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2015 Quarterback Rankings

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Here's an early look at Armando's 2015 quarterback rankings.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Over the last couple of years, the NFL has changed as it has become a quarterback's league. It's no longer a defensive driven game as it once was. Nowadays many fans enjoy two high scoring offenses led by great quarterbacks that score a ton of points and put on a show. In fantasy terms, we appreciate fantasy points. Granted, stout defenses are still successful in the league, but putting points on the board is what it's all about.

In just a couple of months, most fantasy owners will be sitting in their living rooms staring at their draft boards, anxiously waiting to be on the clock. That being the case, it excites me to provide you with an early glimpse of my quarterback rankings. Chances are, some of these quarterbacks will be shuffled around in the rankings during the preseason.  After all, we can't predict injuries or changes in lineups that could potentially hurt or help the value of a quarterback.

Quarterbacks

1

Andrew Luck IND

2

Aaron Rodgers GB

3

Russell Wilson SEA

4

Drew Brees NO

5

Matt Ryan ATL

6

Ben Roethlisberger PIT

7

Tom Brady NE

8

Peyton Manning DEN

9

Matthew Stafford DET

10

Tony Romo DAL

11

Cam Newton CAR

12

Eli Manning NYG

13

Ryan Tannehill MIA

14

Philip Rivers SD

15

Carson Palmer ARI

16

Joe Flacco BAL

17

Jay Cutler CHI

18

Teddy Bridgewater MIN

19

Jameis Winston TB

20

Colin Kaepernick SF

21

Blake Bortles JAC

22

Sam Bradford PHI

23

Robert Griffin III WAS

24

Andy Dalton CIN

25

Derek Carr OAK

26

Alex Smith KC

27

Nick Foles STL

28

Ryan Mallett HOU

29

Matt Cassel BUF

30

Marcus Mariota TEN

31

Geno Smith NYJ

32

Josh McCown CLE

As you can see above, I've listed the expected starters for each team. Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers are 1A and 1B in my opinion. You can't go wrong with either one of the two. Rodgers finished with the most fantasy points of all quarterbacks last season (in standard scoring) and Luck finished 3.2 points shy of him. That's how close these two are. Regardless of how you look at it, there are these two and then then everyone else.

Moving on down the list, one would say that I've been drinking the Russell Wilson kool-aid. In his rookie season, Wilson finished QB11, his sophomore season QB10, and last season he finished QB3. In my book, that's progression at its finest.  And let's not forget who the Seahawks acquired this offseason, Jimmy Graham. Wilson has been able to improve each season and has yet to have a weapon like Graham. Not to mention, he is a dual threat who will be able to provide fantasy owners with rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, in addition to what he does through the air. However, in full disclosure, I do think he will do less with his legs this season and more in the air.

While most are apprehensive about Brees, I'm not ready to lay off of him just yet. He has attempted 500 or more passes in all but one season where he has played at least 15 games. He's also thrown over 30 touchdowns in every season since 2008. The Saints are planning on being more effective running the ball and shifting from a pass heavy offense to a run first team. I'll take that with a grain of salt and won't dismiss what Brees has done and can still do.

I've been asked by numerous people why I have Peyton Manning at eight and not higher. It's quite simple for me, age is catching up to one of the all-time greats and that was apparent last year. I know, he was battling injuries and that could have affected his performance, but his passes aren't as crisp as they once were. Towards the end of the season, Manning struggled beyond the norm. He threw for over 300 yards just twice in the last seven games, and in that span he threw 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.  Lastly, the loss of Julius Thomas could also affect Manning as he was the recipient of 12 of Manning's touchdowns. All in all, I'd still say Manning is a No. 1 fantasy quarterback, but based on ADP, it's unlikely I roster him in many of my leagues. I'd rather take my chances with some of the other quarterbacks in this tier at a later round.

Tom Brady will miss the first four games of the season, unless it's reduced by an appeal, which seems unlikely at the moment. This affects his value, but not as much as most would think. Let's not forget that the Super Bowl Champ started off the 2015 season really slow. In fact, I was asked multiple times by fantasy owners whether they should drop Brady altogether. For those who did, how did that work out for you? Brady still finished ninth in fantasy points last year despite thrown just four touchdowns and two interceptions through the first four games. He will get back on the field with a point to prove and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Patriots run up scores on their opponents once Brady returns. It's something I totally see Bill Belichick doing. If you notice, I have Ben Roethlisberger ranked ahead of both Manning and Brady. Big Ben finished fifth in fantasy points amongst quarterbacks in 2015, six points shy from Manning. In the last two seasons, the Steelers have relied more on Big Ben's arm. He's attempted more than 580 passes in each of the last two seasons, prior to that he had only attempted more than 500 passes in two of his nine seasons. The Steelers have a great stable of receivers, led by arguably the best pound for pound receiver in the league, Antonio Brown. Let's not forget that Le'Veon Bell in that backfield adds a back with great hands and another weapon for Big Ben. He tied his career high with 32 passing touchdowns last season, but what was most impressive about his season is despite attempting the most passes of his career, he threw just nine interceptions. There's no reason to expect a huge regression from one of the league's best quarterbacks. I'm expecting him to start off where he left off last season.

The last quarterback I'll touch base on in the top twelve is Eli Manning. Another year under Ben McAdoo's system, a full season of Odell Beckham Jr, and the addition of Shane Vereen to the backfield; there's a lot to like here. Vereen adds an entire other dimension to this offense that it didn't have last year. Let's also not forget the emergence of tight end Larry Donnell, who will also have another season under the belt under this system. There's always room for concern with a streaky quarterback like Eli Manning, but the system and weapons surrounding him are just too solid for him to fail. There's a good chance that he has one of his better seasons in the league this upcoming year, and the best part of it is that you can likely snag him in the later rounds of most of your drafts.

Out of the top twelve are several quarterbacks that can easily sneak into the top twelve in fantasy points this season. Ryan Tannenhill is sitting at number 13 in the rankings and could easily finish higher than that. He made some serious strides in his first year under Bill Lazor's offense.  Tannenhill has progressed in each of his first three seasons in the league. This could be the year where he gets over the hump and establishes himself as a reliable fantasy quarterback option on a weekly basis. Miami lost some key pieces to the offense during the offseason, Brian Hartline, Mike Wallace, and Charles Clay; but quickly replaced them with Greg Jennings, Kenny Stills, and Jordan Cameron. All of which are arguably an upgrade, if not equivalent to the prior player. He finished eighth amongst quarterbacks in fantasy points last season. Don't sleep on the kid!

Joe Flacco is another quarterback I wouldn't sleep much on.  He is coming off of one of his best seasons in the NFL where he reached career highs in passing yards and passing touchdowns, and finishing thirteenth amid quarterbacks. I'm aware that the Ravens lost their offensive coordinator this offseason and this usually isn't a good thing, but when you replace him with Marc Trestman, it could be a blessing in disguise. The Ravens selected a couple of rookie receivers in this year's NFL draft that are very talented, so losing Torrey Smith doesn't play a huge factor in my analysis. I saw what Jay Cutler was able to do in this system, so I'm optimistic that Flacco won't miss a beat from where he stood last season, and a better season isn't farfetched either.

While quarterbacks have become more valuable in recent years, I still suggest that fantasy owners wait on taking a quarterback. It happens almost every season where a quarterback drafted in mid-late rounds finishes amongst the top 12 in fantasy points. Some examples of that are Big Ben, Flacco, and Tannenhill in 2015. Potential candidates for similar results this season are Philip Rivers and Teddy Bridgewater. So if you can't or don't take on one of the elite quarterbacks early on, don't panic.  You can always hit gin with one of the quarterbacks in the later rounds.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me via twitter @Armando_Marsal.