As you’ve probably heard by now, the quarterback position is deep going into this year’s draft. It’s most likely going to stay that way, barring any major injuries or recovery setbacks as the regular season approaches. Whether you snatch up Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers in the second round, or take the best available in the sixth round, that is a discussion for another time.
The bottom line: There are
at least 12 quarterbacks that are more than capable of leading your team to a fantasy championship. Honorable mentions go to Andy Dalton, Michael Vick and Eli Manning. I wouldn’t feel comfortable relying on them to start each week, but they aren’t far from cracking the Top 12.
12. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
(Average Draft Position: 87)
Romo finished ninth among fantasy quarterbacks in 2012, but only nine points behind Peyton Manning, who finished sixth. Dez Bryant caught fire the second half of last year and it finally seems like the two of them have found a nice groove. Romo has at least 4,000-plus passing yards and 26-plus touchdowns in every season in which he played 16 games. Will he finish as a top-5 quarterback? No – probably not. But he does have the chance to be sixth or seventh (where he was two years ago in 2011), and that’s not bad for a guy going in the middle of the seventh round. I expect his average draft position to rise as the summer progresses.
11. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
(Average Draft Position: 63)
What you see is what you get. Matt Ryan is good for 28 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 4,100 yards. In other words, what he did in 2011. Ryan’s passing yards are the only stat that fluctuates with the amount of pass attempts he has. The Falcons will run the ball more in 2013 (Ryan had 615 pass attempts in 2012 versus 566 in 2011) now that they have a running back in Steven Jackson. Matt Ryan is a fine fantasy quarterback and he is consistent from year to year. While I think his average draft position of 63 is too high, I’d take him in the late sixth round or early seventh round if he fell.
10. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
(Average Draft Position: 66)
It is still early, and that is why he is ranked 10th. Regardless of what we hear from the Redskins’ camp and how his progression is coming along, he’s still had two ACL tears in three years. He isn’t solely dependent on his running game, but it’s a large part and he wouldn’t have finished fifth among quarterbacks last year if he was limited. Griffin III’s stock will be the most volatile leading up to September. I’d be surprised if his average draft position ended up being higher than 48.
9. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers
(Average Draft Position: 55)
Kaepernick averaged 20 points per game once he took over the full-time job from Alex Smith. Michael Crabtree’s torn Achilles tendon definitely hurts Kaepernick’s value but it doesn’t doom him. His average draft position will most likely fall because of it. Just remember, about 40 percent of Kapernick’s overall points were earned on the ground last year.
8. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
(Average Draft Position: 68)
Unlike Colin Kaepernick, who lost his best wide receiver to injury, Wilson now has the luxury of throwing the ball to recently acquired Percy Harvin. A lot of Wilson’s value is what he is capable of doing in the running game. He can make things thing happen with his legs and doesn’t need to try and force passes.
7. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
(Average Draft Position: 60)
The next Peyton Manning, right? He will have to improve his efficiency (54 percent completion percentage) if he ever hopes to be
– and this year he will. Luck is now reunited with Pep Hamilton from Stanford, and the new offensive scheme will be less aggressive.