Quarterback in fantasy football is usually one of the easiest weaknesses to mask. For the last few years, my strategy has been to wait on drafting a quarterback, while trying to strengthen my running backs and wide receivers. This year may warrant a change on my behalf, as I was making my rankings I was looking at last years stats, looking at those numbers, there were some strong players at this position. Let’s take a look at where I have put these guys, and at the end don’t be afraid to give some feedback on what you think about the list.
1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Just about anywhere else you look, this guy is ranked number one, and I agree. I generally don’t like to have quarterbacks on my team that run the ball a lot, because they either rely on their legs too much and get hurt, or they typically don’t combine for good points between passing and rushing. Newton is the exception to that rule. Also, take into consideration the receiving corps he had last year wasn’t exactly stellar. Sure he had Greg Olsen, but he finished number one without his best receiver. Don’t get me wrong, he’ll have a bad game or two, but overall if you get this guy, you’ll be happy with his production from week to week.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Another consensus pick at number two, Aaron Rodgers will look to improve on last season by getting Jordy Nelson back. Rodgers’ production is somewhat tied to Nelson, but he doesn’t live and die off him because of the depth they have at wideout. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a very hard schedule either. The Vikings may give him a tough time, and late in the year he plays the Texans and Seahawks back to back, but other than that it should be smooth sailing for the veteran signal caller.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
This is where there may be some debate in the rankings, but I’m going to make the case for Wilson being here. In short, Wilson is a safe pick here. He placed third last year, third the year before, and eighth the year before that. His passing yards have increased every year and his interceptions have decreased every year. Just like Cam Newton, he can run around and get good rushing and passing stats, and he’s smart enough to avoid big hits.
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Some people have Mr. Luck switched with Wilson, but I’d have to disagree. First off, I will be thrilled to have either guy, but Andrew Luck has been known to take a beating. The Colts didn’t do much to address their weakness on the line, other than drafting Center Ryan Kelly in the first round. Andrew Luck is tough though, he has good receivers and will see a lot of attempts.
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Anybody remember when Brees didn’t throw for over 4,000 yards? That’s because it was in 2005 with the San Diego Chargers. The last time he didn’t get over 600 attempts was in 2009. There’s no dispute that his stats have been slowly declining, but the decline has been very small. I like the options he has this year with Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, and Coby Fleener. I don’t see any reason why Brees won’t be great yet again.
6. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer is going to do good things this year. He did well last year among quarterbacks, placing 5th in points scored. His worst game last year was 7.2 points against the Seahawks in Week 17. Most leagues play their championship game before then. There was only one game last year he had zero touchdowns. Not much changed for the Cards this year. I don’t see why Palmer can’t hit similar numbers this year compared to last.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Durability is starting to become somewhat of a question for Big Ben, and he seems to always be missing a big piece to his offense as well. Last year, missing Le’Veon Bell didn’t help, but DeAngelo Williams did well filling in. This year he’ll be without Wide Receiver Martavis Bryant, which means Markus Wheaton should be lining up opposite of Antonio Brown. I think Wheaton is going to fill in well, and don’t forget the addition of Ladarius Green. We’ll see how many games Roethlisberger can play this year, but with only playing 12 last year, he was still just a scosh under 4,000 yards. I’ll take Ben’s numbers against most teams, and more often than not this year he’ll have good numbers.
8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
This is interesting isn’t it? You’re probably wondering if this spot is considering his possible four game suspension or not. Yes, I make my rankings off of what I know now. If the season started now, he wouldn’t be playing. I always err on the side of caution, hence the reason where he is on my rankings. The good news for leagues who have a while before they draft is that this issue should be resolved around the same time it was last year. If the suspension is lifted, then I have him up around number four.
9. Eli Manning, New York Giants
This may be a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. He finished 10th last year in fantasy points among QB’s, his receiving corp is good and features one of the best wideouts in the game, and he plays under head coach Ben McAdoo, who has an excellent offensive mind. Eli isn’t very consistent in terms of fantasy production and you may have to bench him depending on the matchup. However, he has a high ceiling and will have some great games this year.
10. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
This guy is getting better each year, and don’t be surprised if he outperforms where I have him. Bortles finished fourth last year, but there are veteran guys that I trust more. As camps go on and everything unfolds, I wouldn’t be surprised to rethink this one. Certainly in dynasty leagues I have him ranked higher. The receiving corps is good in Jacksonville, but there’s no depth. Although I have Bortles ranked 10th (for now), he’s definitely a top five sleeper candidate of mine.
Here’s the rest of my rankings list:
- Philip Rivers
- Tony Romo
- Tyrod Taylor
- Kirk Cousins
- Derek Carr
- Andy Dalton
- Matthew Stafford
- Marcus Mariota
- Jameis Winston
- Ryan Tannehill
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