Quarterbacks, and their value, vary from league to league based on what type of league you are in (Dynasty, Keeper, Standard) and the point structure for the position. Based on some settings, it could be imperative to sprint up to the “podium” to get a young elite quarterback with your first pick (if your in a dynasty league), and in other leagues, the run on the position could start in round four or five.
Saying that to say this, it doesn’t matter when those around you start to take signal callers. It just matters that you know who you are going to take when they do start coming off the board.
Here’s how I see the QB’s around the league stacking up:
Patrick Mahomes- Kansas City Chiefs- Kareem Hunt is gone, Tyreek Hill could very well miss at least a quarter of the season (this isn’t his first run in with the police) and defenses have had a whole offseason to study his tendencies. However, Mahomes still figures to have a ton of success in 2019. Mahomes, if he can produce 90% of what he did last year, could win another MVP. He has the best tight end in the league in Travis Kelce, a stick of dynamite in Tyreek Hill when he comes back and a solid stable of backs who can both run and catch the ball effectively. Andy Reid will find a way to get his offense ready to go week in and week out, so expect more of what you saw in 2018, in 2019.
Aaron Rodgers- Green Bay Packers- Rodgers is still arguably the best thrower of the football in today’s NFL, and possibly of all time. The deep ball, accuracy, play action, No.12 can do it all. Throw in Devante Adams, an elite level talent at receiver, and Aaron Jones, who should be able to produce both on the ground and in the receiving game, and Rodgers should be
in line to have a big year. An underrated aspect of Rodgers game are his rushing stats. When he plays 16 games, expect him to rush for right around 310 yards and 2-4 touchdowns. That’s a nice added bonus.
Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck was most likely a welcomed member of your fantasy squad last year. With injuries that impacted two whole seasons, you were probably able to get him fairly late as a sleeper, but that will not be the case this year. Luck has a terrific deep threat in TY Hilton, an “okay” possession receiver in Devin Funchess (he’s still an
upgrade) and two tight ends who are very reliable in Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. The presence of a healthy running game is big in Frank Reich’s system, so the health of Marlon Mack is huge for this offense as a whole. Perhaps the biggest development in Indy is the new and improved offensive line, which was able to keep Luck upright last year. It’s amazing what some protection can do for a quarterback, isn’t it? Luck could very well be an MVP candidate by year’s end.
Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks- Wilson got paid, and for good reason. While he has always posted great numbers, he’s done so with very little talent around him. He has the second most completions to undrafted wide receivers in his career, trailing only Tom Brady. While Wilson can beat you with his arm, keeping him in the pocket is an even harder task. He has averaged over 500 yards a season rushing over his career (in most scoring formats, that’s over 50 points by years end), which comes out to just over 32 yards a game (3.2 points per week). That is a big added bonus and makes up for some of the surrounding talent deficiencies.
DeShaun Watson- Houston Texans- When you have the best receiver in the game and you are extremely mobile, you are going to find yourself among the best fantasy quarterbacks out there. Watson has improved every year and if he can do so again in year three, he could very well leap-frog a couple of other names on this list. I think a big impact on his fantasy season is the health of Will Fuller IV. If Fuller IV can stay healthy, which would be rare, he provides an excellent deep threat that could really impact Watson’s year end yardage and touchdown totals.
Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons- Ryan greatly benefits from a fantastic group of skill position players and the fact that the Falcons running game has been just average recently. When Devonta Freeman has injury issues, like he did last year, the ball gets put in Ryan’s hands quite often, giving him ample opportunities to put up a bunch of points. Another thing to remember is that the Falcons defense was extremely banged up last year, so if they can rebound and get more stops, that will benefit the entire Atlanta offense.
Baker Mayfield- Cleveland Browns- You could make the case that Mayfield should be higher on this list with all the weapons he has at his disposal. However, defensive coordinators now have a year of film to study on Mayfield. With solidified players that have produced consistently in the past, I just can’t push him ahead of those guys...yet.
Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers- Newton is in a tricky spot entering the year. He seemingly has very few targets who are both proven and reliable, but yet his rushing prowess can’t be ignored. Devin Funchess is gone to Indianapolis, so that leaves Torrey Smith and newly signed Chris Hogan as the only vets on the outside. DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel are solid pieces, but can they take the next step? Greg Olsen’s health is also a major concern. Newton is a pretty volatile option at QB (one week he could give you 10 points, the next he could score 30 points), but if he’s the eighth one to come off the board, that’s good value for him.
Carson Wentz- Philadelphia Eagles- Wentz is 18 months removed from turning in MVP caliber numbers through 14 Weeks of football. While he didn’t start off too well in 2018, his numbers steadily increased throughout the year before ending up on IR again with a fractured back. Wentz, if healthy, is a really solid bet to finish in the top-10 by years end, but the question is will he stay healthy? You may want to draft a QB2 fairly high if Wentz is your top option (ie Philip Rivers or Mitchell Trubisky).
Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints- Father time is slowly taking his toll on #9, but Brees keeps adjusting to any age limitations and finding ways to produce. Brees doesn’t really have a deep ball at this point in his career, but he does a fantastic job in the screen game as well as the short and intermediate routes. With all the talent the Saints have, they don’t need a wildly successful vertical passing game. Expect similar numbers to 2018.
Jared Goff- Los Angeles Rams- When Sean McVay was hired, Goff’s entire career path was changed. Not only was he surrounded with high quality players in Todd Gurley and Robert Woods (among others), but he was now in a system that fit his skill set to a tee. Brandin Cooks was brought in as a much-needed field stretcher and Goff has flourished.
Jameis Winston- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Winston will be greatly aided by Bruce Arians vertical passing system. While he doesn’t always protect the ball well, he also isn’t bashful when trying to make a difficult throw, which can be a good thing. It also helps that he has some really big targets to throw to (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, OJ Howard and Cameron Brate). Don’t expect the Bucs to run very well, so Winston could have most games riding on this right arm.
Just Missed the Cut:
Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers- Big Ben will no doubt be hurt by the departure of Antonio Brown. However, the pieces around him are still solid. The offensive line is great, JuJu Smith-Schuster is a threat and James Connor can do it all.
Philip Rivers- Los Angeles Chargers- Rivers has a pretty good trio of skill position players in Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon and Hunter Henry. Third year receiver Mike Williams is a possession receiver who can come down with the ball in the end zone.
Tom Brady- New England Patriots- Are you going to bet against Brady? There’s no way I can leave him off this list, even if he has lost quite a bit of weapons the past two offseasons.
Mitchell Trubisky- Chicago Bears- While Trubisky isn’t a great thrower of the football, he is a very real threat on the ground. His rushing numbers help make up for any deficiencies he may have as a passer.