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2013 Fantasy Football Keeper Rankings – Quarterbacks

The top quarterbacks to draft for the 2013 fantasy football season in keeper/dynasty leagues.

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1. Drew Brees (NO)   Age: 35

  Passing Stats Rushing Stats
Year Att Yds TD Int Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Drew Brees's 2013 projected stats.

If you want one stat to confirm Brees' dominance, consider he has thrown for at least 5,000 yards in three of the past five seasons. Those three seasons represent half of the 5,000-yard performances in NFL history. And though it seems like Brees has been around forever, he'll be just 34 years old in 2013. Brees is also remarkably consistent from game to game. In fact, he had either 300 yards or three touchdown passes in 14 of 16 games last season. In the two games he had neither, he had 213 yards and two scores in one and 239 yards and two scores in the other. Moreover, his 89 touchdown passes from 2011-12 are the highest total ever for a two-year span, thanks to Brees being the league's most prolific thrower in the red zone – his 103 attempts in that area last year were 12 more than Tom Brady's, and his 55 from inside the 10 were also tops. Plus, Brees is the king of attempts generally. He's thrown at least 635 passes in five of the past six seasons. Since the deviation in quarterbacks' YPA is relatively low, they typically post outstanding fantasy numbers by throwing the football often. Brees will do that yet again in 2013, making him perhaps the safest bet in fantasy football. And with head coach Sean Payton back in the mix, you can expect Brees & Co. to perform at peak efficiency throughout the year.

2. Aaron Rodgers (GB)   Age: 30

  Passing Stats Rushing Stats
Year Att Yds TD Int Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Aaron Rodgers's 2013 projected stats.

Rodgers threw for an impressive 4,295 yards in 2012, but there's actually room for improvement as he recorded the lowest YPA (7.8) since he became a starter in 2008. The quarterback started the season with an average of only 251 yards and one passing touchdown per game over the Packers' first three contests. Don't expect that to happen again. Further, there's a good chance Rodgers' touchdown total will increase as well. He threw 39 touchdowns in 2012 but actually had fewer attempts inside the opponent's 10-yard line than the other top scorers – Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton and Matt Ryan – and by a wide margin. Brees alone had nearly twice as many passes (55) as Rodgers (29) in that area. At worst, you can probably expect Rodgers' 7.1 percent touchdown rate – down from 9.0 percent in 2011 – to remain steady in 2013. And don't forget about what the Packers quarterback can give you on the ground. Rodgers has never failed to rush for 200 yards in a season, and he's averaged nearly four rushing touchdowns per year since he became a starter. Rodgers snuck into the end zone on the ground just twice last season, so there's yet another area where the superstar's stats could "regress" in a good way.

3. Tom Brady (NE)   Age: 36

  Passing Stats Rushing Stats
Year Att Yds TD Int Avg Att Yds TD Avg
2013 Projections View Tom Brady's 2013 projected stats.

Don't look now, but we actually saw a minor dip in efficiency from Brady in 2012. The All-World quarterback posted a career-high in passing attempts with 637, yet still checked in nearly 400 yards below his 2011 passing total. That’s because of a "sub-par" 7.6 YPA – Brady's worst mark in a full season since 2006. Could it be that Brady is slowing down heading into his age 36 season? Not so fast. Quarterbacks have historically been able to sustain a very high level of play well into their 30s, and there's no reason to think Brady would break down earlier than past quarterbacks. It’s probable you'll see Brady's efficiency increase, perhaps substantially, but he's still going to air the ball out plenty with Josh McDaniels calling the plays. The loss of Wes Welker obviously doesn't help Brady, but it probably won't hurt as much as one might think. Newly signed Danny Amendola can play the slot and has more long speed than Welker, while Rob Gronkowski – when healthy – is an effective target in the middle of the field and end zone. Moreover, great quarterbacks like Brady tend to make ordinary receivers better, so don't be surprised if one of the team's rookies or second-tier signees like Donald Jones plays better than expected.  Finally, aside from Drew Brees, no one attempts more passes from in close than Brady – 91 from inside the red zone and 47 from inside the 10. That alone gives him a high floor for touchdowns.

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2013 Keeper Position Rankings

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