Fantasy Football Player Analysis: Quarterback

by Cory J. Bonini on August 6, 2012 @ 15:15:25 PDT

 

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KFFL's player analysis will be updated and expanded on regularly through the offseason. Be sure to sound off in the comments section below!

1) Aaron Rodgers | Green Bay Packers | 6-foot-2, 225 pounds | 8th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
513563340390419245923539795464262292243743

Fantasy analysis: We honestly cannot come up with any reasons to not like Rodgers as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback. He is the safest bet to post huge numbers and not kill you with turnovers along the way. Look no further than his 2011 stat line: 4,643 passing yards, 48 total touchdowns, six total turnovers. Green Bay has a pass-happy system with little to rely on at running back, which hasn't stopped A-Rod yet, and boasts an extremely deep, talented receiving corps. Rodgers is being drafted at No. 8 overall, on average, in standard leagues.

2) Drew Brees | New Orleans Saints | 6-foot, 209 pounds | 12th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
63368341946949975397384215171525939023844

Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints

Fantasy analysis: Brees is the best bet to put up record-breaking statistics, but the season-long suspension of head coach and play-caller Sean Payton begs for a drop-off in production this year. The only silver lining is that offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael knows Payton's style as well as anyone, and the same can be said for Brees himself. The Saints also lost wide receiver Robert Meachem, and teams will have an offseason to game plan against last year's surprise weapons (Jimmy Graham, Darren Sproles). New Orleans will look to make a statement, and we know Brees will be there now that he received his contract. Look for close to 5,000 yards and at least 30 touchdown passes, but No. 9 is no stranger to turning over the football. He comes off the board atop the second round as the No. 2 quarterback chosen, on average.

3) Matthew Stafford | Detroit Lions | 6-foot-2, 232 pounds | 4th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
6056553624124674507424281416243487117022430

Fantasy analysis: Stafford produced historic numbers in his first full season as a starter, throwing for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns on a whopping 663 attempts. Detroit, in an ideal world, wouldn't throw that much. The coaching staff wants to remain committed to the run, but how can you blame them for unleashing Stafford's arm when Calvin Johnson is on the other end of it more often than not? The Lions' weaponry doesn't stop there, either. Jahvid Best (concussion) is a lethal pass-catcher, Nate Burleson is a veteran presence with good hands, speedster Titus Young is ready to emerge, and Brandon Pettigrew is one of the league's premier young tight ends. Stafford has great command of Scott Linehan's system, one that has produced massive fantasy seasons in years gone by. Draft Stafford as a No. 1 fantasy quarterback, and we have no argument if you don't like him more than Cam Newton or Tom Brady. The former Bulldog may even be slightly undervalued at his 33rd overall ADP.

4) Tom Brady | New England Patriots | 6-foot-4, 225 pounds | 13th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
511561319369407044702933101225353666133036

Fantasy analysis: The three-time Super Bowl winner just keeps getting better with age. At 34, Brady set career highs in attempts (2011), average yards per attempt (8.6) and passing yardage (5,235). New England's offense revolves around Brady, whose 2012 targets include Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez and Brandon Lloyd. Josh McDaniels, the architect of New England's record-breaking 2007 offense, returns to the fold as the OC. The Pats have a lot of weapons in the backfield, but none of them is proven in this system. It is hard not to like Brady, even if he will be 35 before the season begins. Expect another year of excellent production from this future Hall of Famer. He is typically the 18th player drafted.

5) Cam Newton | Carolina Panthers | 6-foot-5, 248 pounds | 2nd year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
460510256306339437941620121497107602632682228

Fantasy analysis: Newton's rookie effort was a year for the ages, and the scary part is that he should improve as a passer in his second season. The former Auburn stud racked up an insane 14 rushing touchdowns to go along with 21 passing scores and produced 4,757 yards of total offense. Expect the rushing scores to come down, as Carolina has three competent backs around the stripe, and let's face it, 14 rushing scores is going to be hard to replicate. We are relying on him becoming a more efficient passer, which will remove some of his rushing scores and increase his aerial TD count. This is important since it will dramatically alter his fantasy value from one scoring system to the next, such as in leagues that award fewer passing touchdown points. Newton is a somewhat risky, high-upside No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Don't overvalue him. Make sure to cover your bases with a viable backup. His average draft position is 17th overall.

6) Philip Rivers | San Diego Chargers | 6-foot-5, 228 pounds | 9th year

2012 Projected NFL/Fantasy Football Statistics

Pass Att Pass Com Pass Yds Pass TDs Int Run Att Run Yds Run TDs Tot TDs
Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi Lo Hi
530580333383402144212529121422322959012530

Fantasy analysis: We expect a bounce-back season from the Chargers' leader. Rivers threw an uncharacteristically high 20 interceptions in 2011, but only three came in the final six games of the season after the offensive line found continuity. That same group returns for 2012. Rivers lost his top wide receiver in free agency, but Robert Meachem's deep-ball skill set is very similar to that of Vincent Jackson's. The Bolts also brought in Roscoe Parrish, Eddie Royal and Dante Rosario as targets for No. 17. Royal has drawn rave reviews in the offseason, as has a finally healthy tight end Antonio Gates at tight end. Ryan Mathews should give the Chargers a strong rushing attack to help keep defenses honest, and the third-year back is no slouch catching passes out of the backfield, either. Rivers' upside may not be what it once was, but that doesn't mean he isn't a quality No. 1 fantasy quarterback. Some risk exists, yet he has overcome greater adversity in prior successful fantasy seasons. Rivers should be considered a value pick anywhere around his fifth-round average selection.

Which quarterbacks round out the top 12? Click here to find out....

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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