September 1, 2018

NFL FANTASY PREVIEW: Top 30 quarterbacks

by Dan Bilicki In: Fantasy, Football

We’re in an era where the pool for fantasy QBs is deeper than ever. There’s also plenty of fluctuation at the top, as no QB has repeated as the No. 1 fantasy QB since Daunte Culpepper did in 2013-14.

1. Aaron Rodgers, GB

1675 passing yards, 16 passing TD, 6 INTs, 126 rushing yards, 135.6 points.

A broken collarbone limited him to just seven games last season, but when healthy, he’s an elite-level fantasy QB, finishing as QB1 in two of the past four seasons.

2. Russell Wilson, SEA

3983 passing yards, 34 passing TDs, 11 INTs, 586 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 358.9 points.

Led all of fantasy in points last season and should have plenty of opportunity to do so again as long as he can stay healthy behind a subpar O-line.

3. Cam Newton, CAR

3302 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 16 INTs, 754 rushing yards, 6 TDs, 315.4 points.

He’s a rushing TD machine, with at least five in each of his seven seasons in the league — the only player to do that over that stretch.

4. Tom Brady, NE

4577 passing yards, 32 passing TDs, 8 INTs, 28 rushing yards, 303.8 points.

Consistently one of the top QBs in fantasy, but his December numbers last season left something to be desired, averaging 13.5 ppg.

5. Drew Brees, NO

4334 passing yards, 23 passing TDs, 8 INTs, 12 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 270.5 points.

Death, taxes and Brees throwing for 4,000 yards. Even during his worst statistical season in a decade last year, Brees was fourth in the league in yardage.

6. Deshaun Watson, HOU

1699 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, 8 INTs, 269 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 176.8 points.

It would be impossible for him to sustain his incredible scoring run over a season, but there’s some definite potential to finish as a top QB.

7. Carson Wentz, PHI

3296 passing yards, 33 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 299 rushing yards, 288.7 points.

Health is the big issue coming off a torn ACL and it’s still uncertain if he’ll be back for Week 1. He should put up nice numbers on a per-game basis.

8. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF

1560 passing yards, 7 passing TDs, 5 INTs, 11 rushing yards, 1 TD, 91.9 points.

Last year’s late-season fantasy darling put up 17.4 points per game in his five starts, which would’ve been tied for eighth best over the season.

9. Matthew Stafford, DET

4446 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, 10 INTs, 98 rushing yards, 283.6 points.

Took the second most sacks in the league last year (47), but the Lions beefed up their line in the off-season.

10. Kirk Cousins, MIN

4093 passing yards, 27 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 179 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 290.6 points.

Moving to the Vikings has some positives and negatives: Cousins will have better receivers to throw to, but will be pressured more often behind a worse O-line.

11. Philip Rivers, LAC

4515 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 10 INTs, -2 rushing yards, 280.4 points.

Led the NFL in 300-yard games last season and has 4,000 yards and 25+ TDs in nine of the past 10 seasons.

12. Marcus Mariota, TEN

3232 passing yards, 13 passing TDs, 15 INTs, 312 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 225.4 points.

Could be a huge beneficiary from a change in scheme that will feature more play-action calls to utilize his mobility.

13. Andrew Luck, IND

Did not play in 2017

Health is obviously an issue after missing an entire season due shoulder surgery. Had one of the best fantasy QB seasons ever in 2014.

14. Matt Ryan, ATL

4095 passing yards, 20 passing TDs, 12 INTs, 143 rushing yards, 240.1 points.

Took a huge step back from his MVP 2016 season, throwing for nearly 900 fewer yards and 18 fewer TDs under a new OC.

15. Patrick Mahomes II, KC

284 passing yards, 1 INT, 10 rushing yards, 11.3 points.

Takes over an offence that made Alex Smith the fourth-best fantasy QB last year. A solid, high-potential sleeper pick.

16. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT

4251 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 14 INTs, 47 rushing yards, 274.7 points.

His home/away splits are no longer just a trend. Over the past three years, he has averaged 20+ points at home, but just under 14 on the road.

17. Alex Smith, WAS

4042 passing yards, 26 passing TDs, 5 INTs, 355 rushing yards, 1 TD, 300.1 points.

Had career highs in passing yards, TDs and YPA (8.0, second in the NFL) while finishing as a surprising fourth in fantasy points among QBs.

18. Jared Goff, LAR

3804 passing yards, 28 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 51 rushing yards, 1 TD, 262.2 points.

Made a massive improvement under new coach Sean McVay, but how much higher can he get?

19. Dak Prescott, DAL

3324 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 357 rushing yards, 6 TDs, 273.6 points.

Finished as QB10 last season despite dealing with O-line issues and Ezekiel Elliott’s ban, but his receiving corps might NFL’s worst.

20. Derek Carr, OAK

3496 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 66 rushing yards, 219.4 points.

Has yet to throw for 4,000 yards in a season and saw his numbers fall last year. Will Jon Gruden be able to resurrect Carr’s value?

21. Eli Manning, NYG

3468 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 26 rushing yards, 1 TD, 200.3 points.

With a decimated WR corps, threw for just 6.07 yards per attempt, which was the third-worst among qualified QBs.

22. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI

2193 passing yards, 7 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 248 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 141.5 points.

Threw for just seven scores in 12 games during his rookie season, but is bound to improve with a better WR corps.

23. Case Keenum, DEN

3547 passing yards, 22 passing TDs, 7 INTs, 160 rushing yards, 1 TD, 244.8 points.

Former undrafted free agent turned a fine run with the Vikings into another starting role with the Broncos.

24. Blake Bortles, JAX

3687 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 13 INTs, 322 rushing yards, 2 TDs, 262.6 points.

Despite the Jaguars’ success, Bortles actually had a worse fantasy season in 2017, dropping four spots in QB points to No. 12.

25. Andy Dalton, CIN

3320 passing yards, 25 passing TDs, 12 INTs, 99 rushing yards, 222.7 points.

Had a career-low in yards per game and threw for under 200 yards in a game six times last year.

26. Jameis Winston, TB

3504 passing yards, 19 passing TDs, 11 INTs, 135 rushing yards, 1 TD, 212.6 points.

He’s suspended for the first three games of the season, his off-field issues aren’t worth his on-field inconsistencies.

27. Sam Bradford, ARI

382 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, 26.9 points.

Another QB that will likely just be a placeholder, Bradford could put up decent numbers with his short, accurate throws to Larry Fitzgerald.

28. Baker Mayfield, CLE

2018 rookie

Has looked great in the pre-season, but will the Browns want to expose him early on with a vet like Taylor aboard?

29. Ryan Tannehill, MIA

Did not play in 2017.

Was an average fantasy QB before missing last season and comes back to a much weaker team.

30. Tyrod Taylor, CLE

2799 passing yards, 14 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 427 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 226.6 points.

Had the best INT% in the league and should be a decent fantasy play until ceding the starting job to Mayfield.

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