Fantasy drafts are beginning to mirror the NFL in that quarterbacks are becoming more coveted in the early rounds of the draft. My top five fantasy quarterbacks will probably come as no surprise, because they’ve all got some degree of a proven track record of both dynamic play and consistency.
The quarterbacks listed below should all be off of fantasy draft boards by the end of the second or third rounds. Auction values are also included, based on 10-team drafts with $200 budgets.
This man led the NFL in fantasy points while playing 15 games. Next question.
If anybody is going to throw for 5,500 yards this year, it’s Tom Brady. He’s got an absolute arsenal at his disposal in Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and company.
With Josh McDaniels back calling plays for Brady, any and all of the names I just mentioned could record 10 receiving touchdowns this season, giving him the clear upside in terms of passing yardage and scores.
Rodgers holds the edge over Brady because of his ability to make plays on the ground and add rushing touchdowns to his impressive passing outlook.
Brees closed the year throwing for over 300 yards and multiple touchdowns in seven consecutive games. A couple of blows to his defense as a result of the Saints’ bounty investigations indicate that he’ll likely be throwing at least as much as last season.
He loses Robert Meachem to the Chargers this year, but with guys like Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles and Marques Colston to help get him stats, he’ll be a clear No.1 fantasy QB who can win you weeks.
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, $42
Much has been made about Newton’s apparent passing decline as his rookie season wore on. He may not throw for 300 yards every game, but Newton threw nine touchdowns in his final five contests.
That’s to say nothing of his rushing prowess.
Cam Newton rushed a bare minimum of six times per outing during his rookie year. Yet, nobody questions his durability. If he makes any improvements to his fantasy passing game, he may even be under-ranked here. In addition to Newton’s passing attempts, you can chalk up six runs per game and expect a rushing touchdown each time out (Newton scored himself in 10 of 16 games in 2011). Cam’s a fantasy cornerstone.
Stafford is sort of the opposite of Newton. His fantasy value is tied exclusively to his passing game, led primarily by Calvin Johnson. As Johnson went off for 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2011, Stafford threw at least one touchdown pass in each and every game.
He threw multiple touchdowns in 12 of 16 games, and for the first time in his NFL career, played every single game.
Stafford’s got boom-or-bust potential on a weekly basis. In 2011, he threw multiple interceptions in four games, but also threw four or more touchdowns in four games.