2013 Preseason Player Rankings: QB

  1. Aaron Rodgers (GB) - Sets himself apart from the others by being a consistent top passer, as well as managing to find the endzone on the ground several times each year.
  2. Drew Brees (NO) - Has been a top two QB in four of the past five seasons, and the Saints get Sean Payton back.
  3. Peyton Manning (Den) - 37 TDs and 11 INTs after spending the previous year rehabbing a surgically repaired neck. Peyton is statistically the best QB when it comes to connecting with the slot receiver, and the Broncos just picked up a pretty good one in Wes Welker.
  4. Matt Ryan (Atl) - Got his big deal, and the Falcons are in win-now mode this year for various salary cap-related issues. Ryan is about as safe a pick as you can get, and the Falcons picked up a versatile runningback in Steven Jackson, which gives him an extra passcatching weapon out of the backfield.
  5. Cam Newton (Car) - Cam reaped the benefits of being on a horrible team last season by ranking 16th in QBR, yet scored 4th among fantasy quarterbacks. He suffered a downright regression across the board from his 2011 season numbers in passing yards, passing TDs, and rushing TDs, yet still finished better than all but three signal-callers.
  6. Matthew Stafford (Det) - Calvin Johnson alone was tackled inside the 5-yard line eight times last season (five times inside the 1-yard line). If half of those would have connected for TDs, Stafford would have finished just fractions of a fantasy point under Peyton Manning in the quarterback rankings last season. Parting ways with the troublesome Titus Young, and adding a solid, pass-catching running back in Reggie Bush should help quite a bit. Stafford should have little trouble blowing by the meager 20 passing TDs he posted in 2012 and rejoining the elite.

  7. Tom Brady (NE) - Brady’s pass-catching corps is depleted and injured. He is now working with (the oft injured) Amendola, Edelman, Dobson, Thompkins and Jake Ballard. Brady could very well prove the doubters wrong, but at 36 years old with a decimated group of receivers, every indication is pointing towards New England building off of their under-the-radar 7th ranked rushing attack from last season.
  8. Colin Kaepernick (SF) - Kaepernick took the league by storm midway through last year, and only continued to get better. Despite losing his favorite target, Michael Crabtree, the 49′ers picked up Anquan Boldin, and Austin Collie, and their passing attack should still be more than adequate with 2012 first round pick, AJ Jenkins, and star TE, Vernon Davis.
  9. Robert Griffin III (Was) - The talent is undeniable, as is the injury risk. Griffin has played in less than one full NFL season, and is now recovering from his second reconstructive surgery on the same knee. If he can stay healthy with the same fire as last year, he should have no problem surpassing this #9 ranking among quarterbacks. However, there is tremendous pressure to keep the player that Washington traded away it’s immediate future for healthy. Indications would be that the Redskins will be much more cautious with Griffin this season, and it would be hard to believe that his rushing statistics won’t take a sizable hit; at least in the red zone. There are safer options who will net equal production.
  10. Russell Wilson (Sea) - Wilson scored 259 fantasy points last season while throwing the ball less than 400 times. After a shaky start, he averaged over 200 yards, and two TDs in each of his last eight games (when Seattle started with the zone read) to finish as a top 10 fantasy QB.
  11. Tony Romo (Dal) - Romo has finished 8th or better among quarterbacks in each of his last four seasons. Despite his playoff woes and periodic late-game mishaps, he makes for a great fantasy QB. Last season he finished 3rd in yards, 6th in TDs, and 10th in QBR. He also has the luxury of throwing to a freak of a WR in Dez Bryant. I would have no trouble picking him up after the first few rounds.
  12. Andrew Luck (Ind) - This one is a little tougher to call. Last year, Colts OC (current Cardinals HC), Bruce Arians, had the rookie attempt an NFL 5th ranking 627 passes. This year, his former Stanford coordinator, Pep Hamilton takes over. Pep Hamilton favors the run. The Colts brought in Ahmad Bradshaw, and I would expect Luck’s fantasy production to take a slight regression along with his passing attempts.
  13. Eli Manning (NYG) - A healthy receiving corps to go along with the emergence of the explosive David Wilson will both go a long way towards ensuring Manning rebounds from the career-lows he set last year.
  14. Ben Roethlisberger (Pit) - The Steelers are gunning to transition their offense into a quick-passing scheme, with team president Art Rooney even going as far as to request Big Ben change his style of play. Scrambling around, he has only managed to play one full season since being drafed in 2004. If he can stay healthy, which seems more likely under this offense, he should be solid.
  15. Joe Flacco (Bal) - Flacco is coming off of a Superbowl MVP, and a big new contract. The losses of Boldin and Dennis Pitta will hurt quite a bit, as they were his two primary short-mid range targets. Dallas Clark and Brandon Stokley will be serviceable replacements, who have both worked with OC, Jim Caldwell in Indianapolis. Flacco should be solid, but the team just resigned Vonta Leach, and with the emergence of a solid #2 RB in Bernard Pierce, the Ravens will look to run the ball a good amount in 2013.
  16. Andy Dalton (Cin) - AJ Green looks set to be fine for the start of the regular season. The additions of standout 1st round TE Tyler Eifert, and a healthy Sanu should help in the red zone quite a bit, and rookie RB Giovani Bernard will provide a pass-catching weapon out of the backfield.
  17. Carson Palmer (Ari) - Carson Palmer could be a great sleeper this year. He is a quarterback who has no reservations about throwing the ball down field, in the pass-happy Bruce Arians offense featured in Indianapolis last year. Combine that with one of the most dangerous receivers in the game – Larry Fitzgerald, and he could put up some big numbers. The offensive line is still nothing spectacular, however.
  18. Michael Vick (Phi) - There is a chance that Chip Kelly’s fast paced offense could help Vick recapture his phenomenal form from 2010, and you could get the steal of the draft.. However, you should draft Vick assuming that he will be mediocre, turnover prone and/or injured, because they’re all way more likely. If you have a reliable/non-injury prone QB1 and feel like a gamble, there have been longer shots.
  19. Ryan Tannehill (Mia) - There is a chance that the new-look Dolphins could bring about a breakout season from the sophomore. His giant arm combined with Mike Wallace’s speed should be a nice connection.
  20. Jay Cutler (Chi) - I have never been a big fan of Jay Cutler in fantasy. He has seen constant statistical decline the past few seasons, but if anyone can turn him around, it will be Steve Young’s former QB guru – Marc Trestman.
  21. Sam Bradford (StL) - The new-look Rams offense is going to feature a hell of a lot of speed. Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, and Daryl Richardson could bring about a nice upswing in St. Louis, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see them stutter out of the gate with all the new pieces.
  22. Alex Smith (KC) - It will be interesting to see how a game-managing QB fits in with Andy Reid’s pass happy offense.
  23. Josh Freeman (TB) - Has shown flashes of brilliance, but more often than not sputters.
  24. Matt Schaub (Hou) - Finally picked up some cover for Andre Johnson with first rounder, DeAndre Hopkins.
  25. Brandon Weeden (Cle) - Norv Turner is a huge upgrade at OC, and the Browns have the tools to turn some heads this year.
  26. Phillip Rivers (SD) - Continues to regress, and his passcatching weapons are crushed by injury… again.
  27. EJ Manuel (Buf) - Enough upside to warrant a gamble if you’re still looking for a QB this late.
  28. Christian Ponder (Min) - Ponder still struggles to throw it to the sidelines. Greg Jennings doesn’t like the middle of the field nearly as much as Percy Harvin did.
  29. Blaine Gabbert (Jax) - The Jaguars probably don’t expect him to do much besides hand it off to MJD, and neither should we.
  30. Mark Sanchez (NYJ) - He is the starter, for now.
  31. Geno Smith (NYJ)
  32. Matt Flynn (Oak)

About John Warmkessel

Operator & head writer for 1UP Fantasy Sports. Contact me at the email provided, or via the contact form on the home page of the website. Follow on twitter @1UPfantasy for up to date player advice, gameday Q & A, and more.
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