Fantasy Fox: Updated QB-starter rankings
MAY 05, 2013 12:25p ET
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2. Drew Brees, Saints
3. Peyton Manning, Broncos
4. Tom Brady, Patriots
5. Cam Newton, Panthers
6. Matt Ryan, Falcons
7. Matthew Stafford, Lions
8. Tony Romo, Cowboys
1. Peyton Manning gets the slight nod over Brady on two factors: Denver's receiving trio of Demaryius Thomas (94 catches, 1,434 yards, 10 TDs), Eric Decker (85 catches, 1,064 yards, 13 TDs) and Wes Welker (118 catches, 1,354 yards with New England) has no peer.
And from Weeks 3-11 last year, Manning posted eight straight games of 300 yards passing and/or three touchdown passes.
2. Newton (4,627 total yards, 27 TDs last year) had a superb follow-up to his extraordinary rookie campaign. In 2012, he attempted 30 or more passes eight times, crossed the QB-elite weekly threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns and tallied 20-plus points in standard-scoring leagues 10 times.
3. Last season, Matt Ryan (4,719 yards passing, 33 TDs) posted 12 games of 300 yards passing and/or three TDs. Not bad for a No. 6 asset.
4. The upshot to Matthew Stafford (4,965 yards passing) accounting for only 24 touchdowns (four rushing) last year: He'll be a certifiable draft steal to fantasy owners in Round 4.
9. Eli Manning, Giants
10. Andrew Luck, Colts
11. Robert Griffin III, Redskins
12. Andy Dalton, Bengals
13. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
14. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
15. Michael Vick, Eagles
16. Jay Cutler, Bears
1. Luck's ranking might have some wild fluctuations between now and August. On the positive side, he eclipsed the weekly QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns nine times last year. On the down side, Luck failed to throw at least one touchdown four times. The addition of Darrius Heyward-Bey pushes him into the top 10 — for now.
2. Ordinarily, I would not acknowledge anything that occurs at an April season-ticket party in this forum. But it was encouraging to see Robert Griffin (4,044 total yards, 27 TDs last year) happily jumping around for Redskins fans last week, as if Washington was only a month away from training camp.
With that bit of good fantasy news, Griffin's ranking improves four slots from last month.
3, I will do everything in my power to land Michael Vick as a backup quarterback this summer — assuming I didn't already draft Russell Wilson or Andy Dalton before that (same byes). Vick looks to be in phenomenal shape ... and I would have said that before his one-on-one race with Eagles tailback LeSean McCoy.
4. For the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes last season (led by current Bears head coach Marc Trestman), quarterback Anthony Calvillo averaged 299 yards passing and 1.82 touchdowns per game.
OK, so the competition in the CFL can't compare to that of the NFL; but the Calvillo/Trestman partnership should be commended for racking up such prodigious numbers in a league that punts on third down.
Regarding Cutler (3,033 yards passing, 19 TDs in 2012) ... with Trestman expanding the Bears offense, I'll bet my life he doesn't repeat last year's flat finish of zero or one touchdown passes in six of his final seven games.
17. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
18. Matt Schaub, Texans
19. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
20. Carson Palmer, Cardinals
21. Joe Flacco, Ravens
22. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
23. Philip Rivers, Chargers
24. Alex Smith, Chiefs
1. How deep is this year's QB class? In 16-team leagues, in-their-prime assets like Vick, Schaub, Big Ben, Palmer, Rivers, Flacco, Alex Smith and Ryan Tannehill will be backups for roughly seven to 10 fantasy weekends this fall.
2. The NFL schedule-maker has rewarded the Texans with at least 15 weather-friendly games this season, boosting the fantasy values of Schaub, Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and rookie receiver DeAndre Hopkins — Houston's first top-shelf WR2 in the Johnson era.
4. Forgive the Flacco skepticism here, Ravens fans. But prior to last year's sparkling championship run, the quarterback had never thrown three TDs in three consecutive outings. And that came with Anquan Boldin in the fold.
25. Sam Bradford, Rams
26. Jake Locker, Titans
27. Brandon Weeden, Browns
28. Christian Ponder, Vikings
29. Kevin Kolb, Bills
30. Matt Flynn, Raiders
31. Mark Sanchez, Jets
32. Blaine Gabbert, Jaguars
1. Bradford (3,702 yards passing, 22 total TDs last year) and Locker probably deserve a better fate than 25 and 26, respectively. But there will be plenty of time to move up the ladder — now that Bradford has his own Percy Harvin (rookie Tavon Austin) and Locker has been blessed with a playmaking corps of tailbacks Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene, receivers Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter and tight end Delanie Walker.
2. From a fantasy perspective, it's irrelevant who wins the Jets' starting job between Mark Sanchez (2,883 yards passing, 13 TDs last year) or rookie Geno Smith. Factoring in Jeff Cumberland at tight end, two or three college teams might have similar talent and depth with pass-catchers, compared to New York's cast of Santonio Holmes, Stephen Hill, Jeremy Kerley, Clyde Gates and the aforementioned Cumberland.
3. Here's hoping Justin Blackmon (four-game drug/alcohol suspension to start the season) can get his head on straight before it's too late. Of his last final seven games as a rookie, he averaged 6.3 catches, 12.1 targets, 88 yards and 1.4 touchdowns. And that includes five outings of double-digit targets.
4. Only the Browns could seriously consider bailing on a second-year quarterback (Brandon Weeden) who notched seven games of 250 yards passing and/or two touchdowns as a rookie — with a below-average receiving corps — for a journeyman QB ( Jason Campbell).
But hey, should we really expect anything less from this franchise?
Jay Clemons can be reached, day or night, on Twitter at @FOX_JayClemons.
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