There are many viable fantasy options at quarterback heading into the 2012 NFL season. Any of these players would be fine starting options on a winning team, but there are others that are still unlisted and could lead owners to titles as well. Below are my sixth through 10th ranked fantasy quarterbacks as the preseason draws to a close.
The listed auction values are based on a 10-team, $200 budget.
I know, I know. He’s not the ideal candidate to play 16 games. But is there anyone, short of the quarterbacks that are already in the top five, who’s a better candidate to be the No. 1 overall fantasy player than Vick if he does?
Michael Vick as a fantasy starter is a risky proposition. Fantasy owners who draft him should be sure to secure a quality backup in case Vick does go down. But when he plays, the weapons he has (LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and more) combined with Vick’s own open field ability allow him to be a fantasy superstar.
Tony Romo has diminishing talent on the perimeter around him. He’s still got DeMarco Murray in the backfield, but Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten are all currently overcoming injuries. So why is he a top 10 fantasy quarterback?
The guy might just be a star-maker.
Laurent Robinson turned 14 games with Romo into 11 receiving touchdowns and a lucrative agreement to catch passes from Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville. Robinson had shown flashes before and his breakout could have been tied more to the fact that he shelved his injury concerns than that Tony Romo was throwing him the ball.
But somebody else is going to become a household name from the Dallas Cowboys, and Romo could be the reason why.
Unlike Eli Manning, the only game in the 2011 regular season in which Matt Ryan did not throw a touchdown pass was his first one. However, he also only threw exactly one touchdown in half of his games.
That’s simply not going to fly with Julio Jones and Roddy White as his wingmen.
I expect Ryan to have a big year, and I expect his wideouts to do the same. As the Falcons transition into more of an open-air attack, Ryan will get his statistics.
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants, $15
Eli Manning lost his second Super Bowl spectacular-catch artist in Mario Manningham to the 49ers. In his place is rookie Rueben Randle from LSU. He’s still got Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, plus Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie David Wilson in the backfield.
All of those guys can catch the ball.
Eli’s got big game potential and threw for almost 5,000 yards last year. He also threw two or more touchdowns in 11 of 16 games, but he failed to record a touchdown pass in three games last year—and he had five games with multiple turnovers.
Peyton Manning represents another injury risk as a fantasy quarterback. He doesn’t run the football himself, but he missed the entire 2011 season recovering from neck surgery.
But he’s still Peyton Manning.
He’s got fine targets to throw to on the outside in Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. He’s got familiar targets in the middle of the field in Jacob Tamme and Brandon Stokley. Willis McGahee can take some pressure off of the passing game.
And what if they start running the no-huddle up and down the field in Denver?