Just hours away from the start of the highly-anticipated 2012 NFL regular season, it’s time to reveal my fantasy football quarterback rankings for Week 1′s action.
1. Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions)
Stafford should pick up where he left off with a favorable matchup in the Motor City against St. Louis. It will be up to him and Calvin Johnson to move the chains since the running game remains rather unreliable due to injuries.
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints)
Drew Brees looks to also pick up where he left off last season with another stellar showing against Washington. The New Orleans Saints prepare to play with a chip on their shoulder and the “us against the world” mentality this year.
3. Tom Brady (New England Patriots)
With a full assortment of talent at tight end and wide receiver, look for Tom Brady and company to pile up the fantasy points.
4. Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers manage to put up numbers like a machine from week-to-week, but the team faces a tough first draw against another NFC heavyweight with the San Francisco 49ers at home.
5. Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers)
Cam Newton travels to Tampa Bay to see if he can avoid a sophomore slum and continue to emerge in his second season. However, the Buccaneers are much-improved from last year and Newton will be without Steve Smith at full strength.
6. Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons)
With perhaps the best pair of wide outs in the league and a commitment to open things up on offense, Matty Ice should start his breakout fantasy season against the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead.
7. Tony Romo (Dallas Cowboys)
Whether or not he’s missing any of his favorite targets on Wednesday evening, Romo will work with what he has as best he can against the defending champs.
8. Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles)
Michael Vick looks to be able to play through his most recent rib injury and put up big numbers against the Browns.
9. Eli Manning (New York Giants)
Starts his title defense at home against Dallas. He has changed his perception and is finally getting the credit he deserves.
10. Jay Cutler (Chicago Bears)
In his first contest reunited with Brandon Marshall, Cutler looks to cook the Colts’ defense for four quarters.
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11. Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh Steelers)
Roethlisberger squares off with Peyton Manning in the Mile High City. Wide out Mike Wallace is back, but isn’t likely to be at 100 percent on Sunday night.
12. Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
He starts his new era in an unfamiliar home and an unfamiliar territory of low-end QB1.
13. Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
Philip Rivers looks to bounce back from a forgettable 2011 season against the Raiders. That might be a little easier said than done considering the Bolts’ history of slow starts.
Quarterbacks placed from 14th to 20th are pretty interchangable.
14. Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins)
It’s going to be very interesting to see how RGIII handles his first NFL test, especially considering it’s against the Saints in the Super Dome. At least he won’t have to worry about having a bounty on his head.
15. Jake Locker (Tennessee Titans)
Locker figures to have a bright future, but there will be some inevitable troubles along the way. Facing the Patriots to start the season might be one of them, especially since the team is short on receivers right now. Nevertheless, his numbers shouldn’t be that bad, considering the Patriots still have problems of their own on defense.
16. Joe Flacco (Baltimore Ravens)
Flacco will improve this season, but his early draw of the rival Bengals might cause that to happen a little later in September.
17. Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals)
Don’t expect a sophomore jinx for the second-year signal-caller, but don’t expect him to blow up the stats sheet in the season opener on Monday night at Baltimore, either.
18. Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Look for Josh Freeman to bounce back from last season with the addition of WR Vincent Jackson and inevitable improvements from WR Mike Williams, as well as the addition of rookie running back Doug Martin.
19. Alex Smith (San Francisco 49ers)
Alex Smith has more weapons to work with this year and the Packers were vulnerable against the pass last year.
20. Carson Palmer (Oakland Raiders)
If he can keep the turnovers down, carson Palmer should have a solid showing against San Diego in the season opener.