It is fantasy football draft time once again, and that means it is time to figure out who should be drafted early and who might slip to later rounds as wonderful sleeper picks. With a number of big stories, such as the ESPN announcement on Aug. 30 that Robert Griffin III is cleared to play but still not named the opening day starter, here is a look at how the quarterbacks break down by tier on the fantasy football 2013 draft cheat sheet.
When it comes to an elite quarterback, you are talking about someone who should be drafted in the second or third round, although some will reach for one of these names in the first round of many fantasy football drafts. There are three names that belong on this list, and all three are men that can be counted on every week of the NFL season that they play.
These men are Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, three men who will hit, or eclipse, 5,000 passing yards and 40 touchdowns.
Second Tier Quarterbacks
Once those first three names are gone, there are still plenty of quarterbacks who will help you win, but have some questions whether it comes to matchups or concerns in the passing game. The biggest name here is Tom Brady. Brady would have been on the upper tier if he had not lost his three biggest receiving targets from 2012, and only one of those men will return to him at all in 2013.
Other names on this tier, which should be drafted between the third and fifth rounds of most fantasy football drafts, are Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford and Tony Romo. All five of these quarterbacks have the talent to reach the first tier, but there are questions with injuries, decision making and supporting cast members holding them back some.
The Other Starters
Once those eight names are gone, that leaves four players left in a 12-team league, and the good thing about the quarterback position is that it is deep. There is even a chance to get a starter if one team in your league makes a boneheaded move and drafts a backup quarterback early. The four names on this list are Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Matt Schaub.
When it comes time to draft your backup, know there are still quality names on this list that you can start on a regular basis depending on matchups and still feel confident with. These names include Russell Wilson, Eli Manning, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Jay Cutler and Ben Roethlisberger.
Six teams in most leagues will still need a backup at this time and these names are good filler players, but not players you can trust, so make sure the bye week matchups are good for your team before drafting one of these names. They include Carson Palmer, Brandon Weeden, Michael Vick, Josh Freeman, Joe Flacco and Philip Rivers.