2014 Fantasy Football: Early Quarterback Rankings
Top 15 Fantasy Quarterbacks For 2014
The quarterback position has become stacked with studs in recent fantasy football seasons. It seems that a half dozen signal callers end up eclipsing the 4,000-yard and 30-touchdown plateau each season. As a result, it has made the position has become much deeper.
As we approach the off-season, many fantasy fans start to look towards next season. It is the best way to get over the heartache that is a losing season or a way to start building your dynasty after winning another elusive fantasy title. Either way, there is always a demand for updated player rankings.
This past fantasy season some quarterbacks like Tony Romo and Philip Rivers had bounce back performances. Both quarterbacks had miserable 2012 seasons, and as a result, fell well past the first five rounds this summer. However, both veterans ended up finishing among the top-six options at their position and has resurgent seasons.
Other less fortunate players like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Robert Griffin III, andColin Kaepernick posted severely disappointing numbers across the board in 2013. These were some of the highest drafted quarterbacks this past summer, but they all ended up being outperformed but guys like Andy Dalton or Rivers.
So before entering into the long, boring off-season, check out my early quarterback rankings for the 2014 fantasy football season.
15. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins - Shockingly, Griffin failed to score a single touchdown on the ground in 2013. He racked up 489 yards on 86 carries (5.7 AVG), but the fact that he didn’t reach pay-dirt with his legs greatly reduced his weekly fantasy value. RG3 was eventually shutdown for the season due to a sore knee, which was ironically not the knee the quarterback spent 10 months rehabbing last season. Either way, it was an all-around disastrous season for RG(3-13).
On a positive note, RG3 will be much healthier next season and new coach Jay Gruden will allow him more of an opportunity to work outside the pocket. Griffin won’t be running wild next season, but he will be able to revitalize his value as a QB1 in deeper formats.
14. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – Dalton was shockingly the fifth-highest scoring quarterback in fantasy this past season with an impressive 277 points. Marvin Jones emerged as a complementary option to All-Pro wideout A.J. Green, which helped Dalton spread the field out more. He quickly made the most of rookie additions Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert, as the rookies combined to haul in five touchdowns. Dalton’s 20 interceptions were the highest of his career, but it likely was the result of the quarterback throwing the ball a career-high 586 times. Dalton won’t finish in the top-five again in 2014, as he will likely struggle at first with the turnover at O.C., but fantasy fans can expect the Red Riffle to do enough to be a weekly starter.
13. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers – Rivers had a magical 2013 fantasy campaign. He eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career and his 32 passing touchdowns was the second-highest total of his career. Rivers ended up forming a strong rapport with rookie WR Keenan Allen as the year moved on and the duo ended up connecting seven times over the team’s final six games, including the playoffs. Rivers has revitalized his fantasy value and has once again proved he is capable of being a weekly contributor despite the lack of household names around him.
12. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – After throwing over an incredible 5,000 yards (5,038) and 40 touchdowns (41) back in 2011, Stafford has never lived up to those lofty expectations. Stafford has averaged 19.5 turnovers compared to just 24.5 passing touchdowns over the last two seasons. He has shown that he will force the ball to WR Calvin Johnson no matter what the coverage looks like, which could have a positive and negative impact on his numbers.
Stafford will always be plagued with the occasional multi-interception game, but with Johnson running routes, Stafford will get plenty of chances to connect with the All-Pro wideout for long scores. Draft Stafford as a low-end QB1 next season with the hopes that he finally limits those dreadful turnovers.
11. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys – Despite the constant criticism surrounding Romo’s play, the quarterback had a decent fantasy campaign in 2013. He threw a touchdown in every game and the veteran finished with 10 touchdowns in his last five games. He only threw 10 picks all season long, which ended up being less than Cam Newton (13), Drew Brees (12) and Tom Brady (11). Romo will continue to put up QB1 numbers week in and week out with weapons like WR Dez Bryant and TE Jason Witten running routes downfield. Expect another 3,800 yards and 28-plus touchdowns from Romo in 2014.
10. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers – In a league full of dual-threat quarterbacks, Kaepernick is by far the most electric with his legs. He had 524 yards on the ground this past year and scored four rushing touchdowns. He struggled early on, as he recorded double-digit fantasy points in just two of his first five games, but he bounced back to average 17.5 points over the final 11 games of the season.
Kaepernick will be much better next season with WR Anquan Boldin, TE Vernon Davis, and a healthy WR Michael Crabtree returning for a full season. I expect Captain Kaep to post career passing numbers in 2014 and finally crack the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks.
9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks – Despite all the attention surrounding Wilson's play, the quarterback actually scored less fantasy points this year than he did last year. He posted mediocre numbers at times in 2013 and ended the year by averaging 172 passing yards with one touchdown over the final four games of the season.
However, Wilson is very intelligent with the ball. He has only turned the ball over 20 times in 32 career games and the quarterback rarely throws into double-coverage. He has also completed 63.6 % of his passes for an immaculate 100.6 QB Rating. He truly knows how to manage the game.
The lack of turnovers and occasional multi-touchdwon outbursts make DangeRuss a weekly fantasy signal caller in every format. Don't get too carried away with the media attention on draft day, though, because he is still just a middle of the road option
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons – One of the most disappointing fantasy performances at the quarterback position this season came from Ryan. The veteran threw just 26 touchdowns, which was his lowest total since his sophomore season of 2009. His 17 interceptions was also a career-high, but the fact that the former first overall pick was playing without his two best wideouts (Julio Jones and Roddy White) and his starting running back (Steven Jackson) for most of the year certainty impacted his ability to move the chains.
Ryan will certainly rebound in 2014 and fantasy fans shouldn’t give up on Matty Ice just yet. He should easily eclipse the 4,000-yard plateau again and have no problem throwing another 28-plus touchdowns with a healthy set of offensive talent.
7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Tom Brady, New England Patriots – After losing almost every offensive weapons on the roster, Brady was forced to make due with a makeshift offense for most of the season. His fantasy numbers suffered and Brady ended up throwing a meager 25 touchdowns the entire season, which was his lowest total since he threw 24 back in 2006.
Despite his lack of scores, Brady incredibly threw for 4,343 yards with just 11 interceptions. Brady will be much more productive next season with a healthy TE Rob Gronkowski and a more experienced set of wideouts. There is no need to reach for Brady anymore, but he will likely finish with vintage Brady numbers by the time 2014 is all wrapped up.
6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts – Despite falling well past the seventh round last summer, Luck surprisingly finished as the fourth-highest soring quarterback in fantasy. Luck’s yardage total dropped slightly this past season (4,374 to 3,822), but the loss of star WR Reggie Wayne hindered his production down the stretch. However, Luck quickly formed an amazing rapport with WR T.Y. Hilton and ended up matching his touchdowns total (23) from last season.
Luck will be a popular pick next season after the big names come off the board, especially in dynasty leagues. He has a half dozen more stellar fantasy seasons ahead of him and fantasy fans can expect him to be a top-six quarterback again in 2014.
5. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles – Foles stepped into Philly’s offense in the middle of the season and didn’t skip a beat. In his 10 starts this season, Foles has averaged 264.5 passing yards per game and threw 24 touchdown passes. He quickly became one of the hottest signal callers in fantasy and showed that he could put up QB1 numbers.
He will now enter the 2014 season with a stranglehold on the starting job and a strong rapport with star wideout DeSean Jackson. In a full 16-game season, Foles should have no problem throwing for 4,000 yards and 30-plus touchdowns. Rank him as a top-five quarterback for the 2014 fantasy season.
4. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – After throwing for 4,051 yards in his rookie season, Newton ended up with a career-low 3,379 passing yards in 2013. Newton was streaky from week to week, as he had seven games in which he scored one total touchdown or less, but he did lead the entire NFL with a 61.7% Completion Percentage and only turned the ball over 13 times.
Newton’s true value comes from his ability to add points on the ground, though. He has now averaged 121.3 rushing attempts over his first three seasons and has scored 28 total rushing touchdowns. He is the only fantasy quarterback with the ability to add 10-plus touchdowns on the ground.
Newton will still be a top-five fantasy quarterback, but his up-and-down performances will occasionally frustrate owners and keep him out of the elite category.
3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos – Manning truly had a record-breaking fantasy season in 2013, as he threw for 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns. He instantly benefited from the addition of WR Wes Welker and the emergence of TE Julius Thomas helped the All-Pro quarterback post some of the best numbers in the history of fantasy. Manning has briefly talked about retirement this season, but if he happens to return, expect him to once again be one of the best in the business in 2014. He will likely see a small regression from his lofty 2013 numbers, but Manning should have no problem throwing another 35-plus touchdowns in 2014.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – The 2013 season was not only one to forget for Green Bay fans, but also for anyone that owned Rodgers. The former MVP was the first quarterback drafted in every format, but A-Rod missed the rest of the fantasy season after breaking his collarbone in Week 9.
Rodgers will be back at his old tricks in 2014, so don’t let him slip past you next summer. He has one of the best sets of wideouts in fantasy and the emergence a running game behind Eddie Lacy will only allow Rodgers more room to work downfield. Fantasy fans can write down 35-40 touchdowns for Rodgers next season.
1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints – Brees has racked up over 5,100 yards and 38 touchdowns in three straight fantasy campaigns and the veteran has quietly become fantasy’s most reliable quarterback. He has only missed one game in his eight seasons in New Orleans and he has religiously been under center every game for fantasy owners.
Brees will be good for another 5,000-plus yards in 2014 with a minimum of 35 touchdowns. It is hard to argue with those numbers and that type of consistency helps Brees hold down the top spot.