Fantasy Football Primer: Quarterback


Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback

Tom Brady

(12) watches drills during training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

We are only a few Sundays away before we get to experience some meaningful football, which also means that fantasy football is just around the corner and it is time to make your draft board.

There are so many different kinds of fantasy leagues, whether it’s a PPR-league (point per reception), or perhaps a two-quarterback league, these suggestions, or attempts at a forecast are meant for your default fantasy football leagues. In my book, that means one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight tend, a WR/RB flex, a kicker, and a defense.

Each position will be put into different tiers. Tier 1 will be  the cream of the crop, tier 2 will be the next best guys, and so on and so forth, but within that tier, they will be in order from best to worst. Players that I believe will be busts or sleepers, or have a substantially different season than the previous one may get a few words in honor of their service.

Let’s first take a look at the impressive crop of quarterbacks that the NFL has to offer:

Tier 1

Peyton Manning – DEN

Drew Brees – NO

Matthew Stafford – DET

With the addition of Golden Tate (who is on the PUP list but should be ready by the start of the season) and the drafting of Eric Ebron, Stafford has two more weapons to go along with Calvin Johnson. Add another year of experience at left tackle for Riley Reiff and their inconsistent defense, there is no reason Stafford doesn’t eclipse 30 TDs.

Aaron Rodgers – GB

Tier 2

Andrew Luck – IND

Robert Griffin III – WSH

Two years removed from his knee injury make me an RGIII believer this season. The team will still run the football a ton, and Griffin should be more involved this season, perhaps as an improviser. Desean Jackson will also give him a fantastic deep threat for him to toss that pretty long-ball he throws, something he couldn’t complete last season.

Tom Brady – NE

Nick Foles – PHI

Cam Newton – CAR

Superman lost a lot of help this season losing LT Jordan Gross and his four top receiving targets. While his value is predicated on his ability to run the ball into the end zone, defenses will be gearing up for his runs, and it may be tougher for the Panthers to get into scoring position.

Tier 3

 Tony Romo – DAL

I put Romo just a tad ahead of Kap and Wilson for the reason that we may not see those two run for over 400 yards each again, and this could be the last year or two for Romo to make a statement. He returns with all of his offensive weapons and perhaps improved receivers in Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. The Cowboys say they will run the ball more this year, which really means Romo may have a career-high in pass attempts.

Colin Kaepernick – SF

Jay Cutler – CHI

Russell Wilson – SEA

Philip Rivers – SD

Andy Dalton – CIN

Tier 4

Ben Roethlisberger – PIT

Eli Manning – NYG

Matt Ryan – ATL

Oh how the mighty have fallen. Ryan needs a big bounce-back year, but losing Tony Gonzalez doesn’t make that feat any easier. Ryan will have his wide receivers healthy, but without a capable O-line, he may be in similar positions that he found himself in last year, back-peddling away from pressure and getting knocked to the floor.

Ryan Tannehill – MIA

I expect big things from Tannehill this year after he made clear progress last season. He is a dual-threat quarterback that is still learning to use his legs to his advantage. He could find himself sneaking into tier 3 by the end of this season.

Joe Flacco – BAL

Potential Breakout Candidates

Sam Bradford – STL

This could be the last year anyone is saying positive thing about Bradford. Keep an eye on him early in the season to see how he responds from his injury last year, and also, don’t let Shaun Hill hang around on the waiver wire for too long.

EJ Manuel – BUF

Ryan Fitzpatrick – HOU

If Andre Johnson plays with the Texans this year, Fitzpatrick is a must-draft as a second quarterback. The Texans looked weak on offense last year, but much of that was due to Matt Schaub and his inability to hit open targets. The skill players and the line are in place for Houston so Fitzpatrick will have no excuses if he doesn’t produce in the Lone Star State.