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2013 fantasy football profiles and projections (QBs 1-20)

[QB RANKINGS 21-40internal-link-placeholder-0]

Statistical projections are provided by EA Sports/

  • Player
  • Analysis

Brees has developed into one of the most productive and consistent quarterbacks in the NFL and in fantasy football. He has finished in the top two in fantasy points among quarterbacks in four of the last five years (the only year he failed to reach that status was when he was on the cover of Madden; we're just saying ...). Last season, Brees led all players in fantasy points and became the first signal-caller to throw for 5,000-plus yards and 40-plus touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. That's a pretty impressive feat, especially when you consider he did it without Sean Payton calling the plays. In a league now built for quarterbacks to find enormous success in the stat sheets, Brees will be considered a first- or second-round selection..

Rodgers has emerged into one of the truly elite players in fantasy football, and there's no reason to think he'll relinquish that lofty status any time soon. The lone quarterback to finish among the top two players in fantasy points in each of the last five years, Rodgers combines a rocket-like right arm with uncanny accuracy and the ability to pick up yards (and touchdowns) with his legs, all of which make him the ultimate fantasy football weapon. Rodgers, who has posted 4,000-plus passing yards in four of his last five seasons and a combined 14 rushing touchdowns since 2009, is still just 29 and in the prime of what is shaping up to be a Hall of Fame career. He is a lock to be one of the first quarterbacks drafted in almost all leagues and won't last past the middle-to-late second round in most formats.

Manning was one of the biggest question marks in fantasy football heading into last season. After all, the future Hall of Famer was coming off multiple neck surgeries and missed the entire 2011 campaign. Well, so much for the questions. Manning had one of the best statistical seasons of his career, throwing for 4,659 yards with 37 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while scoring the sixth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks. While he is long in the tooth at age 37, it's tough to doubt that Manning will continue to stuff the stat sheets -- especially in an offense loaded with talented receivers like Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker. The veteran also has one of the most favorable schedules among fantasy field generals, so it's hard to envision a scenario where he won't be drafted before Round 4.

Newton started the 2012 campaign so slowly that a lot of fantasy leaguers were questioning whether or not he was still a must-start player among quarterbacks. Well, he put those concerns to rest down the stretch -- the Auburn product finished on fire by scoring 20-plus fantasy points in four of his last five games during the fantasy season and helped a lot of owners win a title. His rare skills as a passer and runner make Newton a huge threat on the football field, not to mention a fantasy-point monster in the stat sheets. With two consecutive seasons of elite production now under his belt, he's no doubt going to be one of the first four quarterbacks to come off the board in 2013 drafts. The dual-threat signal-caller will have his name called in the first round in many leagues, and won't be on the board after Round 2 or 3.

One of the greatest quarterbacks to ever grace the gridiron, Brady continued to post monster numbers in the stat sheets last season. The third-highest scoring player based on fantasy points, Brady threw for over 4,800 yards, scored 38 total touchdowns and was intercepted just eight times -- making it three straight years with no fewer than 37 total scores. The veteran out of Michigan has now finished among the top five fantasy quarterbacks in four of his last five full seasons and has ranked no worse than fourth since 2010. Unfortunately, Brady has also lost four of his top five receivers from last season including Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd. He's still Tom Brady, but the absence of so many weapons - and the questions about his new ones - is a cause for at least some concern.

Luck had a successful rookie campaign, throwing for an NFL-record 4,374 yards while rushing for another 255 yards and scoring 28 total touchdowns. He did have his share of mediocre stat lines, as Luck scored fewer than 16 fantasy points in seven of his 16 starts. Still, that year of experience at the pro level will do nothing but help his development both on the field and from a fantasy perspective. In fact, the Stanford product should be considered one of the better breakout candidates of 2013. With immense skills as a passer and underrated skills as a runner, Luck has the tools to emerge into a top-five fantasy quarterback both this season and into the foreseeable future. If you pass on one of the elite field generals, Luck will be a terrific target for owners in the fourth or fifth round.

Kaepernick wasn't a prominent fantasy option at the start of last season, but you couldn't escape his name at the end of 2012. The Nevada product became one of the best waiver-wire pickups of the year, scoring 17-plus fantasy points in six of his last eight games while ranking eighth in points at his position over the final for weeks of the regular season. A dual threat, Kaepernick is a master of the Pistol offense with his combination of arm strength and skills as a runner. It's not out of the realm of possibility for Kaepernick to throw for 3,500 yards and record an additional 800 yards as a runner. So despite the fact that he'll be without his favorite target, Michael Crabtree, for most of the year, he's still going to be drafted no later than the fifth round in 2013.

Griffin III was on pace to rival Cam Newton as the quarterback with the best fantasy numbers ever in his rookie season, at least until an injured knee caused him to miss time late in the year. Still, RG3 finished fifth in fantasy points among all players on the strength of his 3,200 passing yards, a league-high 826 rushing yards (for quarterbacks) and a combined 27 touchdowns. The Baylor product, who threw just five interceptions, unfortunately did further damage to his knee in the postseason and required a reconstructive procedure to repair. Therein lies the question with Griffin -- if he is expected to return to the gridiron in time for Week 1, he'll be drafted in the second or third round. Otherwise, the talented signal-caller could fall past the fifth round and become a risk-reward draft selection.

Ryan is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, finishing seventh in points among quarterbacks on the strength of his 4,719 passing yards and 33 total touchdowns. The talented Boston College product thrived in the offense of coordinator Dirk Koetter, whose system allowed Ryan to attempt a career-best 615 passes -- of which he completed a personal-high 68.6 percent. The Falcons will continue to focus on their pass attack with the dynamic trio of Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez, so fantasy leaguers should expect Ryan to be in position to post another nice season in the stat sheets. While he isn't one of the elite fantasy signal-callers like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Tom Brady, Ryan is a terrific option for owners who prefer to draft running backs and wideouts first and wait a few rounds for a quarterback.

Wilson had a slow start to this rookie season from a fantasy perspective, scoring 15 or fewer points in each of his first five games. After that, the Wisconsin product went on an absolute tear with seven games of 20-plus fantasy points. That culminated in a top-10 finish among signal-callers. Though short in stature at 5-foot-11, Wilson proved to be as cool as a cucumber under center and capable of making big plays with his arm and his feet. He finished third behind Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton in rushing yards among signal-callers. That's a huge advantage for fantasy leaguers in all formats. So while the dreaded sophomore slump looms a bit and the loss of wideout Percy Harvin hurts, Wilson is still a No. 1 fantasy quarterback in all formats.

Though he takes a ton of criticism for the Cowboys' failures on the field, Romo still had one heck of a 2012 season. In addition to throwing for a career-best 4,903 yards, he scored 29 total touchdowns. He was especially productive down the stretch, throwing for multiple touchdowns in five of his last six games. With an emerging superstar in Dez Bryant coupled with the easiest schedule for quarterbacks based on fantasy points, Romo will be in a good position to find continued success on the stat sheets in 2013. Considering the number of solid options among signal-callers, the veteran could still be on the board as late as the fifth or sixth round in leagues with 10 or fewer teams. That makes Romo a potential draft value if you plan to wait on a field general.

Stafford was a first- or second-round pick in just about every fantasy football draft last season, but he failed to meet expectations both on the field and in the stat sheets. While the talented quarterback did throw for an impressive 4,967 yards, he also recorded 21 fewer touchdown passes and scored close to 70 fewer fantasy points compared to his breakout 2011 totals. So what sort of value will Stafford have in 2013? He still has a rocket right arm and all the tools to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback. The Georgia product also has the best wideout in the land in Calvin Johnson at his disposal in an offense that has allowed him a combined 1,390 pass attempts the last two seasons. Stafford could turn into a draft bargain if he falls past the fifth or sixth round. He's still a No. 1 quarterback.

In 2010, Vick was without question the best quarterback in fantasy football. Since then, unfortunately, he's seen his production and value sink like a stone. In fact, the veteran finished an unimpressive 27th in fantasy points at his position last season. Things are looking up for Vick, though, as he'll reclaim the starting role in 2013 and should benefit from new coach Chip Kelly's aggressive offense. The left-handed signal-caller will have to stay on the field to make an impact -- Vick missed a combined 13 games over the last three seasons and has developed a reputation for being one of the NFL's most injury-prone field generals. Owners shouldn't expect a return to his more productive days, but Vick is well worth drafting as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback and matchup-based starter.

Manning had his best fantasy season in 2011, throwing for 4,933 yards with 30 total touchdowns and an impressive 280.82 points. Unfortunately, he couldn't duplicate those totals last season. In fact, the veteran wasn't even close. Manning recorded almost 1,000 fewer passing yards and finished a mediocre 15th in fantasy points among signal-callers. The two-time Super Bowl champion is still one of the better quarterbacks in the league in terms of winning big games on the gridiron, but he's still just an average quarterback when it comes to overall fantasy value. Manning has finished among the top 10 signal-callers based on fantasy points just one time (2011) in his entire career. He's a nice No. 2 option and matchup-based starter, but don't target Manning to be your starting signal-caller on draft day.

Dalton posted solid overall totals in his second NFL season, throwing for career bests in yards and touchdowns while finishing 12th in fantasy points among quarterbacks. He faltered down the stretch, though, as Dalton failed to score 15 or more fantasy points in each of his final five games during the regular season. It was that poor statistical finish, and the immense depth at his position, that keeps Dalton from reaching a higher status among quarterbacks heading into the 2013 campaign. He also has one of the toughest schedules among signal-callers based on fantasy points, so a significant increase in his 2012 production isn't exactly imminent. Look for Dalton to come off the board somewhere in the middle-to-late rounds as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback and matchup-based starter in most formats in 2013.

Freeman's 2012 season was a roller-coaster ride on the stat sheets. After posting forgettable numbers in his first four starts, the Kansas State product recorded 18-plus fantasy points in five of his next six games and became a solid fantasy starter for a time. He finished on a low note, though, failing to score 14 fantasy points in each of his final three games. His unimpressive finish has caused his 2013 value to slide from that of a potential low-end No. 1 option to more of a fantasy reserve and matchup-based starter. On a positive note, Freeman should be motivated to post good totals in a make-or-break campaign. Not only is he in a contract year, but Freeman must prove he can win on a more consistent basis or risk the Buccaneers going in another direction at the position in 2014. Consider him a legitimate No. 2 fantasy option.

Has Roethlisberger been overrated in fantasy football? Over the last three seasons, he has finished no better than 13th among quarterbacks in fantasy points. In 2012, he missed three games due to injuries and ranked 18th at his position -- that makes him just barely a No. 2 option in 10-team leagues. Roethlisberger has thrown for 4,000-plus yards just twice, which is alarming considering the NFL's recent evolution into a prominent passing league. Big Ben has also missed at least one game in each of the last four years and is always playing through an assortment of bumps and bruises, so it's tough to lean on him in a prominent fantasy role. He's also lost his top option in the pass attack, Mike Wallace. Owners shouldn't be targeting Roethlisberger until the late rounds as a reserve and matchup-based starter.

Pryor initially didn't have much of a chance to open the 2013 season as a starter, as the Raiders acquired veteran quarterback Matt Flynn in the offseason. However, Pryor's preseason play helped him win the job. While he isn't the greatest or most accurate passer, he does have a versatile skill set -- he showed that off in his lone start of 2012 with three total touchdowns and an impressive 22.90 fantasy points against the San Diego Chargers. In fact, Pryor should be considered a viable No. 2 fantasy quarterback because of his skills as a runner, which the Raiders are certain to utilize. Make no mistake - Pryor has sleeper appeal in fantasy leagues.

The reigning Super Bowl MVP, Flacco did his best Joe Montana impersonation during the 2012 postseason with an average of 285 passing yards, a combined 11 touchdown passes and no interceptions in four games. Of course, his regular-season totals painted a much different picture -- and it wasn't a pretty one in fantasy football circles. The veteran finished a mediocre 14th in fantasy points at his position overall, and his totals away from Baltimore left a lot to be desired. In fact, Flacco scored 15-plus fantasy points just two times on the road. Whether or not his most recent postseason successes vault Flacco into the next statistical stratosphere remains to be seen, but it's hard to trust him as more than a No. 2 fantasy quarterback heading into the 2013 campaign. As a result, don't reach for him until the later rounds.

Once considered a surefire No. 1 fantasy quarterback, Palmer has seen his production decline in each of his last four full pro seasons. While he can still record solid numbers when the opponent is right -- he had 16-plus fantasy points eight times in 2012 -- the veteran is no longer consistent enough to be a regular fantasy starter. With that being said, Palmer, 33, is still very capable of putting up 4,000-plus yards and 20-25 touchdown passes. Furthermore, it doesn't hurt that he'll have coach Bruce Arians at the helm and a future Hall of Famer in Larry Fitzgerald in the pass attack. Palmer, who also has a favorable schedule that includes seven games against teams that surrendered 16-plus fantasy points to quarterbacks, is still well worth a late-round look as a No. 2 fantasy option and occasional matchup-based starter..

[QB RANKINGS 21-40internal-link-placeholder-0]

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