You will not see a player other that a quarterback below. Even Vegas recognizes that non-QB players rarely move a point spread. So while we can acknowledge that Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, and JJ Watt are unbelievable players, they are more replaceable than many quarterbacks.
Here are my top 5.
5. Matt Ryan- The Falcons have become so pass-heavy, if Matty-Ice went down, it’s tough to imagine that Dominique Davis will have them in the playoffs. They could run the ball more, but they aren’t built that way and their defense is iffy. They have so many weapons on offense though, that Ryan doesn’t rank first.
4. Tom Brady– God help us if we ever have to debate Ryan Mallett versus Tim Tebow. What keeps Brady from being number one is arguably the league’s best running game, and a solid defense. Remember they won 11 games the year Brady went down with a torn ACL.
3. Drew Brees- A pass-happy offense without it’s trigger man is a bad deal. Even worse is that backup Chase Daniel has moved on in free agency leaving Luke McCown and Seneca Wallace to duke it out. The defense is terrible and they aren’t equipped to run the ball. Heck, they only won 7 games last year with Brees. They’d be near the bottom without him.
2. Aaron Rodgers– He does so much with his arm and legs. He carries this offense, and what has been a pretty average defense. Graham Harrell, former Texas Tech QB, is his backup, so he can throw it around, but doesn’t have the talent to pull this offense off. The Packers quickly would go from Super Bowl contender to non-playoff team, possibly even last place team.
1. Peyton Manning– He showed us all his value two seasons ago in Indy. The Colts went from one of the best teams in the league, to the team with the worst record. The Broncos have a little more talent than those Colts, but Brock Osweiler is the backup. He sounds like some fictional action star character, not a NFL quarterback. I know this, it would be a bad movie if he had to play.