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Quarterback for 2012 was the best of times and at times it was the worst of times.  And how many times can you say ‘times’ without your audience getting annoyed?  This is a question I at times ask myself.  But enough about that, for every value play, there seemed to be an equal and opposite punch to the protective cup and even with those value plays, there were plenty that left their owners disappointed when the playoffs finally hit.  In either case, the season is now over so I’ll be revisiting my rankings and projections for the top 20 quarterbacks for 2012 and comparing them to how they did for the year.  Since we don’t yet have a player rater on the football side like baseball does, I’ll be utilizing yahoo for my final rankings because that’s where I play all my leagues and I’m too lazy to do anything else.  Hopefully we have our own player rater in place for the 2013 season, perhaps one that makes me 100% right.  But enough about my hopes and dreams, on with the show.  Here’s the top 20 quarterbacks for the 2012 fantasy football season…

Stats based on passing yards, passing touchdowns, interceptions, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns

1. Drew Brees - I’m not gonna lie to you, I’m kinda shocked.  Ok, not overly shocked but a little ‘hey, I didn’t think the guy who died on his team in weeks 13 and 14 could be ranked numero uno’ kind of shocked.  Overall, it wasn’t the season he had in 2011 but that could be said for nearly every signal caller in 2012 so you can’t hold that against him.  But you still can hold week 13 and 14 against him if you’d like.  I know I do.  Preseason Rank #3, 2012 Projections:  4400/35/15/60/0, Final Numbers:  5177/43/19/5/1

2. Aaron Rodgers - Top QB off the board in most leagues and he ends up the 2nd best fantasy caller on the year.  I know you wanna be disappointed but really, we’re talking about a miniscule difference here.  He was the 4th best before week 17 hit and now he’s the second but of course you don’t play week 17, right?  Please say yes.  Well in any case, you drafted him for consistency and I’d say being a top 5 QB is pretty much that.  Preseason Rank #1, 2012 Projections:  4200/40/5/200/2, Final Numbers:  4295/39/8/259/2

3. Tom Brady - Statistically, seemed to have the better season over Drew but it’s all about the touchdowns of which he had fewer.  Though looking back at this time of year is always fun.  Brady had more rushing touchdowns on the year than @DangeRussWilson heading into week 17.  Put that in your brain tank and slush it around for a bit.  Preseason Rank #2, 2012 Projections:  4500/35/10/100/1, Final Numbers:  4827/34/8/32/4

4. Cam Newton - Very interesting to see Cam in fourth.  For most of the season all I heard was ‘Cam is killing me’ and ‘would you trade Cam for Mark Ingram and a box of Magnums even though they won’t fit?’.  In the end, he admittedly had a rocky start to the year but came on when his owners needed him most.  Or at least the owners that traded Magnums for him when the situation presented itself.  Preseason Rank #5, 2012 Projections:  3800/20/15/500/10, Final Numbers:  3869/19/12/741/8

5. Robert Griffin, III - He was the top fantasy QB for most of the season and only got better coming off his bye week.  Then he got hurt and missed a game.  Then the game he did play you could tell he wasn’t quite himself.  Unfortch, this all happened during the fantasy playoffs so I’m sure there are some frustrated owners but the reality is, you drafted a back up QB and he ended up being in the top 5 on the year.  Can’t really get too mad about that.  Preseason Rank #11, 2012 Projections:  2012 Projections: 3500/22/18/500/6, Final Numbers:  3200/20/5/815/7

6. Peyton Manning - Totally screwed the pooch on this one.  What can I say, his injury made me leery.  Rare you see 36 year old dudes come back and play football at this level after that extensive of a surgery.  Heck, some guys would be sitting at home watching Judge Judy on disability benefits with that injury.  But that’s why Peyton is one of the best athletes to ever go on SNL.  Oh and why he’s one of the greatest QBs of all time.  At least I was close on the rushing yards, right?  Preseason Rank #13, 2012 Projections:  3800/26/8/10/0, Final Numbers:  4659/37/11/6/0

7. Matt Ryan – Talked him up all off-season and he did come out on a tear.  Then things went all cattywampus for awhile and made us distrust that which we’d found as a diamond in the rough for the draft.  In the end, what I finished that link off with ended up quite on target, ‘Overall, if he finishes as the 5th or 6th best quarterback at the end of 2012, I’m not going to be surprised.  If not, I still think you’re getting a bargain with how he’s being ranked.’  And the only thing I can add to that is…yeah, that’s just about it.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections:  2012 Projections: 4300/32/13/75/1, Final Numbers:  4719/32/14/141/1

8. Tony Romo - Romo proves the theory that it takes a season to decide a player’s worth.  No way anyone thinks Romo finishes in the top 10 QBs on the year, let alone top 15 the way he started.  But chuck in three 400 yard passing games on the year and nine games with over 300 passing yards and you get yourself up here despite having nearly the same TD:INT ratio as Philip Rivers on the year.  Yep, Rivers didn’t make the top 20.  Welcome to crazytown, fantasy footballers.  Preseason Rank #7, 2012 Projections:  4000/30/10/50/2, Final Numbers:  4903/28/19/49/1

9. Andrew Luck - Not to take anything away from Luck but I can promise you most of his value was squeezed out by about mid-season.  I remember because I told everyone to sell him while he was a top 5 quarterback stating it’s hard to keep up there when your TD:INT ratio is 16:16.  It was his ground touchdowns that were a huge factor in keeping him ranked so high.  He had 5 by week 10.  Read a little further to see what happened to that number.  Preseason unranked, 2012 Projections:  3600/22/25/150/0, Final Numbers:  4374/23/18/255/5

10. Matthew Stafford - I give Stafford’s season an incomplete.  He started off the season with the most dropped passes in the end zone and ended the year with about the same yardage pace he had as last year.  But when you have worse TD:INT splits then Luck…well, I’ll just say I’m amazed he finished this high given the year he struggled through and might be a bargain in 2013.  Preseason Rank #4, 2012 Projections:  4500/35/15/50/0, Final Numbers:  4967/20/17/126/4

11. Russell Wilson – If you told me before the season started we’d have 3 rookies in the top 12 QBs on the year and that one of them would tie Peyton’s rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, I would’ve shook my head at you.  In fact, if you told me that by week 7 or 8, I still would’ve denied the idea.  But it was clear about midway through the season, the training wheels came off for Wilson as he surged many teams into the playoffs.  To go from game manager to game changer is hard enough from year to year.  To do it in one season?  Oopha, I’m gonna like me some @DangeRussWilson next year.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  3118/26/10/489/4

12. Andy Dalton - I was pretty tepid about Dalton coming into the year.  I didn’t like the division he played in, I didn’t like the conservative playcalling and I really don’t trust gingers.  But Dalton changed my mind…well except for the part about gingers, I still hold true to that.  He’s not a QB I’d consider starting every week but by the stats he finished as a QB1 on the year.  All hail the Red Rocket!  Preseason Rank #16, 2012 Projections:  3600/22/12/150/1, Final Numbers:  3669/27/16/120/4

13. Josh Freeman - It’s like my entire clipboard tier just wanted to wiggle a little closer to the ‘playable’ tier.  Ask any Freeman owner and they’ll tell you ‘it was fun while it lasted’.  He was a top 10 QB for quite a while this season.  He might’ve even pushed his owners off starting their 1st stringer during the playoffs.  Thanks to his debacle in New Orleans, I’m pretty sure every Freeman owner wished he were back in chains despite having a successful year.  Preseason Rank #18, 2012 Projections:  3500/18/12/250/1, Final Numbers:  4065/27/17/139/0

14. Eli Manning - I got quite a few blasts for ranking him 10th from some random ‘liz’ when I did the initial rankings.  I have to assume it was Liz Claiborne because they sure as heck didn’t know what they were talking about.  Stick to apparel and let me handle the fantasy football, alright?!?  In the end, I wasn’t a huge Eli fan coming into the year as he’s just never really been a consistent option.  I’m just amazed he found a way to even undercut my undercutting.  Oh and before you think the end line looked ok, keep in mind week 17 – 208 with 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions – vastly improved his fantasy stock at season’s end.  He really wasn’t playable for half the year.  Preseason Rank #10, 2012 Projections:  4400/28/15/25/0, Final Numbers:  3948/26/15/30/0

15. Joe Flacco – I don’t understand you, Joe Flacco, I really don’t.  Given the tools surrounding him and the arm he has, we really should be able to expect more consistency and better numbers.  And yet here we are, looking back on yet another useful year that almost mirrors his last 3 with no recollection of when you would’ve really wanted to start him.  Preseason Rank #17, 2012 Projections:  3600/21/12/80/1, Final Numbers:  3817/22/10/22/3

16. Sam Bradford – You give me one good stretch of time where you would’ve played Bradford and I’ll tell you the secret of life.  Give up?  Good, I didn’t know the secret of life anyways.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  3450/20/12/121/1

17. Carson Palmer – If you gave Palmer a dollar and asked for change, you’d only get 1 quarter in return…the 4th.  Yep, I stole a LeBron James joke.  Deal with it.  The truth is, plenty of Palmer’s value was derived from dink, dunk passing during the 4th quarter after the Raiders had already been routed and the game was over.  It’s clear why the Raiders are such a shining beacon in the NFL of how they work with their young talent…wait, what?  Preseason Rank #19, 2012 Projections:  3700/22/15/50/0, Final Numbers:  4018/22/14/36/1

18. Matt Schaub – People lost their shizz after he hung a 500 yard passing game on the woeful Jags.  ‘Should I start him over Rodgers this week?’ was one I remember and the first thought that came to mind was ‘do you mean Jacquizz?’.  He is what he is and has been that for a while, peoples.  Preseason Rank #15, 2012 Projections:  3800/24/10/10/0, Final Numbers:  4008/22/12/-9/0

19. Ben Roethlisberger - Mispelledberger was having quite a strong season until injury struck.  Coming into the week 10 game vs the Chiefs, he had a TD:INT ratio of 16 to 4 and was looking like a top 10 QB.  Then he missed 3 weeks and came back looking a little worse for wear but the dream season had been crushed a bit.  The lone bright spot is his end of season rankings should hide him from owners for the 2013 campaign.  Either I smell a sleeper post in the future or my kitty litter box needs to be emptied.  My olfactory system is a little on the fritz right now.  Preseason Rank #12, 2012 Projections:  4000/28/18/50/1, Final Numbers:  3265/26/8/94/0

20. Ryan Fitzpatrick – I really get bored the moment I type his name.  Literally, I start looking for something to say and come up with nothing.  The only person that would bore me more would be Alex Smith and thankfully he didn’t make the rankings.  Excuse me, I think I need to go lie down…oh, I just woke from the most wonderful dream!  There was Jessica Alba, body paint, and everything was made out of bacon!  Oh, we’re still talking about Fitzpatrick…let’s get this over with.  Preseason Rank #20, 2012 Projections:  3600/21/20/175/1, Final Numbers:  3175/23/16/197/1

  1. Carl Weathers says:
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    Kaepernick?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Carl Weathers: This is a review of how players ranked for 2012 and Kaep only started 6 games. He’ll be a part of QB rankings in 2013 for sure, though.

  2. Cobb says:
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    So, who do you like more for next year, Cam or RG3?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Cobb: I like guys who stay healthy at the QB position. Cam is a runner but he’s smart about it. RG3 is the more gifted but I’d still want Newton for the security that should come with the QB position.

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