2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings by Tier: The Second Wave

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJuly 23, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The 2013 crop of fantasy football quarterbacks is deeper than it has ever been. You can easily wait until the other 11 members of a 12-team fantasy league select their quarterback and still finish with a solid starting fantasy quarterback.

We broke down the elite quarterback options, now we take a look at the next crop of quarterbacks that can lead your fantasy team but won’t come at as steep of a price.

Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins

RGIII is taking a page out of Adrian Peterson’s knee recovery guide. He’s a risk because of his playing style, but worth it as a low-end QB1.

With his arm, RGIII was more efficient than explosive. He threw for just 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns last season. He took care of the ball though, only throwing five interceptions. On the ground, however, is where he set himself apart by running for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.

He took some big shots though, which led to multiple injuries. I expect an increase in fantasy points with his arm and a decline with his feet. My expectation is that Washington pulls in the reins a little to protect their franchise quarterback. You’ll want to add a quality backup in case he’s slow out of the gate or gets hurt again.

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers

Kaepernick has the “it factor”. He is equally as impressive with his arms as he is his feet. In the regular season he threw for 1,814 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. He added 415 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

In three playoff games he averaged 266 passing yards with four touchdowns to two picks. He carved up the Green Bay Packers with 181 yards and two touchdowns on the ground en route to 264 yards and three touchdowns during the Niners’ playoff run.

He’ll miss Michael Crabtree but will welcome the addition of Anquan Boldin and an increased role for Vernon Davis.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

The more-mobile quarterbacks (RGIII, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson) got plenty of love, which almost overshadowed just how fine of a season Luck had. Replacing a legend—Peyton Manning in Luck’s case—is never easy, and Luck did about as fine a job as Aaron Rodgers (Brett Favre) or any other quarterback has. 

Luck threw for 4,374 yards and 23 touchdowns. He threw a lot of interceptions (18), which isn’t uncommon for a rookie. He made up for it with 255 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Luck had seven games with at least 297 yards, but seven with 227 yards or fewer.

Bruce Arians moved on to the Arizona Cardinals, which could limit Luck’s big-play potential. It should also make that interception total drop. I expect a different version of Luck this year, but one that is still a quality fantasy option.

Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

Romo threw for 4,903 yards and 28 touchdowns last year. It was the fourth time in the past six years that Romo has thrown for at least 4,000 yards. Don’t be thrown off by his lack of actual playoff success. Romo topped 300 yards nine times last year.

Dez Bryant truly emerged last year. Jason Witten is his “old reliable”. If Miles Austin can stay healthy, he gives them a terrific third option that primarily works out of the slot. Romo is a great value pick.

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Stafford has thrown for 10,005 yards in the past two years, but he saw his touchdown total drop from 41 to 20. Calvin Johnson only had five scores last year. That number should increase to double-digits this year.

Reggie Bush gives them another weapon out of the backfield, but Megatron still doesn’t have a complementary wide receiver to take advantage of all the attention he draws. Of the second-tier guys, Stafford is one of the safer options.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson had a modest total of passing yards (3,118), but he threw 26 touchdowns with just 10 interceptions. He also ran for 489 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson threw for 1,466 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the first eight games, compared to 1,652 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in the final eight games.

The addition of Percy Harvin, who forms a solid trio with Golden Tate and Sidney Rice, adds dramatically to Wilson’s appeal. Zach Miller gives him a solid target at tight end as well. The Seahawks heavily emphasize the run, which keeps the expectations from soaring for Wilson. He’s still a quality fantasy option.

Take a look at the third tier of fantasy quarterbacks.

Also, check out LestersLegends.com to help prepare you for fantasy football season.