2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings

Geno Smith, 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB

When looking through the 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings on your favorite sites, you’ll no doubt be affected by the recent seasons put forth by players like Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson.

Unfortunately, having visions of those stellar rookie seasons in your head will do you no good as you look upon this current class of rookie signal-callers.

Without a doubt, the quarterback position has received a big injection of youth, especially starting in 2011 when rookies like Newton, Dalton, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker, received a ton of playing time.

And that’s not even counting Niners QB Colin Kaepernick, who had to wait a year to join Dalton and Newton as 2011 NFL Draft stars.


Which NFL Rookie QB Class was Better: 2011 or 2012?

While the 2011 rookie QB class had a ton of depth to it, with five rookies starting at different points of the season behind center, the 2012 rookie QB class had greatness.

As I noted in the 2012 Rookie QB Class Review, four different rookies scored enough Fantasy points to land in the top 12 rookie QBs dating back to 1991.


Top 12 Fantasy Football Rookie QBs from 1991-2012

Over the past 22 seasons, we’ve seen a lot of very good performances from rookie quarterbacks, but the fact that there are seven players from the past three years on here is quite telling. We live in a QB-happy world!

  1. 2011 – Cam Newton, Carolina —366 Fantasy points
  2. 2012 — Robert Griffin III, Washington –305
  3. 2012 – Andrew Luck, Indianapolis –270
  4. 2012 — Russell Wilson, Seattle –255
  5. 2011 — Andy Dalton, Cincinnati —211
  6. 2006 — Vince Young, Tennessee — 207
  7. 1998 — Peyton Manning, Indianapolis — 203
  8. 2008 — Matt Ryan, Atlanta –195
  9. 2010 – Sam Bradford, St. Louis —194
  10. 2008 — Joe Flacco, Baltimore –180
  11. 1993 — Rick Mirer, Seattle —179
  12. 2012 — Ryan Tannehill, Miami —178


Griffin was actually on pace to break Newton’s record for Fantasy Football points scored by a rookie quarterback before he got hurt late in the season. He missed one game and part of another. Had he stayed healthy, he would’ve likely passed up Newton. Those numbers could stay at the top for the next five or so years.

You’ll no doubt notice Tannehill’s name in there, as the fourth-best rookie QB in Fantasy Football last season. As a matter of fact, the Texas A&M product threw for more yards as a rookie quarterback than Dan Marino did back in 1983. (Granted, he did it with more pass attempts and he did it in a pass-happy NFL, unlike ’83.)

So has the recent success of these young quarterbacks affected what we’re to think about the 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB rankings? Unfortunately, they probably have. This class is nowhere near as good as recent seasons, as evidenced by the freefall many of these quarterbacks felt during the 2013 NFL Draft. Guys like Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and Ryan Nassib were all rumored to be first-round picks, only to wait beyond Day One of the draft.

As we look at the upcoming class, we have to remember that opportunity means just as much as talent, in many cases. So a fantastic Fantasy QB might not be realized because he’s sitting behind a veteran starter (named Alex Smith?). These rankings are based on the upcoming season only, and not on the dynasty value of these players.


2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | Wide Receiver | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings


1. E.J. Manuel, QB, Buffalo

He’ll have to battle with Kevin Kolb, but Manuel’s athleticism and size makes him an exciting option for a fanbase that would love to see Spiller and Manuel in the backfield at the same time. There’s no doubt that any speedbumps along the way for Kolb will surely get the fans screaming for Manuel – especially with memories of what Newton, Griffin and Luck did in recent years. With Stevie Johnson re-signed  and fellow rookie Robert Woods catching passes, along with running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson, Manuel actually does have one of the better situations among Fantasy QBs. Even so, he’s a late-round sleeper at best in redraft leagues.

E.J. Manuel, 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings

Seminoles QB E.J. Manuel threw for 3,392 yards, 23 TDs and 10 INTs in his senior year at FSU in 2012. Photo Credit: Daaka2

2. Geno Smith, QB, N.Y. Jets

A surprising drop from the first round puts him in New York, with one of the worst franchises in the league. He’ll have a chip on his shoulder, however, and he should have an open path to starting sooner than later. Mark Sanchez is clearly not the answer and Tim Tebow has already been released. Greg McElroy has career backup written all over him. Smith is talented, certainly, with skills compared to Kaepernick or Wilson, more than RG3 or Newton. Even so, he’s a better late-round sleeper than anything else.

Geno Smith, 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB

Jets QB Geno Smith is West Virginia’s career leader in passing yards, completions and touchdowns. Photo Credit: Daaka2

3. Matt Barkley, QB, Philadelphia

The Eagles already have Michael Vick and Nick Foles in their locker room, and now, new head coach Chip Kelly brings in Barkley. He’s a smart QB that makes good decisions quickly, which is what Kelly’s offense begs for. Make no mistake, though, this will be Vick’s offense in 2013 – until he gets hurt again. While the Eagles have worked to fix their offensive line, they’re still going to have issues. Expect Kelly to go to Barkley after test-driving Foles for a couple games.

Matt Barkley, 2013 Fantasy Football Rookies

Eagles QB Matt Barkley threw for 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns in his final season at USC. Photo Credit: CultureShlock

4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Oakland

The Raiders brought in Matt Flynn in an offseason trade with Seattle, and they still have Terrelle Pryor, who will get some opportunities. The Raiders have to thank the Jets every week for taking some of the laughter away from them. Before you think about Pryor or Wilson, remember that Flynn really hasn’t even had a chance to show why he was such a sought-after NFL free agent after the 2011 season. Expect him to keep the job for most of this season.


5. Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers have not signed QB Josh Freeman to an extension, and the Kansas State product is in his final year of his contract. If Freeman falters by midseason and the Bucs aren’t in the playoffs chase, they could decide to give the 6-foot-7 QB a test drive. Rarely do small forwards make for great NFL quarterbacks, despite what Joe Flacco has done in recent years. But Glennon and Patriots backup Ryan Mallet will try to change that in the coming years.


6. Zac Dysert, QB, Denver

Here’s your weekly reminder that the Broncos’ franchise QB had four surgeries on his neck just a couple years ago. Dysert is behind Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler on the depth chart for now, and the Broncos will likely have playoff aspirations if/when Manning gets hurt. That means head coach John Fox would likely go to Osweiler, who will have had a couple training camps under him by then.


7. Ryan Nassib, QB, N.Y. Giants

Speaking of franchise QBs named Manning, he now has a highly touted rookie behind him on the depth chart. Nassib inexplicably fell into the fourth round, and the Giants took a chance on him thinking he could be trade bait at some point. First, it’s strange that new Bills head coach Doug Marrone went for Manuel over his QB from Syracuse, but that actually might be a smart move, considering they would both be scrutinized a little more than most in their rookie NFL seasons.

So Nassib goes to hold a clipboard for the Giants for at least this season, considering the younger Manning brother hasn’t missed starting a game since his rookie season in 2004.

Ryan Nassib, 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QBs

Orange QB Ryan Nassib threw for a school record 9,060 total passing yards in his career at Syracuse. Photo Credit: EamonQ

8. Landry Jones, QB, Pittsburgh

Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to the injury report, but it will take a lot to get Jones in as a starter in his rookie season. Big Ben has started 16 games in an NFL season just once in his career, but he always plays at least 12 games a season. Career backup Bruce Gradkowski would get a look before Jones anyway.

2013 Rankings: Top 60 Overall

QB | RB | WR | TE | K | DST

Offensive Lines | IDP: DL | LB | DB

Rookie Rankings: Top 30 Overall | QB | RB | WR | TE


2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings


There are bound to be a couple quarterbacks that come out of nowhere to see some starts in their rookie season, much like Ryan Lindley and Kirk Cousins in 2012. Only nine rookie quarterbacks tallied Fantasy points last season, with eight scoring in 2011, and 10 scoring in 2010.

An interesting note to the 2010 rookie QB class -– considering they are the last non-Newton/RG3 group -– the only QB that still has a starting job is – Sam Bradford.

Think about that final sentence as you have visions of rookie stardom this season, looking through the 2013 Fantasy Football Rookie QB Rankings.



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