As the NFL evolves one thing is clear – it is certainly a pass friendly league. The rules have slowly been changed giving a huge advantage to both the Quarterback and the Wide Receiver to be able to put up big numbers. Due to this there are 12 quarterbacks that any team would be happy with as their QB1 for the upcoming 2013 fantasy football season.
So this means one simple thing, wait on a quarterback this year. Now, you will hear this statement from a ton of sites but let me break this down a little bit more. Wait on quarterbacks, but take one at a good value. There is no reason to go into a draft thinking you are going to take your Quarterback in the 7th round. If Rodgers is slipping and he is there in the 3rd round then grab him, it is a great value there. Conversely, if quarterbacks are flying off the board early, don’t panic, just wait it out, and take a guy like Tony Romo in the middle to late middle rounds.
Draft Day Outlook
Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning are our top three quarterbacks. We have already gotten some questions about how we could rank Rodgers ahead of Brees, after all, Brees has his head coach back and threw for over 5,100 yards last year. So to make this easy just think logically for a second. The Saints were clearly patting his stats so he could break the record. I believe with Coach Peyton back we will see a little more balanced attacked and they are playing for Super Bowls, not for records this year. Rodgers is so consistent and they fact he throws in the rushing yards/rushing TDs we just like him a little bit more. Both of these guys will probably go between picks 15-25 and as stated above we like to wait for a better value on QB this year. That value could certainly be Peyton Manning. The runner up in MVP voting threw for over 4,600 yards and 37 touchdowns his first year as a Bronco and all Denver did was add Wes Welker and a stud rookie running back in Ball. Manning is a great value based on his early average draft position (going pick 44 on average) since he could end the year as the top QB overall.
If you wait on a quarterback our second tier quarterbacks offer the new breed of QB and one old reliable stud with a ton of question marks about whom he will throw to. Cam Newton rushed for 741 yards and 8 touchdowns last season and there is no reason to see why that will not continue into the 2013 season. There quarterbacks that can run certainly have changed fantasy football. Just think the 741 rushing yards equals (depending on the league settings) close to 1,200 additional passing yards. So if we were to “trade” those rushing yards for passing yards Newton was a 5,000 yard passer with 8 rushing TDs. His legs along with the legs of Wilson (who has new toys to play with in Seattle and had a monster second half), Robert Griffin III (all signs are pointing to him being ready for week 1), and Kaepernick (we all saw how much upside this kid has as the 49ers made the SuperBowl last year) make all four of these “new breed of passing/running” quarterbacks huge fantasy assets. Any of these guys are a great QB1 on any team. Hence the reason to wait on a QB.
Now the one guy in our second tier that cannot run is Tom Brady. He dropped to our 5th quarterback overall this season due to the lack of weapons. No Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez is probably going to be in jail for the rest of his life, and Gronk might not even be ready for the start of the year coming off another surgery. Still he is Tom Brady and he has always found a way to be productive.
After these first eight great QBs, you can still get Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, or Matt Stafford, even later in your draft. The fact you can get a guy in Stafford, by most accounts the 12th quarterback off the board, just proves how deep this position is. He threw for almost 5,000 yards last year. All of these quarterbacks can certainly throw for 4,750 yards and all eclipse 30 touchdowns this year. Ryan has the dynamic due of Roddy White and Julio Jones. Romo is always underrated as a fantasy QB and Dez Bryant is proving to finally live up to the hype. Andrew Luck put up crazy numbers as a rookie last year, and Stafford (as stated above) threw for close to 5,000 yards and has this guy named Calvin Johnson on his team. So again you can wait and get solid value very late in your drafts. Do you notice a theme here? Yes, it is all about waiting.
If you are in a 10-12 team, one quarterback league just grab one of the guys already discussed and then there is no need to waste a roster spot on a back-up. If you are in a two quarterback league there are still a decent amount of solid quarterbacks you can still target. Eli Manning was very hit or miss last year but if (and we fully believe they will not) Cruz and Nicks don’t holdout/the addition of Brandon Myers at Tight End really helps Eli Manning’s value. The one real wild card is Michael Vick. Two years ago Vicks was the flat out best player in fantasy but he had a rough year last season and Andy Reid was fired as the head coach of the Eagles. In comes Chip Kelly and his fast paced offense. Vick could excel in this new system but early reports are stating he is fighting for the starting gig. So risk/reward with Vick this fantasy season.
Check out our full rankings to see where we had guys like Josh Freeman, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, Ryan Tannehill, but needless to say they all have upside. In terms of the rookies we have EJ Manuel ranked the highest as we just feel his weapons are a little bit better than Geno Smith’s and we feel that Smith’s college stats are a little bit inflated as many of this compilations were at or behind the line of scrimmage. Again in a one quarterback league none of these guys should be hitting your radar.
Draft Day Advice
If you read anything above you know the deal, wait on a quarterback this year. Grab someone at a perceived good value. Whether that is Peyton Manning in the 4th or Tony Romo in the 10th there is no reason to reach on a quarterback this year. The league is chalk full of stud fantasy quarterbacks so don’t panic in standard league if you see a run of quarterbacks flying off the board early, wait, bolster your wide receiver and running back core while that run is happening. Be discipline, I cannot stress that point enough.
In deeper leagues or two quarterback leagues getting two of the top 12 can certainly give you an edge but we still see the upside with so many other quarterbacks that you can get later again do not reach too much. Overall, the quarterback position is the deepest it has ever been in terms of fantasy, so use that knowledge to your advantage and wait.