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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
Cowboys experiment with Jeremy Mincey at defensive tackle
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:53 am ET) The Cowboys can experiment with their defensive line because they have such an abundance of talent.

On Wednesday, the team tweaked defensive end Jeremy Mincey's role when they moved him in to play defensive tackle, per The Dallas Morning News.

The Cowboys added Greg Hardy and drafted Randy Gregory to bolster the defensive line this offseason. With the newly-added depth, the team is trying out new looks to determine what works best.

“We were working a bunch of different combinations [Wednesday], which was great,” Mincey said. “Randy Gregory is coming along. Really solid pass rusher. They had me and Mr. Kraken (Hardy) here working together. You know what I mean? A lot of good, man. We’ve got a lot of depth, a lot of players you can trust. I think we’ll make some impactful plays for the Cowboys.”

Mincey led the team with six sacks last year.


Report: Ravens to sign veteran CB Cassius Vaughn
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(11:41 am ET) The Ravens have agreed to terms on a contract with cornerback Cassius Vaughn , according to The Baltimore Sun

Vaughn is being signed to a veteran minimum deal. 

This appears to be a move to add depth to a position that was depleted with injuries a year ago. The Ravens recently signed Kyle Arrington to the secondary as well. 

With the Lions in 2014, Vaughn started five of the 13 games he appeared in and intercepted two passes. 


Bucs sign K Brandon Bogotay, waive C Ben Gottschalk
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:38 am ET) The Buccaneers were busy during the third day of organized team activities.

The team announced it has signed kicker Brandon Bogotay and waived center Ben Gottschalk.

Bogotay was a tryout player at rookie minicamp and previously a member of the Browns' practice squad. Gottschalk was with the Chiefs' practice squad last season.


Lions DT Haloti Ngata wants to fill void left by Suh, Fairley
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:28 am ET) There isn't much Haloti Ngata has to prove on the football field. He's a five-time Pro Bowler and is widely considered one of the best defensive players in the game.

The 31-year-old, though, wants to prove he can fill the void left by the departure of former Lions players Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, per The Detroit Free Press.

"You definitely miss (Ndamukong) Suh and (Nick) Fairley, but I'm here to try to ease that a little bit," he said. "The guys that have been here are kind of showing the younger guys what it's been about here. I think they're doing a great job and hopefully once I catch on I can continue to push the younger guys along and get some wins."

Ngata, who is in the last year of his current contract, is embracing the different schemes he's been involved in. He's being asked to do a number of different things he didn't do for the last nine seasons as a member of the Ravens.

"I love it," Ngata said. "Just the defense that (Teryl Austin is) running here, it's awesome. It's a change for me. A lot of the attack, penetrate, aggressive defense, it's awesome. I still got to get used to it, but so far I'm loving it."

Ngata recorded 31 tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in 12 games last season.


Falcons' Robert Alford ready to expand his game
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(11:06 am ET) Falcons cornerback Robert Alford knows that in order to continue to play at a high level he has to keep expanding his game, per ESPN.com.

Alford wants to be ready if his coaches approach him and ask for the 26-year-old to move down to the slot and play more in a nickleback role.

"I'd love to play outside and nickel," Alford said. "I told the coaches I'd love to play both. Wherever they need me, I'm willing to play. As long as I'm on the field being able to compete and show my talent, I feel good."

Alford recorded 31 tackles and three interceptions in 10 games last season.


Chargers' Franklin: Rivers more 'approachable' than Manning
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) Chargers offensive lineman Orlando Franklin, in an appearance on NBC Sports Network's Pro Football Talk Live, said Philip Rivers is a more "approachable" quarterback than Peyton Manning

Franklin spent the past four years with the Broncos and has played with Manning the past three seasons. He joined the Chargers this offseason as a free agent. 

“[O]ne thing I noticed immediately when I got here is that Philip Rivers is definitely more approachable than Peyton,” Franklin said. “I don’t know if it was because I was a lot younger being that I met Peyton in my second season and now meeting Phillip going into my fifth season but definitely I will say Phillip is more approachable than Peyton.”


Lions DT Caraun Reid taking strides during early OTA's
by Ruben Palacios | Staff Writer
(10:28 am ET) With Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley gone, there will be a lot of opportunities for defensive tackle Caraun Reid to contribute for the Lions, per mlive.com.

Though it's still early during organized team activities, Reid has impressed coach Jim Caldwell thus far. 

"I think he's done a tremendous job just in terms of his approach to it," Caldwell said. "He looks good, increased his strength, his lean muscle has gone up, I mean, the whole gamut. So, hopefully we'll see that translate when we get an opportunity to go out there and go after it."

Reid, a fifth-round pick out of Princeton in 2014, has gotten a majority of the first-team reps during OTA's, which defensive coordinator Teryl Austin says ties back to the hard work he put in during the offseason.

"He's trained really hard, he's in really good shape," Austin said. "He looks good right now. Obviously, we'll have to wait and see once we get to pads where we are, but I like what he's done so far."

Reid appeared in 12 games last season and recorded just two tackles.


Colts Bjoern Werner: 'I can be a baller' when healthy
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(10:26 am ET) Since he was selected in the first-round of the 2013 draft, Colts defensive end Bjoern Werner has been banged up and bruised with various injuries. 

For Werner, playing through these ailments has frustrated him through the first two years of his career. He's totaled 68 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks through 28 regular-season games int wo seasons. 

"I don't want to sound cocky, but personally, I feel like when I'm out there and healthy, I can be a baller," Werner said, via the Indianapolis Star. "I can do it all. You always have to get that mojo going of course. But I'm telling you, I'm confident I can be an NFL player and a starter in this league."


Jets' Bowles: Leonard Williams 'more mature than the average rookie'
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(10:20 am ET) Jets coach Todd Bowles has been impressed with rookie defensive end Leonard Williams' maturity since bringing him on board. 

"He's more mature than the average rookie," Bowles said, via NJ.com. "He's grasping the system quickly and he's moving around well out of pads, but to really judge him, you have to see him in pads for the linemen."

Williams was taken by the Jets with the sixth-overall pick, even though the organization has plenty of defensive line talent on the roster. Bowles said that Williams doesn't look the part of someone coming out of college when it comes to the way he presents himself on and off the field. 

"Just the way he carries himself," Bowles said. "He doesn't carry himself like a young 20-year-old. He's got years beyond his age and the way he comes in and walks into it, treating it professionally."


Jaguars DE Dante Fowler has surgery to repair torn ACL
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(10:14 am ET) Jaguars rookie defensive end Dante Fowler underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL sustained in rookie minicamp, according to the Florida Times-Union

Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery. 

Fowler will miss his rookie season as a result. He was the team's first-round selection and the draft's third-overall selection. 


 
 
 
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