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2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks

These 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings will be updated often throughout the summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2012 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2012 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings - Quarterbacks (Sept. 2):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-35

  1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. Bye: 10.
    Aaron Rodgers should be the consensus No. 1 quarterback. He posts top passing numbers like the other elite signal-callers, but unlike Tom Brady and Drew Brees, Rodgers picks up a good chunk of rushing yardage, which gives him the edge at this position. Rodgers has 16 rushing touchdowns in the past four seasons. In that span, Brady has five, while Brees has three.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,400 passing yards. 39 passing TDs. 8 INTs. 275 rushing yards. 4 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 367.

  2. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Bye: 9.
    Tom Brady is at the top of his game right now, utilizing his two talented tight ends to near perfection. Brady threw for an all-time second-best 5,235 yards last year, and now he'll have Brandon Lloyd as a new threat at receiver. Jabar Gaffney should also be a decent safety valve.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 5,000 passing yards. 39 passing TDs. 11 INTs. 90 rushing yards. 2 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 355.

  3. Drew Brees, QB, Saints. Bye: 6.
    AUG. 26 UPDATE: Drew Brees was incredibly sharp versus the Texans, going 17-of-25 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. What those numbers don't include are a pair of drops, a pass-interference penalty drawn by Jimmy Graham and a 57-yard completion to Graham that was wiped out by an illegal-touching infraction. It does not look like Brees will be slumping this year because of Bountygate.

    JULY 19 UPDATE: Drew Brees' holdout is over. He signed a long-term deal with the Saints, so there will be no monetary distraction.

    Drew Brees is obviously a Pro Bowl talent, but there are two concerns with him. First, Sean Payton's year-long suspension could be damaging. Not to Brees himself - he thrived last year when Payton suffered that bizarre sideline knee injury - but to the team in general. The Saints could be in disarray, which will impact Brees' numbers. Second, Brees is in a contract dispute. He'll probably get a contract prior to training camp, but if not, he'll hold out. Players who hold out usually tend to struggle.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,900 passing yards. 37 passing TDs. 14 INTs. 60 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 328.

  4. Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 5.
    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Detroit looked downright lethal versus Baltimore, as Matthew Stafford went 12-of-17 for 184 yards and two touchdowns in less than a half of action. This was highlighted by a beautiful 57-yard bomb to Calvin Johnson in the second quarter. Ser Stafford's only poor throw was a near-pick when he targeted Brandon Pettigrew. He was pretty flawless otherwise. He should be the fourth quarterback off the board in fantasy drafts.

    Ah, so that's what happens when Matthew Stafford stays healthy for 16 games. All Ser Stafford did was throw for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns. He's a stud.

    Having said that, I am slightly down on him this year. He's only played a full season one out of three times, so asking him to do so again could be too much. Also, if you believe in the Madden Curse like me, you're concerned that Calvin Johnson could injure himself by slipping on a McDonald's bag or drinking too much Diet Double Drew, or something.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,740 passing yards. 34 passing TDs. 15 INTs. 60 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 307.

  5. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers. Bye: 6.
    AUG. 18 UPDATE: Cam Newton couldn't get anything going last week because he constantly had Houston defenders in his face. Things were much easier this time because the Dolphins couldn't put any pressure on him. Newton was brilliant as a result, going 8-of-11 for 119 yards and a touchdown. This doesn't even include a 39-yard pass-interference flag on Sean Smith, who mugged Steve Smith downfield. There was also 29-yard gain to DeAngelo Williams on a screen that was nullified because Brandon LaFell blocked illegally downfield.

    Everyone was wrong about this guy. Here's what I wrote last year: "Cam Newton will struggle, as most rookie quarterbacks do. He does have some value in fantasy, however, because of his ability to put up decent rushing numbers. Vince Young threw for just 2,199 yards and 12 touchdowns in his rookie career, but made up for it with 552 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground. I feel like that's a good barometer for Newton's 2012 campaign."

    All Newton did was shatter records held by Peyton Manning and other great quarterbacks. Newton could suffer a sophomore slump though. Consider that he threw for 208 yards or fewer in five of his final six games.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 3,750 passing yards. 23 passing TDs. 17 INTs. 550 rushing yards. 7 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 305.

  6. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. Bye: 7.
    AUG. 17 UPDATE: Matt Ryan finished 18-of-21 for 174 yards and one touchdown in less than a half of work against the Bengals. He threw just one bad pass, which was an overthrow to Julio Jones for what could have been a 41-yard touchdown in the middle of the second quarter. Still, it's remarkable that he was on a 400-yard pace despite poor play from his offensive line. He's a strong third-tier quarterback this year.

    AUG. 10 UPDATE: Matt Ryan was on fire versus Baltimore's defense in the preseason opener. He went 9-of-13 for 155 yards, one touchdown and a pick in just one quarter of work. The interception was bad; he stared down Roddy White deep in Ravens' territory. He was flawless otherwise though and looked like he was made for Dirk Koetter's offense. Ryan is definitely right with Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Philip Rivers as one of the third-tier quarterbacks.

    There's a buy-low opportunity here for Matt Ryan. Everyone expected Ryan to have a huge 2011 campaign. He certainly wasn't bad, throwing for 4,177 yards and 29 touchdowns, but most thought he'd post greater numbers. Plus, many won't be able to block out the image of Ryan failing to put up any points against the Giants in the playoffs.

    Ryan should have his best season yet. The Falcons spent two Day 2 selections on offensive linemen, while Julio Jones will be more effective as an NFL sophomore.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,480 passing yards. 30 passing TDs. 13 INTs. 80 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 287.

  7. Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys. Bye: 5.
    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Despite missing Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and Miles Austin-Jones, Tony Romo was perfect against the Rams. Literally perfect. He went 9-of-13 for 198 yards and two touchdowns in just one quarter of action. A pair of his incompletions were dropped (John Phillips, Kevin Ogletree), while the other two were thrown away. Romo hit wideout Dwayne Harris for touchdown bombs of 61 and 38 yards. He's firmly locked in as a third-tier fantasy quarterback, alongside Matt Ryan, Eli Manning and perhaps Philip Rivers.

    AUG. 20 UPDATE: With Miles Austin-Jones and Jason Witten potentially set to miss the first couple of games, Tony Romo's projected stats have to decrease.

    I was glad when I heard Tony Romo declined an invitation to participate in some random golf tournament this year. He's always done this, which prompted many, including myself, to question his dedication to football. He'll actually be concentrating on football now, so that's a plus.

    Romo is still a strong QB1. He lost Laurent Robinson, but Miles Austin-Jones will be healthy this year. Those things should offset each other, so if Dez Bryant can take a step forward, Romo should have his best season yet.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,380 passing yards. 31 passing TDs. 12 INTs. 50 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 286.

  8. Eli Manning, QB, Giants. Bye: 11.
    AUG. 25 UPDATE: Eli Manning was incredibly sharp against the Bears, going 17-of-21 for 148 yards and a touchdown despite once again missing Hakeem Nicks' services. He was pretty much perfect; a couple of incompletions were thrown away, while another one was a Victor Cruz drop on what would have moved the chains on third down.

    So, that's why Eli Manning said that he's an elite quarterback. Eli threw for 4,933 yards and 29 touchdowns during his second Super Bowl campaign. It's unlikely he'll be able to match the yardage numbers in 2012, especially with Mario Manningham gone. However, Brandon Jacobs is also history, so Eli will be asked to do more in the red zone.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,550 passing yards. 31 passing TDs. 15 INTs. 30 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 285.

  9. Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Bye: 7.
    AUG. 31 UPDATE: Philip Rivers went 8-of-10 for 89 yards and an interception in the preseason finale against San Francisco's reserves. The pick was quite puzzling. He made a horrible decision by trying to fit the ball into Malcom Floyd and was consequently picked off by a backup safety. Rivers is going to throw a ton of interceptions this year. Downgrade him if your league subtracts two points for picks.

    Philip Rivers denies it for some reason because he doesn't want to make an excuse, but he was hurt all of last year. He'd be a nice bounce-back candidate if he didn't lose his No. 1 receiver, Vincent Jackson, to the Buccaneers. Still, Rivers is a strong QB1 because of his unbelievable talent. He has played well without Jackson before, and should be able to do so again.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,600 passing yards. 30 passing TDs. 19 INTs. 50 rushing yards. 1 rushing TD.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 277.

  10. Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Bye: 7.
    AUG. 27 UPDATE: Manning finished 10-of-12 for 122 yards and two touchdowns in just one quarter of work versus San Francisco. He had just one true misfire; the other was a Joel Dreessen drop. It must be noted that the 49ers were missing some key defensive personnel, but it was still encouraging to see Manning bounce back after getting hit hard. He responded with a completion to Willis McGahee and an ensuing touchdown to Eric Decker. There's still a bit of a concern about if his neck can hold up the whole season, but Manning can be drafted as a lower-end QB1. The problem is that he's being taken much earlier than that. He went in the fourth round of one of my fantasy drafts this past weekend, which is just way too early.

    AUG. 23 UPDATE: Multiple reports from ESPN and Scouts Inc. indicate that Peyton Manning has had major issues throwing to his right for more than 10 yards. This is obviously bad news for Manning's fantasy potential. While he could heal and become a low-end QB1, he's just going way too early in fantasy drafts. Stay away from him unless he falls to about Round 9-10.

    Peyton Manning is a very risky fantasy player. On one hand, if he's close to 100 percent, he'll be a steal in Round 4 or 5, or wherever he goes. If he's not, he'll be a wasted, early-round pick.

    I wouldn't trust Manning enough to take him in the first five rounds. He's had multiple neck procedures, and he already showed signs of erosion in 2010. He also has a brand-new supporting cast that he has to get used to. Oh, and he hasn't been as effective outdoors, so he has to get used to playing in the elements every week.

    Projected 2012 Fantasy Stats: 4,200 passing yards. 34 passing TDs. 15 INTs. 20 rushing yards. 0 rushing TDs.
    Projected 2012 Fantasy Points (ESPN Scoring): 276.

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings - Quarterbacks (Sept. 2):
Top 10 | 11-20 | 21-35

Leave a comment

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colin schram 08-02-2012 04:26 pm (total posts: 1)
11     39

where is peyton manning?????????
that smart guy 08-01-2012 07:23 pm (total posts: 1)
11     8

you project the packers receivers and running backs to catch balls worth upwards of 5200 yards w/o factoring in donald driver and any other tight ends. I think you are vastly overrating packers WR's by about 15%.Just thought that was interesting.
Vegan Ken 07-31-2012 10:55 am (total posts: 1)
229     309

Don`t see what you got against Mike Vick unless you are Vegan like I am, but then you should be biased against every QB on this list. If you eat meat like every QB on this list then you support the needless killing of animals for your eating pleasure so whats the difference if Vick killed dogs for entertainment purposes?If killing a Cow for a Steak that will give you heart disease or cancer is ok because it`s only an animal than killing a dog in a dog fight is ok as`s only a dumb animal so why give a crap about it? I`d call him Mike Vick and keep ethics out of the picture.
u make error 07-29-2012 01:54 pm (total posts: 1)
18     9

how can romo throw for 332 tds!

fix it walt
julianvelez 07-26-2012 08:14 pm (total posts: 1)
9     14

you can get a better picture of Brees c'mon
BHPicks 07-26-2012 08:12 am (total posts: 1)
8     10

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Jason 07-20-2012 02:42 am (total posts: 1)
10     10

Why the hate for Flacco? You describe him like a top 15 QB then say you wouldnt want him as your QB in any league... just wondering... I keep mock taking Flyyn instead of him and then wondering why
bill 07-09-2012 01:29 pm (total posts: 3)
11     17

If anyone is interested in a Fantasy Football League for Money, please email me
Peyton 07-04-2012 03:07 pm (total posts: 2)
33     14

Great list. Oh, and on an unrelated note, I love that you're projecting better rushing numbers for Tom Brady than you are for Tony Romo.
Thiergow 07-02-2012 05:53 pm (total posts: 1)
18     9

"It's unlikely he'll be able to match the yardage numbers in 2012, especially with Mario Manningham gone."
Meeeh! We hear that since 2008 when he lost Plax and Toomer, then again the next season because the Giants were suppose to run more and the next season because Steve Smith had stabbed the team in the back...

This is getting old. I'm not saying that Eli is going to throw for 6K and 100 TD in 2012 but please stop just assuming that because he lost that guy and this dude, his numbers are going down!

Here's the truth: Mario Manningham was a big playmaker when he ran the good route and when he didn't drop the ball. Those two things happened too many times when he played for Big Blue. This past seasons, Nicks (and more recently Cruz too) has been the more consistant target Eli's ever had. You can add to that Rueben Randle who seems to adapt pretty well to the NFL and you've got another great trio of WR.

The Giants did lose Ballard but it's also not the first time the Giants have developed a late draft/undrafted TE into a solid starter: Kevin Boss, Bear Pascoe, Jake Ballard and even Scott Chandler who started on the Giants practice squad before going to Buffalo. Thank you coach Mike Pope.

And regarding Brandon Jacobs. Just look at the tape of 2010 and 2011. He was not the bruising back running over defenders anymore. Ahmad Bradshaw actually did it way more than Jacobs lately.

Bottom line is: stop assuming Eli's numbers are going down just because he lost some guy who had a cool highlight reel. His numbers may go down but it won't be because Jacobs or Manningham were missing.
Peanut butter jelly time 07-01-2012 07:50 pm (total posts: 1)
8     77

I think RG3 will have a great rookie season better than luck,and carson palmer is better than romo
Payal 06-29-2012 07:28 pm (total posts: 1)
8     11

the yahoo auto draft will select best plaeyr according to their rankings, until all starters are fillled. then it starts working on the bench. downside to this is you end up wasting valuable late picks on kickers and defenses, sometimes picking up 2 defense and 2 kickers. that s 4 picks better spent on wideouts, or RB s. another downside is you could possibly draft a QB or WR in round 1 blowing a stud RB that s more s what one of my leagues is doing. we basically like live drafts. but of course some people have such important lives they can t spare 1 hour of their day, so during the live draft, they get best available according to yahoo s rankings. if that means a TE in round 3, too bad. you should ve been select live draft, print out a sheet of yahoo rankings, and as managers select plaeyrs, cross them off the sheet, and when an auto-draft yuppie comes up, just draft them the highest plaeyr NOT SELECTED till they have all their starters. as for the bench, we ignore position. if they get 5 tight ends too bad.personally, I hate auto-drafts. that live draft is honestly half the fun in playing fantasy football. you re all 0-0, talking crap, making fun of draft picks, eating pizza and wings, having some beers. if u bomb out starting the season 1-3 u are probably in for a long season, at least you had fun at the live draft though! Was this answer helpful?
Matt 06-28-2012 10:35 pm (total posts: 1)
8     8

The quarterback rankings after ten are pretty gutsy, but...uh... really wrong. Carson Palmer went from the couch to the starting quarterback of the Raiders in two weeks. How many guys would have done better?

I saw him make some sick throws straight off the street, he'll flirt with the top ten this year.

Cam Newton was exposed in the second half of last season, you take a way his deep ball and he has to run. If he can't replicate his double digit touchdown runs, he'll drop out of the top 10.

I'm rooting against QB Dog Killer, but two years ago he flat out destroyed fantasy. Expectations somewhere in between a year ago and two years ago is better than all but five guys....

Big Ben at 17 is ridiculous, unless you're saying he WILL be injured for multiple games. I hate Haley as much as the next guy, but he's good enough, and his receivers are good enough, to overcome it. He should probably be top ten.
romo?????????? 06-20-2012 02:32 pm (total posts: 1)
14     9

rivers is better then romo
Ser Stafford? 06-19-2012 12:31 am (total posts: 1)
14     17

Did Walt make a Game of Thrones reference intentionally, or is it just a coincidence there is a character in book 2 named Ser Stafford?

More 2012 Fantasy Football Articles:
2012 Fantasy Football: Home

2012 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Downloadable Spreadsheets - 9/2 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Auction Values - 7/28 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings (Re-Draft) - 5/6 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings (Dynasty) - 5/6 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Playoff Rankings - 1/2 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Rankings - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Injury Reports - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 17 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/27 (Walt)
Week 16 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em - 12/20 (Walt) $1,000 Contest on - 11/4

2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Traditional Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: PPR Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Touchdown Scoring - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 2-QB Format - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Traditional Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: PPR Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Touchdown Scoring PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: 2-QB Format PRINTABLE - 9/4 (Walt)

2012 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2012 Fantasy Football PPR Mock Draft - 8/23 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Mock Draft - 8/16 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum 2-QB PPR Mock Draft - 8/9 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Auction Mock Draft - 8/2 (Walt)
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2012 Fantasy Football Forum Standard Mock Draft - 7/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum PPR Mock Draft - 6/22 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Forum Mock Draft - 6/14 (Walt)
The Four-Man PPR Fantasy Mock Draft - 5/18 (Walt)

2012 Fantasy Football Articles:
2012 Fantasy Football Stock: Training Camp, OTAs - 9/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Targets - 8/31 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: 20 Sleepers - 8/28 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/21 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Busts - 6/5 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Sleepers (Early-Middle Rounds) - 6/5 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football All-Value Team - 5/26 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Quarterbacks - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Wide Receivers - 5/8 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Quarterbacks, Tight Ends - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Wide Receivers - 4/3 (Walt)
2012 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/17 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/17 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - July 24

2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

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NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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