I’m so excited I can barely type this. Not because my hands are shaking, but mainly because it’s draft week for most fantasy leagues.
With the final preseason game (otherwise known as freshman dress rehearsal) culminating this week, it’s paramount you stay on top of all the relevant information. But I hate literally ranking players 1 through 32.
Lists and what not are pretty much the bane of my existence as someone who writes about fantasy football, so I try to put my own spin on them
So, every day this week I’ll unveil a new position breakdown to prepare you for the most important weekend of every fantasy team.
It’s Monday, so obviously we’ll start with the quarterbacks.
Use these descriptive tiers to adequately compartmentalize your quarterbacks. And come back the next four days for a breakdown of every position group.
Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, and Drew Brees are far and away the three best, and safest, quarterback options for 2015. That’s with taking Jordy Nelson’s season-ending injury, and Randall Cobb’s potential to miss games into account.
Aaron Rodgers is a guy who makes others around him better, not the other way around. So while losing his most trusted receiver is a concern on paper, I doubt that it makes a huge difference in the box score.
The same goes for Brees after the departure of Jimmy Graham, who was his most trusted target (especially in the red zone). Brees is 36 now, which may cause some to shy away. But make no mistake about it, age shouldn’t be a concern for Drew Brees. Brees has thrown for at least 4,300 yards and 33 touchdowns in every season since 2008.
Luck, well, he’s a stud. And now he has a whole arsenal of worthy weapons.
I call the rest of my top-10 the tier two fantasy quarterback. These guys have QB1 written all over them, but they’re not guys you put the mortgage on.
Why? Because they all have flaws, and flaws can reroute the wiring.
Probably the safest option after the “Big 3.” He accumulates points both through the air and on the ground (3,475 and 849 respectively in 2014), and isn’t prone to turning the ball over. He adds Jimmy Graham to his arsenal, so added passing touchdowns in the red zone are likely.
As durable as they come, and with elite weapons around him, it’s going to be another massive fantasy football campaign from Tony Romo. The uncertainty at running back aids that sentiment, as all three guys are pass-catching capable. Let’s just hope Dez can catch the ball this time.
Considering the price you can get him at, you should buy, buy, buy.
Ryan Tannehill is a sure-fire top-end quarterback for the 2015 season, because there’s so much room for optimism. Jarvis Landry, Jordan Cameron, Kenny Stills, Lamar Miller, and rookie DaVante Parker create a strong supporting cast. Tannehill took a huge leap forward in 2014 in terms of his decision-making, too.
Yeah, I’m seeing a massive year for Ryan Tannehill in 2015.
Had I made these rankings last week, before Martavis Bryant was suspended and Maurkice Pouncey got injured for at least ten weeks, I would have had Big Ben over Tannehill and possibly Wilson. But the loss of these two could spell trouble over the long haul for the 33-year-old Roethlisberger. He’s still a safe top-10 option, but the discrepancy in numbers between 2013 (without Pouncey) and 2014 (with Pouncey) aren’t something to ignore.
Unlike Drew Brees, age is catching up with Sir Manning, but I think he has just enough left in the tank for one more strong fantasy football season. Expect a dip in production to 4,400 yards and 35 touchdowns from the 4,800 and 40 that he was at in 2014.
Nonetheless, he’s still a strong top 10 option.
If he misses four games due to that heinous suspension he’ll slide closer to 14 or 15.
If he doesn’t (which I don’t think he will), then he’s firmly entrenched at my QB9 or 10. Like Manning, he’s aging rapidly. Unlike Manning, he doesn’t have the weapons around him that make you salivate (sans Gronk). His numbers have taken a decline every year since 2011 and I don’t see that trend changing in 2015.
I love, love, love Philip Rivers in 2015. In fact, I wrestled with putting him ahead of Manning. It basically came down to the offense around him. Rivers has talent, both young and old, but he’s not going to get any help from the run game which potentially could lead to added turnovers. Still, easy top 10 choice this year.
My tier three guys are players you pick as your QB2 in two-QB formats, or as a back-end QB1 if the rest of your roster is very solid.
Beware, guys in this 11-20 range are going to give you more headaches than finals week in college, and probably yield as inconsistent a result as your finals scores looked.
My 11-15 consists of (in this order), Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, and Teddy Bridgewater.
All five of these guys are going to give you some massive, massive weeks.
They’re also going to put up a dud or two. The biggest difference between 11-15 and making the top 10 is the consistency to do it every week.
- Cam Newton put up two games of 30-plus standard fantasy points in 2014. He also produced four such games of 12 or fewer fantasy points.
Matt Ryan was more consistent but had himself two games of single-digit fantasy output. Said weeks give you as an owner a distinct disadvantage in your weekly matchup. Like I said, these guys are going to do great things for you, they’re just going to give you a headache here or there.
The same goes for 16-22. I stop it at a number as arbitrary as 22 because if you’re digging any deeper you’re either terrible at fantasy or you play in a freakishly deep league—in which you can ask me personally if you have any questions.
In this case, you’re looking at a very vanilla set of quarterbacks. They’re boring in the conversation of fantasy football. You also can expect the turnover bug to hit these guys.
Here you’re looking at Alex Smith, Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, Sam Bradford, Andy Dalton, or Blake Bortles.
- Stafford has Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate, and Sam Bradford has the opportunity to be incredibly efficient in Chip Kelly’s offense. But outside of Alex Smith (Mr. Consistency), and Bradford (injury), every one of the above quarterbacks threw double digit interceptions in 2014.
You’ll find Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton, and Blake Bortles sitting atop the list for the league’s interception leaders. The evidential turnover situation that is present with these quarterbacks doesn’t mean they don’t present value in other places.
Come back tomorrow for Blen’s breakdown of running backs.