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Fantasy Football: Quarterback Tiers

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In today’s NFL, it’s as much about betting and fantasy football as it is about actually rooting for your real life team. Each week, I will be giving my fantasy advice on weekly waiver pickups, starts, and sits, but now, it’s time to go over the fantasy football draft. I will be giving my rankings for QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs while grouping them by tiers. Today I’ll be starting off with the guys who get paid the big bucks, the QBs. So without further ado, let’s get right into the rankings.

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 for fantasy point projections, so feel free to choose who you prefer.

Tier 1 – Elite

Ben Roethlisberger
Cam Newton
Aaron Rodgers
Andrew Luck
Blake Bortles
Drew Brees

If you take out the game he got knocked out in early and the game he came in as a backup, Big Ben was the #2 QB in PPG. With the Steelers going for two even more often this year and their running game partially halted for four weeks, he’s my #1 QB this year. Cam, aka, “SuperCam” will once again be at, or near, the top and should produce like he normally does.

He’s the best finisher at QB in football. His weeks 13 and on are unbelievable. Aaron Rodger could be the #1 QB any year. With his favorite target, Jordy Nelson, back, he should be able to come back strong after a below average year for him, which left him just within the top 10 QBs last year.

Andrew Luck, health aside, should finish top 5, and arguably as the #1 QB. With a surplus of weapons in TY Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, Dwayne Allen, and Frank Gore, to go with an improved offensive line, jump on that bandwagon early. Bortles is someone who quietly finished top 5 for QBs last year, and I think that trend could continue as he starts year 3. Brees could start to have some slippage as the Saints go to a more balanced attack, but still hard to count him out. I think all of the above QBs should go in the range of late 3rd to 6th round. Other than these 6, there are a lot more good starters.

Tier 2 – Starters

Russell Wilson
Tom Brady
Derek Carr
Eli Manning
Tony Romo
Philip Rivers

Brady would be in the 1st tier if it weren’t for his four-game suspension. He will be his usual self when he returns. Wilson proved me wrong last year when I ranked him 11th, and he finished 4th, but I’m going to ask him to prove me wrong again, but at least he’s ranked a big higher this time. Derek Carr showed a lot last year. For the 1st eight games of the season, he was a top 10, and close to a top 5 QB. With an even better line and better running game, he and the Raiders hope to take their game to the near elite status. I have big hopes for Carr this year, loads of potential and a very high ceiling.

Eli Manning will do his usual, finish in the top 15 of QBs and threaten to finish top 10. It’s what he does, and we should all get used to it. Tony Romo has the best offensive line in the game, and when everyone is healthy, the Cowboys have arguably the best offense in football. Health is the biggest questions so that he can be had later, but usually, pays off. If Keenan Allen stays healthy, Rivers will have a few more targets than usual. He’s a better fantasy QB than real NFL QB, but that’s all you should care about. Wilson and Brady may go a little earlier than expected, but the rest should be good bargain QBs after the 6th round.

Tier 3 – Borderline Starters

Carson Palmer
Marcus Mariota
James Winston
Kirk Cousins
Matt Stafford
Matt Ryan

I look at Palmer almost the same way I do with Rivers, so keep that in mind. Mariota, Winston, and Cousins all are going into their 2nd year as full-time starters. Mariota, because of his running ability has the highest ceiling, but also the worst weapons. Winston has the best arm of the 3, but uses his feet the least, and Cousins is the guy that no one believes in yet, but he keeps going out and proving the doubters to be wrong. Stafford and Ryan are in solid offenses, but I question how good they are as QBs. The offense must carry them a bit. All of the above should be available from round 8 or on.

Tier 4 – 2 QB League Starters

Brock Osweiler
Tyrod Taylor
Jay Cutler
Robert Griffin III
Ryan Tannehill
Andy Dalton

Osweiler has the most potential because of his arm strength and speedy weapons that will be surrounding him. He’s in a good position to succeed. Taylor got his shot last year and ran with it. With another year of experience in the offense, “T-Mobile” is ready to surprise all of us again. Everyone knows Cutler has a strong arm, but with Alshon Jeffrey and Kevin White returning from injury, Cutler has a chance to put up some numbers with a team that has a below average defense.

Due to injuries, we may never see the RG3 of a few years ago. However, with a fresh start, and a team that kind of fits his attributes, he has the potential for a bounce back a year. Tannehill is hard to figure out. You never want to count on him, but he always seems to be the best option when you are desperate. Dalton still has AJ Green, but they lost Mohammad Sanu and Marvin Jones in the offseason, and Tyler Eifert is hurt. Expect them to be a heavy running team.

Tier 5 – Secured Starters

Alex Smith
Joe Flacco
Teddy Bridgewater
Ryan Fitzpatrick

Everyone in this group is players who have secure starting positions, but I wouldn’t trust any of them to start even one week for my fantasy team. All of them have some potential, but I just wouldn’t want to take that chance on any of my fantasy teams.

Tier 6 – Weak Starters

Sam Bradford
Mark Sanchez
Blaine Gabbert
Case Keenum

To be honest with you, I don’t think that any of these four guys will be starting for their team by week 12. All of them have guys on the bench with more potential and will probably be ousted for their starting spots sooner or later. Take at your risk, even in 2 QB leagues.

Tier 7 – Backups to Start

Colin Kaepernick
Jared Goff
Carson Wentz
Paxton Lynch

Everyone in this group corresponds with the players I mentioned in Tier 6. I feel all will be the starters for their respective teams. Kaepernick has the most potential cause he has started before. Lynch probably has the highest ceiling but is the rawest.

Next, up tomorrow for the rankings articles are still what I consider the core of what makes a fantasy team, the RBs. This year, you’ll have to get an RB early, or you may be out of luck for the entire draft. Until then, if you have a draft before then, good luck. If you have any questions, I can be reached on Twitter with the handle @Pacman453323.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at robert.cobb@theinscribermag.com