Uselessly Early 2017 QB Ranks
To me, there are 3 methods for drafting and managing your QB position:
- Draft Elite, Draft Early
- Wait and Hope for the Best
Personal preference and the way your draft shakes out will determine which strategy is best for you. Based on these three categories, I will be ranking all relevant QBs.
Draft Early, Draft Elite
In order to get a premium passer, you will need to commit a high end pick (but never first round — I’m looking at you 2016 Cam owners).
1 / Aaron Rodgers / GB
Unfortunately, you will not be getting A-A-Ron at a “discount,” but you can “R-E-L-A-X” with him in your starting lineup and never need to “double check” your roster on Sunday Morning. Ok — enough of that. But shitty puns and Olivia Munns aside, Rodgers needs to be the first QB off the Board. Averaging 2+ PPG over Number 2 (Matt Ryan) last year is reason enough to draft him, but improvements on offense driven by (i) the addition of Martellus Bennett and (ii) anticipated growth by Adams and Allison should put Rodgers in an even better position to produce in 2017. Sure, you can look at his 40/7 TD/Interception ratio and think “well, he won’t maintain that.” Except, he will — 2015 (no Jordy): 31/8; 2014: 38/5; 2013 (9 games): 17/6; 2012 39/8. Looking at yards and completion percentage over the years, it’s much the same story. Sprinkle in those scrambling yards and rushing TDs and the picture just gets clearer — the Leader of the Pack will once again lead the pack.
2 / Andrew Luck / IND
2016 was a bounce-back year for the man with the magic beard and the cursed kidney. This one may be a tad of a surprise at #2, so I am doing a little more work to make my case. I’ll be posting an in-depth analysis of Mr. Luck in the coming days.
3 / Derek Carr / OAK
Man, what a shame last season was. Derek Carr performed like the MVP all year, a deep playoff run was looming, and then “snap” — Colts’ LB Trent Cole shattered Carr’s fibula and the Raiders’ season. I’m expecting him to pick up right where he left off, and we see the Raiders make some noise in January.
4 / Tom Brady / NE
Terrific Tom, blah blah blah. Five Super Bowls, yadda yadda yadda. He’s got the trophy case and the trophy wife, and his stats will once again be good. Gronk will (hopefully) be back to himself and Tom will also get a shiny new toy — Brandin Cooks — for being a good boy and winning Uncle Krafty another ring. Hopefully, Bob warned Tom about Putin and he doesn’t pack his ring on his next trip to Mar-a-Lago. While Tommy Boy is a must start just about every week, don’t expect the same “blow up” games you will be getting with my other Elites. He will also sprinkle in 2 or 3 very pedestrian games to be sure. What you will get out of Brady is a consistent play week-to-week and one less position to worry about tinkering with.
5 / Drew Brees / NO
If history tells us anything — Breesy is going to throw the ball. A lot. And probably more than anyone else. That’s good news for his owners. The bad news is he’s another year older and, as stated above, he lost a great weapon in Cooks. While I think Michael Thomas will shine, the loss of Cooks will hurt Brees. Sheer volume alone will set Drew up for success.
No Man’s Land
Now for these guys, I’m not ranking them between the above and below, but I believe they will be drafted as such — and hopefully not by any of you. I don’t see any instance where they would fall far enough to be worth the risk, but should that happen, let’s plug them all in at the back half of the Wait and Hope for the Best group.
Matt Ryan / ATL
Matty Ice had a career year last season, earning him the MVP. I’d also venture to guess that he could be found on many fantasy playoff teams last year. While last year he was a steal — don’t get caught chasing the points like many did with his NFC South counterpart Cam Newton in ’16. First off, he just lost his OC and play caller, a talented one at that. At the Super Bowl, Shanahan dropped acid on Lady Gaga’s tour bus at halftime and woke up in San Francisco (just a theory). Second, just look back at Ryan’s portfolio of work from prior years — a whole lot of expectations, a whole lot of “meh” performances.
Cam Newton / CAR
Please don’t expect much out of Scam this year. Expect more of 2014 and 2016 than 2015. He’s stuck between a rock and a hardplace. On one hand, he can’t afford to continue taking such a beating every game. On the other, for him to be a fantasy god ala 2015, he’s going to need to be physical. Something’s got to give, and Cam doesn’t care about your fantasy team. I think we are going to see a more careful Cam in the future, maybe too careful.
Kirk Cousins / WAS
Washington doesn’t want Cousins, and neither should you. “You like that?!” Not really, Kirk. Only topping 2 TDs three times last season, Kirk’s awesome averageness landed him in the top 5 fantasy options by year end. But the loss of his top two WRs, and the addition of a still-raw Terrelle Pryor will be pushing Captain Kirk down to a back-end QB1.
Dak Prescott / DAL
Ol’ Jerry really found that glory hole in the 2016 Draft. Dak burst on to the scene and ran poor Tony Romo out of town and maybe to the announcer’s booth, and Zeke put on one of the best rookie campaigns in NFL history. Dak benefited greatly from the Hogmollies upfront and Zeke by his side. He wasn’t asked to do much, and shouldn’t be in 2017. While a sophomore slump is always a concern, Dak should be a fine play but will undoubtedly be over-drafted. I don’t expect any great improvements because it’s not needed. This is Zeke’s team.
Wait and Hope for the Best
This batch of guys should serve you just fine if you plan on waiting for a QB. You may have a few matchup-dependant sits, but for the most part they should be weekly starts.
Matt Stafford / DET
With Megatron’s departure last season, Stafford shined in his role as the true leader on offense. He was having a nice little season until a Week 13 finger injury to the throwing hand upped the difficulty a bit. I like him to continue growing, and, should he have healthy RBs to take the pressure off even more, possibly excel to Top 5 by season end. Of this group, he’s who I’d be most comfortable starting on a weekly basis.
Russell Wilson / SEA
2016 was not great for Russell, but the future may be brighter — not to be confused with FUTURE. While Mr. Steal-Yo-Girl-and-Your-Son had a slow start to last season, followed by a slow middle, and a little bit of a slow end, he did manage to have some huge performances. One big issue last year for Seattle was the O-Line, and they beefed that up with the addition of Eddie Lacy.
Ben Roethlisberger / PIT
Big Ben is being coy about his plans for next year. But he will be back. He’s going to be in pain for the entire season, as he has been for the last couple. But he will manage to put up good numbers — playing the Browns 2x also helps.
Marcus Mariota / TEN
I would not be surprised to find Mariota finish in the top 5. He very well could be this year’s steal of the draft at QB.
Jameis Winston / TB
It’s funny, with Trump mentioned above, I just realized I have the two most famous pussy-talkers in one article. Famous Jameis should continue to improve thanks to another year of experience and the addition of DJax giving him a solid #3 receiver — spots 1 and 2 are occupied by Mike Evans.
Philip Rivers / LAC
Philip continues to get it done, albeit while throwing plenty of picks along the way. If Keenan can stay on the field for a full season, no reason to believe Rivers won’t have a better season than last. Melvin should continue to improve as an RB as he enters his prime years as well, taking the burden off Rivers’ shoulders a bit. It will be interesting to see how the move to LA will affect this team’s play on the pitch.
Streamers and Steamers
As the title suggests, this lot of QBs will best serve as streamers as there will certainly be many steaming piles of shitty fantasy games between the group. Each of these guys is sure to see the fantasy field in just about every league. Whether it’s due to injury, bye weeks or matchups, you should always be able to find one of these bastards on the waiver wire when you need them. A Flacco-Dalton combo can get you 4 good games (thanks, Browns). Eli will probably be the Overall QB1 one week, someone will grab him with a great matchup the next week, then he will fail to crack double-digits. If you find yourself in the position to decide between any of these guys in a given week, godspeed.
Joe Flacco / BAL
Eli Manning / NYG
Carson Wentz / PHI
Andy Dalton / CIN
Blake Bortles / JAX
Carson Palmer / ARI
Tyrod Taylor / BUF
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