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Top 15 quarterbacks for 2013

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Editor's note: Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Nathan Zegura will share a snapshot of their rankings in January to give owners something to ponder.

Top 15 quarterbacks for 2013
Jamey Eisenberg
Dave Richard
Nathan Zegura
1. Aaron Rodgers, GB 1. Drew Brees, NO 1. Drew Brees, NO
2. Drew Brees, NO 2. Peyton Manning, DEN 2. Aaron Rodgers, GB
3. Tom Brady, NE 3. Aaron Rodgers, GB 3. Tom Brady, NE
4. Cam Newton, CAR 4. Tom Brady, NE 4. Cam Newton, CAR
5. Peyton Manning, DEN 5. Cam Newton, CAR 5. Peyton Manning, DEN
6. Matt Ryan, ATL 6. Matt Ryan, ATL 6. Matt Ryan, ATL
7. Matthew Stafford, DET 7. Matthew Stafford, DET 7. Matthew Stafford, DET
8. Tony Romo, DAL 8. Tony Romo, DAL 8. Tony Romo, DAL
9. Andrew Luck, IND 9. Andrew Luck, IND 9. Robert Griffin III, WAS
10. Eli Manning, NYG 10. Robert Griffin III, WAS 10. Andrew Luck, IND
11. Robert Griffin III, WAS 11. Russell Wilson, SEA 11. Eli Manning, NYG
12. Russell Wilson, SEA 12. Eli Manning, NYG 12. Josh Freeman, TB
13. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 13. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT 13. Colin Kaepernick, SF
14. Colin Kaepernick, SF 14. Colin Kaepernick, SF 14. Russell Wilson, SEA
15. Andy Dalton, CIN 15. Andy Dalton, CIN 15. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
I'll take Rodgers at the top spot again because he's finished as the No. 1 or 2 Fantasy quarterback each of the past four years. Even in what was perceived as a down year for him in 2012 he was just two touchdowns and 100 passing yards behind Brees for the No. 1 spot. ... Peyton Manning just had his fifth year with at least 4,300 passing yards and 30 touchdowns and has the best receiving corps in the NFL. ... I was already concerned about Griffin before his knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and LCL because he struggled toward the end of his rookie year. After Week 7 he had just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points with both coming against two terrible defenses in Dallas and Philadelphia. He remains a No. 1 quarterback in 2013, but don't draft him before Round 6. And it is imperative to pair him with a high-end No. 2 option like Roethlisberger or Kaepernick. ... Stafford had 21 fewer passing touchdowns in 2012 than he did in 2011, and he finished as the No. 12 Fantasy quarterback as a result. He also had Calvin Johnson get tackled at the 1-yard line five times. Give him those 30 points if Johnson ended up scoring, and he moves up to No. 8. He'll rebound. ... Eli Manning had five games with at least three touchdowns at home in 2012 and three games on the road with no touchdowns. He's a top bounce-back candidate with a healthy Hakeem Nicks and a developing weapon in Rueben Randle. ... I love the upside of Wilson and Kaepernick, but they have a lot to prove to be considered reliable. Wilson obviously has the better track record since he was a Top 12 Fantasy passer in eight of his final nine games. Kaepernick did that in just four of his seven starts. -- Jamey Eisenberg
Be prepared to pass on a quarterback in Round 1, if not the first few rounds in typical leagues with 12 teams or fewer. There's just too much talent on the board when everyone needs to start just one quarterback. The best plan could be to wait until the third, fourth and fifth rounds to snare a passer. I like any of the Top 12 quarterbacks to be my starter in 2013. ... I originally had Griffin inside my Top 5 but couldn't see myself picking him over the likes of Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. Since then he's suffered a major knee injury and has fallen to 10th overall. That ranking is wholly dependent on him being available for the start of the season; any indication that he's behind in his rehab and he'll slide out of the Top 12 for sure. Also, anyone who drafts RG3 should also plan to pick another quarterback within the Top 15 in case he's not ready or not as effective as we hope. ... Putting Luck and Wilson as low-end starters is a nod to both of them improving this offseason. The key with taking either one of them is to also draft a veteran as a backup. Landing Luck/Roethlisberger or Wilson/Dalton should provide some stablility (and depth) at the position with Round 6-9 picks. ... It's eerie how all three of us have similar rankings -- the top 15 players are the same and they're basically tiered similarly. That could suggest that Fantasy owners will think similarly on Draft Day and the order in which quarterbacks will get taken will be predictable. -- Dave Richard
The quarterback position is deeper than ever as we head into the 2013 season. All 15 of these guys have Top 10 potential to me and I think we have a couple of tiers of distinction here. ... Brees, Rodgers and Brady are the cream of the crop and my Top 3 but I would not take them in the first round. ... Newton and Peyton Manning are the next two on my list and all could potentially finish No. 1 overall at the end of the year. ... Stafford (who will have more touchdowns in 2013) and Ryan could both finish in the Top 3 and even Romo could make a massive jump with Dez Bryant going to the next level. ... Griffin has dropped from No. 5 overall in the first release of these rankings to No. 9 given his recent ACL/LCL surgery. ... I am not at all worried about RG3 the passer and expect him to be ready to go early in the year, but he could see a drop off in his rushing totals and that uncertainty is why he is down. ... Griffin will move back into the Top 6-7 depending on his recovery and ability to be the dual threat quarterback that made him so productive for Fantasy owners. ... That gives us nine very elite quarterbacks and if Luck can cut down on his turnovers (do not forget that Peyton Manning chopped off 11 turnovers in his second season) we have 10. ... Eli will bounce back with a healthy Hakeem Nicks along with Rueben Randle's continued development. ... I know that the Buccaneers really want to get a top pass catching tight end for Freeman, who could easily be a Top 5 quarterback if he cuts down on his turnovers. ... Kaepernick and Wilson (I'd like to see more consistent passing yardage) could easily jump into the Top 7 with their ability to both run and pass the football and Big Ben is a solid No. 15 on the list. ... The quarterback position is loaded and if you snag one of the first eight, you will be in great shape in 2013. If you miss on those guys, you still have a great chance to get an elite point producer -- Nathan Zegura
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Player News
Anthony Davis has shoulder surgery
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis had surgery on his left shoulder recently, reports CSNBayArea.com. Davis, who has not missed a start in his four NFL seasons, said he suffered the injury Dec. 15 against the Buccaneers.

Davis posted a photo on Instagram with his left arm in a sling.

“Never made excuses, just got the job done,” Davis wrote. “This game has a way of seeing what you're really made of. One of the reasons I love it. Next season I get to use both arms."


Matthew Stafford: New offense will be just as aggressive
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford began learning the team's new offense this week. While the scheme likely won't be as pass-heavy and will include more short crossing routes, Stafford said Detroit won't sacrifice its aggressiveness, reports the Detroit News.

“We were a pretty aggressive offense last year,” Stafford said. “And I am sure with some of the guys we have on the outside to make plays and in the backfield, whether it’s throwing the ball 50 yards in the air or throwing it 5 yards and letting guys run with it, we’re always about trying to make big plays.

“We are trying to be smart with the ball, too, but big plays in this league lead to points which inevitably lead to wins."


Evan Mathis won't hold out
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Eagles guard Evan Mathis, who's unhappy with his contract, said he won't hold out, reports CSNPhilly.com. Mathis is scheduled to make $5.15 million this year.

He vowed that the contract issue won't become a distraction.

“I’m not going to let anything distract me from my job, which is to play football," he said. "And I can handle anything you guys (reporters) throw at me. So that’s not going to distract me. If you want to keep asking questions, I’m here to answer them. So it doesn’t really bother me, and if people want to keep tweeting to me I’m right there. I’m wide open. I’m easy to get to, so it’s not going to be a distraction."


Panthers exercise 5th-year option on Cam Newton
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) The Panthers made it official, excercising the 2015 option on quarterback Cam Newton, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The option is worth about $15 million.

Newton is recovering from ankle surgery but is expected back for training camp.


Armanti Edwards trying out for Seahawks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Receiver Armanti Edwards is working out for the Seahawks, reports ESPN's Adam Caplan. He had a 10-yard catch for the Browns last season before going on IR with an ankle injury in November.

Robert Griffin III embracing Jay Gruden's approach
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III declined to compare new coach Jay Gruden with former coach Mike Shanahan, but RG3 made it clear he's enjoying working with Gruden.

"I just know that Jay sees things from a quarterback’s perspective, having been a quarterback, and being a younger coach," Griffin told the Washington Post. "He knows quarterbacks need weapons, so we’ve added weapons. He knows quarterbacks need protection, so we’ve added protection. Really, in this league and this game, it’s about making the quarterback comfortable, and that’s what he’s in the process of doing, and at the end of the day, it’s on me to make everything work, and that’s what I’m going to do.

"Coach is giving me all the proper tools, and he’s putting the tools in the shed," Griffin added. "I’m ready to go to work. I’ve got my hard hat on, and I think everybody else [does] too."

Griffin told the paper his top offseason priorities are to re-establish sound fundamentals and regain confidence after a year he described as “a whole journey of second-guessing and wondering."


A.J. Green bulks up to 214 pounds
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Bengals receiver A.J. Green has added six pounds to 214, mostly in the upper body, reports the team's website. The three-time Pro Bowler said he wants to get more physical so he can better beat coverage at the line of scrimmage.

The 6-4 Green set career highs with 98 catches for 1,426 yards last season and matched his career best with 11 touchdowns.


Victor Cruz not sold on Rueben Randle?
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Giants receiver Victor Cruz doesn't sound certain Rueben Randle can ably replace Hakeem Nicks. In an interview with NFL Network, Cruz suggested the Giants take a receiver at No. 12 overall in the draft because the team "definitely" needs help at the position.

"A (big-play receiver) is something we need in this offense to be successful," Cruz said. "An outside guy that can do the job and that can help fuel all the other receivers in the locker room and put some fire up under them to get them where they have to be."

Cruz hopes the G-Men take Mike Evans, a 6-5 receiver out of Texas A&M.


Jeremy Maclin: Offense will be 'just fine' without D-Jax
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin said DeSean Jackson is one of the league's better playmakers, but Philly will be "just fine" without him, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"I have faith in the offense and I have faith in the guys that we have in the locker room and on the football field," Maclin said. "Chip said it himself: the offense is not built around one guy. We have multiple guys that go out there and make plays, so I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do this year."


Aldon Smith's case referred for 'misdemeanor consideration'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4/24/2014) 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, accused of making a fake bomb threat at LAX airport April 13, had his case referred for "misdemeanor consideration" by the Los Angeles County District Attorney, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

Smith is participating in the team's offseason program this week. He made the alleged threat during security screening, the paper said.

Smith also is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges stemming from an alleged drunk driving accident and felony weapons possession, the report said.


 
 
 
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