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Quarterback Tiered Rankings for Fantasy Football Drafts


August is here and that means preseason football and fantasy football draft season is upon us. We here at RotoBaller have compiled our fantasy football staff rankings for 2019 and it's time to look at our quarterbacks.

We're in quite the era for passing thanks to the league's rules and current talent, yet most drafts still see signal-callers wait until the later rounds to go. You can get serviceable talent towards the end of drafts, but those high-end QBs are mighty tempting as they push for the history books.

Smart fantasy football players will read their draft room and go in with a flexible plan as to how they want to approach the QB position. Whether you're in it for the early studs or looking for late-round value, we've got you covered with this tiered rankings analysis.

 

Updated Quarterback Rankings - Redraft Leagues

Below are RotoBaller's consensus staff rankings for the 2019 fantasy football season. These rankings are compiled by Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Scott Engel, Bill Dubiel, Dominick Petrillo, Spencer Aguiar and Kev Mahserejian.

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was the #11 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season, and #9 overall in 2017. Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Position Rank Overall Rank Player Name Position Tier Overall Tier
1 39 Patrick Mahomes 1 4
2 44 Deshaun Watson 1 4
3 47 Aaron Rodgers 1 4
4 58 Andrew Luck 2 5
5 69 Matt Ryan 2 5
6 73 Baker Mayfield 2 5
7 79 Russell Wilson 3 6
8 81 Carson Wentz 3 6
9 86 Jared Goff 3 6
10 93 Kyler Murray 3 7
11 96 Drew Brees 3 7
12 97 Jameis Winston 4 7
13 100 Cam Newton 4 7
14 102 Dak Prescott 4 7
15 107 Kirk Cousins 4 7
16 112 Philip Rivers 4 7
17 114 Lamar Jackson 4 8
18 116 Ben Roethlisberger 5 8
19 135 Josh Allen 5 9
20 141 Mitch Trubisky 5 9
21 145 Jimmy Garoppolo 5 9
22 161 Tom Brady 5 10
23 173 Matthew Stafford 5 10
24 178 Derek Carr 5 11
25 193 Andy Dalton 6 11
26 196 Sam Darnold 6 11
27 212 Marcus Mariota 6 11
28 220 Nick Foles 6 12
29 264 Ryan Fitzpatrick 7 13
30 276 Eli Manning 7 14
31 278 Joe Flacco 7 14
32 300 Dwayne Haskins 7 14
33 318 Nick Mullens 8 15
34 322 Case Keenum 8 15
35 336 Drew Lock 8 15
36 344 Ryan Tannehill 8 15
37 346 Daniel Jones 8 15
38 350 Josh Rosen 8 16
39 368 Taysom Hill 9 16
40 375 Will Grier 9 16
41 447 Blake Bortles 9 18
42 462 Tyrod Taylor 9 18
43 497 Teddy Bridgewater 9 18

 

Tier One

Everyone who is drafting Patrick Mahomes as the first QB knows that despite the touchdown regression coming after his otherworldly 50-spot in ‘18, he’s still a favorite to lead the NFL in passing TDs. You don’t need me for that. I don't love paying upper third-round value here, but I understand it. Again, you don't need me to break down Mahomes.

Our top three is rounded out with Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, though the two are flipped from most ADP sources, such as Fantasy Football Calculator. In fact, Rodgers is listed behind Andrew Luck per FantasyPros’ consensus ADP tool.

It’s a miracle that Rodgers mustered 16 games while playing much of the season on one knee, let alone still tossing for 4,442 yards. He’s on the other side of touchdown regression as Mahomes, with a career-low 4.2% TD rate in ‘18 compared to 6.6% in ‘16 and 6.7% in ‘17. The younger receivers behind Davante Adams have another year of development under their belts and Mike McCarthy is no longer clashing with Rodgers. While Aaron Jones threatens to make Green Bay a more run-heavy squad, this is still Rodgers’ team -- they’ll live and die with his arm.

Half of our ranking team, myself included, say Watson should be your No. 2. He bumped his completion percentage up to 68.3% from 61.8% in his short rookie campaign and also dropped his interception rate from 3.9% to 1.8%. He rushed the ball 99 times for 551 yards and five touchdowns while dealing with a terrible offensive line and an injured WR corps behind DeAndre Hopkins. Keke Coutee is already dealing with a minor ankle injury, but it’s reportedly going to be okay. Mercy be to those who forgo Watson only to see Hopkins, Coutee and Will Fuller stay on the field for most of Houston’s games.

 

Tier Two

This trio of QBs may not be as likely to finish as the QB1 come December, but they can sling it like a top-five arm. Matt Ryan finished second last year, while Andrew Luck was fourth. Ryan may be more reliable indoors, but he only plays outside three times in 2019 so you don't have to sweat that. Luck’s calf injury appears to be minor, though far from ideal. If either Ryan or Luck finishes as the QB1 then no one is going to be that shocked, hence the lofty (and deserving) draft slots.

But you all want to know about Baker. Yes, Mr. Mayfield has a shiny new toy in Odell Beckham Jr. to throw to, which should help free up Jarvis Landry underneath and David Njoku over the seam. Mayfield finished as the QB16 in ‘18 while making 13 starts, still pressing for 3,725 yards and 27 TDs. The 14 interceptions make for a rookie lump, but fantasy football favors the bold. I am likely out at this price point compared to other QBs, but I believe the ranking fits his range of outcomes. It's also notable that Cleveland's 26.99 seconds per play run was the fifth-quickest pace of play in the NFL last season per Football Outsiders.

 

Tier Three

Color me shocked and giddy that you can scoop Cam Newton at an ADP within the 90-95 range following his offseason arthroscopic shoulder procedure. This article on NFL.com details how debilitating Newton’s shoulder injury was in ‘18, picking out how he attempted only 16 passes of 20-plus air yards in his final six games before being shelved with two games to go.

Newton was the QB4 through Week 9, with Week 10 being T.J. Watt’s big hit on his shoulder. He’d shown signs of fading in the couple weeks prior, namely sitting out a first-half Hail Mary play in Week 8 after showing up as a limited participant at practice with general shoulder soreness. He finished as the eighth-best QB on average and 12th in total on the year. 

The most notable impact was that he’d attempted eight or more rushes in six of Carolina’s first eight games. But from Week 10 on, he only hit eight carries once and had zero rush TDs. Still just 30 years old, Cam’s lack of flashy numbers and injury skepticism makes him a great buy on draft day. Especially if you’re buying in on D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel.

 

Tier Four

There’s no “middle ground” with Jameis Winston. Three of us rank him between 78th and 88th, while the other three rank him exactly 115th. New head coach Bruce Arians moves quickly and Tampa Bay’s ground game is still unreliable. Winston’s allegedly worked on checking down more in practice to cut down on unnecessary turnover risks. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and O.J. Howard is quite the receiving trio, so let’s see if Winston can grow in ‘19. I don't buy contract narratives, but this is his last chance to earn a long-term deal from Tampa Bay, and there's no exciting gunslinger backup (Blaine Gabbert) this time around.

You don’t have to pay Dak Prescott around $40 million per year for his services on your fantasy team, but he will take something like a ninth-round pick. Selecting him is tethered to believing that Ezekiel Elliott’s contract situation also smooths out, leaving Dallas with all of its weapons available. There’s a notable gap between his QB18 average ADP and his being QB14 in our ranks. We lean into Dak’s being the QB3 from Weeks 10-17 -- Dallas’ final eight games -- when he finally had a WR1 in Amari Cooper.

 

Tier Five

Josh Allen won’t win the completion percentage title, but he can bomb it downfield and scamper with the best of them. He averaged roughly eight yards per carry for an 89-631-8 rushing line as he ousted LeSean McCoy as RB1 on the Bills. I can’t project him for an 8.0 YPC or that many red-zone conversions, but recall he only started 11 games. The averages should subside, but the overall volume will ramp up. His wheels make him a fantastic best ball target, though the inconsistency and lower passing range of outcomes limit his reliability in traditional formats.

Mitch Trubisky trades off some rushing upside for a more stable arm, as well as better weapons. Trubisky finished as the QB15 despite playing only 14 games, checking in at QB11 on a per-game basis. Trubs’ 68-421-3 rushing line made for a sweet floor, but the unit must take a step forward for him to enter weekly top-12 consideration. Luckily, investing in Trubisky means you don’t have to guess which Bears receiver will be the guy that week. Plus, the defense is unlikely to siphon six touchdowns for itself again.

Tom Brady will sorely miss Rob Gronkowski in the red zone as New England shifts towards more run plays, but he’s still a worthy streamer as his career winds down. The old heir to Brady’s job, Jimmy Garoppolo, hopes to have his health and that of his teammates for a big run. Jimmy G will lean on George Kittle as his primary receiver while Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd et al find their way. Without rushing upside, he’ll have a hard time cracking the top-12 on a weekly basis.

 

Tier Six and Beyond

While 2019 likely sees Sam Darnold take a few steps forward, though he’s still on the fringe of fantasy relevance. He isn’t a rusher and posted a 17:15 TD:INT ratio while topping 280 passing yards only twice, but gains Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder as safety valves while Robby Anderson continues to grow. He’s good for the real-life football team, but Darnold is only a modest two-QB option.

Those trying to score a cheap ticket to high-end QB2 territory should look at Nick Foles. I realize Jacksonville's offense flows through Leonard Fournette, but they've said he's improved as a pass-catcher and they have a new offensive coordinator in John DeFilippo. You may remember him from the early 2018 Vikings, who passed roughly 65% of the time prior to his dismissal. Jacksonville's overall 59% pass rate from last season (per Sharp Football Stats) is also skewed a bit by Blake Bortles' scrambling abilities -- something Foles doesn't match. Topping 4,000 yards is within reach for Foles if Jacksonville operates closer to a 63/37 pass/run split, with ~575 pass attempts possible. This means buying into the Jags' WRs beyond Dede Westbrook, mind you.

Another acceptable play for ceiling comes from Marcus Mariota, who is two seasons removed from throwing 26 touchdowns with only nine interceptions. This plan would hinge on something happening to Derrick Henry, though. Tennessee will be as run-heavy as ever given how well Henry did in the second half of ‘18, which should keep Mariota’s pass yardage capped around 3,400. If he outperforms his rush TDs a bit and puts up a 65-400-5 line on the ground (he was 60-312-5 in ‘17,) then you’ll have a decent No. 2 QB to utilize.

The rest of the pack isn’t standing on solid ground, with most veterans looking over their shoulder at youngsters looking to step into their jobs. Eli Manning has Daniel Jones, Joe Flacco has Drew Lock, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen, while Dwayne Haskins is set to start on the bench while Case Keenum or Colt McCoy lead Washington to start.

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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