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These 2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2013 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2013 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers. Bye: 4. AUG. 11 UPDATE: Aaron Rodgers was razor-sharp in his preseason debut despite not having Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb at his disposal. He went 3-of-5 for 62 yards on just one drive, with his best completion being a 50-yard bomb to James Jones. One of his incompletions was a dropped touchdown by Jermichael Finley, while the other was a poor throw to an open James Jones in the end zone.
AUG. 6 UPDATE: The Packers lost left tackle Bryan Bulaga for the season. This means that Marshall Newhouse will take over at the position, while fourth-round rookie David Bakhtiari will be thrust into the starting lineup. Rodgers is still the No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but this downgraded blocking will hurt him a bit.
Aaron Rodgers, now the highest-paid player in the NFL, 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. He has 18 rushing touchdowns in the past five seasons. Rodgers is also preferred over the scrambling signal-callers like Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson because he's way more proven. He also doesn't run as much as them, so he's not as prone to getting injured.
Drew Brees, QB, Saints. Bye: 7.
Drew Brees could be a bit undervalued based on what happened last year. Brees compiled 5,177 passing yards, but tossed 19 picks. That can be blamed on not having Sean Payton on the sidelines. With Payton back, Brees' touchdown-to-interception ratio will be under control. Unlike Tom Brady, he has a healthy supporting cast.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Bye: 10. AUG. 17 UPDATE: Tom Brady finished 11-of-12 for 108 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers. He was unstoppable. He went 7-of-8 for 65 yards and a score in the preseason opener, so he's now 18-of-20 for 173 yards and a pair of touchdowns through two games. It's almost as if he hasn't lost anyone this offseason. Brady looks like he's on a mission. Don't have any reservations about drafting him in Rounds 3-4.
AUG. 10 UPDATE: Tom Brady was on the field for only two drives at Philadelphia, so he obviously passed on just one possession. He was very sharp despite not having Wes Welker or his two tight ends, going 7-of-8 for 65 yards and a touchdown to Shane Vereen. Brady is one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL and a fantasy stud, so it's pretty insane that he's lasting until Round 5 in fantasy drafts.
JUNE 20 UPDATE: Aaron Hernandez is likely to be arrested. Rob Gronkowski could be out for a while. Danny Amendola is sure to miss time. Tom Brady's fantasy prospects are looking quite dubious.
Tom Brady lost Wes Welker and may not have Rob Gronkowski for the early stages of the season (he may need a fifth operation on his arm) but he's still a fantasy stud. Brady will have Aaron Hernandez again, and he'll undoubtedly gel quickly with the newly signed Danny Amendola.
Peyton Manning, QB, Broncos. Bye: 9.
So much for his neck injuries. Peyton Manning was fantastic in his first season with the Broncos last year, compiling 4,659 yards, 37 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions. He could easily be even better in 2013, given the addition of Wes Welker. Manning's neck will always be a concern, but he'll probably be a fantasy stud yet again.
Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers. Bye: 9. MAY 22 UPDATE: Colin Kaepernick's fantasy stock has to go down in the wake of losing Michael Crabtree to a torn Achilles. He's still a solid QB1, but I'd move a couple of quarterbacks ahead of him now.
What Colin Kaepernick did against the Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs could prompt many fantasy owners to take him in the first round. He passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns, but also added 183 rushing yards and two more scores on the ground. Kaepernick is still unproven, but he has the potential to be the No. 1 fantasy quarterback.
Robert Griffin, QB, Redskins. Bye: 5. AUG. 29 UPDATE: Adam Schefter reported that Robert Griffin will start against the Eagles in the season opener. This was expected, but it's just confirmation that you can safely draft Griffin in Rounds 4-6. Griffin still presents the greatest injury risk among the 12 starting-caliber fantasy quarterbacks this year, but he also has the most upside. If you select him, make sure you have a capable backup.
AUG. 20 UPDATE: The most prominent story coming out of this second preseason game was Robert Griffin's warmup. Griffin worked out for about an hour prior to kickoff and looked great by all accounts. Even Dr. James Andrews said "wow" while watching him sprint. Griffin, now expected to be cleared for Week 1, is worth drafting in the Round 5-6 range.
Robert Griffin's status is still up in the air, but it's looking promising because Vegas has listed the Redskins as a six-point favorite over the Eagles. They wouldn't have done that if Griffin were likely to miss the opener. However, there is still major potential for Griffin to suffer an injury. He's the least desirable of the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks for that reason.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts. Bye: 8. AUG. 25 UPDATE: Andrew Luck went 16-of-25 for 164 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in his third preseason outing. The pick wasn't his fault; he hit Stanley Havili in the red zone, but Havili bobbled the ball and tipped it into the air, allowing Tashaun Gipson to come up with the turnover. Luck was better than those numbers indicate, as he was extremely sharp all evening. He was hurt by two drops (Havili's miscue included), and he also rushed for 20 yards on four scrambles. Luck has a very good chance to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback.
Andrew Luck was the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he's just the third-best fantasy quarterback entering his second season (if Robert Griffin can stay healthy). Luck should be a solid QB1 though, thanks in part to his rushing ability, but there's some concern because offensive coordinator Bruce Arians defected for Arizona.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 9.
Remember when everyone was concerned that Matthew Stafford wouldn't be able to make it through a whole season? He's played in all 32 games the past two years, but there's still some injury risk because his offensive line is awful. However, he'll definitely bounce back from his 20-touchdown campaign, as that low number was a product of bad luck.
Cam Newton, QB, Panthers. Bye: 4. AUG. 23 UPDATE: Cam Newton had a pretty unspectacular third preseason performance. His first pass was way behind Brandon LaFell. He also threw at LaFell's feet on another occasion. He took a hit to the leg and was limping around, but it was just a knee to the thigh. Newton finished 10-of-19 for just 99 yards, though he did scramble twice for 20 rushing yards. Newton has been very disappointing this August, and I'm definitely worried about him, given that he's being coached by a new offensive coordinator. He could struggle early on.
AUG. 16 UPDATE: Cam Newton missed open receivers and nearly threw an interception to go along with his mediocre stat line against the Eagles: 8-of-17, 112 yards. It's been two weeks now, and Newton just hasn't looked very good. Perhaps this will change once the games actually mean something, but it's a reminder that Newton is learning under a new offensive coordinator this year. He'll still get his rushing touchdowns, but I'd try to avoid him in fantasy leagues.
Cam Newton was awesome down the stretch following a slow start, scoring 18 total touchdowns and throwing just three interceptions from Week 10 to 16. There is some concern here though because offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has left. The Chud was instrumental in Newton's late-season success, so it'll be interesting to see if the third-year quarterback regresses at all with someone else calling the plays.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks. Bye: 12. JULY 26 UPDATE: Jason La Canfora tweeted that Percy Harvin could be out for the season if a second opinion on his hip labrum tear says that it requires surgery. That's why I'm dropping Russell Wilson for the second time this week.
JULY 25 UPDATE: I loved Russell Wilson going into this season, but he received some bad news Thursday when Pete Carroll told the media that Percy Harvin may need surgery to repair a torn hip labrum.
Russell Wilson transformed from a game-manager asked not to make any mistakes at the beginning of the year to a dynamic play-maker at the end of the season. In his final contest, a loss to Atlanta in the divisional round of the playoffs, he generated 385 passing yards, 60 rushing yards and three touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush). Like Colin Kaepernick, Wilson has the potential to finish as the top fantasy quarterback.