NFL 2012 Fantasy Football Top 10 Quarterbacks

This is the first of a few positional rankings that will be coming to you courtesy of millerhour.  The formula was extremely simple and did not require much thought on my part at all.  I looked at the top performers from last year and gauged how well I thought they could repeat that success and filled in some spots where I thought others In the top ten performers would drop out.  I then analyzed their schedules, supporting casts and probability of injury and assessed a grade of 1-3 for each category, 1 being the most favorable grade and 3 being the least.  I discerned their schedule and supporting cast grades in relativity to their counterparts on the list and their injury rating stand-alone.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the top ten quarterbacks for the 2012 fantasy football season.

1. Drew Brees  – New Orleans Saints: The loss of Robert Meachem will hardly be noticed with the development of Mark Ingram as a pass-catcher and the ability of players such as Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham to fill the slot receiver position.  Brees has the benefit of playing some sub-par defensive teams throughout the season and has shown many times he can play a full NFL season.

2. Tom Brady – New England Patriots: Possibly the best supporting cast of the group to include household names such as Rob Gronkowski and Wes Welker, two more fantasy football studs.  Losing Ochocinco was addition by subtraction, and to fill his spot they inked Brandon Lloyd over the offseason.  They play in a relatively defensively weak division but have some tough road games.  Also their ability to put up points quickly could keep them running the ball more in the later quarters, diminishing Brady’s possible points.

3. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers: Possessing a supporting cast that rivals that of Brady’s helps Rodgers fantasy production.  They have the benefit of playing the entirety of the AFC South; which houses one of the best defenses in the league and then a bunch of bottom half clubs.  They do have some tough games on the schedule, but Rodgers is one of those quarterbacks that can make a great defense look mediocre.  I gave him the injury rating I did because of his concussion history; one more could put him out for a very long time.

4. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions: Has arguably the best receiver in the league in Calvin Johnson at his disposal.  Promising young players in Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew and skilled veteran Nathan Burleson.  Benefits from nearly the same schedule Aaron Rodgers plays against.  He does have a spotty history when it comes to injury so be wary of that.

5. Eli Manning – New York Giants: The loss of Mario Manningham is not as big of a deal as some would make it out to be.  He was a solid third receiver but can easily be replaced.  The tight ends that started dropping like flies towards the end of the season and into the offseason is a much greater concern.  Ahmad Bradshaw is not necessarily known for his acuity at receiving but he can make an impact in that aspect of the game as well as running to keep the defense honest.  A solid offensive line and a ferocious defense should help him have many opportunities to put points on the fantasy board.  His schedule is favorable and he should be a great pick up in the early second round (late in the first if you’re in a larger league.)

6. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys: Romo’s schedule rating should look something similar to Eli’s, the main reason it does not is the fact that Romo has to play the New York Giants twice a year.  Luckily for Romo Dez Bryant’s mother’s suit against Dez was dropped and it appears he is getting a “slap on the wrist”.  The Cowboys possess one of the best tight ends of the last decade in Jason Witten and have a great offensive line.  Tony should live up to all fantasy expectations this year, he actually has pretty good numbers throughout the regular NFL season.

7. Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles: The players around him are a question mark, can they stay grounded and play well?  His top offensive weapons, Jeremy Maclin, Desean Jackson and Lesean McCoy are all extremely young but have enormous potential.  Vick has an aggressive playing style and this sometimes leads to him having bumps and bruises.  He has a pretty easy schedule when it comes to defenses he will be facing and if healthy could be a top 5 fantasy quarterback.

8. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers: Cam broke onto the scene last year like a first-pitch homerun; he gets into the first game of his NFL career and throws for over 400 yards.  Throughout the course of the season he was a major threat throwing and running the ball.  He set an NFL record for rushing touchdowns and there is no reason he should slow that down this season.  Because of how much Newton takes off and uses his feet this opens him up to a greater threat of injury; much like that of Michael Vick.  He has proven reliable pass catchers with names like Steve Smith and Greg Olsen, and two capable running backs to take some pressure off of him by rushing and can also catch the football.

9. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers: Lost his best playmaker and the Chargers replaced him with Robert Meachem?  I guess we’ll see how that roster decision treats them.  If Ryan Mathews can stay healthy they will have a great balance to their offense.  They play a few teams that have a lot of talent on their defense but have an uncanny ability to sometimes play far below their potential.  Rivers isn’t made of glass, but then again he isn’t an iron man either.  One of these days one of those little nagging injuries he plays through will become something greater.
10. Peyton Manning  – Denver Broncos: Earlier when I was checking out the schedule for Peyton this year I mistakenly googled “Indianapolis colts schedule” and saw they were playing the Chicago Bears first game of the season and was thinking “something is wrong here”.  I quickly realized my mistake and put in the right team name.  Denver has a rough road ahead when it comes to the teams they play but If they can keep their quarterback upright and alive he will produce solid points.  Manning has a knack for making the players around him look better than they really are, and that helps with the caliber of players they have at play-making positions.

A few players that might break into the top ten are as follows:

Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears: Has a newfound wealth at playmaking positions and a re-tooled offensive line that includes promising young tackle Gabe Carimi.  Also plays an extremely favorable schedule.

Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins: Has young talent all around him on offense and proven deep threat ability in Santana Moss.  Also should use his feet more often than most quarterbacks and rushing yards are worth more points than passing yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick – Buffalo Bills: Should be recovered from his injured ribs he was playing through at the end of last season.  A healthy Fred Jackson in the mix adds to the bounty of talent they have at receiver and running back.  Also could be in a few shootouts, look for him to have some pretty big weeks.

Matt Flynn – Seattle Seahawks: When he played for Aaron Rodgers last year he put up huge numbers.  The offensive talent in Seattle is not of the same caliber, but he could be a sleeper.  Pete Carroll needs to just be done with all of the smoke and mirrors and anoint Flynn the starter for the regular season.

Below are the ratings I gave each player and the total.  I broke the ties by using my own judgment call on where they should be placed.

Schedule

Supporting Cast

Injury

Total

Brees

1

1

1

3

Brady

2

1

1

4

Rodgers

2

1

2

5

Stafford

1

2

2

5

E. Manning

1

3

1

5

Romo

3

2

1

6

Vick

1

2

3

6

Newton

2

2

3

7

Rivers

2

3

2

7

P. Manning

3

3

3

9

#NFLFF2012

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About millerhour

I will probably write about a lot of things nobody cares to read. There is also a good chance I do not update this very often.
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2 Responses to NFL 2012 Fantasy Football Top 10 Quarterbacks

  1. Alex Buckley says:

    Well written as always Scott. It’s good to hear an opinion that doesn’t stink (Matthew Berry). I would rank Brady higher than Brees due to Sean Payton’s absence, but an argument for number 1 could be made for any of the top three QBs.

    • millerhour says:

      Very true, if I had not done the “ratings” and had just placed them it might have been a bit different. Either way I don’t think what happened this offseason will affect Brees much. He’s been in the system for so long and has a lot of familiar faces around him. He may not throw for 5,000 yards again, but he will be close.

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