2012 Fantasy Football: Ranking the Top 10 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Tony Santorsa@@TonySantorsaSenior Writer IIJuly 13, 2012

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 11:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field on December 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Lions defeated the Vikings 34-28.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Over the years, running back has evolved as the most important position in fantasy football—but now I am a true believer in that the quarterback is the most important position. 

Granted, you can make an argument about running backs being more valuable as there are so few running backs who aren't in a running back-by-committee, but just take a look at what the NFL has turned into—a pass-heavy league.

If you have an elite quarterback, then chances are you're going to do very well in your fantasy league.

With that being said, here are the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks entering 2012. 

10. Philip Rivers

The San Diego Chargers might have lost Vincent Jackson via free agency, but they have completely revamped their wide receiver corps—and should compliment quarterback Philip Rivers in a big way.

New additions Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal will join Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown to create one of the NFL's fastest wide receiver corps. 

Throw that corps with tight ends Antonio Gates and Randy McMichael—now you have yourself one of the most talent receiver corps in the NFL—and Rivers should perform very well with the talent surrounding him. 

9. Tony Romo

Tony Romo has always produced solid fantasy numbers.

This past season Romo posted an impressive 102.5 quarterback rating as he threw for 31 touchdowns and 4,184 yards.

The loss of Laurent Robinson might hurt Romo's stats a little, but as Dez Bryant continue to develop into an elite wide receiver, the loss of production might prove to be irrelevant. 

Romo has always been a dependable fantasy force, and should be dependable in 2012. 

8. Peyton Manning

Assuming that Peyton Manning is 100 percent by Week 1, then he's going to be one of the top fantasy quarterbacks. 

However, do we actually know that Manning is 100 percent? No. Do we actually know that Manning will even be the "old Peyton Manning" that we're all accustomed to? No. 

Drafting Manning to be your starting quarterback is going to be a huge risk, if you ask me. 

However, if Manning does prove to be healthy, then he should be as productive as any of the top quarterbacks int he NFL today—but that's a huge "if" in my books. 

7. Michael Vick

As long as Michael Vick can stay healthy, he's going to be quite the headache for opposing fantasy owners.

At any time Vick can explode for an astronomical amount of points due to his stellar arm as well as his phenomenal running ability. 

This past season, Vick might have missed three games, but he still managed to stay productive as he threw for 3,303 yards for 18 touchdowns and ran for 589 yards and one score. 

If Vick can stay healthy and not turn the ball over, then he'll be one of the top fantasy quarterback options. 

6. Eli Manning

The reigning Super Bowl MVP should have yet another stellar season with the New York Giants as Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are just too dominant to stop. 

Granted, Eli Manning might be without Mario Manningham as he's now a San Francisco 49er, but he will still produce a respectable amount of points.

Manning threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2011, and I'm predicting that he'll produce similar numbers to what he did a year ago, which will make him a top fantasy quarterback option. 

5. Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford had a monster year in 2011, but there's only two places he can go from there. 

Stafford can either revert or simply progress as the potential elite quarterback he can be—and I believe he'll turn into that elite quarterback that we all think he can be.

With Calvin Johnson being Stafford's No. 1 wide receiver, these two create the most dominant quarterback/wide receiver combination that the NFL can offer, which turns Stafford into a top fantasy option. 

4. Drew Brees

With bountygate looming around the New Orleans Saints, Sean Payton being suspended for a year and Drew Brees' contract situation up in the air, I am rather shaky about relying on Brees as my fantasy quarterback.

Granted, Brees is one of elite quarterbacks in the game today, but we have know idea how he's going to perform after the adversity that he has to overcome. 

However, chances are that he'll be just fine in 2012—he's simply too good to just fall off the map completely. 

3. Cam Newton

Yes, that's right—I have Cam Newton listed ahead of Drew Brees.

Newton had a record-setting rookie season as he threw an NFL record 4,051 yards—which was nothing short of magnificent. 

Newton also proved to be one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks as he combined for 35 touchdowns while rushing for 706 yards. 

With Newton entering his second season in the NFL, we can only assume that he's going to continue to get better.

2. Tom Brady

Like a fine wine, Tom Brady continues to get better with age—and I see that standing true in 2012.

With additions of wide receivers Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Donte Stallworth, the stellar play out of Wes Welker and Deion Branch, and the dominant tight end tandem of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, there's no doubt in my mind that Brady will throw close to 40 touchdowns, nearly 5,000 yards and very rarely turn the ball over. 

As of right now, there's only one person playing the quarterback position better than Brady...

1. Aaron Rodgers

To continue on my thought left off with Tom Brady: The one man who is playing the quarterback position better than Brady is Aaron Rodgers.

Rodgers is simply on another planet when it comes to playing quarterback in the NFL.

Rodgers had a remarkable 2012 season as he threw for 4,643 yards while throwing 45 touchdowns and turned the ball over just six times—you can't get much better than that. 

As long as Rodgers plays close to as dominant as he did a year ago, then there's no debate that he'll be the top fantasy quarterback option this upcoming season. 

Any questions about this article? Send them via Twitter! 

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Be sure to check out Tony Santorsa's blogs: PatriotsPlus and Lazlo's Closet


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