Quarterback has not surprisingly become the most important position in NFL Fantasy Leagues everywhere. Quarterback are shattering records and expectations every year now. The trick is now, weeding out the unbelievable from the believable. If all their stats go up, the value in position does not really go up. What you need to find are the ones that will rise above their projected draft position, not necessarily who will give you the most points overall. The key to the fantasy quarterback position, and really your entire team, is to draft for value.
Now let’s break down the top 10 Qb’s in NFL for 2012, with a few you may want to avoid, and few you may want to take a chance on.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay, FPT – 397.18
2011 for Aaron Rodgers was one of the best Fantasy Football seasons in history. Rodgers dominated the quarterback position, despite multiple QB’s record breaking performances. He led the league in FPT, despite missing the final game of the year. With Rodgers’ poise in the pocket, ability to run, and supporting cast of seemingly endless weapons, this trend is very likely to continue at the same pace, if not at an even higher success rate. Rodgers should be at the top of every draft board, not just quarterbacks.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, FPT – 279.48
Every year all fantasy owners are looking for the one breakout pick that is going to change their teams. Give them the competitive edge that nobody saw coming. Usually it’s not a QB that ended 2011 in 8th place among quarterbacks. This year it very well could be. With the weapons at Ryan’s disposal(White, Jones, Gonzalez, Turner) and his new opportunity to run the offense he wants to, he will join the upper echelon of QB’s in the league. This is Ryan’s year, and depending on your league, he may be around as low as the 5th round. Now that is value!
Tom Brady, New England Patriots, FPT – 370.3
Last year Tom was forced with the task named Ochocinco.Carrying dead weight on almost every snap. That’s no easy task, and Mr. Brady make it look like fun. With Brandon Lloyd now filling that opening, giving Brady the deep threat he has yearned for since Randy Moss, Terrific Tom should be just as dangerous as ever.
Never underestimate the value of a man trying to get paid. Historically players have their absolute best seasons during their contract years, and Joe is setting up to have one hell of a contract. With Boldin and Smith on the outsides, and a newly signed Ray Rice to make everything easy behind him, all Flacco needs to do is his own job, and it will all fall in place for him. They have been running the no-huddle offense all training camp, so look for the Ravens to open it up all year long. Flacco should be a fantastic value around the 3rd round or 4th round.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, FPT – 389.64
The value of a coach like Sean Payton is undeniable. There will definitely be a bit of a drop off in production in all facets of the game, except in the offensive game, When Sean Payton broke his leg last year in week 6, Pete Carmichael took over the offensive play calling. Over those 10 games, Drew Brees averaged 26.4 FTP, the exact same amount that Rodgers average for his 15 games. Now they’ve lost a few weapons, but Brees looks the same, and the drop-off should not be significant. Don’t let Brees fall out of the first round.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, FPT – 369.64
Although Cam’s production won’t match what he did in his rookie year, he would be a bargain as the number 6-8 QB off your board.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions, FPT – 341.32
This is a risky pick. So much of his statistics last year were based upon the fact that the Lions had absolutely no running game. But anyone throwing to Megatron can’t be all bad.
Eli Manning, New York Giants, FPT – 287.9
After that run to the Super Bowl, Eli will be drafted unrealistically high in most leagues. Try to avoid this, and keep in mind, he wins games in the fourth quarter, but can barely complete a pass in most first halves.
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos, FPT – 287.8 (2010)
He’s lost some arm strength, and he has an entire new system around him. He’s the biggest question mark on anybody’s draft board. On the other hand, he is Peyton Manning.
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears, FPT – 142.36
Cutler was injured last year, and before he got hurt, wasn’t exactly lighting up the league. This is exactly why is value is so high right now. His ranking is low. In many leagues he could be drafted as your number 2 QB. Now that is a great value.
Beware of Busts
Tony Romo, Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Ben Roethlisberger
Some Deep Sleepers
Josh Freeman, Andrew Luck, Vince Young, Alex Smith
Twitter: @NBDebates and @mattykyoung