The SportsMan Quarterback Class Of 2013
It was said in the movie “The Right Stuff” that “the press likes a nice round number. After that, they don’t care, until the next magic number.” Well the next magic number is here. In fantasy sports that number is twelve. A standard fantasy league (is there another kind?) has twelve teams in it. Hence the following list of the top twelve quarterbacks for the upcoming fantasy season. Every team should have at least one these guys starting for them. If you don’t have one of them then your team is no es bueno. **There’s a good chance my spanish is terribly off and that last sentence makes no sense**
#1. Aaron Rodgers
After the Ryan Braun incident you can make a good case that Rodgers is a terrible judge of character. However, if you try to make a case for Rodgers not being the top quarterback in the world then you would probably test positive for a banned substance. Over the past three season he has thrown for 12,860 yards and 112 touchdowns so you can feel comfortable penciling him in for 4,000+ yrds and 37+ TDs this season. Sure, Donald Driver and Gregg Jennings are gone but with the talent Mr. Rodgers has it wont matter. He’s first round talent and will off the board early.
#2. Drew Brees
Once Rodgers is gone Brees will follow shortly. Back-to-back seasons of 5,000+ yards and 40+ touchdowns are machine-like. Drew gets Sean Payton back as head coach and that will surely help in putting up his video game numbers. The Saints have a terrible defense so Brees will be airing it out plenty to keep his team in games. If you have a late pick in the first round and he’s still there you better snatch him up.
#3. Peyton Manning
The old man still has it. After missing the entire 2011 season Manning returned to post 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns. Imagine what he’ll do now that he got all the rust off. Add to that the addition of offensive weapons Wes Welker and rookie Monte Ball. Manning will be gone very early in round two so if you want the top QB in the AFC act fast.
#4. Cam Newton
It may be controversial but I went with Cam over Brady here. Why? Because the footwork. Cam is the top running quarterback in the league. He’s put up 22 touchdowns with his feet in his first two seasons and rushed for over 1,400 yards. His running backs are old and his receiving corps is substandard so Newton will have plenty of opportunities to make more plays on his own. Newton is a solid mid-second round pick.
#5. Tom Brady
No Wes Welker. No Aaron Hernandez. No problem. Brady is as much of a sure thing at the position as you can get. He’ll get tight end Rob Gronkowski back at some point during the season (you’d hope). Even before those three top targets Tom Terrific put up record numbers and won several Super Bowls. No reason to believe that with Bill Bill Belichick as his head coach Brady wont benefit from the system and put up 4,500+ yrds and 30+ TDs
#6. Matt Ryan
Sure Matt Ryan has been pretty lousy in the NFL postseason but that doesn’t concern fantasy owners. In Fantasy world Ryan has arguably the best receiving duo in the league with Roddy White and Julio Jones. Those two coupled with tight end Tony Gonzalez helped Ryan put up carrier highs in touchdowns and yards last season. Couple that with the addition of Steven Jackson in the backfield and “Matty Ice” will make a nice mid-fourth round selection.
#7. Colin Kaepernick
In only seven starts last season Kaepernick averaged 280 total yards of offense. Now he has experience behind him a and a full season with no Alex Smith looking over his shoulder. Colin is a bit of a high risk/high reward and can be had in the mid-fifth round range. Sure you’ll get a game here or there with substandard stats and you’ll feel as if he is hitting the “sophomore wall” (even though he’s entering his third season) but the good will heavily outweigh the bad.
#8. Russell Wilson
He wasn’t even supposed to start last season and now Wilson is in the top 10 Fantasy quarterbacks. Even with the temporary loss of wide receiver Percy Harvin, I’m still using one of my keepers on Wilson in one of my leagues. After all, he didn’t have Harvin last season and he still threw for more touchdowns than fellow rookie QBs Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Russell doesn’t seem to make the silly mistakes young quarterbacks usually do and he will be a steal late in the fifth round
#9. Robert Griffin III
That pink elephant in the room is the knee of RGIII (haha, I made a rhyme). Will it hold up and will Griffin even start the season on time. Time will tell but Robert and Redskins doctors seem to believe he will take the seasons first snap. Griffin III has probably the best field vision of the young signal callers and is just as likely to score with his legs as he is with his arm. He has huge big play potential whichever way he decides to use the ball. If he can stay healthy and duplicate his stats from last season then RGIII will be a major steal in the mid-to-late sixth round
#10. Matt Stafford
In the off-season the former first overall draft pick was given a 3-year, $53 million extension by the Lions. Stafford will be eager to go out and prove he deserves the money.Having the best receiver in the game (Calvin Johnson) will make that task a lot easier as will the new addition of versatile back Reggie Bush. Stafford put up video game numbers two seasons ago but saw them “decline” to 4,067 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Sign me up for that kind of down-year right now. The drop in numbers may scare a lot of owners and Matt can probably be had in the late sixth/early seventh round.
#11. Andrew Luck
The man I picked as the steal of last years draft will sneak up on no one this year. Luck set the NFL rookie record for passing yards with 4,374 and even contributed five rushing scores. The down side of Luck is he turns the ball over way too much as seen by his eighteen interceptions and five fumbles last year. That being said, Luck is still good enough to be a fantasy starter and with a full season under his belt the young Colt will only improve. If you haven’t selected your QB by the middle of the seventh round you better snatch up Luck and not think twice.
#12. Tony Romo
Rounding out the list is the man I myself a Giants fan absolutely despise. However, I can’t argue that Romo puts up fantasy starter numbers. Much like Stafford, Romo was given an extension in the off-season and is itching to go out and show why Dallas has so much faith in him. The fact that he finished third in passing yards last year helped, I’m sure. Add to that Romo played in all 16 games for the second consecutive year. Much like Andrew Luck, Romo turns the ball over too much and isn’t very clutch but if you are an owner that likes to stock up on backs and receivers early then Romo is your guy in the late seventh round. **Just make sure you have a good insurance backup too**
After these twelve there is a big drop-off to the second tier quarterbacks so make sure at least one of the names above is on your roster. Next segment will deal with the top twelve running backs in the league and the top name will shock you (it really won’t but I gotta get you to read the list somehow). Also, as always, feel free to send any fantasy questions to me via twitter @nySportsMan21.