2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings by Tier: Level Three

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IJuly 24, 2013

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 05:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals warms up against the Houston Texans during their AFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Reliant Stadium on January 5, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The 2013 crop of fantasy football quarterbacks is deeper than it has ever been. There are players that you draft to be your backup that end up being solid starting fantasy quarterbacks. We broke down the elite quarterback options and the second wave of QBs, now we take a look at the top QB2s.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton made several improvements in his second year. His passing yards increased from 3,398 to 3,669. His touchdown totals increased from 20 passing and one rushing to 27 passing and four rushing. He had 299 or more yards four times last year, but also had 10 games with 234 or fewer yards.

Dalton had five games with three or more touchdown passes, but also had nine games with one or fewer touchdown passes. He averaged 192.4 passing yards in his last eight games.

A.J. Green has established himself as one of the best receivers in the game. Mohamed Sanu came on late last year before a stress fracture cut his season short. He should be a decent option for Dalton. Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert give the Bengals a solid 1-2 punch at tight end.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Flacco made an unbelievable run during the postseason that allowed him to break the bank. His career-highs are 3,817 yards and 25 touchdowns. Flacco also gives you very little on the ground, averaging 86 yards and 1.4 rushing touchdowns in his five seasons.

On the plus side, he has never thrown more than a dozen interceptions. The Ravens intend to air it out more in 2013, but outside of Torrey Smith, Ray Rice and Dennis Pitta, the Ravens don’t have considerable talent in the passing game.

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Eli took a step back, but still managed to throw for 3,948 yards and 26 touchdown passes. There are a couple of problems that keep Eli from being a QB1 for fantasy teams.

He throws a ton of interceptions, averaging 16.9 picks over the past eight seasons. He also has a tendency of disappearing at times. He failed to throw a touchdown in four games last year, with another six games with just one score. He also threw for 215 or fewer yards in eight games last year.

The G-Men added Brandon Myers, who finished with 806 receiving yards last year, at tight end. They also locked up Victor Cruz. If Hakeem Nicks can stay healthy, Eli could be a borderline QB1.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals

Palmer threw for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns last year. Not bad considering he didn’t have a wealth of talent to work with.

In Arizona, however, he has one of the game’s best receivers in Larry Fitzgerald. He also has Michael Floyd to stretch the field and Andre Roberts and Rob Housler to work the middle of the field.

Bruce Arians likes the vertical passing game, which should allow Palmer to put up big numbers.

Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

Rivers had a streak of four straight 4,000-yard seasons snap last year, but he did throw for 3,606 yards. He threw 26 touchdown passes last year, which was tied for ninth in the league. Rivers has averaged 29 touchdown passes over the past five seasons.

If Danario Alexander and Antonio Gates can stay healthy, Rivers could bounce back. His QB1 days appear over, but he should still be a solid fantasy backup.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Big Ben was limited to 13 games last year, but still finished with 3,265 yards, 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Big Ben has only played a full season once in his nine-year career.

He’s solid when healthy, but his tendency to hold on to the football too long leads to big hits. The loss of Mike Wallace to the Miami Dolphins will hurt. Heath Miller tore his knee late last year. The lack of firepower is a concern, but Big Ben should still prove to be a solid QB2.

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