Breaking down the QB keepers -- and more -- for 2012

What we are talking about:

  • Eli Manning

    Has he joined the fantasy elite?

  • Rodgers or Newton

    Who are you keeping?

  • "Justified"

    The best show on television

Kate Upton is the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl, joining a very exclusive and beautiful club. And if the reports of Upton dating Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez are true, then I'm truly glad for her because at least she would have something positive going on in her life.

Although, when she joined Dave Dameshek and me on Radio Row at the Super Bowl (as part of the Dave Dameshek Football Program, available on iTunes), Upton denied any tryst with Sanchez, showing she at least knows how to recognize some quarterback talent.

But what about you? Are you ready to break down some fantasy quarterback sleepers?

Well, first, to Upton. People are calling her one of the greatest cover models of all time. It's too early for such talk. Here's my top six of the cover girls. Mind you, this eliminates my all-time favorite Stephanie Seymour. Tyra Banks just misses the cut because of the modern-day crazy. And I'm not going to count Beyonce, either. (Click the name to see the images.)

6. Christie Brinkley
5. Brooklyn Decker
4. Kathy Ireland/Elle Macpherson/Rachel Hunter
3. Marisa Miller
2. Heidi Klum. Seriously, Seal?
1. Paulina Porizkova.

I understand this kind of dates me, but seeing as I'm old enough to remember Starbuck as a man, it fits. Let's get on to business.

And without further ado ...

I'm excited about Todd Haley coming to the Steelers, but I'm still not keeping Ben Roethlisberger over an elite receiver like Hakeem Nicks. The running theme here is you can find a lot of good quarterbacks in the middle rounds of the draft. I'd be in favor of targeting him in the re-draft, but there is no sense in keeping him. ...

Now, if you don't have a lot of great keeper options on your team, I do like Roethlisberger a little bit. As I previously mentioned about Haley, I do like Big Ben to bounce back from his troubling 2011 season. ...

One of the things that shocked me is guys like Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez and Ryan Fitzpatrick all had better fantasy seasons than Roethlisberger. But Big Ben will out-score all of those guys in 2012. There isn't a reasonable scenario to keep Ryan, Sanchez or Fitzy for this season, unless you get a cash bonus for every interception. ...

Having to pick between Matt Cassel and Joe Flacco is a great problem to have. Why? Cassel and Flacco are lousy, and I'd easily part ways with either one of them. Both are QB2 options for next season. If you forced me to pick one, give me Cassel -- begrudgingly. ...

Carson Palmer isn't your keeper this year, either. I just didn't see enough of the arm strength, and there were too many times when he had great matchups but failed to come through. A full camp will help, but he's still a mid-card guy right now. ...

Andy Dalton was another guy who failed to make good on some favorable matchups. We got ahead of ourselves in saying Dalton was going to be great in the fantasy playoffs. (Notice it's "I" when things are good, but "we" when things are bad.) Dalton someday will be a viable fantasy option. Just keep watching out for him. ...

ImageAs great as Archer is, FX really is way off base with "Unsupervised," which is the worst thing ever produced by a network that has a level of consistency similar to the Lakers -- producing contenders every year. And don't make a joke about "Lucky" either, which was brilliant but ahead of its time. Seriously, go back and rewatch the show -- it's pretty good. And it's miles better than the ESPN poker show with Mr. Blonde, which nearly killed The Black Crowes' "Remedy." So back off. ...

ImageAnd for the record, I won't extend my recording time for "Archer," just so I won't have to watch even a second of "Unsupervised." Yes, the show is really that bad. ...

ImageBTW, I'm over the whole HHH vs. the Undertaker angle. I mean, I'm glad the E isn't wasting valuable guys in a HHH angle (like they did with Punk post-Summer Slam), but it's just not compelling at all. The upshot is we'll have 30 minutes to play flip cup during my Wrestlemania party this year. ...

ImageAnd seriously, did John Cena really do the "X" thing? WWE referees cross their arms above their heads if a guy is legit hurt in the ring. And Cena has had such a hard time trying to blur kayfabe and reality over the years, and this is desperate and insulting to guys who have been seriously injured in the ring over the years. Just when I was starting to like the guy. ...

Matt Schaub is an interesting question. He was an MVP for one of my winning teams in 2010, but he's now going to be a guy who hands the ball off to Arian Foster and Ben Tate 40 times per game, killing his value, along with Andre Johnson's. There's no reason to keep him. ...

When Sanchez tops 3,000 passing yards, the rules committee needs to come correct. That would be akin to Major League Baseball passing a rule to allow the Padres to move in the fences when they're batting but move them back out when the other team comes to the plate. ...

Sanchez also had some running touchdowns, which skewed his perception as a viable fantasy option. It's not happening this year. He's not a prime-time player. ...

ImageRon Jaworski has been removed from the "Monday Night Football" booth, and this would be a devastating move if anybody even gave a (expletive) about "Monday Night Football" anymore. The strength of the Sunday night schedule, along with a superior broadcast team on NBC's slate, completed neutered the MNF product. ...

ImageDave Mustaine must really believe it's Richie Sambora who's running for president, right? ...

ImageFor those who don't know who Mustaine is, he started Megadeth but was one of the early members of Metallica. Only he was kicked out for drinking too much. Let it soak in: He was kicked out of Metallica for drinking too much. That would be like Bill Belichick cutting somebody for wearing a sweatshirt. ...

One reader had Jake Locker as a possible keeper. If you have a high number of keepers and can plan for the future, then Locker is a great option. But you might need to cut bait since Matt Hasselbeck still figures to open as the Titans' starter. ...

I was trying to explain Fitzpatrick's contract to a friend, and to me, it's akin to doing some eBay bidding while you've been drinking. The next day, you wake up and realize you just spent $20 on a lot of Jim Everett rookie cards. I mean, it might have made sense at the time, but once you've had some perspective, you realize you're stuck with something you don't need. ...

I just don't get Matt Ryan. He did finish eighth in fantasy points among QBs on NFL.com. And he should put up huge fantasy numbers if Julio Jones is able to stay healthy for an entire year. The Falcons might be forced to pass more, too, if Michael Turner slows down as expected. Still, I'm not compelled to keep him if I have better options. ...

Jay Cutler is one of those punch-line quarterbacks. But Cutler is a guy who really can excel if the Bears find him a receiver who can both run and catch. He's more of a sleeper option for me in 2012 than keeper candidate. ...

Remember, too. Everybody has different rules and stipulations for keepers, so if I didn't answer your question here, be sure to contact me personally. ...

Oh yeah, don't keep Tim Tebow.


For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL Fantasy Live has 45,000 followers, and Fabiano has 50,000. Me? Just 13. See, the odds are better I will answer your question, so hit me up both via Twitter or via Facebook. Also be sure to catch the latest "Dave Dameshek Football Program."