2016 Fantasy Rankings – Top 10 Quarterbacks
Last August at my league’s annual live draft I was faced with the opportunity to pick Drew Brees, the fantasy god of QBs in my opinion in round 5. It was a tough decision but I instead opted to draft Keenan Allen. A young wideout who was coming off a subpar year, who I thought could bounce back in 2015. It looked like a great pick until Allen went down with a season-ending injury and Uncle Drew went on to put up another monster season. Fast Forward a week later, I was faced with the same situation but this time, I didn’t flinch. I took Brees and rode him all the way to the league championship. The league I didn’t draft him in, I finished it in 6th place, after losing to the guy who DID draft him… isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?
Draft strategy around quarterbacks varies from site to site and person to person. Do you draft an elite one early? Do you draft one in the middle rounds? Or do you wait and take the tight end draft strategy, you are either the first to take one or the last? We recently ran a poll on Twitter asking what round to take a QB come draft day. 48% of people chose between rounds 7-9 as the sweet spot to take a quarterback.
So who did I end up taking in my league draft you ask, I waited and ended up taking Tony Romo in the 1oth round. So whether you are going into this year’s draft with the plan to wait on drafting a quarterback or you want to grab the best one right away, I just hope our Top Ten Quarterbacks of 2016 list makes your decision just a little easier.
The top 10 list has been grabbed from our top 16 QBs list, which we made for our podcast with the same title. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet, then click here to do so now. Enjoy and best of luck come draft day!
- Cam Newton – If you would have told me that Cam Newton was going to throw 35 touchdowns, add 10 rushing touchdowns and end the season as the highest scoring player in fantasy, I would have said you were crazy. After Benjamin went down, everyone was staying clear of Newton and his ADP plummeted. He even went undrafted in a few leagues I play in last season! Well, Newton had the last laugh and showed that he might just be at the peak of his fantasy powers, after finally showing he can throw with accuracy consistently. Some think with Benjamin coming back, that Cam can have an even better season this year than last. Adding Benjamin back to an already high-powered offense and Cam’s ability to add rushing yards & touchdowns, could mean another #1 finish for the league’s most dynamic playmaker. I don’t think we have seen the best of Cam Newton just yet. That’s why he has to be the 1st quarterback off the board come draft day.
- Aaron Rodgers – Mr. Rodgers is always a top fantasy quarterback due to the offense he plays in, his unbelievable accuracy, even on the run, and the top tier wideout group he walks onto the field with every Sunday. Last year Rodgers disappointed but he was without his top receiver Jordy Nelson (98 rec/1,519 yards/13 TD’s) for the entire season, and he was still able to finish with the 7th most fantasy points at his position. Another year under offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett, a thinner Eddie Lacy, all of his weapons are back (Some with more playing time under their belt), and new addition Jared Cook, are why we look for Rodgers to reclaim his spot atop the fantasy quarterback throne.
- Russell Wilson – Is Wilson the most exciting player to watch in the NFL or what? If the Seahawks are on tv I am watching, and it’s all because of Wilson. I have never seen anyone make defenders miss like Wilson, since a young Michael Vick and we all know what kind of a weapon Vick was during his Atlanta days. Wilson was the hottest quarterback last year from week 10-16, throwing 24 touchdowns for 1,906 yards on 217 attempts. The days of the Seahawks being a power run first team might be in the rearview mirror and it’s all because of the stud they have at quarterback. Wilson saw career highs in passing attempts, completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns last year and he added 553 rushing yards and only 1 rushing touchdown. Like Newton, Wilson is a dual threat that seems to be getting better every year in the pocket. If he can duplicate the passing stats and add more rushing touchdowns than we might be in for a historic fantasy season from Wilson in ’16.
- Drew Brees – Uncle Drew is on the mount Rushmore of fantasy players in my opinion. He is my quarterback of choice each and every season and it seems like every year you can pencil Brees in for 4,500+ yards passing and 35+ touchdown passes. The Saints are always one of the most efficient offensives and are deadly in the redzone. Even though Brees got off to a slow start last year, he rounded into form, ending the season with 4,733 passing yards, 31 passing TD’s and added 1 rushing touchdown. Coming into the 2016 season, the offense on paper, looks much better than it did last year. Adding Coby Fleener at TE, rookie wideout Michael Thomas, who will bolster a passing attack that already has Brandin Cooks (Superstar in the making), and Willie Snead. At his current ADP, there is no quarterback I am eyeing more in the middle rounds to take than Drew Brees, he might be the safest pick in the entire draft.
- Ben Roethlisberger – If you have been listening to our podcasts then you will know I am not loving Big Ben going into the 2016 season at his current ADP. As a real NFL quarterback, I love watching Big Ben play football and there is no one tougher at the position than Tom Brady in my opinion. He has hands down the best wide receiver in the game in Antonio Brown, one of the league’s best running backs in Le’Veon Bell and they added an athletic tight end in Ladarius Green in the offseason. The Steelers are stacked on the offensive side of the ball but the loss of Martevius Bryant and Heath Miller can not be overlooked. That is a whopping 173 targets no longer on the field and Roethlisberger’s deep threat and safety valve gone. I am not saying Big Ben will not produce, that seems impossible with the talent around him. I think his injury history, as well as Le’Veon Bell’s, and the loss of Bryant, scare me a little at his current ADP. If faced with him or Brees in round 5 I am leaning towards Brees. Todd Haley has turned Ben Roethlisberger into a fantasy star over the last two seasons and I am sure he has another top 10 finish in him in 2016.
- Andrew Luck – Is Andrew Luck really the 6th best quarterback in fantasy football? Just last season Andrew Luck sat atop every experts quarterback rankings list, and just one season later we have him 6th, oh how the mighty have fallen. Last year was a frustrating one for all the Luck owners around the world but there was a ray of sunlight that did come out of it and that was the firing of Pep Hamilton. In Andrew Luck’s one start under the new OC Rob Chudzinski, he threw for over 200 yards, had 2 passing touchdowns and zero interceptions. We all know what Andrew Luck brings to the table in fantasy football terms when he is healthy, so don’t try to over-think this one. Draft him if he is staring at you at the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th round. As my good friend always says, “that’s great value”. He will throw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns but his legs set him apart from two guys we just mentioned. The threat to run and gain valuable rushing yards and touchdowns are a huge bonus for our 6th ranked quarterback.
- Tom Brady – TB12, what else can you say about the greatest living quarterback of all time? Last year Brady put up yet another monster season and was a force in fantasy. He ended the season as the 2nd highest scoring quarterback with 335 points. Brady threw for 4,770 yards and led the league in passing touchdowns with 36. The offense just keeps on clicking, they brought back all of their pieces and added a massive weapon in Martellus Bennett in the offseason. Last season broke a streak of 3 straight 5 or more receiving touchdown years for Bennett, a season that was filled with injuries. The Patriots in the redzone are going to flood the end zone with tall athletic receivers like Bennett, and Gronk, which will only help make life easier for Brady. Even though TB12 will miss the first 4 games of the 2016 season, I still think he is a must own once again. A season ago Brady averaged over 20+ points a game for fantasy owners and as soon as he comes back, I think he is going to set the NFL & the fantasy world on fire. Buy low on this ageless wonder and sit back & enjoy the show.
- Carson Palmer – It’s a good thing you didn’t have to use Palmer in the postseason, YUCK. Oh wait, you decided to join a postseason challenge league and you took Carson Palmer as your QB, I am so sorry to hear that. Palmer was awful in the playoffs but the good thing for us, this list only focuses on the normal fantasy season and that is where Palmer really excelled. Palmer was an absolute beast, that helped most reach if not win their league championships. Last year Palmer was simply amazing finishing 2nd in passing yards and tied for third in passing touchdowns. His season was good enough for him to finish as the 5th best quarterback in fantasy last season and he was only 2 points shy of Bortles for 4th place. With the offensive weapons they have in Arizona all back and a full season of David Johnson at running back, Palmer should be a lock for another top 5 finish.
- Tony Romo – Like Luck, we are going off the production Romo brings fantasy owners when he is healthy. Romo unlike the guys above him hasn’t broken the 4k passing yard mark in 3 straight seasons. His last healthy season Romo threw for 3,705 yards, 34 touchdowns, and had a QBR of 113, a career high rating. Throw out last year and at the back end of your fantasy draft, you are getting a solid QB1 who will put up consistent numbers and every so often will give you a 30+ performance. Romo has one of the best wide receivers in the game and a brand new shiny toy in Ezekiel Elliott to throw screen passes to. Look for Romo to get back to the efficiency numbers we saw when Romo had DeMarco Murray in the backfield then what we saw out of any of the QBs who were under center in 2015.
- Eli Manning – Over the past two seasons there hasn’t been a quarterback more overlooked than Eli Manning in the fantasy community. Over those same two seasons, all the other Manning has done, was put up back to back 4,400+ passing yards & 30+ passing touchdown seasons. Odell Beckham Jr. is the best young wide receiver in the league, Manning gets his old friend Victor Cruz back this season and the G-Men drafted Sterling Shepard, the best route running receiver in this years draft class. You put all of that with an emerging athletic tight end in Will Tye and Manning is primed to have another 4k+ yard passing season and 30+ touchdowns. Manning is one is the best “sit and wait on a quarterback” strategy targets. The Giants will be a little better on defense this year but look for Manning to be airing it out early and often to help his team come back like he had to do all last year.
Well, there you have it, our Top 10 Quarterback list of 2016! Do you agree with the list? Do you think someone should have been higher or should have been lower? Hit us up on Twitter, leave us a comment below or shoot us an email to let us know. Also, don’t forget to come back next Wednesday when we will be releasing our Top 10 Tight Ends of 2016.