Fantasy Football Guide: Quarterbacks

The passing studs sure to make your fantasy season a success!

Josh Helmuthby Josh Helmuth

The NFL is a quarterback driven league.  Depending on your fantasy football league settings, that means all five of these quarterbacks should be gone in the first two rounds.

The top five:
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay: Rodgers was the most dominant quarterback in the NFL last year.  With all of his receiving options coming back this season, expect another huge year for him.

Tom Brady – New England: A day after losing the Super Bowl, overreacting fans and media were wondering if Brady was done.  I expect Tom Terrific to have a big season this year though.  He'll have his two headed monster again at tight end, and with the acquisition of deep threat Brandon Lloyd (who thrives under offensive coordinator Josh McDaniel), Wes Welker will be able to run the short routes he thrives with.  The temptation is there to take Brady higher than Rodgers.

Drew Brees – New Orleans: Mr. reliable is signed to a new contract and will be running the offense like the well oiled machine it has been the last few years.  The Saints offense did lose a few pieces in free agency, but Brees still has more viable options to throw to than almost any quarterback other than Rodgers and Brady.

Matthew Stafford – Detroit: Stafford showed the league why he was a #1 overall pick by the Lions in 2009.  I do get a little weary that his top target, Calvin Johnson, may fall victim to the Madden curse.  But Stafford looks like he may be the kind of gunslinger that can thrive with any recieving corps.

Cam Newton – Carolina: Newton is a very intriguing option.  His passing numbers could easily fall victim to the sophomore slump, especially considering he threw for over 4,000 yards last year.  But Newton easily makes up for that with his ability to run.  If your league gives more points for rushing yards than passing yards, Newton should be a good pick-up.  But there is always the possibility of Newton completely falling off the planet.

Possible later round steals:
Matt Schaub – Houston
Jay Cutler – Chicago
Schaub and Cutler were both having great seasons last year before having their seasons cut short by injury. Schaub seems to always find open targets, and Cutler will finally have a #1 receiver after the Bears' acquisition of Brandon Marshall.

Be cautious when drafting:
Eli Manning – New York (N)
Robert Griffin III – Washington
Today's sports fan loves to be a prisoner of the moment.  Manning winning a second Super Bowl and RG3 winning the Heisman trophy have fans salivating over what these two could do this year.  While I do think they'll have productive seasons, I caution fantasy team owners against drafting these two too high.  If you don't need to reach for a starting QB, and a running back or receiver would be a better value, I'd wait until the 5th/6th round before taking these guys.  Also, let's not forget that when Eli called himself elite before last season we all laughed at him, and RG3 wasn't even considered a draftable quarterback prospect before Cam Newton blew up the NFL.

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