Fantasy Football 2012 Rankings: Quarterbacks

Aaron Rodgers is a fantasy monster.

It's never too soon to start ranking players in fantasy football. We're going to kick it off today and the rankings should be updated on a monthly basis. Of course, they are subject to change. It's adapting. Not flip-flopping.

The quarterbacks are probably the easiest to rank of any position since there really isn't much competition for their gigs. Well, that's the case for the quarterbacks that really matter for fantasy. QB is as deep as ever with the emergence of Matt Stafford, Cam Newton and Eli Manning as true QB1 options. Generally speaking, I'm a fan of waiting on QB, but here's how I'd rank them in leagues that reward six points for a TD and no yardage bonuses.

Rank Quarterback Comment
1 Aaron Rodgers Unlikely he'll be able to have the same caliber season as last year. His 122.5 passer rating was the best ever by a QB. He's still the best QB and not many will argue.
2 Tom Brady He gets Brandon Lloyd and Josh McDaniels (same coordinator the year he had the 50-TD year) to go along with his dynamic duo at TE and Wes Welker. He should have a big year and will be off the board in the first round in almost any league.
3 Cam Newton His 14 TDs on the ground last year were second only to Shady McCoy. It's also very impressive that he only lost two fumbles. Too bad he won't be a pick at the end of your draft or someone that can be added off the waiver wire.
4 Drew Brees No Sean Payton is going to hurt in some capacity and losing Meachem isn't going to help either. That said, he did set the record for most passing yards in a season.
5 Matthew Stafford There's a huge dropoff from the big four above to Stafford. Before he played in 16 games last year, he played in just 6.5 games per year for his first two seasons.
6 Michael Vick Pretty silly that people were saying Vick should go first overall last year. This year he's a nice value in the late third. He should absolutely improve on his one rushing TD from last year and can hopefully have Maclin and D-Jax healthy all year.
7 Eli Manning It's hard to believe Eli was fourth in passing yards last year and we all know how amazing he was in the playoffs. Eli only turned the ball over once and had a pristine passer rating of 103.3 in the playoffs. The Giants passing game could see an improvement from the 29 TDs Eli threw last year, too.
8 Peyton Manning This is a risky pick right here. That said, his schedule is favorable and his name is Peyton Manning.
9 Philip Rivers Rivers tore it up in December like he always does, so it might be another mirage. He went in the second round last year and let a lot of owners down and his ADP has him as selection in the fifth round. The early part of the Chargers schedule figures to be pretty easy for passers, so hopefully that can offset his slower starts.
10 Matt Ryan I like Matty Ice a lot this year and I'm pretty sure he'll be on the majority of my teams. Michael Turner is 30 now and Atlanta should be passing even more this year. Ryan also took some strides through the course of the year too. In the first six games, his passer rating was a pedestrian 76.5. The final 10 he was able to put up a 98.9 rating. Not to mention the 307 yards per game in his last seven games (not counting Week 17).
11 Ben Roethlisberger The Steelers don't have Mendenhall and they're likely going to lean on Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown quite a bit. Ben should have a healthier season this year and should be able to match his 4K yards from last year with ease. He also gets a nice boost for Todd Haley becoming the offensive coordinator for the Steelers.
12 Tony Romo Romo was third in the league in completion percentage last season and had a 31-10 TD-to-INT ratio. Losing his main man Laurent Robinson is going to hurt him a little bit and Dallas should have a better defense this year. They should run the ball a little more and there's almost no way they'll have only five rushing scores this year.
13 Robert Griffin III Rookies are so much fun. He's going to be a busy man and I've seen people reach as high as 55 for him in mock drafts. Which is so ludicrous that those owners should have a plaid background for their fantasy logo.
14 Jay Cutler Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery should really help him in the red zone. The Bears haven't had a legtimate red-zone WR since Cutler has been there and his number should resemble the 4,526 yards he put up in his last year in Denver, not the 2,319 from last year. Plus, Minnesota, Green Bay and Detroit were all in the bottom seven for passing yards allowed last year.
15 Matt Schaub Schaub was third in the league in YPA and he was quietly having a nice year in Houston before he suffered a Lisfranc injury. The problem with Schaub is that Kubiak and the Texans' zone-blocking scheme is geared to run the ball, so he's not going to have any of those big week-saving games for your team. He's just a backup.
16 Carson Palmer CP3 has deep threats all over the place with DHB, Ford and Denarius Moore. A full offseason and a nice schedule give him plenty of upside. Carson had some big trouble on the road last year. That's something that should also improve with work over the offseason to make some pre-snap adjustments with his coaching staff.
17 Andrew Luck Plenty of talent. Plenty of upside with the Colts likely to be playing from behind in the vast majority of their games.
18 Josh Freeman 22 picks last year and a 26th-ranked YPA was unacceptable. He has V-Jax now and there's nowhere to go but up for him.
19 Matt Flynn It's always intriguing to draft a QB on a new team. However, Seattle's offense is predicated on the run and Flynn doesn't have a whole host of WRs.
20 Sam Bradford He still doesn't have great weapons around him. He was dreadful last year with a completion percentage of just 53.5 and only six scores in his 10 games. Steven Jackson is going to run the ball less this year and it'll be a sink-or-swim year for Sam and the Rams.
21 Kevin Kolb Kolb doesn't have excuses anymore. The Cardinals spent their first-round pick on Michael Floyd and now he has someone to go to besides a double-covered Fitz. Mike Miller also takes over as coordinator; he was promoted from passing game coordinator. Another sign AZ is ready to hand K-Squared the keys.
22 Joe Flacco Ray Rice is a workhorse and Baltimore wins with defense and the Delaware product isn't likely to be filling up the stat sheet. Although, Flacco does get another weapon with the signing of Jacoby Jones.
23 Ryan Fitzpatrick Fitz led the league in picks last year and really fizzled after his hot start. Buffalo's defense figures to be a heck of a lot better with the additions of Mario Williams and Mark Anderson on the edge with first-round pick Stephen Gilmore helping in the secondary. Buffalo is also likely to run the ball more with the emergence of C.J. Spiller to complement Fred Jackson.
24 Alex Smith The game manager has a nice WR corps with the signing of Mario Manningham as well as drafting A.J. Jenkins in the first round. Similar to Flacco, the Niners will be shortening the game with their stingy D and a multitude of backs.
25 Matt Cassel

Jonathan Baldwin showed some signs of life and the Chiefs also added Devon Wylie in the fourth round as a slot option. Cassel's upside is capped a little bit though with Jamaal Charles and Peyton Hillis likely to do most of the heavy lifting to matriculate the ball down the field.

26 Andy Dalton It's nice to have A.J. Green and the Bengals did add two more passing-game threats with Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. The Bengals don't stretch the field too much and they were 10th in the league in rushing attempts despite being ineffective with only 3.9 YPC (ranked 26th). He's a safer pick, but I'd rather have some upside.
27 Christian Ponder Ponder showed he can run a little bit with 219 rushing yards on just 28 attempts. The Vikings would also be wise to ease Adrian Peterson into his workhorse role a little bit. The Vikes get Jacksonville and Indianapolis in the first two weeks. So there's that.
28 Brandon Weeden Did you know he's 28? Just kidding.
29 Jake Locker Locker could push the top-20, but there are some reports that Hasselbeck is going to get the job to start the year. He has upside and this is a story to watch for owners in two-QB leagues.
30 Blaine Gabbert Jacksonville was last in passing yards and 31st in passing scores. Gabbert was 34th in YPA, 34th in passer rating and 33rd in completion percentage (among the 34 qualifiers). Get the picture?
31 Tim Tebow My prediction is that Tebow takes the reins to the O by Week 6.
32 David Garrard/Matt Moore The Dolphins' aerial attack is hurting a little bit with Brandon Marshall now in the Second City. Their current starting receivers are Brian Hartline and Devone Bess. Maybe Snowflake can play some flanker.
33 Mark Sanchez The Jets signing him to an extension did make some sense since he'll come cheaper for the next three years. However, the Jets have said that Tebow will get 20 snaps per game and chances are those snaps will come predominantly in the red zone. No thanks.
34 Matt Hasselbeck Quarterback controversy in May is not a good thing.
35 Ryan Tannehill He could become the starter, but as stated above, there's not much upside.
36 Colt McCoy See: 34

Thanks for reading! You can comment below on where you agree or disagree.

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