Here’s a look at my top 12 quarterbacks heading into your fantasy season. It was a big year for the QB position in 2011. Drew Brees set records and others had career years.
1. Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers has a ton of weapons. He had a great year throwing the ball and will have another this season. 40 touchdowns and close to 5,000 yards should be the stat line for 2012. Most likely gone top 5 in your draft. He doesn’t run as much as he used to. But he will still grab some extra yards and few TD’s in that department.
2. Drew Brees – Brees threw 46 touchdowns in 2011 and a record-setting amount of yards. hat will be tough to match. But with a bad defense and a division that doesn’t have great secondaries, Brees should have another tremendous season. A great pick late in round 1. If the coaching situation wasn’t such a mess, he’d be my top QB.
3. Tom Brady – Brady scored 39 touchdowns a season ago through the air. The Patriots have brought more weapons to Foxboro in Bradon Lloyd and Jabar Gaffney to go along with the great ones already on the roster. Brady will better his TD’s and will approach 5,000 yards again. A tougher division defensively than the two above him land him in the third spot. great late round 1 pick. A must at the top of round two.
4. Mathew Stafford – Stafford finally stayed healthy and passed for over 5,000 yards. I expect another season of hooking up with Calvin Johnson. Brandon Pettigrew, Titus Young add great secondary looks for Stafford. Middle of round two is a good spot to target him.
5. Cam Newton – Newton answer all of the questions surrounding his game and then some last year. His TD to INT ratio should better in year two. Steve Smith is still a very good receiver and Newton’s running abilities make him a must own in round two. If you have a league where passing TD’s are 4 points, consider Newton over Stafford.
6. Eli Manning – The two-time Super Bowl winner is back after his best season in New York. He topped his best year of yardage by 900 and brought his interceptions down from 25 to 16. He still has great weapons in Hakeem nicks and Victor Cruz. New tight end Martellus Bennett will provide a big target in the red zone. look out for 30 plus TD’s and another big year of yardage. Target Manning in round 5 or 6.
7. Tony Romo – With all the scrutiny Romo gets for his play, his numbers are always solid. At this point his weapons are the question marks. Miles Austin, Jason Witten and Dez Bryant have health question marks. If they can stay healthy and perform, 35 touchdowns is not out of the question. Romo should be coming off draft boards between late round 5 to 6.
8. Peyton Manning – after missing last season with a neck injury, Manning has landed in Denver. Questions surround if he can remain healthy all season. All signs point to yes.His accuracy in the preseason thus far has been a bit off. But after a year off i have no doubt it will return at some point. He has plenty of weapons to succeed. Getting on track with them will be key. Manning may start slow. But he will come around. look for him in round 6 or 7.
9. Jay Cutler – Cutler is reunited with former teammate Brandon Marshall. the two had great chemistry in Denver. Rookie Alshon Jeffery has been impressive so far also. Runningback Matt Forte is always a receiving threat out of the backfield. With the most weapons Cutler has had since arriving in Chicago, It should be a good year for him. Grab him in round 7.
10. Michael Vick – Michael Vick was a turnover machine last year. He’s already hurt after sustaining a rib injury in a preseason game in New England. Can he stay healthy? Vick has a healthy Jeremy Maclin back. He was a big red zone target two seasons ago. I’ve seen Vick drafted as high as round 3 and 4. No Thanks! I’d take the risk in round 7, but anything before that is too risky for me.
11. Matt Ryan – Ryan was a bit of a disappointment in 2011. It took a while for him to get going with Roddy White. It was hit or miss with Julio Jones at times also. I think he’ll bounce back this season. I don’t expect him to be a top 5 QB, but i do think he has a career year. Julio Jones looks like a big time receiving threat in his second season. Roddy white and future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez still have gas in the tank. Both are his main red zone targets. Look for Matt Ryan in round 8. Solid pick there.
12. Philip Rivers – Rivers had a down year in 2011. His TD’s and yardage were down. Rivers also threw a career high 20 interceptions. The loss of his go to guy Vincent Jackson is tough. Second year receiver Vincent Brown broke his ankle and will miss a good chunk of the season. Robert Meachum can’t fill Jackson’s shoes and Malcom Floyd can be productive. But his career has been slowed by injuries. Ryan Mathews, when healthy is a great target out of the backfield. Rivers is a round 8 or 9 selection, have a back up plan just incase 2012 mirrors last year.
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