Fantasy Football Sleepers 2012: Unheralded Quarterbacks Bound to Crack Top 10

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IAugust 19, 2012

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 17:  Quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Tennessee Titans looks to pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in an NFL preseason game August 17, 2012 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

As we become more entrenched in the passing era of the NFL, you may think grabbing an elite quarterback in your fantasy league is a priority. Not so fast.

It certainly is nice to have an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady on your team, but if the price becomes too steep, rest assured that the QB class is deeper than ever. Even if you do luck out by grabbing a top-tier quarterback, there are plenty of talented guys currently being drafted as backups. 

So, if you want to make your quarterback position as safe as Michael Phelps in a kiddie pool with a life jacket, find a way to draft one of the following guys as your backup.

That way, you could end the season with two signal callers in the top 10. 


Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Okay, this is kind of cheating as Rivers, on average, is being drafted as the 11th QB, but the Chargers signal caller could easily crack the Top 5 by the end of the year. 

Rivers had a forgettable 2011 season, but what you got from him last year is his absolute floor. Considering he threw for 4,624 yards, 27 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, that's a pretty high floor.

And his ceiling? Well, look no further than his final five games of the season, five games in which he threw for an average of 283 yards per game to go with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. Those numbers were good enough for a QBR of 94.4, which was best in the NFL. 

The Chargers offense needs to stay healthy (ahem, Ryan Mathews and Vincent Brown), but San Diego throws a ton and Rivers is the perfect fantasy quarterback. Don't let last year scare you away. 


Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

I know the reasons why you should stay away from Luck, who is being drafted as the 16th quarterback overall. 

He's a rookie QB, and for every Cam Newton there are 20 Blaine Gabberts. He doesn't have many elite weapons surrounding him. He's a better real-life player than fantasy producer.

Blah, blah, blah.

This is Andrew Luck, the best thing since sliced bread. Wait, no, Tim Tebow is the best thing since sliced bread. This is Andrew Luck, the best thing since Tim Tebow. 

Luck is calm, cool and collected. And talented. I don't expect him to produce like most rookies. Throw in the fact that the Colts will likely be trailing a lot, and the former Stanford star could actually end up throwing the ball quite a bit, which is just what fantasy owners want.

I'm buying the endless upside. 


Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans

Locker needs to beat out Matt Hasselbeck for the starting job first, but I'm a firm believer he'll do that soon enough, and once he does, watch out. 

When the former Husky got playing time last year, he came through, throwing for four touchdowns, zero interceptions and compiling a rating of 99.4. He needs to improve the accuracy, but Locker has some nice young weapons to help him be very productive.

But that's just the gravy on top of what he really does, and that is run the ball. Locker is big, strong and fast, sort of like Ben Roethlisberger, but quicker. That makes him a dangerous fantasy option, even if he might struggle at times in real life.