The quarterback position has emerged as one of the most crucial parts of a fantasy football team, and there are vital factors to look at when determining the 10 best for the 2012 NFL season. The NFL is a pass-happy league, and getting a quarterback that can post excellent numbers weekly is the first priority in a draft.
This does not mean you have to take a quarterback in Round 1 of your draft. It means that you need to grab a good one that can stay with the best ones on a weekly basis.
Fantasy footballers used to be able to get away with waiting a long time in their draft to grab a starting quarterback as the gap between the top and the middle of the road quarterbacks was not all that great. It used to be worthwhile to wait to draft a quarterback.
The NFL has changed, and the gap between the elite and the middle of the road quarterbacks is massive. It is hard to make up on the 15 or more touchdowns that your team is already down if you do not draft an elite-level quarterback.
These are the 10 best fantasy football quarterbacks for the 2012 NFL season.
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is the last real, strong option on the board, as every other quarterback left has issues that realistically prevent them from jumping into the top 10. Rivers is a dynamic quarterback and a player that has been a fantasy stud in the past.
Rivers has the ability to throw 4,250 yards and 25+ touchdowns on the board.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles had a miserable 2011 season, and it has pushed Vick down draft boards. Vick was a very high fantasy pick in 2011, but he failed to live up to the hype. This is a much more realistic position for Vick, just get a good backup.
Vick is capable of 3,750 yards passing and 500+ yards rushing. He should combine for 25+ total touchdowns.
Manning has really made a name for himself with his postseason play, but he is an excellent fantasy quarterback in his own right. He has averaged 29 touchdown passes over the past three seasons, and he is a very capable fantasy starter.
Manning should put up 4,300 yards and 28 touchdowns.
The Atlanta Falcons are turning from their power run game to a more vertical passing approach and it is going to help Ryan’s fantasy numbers. Ryan has been a good fantasy quarterback, but this is the year he becomes an elite option in fantasy football.
Ryan should throw for 4,300 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is a fantasy football stud. He is one of the league’s best fantasy options and he always delivers on his draft value. Romo should have another nice season in the Cowboys’ offense, as there are plenty of weapons at his disposal.
Expect a 4,400 yard and 29 touchdown season from Romo.
Cam Newton set the league on fire as a rookie. He did a superb job of getting the ball down the field to wide receiver Steve Smith, but he did the most damage with his feet, running the football. Newton’s fantasy value is directly tied to his rushing-touchdown total. It is unrealistic to expect 14 rushing touchdowns in 2012, but he is a force to be reckoned with near the end zone.
Newton should put up 3,600 yards passing, 500+ yards rushing and a total of 30 touchdowns.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford went off in 2011, and there is no reason to think he won’t do it again in 2012. The Lions still have no running game and they are loaded with talent at the receiver position. Look for Stafford to throw the ball a ton in 2012.
Stafford should post 4,800+ yards and 37+ touchdowns.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is fantasy gold. He plays on an explosive football team, he has a plethora of weapons and he does a phenomenal job of running the football. Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks to own in fantasy football today.
Look for 4,600 yards and 40+ total touchdowns from Rodgers.
The New England Patriots have offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels back. They also have a vertical threat in wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, and it is a threat the Patriots have not had for a few years. Does anyone remember what the Patriots did when Randy Moss threatened defenses vertically? Throw in receiver Wes Welker and tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and this offense is unstoppable.
Look for a season of 5,000+ yards and 45 touchdowns from Brady.