Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Who are the top 15 fantasy QBs for 2014?

The NFL season kicks off in just 15 days, and if you are like me, your fantasy football draft day is quickly approaching. Over the next several days, I will cover the top at each of the main fantasy skill-player positions.

Let’s get to the quarterbacks!

1. Peyton Manning - It’s hard to not have Peyton Manning atop the list after an NFL record-setting 5,477 passing yards and 55 passing TDs. Anomaly seasons tend to revert back down (Denver shattered the NFL record with 71 offensive TDs last year). The last two teams to score 60+ TDs on offense dropped by 9 (the Saints scored 53 TDs in 2012 after 62 in 2011) and by 14 (the Packers scored 49 TDs in 2012 after 62 in 2011). Even so, Manning could and should crack 45 TDs.

2. Drew Brees - I am tempted to put Drew Brees as the Number 1 QB, after all he’s cracked 5,000 passing yards for an NFL record three straight seasons. Since joining Sean Payton and the Saints in 2006, Brees has averaged 4,842 passing yards and 35 TDs, year in, year out. He’s not far behind Manning.

3. Aaron Rodgers - Look for Aaron Rodgers to come roaring back in 2014 after missing the bulk of last season, only to return to quickly get taken down in the playoffs. Motivated, talented, loaded with weapons to throw to and at age 30, Rodgers is in the prime of his career. Rodgers could easily be the #1 QB.

4. Matthew Stafford - Matthew Stafford gets a coaching upgrade in new head coach Jim Caldwell and OC Joe Lombardi (who together have coached Peyton Manning and Drew Brees– not a bad duo). Look for Stafford to significantly cut down on mental mistakes and interceptions, while shining in what will essentially be the New Orleans offense brought to the Motor City.

5. Andrew Luck- The Colts stubbornly ran the ball too much last year. They won’t make the same mistake this year of watching Trent Richardson run into the backs of offensive lineman. Indy will throw a ton more, Andrew Luck adds a lot as a rushing QB and Indy is loaded with weapons (not only with the addition of Hakeem Nicks, but the return of Reggie Wayne and TE Dwayne Allen).

6. Russell Wilson - Russell Wilson enters 2014 as a Super Bowl champion. From a fantasy perspective he should be even better. He has more experience and confidence to draw upon, a healthy Percy Harvin, and Wilson adds a lot of additional fantasy points with his legs (Wilson has averaged 514 yards rushing per season in two NFL seasons). You can wait a little on Wilson but I like him – super safe, high floor and he has a higher ceiling than you might think.

7. Nick Foles - Entering his first year as the entrenched starter, Nick Foles had an unreal 27:2 TD/INT ratio last year. That is bound to come down to earth some but Foles nonetheless is a high-end option in Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense.

8. Cam Newton - The bottom line is since entering the NFL three seasons ago, Cam Newton has never not been a Top 5 QB. The problem is Carolina won’t be a heavy pass team but Cam is coming off a career-best 24 passing TDs and he will remain a big advantage by adding rushing yards (Cam dropped to 585 rushing yards last year but he still led the league among QBs).

9. Matt Ryan - Atlanta passed on an unreal 68.7 percent of its plays last year – that’s the most in NFL history. Atlanta will pass less, and he lost Tony Gonzalez, but Matt Ryan is still an upper-echelon QB and he is a super safe bet in your fantasy drafts.

10. Tom Brady - Tom Brady will be 37 years old this season and comes off a down season, but he’s still Tom Brady. Over the second half of the season last year, Brady averaged 315 YPG and had 16 TDs. With a 77.5% winning percentage, Brady enters 2014 with the best winning percentage of any QB in NFL history (with Roger Staubach and Joe Montana as the only other QBs in NFL history with a winning percentage above 70%).

11. Jay Cutler - There’s a lot to be said about waiting on a QB in your fantasy drafts, loading up on skill position players early instead. If you go that route, rolling with Jay Cutler could and should pay big dividends. HC Marc Trestman is an offensive genius – he and Cutler will be even better together in their second season.

12. Robert Griffin III - There are plenty reasons to be optimistic here. RG3 is shedding his brace for the 2014 season, they have added DeSean Jackson at receiver, and new HC Jay Gruden is a big upgrade from a fantasy perspective (Washington will pass much more than last year). However, RG3 remains a high injury risk until he learns to stop taking big hits.

13. Colin Kaepernick - It doesn’t really feel this way, but Colin Kaepernick is entering just his second full NFL starting season. He is a big play waiting to happen – Kaepernick averaged 13.2 yards per pass play last season (2nd best in the NFL last year), plus he can do a lot of damage with his legs (Kaepernick was one of only four QBs to top 500 yards rushing last year).

14. Tony Romo - The back is of some concern, but Tony Romo has tremendous weapons and new play-caller Scott Linehan should help Romo and the offense overall be more effective this season – plus the Dallas defense is likely going to be super weak leading to lots of shootouts.

15. Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh plans to run a lot more up-tempo and shotgun offense this year. Roethlisberger was the 4th best fantasy quarterback during the final nine games last year.

Happy drafting.

You can get full QB rankings here at Fantasy Football Warehouse…