The start of the NFL season gives rise to one universal truth: all over the nation family members, co-workers and friends are gearing up to partake in the annual tradition of Fantasy Football. To commemorate this tradition, every Friday leading up to week one of the season, the Wrightway network will be breaking down who we project the best players at each position will be, starting with the men under center playing the quarterback position. Keep in mind that this is a “Fantasy” list, so while it projects the QB’s that will score the most points in Fantasy Football, it does not necessarily translate to relative talent and ability.
10) Mathew Stafford
While Mathew Stafford’s success in Detroit has been questionable at times, his ability to put up amazing numbers has been reliably consistent. It seems every year he puts up ridiculous numbers in both passing yards and passing touchdowns, characteristics of any great fantasy QB. Last year he was 3rd in passing yards and 4thin passing TDs. This allowed him to accumulate the 5th most fantasy points among QB’s. He is a solid pick up in fantasy barred by only two concerns. First, his game is incredibly one-dimensional. This means that one should not expect many rushing yards or rushing TDs. This is not ideal because in most leagues both rushing yards and touchdowns are worth more than their passing equivalent. This means that players like Stafford that do not run have to pass for a lot more yards to contribute a significant impact. The second concern is that his core around him is not extremely talented. He was able to make it work last season, but considering their schedule they have to face multiple elite defenses like the Rams, Seahawks and the Vikings (twice). Despite this, Stafford has proven time and time again that win or lose, he will make the big plays in the air to give his team a chance.
9) Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is another solid quarterback who primarily relies on his arm to score points. Last year, he put up respectable numbers to finish 7thamong QB’s in total Fantasy Points scored and 9thamong all players. Another added bonus this year is that if the Steelers star RB Le’veon Bell holds out for half the season, then it is likely that Ben will have to throw the ball even more often. This would also mean that many of their red zone situations will end up having Ben throw the ball to either Antonio Brown or Juju Smith-Schuster. Speaking of his WR’s, he does have the best WR in football with Brown along with Juju who is an excellent second option. Due to his experience, weapons, and anticipated increased role, I expect Ben to have another solid year as one of the leading fantasy QBs.
8) Jared Goff
On this list, Goff is probably the quarterback with the biggest chip on his shoulder. This time last year, many people were already claiming that he was a bust and that he could not compete in the NFL as a starting QB. Yet, in his bounce-back year as a starter, he proved everyone wrong. He went from having only 5 passing TD’s his rookie year to being tied for fifth for most passing TDs in the league with 28. Combine that with solid numbers throwing the ball and you have yourself a legitimate starting Fantasy QB. The only big concern is that he lacks talent in both the WR and TE positions especially after losing WR Sammy Watkins in the off-season. Yes he does have Todd Gurley in the Backfield, and while he does contribute in the passing game it still does not cover the lack of talent this team has in those positions. Yet, I think under Head Coach Sean McVay, the Rams will have a system that will help Goff continue to improve as a player and more importantly help fantasy teams all over the country.
7) Carson Wentz
Last year Wentz was dominating the League. If he did not get injured, then there is no doubt that he would have won the MVP. He appeared to be Aaron Rodgers-like, throwing the second most TD’s in the league (33) despite missing multiple games, while rushing for 300 yards. In spite of his obvious talent that everyone recognizes, the reason why he is not ranked higher on the list is due to his season ending injury this past December. As long as Fantasy Owners are unsure the number of games Wentz will have to miss due to his injury, drafting Wentz might be evaluated with a little more risk than reward. Should the Eagles QB miss games, Fantasy Owners will be forced to use their back-up quarterback to fill the void, which could ultimately be the difference between one team making the playoffs or simply watching from the sidelines. It doesn’t help that the Eagles have a reliable backup (and Super Bowl MVP) in Nick Foles. Therefore, the Eagles are not going to be pressed to put Wentz in games until he is fully healthy. This is great for Eagles fans but for Fantasy Owners this uncertainty lowers Wentz stock significantly. If it turns out that he is healthy to start the season or he will only be out one game, then his stock will go up, but until the uncertainty clears, he will remain a still a solid pick-up with obvious concerns.
6) Drew Brees
Brees is a living legend destined to be in Canton as a Hall of Fame Quarterback. He simply gets the job done for his team every year and is consistently able to post huge numbers. Even at 39, I do not expect Brees to slow down especially with the young crop of talent that they have with Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Alvin Kamara. The great thing to about Brees is that you know exactly what you are going to get with him as a Fantasy QB. Yeah he might not end up having as many flashy moments as Rodgers or Wilson, but he will consistently be able to post solid numbers every week. Last year his only flaw as a QB was that he did not throw as many Passing touchdowns compared to other years. Despite ranking 4th in passing yards, his 23 passing touchdowns lead him to not have as high of fantasy numbers compared to previous years. I expect him to improve on these 23 TDs, and I expect Drew Brees to be a consistent contributor to any Fantasy team.
5) Tom Brady
He might be the Greatest Quarterback of all time, but that does not necessarily translate to being the best Fantasy Quarterback. Do not get me wrong, Brady is a great option to have for any fantasy team and last year he ended 3rdfor most total Fantasy points. He has proven time and time again to be an elite playmaker throughout the regular season, and this year will be no exception. Another big plus for Tom is his great receiving core. Not only will he have Hogan and Gronkowski, but the signing of Patterson will give the Patriots a legitimate deep threat WR. The only concern that I have is that he is going to start the first four games without Edelman, but again Brady has proven to be able to utilize a multitude of different receivers in the slot. Now why do I have him only at 5th. Well like Brees Tom is a pocket passer, and while its great in regular season games the top tier Fantasy quarterbacks need to be able to provide rushing yards or rushing TD. He has never done this throughout his career and I do not expect him to start anytime soon. Nevertheless, I think he will be a safe QB pick giving any team consistent numbers.
4) Deshaun Watson
Watson is a player that has the biggest boom-bust potential in the draft. As a rookie he showed that he could dominate opposing defenses, with both his throwing ability and his rushing ability. This approved very fruitful for Fantasy owners as he averaged the most points among fantasy QB’s. Yet, he got injured so no one was given an opportunity to see Watson play an entire season leaving the jury still out on his abilities. And now defenses will be game planning against the sophomore Watson. So this along with his questions of durability can be a huge gamble for any Fantasy owner. But if he is able to remain healthy, and continue to read opposing defenses, the sky is the limit for any fantasy team that drafts him.
3) Cam Newton
Newton has always had issues with being a consistent fantasy QB and off the field many have questioned his maturity level. While it is true that his play does fluctuate from time to time, at his best he plays like the best fantasy QB in the league. Last year he proved this by scoring the second highest number of points from the QB position. Furthermore, while people have questioned his maturity among other off the court issues, these perceptions have never caused him to miss multiple games. Another aspect that puts Cam in the top 3 three among Fantasy QB’s is his ability to make plays in the end zone. Last year he led all QB’s in Rushing TD’s and I expect him to continue to be able to make plays in the red zone using his feet. I fully expect Cam to continue his success onto next season.
2) Russell Wilson
Wilson proved last year that despite having a great cast around him, he could still lead his team to a decent regular season. He did this by posting ridiculous numbers week after week. Wilson has a combination of abilities from avoiding pressure in and out of the pocket, running with the ball, and delivering on-point passes to his WR’s puts him as the second best fantasy QB. He proved himself last season as he lead the all quarterbacks in total fantasy points, and averaged 21.7 points a game during that stretch. My only concern is that he did lose both Graham and Rawls in the off-season, but Wilson has proven he is able to lead offenses without having to rely on major talent. I believe he will be one of the safest picks one can take in a fantasy draft and could help make propel teams to fantasy champions.
1) Aaron Rodgers
There is not much to say about the great Aaron Rodgers. He has proven nearly every year that when healthy he is the best QB in the league. Most quarterbacks are great at doing one or two things. Whether it is throwing passes in the pockets, extended plays when the pocket collapses, or an ability to rush the football. Rodgers is simply great in all three aspects and there is really no weakness in his game. And while he did lose Jordy Nelson, he still has a lot of solid WR’s like Randall Cobb and Davante Adams ready to fill the void. On top of the solid WR core, they just added Jimmy Graham which just gives Rodgers another big target to utilize in the offense. The only concern is that they have the hardest schedule this year, but as long as Rodgers is healthy I expect him to continue dominating teams and being the best Quarterback in Fantasy Football.