2013 Fantasy Football QB Rankings (Beazley)
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There are certainly many strategies when it comes to filling out your fantasy roster.
Some of the dinosaur owners out there still live by the RB/RB rule. My thoughts on QB are if I am picking towards the end of round 1 (where I usually end up), I am taking the best player available. If I pass on the top QB to draft the 8th best running back, that only makes the teams in the front of me in the draft that much better. This is one of the reasons why the people towards the beginning of the draft usually have the best success.
I break my QB rankings down in tiers:
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints: While all the attention goes to Aaron Rodgers as the best QB in the NFL, Brees actually ending the year as the No. 1 fantasy QB last year. Brees was tied for the league lead in INTs last year, which was his only downfall. Sean Payton returns this year, so I think Brees is pretty much a lock for another 5,000-yard, 40-TD season.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers: I may catch a little heat for putting Rodgers No. 2 on my list, but I think the Packers know that they need to establish a running game if they want any success in the playoffs next season. Rodgers will still be a beast, but I much rather have Brees this year. Rodgers projected line will be about 4,400 yards and 40 TDs.
3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers: I was down on Cam last year expecting to see a sophmore slump out of him, but that never happened. While he doesn't have an elite receiving corps, he makes up for it with his legs. Only RG3 had more rushing yards last year. I compare Cam a little to Steve McNair with the fact that McNair was as tough as nails, and had the body to take shots. I can't draft someone like RG3 or Russell Wilson without investing in a top-tier backup.
I rank rivals Manning & Brady four and five, respectively. While I expect Peyton to be gone as early as QB2 in some leagues, I think you can get Brady on the cheap. The Broncos added another weapon to Peyton's arsenal by signing Wes Welker in the offseason. The Patriots are in a world of hurt right now with their receiving corps. Welker is gone. Aaron Hernandez is in prison. Rob Gronkowski is battling a back injury. The receiver they replaced Welker with, Danny Amendola, is as brittle as they get. WR2 on their depth chart right now is Michael Jenkins. That being said, Tom Brady is going to make plays and he is going to put up big numbers.
Soon to be Elite
6. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: I am really high on Matty Ice heading into this year, and what's not to love? He has the best receiving duo in the NFL in Roddy White and Julio Jones. He has the best receiving TE in NFL history in Tony Gonzalez, and finally got rid of one-dimensional Michael Turner and added Steven Jackson. Ryan had 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns last year, and there is no reason why he can't improve upon those numbers this year.
7. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins: Until RG3 can learn not to take a hit, I can't draft him earlier than QB7. If he stays healthy and plays a full season, he could end up in the top 3, but there is too much risk involved, plus if you want RG3, you may have to reach for him near the end of round 2, early round 3. Like I mentioned before, if I draft a running QB, you have to draft a good backup early. If you draft Tom Brady, you can figure out what bye week Brady has and then just pick a good matchup for that week, and take that QB late.
8. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks should definitely be a formidable opponent again this year. They added one of the most dangerous receivers in the league in Percy Harvin, and the beauty with Harvin is he does his damage after the catch. Wilson doesn't need to throw 25-yard strikes to gain his yardage. Wilson ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards amongst QBs so he will do his damage there as well.
9. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys: Romo, the QB that America loves to hate, falls in at No. 9. Romo probably doesn't crack my top 20 of QB's who I would want (in real football) heading into this year, but this is fantasy football. Luckily, some people can't separate the two so Romo is someone who I think could fall into your lap late on draft day. I have seen him outside of QB12 in some mocks. That's pretty crazy considering he has the 2nd-best WR in the NFL, in my opinion, in Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten, who is reliable as they get. Romo was tied for the NFL lead in picks last year, and he will probably be near the top as well this season, but the yards and touchdowns will also be there. Romo was 3rd in the NFL in yards last season.
10. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions: Stafford just signed a three-year, $53 million extension and many people think it wasn't warranted as Stafford hasn't had a lot of success in the NFL thus far outside of one good season. In fantasy terms, I wouldn't mind at all having Stafford as my QB1. He is going to go in the later rounds of the draft, and he has the best player in the NFL on his team. Stafford and Calvin Johnson are going to break all sorts of records in this league. Stafford was 2nd in the NFL in yards last season, but only threw 20 touchdowns. I think Megatron alone could reach that mark this season. If he stays healthy, Stafford could have a monster season.
Up & Comers
11. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: In his rookie season, Luck finished as the 9th-best fantasy QB. Luck is only going to get better. He has one of the best receivers of this era in Reggie Wayne to throw to, plus a very underrated T.Y. Hilton, who I expect to have a monster season. I think Luck's INT total (18 last season) goes down a bit, but so do his rushing touchdowns. If Indy wants to challenge Houston for the division, they will need to keep Luck healthy, and not taking any unnecessary punishment.
12. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers: While the loss of Michael Crabtree really hurts, I still think Kaepernick should be a QB1 next season. They did add Anquan Boldin to the mix, and Vernon Davis is a very good playmaking TE. Kaepernick's real strength though is with his legs. We all remember that 181-yard, 2-TD playoff game vs. the Packers. That one game is more yards on the ground than Brees, Manning & Brady had combined for the whole season.
13. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals: I am buying in to Dalton and the Bengals this season. They drafted the best TE in this year's draft class, Tyler Eifert, and a playmaking RB, Giovani Bernard. A.J. Green is already one of the best WRs in the league, and now Dalton will have a full complement of weapons to throw to. Dalton finished as the 12th-best fantasy QB last year, so he should be right around there again this season. Dalton is someone I am targeting in later rounds of my drafts this year, as I doubt he is drafted ahead of the QB's in my next tier.
For quarterbacks 14-32, click here.