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Quarterbacks

 

1

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck

 

Luck will have a tremendous NFL career, but there will be plenty of bumps in the road along the way, starting with 2012. Projected fantasy points: 238

2

Aaron Rodgers

Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers

3

Peyton Manning

Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning

Manning has a difficult schedule this year and it starts Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The good news for Manning is that James Harrison has already been ruled out. The bad news is that the other Steelers defenders haven't been. Manning will look to develop rapport with his tight ends and Eric Decker early in the game to get into a flow. If that can happen, then he should be fine. He's the definition of a risky play this Week though.

4

Tom Brady

New England Patriots

Tom Brady

5

Tony Romo

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo

Romo travels to Seattle to try to continue his Week 1 magic. With Ogletree emerging as a solid No. 3, Romo is surrounded by true receiving threats. With Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten and now Ogletree, Romo is set for a number of huge fantasy days. 

6

Drew Brees

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees

7

Ben Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger gets his No. 1 target back in Mike Wallace just before the season kicks off. But was it in enough time to learn Haley's new system? Either way, Big Ben will be relied on to move the chains with their running game in the tank. He's just prone to turn the ball over more than a fantasy owner would like. His ranking reflects that proneness. 

8

Ryan Tannehill

Miami Dolphins

Ryan Tannehill will struggle without any legitimate receiving threats. Miami will look to use Reggie Bush in the running game and try to keep the Texans off the field. With Arian Foster a possible scratch, they may just have a chance to pull an upset. 

9

Matthew Stafford

Detroit Lions

Matthew Stafford

Stafford's three picks in Week 1 were a fluke. He'll bounce back to 2012 form and sync up with Calvin Johnson in San Francisco. The Niners have one of the most stifling run defenses in the league, so the Lions will rely heavily on Stafford's arm. 

10

Eli Manning

New York Giants

Eli Manning

11

Alex Smith

San Francisco 49ers

 

Smith will be asked to manage games, much like he did last season. Smith is an efficient passer, but won't light up the stat sheet. Smith has never thrown for more than 18 touchdowns in a season and the Niners throw the ball the least of any NFL team. Projected fantasy points: 220

12

Andy Dalton

Cincinnati Bengals

 

Dalton was one of the nice surprises last season. The second-round pick led the Bengals to the playoffs and displayed the poise of a veteran. A full offseason of work will help his development, but right now Dalton is more of a game manager than a stat rat. Projected fantasy points: 236

13

Blaine Gabbert

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Gabbert struggled last season as a rookie and never looked comfortable throwing the ball. He needs to show progress early this year or he may end up on the bench. The Jaguars added Justin Blackmon in the draft and Laurent Robinson in free agency, both are upgrades for Gabbert. Projected fantasy points: 167

14

Brandon Weeden

Cleveland Browns

 

The 28-year-old former minor league baseball player was recently named the starting quarterback in Cleveland, taking over for Colt McCoy. It's hard to get too excited about any Browns quarterback, especially a rookie. Projected fantasy points: 158

15

Christian Ponder

Minnesota Vikings

 

Ponder should improve in his second NFL season. He started 10 games for the Vikings as a rookie and will benefit from a full offseason. Also, the Vikings upgraded its horrid offensive line by adding first-round pick OT Matt Kalil. Ponder also gets a couple speedy receivers in Jerome Simpson and rookies Jarius Wright and Greg Childs. Projected fantasy points: 220

16

Colin Kaepernick

San Francisco 49ers

17

Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco

18

Kevin Kolb

Arizona Cardinals

Kevin Kolb gets the start by default because of an injured John Skelton. If he's able to stay in the pocket and make his reads, he may have some value as a QB2 this week. After all, he's throwing to Larry Fitzgerald. That's worth something.

19

Mark Sanchez

New York Jets

Mark Sanchez

 

Sanchez was a top 10 fantasy quarterback last season. He'll be asked to do more this year, but whether or not he can do more is the big question. The addition of Tim Tebow will give the Jets a different look in the red zone, which could impact Sanchez's fantasy stats. Projected fantasy points: 252

20

Matt Cassel

Kansas City Chiefs

 

Cassel is just two seasons removed from throwing 27 touchdowns for the Chiefs. But after missing seven games last season with a hand injury, and only throwing for 10 touchdowns, Cassel's days may be numbered in KC. Not helping matters is Dwayne Bowe's holdout, which could lead to the star wide receiver missing significant time during training camp and perhaps the season. Projected fantasy points: 230

21

Matt Schaub

Houston Texans

22

Michael Vick

Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick

23

Robert Griffin III

Washington Redskins

24

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Buffalo Bills

Ryan Fitzpatrick

25

Sam Bradford

St. Louis Rams

 

Bradford is entering his third NFL season and is coming off an ankle injury that kept out for six games last season. He has the talent to be a very good quarterback, but needs a better supporting cast. A healthy Danny Amendola and Steven Jackson, along with the addition of rookie WR Brian Quick should help Bradford's numbers, but don't expect a big leap. Projected fantasy points: 215  

26

Tim Tebow

New York Jets

If you have to start one of the New York Jets quarterbacks then you are either in a very large league or did some horrible, regretful drafting. If you must start one, hold your nose and pick Tebow. He has the ability to get you points with his feet. And if Sanchez gets pulled from the game (which isn't likely until about Week 4), then Tebow becomes a more valuable asset for any fantasy team.

Featured Writer

Cedric Hopkins

Cedric Hopkins runs this sports law/fantasy football blog. If you have issues with it, it's all his fault. Cedric was an athlete-student at the University of New Mexico (Basketball - Go Lobos!). He then morphed into a student-athlete when he attended law school in San Diego. Age replaced athleticism and now he writes appellate briefs for criminals (alleged criminals, of course) in state and federal cases, including writing U.S. Supreme Court briefs.

For years Cedric has researched and written about legal issues but maintained a love for sports. With FieldandCourt.com, he's combining his two passions: researching and writing about sports. When he's not in court arguing a case before a judge (or writing about himself in the third person), he'll be doing the same with his articles on FieldandCourt.com. Follow me, er, him on Twitter (opens in a new window).