2013 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings by Tier: Level 4

Ryan Lester@LestersLegendsSenior Writer IJuly 25, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 30:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 2013 crop of fantasy football quarterbacks is deeper than it has ever been. We broke down the elite quarterback options, the second wave and the third level of QBs. Now, we take a look at some backup fantasy quarterbacks who should go late in your draft. There’s a real chance some of them could even go undrafted. They could still have some value to your fantasy team at some point during the season, though.

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

Bradford has some new weapons to work with, as the Rams drafted Tavon Austin and signed Jared Cook. Chris Givens has 4.41 speed and can truly stretch the field, as evidenced by five straight games with a 50-yard or better catch last year. If Brian Quick can take the next step in his second year, Bradford will be poised for a solid year.

The Rams also signed left tackle Jake Long to protect Bradford’s blind side. That could be even more important for his development. Bradford set career highs with 3,702 yards and 21 touchdown passes last year.

Jay Cutler , Chicago Bears

Cutler takes far too many hits and makes far too many bad decisions. He has the arm to make all of the passes, but those two issues prevent Cutler from being a reliable fantasy option. He does more damage than good some days.

Despite an unbelievable season from Brandon Marshall, Cutler finished with just 3,033 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has only one season with more than 3,700 passing yards on his résumé and only three seasons with more than 20 touchdown passes.

Cutler will need Alshon Jeffery to complement Marshall so he has more than one threat on the outside. Tight end Martellus Bennett, who had 626 yards with the New York Giants last year, gives Cutler another weapon to work with. Matt Forte is one of the best at catching the ball out of the backfield.

Everything still goes back to whether the offensive line can keep Cutler off his back.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns last year. He also threw 17 interceptions and completed just 54.8 percent of his passes. The Bucs drafted Mike Glennon in the third round. While that doesn’t mean Freeman’s job is in jeopardy, it’s a little odd for an up-and-coming team to spend that kind of pick when they have a 25-year-old former first-round pick.

Freeman had a six-game stretch from Weeks 6-11 in which he averaged 285.8 yards with 16 touchdowns (2.7 per game) and three interceptions (0.5 per game). In the other 10 games, Freeman averaged 235 yards with 11 touchdowns (1.1 per game) and 14 interceptions (1.4 per game).

With Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams and Doug Martin, Freeman has the tools to succeed. He just needs to be more Dr. Jekyll and less Mr. Hyde.

Matt Schaub, Houston Texans

Schaub quietly threw for 4,008 yard and 22 touchdowns last year. That gives Schaub three 4,000-yard seasons in the past four years. Despite solid seasons from Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels and the selection of DeAndre Hopkins in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, this is still a running team.

Schaub had 232 or fewer passing yards in half of his games last year. He only reached 280 yards in three games last year. Schaub had less than two touchdown passes in a whopping 10 games last year. Plus, he’s a statue who will get you little to nothing with his feet.

Ryan Tannehill , Miami Dolphins

Tannehill threw for 3,294 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last year. He added 211 yards and two scores on the ground. He has the athleticism to become a dynamic quarterback.

The Dolphins did their part by bring in Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson. Brian Hartline, who is coming off a 1,083-yard season, re-signed to give Tannehill some familiarity. He could be one of the most improved quarterbacks in the league.

Michael Vick/Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

Hopefully the Eagles will have decided on a starting quarterback before your fantasy draft. Chip Kelly’s offense should yield a productive fantasy option, especially with weapons like DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek.

Vick gives you more mobility and higher upside because of what he can do with his feet. If Foles wins the job, he offers more durability and better accuracy.

Also, check out LestersLegends.com to help prepare you for fantasy football season.