Dan Tortora's Quarterback Rankings for 2017-18 Fantasy Football:
2016-17 NFL League Averages Among QBs who had
at least 200 passing attempts:
3,582 Passing Yards
22 Pass TDs
1.8 Rush TDs
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2016 Numbers: 4,428 passing yards / 40 passing TDs / 4 rushing TDs
Numbers don't lie. Rodgers is not the guy you want to play against in Fantasy.
2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2016 Numbers: 4,944 passing yards / 38 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Not having former Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan leaves some question but Ryan still has his weapons in the running & passing game...and he still has his arm.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2016 Numbers: 5,208 passing yards / 37 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Brees has been a fantasy monster for a long time. Now he has RB Adrian Peterson who will inevitably command some attention. Brees does not need attention to leave him to be successful, but he has it, so look for the signal-caller to keep racking up points for you throughout the season.
4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2016 Numbers: 3,554 passing yards / 28 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
If this were choosing who you would want under center to lead you to the end in reality, there is no question that Brady would be #1. In fantasy, Brady is out-numbered in the stat sheet by those above him in this ranking, but he is still a viable choice as he knows to get up & down the field...& into the end zone.
Oh yeah, and Brady has once-under-utilized WR Brandin Cooks as a new receiving weapon, a former member of the New Orleans Saints.
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
2016 Numbers: 4,240 passing yards / 31 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Luck played in 15 of 16 games last season after competing in only seven of 16 games in the 2015-16 season. In 2015-16, Luck had 15 TDs to 12 INTs in seven games. Then last season, Luck had 31 TDs and 13 INTs in 15 games.
There is now more depth at WR and rookie RB Marlon Mack can end up being a young success in the backfield that will open up the game more for Luck.
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2016 Numbers: 4,219 passing yards / 21 passing TDs / 1 rushing TD
Wilson has many returning weapons in WRs Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, & Tyler Lockett as well as TE Jimmy Graham.
The question is whether or not RBs Eddie Lacy (newcomer), Thomas Rawls, & C.J. Prosise can either by committee or individually take some pressure off the pass. This may be Prosise's last leg with the Seahawks if he fails to perform. and protect the football.
8. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
2016 Numbers: 3,426 passing yards / 26 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Mobile & Trending Up, Mariota is someone who could be a darkhorse to some, but should be on your roster.
Mariota has increased his TDs and lowered his INTs despite playing in more games from his rookie to his sophomore season.
9. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
2016 Numbers: 4,286 passing yards / 33 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Rivers has had 18, 13, and 21 INTs in the past three seasons, respectively, with 21 happening most recently.
Those completions to the wrong team send him toward the bottom of this Top 10, but he has still undoubtedly put up good numbers on a subpar team.
10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2016 Numbers: 3,819 passing yards / 29 pass TDs / 1 rush TD
Wide receiver Antonio Brown definitely aids this rating in getting Roethlisberger to crack this Top 10.
With that, Roethlisberger has lowered his INTs and improved his TDs.
However, durability has been an issue, and the potential of early retirement causes some concern as to how long he wants to be in this game.
11. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2016 Numbers: 4,090 passing yards / 28 pass TDs / 1 rush TD
Winston's rushing TD output went from six a season ago to a mere one this past season, leaving a question mark as to if and when he will provide a dual-threat opportunity for his fantasy owners.
Either way, Winston has 50 passing TDs in his first two NFL seasons, but 33 INTs to go with it.
He has the returning weapon of WR Mike Evans with the addition of WR DeSean Jackson who is looking to show his worth after falling over the past few seasons.
Add in two options at TE with Cameron Brate & rookie O.J. Howard and this young talent has more options to help him score for you.
He just have to limit the passes to the opposite side.
12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
2016 Numbers: 3,937 passing yards / 28 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
In three seasons in the NFL, Carr has 81 passing TDs to 31 INTs, a ratio that has 50 more TDs than INTs, including 28 passing TDs to six INTs last season.
His passing yards and passing TDs last season were above the NFL average.
No matter what weapons he has had, he finds a way to get in the end zone, and would be a good addition to your team.
13. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2016 Numbers: 3,667 passing yards / 23 pass TDs / 6 rush TDs
Prescott is coming off a superb rookie season. Though his numbers, such as 23 passing TDs to four INTs, are tough to duplicate, as long as he refuses to fall into a sophomore slump, we could be looking at a Top-10 option moving forward.
The news of RB Ezekiel Elliott being out for seven weeks, six due to suspension and one being the Cowboys' bye week, might make some panic, but this could mean more passing for Prescott, & more rushing, potentially goal-line keepers, for this young quarterback.
14. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
2016 Numbers: 4,327 passing yards / 24 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Stafford is still putting up numbers following the No-Megatron (WR Calvin Johnson) Era, which is a good sign for fantasy owners, but he has not been the fantasy stud that one would have hoped for.
A healthy Ameer Abdullah (RB) is not something we have known in the NFL, but that, coupled with health in the backfield in general and multiple options there, could take some of the pressure off of Stafford and create a more open offense where Stafford has the opportunity to shine.
15. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
2016 Numbers: 4,917 passing yards / 25 pass TDs / 4 rush TDs
Cousins has more weapons and speed than he has potentially ever had before in Washington in the backfield as well as in the pass game.
Add in that this is a contract year for Cousins, so he is not only competing to win this season but also competing for a long-term contract either with the Redskins or elsewhere.
He has 54 passing TDs to 23 INTs over the past two seasons, and has more places to put the ball this season, leaving him as an attractive addition to your fantasy team that others may pass on.
16. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
2016 Numbers: 4,206 passing yards / 18 pass TDs / 4 rush TDs
Wide receiver A.J. Green is back healthy, which will return Dalton's #1 option in the passing game to the field. This should aid in Dalton's numbers this season, and give Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd more one-on-one opportunities to give Dalton options.
The addition of rookie WR John Ross could give Dalton a standout #2 option in the passing game and take Dalton's numbers higher than his below-the-league average in passing TDs from last season.
There are now three running backs in the offense, with rookie Joe Mixon along with Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Bernard and Hill have been a two-headed problem, so Mixon coming in and elevating himself to a dominant role could finally rid the Bengals of a disjointed backfield which can create for Dalton by lowering the constant pressure on the Cincinnati passing game.
17. Eli Manning, New York Giants
2016 Numbers: 4,027 passing yards / 26 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Odell Beckham, Jr., offers a quarterback's dream in the passing game.
The addition of Brandon Marshall, coupled with if Sterling Shepard can elevate his game, will offer Manning multiple places to sling the ball in the open field. Remember, Marshall was a former #1 who resurrected his career to an extent in the same city with the New York Jets, so his addition with call attention to his side of the field. If he can catch on quick with Manning, then the Giants will be a problem with Beckham on one side of the field and Marshall on the other.
Rookie RB Wayne Gallman and young NFL RB Paul Perkins could give the Giants their best backfield look in awhile, so Manning can have more help.
If everyone does their job, Manning should have plenty of targets to rack up points for you.
Also worth noting, Manning has 91 passing TDs to 44 INTs over the past three seasons.
18. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
2016 Numbers: 4,233 passing yards / 26 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
At age 37 and having played 14 seasons in the NFL, some may say that Palmer is not the guy to take in fantasy. But Palmer has gone from playing a mere six games in the 2014-season to playing in at least 15 of 16 games in each of the last two seasons (16 in 2015-16 and 15 in 2016-17).
Along with Palmer, WR Larry Fitzgerald has displayed that you can trend back up as time goes on.
Add in RB David Johnson's ability to play a Marshall Faulk-like game, rushing well but also being a threat in the receiving game, and one can argue that Palmer has two of the best weapons and playmakers in the game, who can take his passes to paydirt.
Palmer is a worthy #2 for you.
19. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
2016 Numbers: 3,023 passing yards / 17 pass TDs / 6 rush TDs
Taylor has the ability to score on the run and he has kept his INTs down, so it is difficult to understand why the Bills have not shown more dedication to him.
He has had 6 INTs per season for the last two seasons, with 20 passing TDs to six INTs in 2015-16 and 17 passing TDs to six INTs last season.
Fantasy Owners, however, would like to see an increase in getting in the end zone through the air, which is a question mark with WR Jordan Matthews coming in from the Philadelphia Eagles and rookie WR Zay Jones joining the team.
But if there are issues in the pass game, Taylor can always take off. He has 10 rushing TDs over the past two seasons combined, with four in 2015-16 and six last season. Taylor has also racked up more than 565 rushing yards in each of the last two seasons, making him a dual-threat option as your backup QB.
20. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
2016 Numbers: 3,782 passing yards / 16 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Wentz had the making of an Offensive Rookie of the Year-type season when he started, but he finished with 16 passing TDs to 14 INTs as a rookie.
That has left him out of this Top-20 along with question marks in the receiving game. WRs Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery are both veterans, but they have never played with Wentz, and behind them, WRs Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham have failed to dominate or even be consistent targets in the receiving game.
What is good is that Wentz seemed to have potentially had his freshman season and sophomore slump in the same season, so he could be on the upward, but the receiving core needs to have leaders emerge.
LeGarrette Blount would be a positive addition to any team, and this backfield has been a carousel of names in recent past. Blount bringing some heroics that he had while with the New England Patriots to the Eagles is a must because just as with the receiving core, the backfield is in need of a leader.
If this offense can come together in the backfield and receiving core and Wentz can show us more of what he was like at the beginning of the 2016-17 season, then maybe this offense can get going and your fantasy team can accelerate upward.
But, that is a lot of if's, which is why Wentz lands as a wild card on your roster, and a QB 2 instead of a QB 1.
21. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
Siemian - 3,401 passing yards / 18 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Lynch - 497 passing yards / 2 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Siemian was given the nod 13 times, while Lynch was the team's top passer last season for three games in his rookie campaign.
He is coming off a season where his 18 TDs had 10 INTs on the other side of it.
Siemian has weapons in the receiving game with veteran WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and a backfield that features two former starting RBs in returner C.J. Anderson and Jamaal Charles, who had success with the Kansas City Chiefs.
So, the weapons are there, along with rookie additions in the backfield and receiving game that can provide even more depth, but both of these QBs are still question marks.
22. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
2016 Numbers: 3,502 passing yards / 15 pass TDs / 5 rush TDs
Two seasons ago, in the 2015-16 season, Smith did not have a passing TD with ANY of the WRs on the Chiefs' roster, yet he had 20 passing TDs.
He finds a way.
Also of note, Smith has not had double-digit INTs in any of the last three seasons, with 18 passing TDs to six INTs in the 2014-15 season, 20 passing TDs to seven INTs in 2015-16, and 15 passing TDs to eight INTs last season.
Smith has found a way on the ground as well, elevating his rushing-TD output from one in 2014-15 to two in 2015-16 to five last season.
When it comes to durability, Smith has been there for you, playing in at least 15 of 16 games in each of the past three seasons.
So why is Smith ranked this low? That is because he is not a consistent multiple-TD producer week to week for you, meaning it is difficult to go into the final game needing to lean on Smith to give you that "W".
23. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
2016 Numbers: 4,317 passing yards / 20 pass TDs / 2 rush TDs
Flacco has had to navigate through injuries to his backfield and receiving core in recent seasons, and still rose his passing yards above the NFL QB average and was within two of the NFL QB average last season of 22 passing TDs.
But as Flacco rose his passing TDs from 2015-16 to 2016-17, so, too, did he raise his INTs.
He is coming off of his best passing yardage season amongst his last three campaigns, and only of those where he threw for over 4,000 passing yards.
Depth at WR and at RB are an issue heading into this season, with WR Mike Wallace turning out to be a sleeper last season, but WR Breshad Perriman still leaving people wondering how much can he give and his extensive injury from 2015-16 creating concern of long-term durability. Neither Terrance West nor Javorius Allen or Kenneth Dixon were healthy for the entire campaign last season, leaving Flacco without a consistent bruiser to lean on.
Flacco can put up numbers, but injuries and lack of leadership amongst his weapons leaves us always seeming to want more from Flacco, which is frustrating for the fantasy owner, and, undoubtedly, for Flacco.
24. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2016 Numbers: 3,905 passing yards / 23 pass TDs / 3 rush TDs
Bortles' INTs as well as holding onto the ball too long, which can lead to the former, are an issue. A big issue.
But, outside of Bortles, the rushing attack has given little aid to the young QB and the offensive line has continued to change in trying to find the right fits. Any QB will tell you that a relatively non-existent rushing game and ever-changing offensive line is a recipe for offensive woes.
Add to that the fact that Greg Olson brought his offense to Jacksonville after struggling in Oakland. Olson left Oakland and the Raiders rose to 12 wins and a spot in the postseason. He came to the Jaguars and a struggling offense continued to struggle.
Now, there is a new offensive coordinator in Nathaniel Hackett, who has worked with Bortles as the Jaguars' QB Coach for the last two seasons, rookie Cam Robinson comes to aid the offensive line from Alabama, and rookie Leonard Fournette joins a backfield looking for a leader. All of this comes with a young, talented receiving core that includes WRs Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, & Allen Hurns.
Bortles has done more with less in the not-too-distant past and it is time to get back on track.
In the 2015-16 season, Bortles had 35 passing TDs to 18 INTs.
Last season, he lowered his INTs to 16 but also lowered his passing TDs, with 12 less (23) than a season before.
There is an opportunity for Bortles to be one of your steals in your draft this season or for him to run himself potentially out of a starting job. It is a role of the dice.
25. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
2016 Numbers: 3,877 passing yards / 20 pass TDs / 0 rush TDs
Bradford had 20 passing TDs to five INTs last season when he had minimal time to get right with his weapons after an 11th-hour trade from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings.
Now, he has had more time to gel with his skill players, including an entire off-season to work with newcomers.
Latavius Murray, who came from the Oakland Raiders, and rookie Dalvin Cook offer a potential one-two punch that could rival any backfield in the NFL, and give Bradford some much-needed relief.
Michael Floyd joining Stefon Diggs in the receiving core could mean big things for the Minnesota passing game, but Floyd, coming from the Arizona Cardinals, is suspended for the first four games of this season.
Bradford, however, survived with Floyd last season, and got in the end zone without a viable rushing attack, so having him as a backup QB on your roster should be nothing to frown about.
26. DeShaun Watson & Company, Houston Texans
Watson - None (This is his Rookie season)
Tom Savage - 461 yards, 0 TDs, & 0 INTs in three games played with Texans last season
Savage stepped in for Brock Osweiler but it was short-lived, as Savage went out injured. He also was injured a season before and did not play in the entire 2015-16 campaign. What he can be as an NFL QB is still a big question mark.
Also a question mark is Watson because he has never played an NFL down.
The Texans, therefore, are where they seem to be every season in recent history: Without a definite QB that you can expect to see under center for all 16 games.
Plan to see Watson at some point, who may be the best option Houston has had at QB in awhile, with his ability to be a dual-threat.
Watson and Savage will have WR DeAndre Hopkins, but they will be without young WR Will Fuller who broke his collarbone in the preseason. They will have RB Lamar Miller but rookie RB D'Onta Foreman needs to keep himself out of trouble to provide depth.
Who will be the next player up seems to be a yearly motif for the Texans, so taking a flyer on their QB will give you a third option at the position, a QB 3 to stash away and watch.
27. Cody Kessler & Company, Cleveland Browns
Kessler - Six TDs to two INTs in eight starts as a rookie last season
Brock Osweiler - 2,957 passing yards and 15 passing TDs tp 16 INTs in 15 games with the Houston Texans last season
DeShone Kizer - None (This is his Rookie season)
The Cleveland Browns trading for Osweiler and assuming millions of dollars that he was still owed in his contract with the Texans made sense if the Browns were using him as trade bait before/during the NFL Draft. But the draft has come and gone and Osweiler is still on the Browns. With two young QBs drafted in the past two drafts, it is hard to imagine that Osweiler's time in Cleveland will be long.
Kessler did not have a forgettable rookie season, throwing six TDs to two INTs. There is still much to see as far as what Kessler can be as a starter throughout a full season, but the initial steps were better than what the Browns have had recently.
Kizer is the rookie now. He is the newbie like Kessler was last season. But this job can be taken.
We could be seeing two to three different QBs under center for Cleveland this season as they look for the best possible consistently-strong option.
What does that mean for fantasy owners? Probably some good feelings and some headaches. Drafting a Browns' QB is a stretch. They will most likely be waiting for you on the waiver wire.
28. Jared Goff & Company, Los Angeles Rams
Goff - Five passing TDs to seven INTs in seven games played as a Rookie
Goff was not given the go in his rookie campaign (2016-17) from then-head coach Jeff Fisher until November 20, 2016, with seven games to play.
In those seven games, he only had one outing where he threw more passing TDs than INTs, a three TD to one INT performance in a loss to the New Orleans Saints. He failed to reach the end zone through the air in three of the other six games and threw two INTs in three of those six games.
So what we have seen of Goff is not ideal, but now Goff has a new head coach and has an entire offseason to train and prepare with his team as the #1 guy.
With this being a wait-and-see situation, you should wait and see how he does to start the season as opposed to wasting a pick, unless you stash him away in a deep draft.
29. Josh McCown & Company, New York Jets
McCown - Six passing TDs & six INTs in five games played with Cleveland Browns last season
Christian Hackenburg - Did not play in his Rookie season in 2016-17, so he essentially a redshirt-freshman in the NFL this season.
McCown has played in 10 or more games only once in the past nine seasons. He has competed in five or less games in four of the last nine seasons. McCown is essentially the backup that is getting an opportunity with the Jets to be THE Guy. Having never played in all 16 games in any of his 12 seasons in the NFL, if he has the durability to last a full season is in question and so is what his numbers will look like.
Hackenburg is a redshirt-freshman in the NFL. If McCown does not perform to what the Jets want, he could be called upon, but until then, what Hackenburg can be in the NFL is still a mystery.
30. Jay Cutler & Company, Miami Dolphins
Cutler - Injury shortened his season to a mere five of the 16 games. In five games with the Chicago Bears last season, he had four passing TDs and five INTs
Cutler was going to be a broadcaster. His time in the NFL as a player seemed to be over, at least at the moment. Then Dolphins' starting QB Ryan Tannehill injured his ACL and his surgery will be season-ending before the season even started. So the Dolphins and Cutler came together, and the result is yet to be seen.
What is known is that Cutler has not played a full 16-game season since the 2009-10 campaign.
Also known is that Cutler has thrown 11 or more INTs in each of the last four seasons prior to 2016-17. He has thrown 91 passing TDs to 60 INTs over the last five seasons combined.
31. Mike Glennon & Company, Chicago Bears
Glennon - 75 passing yards, one passing TD, & no INTs in two games played last season as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mitch Trubisky - None (This is his Rookie season)
Glennon has never played a full 16-game season in his three seasons in the NFL. His best season was in his rookie campaign (2013-14), where he played in 13 of 16 games, amounting 2,608 passing yards & 19 passing TDs to nine INTs. Glennon had 10 passing TDs to six INTs in six games in 2014-15, did not play in 2015-16, and had one passing TD and no INTs in two games last season.
Trubisky was the 2nd-overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, and the Bears traded up to get him, so he will surely be waiting in the wings if things do not work well with Glennon under center.
32. Brian Hoyer & Company, San Francisco 49ers
Hoyer - 1,455 passing yards & six passing TDs to 0 INTs in relief of Jay Cutler with the Chicago Bears last season
Matt Barkley - 1,711 passing yards & eight passing TDs to 14 INTs in seven games with the Chicago Bears
Hoyer has never played a full 16-game season in eight NFL seasons, but did play 14 of 16 for the Cleveland Browns in the 2014-15 season and 11 of 16 games for the Houston Texans in the 2015-16 season.
When he has played over the last three seasons, he has lowered his INTs from 13 in 2014-15 to seven in 2015-16 to none last season.
Hoyer has 44 passing TDs to 26 INTs over 49 career games.
Barkley's 1,700+ passing yards in seven games last season was a plus, but his 14 INTs to eight passing TDs worked against the overall package of what he put together as a backup with the Bears. He has eight passing TDs to 18 INTs over 11 games in three seasons in the NFL, and did not play in the 2015-16 season.