So the Draft is over, teams are starting offseason workouts, and the NFL Offseason is in full swing. This means one thing: time for fantasy football season preparation to start. In reality, fantasy football never ends. It is a yearlong hobby, with coverage surrounding the topic all year long. With that being said, here are my post-NFL Draft Fantasy Football QB Rankings:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2013 was a season to forget for Cal product Aaron Rodgers. He missed seven whole games with a broken collarbone, and for the second year in a row, Green Bay was ousted by San Francisco in the playoffs. Then, James Jones and Jermichael Finley left during the offseason. However, A-Rod should get back on track next year. He now has a full year to work with Eddie Lacy, the best running back in Green Bay since Ahman Green (sorry Ryan Grant). He also has new targets to work with in WR Davante Adams and TE Richard Rodgers. Coupled with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, Aaron Rodgers should return to fantasy prominence.
2. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
I know what you’re thinking: why isn’t Peyton Manning #1? After all, he did throw for 55 touchdowns and break almost every single passing record. Well if you look at stats from previous years, the top fantasy QB one year rarely finishes as the top fantasy QB the next year. And we also have to take into consideration Manning’s age and the Super Bowl-or-bust nature of the Broncos’ team. But we can’t argue against success, so I hand Manning the number 2 ranking for next year.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
This man is the definition of consistency. He has finished as a top 2 fantasy QB every year since 2009 except 2010 (no. 6 overall). The Jimmy Graham Contract situation should be resolved before the season starts, and Brees still has Marques Colston, Kenny Stills, and the newly drafted speedster Brandin Cooks to throw to. Greater impacts from Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas will help offset the loss of Darren Sproles (Eagles).
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Luck should make that leap into superstardom this upcoming season. T.Y. Hilton emerged as a dangerous deep threat last year with Reggie Wayne out for the second half of the year. This year, Wayne is back, and former pro-bowler Hakeem Nicks was brought in. If Trent Richardson and the running backs get their act together, the Colts could become the next Greatest Show on Turf.
5. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
2013 yielded an occasionally marvelous, occassionally erratic version of Colin Kaepernick. But that’s expected from a 1st year starter at QB, who was without most of his receiving core for most of the year. Once Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham returned, Kaep was effective again. With another year to mature, healthy and better receiving weapons, and his running ability, expect Colin Kaepernick to crack the top 5 fantasy QBs.
6. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Stafford started 2013 on a hot streak, then cooled off during the time fantasy owners needed him the most. Stafford’s lack of production during December cost many fantasy owners championships. However, there is hope for rebound. During the offseason, the Lions fired Coach Jim Schwartz and brought in an offense-minded head coach in Jim Caldwell, and also added Golden Tate and Eric Ebron during the offseason. Expect Stafford to start hot and finish strong in 2014.
7. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
2013 was Griffin’s year to recover from his ACL Tear. He wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in 2012, and the Redskins finished 3-13. But now, his recovery is done. He just won a power struggle with Mike Shanahan, and Jay Gruden was brought in from Cincinnati. The ‘Skins also brought in playmakers at WR in Desean Jackson and Andre Roberts. Now is the time for RG3 to take to the skies.
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Believe it or not, Matt Ryan actually finished as a top-15 fantasy QB in 2013, the Falcons’ real-life struggles aside. Now, the Falcons have Julio Jones back, and also bolstered their offensive line with the additions of Jake Matthews and Jon Asamoah. Remember, in 2012 Matt Ryan was a top-tier fantasy QB. He should return to that status this year.
9. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Well at least Cam still has Greg Olsen to throw to. This offseason, the Panthers let go of seemingly all of their receiving core, which wasn’t much to begin with. Now Cam Newton will be throwing to a bunch of nobodies. However, the Panthers DID draft Kelvin Benjamin, and Cam still has rushing value. That’s what is keeping Cam in the top 10.
10. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
You might think that because Tom Brady “struggled” last year, he isn’t worth a top pick. However, the Patriots did some major retooling this offseason, starting by resigning Julian Edelman. Also last years’ rookies like Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce have had more time to develop. If Rob Gronkowski returns, Tom Brady should return to the top 10.
Do you agree with these rankings? Disagree? Comment below on what you think.
This article is part of the Fantasy Football Positional Rankings Series. Rankings on RBs, WRs, and TEs will come soon.
All statistics credits go to NFL.com