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Tiered Quarterback Rankings: Top 10 in Fantasy Football

It’s already July, and that means that while the baseball season heads into it’s dog days of summer, many of us, especially fantasy players, begin getting the football itch.  Sure, it’s not even Labor Day, but that doesn’t mean the fantasy football season hasn’t begun. For really serious managers, it can go on all year long. Some of us have even had drafts already. At the very least, if you are serious about your fantasy football at all, you are already doing research and planning your draft strategy and creating your fantasy football rankings.

If you fall into the latter category, then you’ve come to the right place. Here at we have a ton of fantasy football content to get you ready for your upcoming draft. In this 3-part series, we will rank and break down into tiers the most important position on the football field...the quarterback. While many fantasy managers know that it is possible to wait on a QB and still be successful, it’s also nearly impossible to win your league if you misfire completely at this spot.

So who will you end up choosing? Will you go with an elite guy, solid field general who can be had in later rounds, or an up and coming gun slinger? Hopefully, these quarterback rankings will help you make the right decision, and eventually help you win your league.


Tier 1 Quarterback Rankings: The Elite

If you’re going to go quarterback early, these are the guys to target.

rotoballer-fantasy-football-advice-drew-brees (1)1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

2013 stats: 5,162 pass yards, 39 TD, 12 INT

The Good: Drew Brees has thrown for at least 5,000 yards and 39 touchdowns the last three seasons, meaning that he’s probably the safest bet on the board for elite level fantasy production. It’s hard to say that a guy with his numbers has upside, but with a much improved receiving unit and favorable schedule, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Brees approach Peyton Manning's 2013 numbers.

The Bad: The only downside I see here is age, as Brees will be 35 when the season begins. He hasn’t slowed down yet, and there have been plenty quarterbacks who have thrived well into their late 30’s, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. It’s still something to keep in mind on draft day.

Baller Move: If you plan on going quarterback in the first or second round of your draft, Brees is the guy you want.


2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

2013 stats: 2536 pass yards, 17 TD, 6 INT (9 games)

The Good: He may not put up the mind boggling numbers that guys like Brees and Manning put up, but he’s arguably the only guy who is a lock for 3,500-plus yards and 30-plus TDs who will never have a bad game. His high completion percentage and low interception totals, and the return of Randall Cobb side by side with Jordy Nelson mean that you can draft Rodgers with confidence, get elite level production, and never have to worry about your QB situation. Best of all, after playing in only nine games last year due to injury, Rodgers might fall in drafts, meaning you could have a chance to grab him in the third or fourth round if you're lucky.

The Bad: The aforementioned collarbone injury that limited Rodgers to only nine games has to be a concern. Losing James Jones, and the uncertain status of Jermichael Finley could be a big blow to the production of Rodgers’ receiving corps, and might affect his numbers a bit.

Baller Move: Rodgers’ could be a better real life quarterback than fantasy one, but his ability and consistency is enough for me to rank him number two overall. If you miss out on Brees, he’s worth consideration. If he slips past the mid-third round, he’s a must grab.


3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

2013 stats: Passing: 3,379 yards, 24 TD, 13 INT; Rushing: 585 yards, 6 TD

The Good: The dual threat quarterback has finished in the top four of all quarterbacks in total fantasy points in each of his three seasons in the NFL. He has the most upside of any of the elite QBs, and will be throwing to the most talented group of receivers he’s ever had. If Newton ended up being the number one fantasy quarterback this year, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit. He has also never missed a game in his NFL career.

The Bad: As good as Newton is, he’s also the most likely of all the elite quarterbacks to burn you in a given week by throwing up a complete stinker.

Baller Move: I love Cam’s upside, and wouldn’t be shocked to see him go as early as the second round in some drafts, especially in leagues that give a premium to rushing numbers. He’s worth a gamble in the 3rd or 4th round, but be prepared to pay a that high if you want him.


Rotoballer-Fantasy-Football-Advice-Analysis-Peyton-Manning4. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos

2013 stats: 5,477 yards, 55 TD, 10 INT

The Good: What is there to say about Peyton Manning that hasn’t already been said. He’s an all time great, the smartest QB in the game, plays for a great coach, and is coming off of the greatest season of any quarterback ever. If you draft him, you know he’s going to give you terrific fantasy production.

The Bad: Maybe it’s the lingering effects of watching him stink up the Super Bowl, but I think there is a bit of downside this year with Manning. It’s impossible to expect him to duplicate what he did last season, especially after losing Knowshon Moreno and Eric Decker. Manning will also be playing a way tougher schedule this year, one where he will have to see the Seahawks and 49ers. Age and injuries will also be a concern, and will be for however long Manning decides to play.

Baller Move: I think Manning is going to go way too high in most drafts for my liking, and this is the first time in his career that I feel the risks with Manning outweigh the rewards considering his first round draft price. He just barely makes my elite teir for the chance that he has one more monster season left in him.


Tier 2 Quarterback Rankings: The Very Good

Not quit elite, but these guys are very good QB1’s that can be had in the early middle rounds.

5. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles

2013 stats: Passing: 2,891 yards, 27 TD, 2 INT; Rushing: 221 yards, 2 TD (11 games)

The Good: Nick Foles will get to run Chip Kelly’s offense from day one this year, something he didn’t get a chance to do last year. His increased job security combined with the fast paced offense that the Eagles run means he arguably has the most upside of anyone in this tier. He will also mix in just enough rushing numbers to give him an edge over many other fantasy QBs. Even with the loss of Desean Jackson, the return of Jeremy Maclin, and the addition of Darren Sproles mean that Foles will have plenty of weapons to pass to.

The Bad: Foles was pretty bad in his first six career starts in 2012, and really great in his 11 starts in 2013, so there has to be a bit of uncertainty with him still. It wouldn’t shock me one bit if he ended up an elite quarterback, but it also wouldn’t be a shock to see him regress a bit before figuring it out, much like Colin Kaepernick last season.

Baller Move: The Eagles will have a high powered offense, and Foles has a ton of upside. Someone is sure to reach for him, so if you want him, be prepared to probably spend a 3rd or 4th round selection on him.


Mathew Stafford Detroit Lions MLB News6. Matt Stafford, Lions

2013 stats: 4,650 Pass yards, 29 TD, 19 INT

The Good: There is so much to like with Stafford going into 2014 that almost put him ahead of Nick Foles. New coach Jim Caldwell will instill a discipline that Detroit desperately needs. Calvin Johnson, Golden Tate, and TE Eric Ebron could end up being the best receiving corp in the NFL this year. Toss in a backfield of Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, and Stafford could be looking at his second 5,000 yard, 40 touchdown season.

The Bad: It seems as if every year we are expecting Matt Stafford to reproduce 2011, and it's tough to say if he gets back there. There’s also a chance that Jim Caldwell will have the Lions running more and throwing less. Stafford has elite level potential, but he will also have to cut down on his interception total to get there.

Baller Move: There’s a lot to love here, but I still need to see Stafford put it all together before I spend a higher pick on him than Foles is going for in most mock drafts. If he doesn’t take the next step this year, then when?

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7. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

2013 stats:  PASSING: 3,822 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT; RUSHING: 377 yards, 4 TD

The Good: At times last year, Andrew Luck looked like he could become the best quarterback in the NFL, and while he didn’t increase his touchdown numbers, and actually threw for less yardage than he did in his rookie campaign, he also drastically cut down on the number of picks he threw. He’s going to be throwing to a group of receivers that could rival the Lions as the most talented in the game. He’ll also give you a handful of rushing stats.

The Bad: Andrew Luck plays in a system that leans much more toward the run than the pass, and as long as that’s the case, he’ll never reach true elite status in terms of fantasy production. He will be very good, but not great.

Baller Move: Last year I saw Luck go in drafts anywhere from rounds 3-7. The upside and receiving talent are there, but I’m not sure I’d take him before round five.


By Mike Morbeck (Flickr: Colin Kaepernick) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons8. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

2013 stats: PASSING: 3,197 yards, 21 TD, 8 INT; RUSHING: 524 yards, 4 TD

The Good: After a slow start to 2013, Kaepernick barely missed being an elite fantasy quarterback in terms of total fantasy points. He plays on a great team, for a great coach, and has a ton of talent to throw too. He also has a sick ground game, and could end up giving you Cam Newton-esque numbers about 40 picks later in the draft.

The Bad: Kaepernick went very high in drafts last year, and then started the season by putting up single digit fantasy point totals in three of his first five games. Despite the receiving talent, I’m not sure the elite passing numbers will ever be there with Kaepernick, and that will probably keep him from elite status.

Baller Move: If the slow start from last season has people down on him and he falls later than 90th overall, he’s worth grabbing, but I wouldn’t reach for him earlier than round six or seven.


9. Russell Wilson, Seahawks

2013 stats: PASSING: 3,357 yards, 26 TD, 9 INT; RUSHING: 539 yards, 1 TD

The Good: Already a Super Bowl winning QB, Russell Wilson may be the smartest field general in the NFL not named Peyton Manning. He has a great arm, great legs, and it seems like he never makes a poor decision with the football.

The Bad: While we can't underestimate the loss of Golden Tate, the true downside that comes with owning Wilson is the fact that Seattle reliess so much on the run, and it stifles Wilson's production. If this turns out to be the year the Seahawks throw more, Wilson could end up being a huge steal on draft day.

Baller Move: I’m really high on Wilson, but not high on the system he plays in. If Seattle decides to throw more, I think Wilson has a chance to be a top five fantasy QB. There’s a risk/reward here, and if you want to reach for him I wouldn’t call you crazy.


10. Phillip Rivers, Chargers

2013 stats: 4,478 pass yds, 32 TD, 11 INT

The Good: Phillip Rivers was an afterthought in most drafts last year, and he went on to post 18 or more fantasy points in eight games. He still has a big arm, and plenty of talent to throw to, including an improving Keenan Allen, who I’m expecting a huge sophomore season from. I also think that a backfield of Mathews, Woodhead, and Brown will mean that Rivers will be throwing plenty once again.

The Bad: Rivers can drive you insane sometimes with his poor decisions, and can get pick happy. He could easily have a 32 TD/11 INT season like he did last year, or a 27 TD/20 INT season like he did in 2011. Rivers has the least amount of upside of anyone in this tier.

Baller Move: Rivers ADP is later than the 9 guys above him in this ranking, and if you don't take a QB until the 8-9th round he's a good target at that draft price.



Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

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