February: The air is cool. The NFL season has just ended. Spring is on the horizon. Pitchers and Catchers have reported. Time for… fantasy football rankings? That’s right, it’s never too early to start preparing for next season! Do you want to win or just play along for the first seven weeks then stop setting your lineup?
This is not the first rankings article out there, a wonderful Top 100 has already been put out by JJ Zachariason at lateroundqb.com (@lateroundqb). The guys at DLF (dynastyleaguefootball.com @DLFootball) have dynasty rankings for each position, including IDP and rookies, updated all the time! This is just my personal opinion of the top 10 at each position for the 2013 season in regards to Standard Scoring at a (like the title says) way too early point in the offseason. Enjoy or bash accordingly in the comments section!
1. Aaron Rodgers: This guy is a stud, plain and simple. Since taking over the starting job in Green Bay he has never finished outside of the top-5 in fantasy scoring in any year. He finished exactly two points behind Drew Brees in total points scored despite numerous injuries to his wide receivers, an absolutely pathetic offensive line and the sudden forgetfulness of how to catch the ball by Jermichael Finley. Feel free to make him the first QB drafted next year in any redraft league.
2. Drew Brees: Funny how a 21.6 ppg average and fantasy football’s overall scoring leader’s 2012 season was widely viewed as disappointing. Sure, the New Orleans Saints’ season in general was disappointing, but Brees? He was his phenomenal self. 5,177 yards and 43 TD passes is not disappointing, it’s a fantasy footballer’s dream. Expect the same huge offensive output from Brees next year as he gets Sean Payton back.
3. Tom Brady: Brady put up another great season, going over 4,800 yards and throwing 34 TDs. This despite Rob Gronkowski missing five games and the acquisition of Brandon Lloyd to be the deep threat essentially failing. Although he will be 36-years old when the season starts I see no reason for his output to change much in this offense and I fully expect the Patriots to reload with a surprise free agent or two in the offseason.
4. Cam Newton: I wouldn’t want this guy on my favorite NFL team. I’m not a fan of his game. I’m not a fan of his immaturity. But for fantasy football? I’d take him in a second. Cam is electrifying. He threw for nearly 3,800 yards and 19 TDs last year. What’s more impressive is his rushing stats. He ran for 741 yards and 8 TDs, which alone would have ranked him 25th among all RBs! My only reason for having him below Brady is the fact he will be adjusting to a new offensive coordinator, but I don’t expect it to impact him that much.
5. Colin Kaepernick: Yeah yeah, he is the soup de jour. Exciting, dynamic, a playmaker. I’m nuts for having him top-5. Let me run some numbers past you. Colin threw for 1,814 yards and 10 TDs and rushed for 415 yards and 5 TDs in 7 games. If we average that out to a full, 16-game season, that’s 4,226 yards and 23 passing TDs and 948 yards rushing with 11 TDs! Notice the similarity to Cam Newton’s stats last year? Anyone? I’m keeping him at #5 because of the usual slight sophomore regression, the fact that he can’t possibly sustain that for a full season (can he?) and my argument that defenses may adjust to his game and he plays three of the best in the league twice a year. Despite being an Arizona Cardinals’ fan, from a fantasy aspect I’m on board this ship.
6. Peyton Manning: Peyton is Peyton. Put him down for over 4,000 yards and over 30 TDs. Until 2011, he never missed a game in his career. Only two times has he failed to throw for over 4,000 yards in a season. He misses a year, changes teams, goes to play outdoors in Denver and doesn’t miss a beat. As long as he is playing, he has a spot in my top-10 fantasy QBs.
7. Matt Ryan: Matty Ice threw for over 4,700 yards and 32 TDs, both career highs, last season. Going into his second year in OC Dirk Koetter’s offense, he looks to get even better. I have him slightly below Peyton in 2013 just in case Tony Gonzalez retires; I think he loses that security blanket and will lose some fantasy points while he adjusts.
8. Tony Romo: Every year we hear the same thing. Romo sucks. He can’t win the big one. He always coughs the game up in the 4th quarter with a bad pass, interception, or a fumble. Every year the fantasy player who drafted Romo says the same thing. So? He went over 4,000 yards again and was pretty close to or over 30 TDs. I’m not a Cowboys fan, I don’t care what bad pass he threw. As long as he is giving me 16-18 ppg in fantasy scoring, while I’m drafting him late because everyone else passed on him because he “sucks”.
9. Andrew Luck: Statistically Luck had a great rookie season. 4,374 yards and 23 TDs passing and another 255 yards and 5 TDs on the ground is a great season for anyone, let alone a rookie. I fully expect him to continue to climb this ladder and take the places of Brees and Brady in the top-3 as his career goes forward.
10. Russell Wilson: I wasn’t expecting to put Wilson’s name on this list while I was researching this article, but the more I looked at his final stats coupled with his struggles at the start of the season, I had to include him. The guy too short to play QB, finished his rookie campaign throwing for over 3,100 yards and 26 TDs and rushing for 489 more yards and 4 TDs; good enough to average over 17 fantasy points per game. Like his counterpart in San Francisco, he got better as the season went on and I expect Wilson to improve next year too. Get used to seeing his name in many top-10 lists in the very near future.
Robert Griffin III: If he is healthy by the season opener he moves to the #5 spot on my board
Eli Manning: Any given season, Eli can, and has been, a top 10 QB
Matt Stafford: He throws to Megatron and has a nonexistent run game, how will he respond to losing the best receiver in the NFL in Titus Young? /sarcasm
Ben Roethlisberger: Ben was top-7 the first seven weeks of last season before his injury
Ryan Tannehill: My wild card. If they get him some NFL quality receivers, I can see him easily in the top-10; I like him that much