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Top 15 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks for 2013
1. Aaron Rodgers GB - Green Bay Packers, Bye: Week 10
2. Tom Brady NE - New England Patriots, Bye: Week 9
3. Drew Brees NO - New Orleans Saints, Bye: Week 6
4. Matthew Stafford DET - Detroit Lions, Bye: Week 5
5. Cam Newton CAR - Carolina Panthers, Bye: 6
6. Michael Vick - Philadelphia Eagles, Bye: Week 7
7. Tony Romo DAL - Dallas Cowboys, Bye: Week 5
8. Philip Rivers - San Diego Chargers, Bye: Week 7
9. Eli Manning NYG - New York Giants, Bye: Week 11
10. Peyton Manning DEN - Denver Broncos, Bye: Week 7
11. Matt Ryan ATL - Atlanta Falcons, Bye: Week 7
12. Robert Griffin III WAS - Washington Redskins, Bye: Week 10
13. Josh Freeman TB - Tampa Bay Bucs, Bye: Week 5
14. Ben Roethlisberger PIT - Pittsburgh Steelers, Bye: Week 4
15. Joe Flacco BAL - Baltimore Ravens, Bye: Week 8
Second Tier Starter with upside: Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
If I miss out on the big guns with elite arms (Aaron Rogers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady) Iíll load up on talent in other areas and look for Matt Ryan in the later rounds. This former first round pick had a bit of a down year in 2011, but still put up big numbers (4177 yrds passing, 29 TDís 12 INTís). I like Matty Ice for a few reasons. Heís in a pass friendly offense with an aging running back in Michael Turner. He has an elite-level wide Receiver in Roddy White and second year pro Julio Jones is picked by many to have a breakout year. The Atlanta Defense is an average defense at best which means that Ryan will have to score some points to stay competitive in the NFC South. Heís the type of guy that can be taken in the later rounds and still produce like a #1 quarterback.
Sure to Disappoint: Matt Hasselbeck/Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
Pick you poison here folks. The Tennessee passing attack strikes fear into the hearts of no man. Kenny Britt just has his second knee surgery in two years and Nate Washington has never been anything more than a journeyman wide out. Tight end Jared Cook is picked to break out every year and never does. Whichever quarterback is under center for the Titans is simply asked to manage the game. This offense is a run-first unit that will look to get Chris Johnson back to his 2009 form. I do like the selection of wide receiver Kendall Wright from Baylor, but heís young and inexperienced, so I donít expect too much from him this year.
Next Great Young Arm: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
This oneís a slam duck. Andrew Luck is widely regarded as the most NFL ready QB to come out of college since John Elway. He has the football acumen to read NFL defenses, the arm to exploit loose coverages, and the pocket presence to allow his receivers enough time to get open. Luck will go through his growing pains and the Indianapolis Colts' cupboard is bare, but he will lead the Colts back to respectability as this franchise slowly rebuilds through the draft.
What I said in 2011 ...
Premiere Passer : Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
As a youngster, the incomparable Mike Vick shredded NFL defenses with a speed and athleticism unseen before at the Quarterback position. The only thing that could stop Vick was himself and after serving 19 months in prison for running an illegal dogfighting operation, he returned to the football field with a renewed enthusiasm for the game. Michael Vick got his opportunity to shine in Week 1 when Eagles starter Kevin Kolb went down. Vick seized the opportunity and never looked back. Combining the athleticism he showcased in his early years with a refined patience to read defenses and find the open man, #7 carved up NFL defenses to the tune of over 3000 yards passing and almost rushing for 700 yards on the ground. Vick was a touchdown machine in 2010, throwing for 21 while rushing for an additional 9 TD's on the ground. Although he's an injury risk, this top prospect is a high risk, high reward draft day gamble.
Most Overrated Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is an excellent NFL quarterback, but his game rarely translates to the production of elite numbers in fantasy football. I'm constantly seeing this guy overvalued in fantasy drafts year after year. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a running team that brings a ball control mentality to their game plan backed up by an elite Super Bowl defense. They're not going to let Roethlisberger air it out week after week. Their offense is build to control the clock using long, sustained drives featuring a solid dose of Rashard Mendenhall. If you want elite fantasy production at the quarterback position and you're drafting in the later rounds, take a flier on a guy like Matt Stafford, Josh Freeman, or Sam Bradford. These guys have high upside, and could easily out perform Big Ben.
What I said in 2010 ...
Premiere Passer : Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Chosen as my Next Great Fantasy Quarterback back in 2008, Aaron Rodgers has fulfilled all expectations. He continues to be in a great situation in Green Bay surrounded by a plethora of offensive weapons. With the emergence of Jermichael Findley at the tight end position, along with strong wide receiver play and a solid ground attack, Rodger has all the tools to improve upon his 30 touchdown 4434 yard 2009 performance.
Most Overrated Quarterback: Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs
Matt Cassel is another in the long line of second string quarterbacks that can't handle the top spot when the starting job is given to them ... like Rob Johnson or Scott Mitchell. A system quarterback that shows promise when thrust into the spotlight due to an injury, then jumps to another team and flounders. Cassel excelled in the Patriots pass-happy system, but the Kansas City Chiefs don't have the same weapons that he enjoyed in New England. He is destined to fail.
2010 Fantasy Sleeper: Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals
Since his knee injury back in 2006, we've been waiting for the reemergence of the quarterback who perennially led the Cincinnati Bengals offense as a top five scoring offense in the NFL. The addition of Cedric Benson last year caused a shift in offensive philosophy. the Bengals became a running team that relied on their defense. This year with the addition of Antonio Bryant, and what will be the emergence of third year wide receiver Andre Caldwell at the #3 spot, the Bengals and Carson Palmer will feature a more balanced attack. I expect Palmer to return to the top five quarterback in fantasy production.
Sure to Disappoint: Jake Delhomme, Cleveland Browns
Jake Delhomme is done. A journeyman quarterback who had a couple good years in Carolina id destined for the fantasy basement. The Cleveland Browns have very little offense to speak of. They will rely on their ground game and their defense to try to stay in games. The Browns are a bad team and Jake Delhomme is a backup quarterback.
The Next Great Fantasy QB: Mark Sanchez
Mark Sanchez finds himself in an incredible situation with the New York Jets. Prior to drafting their franchise quarterback of the future, the Jets spent several years investing in high draft picks along the offensive line and on the defensive side of the ball. With a rock-solid offensive line, the number one defense in football, and what was the best ground attack in the NFL last season, Mark Sanchez is ready to take the next step. The Jets have followed a formula for success and I believe Sanchez will continue to be a big part of that.
What I said in 2009 ...
Premiere Passer : Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints offense under Sean Peyton looks primed for a breakout year and Drew Brees is destined for a dominant performance. The receiving corps perennially turns out All-pro performers. Marques Colston who's finally healthy should return to prominence, Lance Moore had a breakout year last year and I expect former first rounder, Robert Meachem, who happens to be in his breakout third year, to finally demonstrate why the Saints invested such a high draft pick in him. Add to this solid receiving corp a ground game anchored by Pierre Thomas and featuring Reggie Bush and I expect big numbers out of Drew Brees.
Most Overrated Quarterback: David Garrard Jacksonville Jaguars
Everyone always seems to be so enamored with David Garrard. I just don't see it. His numbers last year were very average and I expect the Jaguars to feature a strong running game with MJD finally working in a single back set now that Fred Taylor has left town to join the Patriots. Garrard doesn't have an overly strong arm, he's a pocket passer and quite frankly a game manager. I would not expect much out of him in 2009.
2009 Fantasy Sleeper: Trent Edwards Buffalo Bills
2009 might be the year of Trent Edwards and the Buffalo Bills. With uber-diva Terrell Owens coming to town to join Lee Evans at the wide receiver position, coupled with a strong ground attack led by Marshwn Lynch and Fred Jackson, I think Trent Edwards could be a solid backup fantasy performer with some upside. There are questions all over that offensive line, that leave me a little uneasy, but if things fall into place, we could see Trent Edwards as the face of the Buffalo Bills franchise as the Bills enter the next decade.
Sure to Disappoint: Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns
I have a bad feeling about Brady Quinn. The former Notre Dame product has been unable to unseat journeyman quarterback Derek Anderson. The Browns have no ground game to speak of with an ageing Jamal Lewis still trying to get it done and apart from Braylon Edwards, now that Kellen Winslow is in Tampa, they have no real offensive threats to speak of. I would expect another mediocre year for the Browns and Brady Quinn.
The Next Great Fantasy QB: Matt Ryan
It's not hard to pick out Matt Ryan as the next great fantasy Quarterback. 2008 found Ryan in a difficult situation. With the Atlanta Falcons finally turning the page on the Michael Vick saga, Ryan was brought in to make Falcons fans forget about Vick. With the eyes of Falcons nation fixed on the rookie, he delivered. Anchored by a strong running game and solid defense, Ryan remained poised and threw for 3440 yards and 16 touchdowns against 11 interceptions. This year Ryan takes the next step from game manager to franchise quarterback.
What I said in 2008 ...
Premiere Passer : Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Last year the Tom Brady to Randy Moss connection ruled fantasy football as the New England offense set new records for single season scoring, single season passing touchdowns, and single season receiving touchdowns. For years Tom Brady single-handedly willed the Patriots to victories with a very average, smurf-like, receiving corps that included the likes of Deion Branch, David Patten and Bethel Johnson; all hovering around the six foot mark. In 2007, Brady's patience was finally awarded when the Patriots broke the bank to retool their offense by bringing in Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, and Wes Welker. Brady responded with the best statistical season of his career, terrorizing opponents as he posted 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. Brady and Co. will continue their statistical domination of NFL defenses as the core of the 2007 offensive unit will return, minus Donte Stallworth. Lawrence Maroney will also be able keep defenses honest as he's recovered from the nagging injuries that plagued his 2007 season.
Most Overrated Quarterback: Jon Kitna Detroit Lions
Jon Kitna is on a short leash in the Motor City. Mike Martz, his biggest supporter, is now in San Francisco and the journeyman Kitna is forced to pick up the pieces. Although posting very respectable numbers in 2007 (4,068 yards, 18 TD's), the installation of a new offense, the reluctance on the part of Matt Millen to address their grotesque need at the running back position (2008 3rd round draft pick Kevin Smith?), and the presence of Drew Stanton and Dan Orlovski Waiting in the wings to take over, should he falter, makes this guy a huge fantasy risk for the 2008 season. Kitna watched as Matt Hasselbeck took over in Seattle, as Carson Palmer took his spot in Cincinnati, and it will happen again in Detroit.
2008 Fantasy Sleeper: Vince Young, Tennessee Titans
2008 is the year that Vince Young's game finally transitions to the NFL. Young showed flashes of his break out ability during his rookie campaign only to take a step back as inconsistent play at the wide receiver position and the growing pains of adjusting to the National Football league seemed to take its toll on the struggling quarterback. The addition of Alge Crumpler as a primary target, coupled with the continued development if his young receiving corps should allow Vince Young's talents to capitalize on some scoring opportunities.
Sure to Disappoint: Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Alex Smith just doesn't get it. He was drafted first overall by the San Francisco 49ers in 2005 to be the savior of this franchise, to usher in a new era of post season accolades. Unfortunately, Smith was drafted amongst a very weak crop of quarterbacks and the San Francisco 49ers paid a steep price for an inferior product. Smith was rushed in the starting lineup much too quickly and in 2008 will prove to be another Joey Harrington ... a David Carr ... a guy who's game just doesn't translate to the National Football League. The addition of Mike Martz is intriguing to the San Francisco offense, but I truly believe that when Frank Gore is punishing NFL Defenses and Vernon Davis begins regularly posting 100 yard games, that it will be someone other than Alex Smith under center.
The Next Great Fantasy QB: Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers has all the tools to become a highly successful quarterback in Green Bay. With Ryan Grant pounding NFL defenses, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver at the wide receiver position, the continued solid play of the Packer offensive line, and the emergence of the formidable Green Bay Packer Defense, Rodgers has been handed the keys to a finely tuned automobile. There is a reason, that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy made no effort to retain the services of Brett Favre, after four years in the Packer Offensive System they believe they've groomed his successor.
What I said in 2007 ...
Premiere Passer : Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning is a touchdown machine and the Indianapolis Colts offense is structured to get him the gaudy numbers that Manning posts every year for yardage and touchdowns. Over the last three years, Manning threw for 49, 28, and 31 touchdowns and 4577, 3747, and 4397 yards. With the addition on Anthony Gonzalez and the emergence of Joseph Addai at Running Back, Peyton is primed for another highly productive year in a system that makes fantasy owners salivate. At 31 years of age Peyton in entering his prime, he is head and shoulder above any other fantasy football quarterback in the league.
Most Overrated Quarterback: Matt Schaub, Houston Texans
As an understudy for the incomparable Mike Vick in Atlanta for the last three years, Matt Schaub shined in mop-up duty during preseason games and as Vickís stand in when he was injured. Schaub will find that filling in for a starting quarterback in the NFL is much different that becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL. At 6í5Ē and 237 lbs. Matt Schaub has all the physical attributes of the prototypical NFL quarterback, but size alone does not an NFL quarterback make Ö remember Buffalo Bills great Rob Johnson?
2007 Fantasy Sleeper: Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
Entering his third year in the National Football League, Alex Smith is primed for a breakout year. The San Francisco 49ers broke the free agency bank this off-season and in addition to their rising stars in running back Frank Gore and tight end Vernon Davis, they invested in ex-seattle wide receiver Darryl Jackson. When healthy and not dropping footballs, Jackson is a formidable weapon at the wide receive position. I look to Alex Smith, with a revitalized ground attack, to make defenses pay for trying to stop Frank Gore.
Sure to Disappoint: Byron Leftwich, Jacksonville Jaguars
I hate to put Byron in this category because I like the guy. I like his physical tools, his attitude, and his heart. Byron Leftwich is the type of guy you want to be successful in the National Football League, but the fact of the matter is that he is doomed to failure in 2007. With David Garrard and Quinn Gray on the roster, the Jacksonville Jaguars have a stable of good quarterbacks, they just don't have a great one. The Jags will feature the two headed rushing attack of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jone-Drew, and if Leftwich can retain his starting job, he will still amass less than 2000 yards passing and ten touchdowns.
The Next Great Fantasy QB: Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos
Is he the next John Elway? Only time will tell. Does he have the skills and supporting cast to make him a dominant fantasy quarterback ... you better believe he does. Mike Shanahan, has amassed a strong supporting cast and a created a great system for Cutler to thrive in. In Javon Walker and Brandon Marshall, Cutler has a pair of star receivers for him to throw to and in Travis Henry and the vaunted Denver Broncos offensive line, the running game will be as solid as ever in 2007. Cutler will mature very quickly and just like Bill Walsh did for Joe Montana and Charlie Weiss did for Tom Brady, the system will make Jay Cutler shine for years to come.