Fantasy Football: NFL Quarterback Rankings and Tiers
Once again, it’s that time of the year. The fantasy football season has begun and I’m here to get you through the most stressful part, the draft. Today, we’ll be going through Quarterback Rankings and tiers for the 2018 NFL season. These rankings are in the order of my personal preference. If they are within the same tier, all should be around the same range from a fantasy point projections perspective. Feel free to choose whom you prefer.
Fantasy Football Tier 1 – Elite
These are the guys that can carry your team at times during the season. You start them and don’t even think about it. Rodgers is the best QB in the world. Brees is getting up there in age, but still producing at a high level. Big Ben has the best WR and the best RB in the sport, even when he’s off, they can make his numbers good. Brady will be #2 on most lists, and I get it, but with Nate Solder, Brandin Cooks, and Dion Lewis gone, and him being a year older, he must slow down at some point, right?
Fantasy Football Tier 2 – Top 5 Possible
Wentz is arguably in the top tier. He was well on his way to winning the MVP, but I dropped him because of the injury. I’m very high on Goff. It’s his 3rd year, he’s got 1 of the most innovative minds in the sport calling plays, and he’s got THE MAN, Todd Gurley in the backfield. You get much better value with Goff than anyone else in the 1st 2 tiers. Newton always ends up around the top 10 and he has better weapons than previous years. Ryan completely controls his offense and is 1 year removed from top tier type play.
Fantasy Football Tier 3 – Starters
I don’t think any of these 4 will finish top 5, but they are worthy of a starting lineup. I love Rivers this year. He has the type of around him for him to succeed and finally get to that elusive Superbowl trip that has eluded him throughout his career. As I said last year, Wilson always does better than I predict, but I think I’m being fair this year since he has a lack of weapons and a horrible offensive line. I can see that team completely breaking down very soon.
Cousins is now thrust into the spotlight on a Superbowl contender. He has much better weapons than with Washington, but the offense will be different. It will be interesting to see if he plays better, even though his numbers may not be as good. Stafford is the resident gunslinger of the NFL. He never really has had a solid running game, so he’s been forced to. That may change this year, but I still expect him to air it out a lot.
Fantasy Football Tier 4 – Great #2 QBs
Luck has not had too much luck lately, but he seems to be on the right track. When healthy, he’s arguably a top 5-6 fantasy QB, but he hasn’t been healthy for almost 2 years. He’s a GREAT high reward, low-risk QB as your #2 QB. I have Watson a lot lower than most. Some have him as high as top 3. I am not crowning anyone off 6 games started. He must show me more 1st. Mariota disappointed fantasy owners last year. This spot fits him much better. He’s in a more familiar offense that should use his talents better.
Carr is another guy who was ranked very high last year and disappointed. Gruden is a wizard for making QBs play well and if he can’t turn him around, no one will. Mahomes has a strong arm and has to burners on the outside with a good running game. His decision-making is still unknown, but everything is in place for him to succeed. Manning was not a bad a people made him out to be. With no WRs, running game, or OL, 19 TD and 13 INTs with 3500 yards isn’t that bad. He has a better line and weapons now.
Fantasy Football Tier 5 – Starters in 2 QB Leagues
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mitchell Trubisky – Chicago Bears
Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
These are guys you don’t want as your starter, but in leagues that start 2 QBs, they aren’t the worst options. Tannehill is coming off missing the year due to injury, but he has 4 solid weapons at his disposal. Jameis Winston would be in a higher tier if he wasn’t missing the 1st few games due to suspension. He still has top 12 ability. Trubisky is still learning. He now has a big time WR in Allen Robinson, but they need some time to develop a rapport with each other.
Not many QBs have been hyped as much as Jimmy G this offseason. I am a fan of his, but I think he’s a better real life QB than fantasy QB. The line isn’t great, still no big-time weapons and running game is just average. Give him some time. I’ve never been that high on Prescott. He lost his safety blanket in Jason Witten and he doesn’t have a true top tier WR. He’s also in an offense that wants to run the ball. Dalton is a sleeper with a good running game, a good WR in AJ Green, and a speedster in John Ross.
Fantasy Football Tier 6 – Draft at your own risk
Keenum will get a chance to prove last year wasn’t a fluke. He has 2 very good WRs and will have 2 years to show what he can do. Only draft him for depth. I’m not big on Smith. He goes from a team with a good QB system and multiple weapons to a team that desperately needs playmakers, pass. I’m honestly waiting for Flacco to snap, leave, or retire, either way, he doesn’t move the needle for me. Bradford is solid when healthy, which isn’t that often. That line is horrible, and he won’t last 6 games, trust me.
Fantasy Football Tier 7 – Just stay away
Despite how he played at the end of the year, I have zero confidence in Bortles and would not have him on my team if you paid me. I do like Taylor. However, the writing is on the wall that Mayfield will be starting soon rather than later. McCarron is unproven and from what I saw from him at Alabama, I will not be testing the waters. Whoever starts the season as the starter for the Jets will have value, whether it’s McCown or Bridgewater, but both are just placeholders for Darnold.
Fantasy Football Tier 8 – Will start before the year is done
Even though I like Taylor, Mayfield will be starting for the Browns by midseason. I’m 1 of the few people that liked Allen. He can make throws that most QBs in the NFL right now can’t even attempt. He throws the ball 60 yards, effortlessly. That will help him in the Buffalo weather. Darnold is my favorite QB in this year’s draft class, but he went to the team with the least number of weapons. Be patient with him. Rosen will start at some point, but who knows how long it will take for Bradford to go down.
Fantasy Football Tier 9 – Likely to start at least 1-2 games this year and can produce
We all saw the ability of Foles in the playoffs last year. Fitzpatrick will start the season while Winston is suspended. If Luck continues his inability to stay healthy, Brissett showed he is an above average backup. I don’t expect the Ravens to be good, so at some point, I expect to see Jackson on the field. He still needs more time to develop, up his legs could produce instant fantasy points.
If you are in a 1 QB league, you can wait on the position. If you are in a 2 QB league, jump to try to get 1 of the guys in the 1st 2 tiers and then someone in the 4th tier. When all is said and done, the QB positions in fantasy football is undervalued, until you realize its week 11 and you are starting Case Keenum. I suggest waiting on a QB, but make sure you get someone in the 1st 3-4 tiers.
With that said, next up, we move on to the TEs.