Almost everyone wants Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning in their fantasy football league, but you would be wise to let those hungry for star quarterbacks have their pick of the NFL's glamour position.
This is fantasy football. The top priority for any owner should be running backs.
Once you've made sure your squad has a wealth of solid backs, you can then find a second, third or fourth-tier quarterback who you can still win with. Here's a list of the viable options at quarterback in most fantasy football leagues.
The players highlighted are sensible picks who'll probably still be available from the second through sixth rounds, depending on the size of your league. I state the case for them as an option below the table
|1||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers|
|2||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints|
|3||Peyton Manning||Denver Broncos|
|4||Tom Brady||New England Patriots|
|5||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons|
|6||Colin Kaepernick||San Francisco 49ers|
|7||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks|
|8||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers|
|9||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts|
|10||Jay Cutler||Chicago Bears|
|11||Robert Griffin III||Washington Redskins|
|12||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys|
|13||Matthew Stafford||Detroit Lions|
|14||Joe Flacco||Baltimore Ravens|
|15||Eli Manning||New York Giants|
|16||Michael Vick||Philadelphia Eagles|
|17||Ben Roethlisberger||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|18||Sam Bradford||St. Louis Rams|
|19||Josh Freeman||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|20||Carson Palmer||Arizona Cardinals|
Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
What do you expect from Cutler in 2013?
Some may laugh at Cutler sitting at No. 10 in the rankings above, but talent and philosophy are in place for Cutler to have his best year as a Chicago Bear.
He has an unquestioned No. 1 receiver in Brandon Marshall. Because of the emergence of second-year pro Alshon Jeffery, Marshall has a competent and dangerous option on the other side of the field.
Martellus Bennett is a capable tight end and Matt Forte is a do-it-all running back who excels as a receiver out of the backfield. The Bears O-line has finally received some long overdue upgrades at nearly every position.
Former New Orleans Saints O-line coach Aaron Cromer will work wonders with the Bears' Big Uglies.
Most importantly, head coach Marc Trestman brings a sensible offensive philosophy that will give Cutler more opportunities to shine. Barring injury, bet on 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns from Cutler this season.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
If Newton had more weapons in the passing game, he'd be even higher on this list. As it stands, the aging Steve Smith and tight end Greg Olsen will be Newton's favorite targets again this season. If Brandon LaFell steps up, the Panthers and Newton could soar.
On a fantasy football level, Newton's greatest potential contribution to your team is as a running quarterback. Over the last two seasons, he's rushed for 22 touchdowns.
That is more than Ray Rice, Michael Turner, LeSean McCoy and Chris Johnson in the same time frame.
Don't sleep on Newton the passer either. He was ranked just 13th in the NFL in passing yards and 19th in touchdown passes in 2012, but he caught fire in the second half of the season.
In his last seven games, he threw 11 touchdown passes and only two picks. Those aren't Rodgers-like numbers, but when you combine the rushing prowess, Newton is a steal as a second-tier quarterback.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Last season was a definite downer for Matthew Stafford, but he is still a decent option at quarterback. If you commit to taking the best running backs and wide receivers available for the first four or five picks, there is no reason Stafford should hurt your team week after week.
Many people are down on him because he seemed to regress as a player last year, but if we put our fantasy football hats on, we have to realize he threw for 4,967 yards last season.
Oddly enough, he found the end zone just 20 times as a passer. Per ESPN, Stafford's favorite target Calvin Johnson, was tackled on the one-yard-line four times.
That's when you wish Megatron would transform into Optimus Prime and truck his way in for the score.
The Lions figure to be bad again in 2013, which should lead to a boatload of pass attempts for Stafford. Playing from behind is great for passing yards. Megatron reaching the ball over the pylon is what's needed to bump up that touchdown number.
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