2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings by Tier: The Elite

Jul 22, 2013

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The 2013 crop of fantasy football quarterbacks is deeper than it has ever been. You can easily wait until the other 11 members of a 12-team fantasy league select their quarterback and still finish with a solid starting fantasy quarterback. Even though there are quality options later in the draft, there are still some elite options that figure to put up big numbers on a more consistent basis.
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Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Brady lost 169 receptions, 1,837 yards and 11 touchdowns when Wes Welker went to Denver and Aaron Hernandez got arrested. Rob Gronkowski has 38 touchdowns in his three seasons, but his health remains a question mark. Since 2007 Brady has thrown 187 touchdowns and just 45 interceptions. His arsenal doesn’t appear as potent as it has in year’s past, but until he shows signs of a decline, it’s hard not to rank him up there with the elite. Brady has thrown for 10,062 in the past two seasons. Weather can be an issue for the Patriots, but they only have one home game during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16).
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Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
If you’re impressed by Brady’s passing totals over the past two seasons, how about 10,653 yards and 89 touchdowns for Brees? Sure, he’s thrown 33 interceptions in that span, but that’s an afterthought when you’re putting up record numbers like Brees. He topped 300 yards 10 times last year and 13 in 2011. He has topped 4,300 yards in each of the past seven seasons. Brees has also thrown at least 33 touchdowns in the past five seasons. He’s a model of consistency. Sean Payton has returned from suspension, which should only help Brees continue his reign of dominance.
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Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas combined to catch 179 passes for 2,498 yards and 23 touchdowns last year. All they did this offseason was add Wes Welker, who caught 118 passes for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns. Welker has topped 100 catches in five of the past six years. Manning has three elite options at receiver. Like a fine wine Manning is getting better with age. He has topped 4,500 yards in the last three seasons he has played. He did miss the 2011 season with a neck injury, but he returned last year with his second highest passing (4,659) and touchdown (37) totals of his career. He threw for 300 yard nine times last year. Denver plays at home in Weeks 14 and 15, which is a reason for pause. It’s not enough to keep him out of the elite territory though.
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Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton’s numbers regressed last year, but it’s hard to be upset about 3,869 passing yards, 741 rushing yards, 19 passing touchdowns and eight rushing touchdowns. His interception total decreased from 17 to 12, which offset some of the decline. He only threw for 300 yards in three games last year, but he ran for 50 in seven. Newton’s size (6’5″, 245 pounds) alleviate some of the concerns associated with a running quarterback.
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Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers continues to pile up the numbers. He threw for 4,295 yards and 39 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. That’s 84 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the past two seasons. Over the past five seasons Rodgers has averaged 4,266.4 passing yards, 279 rushing yards, 34 passing touchdowns and 3.6 rushing touchdowns. Rodgers averaged just 9.2 interceptions during that span. He’s my top-ranked quarterback option.
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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
While Manning has the best trio of receivers in the league, Ryan has the best duo. Roddy White and Julio Jones combined for 171 catches for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez chipped in 93 catches for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. The Falcons added Steven Jackson, who has averaged 45.2 receptions per season during his nine-year career. Jacquizz Rodgers caught 53 passes out of the backfield for the Falcons last year. In other words, Ryan has plenty of firepower. He threw for 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns last year.
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Take a look at the second tierthird tier, and fourth tier of fantasy quarterbacks.
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