Fantasy Football: 5 Quarterbacks to Avoid in the 2012 Season

Ryan Heidrich@@Ryan_HeidrichCorrespondent IIJune 12, 2012

Fantasy Football: 5 Quarterbacks to Avoid in the 2012 Season

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    It is never too early to start preparing for the new fantasy football season. Whether you play with a group of friends in a competitive league or just for fun, it is important to draft a solid quarterback.

    Quarterbacks are arguably the most important fantasy position on your roster, and drafting a bust could really cripple your chance for glory.

    With OTAs happening right now and with training camp just around the corner, fantasy football experts are beginning to release their player rankings and projections.

    Here is a glimpse of five quarterbacks to avoid drafting for the 2012 season. 

Joe Flacco

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    Joe Flacco thinks he is an elite quarterback in the NFL. He may win many games but as far as fantasy football goes, he is far from elite. Don’t let him or his agent’s talk sway your ideas on Flacco as you approach your draft.

    Flacco finished the 2011 season as the 15th best fantasy quarterback (according to ESPN). He threw for 3,610 yards, which was the 12th best in the NFL, added 20 touchdowns and threw 12 interceptions as well.

    Flacco should post similar numbers in the 2012 season. The Ravens did not add any dynamic offensive threats who could bolster Flacco’s numbers. Flacco may be a solid quarterback when records are compared, but you don’t get any points if your quarterback wins the game. It’s all about touchdowns and passing yards, neither of which Flacco is outstanding at.

    If you are debating who to draft and Flacco is still on the board, look elsewhere. 

Alex Smith

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    This is another example of a quarterback who won a lot of games last season but didn’t put up great fantasy numbers.

    Smith ranked 14th last season in overall fantasy football points even though he threw just five interceptions. Although Smith has a lot of weapons, he has yet to have a dominant season from the pocket.

    Last season, Smith threw for 3,144 yards and 17 touchdowns, which was good enough for 17th in the NFL. His lack of touchdowns is really what hurts Smith’s fantasy value. Seventeen is not enough for a quarterback in fantasy football, especially when you compare it to the quarterbacks who ranked in the top five in fantasy points last year.

    Smith is also often injured; last season was the first year that he has played in 16 games since 2006. Having one of your fantasy players get hurt is a huge blow, and you should be sure not to grab Smith when selecting one of your quarterbacks this year.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

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    Ryan Fitzpatrick had a fantastic start to his 2011 season.

    Going undrafted in many fantasy leagues, he was an excellent pickup off the waiver wire. However, the success did not last long, as he fell into an indescribable funk. From Week 4 on, Fitzpatrick fell apart and only threw for more than one touchdown five times.

    Fitzpatrick finished the year ranked 12th in fantasy QBs. Fitzpatrick would definitely not be on this list if he could perform at the level that he opened 2011 with consistently. The problem is that you cannot count on him to do that, and with the Bills lacking offensive firepower, it would be in your best interest to avoid drafting Fitzpatrick.

Carson Palmer

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    While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Carson Palmer was one of the best quarterbacks in the National Football League.

    In his first year as an Oakland Raider he was ranked 24th in touchdowns and 21st in passing yards. Raider fans were disappointed in Palmer, but many blamed his struggles on limited work with his teammates before the season kicked off.

    Many people are expecting Palmer to rebound to his Bengal-like form when the 2012 season kicks off. I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to that conclusion, as Palmer will likely struggle again in 2012. The Oakland Raiders struggle with their offensive line, giving Palmer very little time to throw to his young and inexperienced receivers.

    Another reason Palmer should not be on your fantasy team is the play of Darren McFadden. McFadden will be at 100 percent entering the year, and if the Raiders want to be successful, they will have to have McFadden carry the ball 25-plus times a game. This is a huge chunk of the offensive snaps and leaves very little room for Palmer to get his numbers.

    He is the third best quarterback in the AFC West and should not be on your fantasy team in 2012. 

Michael Vick

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    Yep, avoid Michael Vick when selecting your fantasy team this year. Most likely someone in your league will select Vick early, but don’t worry—your team is better off.

    Vick would be an excellent fantasy quarterback if he could stay healthy for a whole season. He hasn’t been able to do that, and don’t expect him to this year. At the place that Vick will likely get drafted, there will be far better value out there that will help your team all season long.

    Drafting a player early only to have them get hurt will ruin your whole season. Due to his injuries Vick finished the year ranked outside the top 10 in overall quarterbacks. Vick has begun to stay inside the pocket and not scramble as much as he did in his early years.

    This hurts his fantasy value because he will not be accumulating as many rushing yards or touchdowns, which really pushed Vick to fantasy stardom. Refrain from the temptation of drafting Vick, because he will disappoint you in 2012.