Flawed NFL Quarterbacks With Upside
15. Andy Dalton – If Jay Gruden had stayed, or if he didn’t put up a stink bomb in the playoffs for the third straight year, Dalton would be much higher on this list. With that said, he’s got a plethora of weapons on the field. The opportunity is there.
14. Philip Rivers – Look up Rivers’s stats beyond his abysmal 2012 season, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at his effectiveness. With another year in Mike McCoy’s system and the presence of ROY candidate Keenan Allen, Rivers’s numbers should end up at least as good as last year’s.
13. Tony Romo – The occasional Dez-bomb will keep you sane, but you’ll never win anything with Romo as your QB.
12. Tom Brady – The Golden Boy doesn’t have enough weapons to be an elite fantasy commodity week-in and week-out. He’ll be great on occasion, but merely steady most of the time.
11. Robert Griffin III – If this were the Marvel Universe, Dan Snyder would lace RG3’s skeleton with adamantium, change his team name to the Washington Wolverines, and watch RG3 average 50 points a game. But it’s real life. He’s an exceptional talent, but he’s too scary to own from play to play, let alone season to season.
Fantasy Football Bargaining Chips
10. Colin Kaepernick – Kaepernick is supremely gifted, but is way too inconsistent to trust as an every-week stud. He also plays six games against the great defenses of his division. He got paid this offseason, but he needs to show more and show it more consistently to move up this list.
9. Russell Wilson – He’s really, really good. Wilson reminds me of Tom Brady circa 2002-2006. He doesn’t have the weapons to throw for prolific numbers, but as that defense gets older and more expensive, Seattle will build around Wilson and he’ll produce at a high fantasy level.
8. Nick Foles – Foles became a dangerous weapon last year once he took the reins of Chip Kelly’s high-scoring offense. He needs to be more than a one-hit wonder before moving up. Right now, he should be viewed as a system QB who can pilot your team to the playoffs, provided you’ve solidified other positions.
7. Matt Ryan – Ice has been on the cusp of moving from the solid into the spectacular tier for a while now, but hasn’t quite been able to take over games consistently. While Julio Jones returns from injury, Tony Gonzalez is gone and Roddy White is a year older.
Draft Only If The Price Is Right
6. Matthew Stafford – He’s still five years away from his 30s, he’s shown he can put up prolific passing numbers. Most importantly, he’s got Megatron. Additionally, Detroit added Golden Tate in free agency and Eric Ebron in the draft, meaning Stafford has got weapons all around him.
5. Peyton Manning – It doesn’t matter if you play in a dynasty, keeper or redraft league. The name of the game is to compete for championships. Peyton’s ability to put your team into contention for a title (even if only for a short while) needs to be recognized. He won’t be able to duplicate last year’s historic season, but he’s still a numbers pig.
4. Drew Brees – By the same token as Peyton, Brees makes your team championship-caliber right away. Moreover, he is three years younger than Peyton, so his window is larger. Brees has been a model of consistency, dependability and excellence over the last six years. It’s reasonable to expect another three years of good-to-great output from Brees, which is plenty of time to compete for titles before planning for the future.
Not Quite Elite Fantasy Football Quarterbacks
3. Cam Newton – Newton has been top five at the position every year since coming into the league. He busted through the rookie wall, triumphed over the sophomore slump, and solidified his place among the elites last year. Nevertheless, his lackluster receivers and suboptimal passing abilities keep him from joining the top tier.
Untouchable Fantasy Football QBs
2. Andrew Luck – Even though Indy pledged last season to implement Stanford’s power running game, Luck’s numbers improved across the board. With an improved receiving corps, and world-class skills, Luck’s upside is unlimited.
1. Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers had been top two at the position every since becoming a starter prior to last year’s injury marred campaign. He’s only just entered his 30s, so he’s still in position to own the next half decade.