Since many of us who partake in this silly yet addicting pass-time are about to have our yearly fantasy football drafts, I figure this is a good time as any. A lot of leagues devalue the QB and I am deeply sorry if yours is one of them. The league I run is a “custom rules” setting. 6 full points for all passing TDs, 1 point per 25 passing yards. No bonus points for yards. Only -1 point for a fumble or interception. So with that in mind, I may be ranking the QBs a little different than you would normally do so.
1. Aaron Rodgers– Green Bay. Easily the most efficient QB. Capable of putting up 300 yards and 3-4 TDs in any given game. He is a candidate for the 4000/40 club. A player that can single handedly win your week. You don’t take him out vs any matchup. Not viewed as a mobile QB, he will get you a couple points each week from scrambling and maybe a TD near the goal-line.
2. Drew Brees– New Orleans. Pretty much the same as Aaron Rodgers, except up the yards by 1000. This year could be special as the Saints welcome back suspended coach, Sean Payton. You can bet they will have a chip on their shoulder. Unlike Rodgers Drew will not likely give you any points running around. He also may have a few more interceptions. Which if you get -1 for them is no big deal. If your league does -3 for picks, that is something you might want to think about.
3. Tom Brady– New England. A lot of “experts” are sliding Brady down the charts. Foolishly. Brady is having a great camp and also probably has a huge chip on his shoulder due to all the BS going on there in the off-season. He has a lot of new targets to spread the ball around with, which might hinder him early but also could have some intriguing results if the cream rises to the top. He still has Gronkowski, if he can rebound from back and arm surgery. Danny Amendola should be Welker-esque if he can stay healthy.
4. Peyton Manning– Denver. I was one of the doubters last year. He came back strong and put up great numbers. With a year under his belt and reportedly throwing stronger, I expect those numbers to at least remain stable, if not tick up a bit. He has probably the most talented 4 receivers in the NFL. None of them are Marvin Harrison but Demaryius Thomas is a beast. It doesn’t look like Denver will have much of a running game this year either.
5. Matt Ryan– Atlanta. Julio Jones and Roddy White are enough to keep Ryan well stocked in yards and touchdowns. One last year for HoF Tight End Tony Gonzalez won’t hurt. New RB Steven Jackson is a decent option out of the backfield. I think Matty “Ice” continues to be a strong fantasy factor.
6. Matthew Stafford– Detroit. He throws for 5000 yards every year and has the best WR in the league. This year he will have a sneaky RB out of the backfield in Reggie Bush. Now if they only had a more disciplined coach…still, Stafford should continue to chuck the ball early and often. Lack of discipline on this team should mean they are usually coming from behind.
7. Eli Manning– NY Giants. He has one of the top two WR duos in Nicks and Cruz. That’s pretty much all he needs. I would put him at the lower end of “Elite” but I will give him his propers. I think he earned it.
8. Colin Kaepernick– San Francisco. He probably won’t have quite as many rushing yards as he did last year, but he may have more rushing TDs as he will be playing 16 games. This guy really proved he can ball in the playoffs. He is very accurate for a young QB and teams will have to respect his wheels. Despite losing Michael Crabtree, he still has 2 dangerous targets in Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. In fact, I expect TE Vernon Davis to have some monster numbers as a vertical threat. There is a bit of risk with Kaepernick as he is young and likes to run. But it could make your season, especially if you pick him up later in your draft.
9. Andrew Luck– Indianapolis. I usually stay away from young QBs in Fantasy football. The biggest jump QBs usually make is from year 1 to year 2. If this holds true, Luck could be poised for a heck of a season. He has some young receivers and his college buddy at TE.
10. Tony Romo– Dallas. He seemed to really connect with Dez Bryant, who matured nicely the latter half of 2012. If both stay healthy, Bryan could be challenging Calvin Johnson for the #1 WR spot. Romo also has TE Jason Witten who starts the year off healthier than he did last season.
On the edge:
Robert Griffin III– Washington. Concerns about his knee and durability had me rank him out of the top 10. If you have faith in his ability to mend, by all means, put him right up there with Luck and Kaepernick.
Russell Wilson– Seattle. Is he a fluke? I don’t think so. He seems very smooth and smart at QB. Would have been nice to have a healthy Percy Harvin. Sidney Rice may or may not be 100%. It will be exciting to see how he improves in year two as a pro.
Cam Newton– Carolina. In his 3rd year Cam needs to be a little more deliberate with the ball. If he keeps the turnovers down, he can return to the 30+ TD machine he was in his rookie season. He has ageless WR Steve Smith, reliable TE Greg Olson and under utilized RB DeAngello Williams. I personally thinks he continues to improve and will be a heck of a steal in the mid rounds.
Well that is it. This year’s QB prospects are deep indeed. If you are in a league where the QB is a premium position, you can definitely wait until the 3rd or 4th round and pick up a good one. Not much drop off from the 6th to 13th ranked QBs in my estimation. Hope this list helps you out in determining which way you go in 2013. Best of luck in your season!
Next week: Top 15 Fantasy Running Backs.