Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fantasy Football Rankings - Top 10 QB's for 2012

1. Tom Brady – When looking at each of the elite QB's situations, none "improved" as much over last year as Brady's. I think the additions of Josh McDaniels & Brandon Lloyd are going to do wonders for Brady and that high powered offense. Brady is Mr. Consistent; finishing first twice and once third the last four years. No team has more threatening passing options across the board than Brady and the Patriots with Lloyd, Welker, Gronkowski and Hernandez. Lloyd and Daniels could be what this offense has been missing since the days of Moss. Only better TE's now! 5,235 yards (2nd) and 39 td's (4th, two behind 3rd & 8 ahead of 5th) in 2011.

2. Aaron Rodgers – The biggest concern heading into the off season for Rodgers was Jermichael Finley's contract status. Well that is resolved now after signing a new two year contract earlier this year. With no real running threat (James Starks, Alex Greene and Brandon Saine) The offense runs through Rodgers. He also rushed the ball 60 times for 257 yards and 3 tds. Only Cam, Tebow and Vick ran from the pocket more. Coming off a season in which Rodgers had 45 tds (second highest, only 1 behind Brees) and only 6 interceptions on over 500 attempted passes for a season rating of 122.5, Rodgers is worthy of #1 as well.

3. Drew Brees – 5,476 yards (1st) and 46 tds. (1st) That should be enough said. But I think he is going to miss Robert Meacham more than some think. Why? His new #2 WR is now Devery Henderson. I like Colston and Moore when healthy and there is no question about Graham and Sproles elite level of play. However considering all that the Saints and Brees have and will go through this season, 2 safer options exist, but let's not get crazy and say Brees is not a top 3 QB!

4. Matthew Stafford – 5,038 yards (3rd) and 41 tds (3rd) and the most passing attempts of 2011 QB's. The biggest news for Stafford is that he made it through the season. He had the finger issue but his numbers are undeniable. He should, if healthy next year be even a little bit better with a balanced attack of a running game with the return of Best, Kevin Smith and Mikel Leshoure; if they can stay healthy and out of jail. When all else fails, chuck it to Calvin and hope he avoids the Madden curse this year.

5. Cam Newton – I don't really fear a sophomore slump or apply the idea of defenses having more tape on Newton when ranking him here. The main reason is I don’t think he can duplicate the 14 rushing touchdowns. Especially with the signing of Mike Tolbert, whom I expect was brought in to be many things, including the battering ram at the goal line. I suspect Newton will improve on passing touchdowns and probably more yards in the passing game in his second year of Chudzinski's offense. But when you put in the best season as a rookie qb ever, even a good season the next year would be a let down. Smitty is going to be Smitty and along side Greg Olsen, look for Brandon Lafell and Gary Barnidge to have great years too.

6. Michael Vick – Tough year in 2011. He had the rib injury, DeSean Drama and Maclin injuries. On a positive note, there is the emergence of Riley Cooper and the involvement of Brent Celek late in the year. Tough to rank Vick this low, but with the memory of last season, the players above him are much safer and without the propensity to get hurt every year. A few goal line bootlegs don't hurt his fantasy numbers either. Ran 76 times for 589 yards and had 3,303 yards passing and with a 254.1 Y/G avg he could have surpassed 4,000 if healthy. With a full season and everyone healthy he could hit 5,000 total yards. Alot of people are letting Vick fall, when there were times when people talked about him #1 overall.

7. Matt Ryan – I like how Matt Ryan looked closing out the year. After the bye in week 8 before sitting early in week 17 (weeks 9-16) Ryan averaged 298.50 yards per game with 2.25 td's and .50 int's. Over that span had 4 games with 3 or more td's. With Julio, Roddy, Douglas and Gonzo on the field in the hurry up, this offense really clicks. It will be interesting to see how Turner comes back next year with another season of miles under his belt. I like Ryan to exceed his 2011 numbers next year and close the gap to top 5 – 6 status after bulking up this offseason. Waiting and getting Ryan should afford you stout RB's and/or WR's. Possibly an elite TE when that run begins.

8. Tony Romo – I think Romo offers sneaky value when owners look to draft QB's. I hate that he lost Laurent Robinson who made a lot of big catches and bailed Tony out a lot last year. But hopefully with a full offseason Miles Austin's legs are in shape. I think getting back to a real one two punch in the running game with DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones like they had with Marion Barber in his prime will be good for Romo. Those two backs and Dez, Austin and Witten should be a recipe to pounce on after you've locked up your top RB's and/or WR's. Question here, who is going to be his 3rd WR Kevin Ogletree? If one of them goes down, who steps up? 4,184 yards and 31 td's and only 10 int's is no slouch either.

9. Eli Manning – Last year Eli suffered not having Bradshaw for a lengthy stretch and Nicks and Manningham missed games and both played in limited fashion at times. With that said Eli still put up very nice numbers with 4,933 passing yards with 8 games over 300 yards including 3 over 400 yards. Losing Manningham, Nicks injury, rookie (Randle) or special teamer (Hixon) in the slot creates some pause for concern. I'm really interested to see how newly acquired Martellus Bennett performs at TE. He always wanted to play, so now he gets his chance. I'm not bothered by Eli losing Jacobs, but Nicks really concerns me with his rehab and week 1 rivalry game against the Cowboys. Will he push it too hard, too soon? Caring for one injury, usually causes another because of compensating for the original. Eli is on a slippery slope with Hakeem's news.

10. Peyton Manning – What to do with Peyton? Based on who is left, it is either him or Rivers at 10 and I am choosing to go with Peyton. More on Rivers below. From what we know, no one is going to work harder and or prepare more to play this year. Especially for a new team after not playing at all last year. If anyone has something to prove this year it is Peyton. He picked the Broncos and that's enough for me. Am I afraid of him possibly taking the wrong hit in a game and being done for the year? Yes, but why is that any different for any player. Everyone is one hit away from being done for the year. Sure there is risk and I wouldn't hold it against you if you went with Rivers here, but surely Manning is expected to out perform the next 3 or 4 guys (Big Ben, Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub and RGIII).

Why is Rivers not in my Top 10 for 2012?
The answer is pretty simple and it's in the form of a question. How is the following production going to be replaced? Vincent Jackson (1106 rec yards, 115 targets, 60 receptions and 9 tds) and Mike Tolbert (433 rec yards, 79 targets, 54 receptions and 2 td's) I know everyone is high on Ryan Mathews this year, but we're talking double duty/production and Robert Meacham is not Vincent Jackson. Antonio Gates has made a good living running under Vincent Jackson's routes. Malcolm Floyd seems to be hurt every year and the verdict is out on Eddie Royal at this time as the #3 competing with Vincent Brown.