Fantasy Football: Quarterback Rankings and Tiers

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time of the year. It’s fantasy football season and I’m here to get you through the most stressful part, the draft. Throughout the year, I will be giving you tips on starts and sits as well as pickups, but before we get to all of that, you’ve got to get a team and to do that, you’ve got to get through your draft.

Today, I’m going to be going through Quarterback Rankings and tiers for the 2017 NFL season. So with that said, let’s get right into it.

Remember, these rankings are in the order of my personal preference, so if they are within the same tier, I think all of them will be around the same range from a fantasy point projections perspective. Of course, feel free to choose whom you prefer.

Tier 1 – Elite

Aaron Rodgers
Tom Brady

This doesn’t need much of an explanation. Rodgers is the best fantasy, and real, QB in the world. He can be penciled in for 4200-4400 yards and 30-35 TDs with less than 10 INTs every year. Brady is 39 years old, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all. With the addition of for New Orleans Saints wideout Brandin Cooks, it’s scary that he could even be better this year. Rodgers likely goes in the mid-2nd while Brady will go mid-3rd.

Tier 2 – No. 1 Type QBs

Andrew Luck
Drew Brees
Matt Ryan
Ben Roethlisberger
Jameis Winston
Marcus Mariota

Luck would be in the top tier if his health wasn’t a concern. Pay very close attention to his medical reports, and with missed time, I’d drop him to the next tier. Brees, Ryan, and Roethlisberger all have complete control of their offenses. All can put up elite numbers, but all three have strong running games that Rodgers, Brady, and Luck don’t have, which helps their team, but probably hurts their stats.

Winston and Mariota will be linked at the hip for their entire careers. Both were given multiple weapons this offseason and could be in for a big jump to their elite tier following the 2017 season. Don’t take these guys before round 4 or 5, at the earliest. There are so many solid QBs this year, there is no need to jump up to grab anyone.

Tier 3 – Top-5 Potential

Derek Carr
Matthew Stafford
Cam Newton
Russell Wilson
Philip Rivers
Eli Manning
Kirk Cousins
Dak Prescott

Carr can easily be put on the 2nd tier, but I think he needs another weapon to get him there. Stafford and Newton are two guys who have been in the top-5 in fantasy in years past. Both have the potential to be there again, just need to see it. Stafford can be inconsistent and Cam was all over the place last year. Wilson usually proves me wrong, but I’m just not a fan of him in fantasy. Along with Wilson, Prescott will be drafted much higher than I would take them, so I’ll let them pass.

Rivers and Manning are two older guys that have a lot of good weapons with questionable offensive lines. Both like to throw a lot and if you don’t mind the INTs, could give you top-10 numbers with the value of a low pick. Cousins could be the new Wilson if he keeps proving me wrong, but due to losing Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson over the last couple of years, I’ll bet against him. I said Prescott was a product of the best o-line in the sport and a great running game. The line isn’t as good and he may be missing Zeke Elliott for six games. Now let’s see if he’s the real deal or a system QB. I predict a lot of ups and downs from him this year.

Tier 4 – Low-End Starters

Carson Palmer
Sam Bradford
Tyrod Taylor
Carson Wentz
Andy Dalton
Jay Cutler
Blake Bortles
Joe Flacco

Palmer and Bradford are two older guys that, in the perfect scenario, can put up solid numbers if your real starter ever got hurt, but too many moving variables to trust on their own. Taylor and Wentz are both behind solid lines, but lack the number of weapons needed to be moved up on my list. They can still give you good numbers as a starter in a two-QB league, with Wentz a better passer and Taylor a better runner. Their numbers still add up the same way no matter how you get them, whether it be through the air or on the ground.

Dalton is an average QB who is completely dependent on his weapons to make plays for him. Cutler is one of the most inconsistent, talent-filled signal callers in the league. He has a million-dollar arm and a two-cent head. That being said, he does have a good arsenal of weapons in Miami. I said Bortles was a top-10 fantasy QB last year… boy, was I wrong. He still has the same options. He just needs to play like he did in 2015. I’m not a fan of Flacco as he’s getting older, doesn’t have many good weapons and they still have issues on their o-line.

Tier 5 – Avoid if Possible

Alex Smith
Brian Hoyer
Jared Goff
Trevor Siemian
Mike Glennon
Tom Savage
Christian Hackenburg
DeShone Kizer

Not going to waste too much space on these guys. Smith, Hoyer, Goff, and Siemian are at least draftable because they have a couple of playmakers. Glennon and Savage are on bad teams that lack weapons and could be replaced midseason. Hackenburg and Kizer may not begin the season as the starters, but they will at some point. Neither youngster is someone to write home about this year. Josh McCown and Brock Osweiler are not expected to finish the season as the starters for the Jets and Browns respectively, so I didn’t even rank them.

Tier 6 – High-End Backups

Jimmy Garoppolo
Brett Hundley
Chase Daniel
Paxton Lynch
Matt Moore
Deshaun Watson
Patrick Mahomes
Mitchell Trubisky

Garoppolo has shown that he can be an NFL starter, and he would be a starter in fantasy if Brady went down. We don’t know as much about Hundley, but from what I hear, he’s athletic, capable, and a good arm. Lots of weapons on the Packers. I personally like Daniel and think he’d do a great job if given the chance in that Saints offense. Lynch has a great arm, but needs more seasoning. I think he does start a couple games at some point this season.

In my opinion, the Dolphins would have been better off just letting Moore lead them. He’s not a great quarterback, but he’s solid and doesn’t make too many mistakes. Watson, Mahomes, and Trubisky are all rookies with talent, but they will most likely only play if their respective teams’ seasons go way down the drain. We’ll definitely see Trubisky at some point, but I’m not so sure about Watson or Mahomes, but I think they have more fantasy upside.

Next up on my Fantasy Rankings and Tiers, we’ll talk about the core of what makes a fantasy team, the running backs. The first two rounds of every draft will be very RB-heavy due to the lack of good ones, so you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to that article. If you have a draft before then, good luck! If you have any draft or fantasy football questions, I can be reached on twitter with the handle @Pacman453323.

 

Peter Clarke

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