Fantasy Quarterback Rankings
Is it just me or does anyone else feel the need to run through walls to get football season started? Last week I outlined my top five quarterbacks for redraft leagues. Now I’ll continue with my next group. This tier of quarterbacks are solid, set and forget (Except for bye weeks, never forget your bye weeks) performers. They may not be your lynchpin player but they will consistently get your team points. Ladies and gentlemen without further ado my 2018 fantasy quarterback ranks tier two.
6. Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles
Before going down against the Rams last year Wentz was on pace to be first or second in points scored. He finished 66.18 points behind Russell Wilson in three fewer games. Take that gaudy 21.7 average he had and expand it to those three games and you have a point separating the two. I dropped Wentz slightly due to the knee injury and the late time in last season that it occurred. Wentz faces defenses that finished 24th against fantasy quarterbacks. If his legs can get him on the field his arm will do major damage.
7. Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you look at Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s point total as a fantasy quarterback, it’s pretty good. It would have been right where I have him here in the 7th spot on the list. Plus, Buccaneer fans correct me if I’m wrong, Winston played 1 and a half or two games with a bad shoulder. The defense will be better, can you say Vita Vea boys and girls? I know I can. I admit Winston is the most volatile on this list. He has the greatest chance to put up a dud but also the best chance to have a monster game. I think this is the year that Winston and company put it together.
8. Matt Ryan Atlanta Falcons
Well, we know some things about Ryan. He’s very durable missing only two games in 10 years. We also know in the past six seasons Ryan has finished 7th, 15th, 7th, 19th, 2nd, and 15th in fantasy quarterback scoring. Do you see a pattern there? In his MVP year, he was “the guy” throwing the deep ball (Per PFF) and the second best when under pressure. This year Ryan will see defenses that were ranked a manageable 22nd against fantasy quarterbacks. We also know that Calvin Ridley is will be lining up and giving him another quality target to throw to.
9. Drew Brees New Orleans Saints
Last year Brees had a defense and a rushing attack. I don’t see that changing. He finished 9th in fantasy quarterback points a season ago. I see a very similar scenario playing out this season even with Mark Ingrams 4 game suspension. In those four games, Brees should see a bump and may viable trade bait for one of the quarterbacks higher on this list. New Orleans faces the 5th strongest schedule vs fantasy quarterbacks. Overall I expect another dull, pretty, top 10 season from Brees.
10. Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings
“You Like That?” Viking fans are hoping that they’ll like that a game longer than last season. With the pummeling that Minnesota took in the NFC championship game the front office made some changes. All three quarterbacks that were on the roster for that game are gone. Enter Cousins who I think will be successful as a Viking. He finished 6th in fantasy points per game last season but shouldn’t have to throw as much as he did in Washington. When Cousins is called on to throw I think he will excel at it.
11. Marcus Mariota Tennessee Titans
This season is more about offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur putting Mariota in positions to be successful than anything else. Jared Goff went from 37th to 12th last year with Lafleur’s tutelage. I see Mariota surging into the QB1 discussion with the quick strike, spread the field system that should be run by Tennessee. Last year Mariota was far from his career norms of 2.36 touchdowns for every interception thrown. I look for improvement on the average let alone the .87 rate from last year. Should be a steal in redraft leagues.
12. Matthew Stafford Detriot Lions
In an effort for full disclosure, I must admit I am a fan of Matthew Stafford. I have been since his days at Georgia. It seems like most don’t give him the credit he deserves and I may be guilty of that also. I feel that he can be a top-five fantasy quarterback. I believe he’ll wind up here. New head coach Matt Patrica wants to run the football. Look at the Lions number one and two draft selections. That’s going to make the Lions more predictable until they prove they can run and it will hurt Stafford’s fantasy value.