Most years, I take a quarterback in either the first round or early, early second. This year, I think it’s a toss up. On the one hand there might be 5-6 guys who are the top scorers in the whole league. But, if last year was a fluke and only Rodgers, Brees, and Brady are the big time scorers, you’re better off going in a different direction and waiting on a QB. This year I’m comfortable with anyone in the top-10 as my starter. I’m hesitant with 11-15, while the rest I consider backups or worse. I’m personally leaning towards waiting on QB this year unless Arian Foster, Ray Rice, LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson, and Ryan Mathews are off the board in the first round. RB is weak while QB and TE are deep and WR is in the middle.
Sleepers–Matt Ryan, Falcons; Josh Freeman, Buccaneers
Overvalued–Mike Vick, Eagles; Robert Griffin III, Redskins; Matt Schaub, Texans
Undervalued–Phillip Rivers, Chargers; Peyton Manning, Broncos; Jay Cutler, Bears; Mark Sanchez, Jets; Christian Ponder, Vikings; Jake Locker, Titans
Rookies–Robert Griffin III, Redskins; Andrew Luck, Colts; Brandon Weeden, Browns
- Aaron Rodgers–Simply the best QB in both fantasy football and real life football. He will get at least 4500 yards with 35-40 td’s and a good 300-400 yards rushing with around 5 more td’s. Doesn’t throw many picks neither.
- Tom Brady–The only thing that will slow him down is an injury. The Pats add another receiver in Brandon Lloyd and they have the best TE tandem in the league. He’s on Rodgers level as a passer but won’t have the rush yards.
- Drew Brees–I’m kinda down on Brees this year. The whole bountygate thing makes the Saints lose their head coach and offensive mastermind. Will they be ok? Not sure but I’m not spending a premium pick to find out. Obviously, Brees has the upside of being the top QB in any given year.
- Cam Newton–Newton was much better than expected last year as he seemed to rejuvenate the career of Steve Smith while also breaking the rookie rushing TD record. I expect him to give back some of the rushing TD’s but making up for it with more passing ones.
- Matt Stafford–Stafford to Calvin Johnson was an unstoppable force last year. He gets an upgrade at offensive line in Riley Reiff and a solid slot receiver in Ryan Broyles.
- Eli Manning–Manning won his second super bowl title after having an amazing season. I still can’t believe this guy threw for 5,000 yards. Manning loses Mario Manningham and Jake Ballard this year, while Hakeem Nicks is coming off an offseason injury. The Giants add in first round running back David Wilson and TE Martellus Bennett. Bennett is athletic but known more for his blocking. I expect Manning’s numbers to come back to earth but he should still be a solid starter in fantasy.
- Tony Romo–Romo loses Laurent Robinson who was his favorite target in the second half last season. He should get full seasons out of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant (as long as he doesn’t do anything stupid) so I expect him to repeat last seasons performance.
- Phillip Rivers–Rivers had a disappointing year but I think he was injured even though he has adamantly denied it. He loses Mike Tolbert and Vincent Jackson but the Chargers added Robert Meachem and should have an in shape Antonio Gates for the full season. I think Rivers could be the steal of the draft this year. Would you blink an eye if he put up a 5,000 yard 40 TD season? If he’s healthy, he’s got the weapons and ability to do so.
- Peyton Manning–It’s very odd to rank him so low after so many years of being in the top two. If Manning’s arm looks good in preseason, I’m vaulting him up to the top of the list. He’ll be behind the best offensive line since the Colts Super Bowl run and he has a bunch of young weapons around him. I’m more worried about his shoulder than neck at this point.
- Jay Cutler–The Bears add Michael Bush, Alshon Jeffrey, and most importantly bring in Brandon Marshall. Cutler has the arm to be a top quarterback as long as he can stay upright. I do expect improved line play this year to go along with much improved weapons. Don’t be afraid to wait on taking a quarterback and end up with Cutler as your starter.
- Matt Schaub–If healthy, he will throw 4,000+ yards. The question is if. The Texans lose two starters off their line and LT Duane Brown has had an injury scare in camp already. I’m concerned here. He also loses TE Joel Dressens who had been an underrated player for the Texans.
- Mike Vick–Most fantasy experts has him ranked in the top ten and some even in the top 5. I see that side of the argument but the more likely scenario is that his legs aren’t what they used to be and he misses games every year. The risk isn’t worth the reward for where you have to draft him.
- Matt Ryan–I don’t know where to place him. I could see him cracking the top-10 but there are a lot of talented quarterbacks ahead of him. He’s got the weapons for sure but the offensive line is abysmal. If Julio Jones takes the leap forward that everyone (and me) thinks he will, Ryan could be a steal.
- Robert Griffin III–If Griffin wasn’t lightning fast, he wouldn’t make the top-20 because he’s a rookie. Fortunately for the Redskins, he is very fast which will allow him to put up pretty good stats for a rookie QB. I like him as a backup but not as a starter this year. Don’t get fooled into taking him based off of what Cam Newton did last year. Less talent in Washington on offense than in Carolina and he’s not nearly as big as Cam. Talk to me next year.
- Ben Roethlisberger–I had him higher until he recently said that he has a small tear in his shoulder. Small tears will heal on their own through rest, but when will he rest? The Steelers lose their starting running back for probably half if not all of the season so I suspect they will be throwing a lot putting a ton of strain on his arm. I don’t think he makes it through the year.
- Josh Freeman–Freeman was a bust last year after being a big time sleeper. I admit that I bought into it. His offensive line got a huge boost with the addition of Carl Nicks and they also add in Vincent Jackson. The Bucs also drafted RB Doug Martin in the first round who’s a good receiver out of the backfield. Factor in the addition by subtraction move of Kellen Winslow and Freeman becomes a great post-hype sleeper player. He also can run a little bit.
- Joe Flacco–Flacco recently claimed he was the best quarterback in the NFL. Obviously, he’s not, but he will be a serviceable fantasy backup this year.
- Mark “Dirty” Sanchez–I can’t believe he threw 26 touchdowns and ran for 6 more. In any other year, that’s bonafide fantasy starter territory. Unfortunately for him, he did it in a year where a bunch of guys threw for 5,000 yards and one broke Dan Marino’s passing record. I think he’s pretty undervalued.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick–Fitzpatrick started out hot and then turned back into a pumpkin by mid-season. He’s an ok bye week fill-in but not much more.
- Carson Palmer–Hahahahaha the Raiders actually traded a first and second round pick for this bum? Palmer has a solid offense around him but the guy the Raiders traded for died in Cincinnati years ago.
- Matt Cassel–Cassel is the older version of Mark Sanchez. He will get ripped on all season and then you look at his stats and somehow they turned out to be pretty good. Another bye week fill in.
- Andy Dalton–I’ll pass on him. He showed his true form at the end of the season and in the playoffs. I predict the Bengals will be looking for a new QB in a couple years.
- Andrew Luck–Luck is on a rebuilding team and will struggle some this year. I love him in the future but I’m not ready to get behind him just yet.
- Matt Hasselbeck–Hasselbeck is old and obviously not the player he was. I like Jake Locker more this year anyways. However, if you are in a bind, he’s not a bad option if you play the right matchups.
- Sam Bradford–I’ll think about him when he gets a competent receiving corps.
- Alex Smith–His arm is too weak for me to buy in for fantasy sakes. He could pull it off in real football though. Matchup player for fantasy purposes.
- Christian Ponder–I like Ponder quite a bit actually. The Vikings defense is not what it used to be and they could be down early and often like they were last year. Ponder is fearless in the pocket and likes to stretch out the defense vertically. Someone to keep an eye on.
- Brandon Weeden–The reason I’m not a Browns fan. Young team playing in the toughest division in the NFL. He’s going to be bad, real bad.
- David Garrard–No thanks.
- Matt Flynn–Small sample size millionaire. Don’t get sucked in.
- John Skelton–Definitely like him more than Kolb but not that much. Even with Larry Fitzgerald.
- Blaine Gabbert–Hell No.
- Tavaris Jackson–Jackson wasn’t all that bad last year. Wasn’t good enough to carry the Seahawks but wasn’t as bad as his Minnesota days. I’d think about him if Flynn goes down based on his running ability.
- Tim Tebow–If Sanchez gets hurt or benched, Tebow is a top-15 guy. Maybe higher. If not, I don’t know how they will use him so I’m taking a wait and see approach.
- Kevin Kolb–All I ever see him do is throw off his back foot for INT’s. I prefer Brandon Weeden to him.
- Jake Locker–I like him as much as Ponder. Ponder is a bit more accurate while Locker is the superior runner. If he wins the job outright, he’s the kind of guy you take as your backup. Good running game, solid playmakers in Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, and Jared Cook.