The 2014-15 NFL season is still months away, but it’s never too early to discuss fantasy football rankings. I’ve previously released my running back rankings for the upcoming season, and now I will turn my attention to the quarterback position.
Can Jake Locker become a viable starting quarterback in fantasy football? It remains to be seen, but the potential and opportunity is certainly there. But first and foremost, here are my initial quarterback rankings, starting with the top 10:
1. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
5. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
6. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
7. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
8. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
9. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
10. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
- The top 3 QB’s are pretty much set in stone. Even if Manning regresses slightly, he should still be an absolute stud. Rodgers and Brees are also among the safest and consistent players you could possibly invest in. Owning any of these 3 QB’s will give you a significant edge at the position.
- I have Colin Kaepernick ranked a bit higher than the consensus. But when taking his elite mobility into account, and adding a fully healthy Michael Crabtree to the mix, it’s not hard to imagine Kaepernick taking a step forward this upcoming season.
- While the loss of WR DeSean Jackson will hurt, I still expect Nick Foles to continue to build off of his excellent 2013/14 campaign. Being the starting quarterback for a Chip Kelly led offense has its perks.
- The inclusion of Bears QB Jay Cutler inside the top 10 might surprise some people. I just can’t look past the fact that he is surrounded by two outstanding wide receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey, an excellent pass-catching RB in Matt Forte, and an offensive guru of a head coach in Marc Trestman. If Cutler can survive a 16-game schedule, a career year could be in the cards.
On to 11-20:
11. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
12. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
13. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
14. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
15. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
16. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
17. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
18. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
*****19. Jake Locker, Tennessee Titans*****
20. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
- With a healthy Julio Jones, expect a bounce back season for Matt Ryan. The Falcons will likely struggle to run the ball with consistency, so a high number of passing attempts for Ryan is a probability.
- Tony Romo and the Cowboys inherit former Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Looking at the Detroit offenses under Linehan, it is safe to assume Romo will reap the benefits of a high-volume passing attack.
- Andy Dalton finished inside the top 5 in scoring for fantasy QB’s last season. He will likely see a dip in production with the departure of former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. New OC Hue Jackson is an advocate for a more balanced offenses.
- Jake Locker is consistently ranked outside of the top 25 for the QB position around the web. But I see a lot of potential in Locker. He is a dual-threat QB, which is a big bonus. We have seen mobile QB’s become fantasy starters even without the gaudy passing numbers. Heck even Tim Tebow was a useful fantasy option at one point, and his accuracy was atrocious. Locker also has a nice receiving core to throw to. The WR trio includes Kendall Wright, Nate Washington, and up-and-comer Justin Hunter. Add the capable TE Delanie Walker and the explosive RB Bishop Sankey, and all of a sudden you’ve got the makings of an exciting offense. Throw in the fact that new head coach Ken Whisenhunt is known for injecting life into his offenses, and I don’t see how Locker doesn’t burst onto the scene in 2014/15.
21. Josh McCown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
22. Eli Manning, New York Giants
23. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
25. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
26. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills
27. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
28. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams
29. Michael Vick, New York Jets
30. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
31. Matt Schaub, Oakland Raiders
32. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston Texans
- Josh McCown was great in spot duty for the Bears last season. Now with Tampa Bay, McCown will be surrounded with a similar supporting cast. He is an intriguing QB #2 for fantasy purposes.
- I am completely aware of Johnny Manziel’s upside. I just don’t believe in the receivers he will be throwing to. With the likely suspension of WR Josh Gordon, the wide receiver depth chart in Cleveland is looking rather bare.
- If Teddy Bridgewater can take hold of the starting job in Minnesota, he could have some real sleeper appeal. Working with future hall of fame RB Adrian Peterson will make life much easier, and simple bubble screens to the dynamic WR Cordarelle Patterson could result in easy touchdowns.
- The starting QB for the Jets has yet to be announced, but if Michael Vick could win the gig, well we’ve all seen what he is capable of. At some point in the season, Vick could become a starting option in fantasy leagues.
I’m sure readers have a different view on the fantasy quarterback landscape, so let us hear your opinion in the comment section below. Coming soon, my fantasy football wide receiver rankings.