2017 Rankings Analysis - Quarterback

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Hey Rotoballers! The start of the NFL season is right around the corner at this point. With several drafts likely scheduled for Labor Day weekend, or even next week leading up to next Thursday's New England Patriots-Kansas City Chiefs opener, the rankers here at Rotoballer have made some final tweaks to their rankings.

That said, it is time to take a closer look at the quarterback rankings to decide who is ranked properly, who is ranked too high, and who is ranked too low.

Check out all of RotoBaller's 2017 fantasy football rankings here. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

Editor's note: Purchase any NFL Lineup Optimizer pass (including daily DFS cheat sheets), and you also get access to NBA and NHL Optimizers and DFS cheat sheets.

 

Final Update: 2017 Quarterback Rankings

Tier One

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Not exactly a surprise here as Aaron Rodgers remains in a tier all by himself. The Green Bay signal caller is among the most consistent fantasy assets in the game and is a lock to throw for over 4,000 yards along with 30-40 touchdowns. The only question when it comes to Rodgers is whether you are willing to spend the draft capital it takes to get him on your roster.

 

Tier Two

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

It's fitting that Brady and Brees wind up in the same tier. Both are getting up there in years, but they also continue to prove that they are elite quarterbacks year in and year out. I agree with Brady being ranked over Brees here, mostly because Brees has been less consistent on the road over the past few seasons and there's a chance the Saints run a more balanced offense than they have in the past. Even without Julian Edelman, Brady could be primed for a career year in New England with new Patriot Brandin Cooks and a fully healthy Rob Gronkowski to target.

 

Tier Three

1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Ryan is ranked a bit high for my tastes. He is coming off of a career year in which everything seemed to go right for the Falcons. That is everything up until the second half of the Super Bowl. Ryan threw for 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions in a career year. He bounced back in a big way from a disappointing 2015 season which saw him pass for 4,591 yards, 21 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Personally, I don't think he's as bad as he was in 2015 but I also don't think he's as good as he was last year. Expect him to fall somewhere in the middle, which puts him below several other quarterbacks in my book.

 

Tier Four

1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
3. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Look for Wilson to take a big step forward after a disappointing 2016 season. He played most of the year on an injured ankle, which compromised his signature running ability. That ate into his rushing production, which was the lowest he's posted since becoming Seattle's starting quarterback. Fully healthy and working with an underrated receiving corps, Wilson has the ability to be a top-three fantasy quarterback. Carr is steady and is ranked fairly considering who is behind him. Look for the Raiders offense to continue its ascent towards being one of the better offenses in the NFL. Cam Newton is the most boom-bust quarterback we have covered thus far. The man has two QB1 finishes on his resume but he also finished as the QB17 last year. As injuries continue to mount, I am beginning to have my concerns over just how much longer he can run the ball 90 or more times per season. The Panthers have the added weaponry to make Newton less of a focal point in the run game, which would put a large dent in his fantasy production.

 

Tier Five

1. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
2. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Cousins is a worthy target if you don't mind waiting until the middle rounds to pick up a quarterback. He threw for 4,917 yards last season but only managed 25 touchdowns. Look for him to experience some positive regression in that category, especially with Terrelle Pryor giving him a big target to throw to around the red zone. Winston has loads of weapons to attack opposing defenses with. The only concern is whether head coach Dirk Koetter chooses to skew run-heavy like he did in the second half of 2016. Roethlisberger will lead an explosive Steelers offense that will benefit from the addition of Martavis Bryant. Mariota serves as a solid dual-threat quarterback, although his ceiling could be somewhat capped by a Titans offense that prefers to run. Luck is a true wild card. No one knows when he will return to the field following offseason shoulder surgery. He could wind up being a steal or ruining your draft depending on the health of his shoulder. I'm avoiding him in redraft as I don't like drafting players who are already injured.

 

Tier Six 

1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2. Phillip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

Prescott looks to improve upon an impressive rookie year. The signal caller may be forced to throw more often this season. The Cowboys appear to have a much more difficult schedule than they did in 2016, which will make it harder for them to salt away leads with their running backs in the second half of games. Rivers is getting up there in years but he surely has another 4,000-yard, 30-touchdown season in his arm. If he can cut down a bit on his 21 interceptions from 2016, he could move up a few spots in the fantasy quarterback pecking order.

 

Tier Seven

1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
2. Eli Manning, New York Giants
3. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
4. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
5. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
6. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Stafford has flourished in Jim Bob Cooter's offense and has a brand new contract extension in his back pocket. He definitely has top-10 quarterback upside, especially if Kenny Golladay shows he is the real deal and Eric Ebron breaks out like many pundits believe he will. Manning may be washed up and no one knows how serious Odell Beckham's ankle injury is. Pass. Dalton could thrive if (big if) A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are able to stay healthy this season. He's a nice bounce-back candidate this season and is one of my favorite quarterbacks to target in the later rounds. Carson Palmer's arm may be held together by superglue at this point, but he has stud running back David Johnson to turn short passes into huge gains. Palmer has a nice early season schedule which makes him a quarterback worth targeting, but I would back him up with another later QB to protect myself. Tyrod Taylor is an easy avoid as he's playing for a Bills team that isn't even trying to hide the fact they are tanking the season. Wentz has a bonafide stud receiver to target in Alshon Jeffery, which may help him take a big leap forward in his second year.

 

Tier Eight

1. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings

Bortles may not be the starting quarterback all season, but he is for now. Despite the fact he's been a poor real life quarterback, he has several top-10 fantasy finishes on his resume. In this tier, I prefer Sam Bradford to Bortles thanks to more job security. Bradford opens the year with a tasty matchup against a New Orleans Saints defense that has struggled against the pass over the past few seasons. Look for the Vikings offense to play much better than they did in 2016, when they faced one of the tougher schedules in the NFL.

 

More Updated Rankings and Analysis


Check out all of RotoBaller's 2017 fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.