2011 NFL Fantasy Football Week 17: Quarterbacks (QB) Rankings and Projections

Sean E. Douglas@@seanfantasyinfoSenior Writer IIIDecember 26, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is introduced before their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Cam Newton vs. Saints:

With Newton finishing the season just as strong as he started it, the debate amongst fantasy annalists and owners should be a fun one this offseason as we question whether Newton should be the top-ranked quarterback for the 2012 season. 

While Newton has a clear edge over his competition in the running game, my season-ending conclusion would be to rank him third or fourth next year, mainly because he’s only played at a top level for one year.

Just look at Michael Vick as a prime example of what the offseason can do for opposing teams; coming into next year, they'll focus on him as a primary player to stop. 

Other star fantasy quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have all established that they can put up top flight production and do it on a year-to-year basis.

That said, Newton does come in as my top quarterback this week; the Panthers are playing like a team primed to finish the season strong, and if they beat the Saints (assuming the Saints beat the Falcons Monday), they would ensure that the 49ers would get a first-round bye and not their division foe. 

Expect Newton to post at least 325 total yards of offense and three touchdowns in what should be a high-scoring game.

Please Note: ** means player could receive early rest on final week.

1 Cam Newton vs. Saints
2 Drew Brees Panthers
3 Tom Brady Bills
4 Eli Manning Cowboys
5 Michael Vick Redskins
6 Philip Rivers vs. Raiders
7 Matthew Stafford** vs. Packers
8 Aaron Rodgers** Lions
9 Matt Ryan** Buccaneers
10 Tim Tebow Chiefs
11 Tony Romo (I) vs. Giants
12 Joe Webb Bears
13 Kyle Orton vs. Broncos
14 Ben Roethlisberger (I) vs. Browns
15 Carson Palmer Chargers
16 Mark Sanchez vs. Dolphins
17 John Skelton Seahawks
18 Rex Grossman vs. Eagles
19 Joe Flacco Bears
20 Andy Dalton Ravens

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