2012 Fantasy Rankings: Top 20 Quarterbacks

As we start our preparation for the 2012 fantasy football campaign, let’s kick things off with our look at the Top 20 Quarterbacks.  Keep in mind that we will be updating and expanding on this list throughout the preseason, so make sure to keep checking back for the most recent rankings.

While the top few options are pretty straight forward, things become wide open starting at #4 on the list due to an influx in young options and some significant injury concerns.  Let’s take a look:

  1. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
  2. Tom Brady – New England Patriots
  3. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
  4. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
  5. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers
  6. Eli Manning – New York Giants
  7. Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles
  8. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
  9. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
  10. Matt Schaub – Houston Texans
  11. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers
  12. Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos
  13. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
  14. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
  15. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears
  16. Josh Freeman – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  17. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
  18. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
  19. Carson Palmer – Oakland Raiders
  20. Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams


  • Is it really possible that the Patriots offense got even scary this offseason?  Their two tight ends (Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) just continue to mature and improve, if that’s even possible.  Wes Welker continues to thrive.  Throw in the addition of Brandon Lloyd (as well as Jabar Gaffney), just giving additional weapons to an already potent team, and this team could be scary.  I wouldn’t go in anticipating a season close to 2007 (50 TD passes), but would it really be unthinkable either?
  • Cam Newton is still going to have some growing pains, but it’s impossible to ignore what he did both through the air (4,051 yards, 21 TD) and on the ground (706 yards, 14 TD) during his rookie year.  That type of dual threat has got to make him one of the most valuable commodities in the league.  It would’ve been nice to see the Panthers improve on their receiving corps a little bit, but Newton’s ability to run for a TD certainly offsets that.
  • The Chargers watched Vincent Jackson bolt via free agency, replacing him with Robert Meachem.  Throw in the potential injury concerns for Antonio Gates and there has got to be a lot of concerns regarding the production for Philip Rivers.  Is he a good QB1?  Absolutely, but he’s got to be considered a lower-end option heading into the year.
  • Peyton Manning obviously has huge concerns hanging over him after he missed the entire 2011 season.  However, he’s still Peyton Manning.  If I drafted him I would make sure I have a viable QB2, just in case, but you are getting a potential Top 5 QB at a discount.  He’s well worth taking the risk on.
  • I wouldn’t draft Robert Griffin III as a QB1 because there is risk, but after seeing Newton flourish in 2011 you have to like the potential he brings.  Especially if you roll the dice on someone like Peyton Manning, Griffin is well worth the selection as he brings potential both through the air and on the ground.  Unfortunately, you will probably have to draft him significantly earlier then I would be comfortable with.

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Make sure to check out the rest of our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

2012 Fantasy Rankings: Top 25 Running Backs
Week 17 Rankings: Top 15 Kickers


  1. RJ says:

    Just a thought, Anthony Gonzalez was released from the Pats more than a week ago.

  2. muddy cleats says:

    football baby!!!!!!

  3. Marion says:

    Historically, if you didn’t draft RB’s is round’s 1 & 2 you were always at a disadvantage in your league. That trend seems to have changed in a pass happy league. Now it seems like you need an elite QB to compete. Would you agree?

    • To an extent, though I would still be working on RB early. I feel like there are enough good QB that, even if you don’t get one of the top 4 or 5, you are going to be alright. If you miss out on the top RB, you could be in trouble with so many teams going with a RB by committee these days.

  4. Joe says:

    The Panthers did improve their WR’s. David Gettis, who was much better than LaFell in their rookie seasons, will be back after a year on the pine. Not to mention the Oline will be better…

  5. Randy says:

    I know it’s hard to answer hypothetical questions, but would you focus on grabbing a top tier QB in the draft, or load up on WRs/RBs and take someone like a Matt Ryan later?

    Also, I have found Ryan Fitzpatrick to be ranked quite low in all rankings. Is he really worse than guys like Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford, and Joe Flacco? He seemed like a ‘stud’ last year prior to a rib injury.

    • Sorry for the delayed response Randy. I think there is enough QB depth to wait to draft one, but it if the draft falls right I wouldn’t hesitate to take a top one early. Honestly, it just depends.

      As for Fitzpatrick, it’s all about upside at this point. I could see Luck/Bradford/Flacco putting things together and becoming a low-end Top 15 option. I just don’t see that upside with Fitzpatrick at this point.

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