Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Top 5 Fantasy Quarterbacks

Quarterbacks and fantasy quarterbacks are two entirely different breeds, so while you may have an idea who the best quarterbacks in the NFL are, you probably have no idea who will best improve your chances to win your fantasy football league.  For example, a quarterback like Cam Newton, who consistently provides valuable rushing touchdowns is more productive in fantasy football than a quarterback like Tom Brady, who, despite being one of football's all-time greats, is not going to provide you with an incredible amount of fantasy points.

1. Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
Manning is undoubtedly the best quarterback in fantasy football right now.  With a seemingly unlimited supply of weapons, including Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Julius Thomas, Manning's record-breaking rate of production should not end any time soon.  If he continues the pace that he is on, Manning will end the season with 59 touchdowns, shattering the previous record held by Tom Brady by an incredible 9 touchdowns.  Don't expect Manning to be vacating the number one spot in these rankings any time soon.

2. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The only quarterback who is even comparable to Manning right now in terms of production is Brees, which is largely due to his talented tight end.  Jimmy Graham was on pace for an incredible season (probably even better than Gronkowski's last year), however, the Patriots managed to stifle him for zero catches on Sunday.  If teams are able to consistently stop Graham, Brees could be in a fair amount of trouble, as his other receiving options are only decent.  For now, Brees will stay at number two, but his stock could be on the drop soon.

3. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
The first six weeks of the season have been good, but not great for Stafford, yet there is reason to believe that Stafford may end up a top-three fantasy quarterback when all is said and done.  In three tough games so far against the Cardinals, Bears, and Browns, he has put up very respectable numbers.  Compared to these three games, the rest of the year looks to be a walk in the park for Stafford, playing against the feeble secondaries of the Cowboys, Steelers, Buccaneers, Eagles, and Giants, among others.  Additionally, Stafford will once again get to work with star wide receiver Calvin Johnson who was recently injured.  Now would be a great time to get a window seat on the Matthew Stafford bandwagon which surely will be full by the season's end.

4. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton, at 6'5" and 245 pounds, is a threat both through the air and on the ground in the red zone.  The most important part of fantasy football scoring is touchdowns, and there few better than Newton in this category.  Though he will turn the ball over more than you would want, he can more than make it up by reaching the end zone.  Because of his ability to produce touchdowns, Newton may have the most upside in fantasy football right now.

5. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
After Michael Vick, Wilson is probably the best running quarterback in the NLF.  Additionally, he is an exceptional passer, however, Marshawn Lynch tends to take most of the Seahawks touchdowns, which hurts Wilson's fantasy value.  He is able to make up for this with his running ability and low amount of turnovers.  Thus, though Wilson is unlikely to have a break out game, he will consistently provide for your fantasy team this year.

Notable Omissions:

Philip Rivers: Only good weeks were against Philly, Dallas, and Oakland. Not exactly top tier secondaries.  He has a significantly harder schedule over the second half of the season, and his production will likely not hold up.
Tony Romo: Once again, a very poor early schedule has allowed for solid numbers which will not be maintained over the entire season.
Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers has looked pretty good so far, but what really hurts him here is that James Jones and Randall Cobb are going to be out for significant amounts of time with injures, and I am unsure if Rodgers will be able to produce.
Tom Brady: This omission is entirely at the fault of the Patriot's atrocious receiving core.  Any other year Brady would be in the top 5, but when Kembrell Thompkins is your best receiver, you're in trouble.

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