Once again, matchup has a hand in determining how the top two spots on Athlon Sports' fantasy football Week 12 quarterback rankings shake out. Both Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are on the road this week, but Brees' matchup with Atlanta's shaky defense is more than enough to give him the nod over Manning, who will go head-to-head with Tom Brady for the 14th time Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
While Manning and Brady are first and second in fantasy points at their position, who is No. 3 may surprise some. With a healthy assist from Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford is somewhat quietly putting together a Pro Bowl-caliber season. The Lions' signal-caller is third in the NFL in both yards passing (3,198) and touchdown passes (21) and has thrown just eight interceptions. He's also scored twice on the ground. In 2012, Stafford finished with a total of 20 touchdown passes (and four rushing) and threw 17 picks. He could be in for another solid outing this week at home against a Tampa Bay defense that is ranked 18th against the pass and has given up 19 touchdowns through the air.
Another quarterback that has been hot lately is Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben was Week 11's top overall scorer, thanks to his 367 yards passing and four touchdowns in a come-from-behind win at home against Stafford's Lions. It was Roethlisberger's second game with at least 360 yards passing and four touchdowns in the last three weeks. The Steelers have won four in a row and will look to continue their turnaround Sunday against a Cleveland defense that's fourth in the league in passing yards allowed.
Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.
2013 NFL Week 12 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks
at ATL (Thurs.)
Falcons giving up fourth-most fantasy points to QBs.
Broncos' O-line didn't give up a sack to Chiefs last week.
Stafford has 8:4 TD:INT ratio in 4 home games.
Cam looked sharp (3 TDs, 0 INTs) vs. Patriots on MNF.
Broncos' D has allowed 191.3 passing ypg over last 4.
This is different Giants' D than one he faced in Week 1.
Has thrown 1 TD, 3 INTs in last 2 games.
at WAS (Mon.)
Redskins giving up fifth-most fantasy points to QBs.
Robert Griffin III
vs. SF (Mon.)
49ers' D has done well against dual-threat QBs.
Big Ben has 9 TD passes, 3 INTs over last 3 games.
Lions are 30th in the NFL in passing defense (283.8 ypg).
Cowboys dead last in passing yards allowed (313.0 ypg).
Chiefs still 9th in pass D after facing Peyton/Broncos.
Has just 4 INTs on season, Chargers' D has 5.
Still the starter despite getting benched vs. Raiders.
Torched the Jags (419-2-0) last week.
vs. NO (Thurs.)
Over last 4 G: 237.3 ypg, 5 TDs, 9 INTs.
Raiders have given up 19 TD passes w/ just 7 INTs.
Hasn't thrown for more than 250 yards in each of last 4 G.
2-0 as the starter, has yet to throw an INT (5 TDs) in 4 G.
Threw for 339 yards, but 0 TDs, 3 INTs in first start.
Steelers' pass D stiffened in second half vs. Lions last week.
Panthers giving up fewest fantasy points to QBs.
Hasn't thrown an interception over his last 2 games.
Heck of a debut: 3 TDs, 0 INTs in first career start.
Has he hit the wall? 1 TD pass, 8 INTs in last 5 games.
Texans lead the NFL in passing yards allowed (167.5 ypg).
He may start, but no guarantee he will finish game.
Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points
Additional Week 12 Positional Rankings