The Fantasy Assembly team is proud to kick off our football content with our 2015 Quarterback rankings! For now, our football group consists of myself (Tommy Landseadel), Joe Mica, and Andy Germani, but there may be another writer or two joining us as the fantasy season moves along. Over the next three weeks, we will unveil all of our positional ranks with RBs coming later this week.
Discussing where to draft a quarterback always tends to bring out some lively debates. They are the highest scoring players in most fantasy formats, and while it is true that QB is a position that you can wait on and still end up with some high quality options, there is also a strong case to be made for taking one of the top dogs.
Despite what some experts may tell you, there are many different ways to draft a winning fantasy football squad. The key in determining when to pull the trigger on your QB totally depends on the specifics of your league and the tendencies of your league mates. Always be sure you completely understand the intricacies of your league before heading to the draft table. For example, the value of Aaron Rodgers in a 14 team, two QB league with 6 point passing TDs and no PPR is much different than his value in a 10 team, 1 QB PPR league with 4 point passing TDs. In the former, Luck and Rodgers should probably be the top 2 overall picks. In the later, they don’t really make a good value until round 4 or 5. It is all about supply and demand and the quality of replacement level QBs.
Without further ado, it is time to get into the rankings! Please feel free to discuss in the comment section.
1. Which QBs are you most willing to reach for during your draft?
Andy: I don’t typically reach for a QB. If there was one to reach for early, it is Aaron Rodgers. There are a lot of good QBs this year, but I think that Rodgers is the only one that really sets himself apart. I like Luck as well, but I could see them running more this year, meaning less pass attempts for Luck with the addition of an actual running back. After that, I am content to wait and be the last guy to get a starter.
Joe: Joe Flacco – New offensive coordinator Marc Trestman has had first year success everywhere he has been. Everywhere! In his first season in San Francisco in 1995, as OC his passing offense ranked 1st. In his first season in Arizona in 1998, Trestman’s passing offense ranked 8th. His first year in Oakland, the Raiders ranked first, and in his 2013 debut with the Bears they ranked 5th. And while it may not mean much to some, as first year head coach with the 2008 Montreal Allouettes in the CFL, Trestman guided 36-year-old Anthony Calvillo to 5,633 passing yards and 43 TD.
Tommy: In my opinion, drafting a fantasy QB is 100% about value. After the top 4 are off the board, there really is not a huge difference between QB 5 and QB 15. There are only three players who I would consider reaching for this season: Luck, Rodgers and Roethlisberger. Luck and Rodgers are each head and shoulders above the pack and deserve their lofty rankings. The question is whether or not you want to, or can afford to pay the top 20 overall price required to nab them. While Big Ben is not as dynamic as these two, the Steelers’ offense is shaping up to be a real juggernaut. If I can snag Ben after the top 45 or 50 players are off the board, I will strongly consider it. Otherwise, I will take what the draft room gives me after everyone else has made their QB1 decision.
2. Which QBs will you be looking to avoid this season?
Andy: There aren’t any at the position that I am really terrified of. If there is a guy that I like less than others, it is probably Matt Stafford.
Joe: Sam Bradford – While his career numbers have improved gradually each season, they’re average at best. Add in his injury history (ankle sprain, ACL). To believe he will not only be healthy all year, but also instantly better after not throwing a pass in an NFL game for almost 2 years makes me very cautious.
Tommy: I want no part of Peyton Manning or Drew Brees this season. Both men are in the decline phase of their careers and both are in the midst of offensive restructuring that appears to focus more on the run game. I have no doubt that they will continue to perform as top 10 QB options, but I believe their name brand value will cause them each to be overdrafted in most leagues.
3. Which “average joes” are you willing to settle for if you pass on the top QB options?
Andy: If I don’t draft Rodgers early, I will wait until the last guy in my top 15 is available. I don’t see a huge difference between the guys I have in the 6-15 range and I would rather wait and load up on other positions.
Joe: Matthew Stafford has lost some value this year and has dropped to a low-end QB1 ranking. In the last three seasons, however, Stafford has averaged nearly 300 yards per game (only 4 QB have a better average in that time span) and averaged 30 TD per season. Plus, he hasn’t missed a game since the 2010 season.
Tommy: Joe Flacco fits the bill here quite nicely. He has very little upside, but he is all but guaranteed to finish inside the QB top 15. He is the perfect match to pair with a riskier high ceiling QB like Sam Bradford, Jameis Winston or Colin Kaepernick if you choose to wait at QB.
4. Who are some late round lottery ticket QBs that you feel may hit it big this season?
Andy: The late round QB that can really make an impact this year is probably either Robert Griffin III or Marcus Mariota. The top 15 QBs are really solid so I don’t know if a really late round guy can have much of an impact at this position. If anyone can, it will be one of the running quarterbacks, but I wouldn’t put too much hope into it.
Joe: Colin Kaepernick – He’s clearly being drafted as a low-end QB2 backup. Interestingly in 2014 standard scoring leagues, Kaepernick finished just one point behind Cam Newton who is on the other end of this year’s QB draft spectrum. The new 49ers coaching regime promises to take advantage of Kaepernick’s skillset rather than force him to be a pocket passer.
Tommy: I look for high ceilings in the late rounds. You won’t see me drafting a guy like Alex Smith, because what is the point of that? Also, if I do invest in an elite QB, I will almost always pass on drafting a second signal caller. For late round upside, I like both rookies. Jameis Winston is in a great situation with a handful of impressive, big bodied receivers to throw to. He has a chance perform right away, although there will be some ups and downs. Marcus Mariota also has a sneaky good receiver core and could make an early fantasy impact with his ability to scramble. Lastly, if you want to gamble on a second year QB, take Derek Carr ahead of Bridgewater. Teddy B. is getting all the hype this year, but I just don’t see him getting the volume needed to be a consistent fantasy performer. Carr, on the other hand, could be in for a nice second year leap now that Amare Cooper and Michael Crabtree are in town. Volume is important, and I expect Carr to get plenty of it while throwing the ball downfield more often in year 2.
Need more football analysis, position battles, injury news, waiver wire pick-ups, etc.., head on over to Fantasy Rundown. And don’t forget the rankings page with positional breakdowns from the top sites on the web.