QB rankings turn upside down in Week 17

Updated: December 30, 2009, 1:56 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Quite possibly my favorite week to do the rankings each season is Week 17, because it's the one time where anything goes, and it's easy to justify. I mean, most weeks, you see the same quarterbacks in the top 10 each week, and there's rarely a key decision to be made. You've got Kurt Warner, so he's always in, Vince Young is rarely close to in. However, this week is the one when the quarterback rankings in particular can get so crazy, one might think the fantasy rankers have collectively lost their minds. We haven't, not really. Matt Ryan over Drew Brees? Alex Smith over Philip Rivers? Eli Manning over Peyton Manning? It's all true, and I think all likely to come to fruition in the actual Week 17 scoring. This is why so many fantasy championships are decided before this final, fun, exhilarating week, because so many fantasy owners are scared to deviate from the norm that got them there.

That's right, I think this is a fun week, actually, while others who have been relying on Indianapolis Colts, San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals all season long might not find it so fun. Hey, I'm in the championship round in a few leagues, and I don't mind making the decision to sit Carson Palmer, who I've stuck with all season, for Alex Smith, who I've bashed for years. This week, it's clearly the right call. This is the week the big quarterback names really don't matter, because like any other week, it stands to reason that each owner needs to find his or her best options, whomever they are. Jay Cutler in the top 10 of quarterbacks? Hey, he's facing the Detroit Lions. I'm aboard. At least I know he'll be slingin' it 25 times. I don't think Brees will.