The Shortened 8: Top 10 Drafts for Fantasy Football Quarterbacks for 2011-12

Unlike drafting running backs, where even the best generally decline the following season, fantasy football quarterbacks are often more consistent, despite changing their wide receivers, tight ends and other aspects of the offense.  It’s a broad generalization but fairly accurate.  Two issues stand in the way though even with a potentially shortened eight-game regular season: injuries and rookies.  However, with this abbreviated upcoming season, untested NFL rookies in the foreseeable future, aside from a non-resolution of the collective bargaining agreement, are perhaps the hindrance of most quarterbacks for creating a boom or bust season.

Must-Haves

  • Philadelphia Eagles Michael Vick.  Although he had a spectacular season for most of last season, Michael Vick did suffer injuries early in the season and pushed through injuries in the close of the season.  However, with a shortened season, this should benefit him tremendously.  He should be capable of putting up QB1 statistics early, but coming into the fantasy football playoffs, I would definitely recommend having a pretty good backup.
  • New England Patriots Tom Brady. Goes without saying…
  • Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning. Same although he’s been in decline comparatively to Tom Brady.  However, he is still an elite quarterback.
  • New Orleans Saints Drew Brees.  Same.
  • Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers.  He’s a solid QB1 with lots of talent behind him.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger. He’s a low to solid QB1.
  • Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan.  With the talent behind him, it could be a matter of time before he’s about as good as Saints quarterback Drew Brees.  With the abbreviated season, he’s worth a high-end QB2.
  • Houston Texans Matt Schaub.
  • Baltimore Ravens Joe Flacco.  He’s always seemingly a  solid QB2 and worth a reserve, with use against the appropriate opponents he can fleece.
  • Kansas City Chiefs Matt Cassel.  He’s like Tom Brady-lite.  He needs a few more seasons under his belt as he gains experience and skills to match.

Avoid

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks.
  • Arizona Cardinals quarterbacks.
  • Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks.
  • Carolina Panthers quarterbacks.

Potential X-Factors

  • Philadelphia Eagles Kevin Kolb.  He does have potential, but he needs a team and a coach that will stand by him as he learns and adjusts to whatever system is thrown his way.
  • Washington Redskins Donovan McNabb.  This former Pro Bowler could have signs of life.  Or not.  He’s worth a flier at least. Or not.
  • Washington Redskins Rex Grossman.  Even though he had admirable statistics when he took over during the last three games of last season, I don’t think he’s quite proven himself quite yet.  He could return to the erratic Rex Grossman of old, which he demonstrated against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers Josh Freeman.  Although his team improved significantly with him at the helm, he should be a QB2 going forward.
  • Buffalo Bills Ryan Fitzpatrick.  He did show moments of brilliance last season, but he requires more consistency going forward.  He’s worth a flier.
  • St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford.  He’s been quite a spark to the team.  Now he needs to develop good and consistent quarterbacking skills…

This is a very early list of fantasy football quarterbacks to draft when there is no upcoming season in view quite yet.  However, this list should help some plan ahead although this list is very speculative.  This list, as well as the upcoming lists of running backs, wide receivers and defenses will undergo revision (perhaps) as a resolution of the work stoppage comes into view.  With the third secret meeting to date between the NFL and the players trade association, it does bring some optimism, but it should be tempered as the cogs of the legal system still have to resolve themselves.

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