2013 Keeper League Rankings
1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB - Age 29
The current gold standard among NFL quarterbacks. Imagine Rodgers' if the Packers had a viable OL and ground game. Still No. 1 even if Greg Jennings leaves in free agency.
2. Tom Brady, QB, NE - Age 35
Finished tied with Drew Brees atop the standard scoring rankings despite not having his stud tight ends for chunks of the season. Bet against the Golden Boy if you dare. Then again, safety blanket Wes Welker is a free agent. Top 5 no matter what.
3. Cam Newton, QB, CAR - Age 24
First half of the season, looked like we had a case of regression on our hands. Second half, we had a guy carrying fantasy teams to glory. Imagine the heights if Panthers straighten ground game and WR2 slot.
4. Drew Brees, QB, NO - Age 34
Sean Payton returning to the Saints sidelines might be single biggest transaction this offseason and a certain boon for Brees - and it's not like he was disastrous in 2012.
5. Matt Ryan, QB, ATL - Age 28
Throwing to Julio Jones and Roddy White is a good start for any quarterback. Picking up a playoff win should help the mental healing after blowing NFC Championship game lead. How Falcons address TE and RB slots determines whether Ryan falls down this list.
6. Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF - Age 25
The electric dual threat takes over the RG3 slot after directing the 49ers into the Super Bowl on the strength of his arm and the speed of his legs. Chemistry with Michael Crabtree is sincere. Finding such consistency with Vernon Davis would make Kaep uber scary.
7. Tony Romo, QB, DAL - Age 33
After veering into QBBC territory for a while, Romo dominated in weeks 12-16, scoring at 20 points four times in that stretch. If Dez Bryant avoids offseason shenanigans, the Cowboys passing game should click again.
8. Matthew Stafford, QB, DET - Age 25
Stafford can thank Calvin Johnson for this lofty status. Touchdowns cut in half from the 41 he threw in 2011, injuries cloud the Lions WR2 slot. Stafford still offers a true gunslinger mentality.
9. Peyton Manning, QB, DEN - Age 37
Doubters ate a healthy amount of crow after Manning not only survived a full 16-game schedule, but thrived. The multi-time MVP winner has stud WR options and that AFC West isn't overly formidable. Will be interesting to see how defenses adjust, especially since Manning looked shaky on deep balls.
10. Andrew Luck, QB, IND - Age 23
Prolific and clutch. Considering where the Colts ended 2011 and 2012, Luck's MVP candidacy arguably should have received more hype. Indy must fix OL so their franchise passer is not always running for safety.
11. Eli Manning, QB, NYG - Age 32
After moving off the QB1 bubble in 2012, the younger Manning moved right back on it after his latest up and down season. Needs a healthy Hakeem Nicks and a less leaky OL, but Eli has sleeper appeal in this range.
12. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT - Age 31
Still a better NFL than fantasy QB, but strong in all areas when healthy. Of course, Big Ben's health is a concern; hasn't played a full season since 2008. What Steelers do at WR, also a concern.
13. Russell Wilson, QB, SEA - Age 24
14. Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS - Age 23
Without the knee injury, RG3 is somewhere in the Top-5. Until we know when Griffin can play and at what level, he becomes this list's wildcard, Can still draft on potential and cover with high-end QB2.
15. Andy Dalton, QB, CIN - Age 25
Two seasons, two playoff appearances. Dalton threw seven more touchdowns and 400 extra yards than as a rookie. A.J. Green rules and Jermaine Gresham remains potent. Another scenario where solidifying the WR2 slot could raise the QBs game.
16. Joe Flacco, QB, BAL - Age 28
Nobody deserves being lumped in the middle of the pack more than the hot and cold Flacco. Lacks the upside of the studs, but is worthy of rostering unlike many below him. No fun in owning him. Blah, but not so bad.
17. Jay Cutler, QB, CHI - Age 30
Bears fans and fantasy owners are begging for offensive line help and any semblance of a tight end in Chicago - plus another sane season from Brandon Marshall. Having Alshon Jeffery for a full season alone should help Cutler.
18. Philip Rivers, QB, SD - Age 31
How the mighty have fallen. By the time training camp comes around and Rivers bonds with his new coach - and hopefully upgraded receivers - the perennial top 10 option might be closer to that range. Until then, yeesh.
19. Matt Schaub, QB, HOU - Age 31
Sure, Schaub threw for over 4,000 yards, but no longer is the Texans' QB one of the fantasy world's elite options. If anything, he's going the other way unless Andre Johnson gets younger - or Houston dramatically improves its other passing game weapons.
20. Sam Bradford, QB, STL - Age 25
No longer the next rising QB star, though Bradford showed promise with 21 touchdowns and 3,700 yards in 2012. Some interesting playmaking options exist in St. Louis, but for now Bradford lacks a go-to target.
21. Josh Freeman, QB, TB - Age 25
At one point in 2012 Freeman moved into QB1 status. Then came the final five weeks: 6TD, 10 INT, 51 completion percentage. Bucs have strong WR pair, but that end should have fantasy owners looking elsewhere for upside QB play.
22. Michael Vick, QB, PHI - Age 32
Until we know where he lands in 2013, kind of hard to slot Vick high, low or simply at all on this list. Hard imagining him landing in the QB1 range, but could be sneaky QBBC play in the right spot (Arizona?), maybe.
23. Ryan Tannehill, QB, MIA - Age 24
Suffers by comparison to the rock star rookies in his class, but Tannehill had a more traditional first year campaign. Considering Miami lacks even average WR depth, this could be a sleeper target should the Dolphins address that area.
24. Carson Palmer, QB, ARI - Age 33
The veteran QB basically remains on this list by default because, well, it's still hard to completely dismiss him. Legit deep threats on the roster and you would think the Raiders cannot be so bad another season. Then again
25. Jake Locker, QB, TEN - Age 24
Just entering his third season. Feels like he's been around. Still more athlete than passer, it's those athletic gifts that make Locker interesting. It's the injuries and inconsistency that should make fantasy owners leery.