Fantasy Football Rankings: Top-12 Rookie Quarterbacks for 2013

Kevin HansonAnalyst IIIApril 28, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25:  E.J. Manuel of the Florida State Seminoles holds up a jersey on stage after he was picked #16 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Last year was an unprecedented year for success of rookie quarterbacks. Five different rookies were their respective team's opening day starter. Three of those rookies finished in the top 11 in fantasy points for the season: Robert Griffin III (sixth), Andrew Luck (ninth) and Russell Wilson (11th).

Heading into the 2013 season, it seems unlikely that any fantasy quarterback finishes in the top 11 in fantasy points for the season.

With that said, here are my top-12 rookie quarterbacks for fantasy football for 2013:


1. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills

E.J. Manuel was the only first-round quarterback in this year's draft class, which ended a 12-year streak of multiple quarterbacks being selected in the first round. In fact, there was only one quarterback selected in each of the first three rounds.

By comparison, there were seven quarterbacks drafted by Round 3 in each of the previous two draft classes.

Certainly not the most polished passer among rookies, Manuel was a two-year starter at Florida State and has as much upside as any of the other signal-callers with his size, athleticism and ability as a dual-threat quarterback.

Better from a long-term dynasty standpoint than in redraft leagues, Manuel was compared to Cam Newton when he visited with new Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, who was Newton's offensive coordinator in Carolina.

Few teams added as many weapons in the passing game as the Bills, who drafted Robert Woods (Round 2), Marquise Goodwin (Round 3) and added undrafted free agents Da'Rick Rodgers, an elite talent with as much baggage to match, and Brandon Kaufman.



Unrelated to his fantasy value, here's an interesting fact about Manuel and his new team: Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith is Manuel's godfather.


2. Geno Smith, New York Jets

When selected 39th overall and on the stage at Radio City Music Hall, Geno Smith took a page out of Rex Ryan's book and said that the Jets will make the playoffs this year. In the excitement of the moment, I won't hold that statement against Smith, but it's unclear who will enter the season as the starter.

It's possible that the Jets will part ways with Mark Sanchez, whose days as The Sanchize seem numbered, before the start of the season. Then again, they still owe him $8 million guaranteed, which means that may happen next offseason instead.

Through the first five games of the college football season, it seemed possible (or even likely) that Smith would be the first player selected in the draft.

Leading the Mountaineers to a 5-0 start, Smith threw for just shy of 400 yards per game, 24 touchdowns and no interceptions during that span. After that point, however, the Mountaineers lost five of their final eight games and Smith threw 18 touchdowns and six interceptions.



Despite being the most athletic quarterback in this year's draft class (sub-4.6 40 at the combine), Smith never used his mobility to his full benefit at West Virginia. If he incorporates that aspect of his game to a larger degree at the next level, which I doubt, it would increase his fantasy value going forward.


3. Matt Scott, Jacksonville Jaguars

The fact that Matt Scott was undrafted was a bit of a surprise as he generated plenty of buzz throughout the draft process. Considering that he has Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert—I believe in that order—ahead of him on the depth chart, there is the possibility that the dual-threat quarterback will become the team's starter at some point in the season.



Last year with the Wildcats, Scott threw for 3,620 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while also running for an additional 506 yards and six touchdowns.


4. Tyler Wilson, Oakland Raiders


Of the remaining quarterbacks in this year's rookie class, Tyler Wilson has the best shot to become his team's starter on opening day. The main competition for snaps is Matt Flynn, a player the Raiders acquired for a fifth-round pick, and Terrelle Pryor. That duo has only 171 career pass attemptsFlynn (141) and Pryor (30).

5. Matt Barkley, Philadelphia Eagles

Slipping to the first pick of Day 3, Matt Barkley will begin the 2013 season (at least) second on the team's depth chart after starting four years in college and high school. If he beats out Nick Foles to be the team's backup, he would then be a Michael Vick injury away from starting again.


6. Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Since Josh Freeman enters the 2013 season as the unquestioned starter, Mike Glennon is likely to spend the year as the understudy. With that said, Freeman is in a walk year, and depending on how consistently he performs this year, Glennon could find himself in a position to take over in 2014 and beyond.


7. Landry Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers


As a four-year starter at Oklahoma, Landry Jones threw for 16,646 yards and 123 touchdowns during that span. Barring an injury to Ben Roethlisberger (and one that actually keeps Big Ben out of the lineup), Jones will spend all of 2013 holding a clipboard.


8. Ryan Nassib, New York Giants


Plenty of folks speculated that Ryan Nassib would go in the first round to play for his former coach Doug Marrone at Buffalo, however, Nassib lasted until the middle of the fourth round.

Barring an injury to Eli Manning, Nassib is undraftable in all but the deepest of redraft fantasy leagues this year. Since Manning has played in 16 games for eight consecutive seasons, Nassib has even less of a shot to see the field than Jones will in Pittsburgh.


9. Tyler Bray, Kansas City Chiefs


Tyler Bray has as much arm talent as any quarterback in this year's draft class, but he lacks consistency and has struggled with decision making.


10. Zac Dysert, Denver Broncos


With Peyton Manning and possibly Brock Osweiler ahead of Zac Dysert on the depth chart, he's unlikely to get any snaps in 2013. If he did manage to see the field, however, the Broncos have the best trio of receivers in the league.


11. Brad Sorensen, San Diego Chargers


Despite selecting offensive tackle D.J. Fluker in the first round, the Chargers offensive line is still in need of upgrades in most spots. With that said, Philip Rivers has not missed a game in the past seven seasons.


12. Sean Renfree, Atlanta Falcons


Like the other quarterbacks on the bottom half of this list, Sean Renfree is unlikely to see the field barring an injury. Matt Ryan has missed only two games (in 2009) in his NFL career.


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