Last season, I did a number of fantasy predictions, and fantasy advice pieces for all of you fantasy football fans, and this year is going to be no different, starting with my rankings of every position on your fantasy roster. Each week I will assess the top players at every position, starting with the top 20 quarterback, and an explanation for both. Let’s begin with guess who…
1. Peyton Manning
It doesn’t get much better than Peyton Manning last season, and as much as I love to rag on him, there is no better option than Peyton at quarterback. In fact, he is the only quarterback that I would consider drafting in round one of a draft. He’s got more weapons than last season with the additions of Emmanuel Sanders and Cody Latimer, despite the loss of Eric Decker. He still has Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas, and more importantly, a team more focused on stats, than just winning games. That’s all you should care about in fantasy football.
2. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is my number two quarterback, and while he doesn’t have the number of weapons that Peyton has, Rodgers is the most electrifying all around quarterback in the game. He can still rip the ball all over the field, to the likes of Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, and has even made it work with the likes of Jarrett Boykin. The Packers also added an interesting piece in rookie Jared Abbrederis. Rodgers also has great value in his running, making him a legitimate dual threat. Grab him in rounds two or three if you can.
3. Drew Brees
Drew Brees is really 2A in this situation, as it really just comes down to personal preference, and I will always prefer Aaron Rodgers. Brees is just like Manning and Brady, in that despite his advanced age, he’s still going strong. Brees will have to carry the Saints, but expect more big numbers from him, as that offense will continue to pile up the passing attempts. Kenny Stills looks to be his breakout weapon, so expect him to have a big year as well.
4. Cam Newton
Newton is a bit of a risk here, but I expect him to continue to step up with more pressure on him as the focal point of the offense. He lost weapons in Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell, but hopefully he can make rookie Kelvin Benjamin into a legitimate year one option. Newton is here for his running, and he should continue to run strong all over defenses.
5. Matt Stafford
Really just one reason why Stafford is a top five quarterback in fantasy football. Megatron. But he will have a little more help this year with the addition of Golden Tate, and hopefully the emergence of Ryan Broyles. Of course, maybe their biggest addition was TE Eric Ebron in the first round of the NFL Draft. Adding a special athlete like Ebron to the likes of Megatron and Tate, is just scary.
6. Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck finally seems to have gotten some help this offseason, with the signing of Hakeem Nicks. Luck has always needed a reliable big bodied target, and Nicks can be that. I also loved the drafting of Donte Moncrief, and feel that he could contribute early. Of course, he’s also getting back Reggie Wayne, and TY Hilton is still there. Dwayne Allen is also healthy, and Coby Fleener is still there. This team finally has its weapons, now can they protect him?
7. Robert Griffin III
The only thing that really matters with Robert Griffin, is if he can stay healthy. If he stays healthy the entire season, I think RG3 can be a top 3 quarterback. He should love having DeSean Jackson on his team, and will continue to show love to his favourite target in Pierre Garcon. We might also see TE Jordan Reed breakout out as a playable tight end. Griffin has the weapons, just stay on the field, and he could be your MVP.
8. Philip Rivers
I’m higher on Rivers than most people, but it’s with good reason. We saw Rivers have a resurgence last season, and a lot of that is thanks to the additions of Danny Woodhead and Keenan Allen. That offense is a juggernaut, and while the defense might not be stopping many teams, at least that means that Rivers can continue to sling it around like we know that he can.
9. Nick Foles
Foles had an absolutely amazing second half of the season, posting some truly gaudy numbers, and while this won’t be repeated, he’s going to be a very solid option for your team. DeSean Jackson’s departure hurts, but the additions of rookie Jordan Matthews and scat back Darren Sproles will hopefully keep this buzz saw offense moving. Chip Kelly is the key here, and his offensive system makes Foles look very good.
10. Colin Kaepernick
Kaepernick just cashed in with a huge contract, so he’s going to have to start proving his worth. Kap will benefit from having Michael Crabtree for a full season, next to Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. Stevie Johnson should also enjoy his time in the Bay, and provide Kap with a great 4th option on the field. The 49ers have loaded up on weapons, it’s now just up to whether or not Kap can take the next step as an elite quarterback.
11. Tony Romo
Tony Romo might always get the short end of the stick, but there’s one thing that he will always do, and that’s put up stats. Dez Bryant wants a big contract, so he will be more motivated than ever. Terrance Williams looks like a prime breakout candidate, moving up the depth chart with Miles Austin’s departure. Jason Witten is of course, as reliable as ever. Maybe most importantly, it looks like he finally has the offensive line to protect him properly.
12. Tom Brady
I know how strange this must seems, but this isn’t because Brady CAN’T put up numbers, the Patriots and Belichick’s offense WON’T let him put up big numbers. All that matters in New England is winning, and they don’t care about starts. Brady will still be a solid option, but there is reason for concern as a fantasy quarterback.
13. Russell Wilson
Wilson is in a similar position to Brady, in that his team isn’t built to put up individual stats, it’s all about believing in the game plan, and just winning. The Seahawks relied on Marshawn Lynch and the run game to win the Super Bowl, and they will continue to do so this year. Of course, Wilson will still be able to unleash the gamely deep ball, which makes him a somewhat viable option.
14. Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler is a bit of an enigma. It seems like he should be higher thanks to the likes of Marshall, Jeffery and Forte, but I just don’t completely trust the guy yet. He still will make the occasional dumb throw, and take himself out of a game mentally, and he also hasn’t been able to stay healthy the past couple years. This is Cutler’s one big prove it year. Stash him away as your second quarterback, and you could have a major winner on your hands.
15. Matt Ryan
Matt Ryan’s drop from prominence isn’t really his fault, but it’s the fact that the Falcons team just doesn’t have much talent around him. Julio Jones is great, but Roddy White has had troubles getting on the field, and Tony Gonzales just retired. Not to mention a very suspect offensive line, and I find a quarterback that I like, but a situation that I do not.
16. Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben has never been one to put up big passing numbers, but he does have a number of intriguing options at his disposal. First he has the leading reception getter in the NFL last season in Antonio Brown, and Lance Moore is also an interesting addition. But this team just doesn’t have the firepower, or the will to throw the ball around enough to make Ben a great fantasy option.
17. Carson Palmer
Carson Palmer has a loaded set up weapons, the only problem… Is that he’s Carson Palmer. Larry Fitzgerald is still a very good receiver, and will make some incredible plays, but the real intriguing option is Michael Floyd, who broke out last season. Palmer just has to play smart, and limit his mistakes, which is easier said than done.
18. Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton only gets himself a spot on this list because he has AJ Green on his team. Dalton tries to go to Green too much sometimes, so the Bengals will hope that Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones can step up as legit number two options. I don’t have the same faith in them to do so.
19. Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill has all that he needs. Good weapons in the likes of Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Charles Clay. Jarvis Landry was added in the draft, and so were interesting players like TEs Arthur Lynch and Gator Hoskins. He just need to finally put it together. I’m not one to trust him however, and don’t think he can turn into a legitimate fantasy option, much like I don’t think he’ll turn into a quarterback capable of leading his team to the playoffs.
20. Eli Manning
We start with a Manning, and end with a Manning. Eli rounds thing out for us, mostly on reputation alone. With Eli, you’re never sure what you’ll get season-to-season. It will be interesting to see how Odell Beckham Jr. is used, and if Rueben Randle can become the WR many think he’ll be. Another interesting player to watch is TE Adrien Robinson if he can stay healthy. But the truth remains. This Manning just can’t be trusted.
Thoughts on this list of the top 20 fantasy football quarterbacks? Which players are you targeting this fantasy football season? Let me know in the comments below.