While looking over last year’s top performers for fantasy football, I found that QBs held the 8 of the top 10 spots and 13 of the top 20. There are two ways to look at this.
One way is to think that QBs are earning more points than the other positions, so therefore, it would be wise to take one with your first overall pick. In ESPN standard scoring leagues the first Non-QB to place is Ray Rice at 6th with 283 points. Aaron Rodgers placed first with 385 points and Matthew Stafford placed 5th with 333 points. Anybody can tell you that kind of point margin can go a long way towards winning your league.
The other way to look at this, is that if everybody in a 10 man league takes a QB you can still pick up a top 20 player in round 2, or since everybody has one you can wait until round 3. You see Ray Rice was the first RB and he was the 6th highest in points. There are 3 RBs in the top 20: Ray Rice (283 points), MJD (249 points), and Arian Foster (238 points), the next best placement is Michael Turner at 22nd (203 points). And by that way of thinking if you can land Ray Rice instead you should be able to pick up a good QB and beat out the next best RB by 34 points.
There is no telling how the draft is going to turn out, you really have no idea how the other people are going to draft. There will probably be a few WRs taken in the first round as well as QBs and WRs, but I have seen more and more QBs taken in the first round. And with Matthew Berry talking up the consistency and predictability of the top-tier QBs in his draft day manifesto, there will be headhunters for at least the top 3 right off the bat. After I pointed out how Ray Rice should be the #1 pick, I then tend to agree that that if you can not grab Ray Rice with your first pick you should grab one of the top QBs. Here is how and why I think the QBs should break down.
- Matthew Stafford – Not only did he manage to throw for over 5k yards but he also managed 41 TDs. Not only is he throwing to arguably the top WR in the game, but the Lions are getting Mikel Leshoure back, Jahvid Best is healthy (and will not have to be the main guy), and Kevin Smith looked good when he played. The Lions also managed to draft an OT and WR that are both highly touted and Titus Young really came on towards the end of last year. Add in the two solid receiving TEs and you have a recipe for success.
- Aaron Rodgers – I don’t think this needs a lot of explanation but I will say that they have one of the best pass-catching TEs in the game with Jermichael Finley, but their WR corps is nothing to sneeze at either. I also happen to believe personally that Aaron Rodgers is the best QB in the game. The only reason I place him second here, is because, I think the Lions edge them out just a little, in the talent and depth of the skills positions, and the fact the Lions will probably be in more shootouts.
- Tom Brady – He is always solid and has two big time TEs and Wes Welker who all find ways to make yards after the catch, throw in Belicheck’s mind for the game, and the way Tom Brady manages the game and I don’t see why he doesn’t belong high on this list.
- Drew Brees – Some people may think I am crazy for placing him 4th on the QB list, but change and instability are two things that make me very nervous about fantasy football players. With the mastermind Sean Payton suspended for a year, I think there will be a little bit of a step back. Of course I am sure the playbook is mostly the same and I have no question in the ability of Drew Brees, not to mention another big time receiving TE and top-notch WRs there as well, so I can’t knock him back very far.
- Cam Newton – Rounding out the list is the best athelete to play the position. As a rookie he threw for 4051 yards and 21 TDs, plus he ran for 706 yds and another 14 TDs. No need to tell you that those rushing TDs are extremely valuable. Especially when he ran for the second most TDs in the league. As I had pointed out in my Ray Rice article, I love players that are like getting two for one. I am not excited about the receiving options for the Panthers but when you center the offense around one guy like they do, it is usually a pretty safe bet.
Granted, I am only giving you six players here to look at for your first pick but have no fear I will be posting a full draft ranking later that should help you through the rest.