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Scott Engel's Early Rankings and Analysis - Quarterbacks


I am proud to say that RotoBaller is the new home for my 2019 Fantasy Football Rankings. Thanks for finding me here, as I am entering my 23rd season of providing professional Fantasy Football rankings and analysis.

Last season I played in 10 leagues, made the playoffs in seven, the Super Bowl in five and won four championships, including back-to-back titles in my big money leagues. Yet it’s even more important to me when you, the reader, wins a championship. I could not be here for a 23rd season without you, and I am humbly grateful to every one of you who asks for or takes my advice.

This year’s early rankings analysis start with a look at the quarterback position. Right at the outset, you are in for a surprise. I do not rank Pat Mahomes No. 1 overall. Yes, last year, he had outscored the closest competitor by 63 fantasy points. But that was last year. I’m looking ahead. That’s where I see Mahomes as second overall without Tyreek Hill this season, due to impending discipline. Sammy Watkins will be his new No. 1 WR, and we all know he cannot stay healthy. Rookie Mecole Hardman cannot be expected to play a major role in his first season. Suddenly, Mahomes’ receiving crew looks very thin, and that will bring him back to the pack this season.

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Early Redraft Quarterback Rankings - May

Rank Player Name Pos
1 Andrew Luck QB
2 Patrick Mahomes QB
3 Aaron Rodgers QB
4 Matt Ryan QB
5 Ben Roethlisberger QB
6 Deshaun Watson QB
7 Russell Wilson QB
8 Jared Goff QB
9 Drew Brees QB
10 Carson Wentz QB
11 Philip Rivers QB
12 Jimmy Garoppolo QB
13 Kyler Murray QB
14 Baker Mayfield QB
15 Kirk Cousins QB
16 Tom Brady QB
17 Josh Allen QB
18 Derek Carr QB
19 Lamar Jackson QB
20 Cam Newton QB
21 Jameis Winston QB
22 Mitch Trubisky QB
23 Dak Prescott QB
24 Andy Dalton QB
25 Sam Darnold QB
26 Nick Foles QB
27 Marcus Mariota QB
28 Matthew Stafford QB
29 Drew Lock QB
30 Josh Rosen QB
31 Dwayne Haskins QB
32 Daniel Jones QB
33 Eli Manning QB
34 Joe Flacco QB
35 Case Keenum QB
36 Ryan Fitzpatrick QB
37 Nick Mullens QB
38 Ryan Tannehill QB
39 Blake Bortles QB
40 Taysom Hill QB
41 Tyrod Taylor QB
42 Teddy Bridgewater QB
43 C.J. Beathard QB

 

QB Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

My No. 1 QB for this year will be Andrew Luck. After a major comeback season, the outlook will only get better for him, as the Colts have the best combination of a top QB and a deep receiving crew. Not only does Luck have a superstar WR returning (T.Y. Hilton), he has two productive TEs, a new big target that he was missing before (Devin Funchess) and a dynamic rookie (Parris Campbell), plus a RB who should be more effective as a receiving threat in his second year (Nyheim Hines). You may believe Funchess is mediocre, but we will effectively fill a role as he gets a QB upgrade. The Colts’ receiving crew, including the TEs, is the most diverse and well-rounded in the league and that will be reflected in Luck leading his Fantasy position in 2017.

I generally do not recommend drafting a QB early, and usually do not take mine until at least the sixth round. So I will likely miss out on Mahomes and maybe Luck in many of my drafts. But if Luck does slip to the sixth round, he will be mine. Aaron Rodgers is ranked fourth, 10 spots behind Mahomes overall. I can honestly tell you he is not a firm third. The Packers offense could shift to have more offensive balance in 2019. But if they lean more on the running game that can only ease some of the workload and pressure on Rodgers and he could be less of an injury risk.

I have Matt Ryan ranked fourth, and he should finish in the Top 5 again as Calvin Ridley will become even more a force at WR for him in Year Two. Ben Roethlisberger rounds out the Top 5, and he would have ranked higher if he did not lose Antonio Brown in the offseason. After 16 weeks last season, Roethlisberger was the No. 2 QB in Fantasy Football behind Mahomes. But he will feel the effect of losing arguably the best WR in the game this year, even if the drop-off is not major.

Deshaun Watson ranks sixth for me, but if anyone wants to take him ahead of Roethlisberger, I will not vehemently debate with them. If Will Fuller stays healthy for most of the year and Keke Coutee continues to progress, Watson could have his best season so far.

Russell Wilson is coming off his most efficient season ever, with his most TD passes in his second-fewest amount of attempts. After Seattle lost in the Wild Card game at Dallas by putting too much of an emphasis on the running game, Wilson may throw more in 2019. But losing Doug Baldwin could also mean less consistency at times.

Jared Goff did not finish the season strong, and some of his owners will remember that before they pick him in 2019. He had six TD passes and six interceptions in December. But overall, he threw for 4,688 yards, 32 TDs and 12 INTs. He started fast last year, and if he is more steady  from start to finish, he could be a Top 5 Fantasy QB.

Even though Drew Brees threw 32 TD passes with just five INTs, but he did not finish the season strong either. He had three TD passes and three INTs in his final four games. There is a concern that the Saints could continue to rely more heavily on the run game overall this year, but Brees should still throw often enough to remain in the Top 10.

A healthy Carson Wentz should regain Fantasy starting form in 2019, but I don’t think his receiving crew is solid enough outside of Zach Ertz to warrant ranking him anywhere near the Top 5. Philip Rivers is annually the safest pick no one seemingly wants to make when drafting starting Fantasy QBs. In each of the last six seasons, he has thrown for over 4,250 yards with at least 28 TD passes in each campaign.

Jimmy Garropolo should resume his rise to prominence as he enters the new season healthy. Kyler Murray is supposed to be the next Russell Wilson, and remembering that Wilson was inside the Top 10 as a Fantasy QB in his rookie year, and with the receiving group that has been assembled for him, Murray has the promise to finish inside the Top 10. Baker Mayfield is just outside the Top 12 cut, as the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. almost makes him a 13A to Murray’s 13, but I see Murray as more of a natural dual threat, of course.

 

QB Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Kirk Cousins finished as Fantasy QB13 last year, and because of the depth of the position, he Is outside the Top 12 even with two standout WRs. But considering he threw for a career high 30 TD passes last year and nearly finished with 4,300 yards, he is obviously a viable starter.

Tom Brady being ranked halfway through the field again illustrates how deep the position is, but he is coming off a disappointing season in which he finished as QB14. His receiving contingent also looks much less impressive heading into 2019, especially without Rob Gronkowski.

Derek Carr may be a significant value play in 2019. Having added Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, plus additional support from very promising rookie Josh Jacobs, Carr has his best supporting cast ever. His ceiling is surprising everyone as a Fantasy QB1.

Lamar Jackson can be a streamer because of his rushing abilities, but inexperience and mediocrity combine at the pass-catching spots in Baltimore, and Jackson is still very raw as a passer. This could be the very last chance for Jameis Winston to show he can be a respectable QB. Mitch Trubisky has the weaponry, but has yet to show he can take advantage of it. Andy Dalton is good enough to lose with, in real life and Fantasy Football.

Sam Darnold has been supplied with a diverse crew of playmakers that could help him improve this season. Nick Foles has yet to figure out who his favored WRs will be.

We’ll be checking back on this position again soon. Preseason news and information makes the ranks always subject to change. For now, once you get to the depths of Darnold/Foles you may have waited too long to take a second QB if you wanted one. But in many leagues, I have found drafting a backup QB is not always necessary. That’s an upcoming strategic view to tackle very soon.

More Fantasy Football Analysis


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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