Welcome to Razzball’s Fantasy Football Preview series, where yours truly will guide you, caress you, perhaps even coddle you through your draft preparations and processes. Mmm, processes. And while none of this may be legal and I’ll end up with multiple restraining orders, rest assured that we’ll all be the better for it. Maybe. We’ll go in depth (that’s what she said) at every position… well, the positions that actually count (I’m looking at you Kickers and DSTs…), going over some analysis, the tiers, and any illuminating observations I might have. Because light bulbs are just the coolest thing. Said everyone from the 1800s. Before you get settled down, please refer to Razzball’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Rankings, and specifically for this post, refer to our Quarterback Rankings

Strategy

Last season, I was iffy on how to approach the draft with this position. I would like to continue that iffy-ness. League context is always important, like the Fantasy Baseball dirty cousin of closers, I don’t think there’s a particular area where you have to draft a quarterback. I personally don’t draft them very high (a strategy I do try to stand by whenever possible)… but there are certainly runs that happen. It just always feels dirty skipping the RB or WR position for a guy that will only occupy like 3% of your roster. And yet, that guy will provide probably 870% of your point totals. (I actually did not do the math.) But you understand what I’m saying… it’s a weird element in this game, a kind of WILD CARD B*TCHES in Fantasy Football. My personal strategy is to make sure to wait in the draft and select a quarterback late and on my own terms. At the same time, it’s really hard for me to argue against paying top dollar or a high draft pick for an elite thrower, or to simply punt the position and stream your way through the season (especially in 10-team leagues). Thus the iffy-ness.

Tier 1: Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady.

Aaron Rodgers just wants people to relax. In non-passive aggressive speak, that means: don’t bother me, I know what I’m doing. In draft speak, that means: Draft me as your first overall quarterback and go take a 16-week nap. And while the Razzball “Don’t draft a quarterback high strategy” Draft Strategy™ (as mentioned above) is one that I usually advocate, this shouldn’t be taken as a blanket statement. In fact, in some cases, drafting an elite quarterback (Tier 1, maybeeee Tier 2 if you buy me dinner) isn’t crazy. And, of course, depending on your league size (it matters) or formats, also affects what you do with this position. And in Rodgers case, there isn’t really another QB out there (besides his only company in Tier 1) that offers stability, gaudy numbers, and overwhelming handsomeness. Speaking of handsomeness…

Tom Brady right at the top of the rankings… again? This is truly the darkest timeline. While Brady was hit with a four-game suspension last year, we’re looking at 16 games (health permitting) this season from one of the elite quarterbacks (him and Joe Flacco). Just stop deflating those balls man! #DeflatedBallsMatters. And even if you’re not a fan of Uggs and luxury mattresses that have interest payments higher than your mortgage, I think you’d be happy with a QB that can easily put up 4,500 yards and 35+ touchdowns as a floor.

Tier 2: Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Cam Newton.

This tier represents the top of two types of quarterbacks; the pocket-passer extraordinaire, and the playmakers that grind points out any way they can. If you haven’t been living under a rock the past decade (no offense rock people), it’s fairly obvious which player belongs where. I personally don’t have a favorite out of this group and while I’d be happy to have any one of these players, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the price. I’m also not sure if I blame Russell Wilson for Macklemore or the other way around, but my eyes roll just the same.

Drew Brees might not actually belong this low, but he hurt me. He hurt me bad. (I’m pointing at the places on my doll.) While there are still a few weapons on the Saints that should help caress his usual numbers, the team has the potential to be something in between average and awful. Now, 37 touchdowns and 5,208 yards are still top tier numbers, but it’d be folly not to mention he’s not getting any younger at 38-years-old and when the fantasy playoffs arrived last season, many of us experienced his back-to-back no touchdown, three interception games very similarly: with copious amounts of alcohol. While his numbers should still remain impressive, I just don’t feel as comfortable with him compared to his immediate peers.

Tier 3: Kirk Cousins, Andrew Luck, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott.

The third tier kinda ended up being a mix. There’s a some youth and potential (Mariota, Winston, the Dakattack, and I guess Cousins to a certain extent) and then Andrew Luck. Because, well, we don’t really know why. He’s not doing anything football related, and there seems to be some concerns about his shoulder, but I ask you, how can you upkeep a beard like that without shoulder strength? I rest my case. Kirk Cousins is an interesting case study of me having no idea how to rank someone. Yes, he did finish in the top-10 for QBs in 2015, and was the fifth highest scorer of his peers last season, but he’s had some turnover at the wide receiver position and I’m pretty sure Jay Gruden is terrible at his job. People keep trying to tell me that Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, and Vernon Davis are weapons, but are they really? I’m sure a water-balloon can be classified as a weapon, but it’s not exactly your go-to self-defense tool, ya know? That being said, it’s hard for me to pu pu platter the guy, so there he is, leading the third tier…

Tier 4: Philip Rivers, Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton, Eli Manning.

Yes, the Philip Rivers love will never end. Just like how my Matthew Stafford hate will also never end. I’d call it my yin-yang philosophy, but I’m only half Asian, so that could be racist. Also in this mix is Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor, two quarterbacks who could actually move into Tier 3 quite easily if they ever decided to flirt with their ceiling (something I do when I’m bored), but will probably be resigned to be slightly above average fantasy providers that find themselves on the wire more often than not. And while that may not sound flashy, I tend to usually find my year-long starters from this group. I’m entirely comfortable running out a squad led by any one of these QBs, and yes, there’s some risk here, but not as much as you think. Play the wire if you need to, use a roster spot before the byes hit to sit on someone from Tier 5 or 6 if you want. Remember, if you draft from this tier, you did so late and the investment wasn’t much. Add in the flexibility during the draft and during the season, I just enjoy the value all around.

Tier 5: Carson Wentz, Carson Palmer, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Jay Cutler.

I’d probably ignore this tier (sans 2QB Leagues or Deep Leagues), but Carson Wentz has a chance to move up and could be worth keeping an eye on. I’m not terribly bearish on Jay Cutler, at least not to the point of being mean, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he snuck his way up to Tier 4 as the season progresses. I’ve always been a fan, and thought that subway turnstiles could provide more resistance than the Bears offensive line the eight years. And having 28,658 different head coaches and coordinators probably didn’t help either.

 

 

  1. Dom says:
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    Hey so my lineup is below in a 16 man league, would you do this trade:

    Brandon Marshall and Alfred Morris for Thomas Rawls and Charles Clay

    I would be locking down the whole Seahawks backfield, but would lose almost all WR depth.

    QB Marcus Mariota
    RB Mark Ingram
    RB Frank Gore
    WR Jordy Nelson
    WR Dez Bryant
    TE Austin Hooper
    Flex Eddie Lacy

    Bench

    RB Doug Martin
    RB Alfred Morris
    RB Jacquizz Rodgers
    WR Martavis Bryant
    QB Joe Flacco
    WR Brandon Marshall

    K Adam Vinateri

    Def Bengals

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Dom: Yeah, in a vacuum, it’s a fair trade, but I don’t like what it does to your team. I’d probably pass here.

  2. Tim Davis says:
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    Not really QB related, but seeking advice. 10 team PPR. I have first pick in rookie draft. We keep the rookie this year and next year only. I tanked my rookie last year to get the first pick and now can’t decide which way to go. Thinking fournette, but Mixon next year is intriguing. I have the second pick in this years draft, for what it’s worth. Who do you like?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Tim Davis: I like Mixon, but I think you have to go Fournette there.

  3. Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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    ok, in that 20 teamer (min 10 WAS players) i did get perine at 1.20, but at 1.18 j.allen (DT WAS, best DT rookie) went to comish. i got swearinger at 2.20 and then got lucky with m.williams at 3.20. agholor was nabbed in the middle 2nd round (so if he blows up my desire to stash top end WR every year but not holding them long enough (m.lee) it’ll irk me)
    QB (1) cousins/goff (max 2, albeit i can have all the WAS backups)
    RB (1)AP/blount/kelley/c.thompson/sims/perine
    WR (2) benjamin/d-jax/doctson/treadwell/gabriel (might be able to trade for garcon to ATL, who is short of ATL players)
    TE (1) reed/brate
    util (1)
    K WAS kicker
    LB (3) kwon A/burfict/e.kendricks (MIN)/l.david
    DE (2) c.campbell/c.heyward
    DT (2) AAron donald
    S (2) k.joseph/cravens/swearinger
    CB (2) rhodes/breeland
    IR (5 spots) d.bucannon (LB), m.williams (WR)

    able to IR stash also reed and AARon donald (holdout). so i need at least 1 DT , i can stash d.hall in IR slot to help out in the min WAS players. some interesting names to stash for now possibly. also i’ll attempt to grab v.davis in case reed stays hurt, i have the #1 waiver, so that’s being used where i need it most on best DT (m.jackson JAX, ranked higher than j.allen for now).

    RB -drake/kamara (odd he wasn’t drafted)/d.williams (MIA, is it him or drake though)/mcnichols/zenner/mckinnon
    WR -wheaton/sharpe/smith-schuster/godwin/carroo/henderson
    TE – shaheen
    DE (best from fantasy pros): n.spence, ealy, ayers jr, d.lawrence, baker
    DT (possibly grab a 2nd DT in case AAron holds out for longer): m.brown (NE), t.crawford (DAL)
    CB literally all the CB’s on fantasy pros ranked are gone except for shead SEA (PUP right now), went to this site: http://www.fftoday.com/rankings/playerrank.php?o=1&PosID=50&LeagueID=1
    adoree jackson TEN (kickoff specialist too we have 10 return yards per point, same as receiving yards, he might be a backup this minute, but if he ends as a top 10ish return man…..), 18th overall pick too, t.white BUF, j.joseph HOU, kirkpatrick CIN, randall GB, k.jackson HOU, lane, or one of the highest drafted ones lattimore, humphrey (doesn’t appear starting). one great thing that often happens with rookie CB is the offenses target them exactly.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Aubrey Plaza’s Pillow: I read that as Swearengen and got excited. And I would totally get Davis, could payoff because when does Reed not get injured? And I’ll be honest, I’ve never even heard of Shead. Your league man… haha.

      • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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        @Jay: hehe. i finally got around to watching that about exactly a year ago, awesome show. i’ll grab malik jackson JAX first (by far highest ranked DT left in league), as i absolutely need a DT immediately (at least one, if AAron holds out to the point of being crappy it’ll be 2).

        shead was a CB who split time with j.lane last year (maybe 2 years ago too) at SEA, and due to sherman ANYBODY at CB opposite sherman gets targeted. problem with those 2 was guessing who was going to play. lane used to do kickoffs too i’m fairly sure. you can see why i was so fond of kevin. i’ll slot davis as 2nd waiver attempt (if the reed injury was worse already he’d have been drafted).

  4. Dom says:
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    Hey so my lineup is below in a 16 man league, would you do this trade:

    Joe Flacco and Alfred Morris for Robert Turbin and Eli Manning

    I would be locking down the Gore’s backup in case of injury and improving my backup QB. I drafted Morris thinking he could possibly start while zeke is out, but it looks like mcfadden’s backfield. Would you do this or should I wait to see how Morris does?

    QB Marcus Mariota
    RB Mark Ingram
    RB Frank Gore
    WR Jordy Nelson
    WR Dez Bryant
    TE Austin Hooper
    Flex Eddie Lacy

    Bench

    RB Doug Martin
    RB Alfred Morris
    RB Jacquizz Rodgers
    WR Martavis Bryant
    QB Joe Flacco
    WR Brandon Marshall

    K Adam Vinateri

    Def Bengals

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Dom: Yeah, I think that one works.

  5. Dom says:
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    With the same roster as above, would you try to package a deal for Isiah Crowell. And if so what kinda deal would you do. I was thinking Ingram/Marshall for Crowell. What do you think?

    I feel like my roster has 3 weak spots: Good RB1, TE, and Flex: Your thoughts?

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Dom: I’d hold on Ingram, maybe too much. I actually don’t see an obvious match, but ping them on the interest, see what list of guys they like, could build from that.

  6. Allan says:
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    Jay 12 team dynasty league my team is
    QB Brady
    RB Davis Johnson
    RB Ingram
    RB Lacy
    RB Ware
    WR Julio
    WR Amari Cooper
    WR Doug Baldwin
    WR Brandon Marshall
    TE Ertz
    Our draft order is determined by last year finish (1st) and how many players you dropped in the off-season (6). I ended up with the 9th pick. None of the stud rookie rbs are likely available there, though maybe cook or hunt could be. What should I be looking for there? I was thinking either my qb or te of the future. Stafford or Wentz might be there or Howard or Engram also. Some pretty decent wide receivers available also like Bryant, Crowder, Jordan Matthews. I’ll also have a pretty quick turn around with the 16th pick. Thoughts?

  7. Lenny says:
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    Nice work Jay,

    I’m pulling together my draft strategy for a 14 team half-ppr, 1 QB. I’ll have either the 1st or 2nd pick (odd league rule) and I’ll probably have to take DJ or Bell, but after that my question is this:

    Do deeper positions like WR or QB actually have more value in a deeper league? Having a Tier 1 QB means you’re better than 12 other teams instead of just 8 or 10. I won’t be able to pick again til about 27-28 and if I’ve got my stud RB down, what do you suggest in terms of targeting Gronk/QB if they fall that far?

    Thanks man!

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