Top five fantasy quarterbacks for 2009

With the fantasy football season over (unless you signed up for our Playoff Challenge, or course), it’s time to start looking ahead to 2009.

I’ll be working on a complete list of player rankings over the next several weeks, but for now I’ll offer up the top five players per position over the next few days.

Let’s start off with the quarterbacks:

1. Drew Brees, New Orleans — It’s impossible not to rank Brees as the top quarterback after a season with 5,069 yards and 34 touchdowns. He’s durable, consistent and plays in an offense that will continue to be explosive and lean on the passing attack.

2. Tony Romo, Dallas — OK, so Romo struggled in a big way down the stretch. But I think his injuries were a huge part of the reason he faltered. All he did while at 100 percent was throw three touchdown passes in four of his first six starts.

3. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis — Manning failed to reach 30 passing touchdowns for the first time since 2005, but he still finished in the top five in fantasy points at his position on NFL.com. He’ll also be 100 percent entering the 2009 season.

4. Philip Rivers, San Diego — Despite throwing just 18 more passes than he did in 2007, Rivers smashed his previous career bests with 4,009 yards and 34 touchdown passes. LaDainian Tomlinson will be 30 years old, so the Bolts will lean on Rivers in 2009.

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay — I liked Rodgers as a preseason sleeper, but I never thought he’d throw for over 4,000 yards with 32 touchdowns. He showed all of us that he’s for real, so look for Rodgers to remain a superstar.

On the edge: Kurt Warner, Arizona; Tom Brady, New England.

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