Fantasy Football 2012: Best Mid-Round QBs to Add After Elite Have Been Nabbed
Elite fantasy football quarterbacks are easy to identify. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford are among the names you’ll most frequently see flying off the board in the early stages of your draft.
You don’t have to be a Bleacher Report Fantasy Football expert to realize that.
Cam Newton is also emerging as one of the “elite” options to take during the opening picks.
However, I’d like to pose to you a different strategy. One that you don’t have to use your early-round picks on a quarterback in order to deploy.
Now, I’m not going to go into super-sleeper mode and explain why Brandon Weeden is going to play lights out and shock the fantasy world in his rookie season. First, that just isn’t likely going to happen.
Second, this isn’t an article about sleepers.
This is for all of you who would rather grab a running back or two and maybe a wide receiver or Jimmy Graham before jumping into the quarterback fold.
Take a look at my top three quarterbacks who aren’t getting the attention they deserve and are slipping in a lot of drafts.
I know what you’re thinking. Mike, why Manning? The guy is a legend and everyone knows what he’s capable of, but he’s injured and is 36 years old.
Manning doesn’t care if he’s 40. He’s coming off being released by the franchise he resurrected and has a lot to prove to himself, let alone the fantasy football world.
Football is what Peyton Manning does and he’s one of the best in the game at his position.
While John Fox likes to pound the rock, it’s ignorant to think he won’t take advantage of having one of the most prolific NFL passers of all time behind center.
Manning will produce and he’ll silence the critics on his way to a top five fantasy season at the quarterback position.
Jay Cutler (Projected No. 14 QB by ESPN)
Offensive line issues left Cutler on the sidelines after a thumb injury in 2011. He finished with a less than stellar performance.
However, Cutler has been impressive in the preseason and is reunited with former teammate Brandon Marshall. With Marshall in Denver, Cutler finished as a top five fantasy quarterback.
Things have changed since then, though. Marshall has been through the ringer with off-the-field issues and Cutler has been running for his life in Chicago.
The added threats of Alshon Jeffrey and Marshall, coupled with the addition of Michael Bush to the backfield, will make the Bears attack more balanced and capable of taking some of the pressure off of Cutler and the offensive line.
He has a full arsenal at his disposal and will have a top 10 fantasy season in the quarterback rankings when all is said and done.
Joe Flacco (Projected No. 19 QB by ESPN)
Joe Flacco is a tall, big-armed quarterback with excellent weapons around him. What’s the problem here?
Flacco’s numbers have suffered due to the propensity of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron to dial-up Ray Rice and other backs on the team.
This year, though, may be different for the Ravens. Unlike in years past, the Ravens do not have a two-headed beast in the backfield. Ronnie Brown is now in San Diego and Ray Rice is the primary running back.
Then there is the fact that Flacco is being pushed more to forefront of the offense by new quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell, according to Luke Jones of WNST.net.
Under Caldwell, the Ravens have employed a new high-tempo offense that has sparked the Ravens offense during the preseason. In his preseason Week 3 performance, Flacco completed 27 of 36 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns.
While this was just preseason and not likely the game plan for the regular season, at least completely, Flacco has shown he has the ability to command a no-huddle, quick strike offense that is centered around him.
He has the tools, the coaches and the ability to really shine in Baltimore if given the opportunity.
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