2017 Positional Rankings: Top Ten QBs
Another installment of the great Top Ten Rankings. Quarterback is arguably the hardest position in all of sports to play, and this week we have the best of the best at the position. There were a lot of worthy candidates and we even had to break a few ties along the way, but at the end of the day we got it down to the ten best in the business. The hardest part about being a QB? Probably the fact that while the ten other guys basically have to just worry about where they are going on a single play, the QB has to know where everybody is going. All while he has a few 250-350 pound dudes trying to bring him down. No thanks. A lot went into our rankings, including offensive lines, offensive coordinators/schemes, offensive weapons, defense’s ability, oh yeah, and the talent of the quarterback. Strap in folks, you’re in for a wild ride!
10. Derek Carr – The influx of youngins is among us! Derek Carr leads one of the up and coming offenses in the NFL and is looking to firmly cement himself as a top ten fantasy quarterback for years to come. He certainly has the tools to do it as well. Their offensive line is top five in the NFL (sacks cut in half from 31 to 16 year over year) and his weapons are top notch, with the likes of Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper, and newly acquired Marshawn Lynch. Carr actually threw less touchdowns in 2016 (28) than he did in 2015 (32), although he did cut his interception total in half over the same time frame (2016 = six, 2015 = thirteen). He has yet to eclipse 4,000 yards in a season but all signs are pointing up for the 26 year old gunslinger. Keep in mind that last year he did have a hand injury that bothered him for a few weeks, potentially dulling down some of those numbers. Here’s hoping that for Carr’s fantasy purposes that even with Lynch in the backfield, they still throw the ball at the one-yard line.
9. Kirk Cousins – ‘Sup cuz. I was actually really impressed with Cousins last season and think there’s room for him to be even better this year. He was just 83 yards shy of 5,000, which is nothing to sneeze at and he has some surprisingly good scrambling ability as he ran for four touchdowns last year and five the year prior. The only thing that concerns me sometimes is his decision making. He tends to have a few lapses in judgement that leave us all clutching our heads, strikingly similar to another QB in the NFC East. I really like the additions of Samaje Perine and Terrelle Pryor and I don’t believe losing D-Jax or Pierre Garcon is all too crippling to the offense. Keep an eye on Josh Doctson as he should finally see the field this year and help Cousins out. And lastly, if Jordan Reed can keep his chowder brains in tact for the entire season (big if), that should provide a huge boost to the entire Redskin offense. I’m expecting another solid year from Captain Kirk.
8. Marcus Mariota – The influx of youngins is truly among us! Last year Mariota and our seventh ranked QB, Winston, were both just outside our top tens and sitting pretty in the mid teens. This year, they both crack the top ten and are poised to remain there for the foreseeable future. You look at what Tennessee did in the offseason and you couldn’t be happier with the pieces they surrounded Mariota with. Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Jonnu Smith, and Eric Decker were all added to the mix and it gives Mariota so many more options in the passing game. A whole year of Derrick Henry developing behind DeMarco Murray and this Titan offense has become more than formidable at this point. Tennessee should finally take the last of the reins off Mariota as he is primed for a huge year with a slew of new options to choose from. Add in his running ability and Mariota could potentially have a top five year in just his third season in the NFL. Draft him with confidence!
7. Jameis Winston – Speaking of young bucks and shiny new weapons, we have Jameis sliding into our number seven spot. This seems like a very solid spot for him at this point, especially with how high his ceiling can be and the additions that Tampa brought in during the offseason. Similar to Mariota, Tampa wanted to give Winston better options and more playmakers. Enter the likes of DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard, Chris Godwin, and Jeremy McNichols and it looks like were cookin’ with gas down in TB! The sky is the limit for Winston as long he can get some of his throws under control and become less erratic with his decision making. Jackson is a sneaky pick for a bounce back year with Winston’s ability to throw a good deep ball and Doug Martin returns to the fold in week four after his three game suspension. He should provide an added boost to an already capable offense. Winston has full control of this offense as the Bucs look to really make some noise in the NFC this year.
6. Matt Ryan – The curious case of Matthew Ice. He won the MVP and has the same supporting cast as last year (sans offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan), yet he can’t seem to climb into our top five quarterbacks. Was last year possibly an anomaly? What gives? Through nine years in the league, last year was only the second time that he threw for 30 or more touchdowns. Seven interceptions was also the lowest total of his career last year and he was just 66 yards shy of 5,000 yards. The loss of Shanahan will surely be felt by the entire offense but at the end of the day the pieces and the talent are still there. Ryan has also been an iron man over his nine seasons in the league, only missing two games back in 2009. Ryan commands one of the most potent offenses in the league and plays in a relatively weak defensive division. You can expect similar numbers to last year, given the offense’s immense level of aptitude, and the lack thereof on the defensive side within their division.
5. Russell Wilson – I’m very interested to see what Seattle can do this year. Is their run atop the NFC finally coming to an end? Has Pete Carroll lost control of it all and last year was just the start? Or, was 2016 a bit of an outlier and Seattle will remain one of the top teams in the NFC? Who knows. The bit of uncertainty in Seattle is what’s keeping Wilson from being higher up on this list. That, and the fact that their offensive line is still a bit of a cluster. But, they can only be better after last year’s performance, when Wilson injured both his ankle and his knee, which severely limited his play. I’m expecting a bit more of a cohesive unit than we saw last year, even though Seattle only drafted one offensive lineman. I think at this point, Wilson can be had at a bit of a discount because of his down year and all of the question marks surrounding that offense. That’s why he comes in at our number five spot. I’m expecting a bounce back year for Ciara’s main man.
4. Andrew Luck – “Rankings are subject to change,” has been one of our taglines over the past few weeks on the Trophy Time podcast. Reason being, a lot can happen in the world of fantasy football. Case in point, Andy Luck, who has reportedly yet to throw a pass since finally having surgery on his lingering shoulder injury that erupted in 2015. Injury concerns aside, Luck has top five potential but we have yet to see him consistently perform at a high level. He still turns the ball over quite a bit but tends to counteract that with a knack for having some sneaky scrambles out of the pocket and the occasional rushing touchdown. With a new front office comes a new hope for the Colts, who are looking to turn a new leaf and take back the division. Similar to the Seahawks, Indianapolis needs to improve their offensive line and give Luck just a bit more time and protection in the pocket. They only drafted one offensive lineman who is seen as more of a depth piece. We’re hoping Luck can finally put it all together this year, but keep an eye on what happens with that throwing shoulder.
3. Drew Brees – Color me intrigued as to what we’ll see out of New Orleans this year. If you read the running back by committee article that I put out a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I think we might see a more even split for that offense this year. They haven’t been to the playoffs for three straight years now, and must realize that their aerial attack on the offensive side of the ball maybe isn’t their best bet every week. With that said, I still fully believe that the offense will remain powerful and Brees should have right around 5,000 passing yards and 35 TDs, which is what we’ve come to expect from him. What we can also expect is huge games at home, which is eight weeks of your fantasy season that he could singlehandedly win for you. Just be wary that their may be some change on the horizon.
2. Tom Brady – Since we all watched the Super Bowl, we know what TB12 is capable of on a weekly basis. The man continues to defy greatness and is unwilling to let his age be anything more than just a number. Brady comes in as our two number quarterback this year for a few reasons. He’ll have even more weapons than he had last year, including a healthy Gronk. He’ll have an extra four games to play this year after Roger Goodell’s witch hunt from a year ago. And well, he’s the best quarterback to ever play the game. Need I say more?
1. Aaron Rodgers – As much as we all obviously love the G.O.A.T. here at the TFFGuru office, when it comes to fantasy there is no topping Rodgers at the quarterback position. His regular season stats speak for themselves over the years and it certainly doesn’t hurt that he can scramble with the best of ‘em. Rodgers’ ability to escape the pocket and make plays coupled with a little less wear on his tires than Brady is what firmly plants him at the top of our board. Similar to the running backs with David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell, Rodgers and Brady are 1a and 1b, and it’s mostly a matter of personal preference. It doesn’t get any safer than Rodgers, and if you can scoop him up in the third round, you should probably do it.
And there you have it, counting them down from ten to one. Feel free to send us your feedback and always remember to check out the Trophy Time Podcast. Chat with us on Twitter – @TheFantasyBoys, @TFFGurus, @DaFantasyFather, and @DecoyLife.