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Dynasty Quarterbacks - Football Rankings Analysis

When looking at the quarterback position for dynasty leagues, just as the other positions, fantasy owners need to think about the construction of their roster. Are they in win-now mode and can saddle up with a veteran like Tom Brady or Drew Brees, or is the team building towards becoming a contender so it can build around a young quarterback like Patrick Mahomes or Jared Goff? These are the questions dynasty owners need to ask themselves when deciding on which quarterbacks to roster.

The expert rankers at Rotoballer will try and give dynasty owners some guidance heading into the off-season with our composite quarterback rankings. Our rankings are broken down into tiers so you’ll know how we feel about each of these players and their outlooks for 2018 and beyond.

Be on the lookout for the rest of our positional analysis articles and more dynasty content throughout the offseason!

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Dynasty Quarterback Tiered Rankings

Tier Rank Player Name Pos Aaron Pierre Kyle Steve
4 28 Aaron Rodgers QB 20 36 28 26
4 37 Carson Wentz QB 26 48 25 50
4 38 Russell Wilson QB 28 37 36 53
5 54 Cam Newton QB 59 59 41 78
5 58 Marcus Mariota QB 43 64 73 79
5 61 Deshaun Watson QB 39 44 114 74
5 64 Jameis Winston QB 52 79 67 80
6 67 Jimmy Garoppolo QB 40 49 113 86
6 68 Andrew Luck QB 54 55 112 71
6 73 Dak Prescott QB 72 76 68 91
7 76 Matthew Stafford QB 64 92 48 112
7 84 Kirk Cousins QB 98 93 51 98
7 87 Derek Carr QB 49 103 #N/A 117
8 95 Jared Goff QB 63 87 116 118
8 102 Tom Brady QB 78 86 133 107
9 108 Patrick Mahomes QB #N/A 96 117 113
9 109 Matt Ryan QB 103 113 81 140
9 118 Drew Brees QB 79 133 134 110
10 125 Mitch Trubisky QB 81 112 #N/A 166
10 138 Philip Rivers QB 117 161 127 125
11 145 Ben Roethlisberger QB 123 165 161 126
12 167 Alex Smith QB 140 148 172 177
14 185 Blake Bortles QB 160 216 178 160
14 190 Sam Bradford QB #N/A #N/A 196 165
14 193 Tyrod Taylor QB 165 192 192 175
15 195 Andy Dalton QB #N/A 213 174 159
18 230 Eli Manning QB #N/A #N/A 173 248
19 233 Joe Flacco QB #N/A 252 181 202
19 237 Case Keenum QB #N/A 244 185 #N/A
19 247 DeShone Kizer QB #N/A 220 191 260
19 252 Teddy Bridgewater QB #N/A 267 195 #N/A
20 271 Josh McCown QB #N/A 253 #N/A 249

Tier One

1) Aaron Rodgers

We all saw what the Green Bay Packers offense turned into without Aaron Rodgers for the majority of the season. They went from one of the elite fantasy offenses, able to support multiple receivers to an offense that was much more run heavy and lacked explosive plays under Brett Hundley. Rodgers has thrown for each at least 31 touchdowns in each of his healthy seasons since 2011, cementing himself as the top fantasy option at the position. Rodgers just turned 34 this past December, but if Tom Brady and Drew Brees have showed us anything, quarterbacks can play until their late 30’s or early 40’s. He deserves the top spot and a tier alone for sure.


Tier Two

2) Carson Wentz
3) Russell Wilson

While there is some short term uncertainty around Carson Wentz’s rehab coming off a torn ACL, there is little doubt that Wentz improved immensely from year one to year two under Doug Pederson. His touchdown rate from 2017 is a bit of an outlier at 7.5%, so fantasy owners shouldn’t expect such a massive yearly ceiling for Wentz, but he should continue to improve his completion percentage as he ages. If Wentz is fully healthy heading into the 2018 season and does not suffer any setbacks, he deserves to be one of the top players at the position for the foreseeable future.

At just 29 years old, Russell Wilson seems like he’s been a starter in the NFL for 10+ seasons, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Wilson has been increasing his pass volume every season in his career (he threw 553 passes in 2017, good for sixth in the NFL this season) due to an aging defense and near non-existent running game. Wilson will go through his first offensive coordinator change since becoming a pro as Brian Schottenheimer has signed on to replace Darrell Bevell, but that shouldn’t make much of a difference in his fantasy production going forward. Wilson is a stud and should be viewed as such for the next 5-7 seasons.


Tier Three

4) Cam Newton
5) Marcus Mariota
6) Deshaun Watson
7) Jameis Winston

The great thing about each of these quarterbacks is that they have the ability to score fantasy points with their legs. Each of these quarterbacks ran for at least one touchdown in the 2017 season even though the each missed some time. Cam Newton is ranked the highest out of this group, but might be the worst passer of the bunch. Besides his MVP season of 2015, Newton has yet to top 25 passing touchdowns in a single season, and has only thrown for 4,000 yards once (in his rookie season in 2011). He should be lower in this tier as fantasy owners know what they going to get over the next few seasons with Newton, a solid QB1 with potential to both win and lose fantasy owner weeks. Next on this list is Marcus Mariota, who is coming off a dreadful season throwing for more interceptions than touchdowns (13 passing TDs vs 15 INTs). However, there is hope as the Titans hired former LA Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur as their new offensive coordinator.  He should be able to tailor the Titans offense to fit the strengths of Mariota versus the plodding scheme he was in during the 2017 season. Mariota deserves to be near the top of this tier.

The wildcard of this tier is Deshaun Watson. He burst onto the scene at the start of the 2017 season, delivering masterful performances from Weeks 4-7, totaling 16 TDs during that stretch. Watson should be fully healed from his ACL surgery to start the 2018 season. He belongs with these near elite dynasty options. The last member of this tier is Jameis Winston. He’s been maddening for fantasy owners over the past few seasons as he’s never reached a touchdown rate of 5.0% in a single season. Even though he hasn’t been a high volume passing touchdown fantasy play in the past, his young weapons (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard, etc.) should move Winston to a steady QB1 going forward.


Tier Four

8) Jimmy Garoppolo
9) Andrew Luck
10) Dak Prescott
11) Matthew Stafford
12) Kirk Cousins

Every ranker is clearly enamored with Jimmy Garoppolo as he comes in at the top of this next tier of quarterbacks. Garoppolo may end up being a better NFL quarterback than fantasy quarterback as the 49ers attempt to add weapons to their new franchise quarterback. He finished the season strong with back to back two touchdown performances against very good passing defenses. He belongs near the top of this tier. Andrew Luck is a massive question mark. This time next year he could be in tier two or three tiers lower depending on the health of his shoulder. Luck has 40 touchdown upside if he can play a full 16 game season. Fantasy owners could certainly call the 2017 season Dak Prescott’s sophomore slump. He was far less efficient this past season only completing 62.9% of his passes and throwing 13 INTs vs four the previous season. His rushing prowess provides a weekly floor that can’t be ignored, but he belongs near the bottom of this tier versus the other quarterbacks who are much for effective in the passing game.

Matthew Stafford has been as consistent as it gets at the quarterback position over the last three seasons. Even though his attempt total dropped to a career low in which he played every game (565), Stafford threw for his most yards since 2013. For fantasy players looking for a consistent QB1 can do far worse than Stafford.  The free agent to be, Kirk Cousins, rounds out their tier. Cousins, again is another solid fantasy contributor who has thrown between 25 and 29 touchdowns each of the last three seasons. What really has been impressive and set him up as a QB1 has been his consistent output on the ground. Even though Cousins has only rushed for more than 100 yards once in his last three campaigns, he’s scored at least four rushing touchdowns per season in that same timeframe. There is some uncertainty about his landing spot, but if Cousins becomes the signal-caller for the Vikings, he would vault into the top of this tier.


Tier Five

13) Derek Carr
14) Jared Goff
15) Tom Brady
16) Patrick Mahomes
17) Matt Ryan
18) Drew Brees

The young and the old should be the title of this tier. Three quarterbacks near the top of this tier will be 27 or younger at the start of the 2018 season (Derek Carr, Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes), with two others will be 39 or older (Tom Brady and Drew Brees). Starting at the top of this tier, Derek Carr severely disappointed in 2017 after a near MVP season in 2016. Many think he should be able to recover with the addition of Jon Gruden as his head coach and if he does, Carr would be deserving of a spot in the top half of this tier. Jared Goff morphed into a real NFL and fantasy asset in 2017 under Sean McVay. He only threw 477 passes in 15 games this past year for just about 32 passes per game, meaning he has room for even more production. At only 23 years old at the start of the 2018 season, Goff deserves to be at or near the top of this tier as he looks like he will be fantasy viable for the next decade.

How long will Tom Brady play in the NFL? That’s the major question as he continues to deliver high-end QB1 years. His contract runs out after the 2019 season, so if Brady plays for two more seasons, fantasy owners who are looking to win now should value him in a tier above this. The other old man in this tier, Drew Brees, is still a free agent as of this writing. He will almost assuredly be back with the Saints in 2018, but there are questions about how much longer he will be playing. Brees, like Brady, is tailor-made for teams looking to win now. There’s a ton of excitement around Patrick Mahomes as he takes over for Alex Smith in Kansas City. Mahomes has a ton of arm talent and young skill players around him in Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt. He is an unknown, but has a ton of upside making him a fine choice in the middle of this tier. Last but not least in this tier is Matt Ryan. Surprisingly Ryan finished as the number two quarterback according to Pro Football Focus with an 89.8 grade, just behind Tom Brady. The question for fantasy owner is will Matt Ryan turn back into the 38 touchdown machine of 2016. I’m thinking not, but his touchdown rate should rebound to make him a viable starter in some formats. He should be ranked near the bottom of this tier.


Tier Six

19) Mitch Trubisky
20) Philip Rivers
21) Ben Roethlisberger
22) Alex Smith
23) Blake Bortles

Trubisky wasn’t asked to do much in his rookie season throwing just 330 times in his first 12 starts, but that will change in his second year under center with new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. Helfrich should bring some of the spread concepts that Trubisky was more comfortable with in college to the Bears allowing for Trubisky to grow as a pro. He has the most long-term upside of anyone in this tier making him the clear best option. Both Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger might be playing their last seasons in 2018, but prior to their retirement, dynasty owners should be expect QB1 numbers from each of the veterans. Rivers hasn’t hinted at retirements as much as Big Ben, so he gets the nod for dynasty purposes in this tier.

Alex Smith has moved teams from the Chiefs to the Redskins early in the off-season, but along with that move came a new four year, $94 million contract extension. Smith’s fantasy value will take a massive hit coming off a career high 26 passing touchdowns in 2017. He should be considered a low-end QB2 going forward and belongs at the end of this tier. The quarterback with the most short-term concerns in this tier is Blake Bortles. As of this writing, Bortles is still the quarterback of a dynamic young team with a ton of playmakers in Jacksonville. 2017 was the first season Bortles was able to complete above 60% of his passes, but he also set a three year low in pass attempts with 523. He will have the occasional blow-up game where the Jaguars will need to come back to win, but fantasy owners should not expect Bortles to produce like his 2015 season going forward. He belongs at the end of this tier.


Honorable Mentions

Sam Bradford, Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Case Keenum, DeShone Kizer, Teddy Bridgewater, Josh McCown.


For any questions or comments feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @TheRealHalupka


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