There’s not much to be gleaned from watching Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The elite are the elite. Besides, I wouldn’t recommend taking a QB in the first six rounds unless a significant value slips.
The following list displays the top-24 quarterback performances of the 2012 fantasy season ranked by average points per game. The ordinals to the left represent the round in which they were drafted in a recent real money 14-team NFFC fantasy football draft.
TOP 24 QB’s by average points per game (NFFC FORMAT)
1st – Drew Brees – 31.5
2nd - Aaron Rodgers – 29.7
2nd - Tom Brady – 29.0
4th – Peyton Manning – 27.7
5th – Matt Ryan – 27.0
7th - Robert Griffin III – 26.6
4th - Cam Newton – 25.9
5th – Tony Romo – 25.1
6th – Ben Roethlisberger – 24.4
5th – Andrew Luck – 24.3
5th - Matt Stafford – 24.0
5th – Russell Wilson – 23.2
6th - Andy Dalton – 22.6
8th – Josh Freeman – 22.5
10th - Carson Palmer – 21.6
10th - Michael Vick – 21.6
5th – Eli Manning – 21.3
7th - Joe Flacco – 20.6
9th - Matt Schaub – 20.0
8th – Phillip Rivers – 19.9
26th – Ryan Fitzpatrick – 19.9
9th - Sam Bradford – 19.7
17th - Kevin Kolb – 19.6
8th – Jay Cutler – 18.1
In most drafts, you should stock up on running backs and wide receivers with your first six or seven picks. For our purposes here we will ignore those signal callers drafted in the first seven rounds and pick out those we should keep an eye on in camp and during exhibition games.
Carson Palmer – The former Bengal could be entering a much better situation in Glendale, Arizona IF the Cardinals can fix the monumental problems with their offensive line. Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Rob Housler are decent enough weapons. The key will be watching the O-line this fall to see how they gel. Palmer has low-end No. 1 QB upside.
Michael Vick – Many people will understandably write off Vick due to his 12/10 TD/INT ratio last year and his constant injury issues. He’s 32 now and doesn’t have the same speed or quickness. On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine things getting much worse and he still managed to put up mid-range No. 2 fantasy numbers. In fact, if you look at just the first 9 weeks of the season, before he suffered that concussion against the Cowboys in Week 10, Vick produced 24.8 points per game. That’s better than Andrew Luck’s average. By the numbers, that makes him a low- end No. 1. Due to his inconsistencies and inability to stay healthy, I like him more as a matchup play as part of a committee.
Geno Smith – He’s very accurate and has a big arm, but who is he going to throw to? They don’t have a legitimate threat on the ground to take the attention off the passing game. I suppose there’s no harm taking him as a flier in the 20th round, but it’s difficult to envision him becoming a reliable fantasy asset his rookie season. Expect growing pains in the Big Apple, if he wins the job.
Jake Locker – Robert Griffin III averaged 6.8 yards per rushing attempt. Jake Locker averaged 7.1. The problem is Locker is inaccurate (55.5 career completion percentage). Tennessee is loaded with receivers. Sophomore Kendall Wright, mercurial Kenny Britt and rookie Justin Hunter are poised to punish opposing secondaries. In the backfield, Chris Johnson has pass receiving skills and breakaway speed. Expect the Titans to implement the read option a little bit to show off Locker’s athleticism. Jake will be a low risk/high reward pick on draft day.
Sam Bradford – The Rams have assembled a lot of talent on offense that has flashed but hasn’t yet produced much. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey will bolster the aerial assault that already has speed demon Chris Givens in its wings. Isaiah Pead was a phenomenal playmaker in college but looked a little overwhelmed his rookie season. Brian Quick caught only 11 passes, but with a year of experience and a better grasp of the offense, he will be expected to contribute. Still, I’m not holding my breath expecting a big breakout. Bradford is more of a safety net if you miss out on better options.