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2012 draft day rules of the road - quarterbacks

Ben Standig's fantasy quarterback plan of attack

Entering your draft armed with rankings and a pocket full of sleepers you're convinced nobody else is aware of is a plan. Actually coming up with a plan, one that is both flexible yet comes with conviction, is another approach. Acknowledging the world of fantasy football is a fluid one that forces owners to remain both informed and adaptable, I offer my 2012 fantasy football rules for road, starting with the quarterbacks. Assume 12-team, standard scoring leagues unless otherwise stated.

1) For many, many weeks my position with the passers, in relation to one's overall strategy, has been to not shy away from them in the first round -- specifically Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. Depending on one's scoring system, Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton might not be far behind. That take remains and if anything it has grown bolder with the rising uncertainty in the next QB tier. No doubt it's hard passing on the high-end RB trio of Arian Foster, Ray Rice, and LeSean McCoy. Based on your league and the tendencies of the owners in it, perhaps you shouldn't. Regardless, just don't be like those knuckle dragging owners who let some historical norm of waiting and waiting on QBs be the decisive rationale. The world of fantasy football has evolved.

• When leagues weight scoring toward the quarterbacks, Stafford is making that top threesome a quartet. By the way, just because he stayed upright last year, still plan on investing in a reasonable QB2.

2) In fairness, there was a point this year specifically where if you did miss on a passer early, no biggie. The next half dozen or so choices looked solid.

Then Michael Vick reminded us that he still doesn't grasp not getting hit by defenders is a good thing.

Then Tony Romo, already playing with the fragile backfield of DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, loses Jason Witten and Miles Austin for the preseason with injuries.

Then Peyton Manning still isn't launching deep passes with mustard.

Then Philip Rivers' suspect wide receiving corps maintained that label halfway through the preseason.

From this group, only Matt Ryan, Eli Manning and on the back-end, Ben Roethlisberger (now that Mike Wallace is returning) remains unscathed. Now, assuming the latest round of testing proves benign, some still suggest Vick's run-pass potential keeps him atop this section – I'm no longer in this club. Ideally, someone else beats me to the punch. In fact, while I hesitate to say I'll flat out avoid Vick or the other bullet pointers, I'll be eying where best to land Ryan and the younger Manning. If I waited for a QB, that is.

(By the way if waiting is your thing, you are subject to being on the wrong end of a position run or missing out on a viable option because that one owner in your 1-QB league doesn't mind pairing Eli Manning with Drew Brees. You may know what you're doing, but others don't.)

3) Just to show I'm not rigid, here is my plan should somehow I end up cooling my heels on my ideal passers: select starters and depth at the other positions, then grab Roethlisberger or Jay Cutler (ADP 94) and Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck. Just like I've never been on the Ryan train before this year, I avoided the not so likeable Cutler whenever possible, but the Bears offense has some juice this year. Combined with the either of the rookie's youthful potential somewhat offsets the lack of surefire production from the position.