Predicting the Top 10 Fantasy Quarterbacks for the 2013 Season
You usually know what you are getting when you draft a stud quarterback in fantasy football. And in 2013, there will be a plethora of quarterbacks who will give you a great source of production.
For fantasy purposes, quarterbacks are typically your leading scorers, and to assure you have a good season, you always need a solid, dependable signal-caller at the helm of your team. Whether it is drafting a seasoned pocket-passer or a hybrid running-style quarterback, you have to have trust in your quarterback, as they will more often than not be the lifeblood of your team.
In the following slideshow I will count down the top 10 quarterbacks to covet for the 2013 season. 2013 may be a banner season for quarterbacks, as there will be more than a dozen who could be considered reliable starters.
Notably missing from this list are Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. Both rookies did some amazing things in 2012, but between RGIII’s injury issue and Russell Wilson not being quite all the way there yet, they had to be omitted from this list.
Also not making the cut are the last two Super Bowl MVPs Joe Flacco and Eli Manning. While the two most recent Super Bowl MVP’s stepped up and proved they are big-time quarterbacks, neither quarterback has demonstrated they are consistent for fantasy purposes in the regular season. The same goes for two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.
There will be no shortage of quality quarterbacks to target in 2013. Herein is an early preview to whet your whistle as you await fantasy football to return. Let’s count down the best quarterbacks in 2013 from 10-1.
10. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
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Go ahead and call Romo a choker or one who never comes through in the clutch. You may have a point, but when it comes to fantasy football, Romo is as steady as they come.
Excluding his injury-plagued 2010 season, Romo has passed for over 4,000 yards in four out his last five years while throwing for no less than 26 touchdowns in any of those seasons.
Romo is coming off a fantastic year in which he threw for a career-best 4,903 yards while also throwing for 28 touchdowns. As long as Dez Bryant remains with the team along with mainstays Miles Austin and Jason Witten, then Romo should continue to shine in the regular season.
9. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
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Fresh off a Super Bowl appearance, a lot of eyes will be on Kaepernick this offseason as he will try to replicate the magic he pulled off when he replaced Alex Smith midseason in San Francisco.
There is no disputing the talent Kaepernick possesses. Kaepernick has freakish athletic ability and is an equally adept passer and rusher when he runs with the ball in the 49ers spread offense.
There will be skeptics when it comes to Kaepernick, but for a guy who threw for 1,608 yards (10 touchdowns) and ran for 238 yards (two touchdowns) in his first seven starts in the NFL, color me impressed.
And who could ever forget his epic performance against the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs in which he passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a staggering 181 yards and two additional touchdowns?
Kaepernick is just scratching the surface of his immense potential.
8. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
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Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick of the 2012 NFL draft, was all that and then some in his rookie season, leading the Colts to the playoffs and making people in Indianapolis forget about Peyton Manning.
Luck threw for a dazzling 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns in his rookie campaign while also rushing for an additional five scores on the ground. As long as Luck cuts down on his interceptions (18), he should take the next step in his progression next year.
From a player of his pedigree, it’s only a matter of time before Luck reaches elite status. With Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Donnie Avery and tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen as his weapons, you should only expect Luck to get better.
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
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Ryan capitalized on a very productive 2012 campaign by finally getting the monkey off his back and winning his first playoff game this year.
This past season, Ryan passed for a career-best 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns. Ryan plays in a very pass-happy offense, and as long as he has Roddy White and Julio Jones to throw to, he’ll be a certain top-10 signal-caller to draft.
Ryan is in the middle of his prime, and despite Tony Gonzalez departing, the Falcons are set up for sustained success.
6. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
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There may be no other quarterback in the NFL who likes to sling it more than Stafford.
In his last two seasons, Stafford has combined to throw the ball 1,390 times (an NFL-record 727 times this year). So through sheer volume, Stafford will get it done for you.
In the last two years, Stafford has passed for a whopping 10,005 passing yards. However, when you go from throwing for 41 touchdowns in 2011 to just 20 this past year, you’re bound to let some people down.
Expect Stafford to rebound and throw for more touchdowns in 2013.
5. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
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After struggling early amidst a sophomore slump, Newton surged to end the 2012 season and will once again be a quarterback to covet in the early rounds of drafts next summer.
Newton’s 3,869 passing yards this season were just a tad below the 4,051 he compiled in his rookie season, as were the touchdown totals (19 this year, compared to 21 in 2011). Newton actually had more rushing yards in 2012 (741) than he had in his rookie season (706) but his touchdown totals decreased significantly (14 in 2011, compared to eight this year).
Expect something in the middle for Newton; something along the lines of 3,960 passing yards and 20 touchdowns, 723 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns are well within reach for Newton.
If the Panthers upgrade their receiving corps, Newton’s value will only increase.
4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
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Coming back from a major injury and capturing this year’s Comeback Player of the Year award, it was like Peyton Manning never left us.
Manning returned to vintage form in his debut season in Denver, passing for 4,659 yards and throwing 37 touchdowns while registering a 105.8 passer rating in leading the Broncos to the playoffs.
Manning has the tools, weapons (Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, etc.) and know-how to keep it up for another couple of years. So now that he appears to be healthy once again, feel free to have trust in Manning having another fabulous season in 2013.
3. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
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In his 12 seasons as starter for New England, has Brady ever disappointed you?
I didn’t think so.
Brady was once again phenomenal in 2012, passing for 4,827 yards and 34 touchdowns (to just eight interceptions), and to expect anything different in 2013 would be foolish.
With a slew of weapons (which hopefully includes free agent Wes Welker), Brady will have all the ingredients to put up another sensational season next year.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
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While he didn’t enjoy the season he had in 2011, Rodgers was no slouch in 2012.
Once again, Rodgers passed for over 4,000 yards (4,295) and threw for 39 touchdowns (six less than he had in 2011).
If you want consistency, reliability and greatness, Rodgers is the complete package that you could do no wrong with. With a terrific receiving corps in Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and James Jones (free agent Greg Jennings is likely to leave via free agency), Rodgers should be as dependable as they come.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
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From a fantasy perspective, there quite simply is no better quarterback than Brees.
The Saints revolve around Brees and the passing game, and with Sean Payton coming back to coach, the Saints wont deviate from that game plan any time soon.
Despite the lack of leadership from the Saints and all of the “Bountygate” turmoil surrounding him, Brees once again went about his business and put up some eye-popping stats (5,177 passing yards and 43 touchdowns).
With Payton back and team chemistry set to improve, Brees has to be considered the No.1 option at quarterback. After all, Brees has now thrown for more than 4,300 yards in seven straight seasons (topping 5,000 yards in three of those seasons) and topped 30 touchdowns in five straight seasons (and 40 in back-to-back seasons).