I might be in the minority on this one, but I believe that quarterback is the most critical and important position, more important than running back, in your typical fantasy football league.
Why do I believe that? Well take a look around—the NFL is a passing league; we hardly see any running backs carry the entire bulk of one team's rushing attack, unless if you're Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson.
In that spirit, I would like to present to you five quarterbacks that will surprise you in the 2012 fantasy football season.
Some of these gunslingers are rookies and some of them had a pretty rough time in 2011—but they should be quality options in the 2012 campaign.
Another year in Jim Harbaugh's offense—and this year, the offense is loaded with talent in the receiving corps.
We all know that Alex Smith has the potential to be great, as he wouldn't have been selected first overall in the 2005 NFL draft otherwise.
In 2011, we saw Smith finally have a breakout season as he did exactly what the San Francisco 49ers needed him to do: manage the game and don't turn the ball over. Smith posted a 90.7 quarterback rating while tossing 17 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions.
If Harbaugh loosens the reins on Smith a little bit in 2012 and lets him throw the ball around a bit, we could see Smith coming close to 30 touchdowns and close to 4,000 yards passing.
Cam Newton had an amazing rookie season as he threw for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns while accumulating 706 rushing yards and punching in 14 touchdowns—you might think that it's not getting much better than this.
Newton was only a rookie and is only going to get better.
Out of all the quarterbacks throughout the history of this sport, I have never seen anyone as talented and physically unique as Newton. He is built like a linebacker, as fast as a running back and can throw the ball very effectively.
In 2012, I wouldn't be surprised if he throw over 4,000 yards yet again while tossing 30 touchdowns and rushing for roughly 700 yards and punching in 10 scores.
2012 could be the season that we see Jay Cutler break out and put up remarkable passing numbers with the Chicago Bears.
Cutler most definitely has the talent to be great, but Chicago has been lacking offensive talent for him to throw to over the past few seasons—but not now.
Cutler will be throwing balls to the likes of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in 2012.
The combination of Cutler and Marshall alone should put up monster numbers. In Marshall's final season with Cutler with the Denver Broncos, he recorded 104 receptions for 1,265 yards and six touchdowns.
I am going to be expecting similar numbers out of Marshall this upcoming season.
My early favorite for offensive rookie of the year: Robert Griffin III.
RG3 is going to turn heads in 2012.
I see him putting up Cam Newton-like numbers this season, but he will be far more effective passing. I guarantee it.
The Washington Redskins are actually fairly talented on the offensive side of the ball with wide receivers Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss, Leonard Hankerson and Josh Morgan—much more superior compared to the Carolina Panthers receiving corps.
I can firmly state that I see Griffin III throwing for close to 4,000 yards, tossing 25 touchdowns, accumulating 600 yards rushing while punching in 10-plus rushing touchdowns.
That stat line right there is good enough to be a starter in any fantasy league.
I hope no one from my fantasy league sees this slide because I will be going hard for Josh Freeman in my drafts.
Freeman might have looked pretty awful in 2011 as he threw a pitiful 22 interceptions—but I see him having an incredible, bounce-back season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are ready to score some points offensively, and it all starts with the new talent that they brought in: wide receiver Vincent Jackson, running back Doug Martin, tight end Dallas Clark and left guard Carl Nicks.
And who will be the beneficiary of all this talent? You guessed it: Josh Freeman.
Freeman is going to put up huge numbers in 2012 in Tampa Bay's revamped offense.