We all have our preferred formats, don’t we? Whether it’s because we find the system that naturally fits our managing style or because we feel like a certain scoring provides the best balance to fantasy football – we all have a format that we are particularly fond of. PPR, IDP, “standard scoring” – the biggest misnomer of all, 2QB, just to name a few. It’s all fun variations on a great game.
I am 2QB enthusiast, so that means when I start doing quarterback rankings only doing ranks 1-32 is barely enough. I need to analyze the backup for the Arizona Cardinals, which bad quarterbacks will make the giant leap to mediocre, and which quarterbacks are terrible but have a secure job for the rest of the season. Because, in 2QB formats, even the Blaine Gabberts of the NFL have value. If you’d like to hear why 2-QB formats are worth considering, here is a great article explaining what makes two-quarterback leagues great.
This post will include all the quarterback rankings as they stand right now, a few days before the draft. After we finally know which rookies are going where a fair bit will change, though in my opinion not that much (no, I do not think Johnny Football is the next RG3 for the fantasy world). I’ll post an update to this article soon after the draft to show where I added in the rookies. And if you have any questions or comments, you can always contact me on Twitter @BergerTwoQBs or my partner in crime @LakeTwoQBs.
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But enough intro. Let’s get to our initial Top 40 QB rankings.
2014 Pre-Draft QB Rankings:
Tier 1: the elites
- Peyton Manning, Broncos — He’s shattered every record last year, and he releases the ball too quickly for me to seriously be concerned with injury risk. It’s going to be another great year for Peyton.
- Drew Brees, Saints — Brees I feel like continues to be knocked down a peg by critics, and evidently I’m no exception because I have him ranked at #2. The talent not named Jimmy has diminished around Brees, and I think it will be a great season but the top rank will elude him this year.
- Aaron Rodgers, Packers — Last year we saw the impeccable talent of Aaron Rodgers take a hit; injuries tend to do that. All this means to me is that Rodgers is going to often go at a great price this year. Don’t hesitate.
Tier 2: the great starters
- Andrew Luck, Colts
- Robert Griffin III, Redskins
- Cam Newton, Panthers — Probably the most likely ranking to change this early on. The Panther receiving core is devoid of talent beyond their tight end, and if the Panthers do not grab talent early in the draft Newton will become a borderline QB1 for me. Yes, it’s that bad.
- Matthew Stafford, Lions
- Matt Ryan, Falcons
- Tony Romo, Cowboys
- Tom Brady, Patriots — Brady will turn 37 this year, and his team is trying to recover from the offensive weapons they lost just a year ago. His receiving core could very well be called “Team Glass”. It’s still Brady, and he still put up top-5 numbers the second half of last season.
- Philip Rivers, Chargers
- Nick Foles, Eagles — Simply not convinced Foles will put up consistent QB1 numbers without DeSean Jackson. There are other, better options.
- Andy Dalton, Bengals — Dalton may replace Tony Romo as the most maligned quarterback in the NFL. He’s better in fantasy football than real life, where he finished as QB5 last season. The job is his for one more year unless the Bengals do something insane in the draft.
- Russell Wilson, Seahawks
- Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
- Jay Cutler, Bears — This is still too low for Cutler most likely, but his injuries and attitude make me hesitant to put him any higher. I’ll be surprised if he plays all 16 games.
Tier 3: average caliber quarterbacks
- Alex Smith, Chiefs
- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers — Big Ben will finish above this if he can stay healthy. As seasoned fantasy owners can attest, that is a significant “if”.
- Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
- EJ Manuel, Bills
- Carson Palmer, Cardinals
- Joe Flacco, Ravens — Solid QB2 option, but his upside is severely capped at this point.
- Matt Schaub, Raiders — The Raiders are actually starting to look like a passable offensive team. Expect consistent numbers from Schaub, even if they come in garbage time due to the Raiders’ putrid defense.
- Eli Manning, Giants
- Geno Smith, Jets — What, a wide receiver to through to?? Eric Decker is by no means elite, but he’s vastly better than everything Geno has had so far. Yet another QB-battle is brewing, but I think Vick is a has-been in the eyes of Rex Ryan.
Tier 4: low-end quarterbacks and backups
- Jake Locker, Titans — I actually like Locker, but he continues to get injured. Cannot rely on him as a consistent starter or even as a reliable backup, so he starts off the bottom tier for me.
- Sam Bradford, Rams — see Locker, Jake.
- Brian Hoyer, Browns — Knowing the Browns they will draft another QB in the 1st or second round, but Hoyer is the smarter choice. Great value if they’re willing to give him the nod.
- Josh McCown, Bucs — Another QB-battle, but McCown is the only QB who has actually been picked by this coaching staff. Mike who?
- Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans
- Michael Vick, Jets — Simply a late-round flyer. I doubt even the Jets know what they’re going to do.
- Chad Henne, Jaguars
- Matt Cassel, Vikings
- Kirk Cousins, Redskins — From this point on, we’re talking backups and the also-rans in QB competitions. Each of these guys has significant talent but need a few things to fall in their favor to become (or remain) the starter.
- Mike Glennon, Bucs
- Matt McGloin, Raiders
- Case Keenum, Texans
- Drew Stanton, Cardinals
- Brock Osweiler, Broncos — Highly recommend him as a handcuff to Peyton. Broncos believe he is the future of the franchise.
- Austin Davis — Currently he is the only other quarterback on the Rams. Does anyone think Bradford plays all 16 games this year?