Top 40 Quarterbacks

Our season preview and draft analysis for the Top 40 Quarterbacks of the 2017-19 Fantasy Football season. For other positions, check out 2018 Season Preview, Top 300 Players, or our Draft Kit.  Customize your Season Preview by creating Custom Rankings.

Fantasy Football Season Preview - Quarterback Rankings

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1. Aaron Rodgers

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 380 4,407 31 12 46 245 2 573.14
2017-18 154 1,675 16 6 24 126 0 239.29
2016-17 401 4,428 40 7 67 369 4 675.92
2015-16 347 3,821 31 8 58 344 1 531.60
2014-15 341 4,381 38 5 43 269 2 630.25
2013-14 193 2,536 17 6 30 120 0 309.60

Even with Jordy Nelson leaving town, Rodgers remains the top option at the quarterback position. Despite missing nine games last season he still managed 16 touchdown passes, though his 6 picks before his season-ending injury did have him on pace to set a career high. Still, there's nothing to suggest we see a repeat of that and the addition of Jimmy Graham and continued to development of Davante Adams should help Rodgers rebound off his disappointing 2017 season. Beyond those two the Packers are loaded with receiving weapons, as injuries at the running back position forced Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams to play early in their rookie seasons, and combined with Ty Montgomery, the Packers have three backs that are more than capable of catching the football out of backfield. Randall Cobb isn't quite the playmaker he was earlier in his career, but he's still a solid option and Geronimo Allison has stepped up the past two seasons whenever he's been called on. It's also worth noting that Green Bay added three wideouts on the third day of the draft so there's not shortage of receiving talent for Rodgers to take aim at.

Rodgers should bounce back from last season's injury and should be the first quarterback off the board in most formats.

2. Tom Brady

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 375 4,298 34 9 20 55 1 547.80
2017-18 385 4,577 32 8 25 28 0 529.20
2016-17 291 3,554 28 2 28 64 0 456.28
2015-16 402 4,770 36 7 34 53 3 612.53
2014-15 373 4,109 33 9 36 57 0 506.58
2013-14 380 4,343 25 11 32 18 0 463.27

Until we see different Tom Brady is what Tom Brady is-a legit MVP contender every year. The issue here is that he'll turn 41 ahead of the regular season. And while Brady and the Pats are a tough out, Father Time is pretty much undefeated. It's difficult to know what we should expect over the next few seasons as the the rift between Brady and Belichick does appear to be growing, but for the time being he's an elite fantasy option on an offense we know is going to score a ton of points. The problem in dynasty formats is that he could literally hang them up at any point in the next season or two and leave you holding the bag.

Julian Edelman will miss the first four games of the season, but he missed all of last year and Brady was just fine. Much has been made about the "Patriot way" and Belichick's dictatorial style by ex-players this offseason, but we shouldn't expect Brady and company to miss a beat on offense so feel free to pencil in a healthy Brady for top five QB numbers in nearly any format in 2018.

3. Cam Newton

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 289 3,516 23 16 125 516 6 536.89
2017-18 291 3,302 22 16 139 746 6 551.79
2016-17 270 3,509 19 14 90 359 5 466.34
2015-16 296 3,837 35 10 132 636 10 704.26
2014-15 262 3,127 18 12 103 539 5 457.02
2013-14 292 3,379 24 13 111 585 6 548.22

After trying to limit Newton's rushing in 2016, Carolina seems to have finally come to grips with the fact that trying to turn him into a pocket passer simply doesn't translate to success. Instead, his ability to keep defenses honest with his legs is a crucial component to his success in the passing game. Newton rebounded off 2016's dismal 52.9% completion rate to 59.1%, which is much more in line with what we've come to expect throughout his career. He also posted career highs in rushing attempts (139) and rushing yards (754) with 6 rushing scores in 2017. All of this suggests that while the Panthers know there are risks in letting their franchise quarterback take an above average number of hits from NFL defenders each week, they also know that without a mobile Cam the Carolina offenses simply isn't as effective, in large part because Newton himself becomes less effective as a passer. Under contract through 2020, we should expect similar efforts to 2017 going forward as long as the 29 year old signal caller can stay healthy.

Newton's rushing ability almost guarantees top ten fantasy quarterback numbers over a 16 games season, and the addition of rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore and a healthy Greg Olsen will only help. But Newton's real value comes from his upside. We may never see him match the 35 passing and 10 rushing scores of 2015 again, but the fact that we know he's capable of posting those types of numbers over the course of a season gives him arguably the highest ceiling at the position.

4. Russell Wilson

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 319 3,759 28 11 79 384 2 532.52
2017-18 339 3,983 34 11 95 584 3 622.45
2016-17 353 4,219 21 11 72 259 1 475.87
2015-16 329 4,024 34 8 103 553 1 607.52
2014-15 285 3,475 20 7 118 849 6 587.47
2013-14 257 3,357 26 9 96 539 1 492.67

The lack of a running game in Seattle for the past two and a half seasons has taken Wilson from the role of a game manager capable of making plays and occasionally contributing a big performance, to the focal point of the Seahawks offense. Wilson's pass attempts have increased in each of his first six NFL seasons, jumping from 393 as a rookie to a career high 553 last season, the second straight season of more than 545 passing attempts. Prior to 2016 he'd never attempted more than 483 in a single season. Along with a floundering running game, injuries and defections have meant Seattle's defense is no longer the dominant unit it once was, forcing Wilson and the offense to be more aggressive. Behind a bad offensive line, Wilson has also spent plenty of time running for his life and Seattle hasn't done much this offseason to improve that situation. The hope is that the addition of first round rookie running back Rashaad Penny and the return of Chris Carson, who impressed as a rookie but had his season cut short by injury, will bolster the running game and take some of the pressure off Wilson. That said, the running game hasn't materialized to date and the defense continues to deteriorate so Wilson's fantasy value looks to keep trending upward.

The hope is that Rashaad Penny's presence will be able to take some of the pressure off Wilson, but there are certainly no guarantees. Additionally, Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham both departed this offseason and none of the additions in the receiving game-Brandon Marshall, Jaron Brown, and Ed Dickson feels like an offset, let alone a step up. Wilson should once again post big numbers and there's no reason not to consider him a top five fantasy quarterback heading into the season.

5. Andrew Luck

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 347 4,018 28 13 68 294 2 531.39
2017-18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
2016-17 346 4,240 31 13 64 341 2 558.88
2015-16 162 1,881 15 12 33 196 0 248.54
2014-15 380 4,761 40 16 64 273 3 648.95
2013-14 343 3,822 23 9 63 377 4 532.20

Finally back to throwing a football after missing all of the 2017 season, Luck has now played in 22 of the Colts last 58 regular season games. Hardly a comforting statistic for both redraft and dynasty owners. Assuming the extended absence allows him to get back to being the player he was before the injury, Luck is a perennial challenger for the top overall quarterback in fantasy. But a hiccup or two, or the inability to make some of the throws he could coming into the league, immediately threaten that status. At this point all we can do is wait to see what he looks like in the preseason. And even if it's positive, you know there's going to be a measure of risk for the rest of his career.

Owning Luck this season seems like a move best reserved for those who aren't afraid of volatility on their roster. He could certainly return to being the fantasy stud of seasons past, but it comes with risk. The Colts have done a nice job of improving the offensive line, but the skill positions aren't going to wow anyone, and even if Luck remains healthy some young guys will need to step up for him to have a big season.

6. Carson Wentz

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 362 4,052 29 12 70 290 1 531.32
2017-18 265 3,296 33 7 63 284 0 496.31
2016-17 379 3,782 16 14 46 150 2 392.26

Before suffering a season-ending knee injury, Wentz was lighting up the NFL in just his second pro season, posting the league's best passer rating and on pace to throw for 40 touchdowns. All while leading the Eagles to an 11-2 record and setting the franchise on a course to capture its first Super Bowl. Blessed with a big arm and great mobility for a player of his size, assuming he can return to full health, Wentz's future looks very bright. The Eagles have done a nice job of surrounding him with talent, and the offense has evolved into a more aggressive approach that doesn't shy away from taking shots downfield. In fact, Wentz was second in the league in completed air yards per pass last season when he went down, and he was doing it with impressive efficiency. A healthy Wentz looks like a safe bet to build a dynasty team around.

The play of Nick Foles late in the season and throughout the Eagles playoff run poses significant questions about Wentz's 2018 campaign. While he's solidly locked into the starting quarterback job as the Eagles franchise signal caller, there's really no reason for the team to rush him back. It's unlikely he draws any preseason snaps and it's possible we don't even see him under center in Week 1. It's a situation to monitor if you're taking Wentz in redraft leagues or counting on him in keeper or dynasty formats.

7. Drew Brees

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 386 4,518 30 11 21 52 1 531.04
2017-18 386 4,338 23 8 34 12 2 477.74
2016-17 471 5,208 37 15 23 20 2 612.92
2015-16 428 4,870 32 11 24 14 1 556.24
2014-15 456 4,952 33 17 27 68 1 564.49
2013-14 446 5,162 39 12 35 52 3 652.38

Brees is entering his age 39 season, and the Saints just re-upped him for another two years. That would take through his age 40 season and it's fair to start wondering how much the future Hall of Famer has left in the tank. Additionally, New Orleans has clearly shifted its focus on offense, opting for a more run heavy attack. It was an adjustment that saw Brees fail to pass for at least 4800 yards for the first time since 2010, and attempt just 536 passes, his lowest total since 2009's 514 attempts in 15 games that season. His 23 touchdown passes were also his lowest total since he came to New Orleans in 2006. Still, Brees led the league in both completions (386) and completion percentage (his 72% was a career high), directing a highly efficient offense that found the end zone 23 times on the ground-5 more than any other team in the NFL. All of this suggests that not only is time running out for Brees from an age perspective, but Sean Payton and company seem to be adjusting the offense in the hopes of prolonging his career. And playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league, there's no reason the Saints won't be contenders for the next few seasons. But for now we may have seen the last of the gawdy fantasy passing stats we've come expect of Brees.

Mark Ingram's early season suspension could mean more pass attempts for Brees, but it's also clear the Saints plan to run the ball plenty behind their talented offensive line. It's probably fair to assume the touchdowns come up a bit from last season, but given the way the Saints played last year it's hard to imagine we see another season where Brees threatens 5000 yards and tosses touchdowns passes in the mid to high thirties. He's still a solid NFL quarterback, but know what you're buying in 2018 with Brees, and that's probably not a complete bounceback to elite fantasy production.

8. Deshaun Watson

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 302 3,729 28 19 96 361 3 522.81
2017-18 126 1,699 19 8 36 269 2 305.05

After seeing his rookie season cut short by a torn ACL, by all accounts Watson should be a full go when training camp opens, avoiding the PUP list. He's reportedly been practicing without a brace already and his signature mobility appears intact. Despite being a first round pick, the Texans chose not to give Watson a chance to win the starter's job in camp last offseason, but with Tom Savage predictably imploding, Watson took over under center halfway through Week 1 and never looked back. Through just six and a half NFL games Watson tossed 19 touchdown passes and threw for nearly 1700 yards, adding 269 rushing yards and a pair of scores on the ground as well. In Weeks 2 through 7 (his first six NFL starts) Watson was a top five fantasy performer on average before sustaining his injury so it's easy to see why the offseason buzz has been plentiful for the second year pro. He'll need to cut down on the turnovers going forward, as he threw 8 picks as a rookie and put the ball on the ground 3 times. But the sky really is the limit here, and Watson is being drafted as such in all formats.

After his short but impressive rookie campaign, Watson is being selected as a top five fantasy quarterback in nearly all formats. It's a steep price to pay, but not unreasonable given his early success. We've seen first hand that the upside is real, but he's clearly not as safe as some of the quarterbacks going around him in drafts.

9. Matthew Stafford

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 379 4,285 29 11 34 117 1 519.00
2017-18 371 4,446 29 10 29 98 0 493.48
2016-17 388 4,327 24 10 37 207 2 507.85
2015-16 398 4,262 32 13 44 159 1 535.38
2014-15 363 4,257 22 12 43 93 2 461.61
2013-14 371 4,650 29 19 37 69 2 525.71

Over the past few seasons fantasy players could arguably characterize Stafford as a boring player to own. Ever since his breakout 2011 campaign of more than 5000 passing yards and 41 touchdowns, it's been difficult not to think of subsequent seasons as anything but a little disappointing. But that's hardly been the case, as Stafford's improvement in recent seasons makes him one of the safest quarterback options available heading into his age 30 season. His steadily improving completion percentage has been north of 65% for three straight seasons now, and he's averaged just over 4300 yards and 28 touchdowns over those campaigns while remaining remarkably consistent. There's probably not a big 2011-type upside left in Stafford, but he's managed a career low 10 interceptions in back to back seasons in 2016 and 2017, and at the same time has been trending up to a career high yards per attempt of 7.8 last year. There's a lot to like here.

Stafford is a solid bet to continue top ten fantasy quarterback production, as the Lions haven't made any significant changes or improvements on the offensive side of the ball. Luke Willson replaces inconsistent tight end Eric Ebron, who was let go in the offseason, and the Lions have once again looked to add some thump to the running game with LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson. But this is still Stafford's team and it would be surprising to see him not top 4000 yards with mid-20s touchdowns once again this season.

10. Kirk Cousins

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 370 4,425 28 16 68 136 1 516.35
2017-18 347 4,093 27 13 48 154 4 508.45
2016-17 406 4,917 25 12 34 96 4 551.08
2015-16 379 4,166 29 11 26 48 5 530.19
2014-15 126 1,710 10 9 7 20 0 171.88
2013-14 81 854 4 7 4 14 0 71.58

Cousins' move to the Vikings was some of the biggest offseason news and started a domino effect among NFL quarterbacks changing teams. And while Cousins was a top 10 fantasy quarterback and certainly gets an offensive upgrade by moving to Minnesota, we shouldn't overlook how often he was asked to throw the ball in Washington. Jay Gruden's pass heavy offense and the lack of a real bellcow back, often forced Cousins to carry the offense for the Redskins. With Dalvin Cook in the backfield and a much stingier defense, Cousins simply may not have to be as aggressive as a Viking. That said, he also has better weapons around him. In addition to Cook, the duo of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are head and shoulders above the receiving crew he was saddled with last season, and it's not like the Vikings gave Cousins $84 million in guaranteed money over the next three seasons just to watch him hand off the football.

Cousins draft day price tag heading into the summer is probably a bit on the high side. Many are excited about the prospect of Cousins in the Vikings offense, but going to a new team and a new system will likely mean some growing pains. He's relatively safe from a production standpoint, but he's a player to target when he falls, not one to chase. Additionally, if he starts slow in 2018, he makes a good quarterback to target in trades as the numbers should normalize over the course of the season.

11. Philip Rivers

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 369 4,497 29 12 31 52 0 510.14
2017-18 360 4,515 28 10 17 -15 0 492.53
2016-17 349 4,386 33 21 14 35 0 494.01
2015-16 437 4,792 29 13 17 28 0 517.91
2014-15 379 4,286 31 18 37 102 0 500.54
2013-14 378 4,478 32 11 28 72 0 526.62

For some reason Philip Rivers seems older than 36, but the longtime Chargers quarterback won't turn 37 years old until December and the team's offense is loaded with young skill position players and has a much improved offensive line. Rivers has tossed at least 26 touchdown passes in every season since 2008, but last year marked his second lowest interception total in a season over that span, with just 10. With the team's improvement overall, Rivers didn't have to be quite the gunslinger of days past, and that trend could likely continue for the next few seasons. Still a solid fantasy QB1 for at least a couple more years, Rivers is going to turn the ball over trying to make plays so be aware of that tendency if your league penalizes for interceptions. He's historically gone underdrafted and has top ten upside for those who like to wait on quarterbacks.

The Chargers are loaded and Rivers will be directing one of the more talented offenses he's played with in his career. Even without Hunter Henry lost for the season, there's enough depth here that he feels like a lock for 4000+ yards and 25+ touchdowns once again.

12. Matt Ryan

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 381 4,428 29 12 42 60 0 506.68
2017-18 342 4,095 20 12 31 134 0 422.12
2016-17 373 4,944 38 7 35 117 0 618.46
2015-16 407 4,591 21 16 37 63 0 437.54
2014-15 415 4,694 28 14 29 145 0 522.81
2013-14 439 4,515 26 17 17 55 0 467.82

After Ryan's career year in 2016, regression last season seemed almost inevitable. Undoubtedly the loss of Kyle Shanahan as his offensive coordinator also played a role. Still, the Falcons showed their faith in Ryan by signing him to a massive extension this spring that will take him through his age 38 season in Atlanta. It's a vote of confidence in Ryan, but also a testament to how difficult it is to find and develop a franchise signal caller. While Julio Jones's best seasons may be behind him, the addition of first round rookie Calvin Ridley should help ensure Ryan's long term production. Though he's spiked and dipped at times, Ryan is basically a 4500 yard, 25 touchdown passer, and there's no reason to believe he can't consistently post numbers in that range for seasons to come.

Ryan should improve in his second season with Steve Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator, and a bounce back in the touchdown and yardage department seems inevitable. Last season saw him post his lowest yardage total since 2010, and the 20 touchdowns were his lowest mark since his rookie season in 2008. The addition of Ridley should be boost, and the fact that Julio Jones contract situation has been satisfied to the point where he's no longer a holdout threat, gives Ryan a measure of safety as well.

13. Patrick Mahomes

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 320 3,862 22 16 84 317 3 487.38
2017-18 22 284 0 1 6 -7 0 17.05

Last year's 10th pick overall in the draft, Mahomes showed enough in practices last year and then in his one week audition against the Broncos in Week 17, to make the Chiefs comfortable with sending Alex Smith off to Washington this offseason. While the numbers aren't eye-popping, it's worth noting that with the Chiefs playoff situation locked in, the late season tilt featured the Broncos defensive starters against Mahomes and a Chiefs offense than saw Kareem Hunt rush once, and Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill watch from the sidelines. That's right, Mahomes racked up 284 yards passing throwing to Demetrius Harris, DeMarcus Robinson, and Albert Wilson. Even more impressive, Kansas City won the game. His one year learning behind Smith should ultimately help him in the long run, and he arguably has the highest upside of any quarterback taken in last year's draft, including Deshaun Watson. Blessed with an absolute cannon, Mahomes can make every throw in the book. And he's no slouch as a runner either. If he is truly putting it all together at the NFL level the way the reports out of Kansas City claim, he may have a long tenure as a fantasy darling.

A perennial playoff team, the Chiefs opted for Mahomes going forward even after Alex Smith posted a career year. It's a pretty difficult narrative to ignore when assessing Mahomes' chances for success. Andy Reid has coaxed some monster seasons out of dual threat quarterbacks like Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb in the past, and while Mahomes is a bit of a dice roll, his situation and supporting cast give him a massive ceiling.

14. Ben Roethlisberger

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 356 4,135 28 19 26 105 1 485.12
2017-18 360 4,253 28 14 28 43 0 477.21
2016-17 328 3,819 29 13 16 14 1 457.34
2015-16 319 3,938 21 16 15 29 0 403.09
2014-15 408 4,952 32 9 33 27 0 546.67
2013-14 375 4,261 28 14 27 99 1 481.48

Much like Brady, we're getting to the point in Big Ben's career where retirement speculation seems to swirl every offseason. Of course Roethlisberger has made plenty of comments to stoke those fires in the past. Entering his age 36 season, the future Hall of Famer has two years left on his current deal and all indications are that he'll play out that contract. With Le'Veon Bell playing under a tag again this season, and almost certainly headed out of town via free agency this coming offseason, this could very well be Pittsburgh's last realistic run at a title with Roethlisberger under center. He's known for taking a beating and playing through injuries, but it's been clear in recent seasons that those are taking more of a toll than they did in the past. Big Ben probably has another couple seasons of fantasy relevance, and it's worth noting the Steelers traded up in the draft to grab former Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph in the third round.

With this season almost assuredly Bell's last in Pittsburgh, expect the Steelers to use him extensively. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster figure to be one of the best WR1/WR2 combos in the league, and the addition of rookie James Washington in the deep threat role previously occupied by the mercurial Martavis Bryant should also be considered an improvement for this offense overall. If he can stay healthy for sixteen games, Roethlisberger could be in line for his best season since 2014.

15. Marcus Mariota

Com Yds TD Int Rsh Yds TD WPV
2018-19 (proj) 315 3,644 23 12 72 368 2 484.52
2017-18 281 3,232 13 15 59 276 5 391.55
2016-17 276 3,426 26 9 60 349 2 474.60
2015-16 230 2,818 19 10 34 252 2 359.86

After a fantastic second season, many expected another step forward for Mariota in 2017. But instead the Tennessee quarterback failed to account for 20 or more touchdowns for the first time in his career. Even worse, he threw 15 interceptions to just 13 passing scores on the season. But as bad as his season was, it was hardly all his fault, as the Titans lacked at the skill positions for most of the season. Rookie first rounder Corey Davis couldn't stay healthy, Delanie Walker started to show his age, and both DeMarco Murray and Eric Decker proved to have nothing left in the tank. That said, Derrick Henry finally got his shot in the backfield and looked like a potential bellcow back. The receivers group still has some question marks, but Mariota should bounce back under first year head coach Mike Vrabel and new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. By all accounts the offense should be more uptempo under the new regime, but it's also worth keeping in mind that Mariota is now on his third coaching regime since coming into the league in 2015.

Much like last season, Mariota is a breakout candidate again. Assuming Corey Davis can stay healthy and the new coaching staff makes good on their pledge to get more aggressive on offense, this could be a big year for Mariota. It also wouldn't be surprising to see the new regime try to take greater advantage of Mariota's mobility with more designed runs, particularly in the red zone, where this team has historically struggled.

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