If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to start preparing for your upcoming Fantasy Football Draft.
Whether you’re playing in Yahoo!, ESPN, CBS, or some other website, you don’t necessarily want to base your picks off of their pre-draft rankings. That’s why I write up a CHEAT SHEET with players I prefer, based on their production last season, their team’s recent acquisitions, schemes/sytems, and injuries.
Here are my Top-20 quarterbacks and where I would prioritize drafting them round-by-round.
1. Andrew Luck, IND
2014: 40 TD/ 16 INT, 4,761 yards
Throws the ball A LOT. Just added Andre Johnson and a legit running back in Frank Gore to keep defensive backs honest. 5 Good WRs, 2 decent TEs…Yeah. The Beard’s ceiling has been raised.
Pick: Late 1st, Early 2nd round
2. Aaron Rodgers, GB
2014: 38 TD / 5 INT, 4,381 yards
Doesn’t turn it over often and plays better down the stretch. Rodgers is missing his #1 receiver, but could make someone else into a star very quickly. Also scary in the red zone on the ground.
Pick: Late 1st, Early 2nd
3. Drew Brees, NO
2014: 33 TD / 17 INT, 4,952 yards
Brees can be great or he can kill you. If Brandin Cooks stays healthy, he’ll bounce back and tear it up. May not throw as many TDs but he’ll pick up plenty of yardage and completions. Led the league in both last year.
Pick: 3rd or 4th round
4. Tony Romo, DAL
2014: 34 TD / 9 INT, 3,705 yards
Expect Romo to throw it more with DeMarco Murray gone. Cowboys have the best offensive line in the league and give him plenty of time to find an open man, and has sure hands in Dez Bryant and Jason Witten.
Pick 4th Round
5. Peyton Manning, DEN
2014: 39 TD / 15, 4,761 yards
I don’t believe Manning would have come back if he wasn’t healthy. He will still throw a ton. Plus Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are great after the catch.
Pick: 4th Round
6. Russell Wilson, SEA
2014: 20 TD/7 INT, 3,475 yards
Doesn’t get a ton of passing points but makes up for it with rushing yards and TDs on the ground. Also just added Jimmy Graham, so passing points should go up.
Pick 4th Round
7. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
2014: 32 TD / 9 INT, 4,952 yards
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell definitely help Ben get his points. He’ll throw 5 TDs one day, but none another.
Pick 5th Round
8. Matt Ryan, ATL
2014: 28 TD / 14 INT, 4,694 yards
New coach and OC, super young RBs, and healthy Julio Jones and Roddy White…Matty Ice is going to let it fly.
Pick: 5th Round
9. Eli Manning, NYG
2014: 30 TD / 14 INT, 4,410 yards
Eli doesn’t have an excuse not to produce big time in year two of Odell Beckham Jr and having a healthy Victror Cruz back. Rashad Jennings provides solid relief in the run game when he isn’t sidelined, and Tom Brady could tell Manning how good Shane Vereen is on passing downs.
Pick 6th Round
10. Tom Brady, NE
2014: 33 TD / 9 INT, 4,109 yards
This obviously can change if his suspension goes away, but Brady can be your first pick after most of the Top 10 go. Next couple QBs can bridge you to after he returns and he’ll be a boss when he does.
Pick 6th Round or a few after you pick your first QB
11. Phillip Rivers, SD
2014: 31 TD / 18 INT, 4,286 yards
First half of last year, was Top 3 among QBS. Rivers just got paid too, which should motivate him to earn his keep. He also gets Danny Woodhead back to throw to and Keenan Allen should be better as well.
Pick 7th Round and beyond
12. Matthew Stafford, DET
2014: 22 TD / 12 INT, 4,247 yards
This really depends on how healthy Calvin Johnson is. Megatron at his best is devastating and would make Stafford an awesome backup or even starter. Golden Tate proved to help him out too in Johnson’s absence. Theo Riddick and Joique Bell are proven to be solid pass catchers out of the backfield too.
Pick 7th Round
13. Jay Cutler, CHI
2014: 28 TD / 18 INT, 3,812 yards
Jay is poised for a bounce back year and not just because #CuttyDoesIt. Former Peyton Manning OC Adam Gase has emphasized utilizing Cutler’s strengths throwing on the run and play-action. He’ll be missing Kevin White for at least the first half of the season, but finally has a true slot receiver in Eddie Royal. Also expect Martellus Bennett to be big when spread out, like Julius Thomas in past years.
Pick 8th Round and beyond
14. Ryan Tannehill, MIA
2014: 27 TD / 12 INT, 4,045 yards
Gets better every year. Added proven veteran receivers, Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings, who can also play in uptempo offenses. Jarvis Landry will be Tannehill’s best weapon to stretch the field though.
Pick 8th Round and beyond
15. Cam Newton, CAR
2014: 18 TD / 12 INT, 3,127 yards
Newton is sliding in most drafts after losing Kelvin Benjamin for the season to injury. Rookie Devin Funchess isn’t as depended on as advertised with veterans like Jericho Cotchery and Ted Gin Jr. in the mix, but can put up Benjamin-like production. Ability to run for TDs makes up for lack of passing points too.
Pick 8th Round
16. Joe Flacco, BAL
2014: 27 TD / 12 INT, 3,986 yards
Lost Torrey Smith and his replacement, Breshad Perriman, is questionable. Flacco will be throwing a lot though with Marc Trestman as OC. Could be either really good or really meh.
Pick 9th round and beyond
17. Teddy Bridgewater, MIN
2014: 14 TD / 12 INT 2,919 yards
The Vikings are a run heavy team, without question. Teddy has looked excellent in preseason though, and he has Mike Wallace and Charles Johnson to throw to. The training wheels are off in year two and you can expect Kyle Rudolph to provide a nice security blanket in the Norv Turner system
Pick 10th Round and beyond
18. Andy Dalton, CIN
2014: 19 TD / 17 INT, 3,398 yards
Dalton’s last season was thrown off with AJ Green getting injured. The Bengals added Denarius Moore to go with Marvin Jones and Sanu. Don’t bank on him but he’s a nice backup with nice options.
Pick 11th Round and beyond
Colin Kaepernick, SF
2014: 19 TD / 10 INT, 2,369 yards
The 49ers could potentially be the worst team in the NFL, but Kaepernick can still take over a game in desperate times. He still has Anquan Boldin, plus Torrey Smith and Reggie Bush who are both helpful in the passing. Kaepernick does run better than anyone on the team too. The defense will be awful so he’ll have to score plenty to stay in games.
Pick 11th Round and beyond
20. Derek Carr, OAK
2014: 21 TD / 12 INT, 3,270 yards
Carr showed flashes of the quarterback the Raiders need him to be last season. Drafting Amari Cooper helps along with a receiving group that also includes Michael Crabtree, Kenbrell Thompkins and Andre Holmes
Pick 12th Round and beyond
Do your rankings look different? Let me know on Facebook and Twitter!