Fantasy Football Focus: Quarterback 2012 Season Review

Expert Advice from Brian Music - 2011 Inaugural Toyota Legends of Fantasy Football Hall of Fame Inductee

Yahoo Contributor Network
Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints
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NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 30: Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 30, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Now that the fantasy football season is complete, many experienced fantasy managers will take the opportunity to look back at the 2012 season and start analyzing for 2013. We all know that there will be player movements in the offseason, but it never hurts to get a jump start while you are in the early stages of fantasy withdrawal. So, here are a few statistics to help you begin some of your very early rankings.

Fantasy Points Scored (Full Season) - based on Yahoo! standard fantasy leagues:

1) Drew Brees NO (364.58 points); 2) Aaron Rodgers GB (351.60); 3) Tom Brady NE (348.28); 4) Cam Newton CAR (335.46); 5) Robert Griffin III WAS (323.60); 6) Peyton Manning DEN (322.06); 7) Matt Ryan ATL (318.56); 8) Tony Romo DAL (297.92); 9) Andrew Luck IND (294.46); 10) Matthew Stafford DET (292.58); 11) Russell Wilson SEA (285.62); and 12) Andy Dalton CIN (266.76).

Fantasy Points / Game Average (Full Season):

1) Drew Brees NO (22.79 points/game); 2) Aaron Rodgers GB (21.98); 3) Tom Brady NE (21.77); 4) Robert Griffin III (21.57 - played in only 15 games); 5) Cam Newton CAR (20.97); 6) Peyton Manning DEN (20.13); 7) Matt Ryan ATL (19.91); 8) Tony Romo DAL (18.62); 9) Andrew Luck IND (18.40); 10) Matthew Stafford DET (18.29); 11) Russell Wilson SEA (17.85); and 12) Ben Roethlisberger PIT (17.83 - played in only 13 games).

Fantasy Points Scored (Last 4 Weeks):

1) Russell Wilson SEA (126.88 points); 2) Cam Newton CAR (118.22); 3) Aaron Rodgers GB (116.38); 4) Drew Brees NO (114.66); 5) Tony Romo DAL (108.84); 6) Tom Brady NE (103.72); 7) Matt Ryan ATL (98.06); 8) Peyton Manning DEN (96.16); 9) Colin Kaepernick SF (95.46); and 10) Andrew Luck IND (88.96).

Passing Yardage (Full Season):

1) Drew Brees NO (5,177 yards); 2) Matthew Stafford DET (4,967); 3) Tony Romo DAL (4,903); 4) Tom Brady NE (4,827); 5) Matt Ryan ATL (4,719); 6) Peyton Manning DEN (4,659); 7) Andrew Luck IND (4,374); 8) Aaron Rodgers GB (4,295); 9) Josh Freeman TB (4,065); and 10) Carson Palmer OAK (4,018).

Passing TDs (Full Season):

1) Drew Brees NO (43 TDs); 2) Aaron Rodgers GB (39) 3) Peyton Manning DEN (37); 4) Tom Brady NE (34); 5) Matt Ryan ATL (32); 6) Tony Romo DAL (28); 7) Josh Freeman TB and Andy Dalton (27) and 9) Eli Manning NYG, Ben Roethlisberger PIT, Russell Wilson SEA, and Philip Rivers SD (26).

Rushing Yards (Full Season):

1) Robert Griffin III WAS (815 yards); 2) Cam Newton CAR (741); 3) Russell Wilson SEA (489); 4) Colin Kaepernick SF (415); 5) Michael Vick PHI (332); 6) Jake Locker TEN (291); 7) Aaron Rodgers GB (259); 8) Andrew Luck IND (255); 9) Christian Ponder MIN (253); and 10) Jay Cutler CHI (233).

Rushing TDs (Full Season):

1) Cam Newton CAR (8 TDs); 2) Robert Griffin III WAS (7); 3) Colin Kaepernick SF and Andrew Luck IND (5); 5) Russell Wilson SEA, Andy Dalton CIN, Tom Brady NE, and Matthew Stafford DET (4); 9) Joe Flacco BAL (3); and 10) Aaron Rodgers GB, Christian Ponder MIN, and Ryan Tannehill MIA (2).

In looking at these statistics, it amazes me how money my top four QB projections entering the 2012 season were. My preseason rankings exactly matched Brees, Rodgers, Brady, and Newton at 1-4. However, I underestimated the immediate fantasy success of the 2012 rookie class (with RG III finishing #5, Luck #9, and Wilson #11). I had none ranked higher than 13th on my 2012 preseason projections. I learned a lesson there. If you never realized the fantasy importance of a QB successfully running the ball, then this season should have been your wakeup call. Newton (#4 overall - 741 yards rushing / 8 rushing TDs), Griffin III (#5 overall - 815 yards rushing / 7 rushing TDs), Wilson (#11 overall - 489 yards rushing / 4 rushing TDs), and Colin Kaepernick (415 yards rushing / 5 rushing TDs in only a partial season as a starting QB) all earned a large portion of their fantasy points on the ground. In addition, passing QBs such as Rodgers, Brady, Stafford, and Luck each had at least four rushing TDs to add to their fantasy totals.

So, while you are either celebrating winning your league championship or crying over what could have been, get a jump start on 2013 and work on your rankings. Hopefully these statistics will be of some help.

Brian Music is one of five inaugural inductees to the 2011 Toyota Legends of Fantasy Football Hall of Fame on Yahoo! Sports. He has participated in fantasy football for 23 years and began playing Yahoo! fantasy football in 2001, winning trophies in 20 of the 29 leagues that he has played (including 10 League Championships), and placing in the Top 3 in Fantasy Points in 27 of the 29 leagues.

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