Fantasy Football 2017: Quarterbacks

Fantasy Football 2017: Quarterbacks

As in the past, one of the most important considerations for your fantasy football league is the scoring system and the format. They make a huge difference in who you should draft and when. For this reason, I find positions as tiers more useful than straight player rankings since you can adjust your decision making process with tiers to match your unique scoring systems. Consequently, I have arranged my fantasy format in terms of tiers based on Yahoo’s Average Draft Positions and commented accordingly.

Most of the experts will advise you to wait on quarterbacks as there are plenty. Moreover, there is not enough point differential created by a top ranked QB compared to a second tier quarterback to justify an early round pick on one. In standard leagues with one quarterback, it makes perfect sense. However, the equation changes if you are in a two quarterback league because the position will thin out a lot faster. In this situation, I normally prefer to have a top 5 quarterback. I usually want at least a top 10 caliber quarterback as my QB1 before I am comfortable rolling the dice with a QB2 that has a solid floor and high upside. Nevertheless, I have a nuanced view for this season. There are plenty of value picks from QBs striving for a comeback season, up and coming young QBs, and veterans who provide consistent statistics. I plan on using my premium picks on skill position players with upside this year.

Tier 1
Aaron Rodgers GB                         
Tom Brady NE                 
Drew Brees NO

All three of these QBs provide elite production every year. I would not bet against them until they show they cannot do it anymore. Nevertheless, age is a factor for all three. Aaron Rodgers looked like he was no longer in his prime at the beginning of last season before he finished up red hot. Did he completely rejuvenate his career or will the decline start again? If the first half of last year was just a blip, then Rodgers is still the perfect QB worth his ranking at the top. Even though the Patriots won the Super Bowl last year, they did not get complacent. They completely reloaded and probably have more talent than they did last year. One of those additions was Brandin Cooks, who might be the most explosive and talented receiver the Patriots have had since Randy Moss. Brady is set up to have another monster fantasy season. Nevertheless, he is now 40 even though he has shown no signs of decline. Similarly, Brees has plenty of weapons in New Orleans but is 38. Age needs to be a consideration before drafting any of these QBs. Personally, I would likely pass at their draft positions unless there were no running backs or wide receivers I like at that point of the draft.

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Tier 2
Matt Ryan Atl                  
Andrew Luck Ind                           
Russell Wilson Sea                         
Marcus Mariota Ten                     
Jameis Winston TB                        
Cam Newton Car

There is a lot of bust and boom potential in this tier. Matt Ryan had a career year last season. However, his offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan, left to be the head coach of San Francisco. Moreover, there could be a Super Bowl hangover for the Falcons. He will still put up stats because of Julio Jones and the other offensive talent around him. Regardless, I expect a noticeable dip from last season’s numbers. In terms of Andrew Luck, the Colts have done a terrible job protecting him and surrounding him with talent. He has taken a beating over the years and he may not be healthy enough to start the season. I would stay away from him in fantasy this year even though he has Top 5 talent. Similarly, Russell Wilson took too many sacks behind a mediocre Seahawk line. If they protect him better, he is fantasy gold with the ability to throw and run. However, I would be happy to pick Mariota, Winston, or Newton. Mariota and Winston are young QBs on the rise. Mariota had a solid sophomore year and the Titans added Eric Decker to help his continued progression. Winston had a good second year and showed leadership. He already had Mike Evans and the Buccaneers added Desean Jackson to provide him a solid, veteran alternative. Winston is primed for a big breakout. In terms of Cam Newton, he was the perfect fantasy combination of passing and running two seasons ago. The Panthers suffered from a Super Bowl hangover last year. They drafted talented RB, Christian McCaffrey, to give Cam another big playmaker. I expect a big rebound season from Cam and the Panthers. He has the chance to be the top fantasy QB. He should be a popular target in all fantasy drafts.

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Tier 3
Ben Roethlisberger Pit                  
Kirk Cousins Was                           
Dak Prescott Dal                            
Derek Carr Oak                
Philip Rivers LAC                            
Matthew Stafford Det   

Roethlisberger is still very productive. Nevertheless, he is aging and has had trouble playing a full season the last two years. Personally, I would stay away from him unless he floated in a draft. Kirk Cousins is a solid but boring pick. He may not be the sexiest name. Just ask the Washington Redskins. Nevertheless, he is a productive default if he falls in the draft. Dak Prescott is an interesting pick. He may have been a product of the system with a great offensive line and top running back. He was among the league worst at throwing third and long, which is a strength of legitimate top QBs. For this reason, I expect a decline in production and effectiveness this year, especially with Ezekiel Elliott likely suspended at the beginning of the year. Nevertheless, he is a mobile quarterback playing in a talented offense. He still should put up statistics and will not get replaced at QB with Tony Romo’s retirement. In terms of Rivers and Stafford, they are veteran QBs that provide reliable statistics even if their fantasy ceilings are no longer very high.

Derek Carr is the quarterback I would target at this tier. I am with the consensus that he is the real deal. Moreover, he plays with an extremely talented offense with a great offensive line. He has the talent and opportunity to finish in the top tier of QBs. On the other hand, he is coming off a major injury so the recovery process could still be an issue, at least in the early part of the season.

Carson Wentz

Tier 4
Andy Dalton Cin                             
Alex Smith KC                  
Sam Bradford Min                         
Eli Manning NYG                            
Tyrod Taylor Buf                            
Jay Cutler Mia                                                
Carson Wentz Phi                          
Joe Flacco Bal   
Trevor Semien Den
Deshaun Watson Hou
Carson Palmer Ari           

This tier is interesting. Dalton, Alex Smith, and Joe Flacco are reliable veterans who have high floors but low ceilings. Eli Manning is a similar QB. However, he has a lower floor but a higher ceiling. The Giants have surrounded him with a lot of skill players including adding Brandon Marshall and drafting tight end Rhett Ellison. Nevertheless, the Giants offensive line was atrocious last season. If they do not significantly improve, Manning will not get enough opportunities to utilize all his weapons. Sam Bradford has been a bust in his career. He will have some very good games but cannot be relied upon to be consistent. Tyrod Taylor is a high risk, high reward pick. His mobility gives him a chance to produce a lot of fantasy value. Nevertheless, the Bills are looking to rebuild and traded his most explosive position player, Sammy Watkins. It does not bode well for such a critical season in Taylor’s career. Jay Cutler came out of retirement. He will never be a top QB and the Dolphins are not going too far with him. However, he played very well under Adam Gase in Chicago so he should provide some decent QB2 production. Trevor Semien has a chance to develop into a boring pick like an Alex Smith. He is not a bad desperation pick when you are in need but he has limited upside. Deshaun Watson will likely start at some point over Tom Savage. I do not think he will ever develop into a high upside QB. On the other hand, the Texans have a lot of talent at the skill positions so he might have a Dak-lite rookie season. In terms of Carson Palmer, he looked shot at the end of last year. I would avoid him if possible.

The name I like the most as a high upside pick at this tier is Carson Wentz. He flashed the physical tools last year. He started out hot then teetered. The Eagles added a big playmaker at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffrey. Wentz is a candidate to make a big leap forward in his second season.

Tier 5
Jared Goff LAR
Mike Glennon Chi
Blake Bortles Jax
Brock Osweiler Cle
Josh McCown NYJ
Brian Hoyer SF

This tier is grasping for straws. I like Mike Glennon but the Bears drafted Mitchell Trubisky even after they signed Glennon. I still believe Glennon could be a productive real life and fantasy QB. He would be the first straw I grab from this tier if I needed to but I would not reach because of the lack of faith in him from Chicago. Jared Goff did not look too good last year but one year is not enough to write him off for his career. They have added more talent around him by trading for Sammy Watkins and drafting Cooper Kupp, who looks great in preseason. Bortles is a very productive fantasy QB with his garbage stats. Nevertheless, I expect the Jaguars to pull him quickly in favor of Chad Henne. With Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone running the show in Jacksonville now, they will not have patience for terrible QB play at the beginning of games. In terms of the other names in this tier, you are in bad shape if you need one of them but maybe you get lucky on a spot start.

In addition to Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes and Deshone Kizer are the other high profile rookie quarterbacks. Each of these four have shown promise in the preseason. Nevertheless, it is only the preseason. I could see all four QBs playing this year. Mahomes has the most difficult road because the Chiefs are a playoff team with a solid, but limited veteran quarterback. Regardless, I do not think any of the rookies are more than a stream/ plug and play for a few weeks during their first season.
For tiers for other positions:
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends, Defenses, and Kickers

Pat Wong

About Pat Wong

Patrick is a contributor for Rookerville. He is an avid sports fan. Before joining Rookerville, he was part of a defunct New York Yankees message board, NYYankeefans, where he was its top poster and was inducted in its Hall of Fame for his contributions. Patrick is also a passionate fan of movies. He has enjoyed reading movie reviews over the years and is excited about the opportunity to review movies. Patrick is also a passionate foodie. He is Yelp Elite for three years in a row and shares his great finds in New York and his travels.

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