2017 Rankings Analysis – Quarterbacks in Dynasty Leagues

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One of the best features of any dynasty league is the fact that it takes place year-round. Owners do not have to wait until late July or August to draft their rosters, they can make moves to positively or sometimes negatively impact their fantasy teams throughout the off-season, pre-season and regular season.

As with any season long format, rankings are consistently shifting and moving depending on player performance and outlook for the remainder of that season. For dynasty rankings, the jostling not only has to do with 2017 projected performance, but also performance in future years.

Here is the list that we will be going by to determine the quarterback tiers, which is subject to change throughout the 2017 preseason and regular season.

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.

 

2017 Dynasty Quarterback Tiered Rankings

Tier One

  1. Aaron Rodgers
  2. Andrew Luck

Just two seasons ago, this ranking would have been flipped with Luck coming off a 40-TD season at age 25. However, Aaron Rodgers has clearly cemented himself as the number one quarterback for both redraft and dynasty leagues alike. Rodgers is heading into his age 34 season in 2017, which some may consider heading into the last portion of his career, but Rodgers thrown for at least 3,821 yards and 31 touchdowns in his last three seasons. Not only will Rodgers’ passing numbers be a weekly difference maker for any dynasty roster, but he’s also added in at least 269 rushing yards per season since 2014. Andrew Luck is entering his age 28 season with a big question mark coming from off-season shoulder surgery, and as of this writing there is nothing that seems to be limited him going forward. His weapons are finally healthy (here’s looking at you Donte Moncrief), and with over 4,000 yards in three of his first four full seasons as a pro (he only played seven games in 2015), Luck’s floor and ceiling cannot be ignored as he moves into his 30s in two years.

 

Tier Two

  1. Derek Carr
  2. Cam Newton
  3. Jameis Winston
  4. Marcus Mariota
  5. Russell Wilson

Only Russell Wilson in this tier will turn 30 until the 2018 season, so youth is certainly on the side of the second tier. Derek Carr has been more efficient in each of his three NFL seasons and looks to continue that trend, even against three of the top-12 secondaries within his division. Cam Newton and Russell Wilson were disappointing in 2016 after sustaining injuries early in the season, but have added weapons that should allow them to bounce back in 2017 and going forward even if their rushing production starts to dip as they age. If both Tyler Lockett and Jimmy Graham can complement Doug Baldwin for seasons to come, 4,000 passing yards and near 30 touchdowns could be Wilson’s floor. Newton especially will have to change his game to make use of his new targets, Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel, which should prolong Newton’s career. Wilson and Newton’s rankings could be flip-flopped by Week 1 if the Panthers show signs of progression in their offense through the exhibition season. Both Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston have added weapons for 2017 (Eric Decker and Corey Davis for Mariota, DeSean Jackson and OJ Howard for Winston) and beyond and along with Carr are the next crop of young stars at quarterback. None of these quarterbacks have crossed the 30 passing touchdown threshold, but look for that to change in 2017 and beyond. Winston, Carr and Mariota should be QB1 for at least the next five seasons barring injury, where Cam Newton will need the most adjustment to his current game to justify his high ranking.

 

Tier Three

  1. Drew Brees
  2. Tom Brady
  3. Matt Ryan

Each of these three can certainly help a dynasty team win in year one, two and possibly three. The long term viability is the only question mark with both Drew Brees and Tom Brady, who turn 38 and 40 this season respectively. Expect Brees and Brady to return top four value each at the position until they retire, whenever that would be. Teams that select Brees or Brady should be in “win-now” mode as they may only have a few years to keep their QB 1. Matt Ryan, while a veteran who will turn 32 this season, should be expected to take a step backwards in production compared to his MVP season of 2016. Don’t expect 38 touchdowns, but at least 25 touchdowns and over 4,000 yards seems like it should be a regular occurrence over the next few seasons with the weapons currently assembled around him. He belongs in this tier with the more veteran quarterbacks that can deliver in the short term.

 

Tier Four

  1. Dak Prescott
  2. Kirk Cousins
  3. Tyrod Taylor
  4. Carson Wentz

Another tier of younger players (Cousins will be the oldest, turning 29 in 2017), but these quarterbacks have more questions than the previous tier. Both Cousins and Taylor could be finding new homes in 2018, but should both still be starters. Cousins and Taylor do have immense upside in the near term with Cousins slightly a better bet for continued success. Carson Wentz has a new receiver corps in Philadelphia for 2017, but Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are on one year deals. Wentz should continue to become a more efficient passer down the line as his touchdown rate was one of the worst in the NFL in 2016 at 2.64%. Dak Prescott also struggled down the stretch of 2016 only passing for more than 200 yards in two of his five last full games. Wentz and Prescott could potentially be moved up a tier or two at this time in 2018 with a strong 2017. Cousins is the safest out of these players and should be the cream of the crop in this tier.

 

Tier Five

  1. Philip Rivers
  2. Matthew Stafford
  3. Andy Dalton
  4. Deshaun Watson
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Joe Flacco
  7. Ben Roethlisberger
  8. Eli Manning

The loaded quarterback class of 2004 end up in tier five as their careers come to a close. Rivers has not hinted at retirement, but for Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning, the end seems to be coming any season now. Those three will still deliver QB1-value weeks in 2017, but it’s hard to say how many more 30-touchdown years they have left. Deshaun Watson is the first from the class of 2017 to be ranked and seems to have a fairly clear path to playing time once he beats out incumbent Tom Savage. Watson has the intermediate accuracy to make the most of DeAndre Hopkins. Matthew Stafford has been much more efficient in the last two seasons at over a 65% completion percentage and is still under 30. Andy Dalton has been some of the best weapons in his career with the addition of speedster John Ross and has previously been a top five quarterback finisher. Sam Bradford and Joe Flacco are both younger than Manning and Roethlisberger, but don’t have the weekly upside to warrant being ranked higher. Taking Manning and Roethlisberger prior both Bradford and Flacco would certainly help a fantasy team in the short term due to their weekly upside and should be ranked as such.

 

Tier Six

  1. Paxton Lynch
  2. Jared Goff
  3. Ryan Tannehill
  4. Blake Bortles
  5. Carson Palmer

Paxton Lynch is the presumed starter in Denver, but still needs to beat out Trevor Siemian for the 2017 job. He has the potential to be a solid starter in the near future, but nothing special until we see something more. Ryan Tannehill has the safest long term value of this group and should be ranked as such at the top of this tier, even with a potential decrease in volume. Carson Palmer looked “done” in 2016, but could turn in one more top 12 finish prior to retiring. A healthy John Brown and offensive line could bring Palmer closer to his 2015 self than 2016, but he does deserve to be at the tail end of this tier. Jared Goff is a huge question mark, plain and simple. He looked overmatched, but under new head coach Sean McVay, he’s worth a chance as a quarterback two on a dynasty team. Even though Blake Bortles has finished as top-10 quarterback the previous two fantasy seasons, he might be out of a job in 2018 unless he turns things around. That is something you don’t want on your dynasty roster, a replacement level quarterback that could be out a job soon.

 

Tier Seven

  1. DeShone Kizer
  2. Patrick Mahomes
  3. Mitchell Trubisky
  4. Mike Glennon
  5. Alex Smith
  6. Cody Kessler

Interestingly enough, there are just three teams with two quarterbacks per team in this tier. Pat Mahomes has the biggest potential to break out of this group and be a long term dynasty asset. He has an absolute cannon for an arm and also skill players around him to make his transition to the Chiefs starter in year one. The remainder of the quarterbacks in this tier may each start two games in 2017 and also have the potential to start 12 games in 2017. Mike Glennon will start the season in Chicago, but if things go wrong for the Bears, expect Mitch Trubisky to see some time and become a potential fantasy asset earlier than expected. Kessler, Kizer and Glennon  are in the worst situations of any of the other quarterbacks in this tier and should be ranked below Mahomes, Trubisky and even Alex Smith. Smith does have the potential to be an NFL starter in 2018, but at the end of the line of his fantasy usefulness.

 

More 2017 Dynasty League Strategy


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.