad. The Chiefs are seriously deluded if he starts week one.
45. Steve McNair BAL 35 - The early favorite to start in Baltimore, but it's going to be tough for even the bionic man to throw with a fork sticking out of his back.
46. Chris Redman ATL 31 - Last man standing could be a band-aid for a year, but I don't think the Falcons are done shopping quite yet.
47. Quinn Gray UFA 29 - Another long release guy, this one comes with major accuracy and consistency issues but possesses all the physical tools; could end up in Green Bay as Rodgers' backup.
48. Seneca Wallace SEA 28 - Could put up interesting fantasy numbers if ever given a shot at regular playing time.
49. Damon Huard KC 35 - He's no great shakes, but he's a hell of a lot better than Brodie Croyle; with the Chiefs far from contending mode, Huard is stuck in no man's land.
50. Matt Moore CAR 24 - Looked decent in late season action . . . certainly better than any Carolina backups of the past two seasons.
51. Brian Griese TB 33 - Will battle Luke McCown to see who starts once Garcia gets injured.
52. *Michael Vick ATL 28 - How large is your roster?
53. Billy Volek SD 32 - Fantasy leaguers keep insisting that he must be passing up better opportunities elsewhere; but what are the chances NFL GMs are as fond of his game as fantasy owners are?
54. Trent Green STL 38 - Decent shot at Kurt Warner-like startable value if Bulger goes down, but keep in mind any value would be of the fleeting variety.
55. Kyle Boller BAL 27 - Has failed and failed again to generate offense. Poor man's Rex Grossman lacks the headcase nature but also the playmaking ability.