Positional trends in the NFL have lent to the perception that running backs are less worthy of a first round pick in fantasy football because of their propensity to get injured. But the consensus top three quarterbacks, while healthy, haven’t performed up to their early round billing, either.
The other two guys in the top three are the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan and rookie Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins.
Brees is third.
Griffin is tops.
It’s tough to shuffle quarterbacks around long-term too much after just a couple of matchups, but some guys’ performances have either been too impressive or too disappointing to ignore.
Below is the order in which I would like to own these signal-callers for the rest of the 2012 season.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Preseason: 1): Rodgers has been disappointing by fantasy first-rounder standards thus far. His Monday night date with Seattle in Week 3 doesn’t help his immediate prospects much, but this is still the same man that led the NFL in fantasy scoring last year.
2. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins (Preseason: 11): Griffin took his talents to Washington, where Mike Shanahan has helped turn him into fantasy’s No. 1 overall player through the first two weeks.
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Preseason: 3): While the Saints are 0-2, Brees has been a fine fantasy quarterback. He’s thrown for 300-plus yards in each of his team’s first two games and has a rushing touchdown to go with his one-to-one touchdown-to-interception ratio.
He’s also the only quarterback to have thrown over 100 times in the first two games.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Preseason: 8): Ryan is the only quarterback in the NFL to throw five touchdowns and zero interceptions entering Week 3.
6. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Preseason: 2): Brady only has one turnover on the season, but he’s thrown for 42 more yards in two games than Eli Manning did in Week 2 alone.
7. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Preseason: 5): Stafford has struggled against NFC West defenses in the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers. He’s got to get connected with Megatron to produce the top five type of game that fantasy owners expect.
8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Preseason: 4): Newton has not had good stat lines when Jonathan Stewart missed games for the Panthers this season. He scored 25 fantasy points with Stewart against the Saints. He totaled 21 points in two games without him (at Tampa Bay, home against the Giants).
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Preseason: 9): He is who I thought he was!
10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (Preseason: 7): Romo’s performance in Week 2 while playing from behind all game was disappointing. He should do better at home in Week 3 against the Bucs.
When Jason Witten is right and the Cowboys are clicking on all cylinders, Romo will jump a couple of spots on this list.
11. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Preseason: 16).
12. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (Preseason: 10).
13. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers (Preseason: 12).
14. Alex Smith, San Francisco 49ers (Preseason: 22).
15. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (Preseason: 20).
16. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Preseason: 14).
17. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Preseason: 18).
18. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (Preseason: 15).
19. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans (Preseason: 13).
20. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Preseason: 19).