Alright, pre-camp rankings and my second set of the year. Quarterbacks are a tricky thing, there are only 32 starters and only a handful more will make an impact compared to near 100 players who will make an impact at either RB or WR. I added overall average draft position (ADP) into the tables so that as we work towards an overall big board we have context positionally and overall.
Key: Player (Team | My Rank | Overall ADP | Positional ADP)
Very Good Tier
There isn’t too much to argue about in either of my top two tiers. So, we’ll talk about Andrew Luck. Luck has battled injuries lately, but when he has been on the field he has performed as well as anyone in fantasy over the last three seasons. As of these pre-camp ranks he has not been cleared and will start on the PUP list, and that is well worth all of our concern. Until we start to see a more concrete threat of him missing games, I’m going to keep him at #2.
Cousins, Ryan and the Young-ins Tier
Mix and Match Tier
Tyrod Taylor (BUF | 15 | 109 | 17 | -2), Matt Stafford (DET | 16 | 94 | 14 | +2)
Nothing too major in the third tier, although Mariota and Ryan are both 5 spots different from ADP for me. I think when you combine Mariota’s continued improvement and comfort at the NFL level last season and the help that Tennessee has invested in for him this is the year he takes a considerable leap forward in fantasy. As for Ryan, well I think he’s still going to be good, but Shanahan gets far too little credit for what he did there in a couple of seasons, and what Ryan did last year is the considerable outlier in his career. The offense should be similar, but I think there’s enough regression to make him a low-end QB1 option, and not an elite option. Without further ado, we move to the piece de resistance of disagreement between me and, well, everybody. I have Blake Bortles at 12 in my rankings and although I don’t believe him to be a very good NFL QB, I don’t think even the proposed change in the offensive structure should hurt him too much. Bortles has been a viable fantasy option for the past two seasons and the defense will certainly be better this season with a plethora of useful signings on that side of the ball. That said, even with the addition of Fournette, is the offense going to change o substantially as to rend him almost sub-QB2 this season? He has value for fantasy and I think on guys like him and a Cousins we need to remember that actual football usefulness is not the same as fantasy usefulness.
Aging, but Useful QB2 Tier
The Verdict is Still Out Tier
Deshaun Watson (HOU | 28 | 160 | 25 | +3), Mitch Trubisky (CHI | 29 | 230 | 32| -3), Brian Hoyer (SF | 30 | 179 | 27 | +3)
The bottom of the QB2 is pretty straight forward with solid veteran QB filling out the top 24. This last tier is where I expect to see the most movement as we sort out the truly bad QB situations and figure out who can be had for cheap with a starting position in hand. Wentz is the only really big difference right now, as ADP sees him as a solid QB2 option and I think he’s king of the QB3s. Wentz isn’t a good QB, and that doesn’t mean he can’t be fantasy viable, but color me cautious on how much new additions are going to be coming out of the gate. Wentz has some tools around him now to help him out, but I think there was already a healthy gap between him on either side in these rankings.
Overall, I think the QB ranks are pretty stable and barring another Bridgewater type injury or an injury to a major skill position player I think the movement is going to come in those last couple tiers. On a slight side note we should really try to enjoy the transition at QB from Brees/Brady and Big Ben/Rodgers/Eli/Rivers to the Wilson/Luck and Winston/Mariota/class of 2017 group. It’s going to be an interesting dynamic in both real life football and in fantasy.
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