Fantasy Football Rankings 2012: Quarterbacks Who Will Start Season Well
The NFL season has finally arrived and while the competition on the gridiron heats up, fantasy football rivalries will be renewed. Those hoping for Week 1 bragging rights will need their quarterback to come through with a big performance.
With just one QB on most rosters, a dud can doom a fantasy owner to an embarrassing defeat.
Here are the five quarterbacks who will not disappoint in their season opener.
5. Aaron Rodgers
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Aaron Rodgers will be the best fantasy quarterback in the league once again this season, but he is going up against the toughest defense he will face all year in Week 1.
The 49ers have a fearsome pass rush and menacing secondary that will be laying bone-crunching hits on the Green Bay Packers' receivers. The last time Rodgers faced a defense this physical was when he went up against the New York Giants in the playoffs last season.
Green Bay lost the game and Rodgers finished the game with 264 passing yards, two touchdowns and an interception. These are perfectly respectable fantasy numbers, but not near the reigning MVP's usual standards.
Expect a similar performance from Rodgers against San Francisco.
4. Matthew Stafford
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
This will be one of the few weeks in which Matthew Stafford outperforms Aaron Rodgers.
The St. Louis Rams' defense is significantly softer than the San Francisco 49ers' unit, and Stafford will start off his 2012 campaign with several connections with Calvin Johnson.
While the Rams certainly did not have a top defense last year by any means, they only allowed 13.70 fantasy points to quarterbacks, according to NFL.com. This was the 10th-lowest total in the league.
Stafford will still have a fine performance in this game, but this is not as tasty of a matchup as it may seem.
3. Tom Brady
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Tom Brady will also have a fantastic season in 2012, but the matchup he faces is not as ideal as the top two quarterbacks.
Brady will face the Tennessee Titans, who gave up the 12th-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks last season, as noted by NFL.com. The high-flying New England offense will likely still be productive in this game, but the Titans' defense will not roll over.
While the Tennessee defense is not terrible, it is also not a fearsome group. Brady could easily toss three touchdown passes in this game to the delight of his fantasy owners.
Expect him to get off to a fine start, but his best performances will come later in the year.
2. Cam Newton
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Cam Newton will not rank this high most weeks, but his matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suggests that he will be one of this week's top performers.
Newton scored eight touchdowns in two games against the Bucs last season. In the first matchup, he threw just one touchdown pass, but scored three times on the ground. In the second meeting, the Panthers racked up 48 points as Newton tossed three touchdown passes and ran for one more score.
Tampa Bay allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks last year.
Newton burned the Buccaneers as a rookie and he looks set to start off his season with another spectacular performance.
1. Drew Brees
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Drew Brees had a historic year in 2011 and he will once again make his fantasy owners happy with gaudy statistics.
A mediocre Washington Redskins defense and an offseason full of distractions will do nothing to slow down the New Orleans offense.
Brees will have a chip on his shoulder and he will looking to prove that the potent New Orleans Saints offense will be just as dangerous without Sean Payton. The emotions may not fuel the team all the way through the season, but Brees and the offense will put on a show in Week 1.
If Brees is your fantasy quarterback, pat yourself on the back as you are about to have an excellent week.