By Brian Kalchik @RantsportsBrian on July 14, 2014
For fantasy football fanatics, the upcoming arrival of training camp means only one thing: fantasy football season is around the corner. It's never too early to get started preparing for your draft and naturally the most important position is quarterback. Here's a look at my top-15 fantasy QB options before the 2014 Training Camps begin. Each of these players have their pros as well as their cons.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 3,357 Yards, 26 TDs, 9 Ints; 539 Rush Yards, 1 TD
Wilson was the Super Bowl winning QB last season, and has plenty of fantasy potential with his mobility and accuracy in the pocket. However, the Seahawks don't ask Wilson to throw the ball 35 times a game, hurting his fantasy stock. Unless the Seahawks make Wilson something more than a "game manager," he will be nothing but a high-end backup.
2013 Stats: 11 Games, 2,621 Yards, 19 TDs, 12 Ints; 118 Rush Yards
When Cutler gets hot, there is no one in the NFL who can sling it like he can. Cutler will always produce good statistics because he has great receivers around him in Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffrey, Martellus Bennett, and Matt Forte. However, his inability to stay healthy makes him nothing more than a high-end No. 2.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 4,478 Yards, 32 TDs, 11 Ints; 72 Rush Yards
Rivers was one of fantasy football's most pleasant surprises in 2013, throwing for almost 4,500 yards and 32 scores. This came mostly because he worked with offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt (who is now Tennessee's Head Coach). If Rivers can continue his play from 2013 instead of reverting back to his 2011 and 2012 form, Rivers will be a steal once again on draft day.
2013 Stats: 15 Games, 3,828 Yards, 31 TDs, 10 Ints; 38 Rush Yards
Romo is not a great postseason QB, but in Fantasy, he is one of the biggest sleepers. His week 17 failures matter in real-life, but not in fantasy. With targets like Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Romo has plenty of great offensive weapons around him. He gets consistently drafted way too late, but his production is more like that of a top-10 QB.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 4,343 Yards, 25 TDs, 11 Ints; 18 Rush Yards
It sounds like blasphemy to rank Brady outside of the top-10 of any list, but in Fantasy terms, Brady wasn't a number one QB last season. While most of the blame can be attributed to a young and inconsistent receiving corps, the player who ultimately receives the most blame is the quarterback. As long as Brady continues to win, he won't care about any fantasy rankings.
2013 Stats: 13 Games, 2,891 Yards, 27 TDs, 2 Ints; 221 Rush Yards, 3 TDs
Foles threw 27 touchdowns with only two interceptions last year and led the Eagles to an NFC East title. Foles even finished with a higher passer rating than Peyton Manning. However, it's completely unrealistic to expect those sorts of numbers over 16 starts, especially with DeSean Jackson gone. Plus, NFL defenses have always found a way to catch up to opposing offenses.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 3,197 Yards, 21 TDs, 8 Ints; 524 Rush Yards, 3 TDs
A strong defense, great offensive line, solid running game, and good receivers have enable Kaepernick to act as more of a game manager than a true precision passer. While Kaepernick's running ability has unrivaled, his consistency as a pocket passer makes owners cringe at making him a true No. 1 QB.
2013 Stats: 13 Games, 3,203 Pass Yards, 16 TDs, 12 Ints; 489 Rush Yards
Coming off a serious knee injury and feuding with a coach who never wanted to select him, Griffin is destined to have the biggest bounce back season of any QB in the NFL. With offensive-minded head coach Jay Gruden replacing Mike Shanahan and a new wide receiver in town in DeSean Jackson, RG3 will revert back to 2012 instead of 2013.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 4,515 Pass Yards, 26 TDs, 17 Ints; 55 Rush Yards
Ryan wasn't his normal self last season. His 17 interceptions were a career-high and Ryan was without his top receiver, Julio Jones, for most of the year. Ryan will certainly have a better year in 2014 than he did in 2013, but he lost a valuable weapon when TE Tony Gonzalez retired.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 3,379 Pass Yards, 24 TDs, 13 Ints; 585 Rush Yards, 6 TDs
Newton is coming off the most successful season of his brief career after leading the Panthers to the NFC South title a season ago, but his yardage totals were both career-lows. While Newton is tremendously valuable as both a runner and a passer, he lost his three top receivers from a year ago and the Panthers won't be sneaking up on anyone this year.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 3,822 Pass Yards, 23 TDs, 9 Ints; 377 Rush Yards. 4 TDs
In just two years, Luck has taken the Colts to the playoffs twice and he won his first career postseason game last year by defeating Kansas City. Luck was also a top-10 fantasy QB in each of his two NFL seasons, doing so last year without both Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen. Their returns and the addition of Hakeem Nicks will make Luck an elite QB in 2014.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 4,650 Pass Yards, 29 TDs, 19 Ints; 69 Rush Yards, 2 TDs
The Detroit Lions collapsed over the second half of the 2013 season, but Stafford had another solid year. For the third straight season, Stafford topped 4,500 yards, and his 29 touchdown passes were the second-highest total of his five-year career. New weapons like Golden Tate and Eric Ebron should only make Stafford better than he already is.
2013 Stats: 13 Games, 2,536 Pass Yards, 17 TDs, 6 Ints; 120 Rush Yards
A broken collarbone cost Rodgers seven games last season, resulting in some very angry fantasy owners. Assuming Rodgers can stay healthy, he is still an efficient quarterback who is in the prime of his career. Even with the losses of receivers James Jones and Jermichael Finley, Rodgers still has plenty of potent offensive weapons around him.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 5,162 Pass Yards, 39 TDs, 12 Ints; 52 Rush Yards, 3 TDs
Brees may not have the statistical numbers that Peyton Manning has achieved, and he's not as young as Rodgers, but Brees has topped 5,000 passing yards for three consecutive seasons,and has averaged over 42 touchdown passes a year over that stretch.
2013 Stats: 16 Games, 5,477 Pass Yards, 55 TDs, 10 Ints; -31 Rush Yards
Manning's 2013 season was one that re-wrote the record books. He set NFL records for touchdown passes and most passing yards in a single-season. Even if he doesn't reach near or duplicate his record-setting season, Manning will still rank at or near the top of all the significant QB rankings and statistics.
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