Many owners going into drafts can forget that in most standard fantasy leagues you have 1 roster spot for QBs each week to start. Thus making QBs the most valuable position in most leagues and tend to score the most points. Though we can chase a top RB, a great QB can make up for a lack of depth or production from a RB or WR in many circumstances, so knowing you QBs and drafting accordingly is essential when trying to win your league.
1. Aaron Rodgers – With 45 TDs (plus 3 rushing TDs), Rodgers cemented himself as an elite fantasy quarterback last season and should remain the number 1 fantasy QB taken this year. He runs a high powered, pass first offense in Green Bay and has averaged 4 rushing touchdowns since being the starting QB for the Packers. There really isn’t much to not like about last year’s league MVP.
The Good – He is the total package at the position and is in the prime of his career.
The Bad – It can be hard to duplicate and/or build off of career highs. Though, I wouldn’t put much stake in that idea when it comes to Rodgers.
2. Tom Brady – Last season, Brady broke Dan Marino’s record for yards in a season, albeit after Drew Brees had shattered it. He also helped establish Rob Gronkowski as a major receiving threat. With the addition of Brandon Lloyd, Brady now has a more reliable deep threat to compliment the Pats devastating short passing game.
The Good – The Patriots do not have an established core of running backs. Look for New England to continue as a pass heavy offense, with Brady at the helm.
The Bad – Consequently, teams will load up against the pass until a run game is clearly established.
3. Drew Brees – After coming close once before, Brees broke Dan Mario’s record for yards in a season. That’s two 5,000 yard seasons. He is a top flight fantasy QB, and though expectations should be tempered when looking at last season’s numbers, Brees is well worth an early round pick.
The Good – Brees has not thrown for less than 4,000 yards since arriving in New Orleans.
The Bad – All the off the field issues with bounties will affect the entire team throughout the season.
4. Matthew Stafford – After 2 seasons mired with injury troubles, Stafford put up the type of season Detroit envisioned when they drafted him, breaking 5,000 yards passing in his first full year as a starter. He also showed that even though he will rely heavily on Calvin Johnson, arguably the best WR in the NFL, he would willingly spread the ball around. Expectations should be lowered slightly for this season, but not by much.
The Good – He’s only 24 and the Lions will continue to let him air out the ball this season.
The Bad – The Lions run game suffered a slew of injuries last season, and a healthy core could affect Stafford’s number of pass attempts.
5. Cam Newton – Cam exploded from the start of the season to the surprise of many last year. He set a rookie record for passing in a season (4,051), most rushing yards for a rookie QB (704), and most rushing TDs for QB (14). While owners can expect the numbers to shift slightly up or down in some areas, Newton’s value should hold steady this season as a top 5 QB.
The Good – As a duel threat it will be hard for defenses to shut Newton completely out of a game.
The Bad – Defenses will have a year of tape and showed an ability to slow Newton down towards the end of the season.
6. Eli Manning – After 3 consecutive seasons of passing for 4,000 yards, Manning has established himself as a legit top 10 fantasy QB. With the emergence of Victor Cruz to compliment Hakeem Nicks, the Giants have a powerful receiving core which should help Manning continue to hold solid value in fantasy.
The Good – He has averaged 29 TDs over the past 3 seasons and should be a lock to at least match that this season.
The Bad – He is no stranger to throwing interceptions and there is lack of proven depth in the receiving core behind an oft injured Hakeem Nicks could be an issue.
7. Tony Romo – Romo will be a solid pick at the position in fantasy leagues, but offers sporadic production throughout the season which can be maddening for a fantasy owner. The loss of Laurent Robinson will hurt, but hopefully a predicted breakout season from Dez Bryant will balance the numbers. He is a top 10 talent, but owners should not reach too far to grab him this year.
The Good – The emergence of DeMarco Murray should have a very positive effect on the Cowboys passing game that has lacked a true presence in the running game since Romo has been the starter.
The Bad – Romo tends to start strong then curtails late in the season, only eclipsing 300+ passing yards once after week 6.
8. Michael Vick – After a rough 2011, Vick still remains a top fantasy QB. With weapons like Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson at his disposal he should be able to improve on last season’s stats. His problem last season seemed to be a regression back to a run first mentality that exposed him to too many hard hits and subsequently cost him games. If anyone can rein him in though, it will be Andy Reid.
The Good – Vick is still capable of putting up 2010 like numbers.
The Bad – His rushing numbers dwindled from 9 in 2010 to 1 last season, and could be difficult to recapture with LeSean McCoy emerging as an elite player.
9. Matt Ryan – The Falcons wanted to establish themselves a strong aerial attack and went and drafted Julio Jones, and Ryan’s numbers improved. The Falcon will look to keep the pedal down as they shy away from the power run game of Michael Turner and put the ball in Ryan’s hands. As long as Jones can stay healthy opposite of Roddy White, Ryan will have a strong receiving core to work with and a lot of upside.
The Good – With 2 Pro Bowl caliber WRs and a Hall of Fame TE, there is a lot of potential for big numbers from Ryan this season.
The Bad – He has yet to show any real consistency in putting up big numbers on a weekly basis.
10. Peyton Manning – Even though he missed all of last season and will be debuting for another team this season, Manning should remain a top 10 QB in fantasy until he shows us that he isn’t. There is also a ton of talent in Denver that could not be properly utilized last season, but Manning should be able to elevate. Manning will also benefit from a stronger running game and defense, something he lacked in Indianapolis over the past few seasons.
The Good – He’s still Peyton Manning.
The Bad – He’s still coming off of a neck injury that kept him out all of last season.
About the Author
Written by David Willow
My name is David Willow. Your NFL and Fantasy Jedi. I have lived in Dallas, TX most of my life. I have been following both football and basketball since I was a child. I love being able to research and analyze different players and teams. I've been a fantasy sports enthusiast for around 8 years with some titles to back that. I have a Bachelors degree in History with a minor in English. Other hobbies include me being part of an acting workshop for five years, playing guitar, and working out. Hit me up with any comments, questions or opinions.