The elite QBs will be the top scorers in fantasy and worthy of a first-round pick.
Aaron Rodgers, GB
4,643 yards, 45 TDs, 6 INTs,
In the argument to be the first-overall pick in your draft.
Tom Brady, NE
5,235 yards, 39 TDs, 12 INTs, 378.3
Always a safe bet to be one of the top QBs in fantasy football.
Drew Brees, NO
5,476 yards, 46 TDs, 14 INTs, 405.64
The Saints are going to be looking for vengeance after bounty scandal.
Matt Stafford, DET
5,038 yards, 41 TDs, 16 INTs, 359.32
The last of three 5,000-yard QBs is least likely to reproduce the feat.
Cam Newton, CAR
4,051 yards, 21 TDs, 17 INTs, 386.34
Felt some growing pains towards end of record-setting rookie season.
Michael Vick, PHI
3,303 yards, 18 TDs, 14 INTs, 247.02
Has already been hurt twice in the pre-season and has only played 16 games once in his career.
Eli Manning, NYG
4,933 yards, 29 TDs, 16 INTs, 296.82
Has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in each of past three seasons.
Tony Romo, DAL
4,184 yards, 31 TDs, 10 INTs, 285.96
This could be a make-or-break season for ’Boys and Romo needs to perform.
Philip Rivers, SD
4,624 yards, 27 TDs, 20 INTs, 274.56
Losing Vincent Jackson hurts, but Rivers has done well with far worse.
Jay Cutler, CHI
2,319 yards, 13 TDs, 7 INTs, 143.26
Being reunited with Marshall finally gives him a real No. 1 receiving target.
Peyton Manning, DEN
Did not play — neck surgery
Four-time MVP is one of the biggest gambles in the draft. I wouldn’t expect 16 games from him.
Matt Ryan, ATL
4,177 yards, 29 TDs, 12 INTs, 285.48
Another top-10 fantasy QB that is flying under the radar. Falcons are going to try to open up the offence.
Robert Griffin III, WAS
Won’t have Newton-like immediate impact, but should produce decent numbers.
Matt Schaub, HOU
2,479 yards, 15 TDs, 6 INTs, 164.06
Had a career-high in YPA before suffering season-ending foot injury and plays in weak division.
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
4,077 yards, 21 TDs, 14 INTs, 230.08
Steelers finally invested picks in linemen to help protect him. Will be forced to throw with lack of running game.
Josh Freeman, TB
3,592 yards, 16 TDs, 22 INTs, 227.08
Has a new no-nonsense coach that should kick him into gear.
Joe Flacco, BAL
3,610 yards, 20 TDs, 12 INTs, 214.40
Still looking for a big contract extension, but really has to earn it after a down 2011.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, BUF
3,832 yards, 24 TDs, 23 INTs, 245.78
Poor performance late last season can be chalked up to rib injury.
Andrew Luck, IND
Won’t have many weapons to work with in Indy, but you know he’ll start.
Carson Palmer, OAK
2,753 yards, 13 TDs, 16 INTs, 151.12
Having a full off-season to work with receivers will certainly help chemistry.
Andy Dalton, CIN
3,398 yards, 20 TDs, 13 INTs, 220.12
Another year with A.J. Green will only improve the young duos’ numbers.
Sam Bradford, STL
2,164 yards, 6 TDs, 6 INTs, 93.16
Lack of receiving weapons is a real concern for Bradford in St. Louis.
Mark Sanchez, NYJ
3,474 yards, 26 TDs, 18 INTs, 255.26
This may surprise you, but the Sanchize a top-10 fantasy QB last season.
Alex Smith, SF
3,144 yards, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 216.66
An upgraded receiving core will only help the former No. 1 pick.
Matt Cassel, KC
1,713 yards, 10 TDs, 9 INTs, 105.02
Has failed to live up to hype since coming over from New England.
Jake Locker, TEN
542 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 49.28
Beat out Hasselbeck for the starting role. Excels on the ground as well.
Tim Tebow, NYJ
1,729 yards, 12 TDs, 6 INT, 205.16
Even though he’s not starting, someone in your league will draft him.
Matt Flynn, SEA
518 yards, 6 TDs, 2 INTs, 46.12
He hasn’t won the starting job yet, but he is the front-runner.
Christian Ponder, MIN
1,853 yards, 13 TDs, 13 INTs, 131.02
Passing game will be key for Vikes while AP returns from torn ACL.
Kevin Kolb, ARI
1,955 yards, 9 TDs, 8 INTs, 106.70
Can’t seem to take advantage of getting to throw to Larry Fitzgerald.
MORE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL? UGH
The bane of fantasy players existence is back this season and it’s going to be worse than ever. It’s Thursday Night Football and this year, it’s unavoidable.
Yes, the geniuses at the NFL gave every team in the league at least one game on a Thursday this season, starting with Week 1
— although technically the season-opening Cowboys-Giants tilt is on a Wednesday.
That means you’ll have to deal with early injury reports for guys that are playing on just three days’ rest. You’ll have to deal with teams potentially resting stars late in their previous games if it’s a blowout and a Thursday nighter is next on tap.
Worst of all, you’ll have to deal with some of your guys playing in those terrible prime time games.
Teams look unprepared in such tilts – on both sides of the ball – so you never know what you’ll be getting from your star on any given week.
But, like I said, everyone’s going to have to deal with it.
At least the times for the second game of doubleheaders have changed. Those pesky 4:15 starts that nearly always had some overlap with the early games will now kickoff at 4:25, giving you an extra 10 minutes to update your lineup.
Since we’ve only broken down players by the positions they play, we might as well give you a mock of what the first two rounds of your draft could probably look like.
I’ve done this in a standard-format, 10-team league with a snake-style draft (order is reversed for the second round).
After the first two round, you’ll likely know where your roster is heading and how you want to build it anyways.
1. Arian Foster, RB, HOU
2. LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
3. Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
4. Ray Rice, RB, BAL
5. Tom Brady, QB, NE
6. Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
7. Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
8. Drew Brees, QB, NO
9. Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
10. Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
11. Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
12. Roddy White, WR, ATL
13. Matt Forte, RB, CHI
14. Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
15. Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
16. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
17. Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
18. DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
19. Cam Newton QB, CAR
20. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC