The NFL season is a mere two weeks away, meaning that fantasy drafts are going on all over the country. You need to make sure that you are studied up and ready to draft the best team possible to carry you to the championship. Well, SportsAlDente has you covered! We have compiled a list of the 20 best quarterbacks that you should target.
2017 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterback Edition
Sports Al Dente’s rankings are based on the compilation of votes from 4 different SAD fantasy experts, essentially each players Average Draft Position. Let us know if you agree or disagree with any of our rankings.
1. Aaron Rodgers – Sports Al Dente ADP (1.25)
Tad Desai (1) – Rodgers vs. Brady is an interesting fantasy option and to be perfectly frank, I’m hoping this is the first time my colleagues and I agree on the top player at this position. Rodgers’ running ability is criminally underrated which is why he gets the nod over Brady. Rodgers ran for four scores last year along with his 40 touchdown passes, second-most of his career. The last time he threw for less than 30 touchdowns was in 2013 and that was because injuries derailed his season. Rodgers is the epitome of consistency and he’s more versatile than Brady so he gets the top spot here.
Andrew Whisnant (1) – Rodgers was the top QB last season and there’s no reason to think he’ll lose that title this year. Green Bay runs their offense through their Hall of Famer and he’s a top quarterback in the red zone.
Danny Rendon (1) – Don’t overthink this. Rodgers threw for 4,428 yards and 40 TDs in 2016. Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson are two of the better WRs in the league, and the Packers starting running back is a WR himself. There will be enough work for all of them.
Talon Graff (2) – Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the entire NFL and that translates into fantasy football. Rodgers led all quarterbacks in fantasy scoring last year and I wouldn’t be shocked if he did again this year. The weapons around Rodgers are headlined by Jordy Nelson while Davante Adams and Randall Cobb are fantastic second and third receivers. New tight end Martellus Bennett adds yet another toy for Rodgers.
2. Tom Brady – Sports Al Dente ADP (2.5)
Tad Desai (2) – If you’ve watched ESPN’s coverage of the Patriots’ offseason, you know the stats. No quarterback over 40 years old has played a full season, won a Super Bowl, blah blah blah. The bottom line is that in terms of career success, Brady is the best quarterback in the history of football so if anyone can accomplish these feats it’s him. Add a dynamic receiver in Brandin Cooks to that equation on top of a healthy Gronk and you have a pretty scary offense. Brady and Rodgers are basically the safest bets you can make at QB so if you’re a believer in taking quarterbacks early, those are the two you should target. Also, water is wet.
Andrew Whisnant (2) – Brady has a full toolbox at his disposal as he tries to take the Patriots back to the promise land. Brandin Cooks should open up the field for Brady allowing him to play a pick your poison game against opposing defenses. Unless something surprising happens, Brady is a top three quarterback play.
Danny Rendon (2) – The greatest of all time is reaching the end of his career. Brandin Cooks will give him the deep threat he has lacked for some time, but he may struggle to get the ball down field. He may have to settle for throwing underneath routes to Gronk and Danny Amendola, now that Julian Edelman is out for the year. Excuse me if I don’t feel sorry for him.
Talon Graff (4) – The rich got richer this offseason when the Patriots traded for receiver Brandin Cooks. Brady now has Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola, and of course Rob Gronkowski (Edelman out for the season). The running back situation in New England will be handled by a committee with most of them being threats in the passing game. Brady missed the first four games of 2016 but still managed to throw for over 3,500 yards and 28 touchdowns. His numbers could possibly get close to his is 2011 stats when he threw for over 5,200 yards and 39 touchdowns.
3. Matt Ryan – Sports Al Dente ADP (3.5)
Tad Desai (4) – This is a very risky pick that could pay off big time though. Ryan will be the quarterback I’m going to target in all my fantasy leagues this year (you’re welcome all those writers at Sports Al Dente for giving you my strategy). Ryan was far and away the most deserving of the MVP last year and I’m glad the voters agreed. Ryan has had his struggles in years past but this year he seems to have found his stride. The risk lays in the fact that Kyle Shanahan has left and it’s unproven if the offense will continue to produce at the levels they did last year without him. But with a weapon like Julio Jones, it’s a safe bet to make.
Andrew Whisnant (4) – Kyle Shanahan leaving and its impacts are honestly becoming a click bait headline if I may. The Falcons have looked sharp in preseason and while their ceiling may be lowered, Ryan should still produce top 5 fantasy QB play. He has all the weapons in the world and is in his prime.
Danny Rendon (5) – Expect a slight drop in production from his MVP season. With an intact, championship caliber offense at his disposal, Matt Ryan could end up being a steal in later rounds, if he drops that far. Julio Jones will make any QB look good.
Talon Graff (1) – Matty-Ice is coming off of his best season to date, both statistically and on-field success. The Super Bowl meltdown gives Ryan a motivation that he has never had in his career. Julio Jones is in the conversation for the best receiver in the league. There’s also Mohamed Sanu and the emerging talent Taylor Gabriel. Second-year tight end Austin Hooper is expected to have a larger role and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are targeted a lot out of the backfield. Ryan has the same vast array of talent that he had in 2016 and new Offensive Coordinator Steve Sarkisian should keep the Falcons’ offense flying high.
4. Drew Brees – Sports Al Dente ADP (3.75)
Tad Desai (6) – Let me start off on a bad note here, I don’t have a ton of faith in the Saints this year as a team. Luckily for us, fantasy isn’t about the team it’s about the individuals. While Brees’ did lose one of his more dynamic weapons in Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas proved he can fill the void as a number one receiver. The problem is the other receivers. Willie Snead isn’t a bad option at number two but it doesn’t exactly scream success either. Plus the addition of Adrian Peterson points to the Saints leaning more on the run attack than they have in the past. Brees will put up solid numbers because of the system and is a good starting option but I wouldn’t rely on him to completely carry your team.
Andrew Whisnant (3) – Brees has to be a fantasy favorite. The Saints defensive struggles have only helped Brees’ fantasy points as they are continuously playing from behind. Even though he lost top target, Brandin Cooks, Brees gets to experience rising star Michael Thomas who has top five wide receiver talent.
Danny Rendon (3) – Any guy that hovers around 5,000 passing yards a season year in and year out should not be skipped in favor of an RB3. Plus, he is going to give you at least 30 touchdowns. This is a no brainer. Taking a QB early is not recommended unless you get one of the top three, Brees is #3.
Talon Graff (3) – Brandin Cooks left the Saints and joined the Patriots in the offseason but Brees will still have a strong fantasy year. Michael Thomas looks to build on a great rookie campaign that included over 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns through the air. The Saints also brought in Ted Ginn Jr. from division rival Carolina while the third receiver duties will be handled by Willie Snead. Coby Fleener provides a serviceable target at the tight end spot.
5. Russell Wilson – Sports Al Dente ADP (6.25)
Tad Desai (3) – Don’t let his injury-plagued season last year cloud your judgment over this one. To put it more simply: don’t overthink this. Wilson is the epitome of the new generation of NFL quarterbacks. Extremely accurate and smart with the ball yet he still is a running threat. If you watch the NFL consistently then you know that’s the future. The year before last, Wilson hasn’t thrown more than 10 picks since his rookie year and rushed for over 400 yards in every season. He’s not a surefire that Rodgers and Brady are but he’s not far behind.
Andrew Whisnant (5) – Since the departure of Marshawn Lynch, there has been a transition with the Seahawks offense. Wilson is their star quarterback and that’s who the offense will run through. His pass attempts have increased every year and he’s looked great in preseason. Even with offensive line struggles, Wilson gets a clear fit into the top fantasy quarterbacks.
Danny Rendon (4) – Over 200 yards on the ground to go with over 4,200 yards passing, Wilson is legit. His running game has seen better days, but the presence of Doug Baldwin and a healthy Jimmy Graham should make for another productive year for the Seahawk QB.
Talon Graff (13) – Wilson set a career mark in passing yards last year and looks to improve even more in 2017. His relationship with Doug Baldwin has reached new levels the past couple of seasons. Wilson has targeted Baldwin 228 times since 2015 and both players have benefitted from it. He also as tight end Jimmy Graham and other receivers Tyler Lockett and Jermaine Kearse. The Seahawks brought in Eddie Lacy in the offseason so we shall see if the typical Seattle run game attack returns or if Wilson will keep the reigns.
6. Derek Carr – Sports Al Dente ADP (8)
Tad Desai (7) – I think Carr has a legitimate shot at pulling a Matt Ryan here. That is to say, a talented quarterback that has proven himself as a productive starter will elevate his game to the point where people finally see what they are truly capable of. The addition of Marshawn Lynch and Jared Cook simply adds to the already loaded offense and taking pressure off the quarterback is always a good thing. The lack of turnover among the Raiders offense also gives Carr the nod over many other quarterbacks in the league. Carr is a “sleeper” here in that he may slip past the first two rounds but if you’re in the third round and he’s still available hit the draft button and I promise you will not look back.
Andrew Whisnant (12) – Carr has been a low-end QB1 in fantasy but many have hope for the highest paid player in the NFL. I doubt he’ll jump into a top five play but his supporting cast gives him a solid floor and a ceiling to jump a few ranks above this.
Danny Rendon (6) – The highest paid player in NFL history will look to continue his success from 2016. He has yet to eclipse the 4,000-yard mark in his brief career, but he is trending in the right direction. Carr and the Raiders have a slew of pass catchers that will offer plenty of opportunities to air it out. 4,000+ yards and 35 TDs is realistic for the fourth year man out of Fresno St.
Talon Graff (7) – The Oakland QB1 returns from a broken leg suffered in 2016 which essentially cost Oakland a deep playoff run. Carr is back and has a great wide receiver duo to throw to in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. He also has tight end Jared Cook as an option thanks to free agency, but the biggest offseason news was Marshawn Lynch coming out of retirement to join the Raiders. Lynch will vulture a lot of red zone scores but with Cooper and Crabtree, Carr should have a big year.
7. Marcus Mariota – Sports Al Dente ADP (8.5)
Tad Desai (8) – I think Mariota is primed for a breakout year this season. A legitimate red zone threat with Eric Decker, who can also provide veteran leadership in a young offense, and a deep threat in Corey Davis? That’s a lot to boast especially for a third-year quarterback that can run the ball as well. I see Mariota’s ceiling going as high as either at or above Russell Wilson’s and I think this is the year he finally proves his worth.
Andrew Whisnant (6) – This is where I start to change it up a little bit. Typically, you’d see Andrew Luck or another veteran quarterback right here. However, Mariota and the Titans are looking to make another jump this year. Mariota has seen new weapons every year he’s played and this is his best supporting cast since he’s entered the league. In the red zone Mariota’s basically perfect and now he gets a huge red zone target with Eric Decker and a good amount of depth among his receivers. Everyone’s looking at Jameis Winston this year but Mariota could surprise you.
Danny Rendon (9) – The future is bright for the former Heisman Trophy winner. With one of the best O-lines in the business, a great running game, and a good TE, Mariota has the skill and the tools to be a top five QB this year.
Talon Graff (11) – The Tennessee offense has arguably the best offensive line in the league and a top rushing attack to hang their hat on. They also went out and got receivers Corey Davis through the draft and Eric Decker in free agency to enhance a receiving crew led by Rishard Matthews and tight end Delanie Walker. Mariota has developed his game every year and he will be trusted more this year to “take games over”. He could be in MVP discussions by mid season.
8. Andrew Luck – Sports Al Dente ADP (9)
Tad Desai (13) – It’s hard to gauge exactly how valuable Luck will be fantasy-wise given it’s still unsure if he’ll start the season on the PUP list or not. If he does, the additions of Chester Rogers and Kamar Aiken at receiver creates a vastly more dynamic receiving corps for Luck. In the past two full seasons he has played, Luck has shown that mostly due to the Colts’ lack of running game, he will be depended on heavily. In fantasy terms, that means a lot of touchdowns which is music to fantasy owners’ ears.
Andrew Whisnant (10) – Luck would be higher if not for his shoulder injury. The injury/recovery has kept him from participating in training camp and it doesn’t look like Luck will be back until week two or three. Even when he comes back there’s no telling how long it will be until Luck is back to 100%. He’ll be fantasy relevant when he comes back, but don’t plan on starting Luck within the first five weeks.
Danny Rendon (7) – A prolific passer, but can’t seem to stay healthy. If he can stay healthy, Luck would be ranked higher on this list. His injuries, lack of a top notch running game, and a poor defense are making it harder than it has to be in Indy.
Talon Graff (6) – Luck enters 2017 already dealing with injury issues and his status for week one is in jeopardy. If Luck only misses the first week he should still have a top 10 fantasy quarterback year. His health is a big factor here but if he can stay on the field he has the weapons around him to put up some big numbers. T.Y. Hilton has not had less than 1,000 receiving yards since his rookie year in 2012. There’s also Donte Moncrief, who has injury issues of his own, and then speedster Phillip Dorsett who has potential to put up some impressive numbers. Luck is a risky player with his injuries and the Colts’ offensive line but due to the Colts’ reliance on the passing game, Luck is worth it.
9. Kirk Cousins – Sports Al Dente ADP (9.25)
Tad Desai (14) – Whether he’s killing time to go to San Francisco or he really does want to stay in Washington, I think Cousins will put up the numbers that really earn the big contract he’s been working for. Yes, the offense lost DeSean Jackson but I think they got an upgrade in Terrelle Pryor and they finally have last year’s first-round pick Josh Doctson leading a very promising receiving corps. I think if you want a safer bet approaching the more low-end quarterbacks, Cousins is your guy.
Andrew Whisnant (7) – The preseason has not looked too great for Cousins but it’s not quite time to press the panic button. Cousins was a solid QB1 last year, especially in the second half. His receiving corps has changed significantly with him losing his top two targets from last year, Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. Once chemistry is built up between Cousins and Terrelle Pryor the offense should start to move more fluidly and put Cousins as a good QB1 play.
Danny Rendon (8) – His record as a QB doesn’t match his stat line, but in fantasy, all we care about is the stats. 4,917 yards and 25 TDs in 2016 earned Cousins yet another franchise tag, and more guaranteed money. Terrelle Pryor looks to be a needed upgrade from an aging Desean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.
Talon Graff (8) – All contract talks aside, Cousins can play quarterback and play it well. He enters his third year as the full-time starter for the Redskins and he has some very talented targets to utilize. Terrelle Pryor had over 1,000 yards for an abysmal Cleveland Browns squad that had five quarterbacks under center in 2016. Cousins should bring out the very best in Pryor. Cousins also has one of the best tight ends in Jordan Reed as long as he’s healthy. Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson improve his outlook as well.
10. Jameis Winston – Sports Al Dente ADP (9.5)
Tad Desai (10) – In case you haven’t guessed already, I really like dual-threat quarterbacks when it comes to fantasy. Are there other quarterbacks out there skill set wise? Of course. But Winston has that extra bonus of rushing touchdowns and yards which is why he ranks higher than others who may be better than him. I think Winston is slightly overrated but that’s not to say he is flat out bad either. The addition of DeSean Jackson also adds some extra intrigue to the Bucs’ offense that could catapult Winston into a solid QB1 option.
Andrew Whisnant (13) – This was the hardest QB to rank. Winston has some of the best talents in the NFL around him and many consider him a dark horse for the MVP if he can take Tampa Bay to the playoffs. His risk factor and his aggressive play limit his fantasy ceiling because of the turnovers associated with playing him. If he takes care of those in the season he can be a top ten player but nothing so far has shown a significant change from his risky play.
Danny Rendon (10) – Mariota’s draft mate will need to cut back on his interceptions to move up on this list. His skill is undeniable, and his team is moving in the right direction. Doug Martin is a big part of opening up the passing game, and Winston’s success will hinge on his availability and production.
Talon Graff (5) – The Tampa Bay front office added two big weapons for Winston in free agent receiver DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard. They will provide nice compliments to Mike Evans who has evolved into one of the elite receivers in the NFL. The running game will be without Doug Martin due to a suspension so they will take a committee approach. Jacquizz Rodgers is slated as the starter in Martin’s absence with rookie Jeremy McNichols and Charles Sims providing relief from the bench.
11. Cam Newton – Sports Al Dente ADP (10)
Tad Desai (5) – Newton is one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league today and the addition of Christian McCaffrey only makes him more appealing fantasy-wise. An improved running game combined with a legitimate receiving threat other than Kelvin Benjamin in one player is a rarity, and if there is an offense where it will benefit all, it’s the Panthers’. As long as Cam can stay healthy, he’s a good option to start at quarterback given his yards and scoring potential.
Andrew Whisnant (9) – Newton has had an up and down career. Even without his shoulder injury, Newton could end up five spots lower than this or five spots higher. What gives me hope for Newton is Christian McCaffrey. The rookie has been dynamic in camp and in preseason games. If McCaffrey can be consistent and Kelvin Benjamin can look like his old self, Newton should end up in the top ten.
Danny Rendon (12) – His ability to be a genuine dual threat QB is why he is listed as high as he is. His 2016 campaign was a big disappointment for fantasy owners who took him high in last year’s draft. His recovery from shoulder surgery looks to be going well, but temper expectations until he can prove he is back to 100%.
Talon Graff (14) – Newton had somewhat of a Super Bowl hangover last year and is still suffering from a lingering injury issue and has yet to make his preseason debut at the time of publication. He has a great looking Kelvin Benjamin and his favorite target Greg Olsen to toss the pigskin to. The backfield tandem of Christian McCaffrey and Newton running the read option may be a scary thing for opponents. Newton hopes to return to MVP form in 2017. He has quite a few weapons to help him do that.
12. (Tie) Dak Prescott – Sports Al Dente ADP (12.25)
Tad Desai (16) – Dak would be a little higher on this list if it weren’t for Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension. Even if his appeal does work out, it’s likely to only get reduced to four games. So that leaves a majority of the responsibility on Prescott’s shoulders. That’s a big ask for a sophomore quarterback. Especially one that lost longtime starting tackle Doug Free to retirement and no real answer to who will be starting at left guard. Prescott likely won’t drop off too big this year but I wouldn’t expect anything that would blow you away.
Andrew Whisnant (8) – Last Year’s Rookie of the Year looks to lead the Cowboys offense this season especially with Ezekiel Elliot out on suspension. Elliot’s suspension pushes him playing back to week eight and there’s no doubting Prescott will put up QB1 numbers while his partner is out. Expect a top ten performance out of the Sophomore QB.
Danny Rendon (13) – Can he do it again? All signs point to yes, but the loss of his starting running back and the dreaded Sophomore Slump may play a role in his production this year. He scored six TDs on the ground last year making him one of the more well-rounded QBs in the league. If you have room for him, he could pay off when Ezekiel Elliot returns from his suspension.
Talon Graff (12) – Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will be without 2016’s rushing leader Ezekiel Elliott for six games thanks to a suspension. Prescott will be looked to even more now to get the Cowboys through the first six games of the year unscathed. He will have the help of Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, and Terrance Williams. Tight end Jason Witten could still offer some meaningful production in the red zone. The ground game will be taken over by a committee until Zeke’s return. The “sophomore slump” could cause some worry but Prescott doesn’t seem to be rattled by much.
12. (Tie) Ben Roethlisberger – Sports Al Dente ADP (12.25)
Tad Desai (9) – Say what you will about the guy but he is the definition of solid. Big Ben hasn’t thrown for less than 25 touchdowns since 2011 which is even more impressive considering he hasn’t played a full season in the past two years. This is arguably the most all-around talented offense Roethlisberger has had in his entire career. The selection of JuJu Smith-Schuster along with the long awaited return of Martavis Bryant means Roethlisberger has one of the deepest receiving corps and maybe the most potent running game in the league. His injury history is a cause for concern but he could end up being an overall solid QB1 you can snag in the early to mid-rounds that can carry your team that is loaded at other positions.
Andrew Whisnant (14) – The injuries Roethlisberger has throughout the season always hinder him. You can expect for Big Ben to miss one or two games a season or be playing through some type of injury.
Danny Rendon (11) – Having only eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark four times in his 13-year career, and only throwing 30+ TDs twice in that same span, Big Ben is hard to rank in the top 10. He should be considered a good fantasy QB, not a great one. And his potential to get better just isn’t there. Injuries and age have gotten the best of Roethlisberger, but solid production week in and week out can be expected, especially with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell backing him up.
Talon Graff (15) – Perhaps the best offense on paper, Big Ben will be looking at Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant to make plays in the passing game. As always, Le’Veon Bell is going to be the best pass catching running back in the entire league. Roethlisberger also has tight end Jesse James who enters his second year as a full-time starter.
14. Philip Rivers – Sports Al Dente ADP (12.5)
Tad Desai (12) – Rivers is like a fine wine. Since becoming the Chargers’ full-time starter in 2006, Rivers has thrown for less than 25 touchdowns only twice. If Keenan Allen can finally stay healthy, he combined with Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry promises yet another repeat of the always-solid Rivers. If you can grab Rivers after filling out both running back or receiver positions, you have to go for it.
Andrew Whisnant (15) – I project Rivers to be a low-end QB1 this fantasy season. He has loads of talent on his offense but injuries also seem to happen to the Chargers. Losing first round pick Mike Williams for a little bit hurts River’s ceiling but with Keenan Allen back and healthy his floor seems solid to be a decent start.
Danny Rendon (14) – He hasn’t missed a game in 11 years and consistently throws for over 4,000 yards. Injuries to his play makers have slowed his production in years past, but this year looks to be promising for Rivers. With a solid running game and explosive WRs, he makes his way into the QB1 talk sooner than later.
Talon Graff (9) – Los Angeles lost their primary receiver last year when Keenan Allen went down with a torn ACL in the first game of the year. From that moment on Rivers had to rely on a receiving group that did not include a true number one receiver. He still threw for over 4,300 yards and 33 touchdowns. Allen is at full health and rookie Mike Williams will be a welcomed addition when he returns from injury. Tight ends Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry provide a nice red zone tandem and Melvin Gordon’s breakout 2016 has also helped Rivers’ situation.
15. Matthew Stafford – Sports Al Dente ADP (13.25)
Tad Desai (11) – Stafford’s offensive line is dealing with some early injuries which isn’t promising especially coming off a season where he was constantly battling a finger injury. While it’s likely he won’t return to his career year of 2011 in which he threw 41 touchdowns, Stafford has been extremely consistent in his play as a good-but-not-great quarterback. If Detroit’s running backs can stay healthy, it will take a lot of pressure off him and open up the offense more.
Andrew Whisnant (11) – Stafford showed why he was the Lion’s franchise player last year by leading them into the playoffs and spreading the ball around the field. He’s a consistent quarterback and if the Lions defense takes a dip this season, we could see a heavy passing attack take over.
Danny Rendon (15) – Stafford has put together many great seasons, statistically, but can’t seem to put it all together. He is durable, accurate, and has some talent around him. He just hasn’t been able to take that next step. Maybe 2017 is his year.
Talon Graff (16) – The Detroit Lions missed Calvin Johnson last year after his abrupt retirement following the 2015 season. Golden Tate was relied on to step into the primary receiver role and performed respectably. Stafford has been one of the more underrated signal callers throughout his career and it’s the same this season. Stafford is a talented quarterback but the offense around him hasn’t always performed at the same level. Tate, along with Marvin Jones, is Stafford’s top receiver. Kenny Golladay is one of the most popular sleepers this year. The running game will be improved if Ameer Abdullah stays healthy.
16. Eli Manning – Sports Al Dente ADP (15.3)
Tad Desai (19) – Let me start off by saying I think Eli Manning is grossly overrated. If it wasn’t for his last name, he would be getting a lot more flack and deservedly so. Now with that said, overrated doesn’t necessarily mean bad. He’s a solid quarterback and Odell Beckham Jr. will always provide him with some more touchdowns on the season. Still, Manning’s 2014 and 2015 season showed he is still capable of producing good fantasy outings while last year proved even in an incomplete offense, he’s a bye-week replacement at worst. You could do a lot worse at this point.
Andrew Whisnant (NA) – Did not rank in my top 20.
Danny Rendon (17) – The addition of Brandon Marshall is a big boost for Eli and the Giants offense. Eli will now have two outstanding WRs to throw to in an offense that will have to rely on the passing game. Look for a slight improvement from his 4,027 yards and 26 TDs from a year ago.
Talon Graff (10) – Manning has never had the embarrassment of riches he has in 2017, not even during his two Super Bowl runs. OBJ is the most electric receiver in the game today. He did get banged up during the preseason matchup with the Browns and now his status for week one is up in the air. The Giants have Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard for Eli to throw to while Beckham is questionable. That trio along with first round tight end Evan Engram has created quite the buzz in the Big Apple. Running backs Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen can be dangerous in the passing game too.
17. Andy Dalton – Sports Al Dente ADP (16.75)
Tad Desai (17) – I know it seems that I constantly blame quarterback’s problems on the absence and struggles of their teammates but in Dalton’s case, that really was the issue for him. Last season, A.J. Green went down in week 11 and tight end Tyler Eifert missed the first six games and last two of the season. Those are two huge pieces to miss. If they can stay healthy and their injury pasts make that a safe bet, Dalton can be a serviceable starter. It is a bit concerning that the Bengals’ offensive line was gutted in free agency but this late in the game, that isn’t a big enough concern to pass on Dalton for.
Andrew Whisnant (16) – Dalton and the Bengals as a whole took a dip in production last season but Dalton was still a low-end QB1 play. With Joe Mixon providing competition in the backfield and hopefully a healthy John Ross stretching the field, Dalton should produce. But honestly, the only thing that makes or break Andy Dalton is A.J. Green’s availability and their connection. As long as Green’s out there, Dalton should be fine in fantasy.
Danny Rendon (16) – With one of the best WRs in football over the last few years, Dalton has been somewhat of a disappointment. Throwing for only 18 TDs in 563 attempts is not good, and I have to imagine that any improvement wouldn’t be enough to make him an elite fantasy QB. The addition of Joe Mixon is a big boost, but A.J. Green needs to stay healthy for Dalton to make himself worth a roster spot.
Talon Graff (18) – Dalton has perennial All-Pro receiver A.J. Green and John Ross who happened to break the NFL Combine record for the 40-yard dash. Tyler Eifert is one of the better tight ends in the league and rookie running back Joe Mixon is garnering some high expectations this year. Dalton will be a solid bench player this year for your fantasy team with some possibility of big games in the right matchups.
18. Carson Wentz – Sports Al Dente ADP (17.25)
Tad Desai (15) – Wentz is my big sleeper this year when it comes to quarterbacks. He showed some real promise to start off the season last year but returned to the normal expectations of rookie quarterbacks. His struggles are more to blame on an injury-prone and inconsistent offensive line and the fact that he had nothing even close to a reliable number one receiver. With the additions of Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffrey, who is on a one-year prove it deal which is a great motivator, Wentz has some real potential to take off in his second year.
Andrew Whisnant (18) – The Eagles used this offseason to improve their offense so they could go all-in on second year QB Wentz. He has a clear ranking at wide receiver and a proven running back. We may not see Wentz jump into the elite ranking but we should start to see his place in the NFL and see consistency in his game.
Danny Rendon (19) – His sophomore slump may not be as big as Prescott’s only because his season wasn’t nearly as good. The Eagles may surprise some people this year with their new weapons on offense. Wentz has the talent to be great, and now he has a team that can compete in the tough NFC East.
Talon Graff (17) – “Beware of the sophomore slump” is probably a phrase being tossed around with Carson Wentz this year. After an impressive start to his rookie campaign, reality started to set in. Now there is the dreaded “sophomore slump” to be concerned about. The Eagles traded away Jordan Matthews but they signed Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith. Those two, along with Nelson Agholor, provide Wentz with a solid group of receivers. Zach Ertz provides a viable option from the tight end spot as well. A name to keep an eye on in this Eagles’ offense is rookie receiver Greg Ward, the same Greg Ward who quarterbacked the Houston Cougars last year.
19. Carson Palmer – Sports Al Dente ADP (18)
Tad Desai (18) – Palmer is clearly past his prime and that is sad considering how well he fits in with Bruce Arians’ offense. However, it was revealed late last season he was dealing with an undisclosed injury and at that age, it’s no wonder he struggled. The Cardinals allowed Palmer more resting time and honestly with any quarterback that plays alongside an elite player like David Johnson, the chance of him being at least decent fantasy-wise is high.
Andrew Whisnant (17) – Palmer is reaching the end of his career but seems to be playing good football. Palmer won’t shock anyone this fantasy season.
Danny Rendon (18) – Palmer has seen his best football, and yet he is still productive. His numbers don’t jump off the page at you, but he is a perfectly capable bye-week fill in. With a slew of talent around him, Palmer may be able to outsmart Father Time for one more year. He is not worth a draft pick but could be a waiver-wire gem in the right situation.
Talon Graff (19) – Palmer is 37 and will turn 38 during the season. His primary receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, will be 35 before the Cardinals’ season opener. The second leading receiver for Palmer was his “do-it-all” back David Johnson. Head coach Bruce Arians has stated that he wants to get Johnson 30 touches per game which will hurt Palmer’s fantasy outlook.
20a. Alex Smith
Andrew Whisnant (20) – Patrick Mahomes has been fun to watch in the preseason but Smith has done nothing yet to lose his job. Smith has been a solid starter for the Chiefs and can be a good fantasy play against good matchups. He’s a consistent play if you need a deep quarterback.
Talon Graff (20) – Smith rounds out the top 20 quarterbacks mainly because there aren’t any other quarterbacks that belong there, not necessarily because Smith is a fantasy stud. He does have two very electric game changers in wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. The Kansas City offense still centers around the run so Smith should be a backup quarterback who is only used during bye weeks and favorable matchups.
20b. Trevor Siemian
Danny Rendon (20) – Newly announced starter, Trevor Siemian, is worth a flyer as a bye-week fill-in. If he’s your starting fantasy QB, something went horribly wrong and you’re just trying to keep your head above water. He has a team that can make a run in the stacked AFC West but isn’t worth taking in any draft, in any format.
20c. Jay Cutler
Tad Desai (20) – Normally I would slate Tyrod Taylor here but recent trade talks surrounding him along with Sammy Watkins being traded away and not to mention new arrival Jordan Matthews suffering an injury, I just can’t put him over Cutler. I know the reputation that Cutler has and in most cases, it’s fairly justified. However, head coach Adam Gase did manage to get the best out of Cutler (even if that wasn’t spectacular) and Miami has a vastly underrated receiving corps. Cutler is the very definition of a good QB2 but nothing more.