Welcome to QUARTERBACK WEEK here at Faketeams! The signal callers are an easy start because without a franchise QB, teams are likely to be... well... the Browns. Let’s get to our consensus rankings:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay (Last Season Finish: 1) – Rodgers is the most talented quarterback in the league. His mobility, consistency, and ability to improvise has kept him in the top three since he took over the reins for Green Bay in 2008.
2. Tom Brady, New England (18) – Five-time Super Bowl Champion and my personal favorite comes in at number two on our list. Father Time will eventually catch up to Tom Terrific, but it certainly was not a factor the last time he was on a field.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans (2) – Brees was the only quarterback last season to throw for more than 5,000 yards. Since becoming a Saint in 2006 Brees has averaged 4,888 yards, 35 touchdowns, and a 99.4 QB rating. Lock him in as an easy QB1 in 2017.
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis (4) – Luck started opening week 2016 with a bang, but then fell off with only 1 TD pass in 3 of his next 5 games. He was a real hit-or-miss QB between weeks 2-9 last season. With a poor offensive line and a lack of weapons outside of T.Y. Hilton the Colts were not the same team. A strong finish to the year should provide the boost that Luck needs to finish 2017 no worse than last year’s #4 ranking.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta (3) – Matty Ice had a career year in leading the Falcons to a NFC Championship. He set personal records for yards, touchdowns, and fewest interceptions. The Good: A running game and Julio Jones. The Bad: No more Kyle Shanahan.
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle (11) – Wilson regressed quite a bit from 2015, but we feel he is in for a bounce back. The Seattle offensive line was atrocious last season and there was no running game to take pressure off of Wilson. With some depth at running back and Wilson being as good with his legs as he is with his arm, expect DangerRuss to get back in the top 10 this season.
7. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee (15) – Mariota took a solid step forward in his sophomore campaign by raising his yardage and touchdowns and throwing one less interception. The Titans have an excellent backfield and added a big weapon in the draft by selecting Corey Davis. Mariota should continue to improve and I expect him to increase his touchdown total again this season.
8. Cam Newton, Carolina (16) – Cam started falling apart in Super Bowl 50 and it carried over to last season. The 2015 MVP was ranked 16th at the QB position last year. I expect Newton to take less of a beating this season and depend on J-Stew and C-Mac in the backfield. His MVP days are in the rearview mirror, but he is not as bad as last season.
9. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay (10) – Famous Jameis is improving. It doesn’t show in his stats, but he is finding his way in the NFL. With a solid red zone target in Mike Evans, an above average backfield, and a promising rookie TE, Winston should continue his rise into the top 10 of NFL quarterbacks.
10. Kirk Cousins, Washington (5) – Since Cousins took over as a full-time starter in Washington, he has completely exceeded expectations. Although there are contract issues between Cousins and the team, he has continued to play his way into big tenders and is fully expected to be a top 10 NFL quarterback again this season. You like that?!?
11. Derek Carr, Oakland (12) – Before an injury cut his year short and ruined a deep postseason run for the Raiders, Carr was in the conversation for League MVP. With a solid core of weapons around him, Carr should have no problem hitting the 4,000 yard mark and throwing for 30 touchdowns. Look for the Raiders to find their way back into the playoffs.
12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (17) – Age and health haven’t been kind to Roethlisberger as the veteran briefly contemplated retirement this offseason. With arguably the best receiving RB and best WR in the league, Roethlisberger will put up stats as long as he can stay on the field. Just be ready to draft an earlier backup to save your season if you are to lose Big Ben to injury.
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit (8) – Stafford is always good for yards. The Lions are a pass first offense and have a solid 3rd down back in Theo Riddick. Without Calvin Johnson last season, Stafford’s touchdown total paid the price. If Stafford can hit the 30 TD mark he will be a top 10 QB, but that’s a big jump from last year’s 24.
14. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (9) – Rivers is a solid late round choice in your drafts. He is closing in on 50,000 career passing yards and hasn’t missed a game since Drew Brees was the Chargers’ quarterback. With a full arsenal of weapons in Los Angeles Rivers is primed for another vintage Rivers season – 4,000 yards/30 TDs/20 INTs.
15. Dak Prescott, Dallas (7) – Probably the hardest quarterback to rank this offseason. Is he as good as last year or do opponents have tape on him now to better defend the Cowboys? Prescott had an amazing rookie season throwing for 23 TDs and 4 INTs, splitting the offensive burden with fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott. The odds say that Dak is in for a sophomore slump, but in the Dallas offense he should still be a top 15 fantasy QB.
16. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (13) – Taylor is a fantasy stud. He may be the most underrated fantasy quarterback in the league. He is improving and Buffalo is starting to build a solid offense around him. However, there are still question marks at the WR position. If, and when, Sammy Watkins misses time on the field, the top WR on the Bills would be a rookie – Zay Jones.
17. Eli Manning, New York Giants (21) – Adding Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram can only help Manning and the Giants’ passing attack. Only two seasons removed from a 35 TD campaign, Manning still has enough in the tank to make a run at a division title with this offense. Eli will still be outside the top 10 for fantasy, but it is highly unlikely that he falls outside the top 20 again.
18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati (14) – Dalton only had 18 TDs last season in large part due to AJ Green only suiting up for 10 games. Dalton will never blow you away with his stats, but given the right matchups he is a solid plug-and-play. Dalton’s season will rely a lot on the impact of rookies Joe Mixon and John Ross.
19. Carson Palmer, Arizona (19) – Palmer can put up numbers. No one can question that. The issues here are age, health, and how much the team relies on David Johnson. If Palmer stays healthy and he gets a solid contribution from Larry Fitzgerald, then top 15 is not out of the question. That’s a big if, though.
20. Ryan Tannehill, Miami (26*) – All of the right things are coming out of Dolphins’ camp this offseason, but this is still Ryan Tannehill. The team has said (in jest) that they want to get Jay Ajayi 350 carries this season. Ajayi won’t hit that mark, but Miami is clearly comfortable taking the ball out of Tannehill’s hands which will hurt his fantasy value. The addition of Julius Thomas in the redzone will be a nice plus for Miami which, combined with a full 16 games, provides the rankings boost.
21. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia (23) – Wentz didn’t have a lot of help last year from his offense. The running game was in shambles and Jordan Matthews couldn’t beat good corners. The Eagles went out and picked up a few players to help Wentz out. If LeGarrette Blount can shoulder some load and Alshon Jeffrey can take pressure off Matthews, this offense will improve from 2016. Expect Wentz to take a small step forward this season.
22. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville (6) – Don’t let last year’s rankings fool you. Blake Bortles was awful in 2016. The ranking is a direct reflection on how QB rushing totals boost fantasy scores. Jacksonville surprised many and selected running back Leonard Fournette in the NFL Draft to take the ball out of Bortles hands when the game is on the line. Without any real improvements outside of Fournette to the offense, I don’t see much improvement for Bortles in 2017.
23. Alex Smith, Kansas City (22) – How long before Chiefs fans are calling for Mahomes? Alex Smith is the prototypical game manager. He is almost perfect in an Andy Reid offense. However, it’s perfect until it isn’t. The Chiefs made an early exit last season in large part because they couldn’t scare Pittsburgh with anything deep. Draft Smith in a deep league, but be ready to cut ties early for Mahomes if he starts feeling the heat.
24. Sam Bradford, Minnesota (24) – Much like Alex Smith, there are way too many questions with Sam Bradford. How much small-ball can these offenses play and expect to win? In order to create room for Latavius Murray and Dalvin Cook, Bradford is going to need to keep defenses from loading up the box to stop the run. The health of Teddy Bridgewater will go a long way towards deciding how long Bradford’s leash is.
25. Joe Flacco, Baltimore (20) – Outside of Dak Prescott, Joe Flacco is the hardest quarterback to rank. Ask him and he will tell you he is elite. Ask the Ravens and they will tell you he is elite and worth every penny of his ridiculous contract. Ask anyone else and they will tell you the opposite. Flacco has seen playoff success in his career and has the numbers to back it up—including some Super Bowl hardware. The issue for Flacco is he needs to play the regular season before that playoff success can kick in. The signing of Jeremy Maclin was huge for this offense. If they can establish a run game in that messy backfield, Flacco should throw for 4,000 yard and 20 TDs – but not much more.
*Colin Kaepernick was rated #25 last season.
Consensus QB Ranks 2017