If someone had told you before the season that Panthers rookie quarterback Cam Newton would have more fantasy points than Drew Brees or Tom Brady through the first 10games of the year, you probably would have thought that person was crazy.
Despite having a 12:14 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the season, Newton has scored more fantasy points than every quarterback other than Aaron Rodgers this season.
Since throwing for 400-plus yards in back-to-back games to begin his NFL career, Newton has thrown for more than 300 yards only once (Week 4).
Newton is like a Tim Tebow (i.e., his rushing stats alone make him a solid start option every week), but Newton has also thrown 30-plus times in every start except one. Only Minnesota's Adrian Peterson (11) and Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy (10) have scored more rushing touchdowns than Newton (nine).
If you remember back to April, many draft analysts and football fans thought Newton had as much upside as any quarterback in this year's draft class.
On the other hand, many thought that Blaine Gabbert was more "NFL-ready" heading into his rookie season.
Hindsight is 20/20, but that was obviously wrong.
Gabbert has thrown for more than 200 yards in only two out of his eight NFL starts. In fact, Gabbert's 201 yards Sunday ended a four-game streak of 118 passing yards or less.
As far as Newton's weekly outlook goes, he faces a Colts team that has allowed 19 passing touchdowns (nobody has allowed more) and has just five interceptions (only the Steelers have fewer).
Here are some more quarterback notes for Week 12:
- Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson threw his first touchdown in four games on Sunday. During that four-game span, Jackson has thrown only one touchdown (and six interceptions) in 121 pass attempts.
- Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton set career highs in pass attempts (45), yards (373) but also interceptions (three) against the Ravens last week. Baltimore has allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (seven) this season and Dalton's yardage total was nearly double Baltimore's season average (211.3 yards per game).
- Last week, Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw five touchdowns to five different receivers, none of whom are named Calvin Johnson. It was Stafford's fourth game with four-plus touchdown passes, which sets the franchise record.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick's struggles continue. The Bills quarterback barely completed half of his passes (20 of 39) for 209 yards and two interceptions last week. He now has a 2:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio in his past three games, all Bills' losses, and faces the vaunted Jets' pass defense next week without his running back Fred Jackson, who is out for the rest of the season.
- Quarterback Tony Romo was not as sharp last week as he was two games ago, but he finished with three touchdowns and no interceptions for a second straight week. The Dolphins, this week's opponent, have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year.
- Rams quarterback Sam Bradford threw for only 181 yards last week and it was the fifth time in eight games that Bradford finished with less than 200 yards. To make matters worse, the Rams placed starting left tackle Rodger Saffold on season-ending injured reserve last weekend.
- With Matt Hasselbeck leaving last week's game with a sprained elbow, Titans rookie quarterback Jake Locker threw his first two NFL touchdowns. That said, Hasselbeck is expected to start this weekend.
- Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw another two interceptions and now has a league-worst 17 on the season. Although there are still six games to go for the Chargers, Rivers has already set his career high in interceptions. While the Broncos have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year, Rivers threw for 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception in their first matchup.
- Miami quarterback Matt Moore threw for only 160 yards, but he also threw three touchdowns and no interceptions. Moore has thrown for 244 yards or less in every game he has played this season, but has a 6:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio during Miami's three-game winning streak.
- Despite the favorable matchup against the league's most generous defense to fantasy quarterbacks (Minnesota), Oakland's Carson Palmer threw for only 164 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. From a fantasy perspective, it was Palmer's worst performance in his three starts.
Here are our fantasy quarterback rankings for Week 12:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (at DET)
2. Cam Newton, Panthers (at IND)
3. Drew Brees, Saints (vs NYG)
4. Tom Brady, Patriots (at PHI)
5. Tony Romo, Cowboys (vs MIA)
6. Matthew Stafford, Lions (vs GB)
7. Philip Rivers, Chargers (vs DEN)
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (at KC)
9. Matt Ryan, Falcons (vs MIN)
10. Eli Manning, Giants (at NO)
11. Michael Vick, Eagles (vs NE)
12. Tim Tebow, Broncos (at SD)
13. Josh Freeman, Buccaneers (at TEN)
14. Carson Palmer, Raiders (vs CHI)
15. Vince Young, Eagles (vs NE)
16. Mark Sanchez, Jets (vs BUF)
17. Joe Flacco, Ravens (vs SF)
18. Matt Moore, Dolphins (at DAL)
19. Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (vs TB)
20. Andy Dalton, Bengals (vs CLE)
21. Sam Bradford, Rams (vs ARI)
22. Alex Smith, 49ers (at BAL)
23. Tarvaris Jackson, Seahawks (vs. WAS)
24. Rex Grossman, Redskins (at SEA)
25. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (at NYJ)
26. Christian Ponder, Vikings (at ATL)
27. Matt Leinart, Texans (at JAX)
28. Colt McCoy, Browns (at CIN)
29. John Skelton, Cardinals (at STL)
30. Curtis Painter, Colts (vs CAR)
Check out our rankings for other positions and/or flex rankings at TheTipDrill.com, our fantasy section.
Good luck in Week 12!