As we start our preparation for the 2012 fantasy football campaign, let’s kick things off with our look at the top 20 quarterbacks. Keep in mind that we will be updating and expanding on this list throughout the preseason, so make sure to keep checking back for the most recent rankings.
While the top few options are pretty straightforward, things become wide open starting at No. 4 on the list due to an influx in young options and some significant injury concerns. Let’s take a look:
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
- Tom Brady – New England Patriots
- Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
- Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
- Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
- Eli Manning – New York Giants
- Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles
- Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
- Matt Schaub – Houston Texans
- Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers
- Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
- Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears
- Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
- Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
- Carson Palmer – Oakland Raiders
- Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams
- Is it really possible that the Patriots offense got even scarier this offseason? Their two tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) just continue to mature and improve. Wes Welker continues to thrive. With the addition of Brandon Lloyd (as well as Jabar Gaffney), this team could be scary. I wouldn’t go in anticipating a season close to 2007 (50 TD passes), but would it really be unthinkable either?
- Cam Newton is still going to have some growing pains, but it’s impossible to ignore what he did both through the air (4,051 yards, 21 TD) and on the ground (706 yards, 14 TD) during his rookie year. That type of dual threat has got to make him one of the most valuable commodities in the league. It would’ve been nice to see the Panthers improve on their receiving corps a little bit, but Newton’s ability to run for a TD certainly offsets that.
- The Chargers watched Vincent Jackson bolt via free agency, replacing him with Robert Meachem. Throw in the potential injury concerns for Antonio Gates and there has got to be a lot of concerns regarding the production for Philip Rivers. Is he a good QB1? Absolutely, but he’s got to be considered a lower-end option heading into the year.
- Peyton Manning obviously has huge concerns hanging over him after he missed the entire 2011 season. However, he’s still Peyton Manning. If I drafted him, I would make sure I have a viable QB2, just in case, but you are getting a potential top five QB at a discount. He’s well worth taking the risk on.
- I wouldn’t draft Robert Griffin III as a QB1 because there is risk, but after seeing Newton flourish in 2011 you have to like the potential he brings. Especially if you roll the dice on someone like Peyton Manning, Griffin is well worth the selection because he brings potential through the air and on the ground. Unfortunately, you will probably have to draft him significantly earlier than I would be comfortable with.
Make sure to check out the rest of our 2012 fantasy football rankings: