2011 QB review, plus early 2012 rankings

Updated: January 7, 2012, 12:00 AM ET
By Eric Karabell

There's little question the 2011 fantasy football season was mighty memorable for those who make their living throwing the pigskin. Two quarterbacks broke Dan Marino's 27-year-old record for passing yards, three topped 40 touchdown passes and another, a rookie quarterback no less, shattered the mark for rushing touchdowns in a season. Plus, who will ever forget the late-game heroics provided by Tim Tebow; the season-ending injuries that took away potential fantasy starters in Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler and Matt Cassel; or the fine work provided by replacements T.J. Yates, Caleb Hanie and Tyler Palko? OK, so some things were memorable for the wrong reasons.

Nevertheless, while running backs get most of the early attention in fantasy drafts, and for good reason, quarterbacks likely did more in the way of deciding fantasy championships this season. A season ago we gushed about rejuvenated Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and his outstanding return to relevance. Vick was certainly a hot topic as a first-rounder in ESPN live drafts but wasn't able to reproduce the magic of 2010, when he provided his lucky owners with 300 fantasy points, the most among quarterbacks. For perspective, in 2011, five quarterbacks amassed 333 or more points, and Vick wasn't one of them. Except for him, it was the year of the quarterback!

So with an eye on the future, let's analyze the ever-critical quarterback position for fantasy football, taking a look at the 2011 season and at 2012 and beyond.