Figuring out who the top fantasy football quarterbacks will be from week to week is a little easier than doing so for running backs and wide receivers. However, by no means is it simple—especially in Week 17 with fantasy championships at stake, various NFL teams resting their players and others gunning for a playoff position.
That's why those of us in the fantasy industry put together these lists for you—to give you a gauge of what to expect from your players on any given Sunday.
With that, here are the weekend's quarterback rankings, along with some detailed analysis of the 10 best players for the week:
32. Brady Quinn (at Den)
31. Terrelle Pryor (at SD)
30. Thaddeus Lewis (at Pit)
29. Brian Hoyer (at SF)
28. Sam Bradford (at Sea)
27. Christian Ponder (vs. GB)
26. Mark Sanchez (at Buf)
25. Ryan Tannehill (at NE)
24. Jake Locker (vs. Jax)
23. Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. NYJ)
22. Joe Flacco (at Cin)
21. Chad Henne (at Ten)
20. Andy Dalton (vs. Bal)
19. Jay Cutler (at Det)
18. Matt Ryan (vs. TB)
17. Ben Roethlisberger (vs. Cle)
16. Josh Freeman (at Atl)
15. Matthew Stafford (vs. Chi)
14. Philip Rivers (vs. Oak)
13. Matt Schaub (at Ind)
12. Colin Kaepernick (vs. Ari)
11. Eli Manning (vs. Phi)
The Top 10 QB Players for Week 17
10. Russell Wilson (vs. StL)
Russell Wilson has more to play for than some of the other quarterbacks this weekend, but the Seattle coaches know that the best way for the Seahawks to win this game against St. Louis will be to ram the ball down their throats.
That being said, Wilson has been too good of late to ignore him—especially at home—so he definitely deserves a spot in the top ten this week.
In fact, the rookie has ranked inside the top 10 fantasy QBs during four of the last five weeks, so to have him here in a game the Seahawks are still aiming to win can almost go without explanation.
9. Michael Vick (at NYG)
This is it for Michael Dwayne Vick as a Philadelphia Eagles quarterback. He may end up starting somewhere else in 2013, but it won’t be in Philly.
Nor will it be under coach Andy Reid—unless, of course, whichever team picks up Vick decides to grab Reid as well.
I highly doubt that happens, so with this likely being the final game/last hurrah as a team, what better way to go out than to annihilate one of their most hated foes—the New York Giants.
I have the distinct feeling that both Vick and Reid will be pulling out all the stops and letting loose their recent frustrations here.
Regardless, Vick will at least want to show the rest of the league that he isn't washed up just yet, so it’s very possible we see a few fireworks produce top-10 fantasy numbers by the end of this one.
8. Andrew Luck (vs. Hou)
The word I’m hearing at this point is that the Colts will play their starters regardless of the team being unable to move up or down from its playoff slot.
If I receive definitive news on teams in similar situations—such as the Cincinnati Bengals, who coach Marvin Lewis already stated would be playing their starters despite having no reason to—then I will be sure to adjust my rankings accordingly.
At this point, the only such news I’ve heard was from coach Chuck Pagano stating that “it’s not in our makeup” to rest anyone, so Luck needs to be considered a top-10 fantasy guy this week (h/t Ian Rapoport of NFL.com).
His prowess at home coupled with a nice game against the Texans just two weeks ago calls for it.
7. Cam Newton (at NO)
Though the Panthers have long since been eliminated from the playoff race, they haven’t given up. They’ve won three in a row now and four of their last five games.
Their schedule may not have been the toughest during that time, but nothing like that has ever stopped Cam Newton’s incessant chase for glory.
Newton has been one of the best fantasy players in the game over the second half of the season and should be able to come through with one last big showing for his owners this weekend against the Saints.
6. Tony Romo (at Was, Sunday night)
Though he started out slow, Tony Romo has put together a very nice season setting personal highs in passing attempts, completions and yards.
However, he’s still a good 10 touchdowns away from his career best yet just a few interceptions away from a career worst, so not all has been roses for the Cowboys QB.
Dallas still has something to fight for, though, with the winner of its game against the Redskins this Sunday night taking home the NFC East crown and a playoff bid.
Romo had one of his best fantasy performances against these guys back in Week 12, throwing for 441 yards and three TDs, so he’s definitely a top consideration to be your fantasy starter this week.
5. Robert Griffin III (vs. Dal, Sunday night)
The second half of Robert Griffin’s fantasy season hasn’t been as good as the first, but the Redskins have won six straight games now and are in a position to win the NFC East and enter the 2012 playoffs.
What matters most here is that RGIII has something to play for this Sunday night and won’t ease off the pedal.
Another consideration is that Griff has played well against the Cowboys before, tossing up 311 yards and four touchdowns against them back in Week 12.
Basically, start him if you got him.
4. Peyton Manning (vs. KC)
Peyton Manning never ceases to amaze me.
In his first season returning from neck surgery, the 36-year-old Broncos QB has already thrown for the second-most touchdowns in his career (34) and still has a game to go. He actually has a shot to break his personal record of 4,700 yards as well, though he’d have to throw for 346 yards to do it.
When fantasy owners took their chances on Manning before the season began, I highly doubt they knew just how valuable he would end up being—especially to those with Week 17 fantasy championships to win.
There aren’t too many quarterbacks with something to play for this weekend, so Peyton has to be one of the best to choose from going up against a very beatable Chiefs defense with a first-round bye on the line.
3. Drew Brees (vs. Car)
If Drew Brees showed anything this season, it’s that he’s definitely not a quitter.
Last weekend in Dallas, with the Saints holding on to a mere sliver of hope to make the playoffs, Brees put up his second-best fantasy performance of the season (by 0.1 points) and beat the Cowboys, 34-31, in overtime.
He may not have the playoffs to shoot for anymore, but that doesn’t mean Cool Brees isn’t motivated.
In fact, with just 220 yards passing, Drew would be the first man to throw for 5,000 yards in a season three times. With one more touchdown pass, Brees would also become just the second man to throw for 40 TDs in a season twice in their career (Dan Marino).
Assuming the coaching staff lets him play this Sunday (you might want to check and make sure before game time; 1 p.m. ET), he’s a must-start against the Panthers despite his team being out of the playoff hunt.
2. Aaron Rodgers (at Min)
If your fantasy championship was last weekend and Aaron Rodgers was your guy, I’m guessing you probably took home the trophy.
The kid was absolutely unstoppable in the Packers' demolition of the Titans. Rodgers ended up with one of the 10 best fantasy performances of his career.
Luckily for fantasy owners, Green Bay still has something to play for this Sunday, so there’s no need to worry about Rodgers taking it easy.
In fact, Minnesota has always been one of his favorite teams to play against, especially in Minnesota, where he’s averaged 340 yards and three touchdowns over the last three seasons.
If Randall Cobb (questionable, ankle) and Jordy Nelson (probable, hamstring) are both able to give it a go, Rodgers could easily be the top dog this weekend. If not, he should still pull through with QB1 numbers.
1. Tom Brady (vs. Mia)
How in the world the Jacksonville Jaguars stifled Tom Brady last weekend is beyond me.
It wasn’t his worst game, as he still threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, but it certainly wasn’t what fantasy owners needed.
This week, Brady will take on the Miami Dolphins in a game that actually matters to the Patriots—which is pretty huge for those playing in their championship game.
The Stetson Man was actually shut down by Miami just a few weeks ago, but he normally owns this team and should be able to get back to his dominating ways here in Week 17.
A return to action by TE Rob Gronkowski would be an enormous bonus as well, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
For rankings at all the positions, check out the: Pyro® Rankings.
For advice on who to start, check out the: Pyro® Start 'Em Sit 'Em.
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