QB Rankings

Source: USAToday.com

2012 Fantasy Quarterback Rankings
(Last updated on July 13)

Rankings are based on a 12-team league flex format with 1 point awarded per reception

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Matthew Stafford, Lions
3. Tom Brady, Patriots
4. Drew Brees, Saints
5. Cam Newton, Panthers
6. Philip Rivers, Chargers
7. Mike Vick, Eagles
8. Eli Manning, Giants
9. Tony Romo, Cowboys
10. Peyton Manning, Broncos
11. Matt Ryan, Falcons
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
13. Jay Cutler, Bears
14. Robert Griffin, Redskins
15. Carson Palmer, Raiders
16. Andy Dalton, Bengals
17. Andrew Luck, Colts
18. Matt Schaub, Texans
19. Joe Flacco, Ravens
20. Josh Freeman, Bucs
21. Alex Smith, 49ers
22. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills
23. Sam Bradford, Rams
24. Matt Cassel, Chiefs
25. Christian Ponder, Vikings
26. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans
27. Kevin Kolb, Cardinals
28. Jake Locker, Titans
29. Matt Flynn, Seahawks
30. Mark Sanchez, Jets
31. Brandon Weeden, Browns
32. John Skelton, Cardinals
33. Tim Tebow, Jets
34. David Garrard, Dolphins
35. Chad Henne, Jaguars
36. Joe Webb, Vikings
37. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks
38. Matt Moore, Dolphins
39. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
40. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

Going Up

Stafford - I did my statistical projections for quarterbacks and Stafford came in almost even with Aaron Rodgers. I have Stafford leading the NFL in passing yards this season and tossing 40+ touchdowns. Stafford is the only quarterback I have coming in right at 5,000 yards this year. I put a lot of time into player evaluations and that includes going back over my notes from last season. I take notes every week and leave them for the following year to make sure I’m not overlooking anything.

For all my Cam Newton love, it was actually Stafford I was most impressed with by the end of last season. Stafford had a great year overall but it was the final five games of 2011 where he really took that next step in my opinion. Now you look at the weapons Stafford has with Megatron, Nate Burleson, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew and Ryan Broyles. I’ll put that group of targets up against virtually any team in the NFL.

Last year Stafford passed for over 5,000 yards and was fantasy football’s fourth leading scorer in most formats behind only the Big 3 quarterbacks. This season I believe Stafford will challenge Rodgers to be the top overall scorer. I’ve correctly predicted the passing yardage leader three seasons in a row now. I think when you look at all the variables involved, Stafford will make it four straight.

I certainly can’t complain if you draft Rodgers, Cam, Tom Brady or Drew Brees but for my money Stafford going roughly 20 picks after Rodgers makes him an attractive option. When you factor in his potential production with where he’s being drafted, Stafford offers the most value out of the Top 5 projected fantasy quarterbacks.

Speaking in terms of NFL and not fantasy, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski recently said that after watching film he believes Stafford will make the biggest jump of any quarterback in the league this season. So basically I came to the same conclusion as Jaws without having access to all of his resources. Wait, you mean that’s not what you took away from all of this?

Ryan - I guess I’ll start buying into the Ryan hype a little with all the talk of Atlanta running a no-huddle offense. The again with Mike Smith calling the shots they’ll probably ditch that after Week 1. Smith is a good overall coach but let’s be honest his strength isn’t playcalling on gameday. I actually think Ryan is better when he’s running a quick, no-huddle attack. In my opinion that’s when he thrives. Ryan actually reminds me a little bit of Eli Manning a couple of years ago. If Ryan can progress like Eli did both fantasy owners and Falcons fans will be ecstatic.

I had Ryan as my starter three years ago and the guy sunk me. I lost a bunch of close games and his 11 points a week were one of the main reasons why. I’ve always said Ryan gets better the more he throws the ball but Smith likes to be balanced just so he can say he’s being balanced. I’ve seen that in a lot of games where Ryan is clicking but then Smith has to get the running game going for some reason. The next thing you know Ryan is out of  rhythm. That’s the difference with teams like the Packers, Saints and Patriots. When their quarterbacks are on fire those coaches let them go.

So basically I’m saying I can see Ryan becoming a really good fantasy starter if Smith let’s the offense become a little more pass heavy. That’s why I moved him up a couple of spots in my rankings. If the Falcons are ever going to take the next step as a team they’re going to do so because of Ryan and his receivers, not the defense and running game. At least that’s how I see it.

Weeden - I was high on Weeden coming into the draft and while I don’t think he has a ton of fantasy value in re-draft leagues, I’m really starting to like him in dynasty league formats. The more I go back and watch Weeden’s college games the more I think he has all the tools to be a successful NFL quarterback. Again, as I wrote last month, the only real negative I see with Weeden is at times he tends to struggle with accuracy early in games. I don’t know if he’s too pumped up (a problem Brett Favre had early in his career) or what but if the Browns coaching staff can fix that problem, Weeden doesn’t have many holes in his game. Cleveland still needs to surround Weeden with a few more weapons but Greg Little and the recently added Josh Gordon are a nice start. Weeden could be an interesting waiver wire option later this year.

Coming Down

Schaub - I keep looking at this Texans offense and while I don’t see them being the 2000 Ravens, I do expect Schaub to become more of a game manager in 2012. The bottom line is when you look at how this team is built it’s different from a couple of seasons ago when wild shootouts where the norm. The strength of the Texans is now their defense and rushing attack led by the best back in the NFL, Arian Foster. So while I think Schaub will put up solid numbers, I believe his most productive fantasy days are behind him. Add the fact that both Schaub and Andre Johnson are coming back from injuries and the Houston quarterback isn’t high on my wish list this season.

Gabbert - I don’t know if Matt Barkley has ever been to Jacksonville but he may want to get himself familiar with some popular eating establishments in the area.

Tannehill - I recently watched the Texas/Texas A&M game over from this past November and while it was only one game, it’s hard for me to fathom that the quarterback I saw that night will be starting in the NFL this season. Tannehill looked completely lost against arguably the fastest, most aggressive defense in the Big 12. I’ve said all along that Tannehill is more of a project that isn’t ready to come right in and lead an NFL offense. Watching that game over only reinforced that opinion. I don’t think we see Tannehill until 2013. He still has a ways to go.

Follow me on Twitter @ThePigskinGuy

  1. JT Marlin says:

    Where’s Locker? I’m assuming he’s off the board for now due to the possibility of Hasselbeck starting. I can’t see this happening and think he’s a definite top 15 guy with strong potential to be a top 10 QB with his strong arm and rushing ability. I see him as a poor man’s Rodgers.

    Although I’ll never forgive him for crushing my Fantasy Super Bowl dreams with his 0 pt week 16 hand injury disaster, Romo seems to be a pretty big bargain at 10.

    QB is as deep as I can ever remember.

    • thomascasale says:

      Yes, these rankings will change a lot over the next few months. If Locker is the starter he will move way up. I think he provides much more fantasy value than Hasselbeck. However, right now I view Hasselbeck as the starter, that’s why I didn’t rank Locker.

  2. #nerd says:

    I second Manuel’s comment in the ADP Breakdown blog, having current ADP next to a players name would be tits! Reason i mention it here, is because of how you lowered Cutler because of where he’s being drafted, but maybe not necessarily where you think he’ll rank at the end of year?..

    I think ADP is kind of like grading on a curve. We get to see in general what people think this season, but the smarter your league the faster someone will think it too, so doesn’t always work to say, he’ll be there later. So personally, i’d rather see where you rank the player. And maybe i should know this, but it’d be nice to see the range where your ranking means they should be drafted. Let that, and his current ADP on draft day, tell me where i’ll have to draft him, based on what i know of the skill level of other managers in my league.

  3. irish says:

    PSG, I have John Skelton and Joe Webb as my development QBs in my dynasty league. Do you think either one pans out to be a QB1 level starter? I am beginning to have doubts about Webb, but I feel Skelton has a chance.

    • I actually think both guys could star this year. Skelton has a 50/50 shot and I wouldn’t give up on Webb either. I think that battle is a lot closer than it’s being talked about. Ponder will likely get the nod but Webb is right there. The coaching staff really likes him. I was actually thinking the other day that Webb could be one of those guys who comes off the waiver wire and really helps owners this year. If I had to bet I would say one of them plays a lot this year.

    • I’m not saying Webb is going to start but if something happens to Ponder I don’t believe Sage Rosenfels is a viable option behind that line. Webb’s ability to move and throw on the run could come into play there at some point this season. I would give him one more year before you give up on him.

  4. Irish says:

    I think Kolb is going to be given every chance to earn his contract. I think Skelton will have to significantly outperform Kolb to have any chance of beginning the season as the starter. Given Kolb’s injury history, I think that Skelton will get his chance later in the season. If he could just take care of the ball better, I think he could be really good. He has all the physical tools, just needs to get the mental part of the game down.

    I could probably just insert Ponder’s name for Kolb’s and Webb’s for Skelton in the above statement. I think that Webb has got the physical abilities of Cam Newton, but lacks Newton’s swag and football IQ. I just don’t know if he has it in him, but I am going to give him a little more time to find out.

  5. I was wondering what why you like Rivers at 6. I know he is good; I am just worried about the team around him. Hit me back at fantasyfumble.com.

    • I think he’s still an elite quarterback and he’ll bounceback this year. Two years ago this guy led the NFL in passing yards by throwing to people off the street. Last year was an exception in my opinion.

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