By: Cam Farnham
In the years past, Quarterbacks have been getting drafted later and later. With the production Quarterbacks are putting up these days, this is not the case at all anymore.
1. Aaron Rodgers
Usually Quarterbacks aren’t taken in the first 3 rounds, but with Rodgers there should be an exception. Year in and year out Rodgers has been putting up video game like numbers, which is why he comes in at first on the list. Rodgers ranked 4th in passing yards (4,428), 1st in passing touchdowns (40), 4th in QB rating (104.2), and most importantly for fantasy players, 1st in total fantasy points with 365. Whether it is with his arm or his legs (1st in rushing yards per game for QB), Rodgers will continue to be dominate as the first Quarterback taken in fantasy drafts.
2. Tom Brady
The last thing the NFL needed was for the Patriots to add another play maker. That is just what they did. Trading away the 32nd pick in the draft for speedster Brandin Cooks gives Brady yet another weapon to contribute to. After serving a 4 game suspension in his role with Deflategate, Brady almost saw the MVP trophy fall into his lap. Precision. One of many words to describe Brady throughout his career. A 112.2 QB rating ranked him 2nd in the league only to MVP Matt Ryan. 28 Touchdown passes were credited to his name in just 12 games, which ranked him 7th. With a full season, it could be argued that Brady would have won the MVP but he got something much more valuable than that. A 5th super bowl ring for Brady in one the league’s best ever comebacks. With the addition of Cooks to an offense that already had Edelman, Hogan, and a healthy Rob Gronkowski, the quest for 6 has already started.
3. Matt Ryan
The reigning 2016 NFL MVP looks to come out firing in the 2017 season. With what seemed to be at the time a sure fairy tale ending with a World Championship, everything was lost in the blink of an eye. The production of Matt Ryan left fantasy owners on cloud nine as he finished near the top of every offensive Quarterback category. Ryan ranked 2nd in passing yards (4,944), 2nd in passing touchdowns (38), and 1st in QB rating with an incredible 117.1 mark. With one of the best receivers on his side in Julio Jones, Ryan will continue to sling the ball downfield and score points.
4. Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck could be the most talented Quarterback of the bunch if he can stay healthy. The 2012 draft pick has been everything the city of Indianapolis could of wished for after Peyton Manning left. Luck finished top 10 in the three major Quarterback driven categories. 8th in passing yards (4,240), 5th in passing touchdowns (31), and 9th in QBR with 96.4. If the Colts front five can keep Luck off his back (league leading 2.73 sacks a game minimum 10 games played), look for Luck to find play makers such as pro bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton, and young speedster Donte Moncrief. Don’t be surprised if Luck doubles his stats on the run as well (4 rushing touchdowns, 341 rushing yards).
5. Drew Brees
One thing about Drew Brees is that it doesn’t matter who is on the field with him, he is going to make them better. After a season ago ranked him 4th in fantasy points with 323, look for Brees to do more of the same for the Saints. The loss of Cooks hurts Brees and co, but don’t doubt the former Purdue star on his route to the Hall of Fame. Brees ranked in the top 5 in passing touchdowns (37), QBR (101.7), and was the only Quarterback to throw for at least 5,000 yards (5,208). With how poor the Saints defense has been, look for Brees to be playing behind trying to catch up with a lot of passes, to many receivers.
6. Cam Newton
While he had a down year last year, Cam Newton is the most physically gifted Quarterback in 2017, and it is not even close. With a career low in QBR (75.8) which ranked him 27th in the league, don’t sleep on him for a major come back year. I mean he did win the 2015 MVP, and he did carry his team all the way to the Super Bowl. With the addition of versatile play maker Christian McCaffrey, and speedster Curtis Samuel of Ohio State, alongside with Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess, Newton has the most weapons he has ever had. One thing about Cam Newton is as a runner, he is the primary back in the red zone. The amount of touches Newton will get with the ball in his hands is something to be excited for fantasy fans. The major question is whether his offensive line can keep him protected. Only time will tell. The Panthers are able to not only improve on the 6-10 record they put up, but compete in the NFC.
7. Marcus Mariota
The most intriguing Quarterback to look for this year is Mariota. With an offense that improved greatly a year ago, will they continue to improve, or will they stall. The explosive Mariota is joined by a great running attack with the duo of DeMarco Murray and Derick Henry, a newly put together receiving core with Eric Decker and rookie Corey Davis that will look to put Tennessee on the map. Don’t forget about Delanie Walker, as he has shown he is a top 5 Tight End in all of football. The signs are saying the tides are turning for the Titans, and so did Mariota’s improvments. Although Mariota ranked just 23rd in passing yards with 3,426, he ranked in the top 10 in passing touchdowns (26), and QBR (95.6). Mariota can do it with his feet as well, as he has rushed for over 600 yards and 4 touchdowns in his 2 year career. Look for Mariota to break out this year, and be a top fantasy Quarterback.
8. Russell Wilson
Wilson has been floating on whether he is an elite Quarterback and without a ring that question will continue to be open. With the addition of Eddie Lacy, the more balanced attack of the Seahawks will be in full force. A year ago Wilson finished 14th in QBR (92.6), 17th in passing touchdowns (21), and 10th in passing yards with 4,219. Although Wilson was still a top 10 ranked fantasy Quarterback (9th), I expect Wilson to put up better numbers from a year ago. Along with Cam Newton, Wilson can take over a game with not just his arm, but also with his legs. In his short career, Wilson has ran for 2,689 yards with 13 touchdowns. With the help of the leagues most underrated star in Doug Baldwin, look for the tandem to wreak havoc on the league this year.
9. Kirk Cousins
The NFC East is the best division in football right now. You look at the Cowboys and you see Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott lighting up the league for Americas team. You look at the New York Giants and all you see is number 13 dancing in the end zone. You look at the Philadelphia Eagles and you are witnessing the next big thing in Carson Wentz. And when you look at the Washington Redskins you see Kirk Cousins. Cousins has came onto the NFL as one of the most surprising stories. Ranking 7th in fantasy points with 290 last year, Cousins has proved that he belongs to be in consideration among the top 10. Cousins ranked in the top 10 in passing yards with 4,917 (3rd), and QBR with 97.2 (7th). With the addition of Terelle Pryor Sr., Cousins is deemed for another stellar year for the Redskins.
10. Ben Roethlisberger
Age is a factor, but anytime you have two of the most dominant players in the league in Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, you are going to do some damage. Roethlisberger has been one of the best Quarterbacks in the league since he was drafted in 2004. Right away Big Ben was the captain under center as he has been a starter ever since. A year in which could be considered down, Roethlisberger still ranked 6th in passing touchdowns with 29, and 11th in QBR with a 95.4. The Steelers have one of the best if not the best offensive rosters as they boast players such as Bell and Brown. The biggest addition to the team is not a rookie, but it is Martavis Bryant. After serving a yearlong suspension, the Steelers get back one the best young players in the game. Look for the Steelers to compete in the AFC, and look for Roethlisberger to lead them there.
11. Derek Carr
12. Matthew Stafford
13. Jameis Winston
14. Phillip Rivers
15. Eli Manning
16. Dak Prescott
17. Carson Palmer
18. Andy Dalton
19. Tyrod Taylor
20. Blake Bortles