2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings – Week 1

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IAugust 31, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 25:  Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders during the first quarter of an NFL pre-season football game at O.co Coliseum on August 25, 2012 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The smell of football is in the air. Here are my 2012 Week 1 fantasy football quarterback rankings:

1.  Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
I see Stafford picking up where he left off with a favorable home matchup against the Rams. Without much of a running game, it will be up to Stafford and Megatron to move the chains.

2.  Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
The Saints are going to play with a chip on their shoulder this year, and it all starts at home against Washington. Brees should also pick up where he left off.

3.  Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady opens up in Tennessee. With a full assortment of weapons, including Brandon Lloyd on the outside, he should pile up the fantasy points.

4.  Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
He has a tough first draw against the Niners at home, but Rodgers is a machine.

5.  Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton travels to Tampa Bay to see if he can avoid a sophomore slump. He will do so without Steve Smith at full strength.

6.  Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
With perhaps the best duo of WRs in the league and a commitment to open things up, Ryan should start his breakout fantasy season against the Chiefs in Arrowhead.
7.  Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Romo could have limited weapons thanks to the injuries, but Romo will work with what he has.

8.  Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Vick should be able to play through his most recent rib injury and put up solid numbers against the Browns.

9.  Eli Manning, New York Giants
Starts his title defense at home against Dallas. He has changed his perception and is finally getting the credit he deserves.

10.  Jay CutlerChicago Bears
Has a solid matchup against the Colts in his first game reunited with Brandon Marshall.

11.  Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben squares off with Peyton Manning in the Mile High City. Mike Wallace is back, but he likely won’t be at 100%.

12.  Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
He starts his new era in an unfamiliar home and an unfamiliar territory of low-end QB1.

13.  Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Rivers tries to bounce back from a forgettable 2011 season against the Raiders.

14.  Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
It will be interesting to see how he handles his first game as a pro. At least he won’t have to worry about having a bounty on his head against the Saints.

15.  Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans
Faces the Patriots, who were dreadful against the pass last year, but I predict they will be improved.

16.  Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
I expect growth from Flacco, but his early draw of Cincinnati will delay it.

17.  Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
I don’t expect a sophomore jinx, but I also don’t expect a big Week 1 against Baltimore.

18.  Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I’m holding out hope that he can bounce back. Adding Vincent Jackson and an expected bounce back from Mike Williams should help.

19.  Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers
He has more weapons this year, and the Packers were vulnerable to the pass last year.

20.  Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders
From 14 through 20 on are pretty interchangeable. Palmer should be decent against San Diego if he can keep the picks down.

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