[put on the chillhop radio station and just let it flow] 

Welcome everyone! It’s a privilege to have you here in the Year of the Bubble. No doubt you’ve been refreshing training camp vids and working on your Austin Ekeler-style abs for the past few months. Some of you have been following Razzball Football in the off-season the whole way and you have read every last word. Thank you! Some of you are coming out of fantasy football hibernation right now, and you’re looking for the best fantasy football content to help you win your (virtual) office league. Welcome back! 

Without further ado, let’s kickoff our weekly look at the Top 30 Quarterbacks!

Top 30 Quarterbacks Header

Preseason, Volume 1

What’s up everybody? I’m EverywhereBlair, and I’m your quarterbacks guru for the 2020 fantasy football season. If you’ve been reading the off-season material or have been reading my work on pitchers on the baseball side of Razzball, then you already know me and what to expect. If you’re coming back to Razzball from an off-season hiatus, or joining us for the first time, let me show you around a bit! 

Foremost, we’re happy to have you as part of the Razzball community. Now, as part of that community, you’re getting a TON of free stuff. First, the overall rankings from the award-winning Rudy Gamble here, from site editor Donkey Teeth here, and from senior editor MB here. Wow! Three sets of rankings for you to choose! And, as if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got draft guide material for beginning to average drafters here, and for advanced drafters here. If you’re into media, we’ve got a podcast and a video channel. Want to follow the writers on Twitter? Then follow this Twitter list! Lastly, if you want to save $25 on entry fees at the National Fantasy Championships, use the code RAZZAUG when signing up.

But wait, there’s more! If you want to show us your support for all this free stuff that we’re giving you to have a great time playing fantasy football, you can purchase a premium membership for even more weekly tools or DFS packages. I know times are tough and if Covid has you down or in a tight spot, don’t worry about premium packages. If you can leave some comments and let us know how we’re helping you, that would be great. Tell a friend about us, tell your coworkers, and share the articles you like on your favorite social media platform. We’re here to help you win your fantasy leagues and entertain you with some quality content. Sound good? I’m glad we’re all caught up now!

Now, even though we’ve given you three sets of rankings as you see above, my role is to give a different perspective based on news updates and week-by-week performance. This will help you understand which QBs to roster, which to find on the waiver wire, which QBs to trade, or which QB to start. I provide my information below in a table that includes advanced stats not visible on the other ranking options. This helps you make your own decision! As always, the writers are happy to answer your questions in the comments or on Twitter if you have them.

Do QBs Matter?

Absolutely! In most scoring formats, the quarterback is one of — if not the — highest scoring positions on your fantasy football roster. If you played fantasy football in 2019, you know that many office leagues were won by Lamar Jackson. Among more competitive groups, though, it’s important to know that quarterbacks in the QB6-QB15 range have fairly similar projections. Now, I’m not saying to forget about quarterback entirely. What I’m saying is that a wise player who streams Daniel Jones and Baker Mayfield based on matchups can easily match if not outperform the manager who took Lamar Jackson in the second round.

Generally, the Razzball team has been aiming for Kyler Murray in 2020. Most of us agree he has the highest likelihood of outperforming his projections, which would give our teams the perfect balance of upside and draft capital. Murray has generally been drafted in the 5th/6th rounds of standard leagues. If you don’t like Murray or he’s drafted before you, the next best values for outperforming projections are Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, followed by Matt Ryan. In standard 12-team leagues in 2020, you want to draft 2 quarterbacks for sure, and in deeper leagues or best ball leagues, you absolutely want three quarterbacks.

In superflex leagues — where managers can start two quarterbacks per week — of course the above information becomes irrelevant. In a superflex league, QB scarcity trumps other draft positions, and it’s acceptable to draft 2QBs within the first six rounds. You want to emerge from a superflex league draft with at least 3 QBs who all have different bye weeks. Because there are only 30ish starting quarterbacks on most weeks, it’s unreasonable for every team in a 12-team league to have three starting QBs. So, be aggressive and get those QBs in superflex leagues.

News and Notes

Tua Tagovailoa Probably the biggest question of the preseason is who will emerge as the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. This matters because the Dolphins have a pass-first game with several capable wide receivers and a porous defense that will require heavy use of the passing game. Incumbent QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was a lackluster fantasy QB in 2019, and is very much a reserve QB with a known floor. The Dolphins 2020 first-round draft pick, Tua Tagovailoa, however, is an unknown quantity due to his recovery from a severe hip injury that kept him sidelined through most of 2020. Experts agree he will take the reins of the Miami offense at some point in 2020; the question is when. Most office-league drafters won’t need to worry about the Tua/Fitzmagic quarterback battle because they would be backups or a third quarterback anyway. But for those players in a superflex league or dynasty, you’re absolutely drafting Tua for his upside. Just be sure to get another late-round QB like Sam Darnold or Drew Lock to ensure you’ve got a suitable backup for the times when Tua is wearing a headset on the sidelines and carrying printouts to “study” the game. 

Gardner Minshew — OK, if you’re in that group of people who are just returning to fantasy football this week, you’re hearing a ton about Gardner Minshew. The Jaguars’ 2019 6th round pick had an acceptable 2019 fantasy year but has more upward steam among industry drafters than probably any other quarterback. Some sites are ranking Minshew as the 6th best QB on the board; meanwhile, fantasy managers are picking him as the 22nd QB for their fantasy teams. In other words, he wouldn’t be rostered in most office leagues, and even deeper home leagues and superflex leagues would consider him a backup. Now that Budweiser has offered people free Bud Light for a year if they draft Minshew in the first round AND win their fantasy league (a $37 value!), more and more people will be clambering after the mustachioed-Minshew. Readers, just let the chillhop take over and don’t worry about Minshew. His Razzball Consensus Ranking is QB21, which means he would be a backup in a standard 12-team league. If you’re in a shallower league, don’t even worry about Minshew. Let some other beer-seeking dupe draft Minshew early. That said, Minshew sympathizes with Razzball’s concern over the ESPN fantasy ranking system. 

Minshew’s Budweiser Commercial

Ryan Tannehill — Tannehill is either going to win a lot of fantasy leagues this year or lose a lot of fantasy leagues this year. After a stellar end to his 2019 campaign, analysts disagree whether he should be your main fantasy QB or whether he should even be drafted on a run-heavy Tennessee Titans offense. In the Razzball Consensus Rankings, he’s easily the most controversial QB, with our analysts putting him anywhere from QB10 to QB 26. Myself? I think you should be drafting Tannehill. His value among other drafters is low, however, so I’ve generally been able to draft Tannehill as a second QB, which just makes your team that much stronger. 

Deep Roster Dart Throws: Tua Tagovailoa, Nick Foles, Mitch Trubisky, Justin Herbert, Tyrod Taylor

Rankings

Here’s the exciting part, my friends! I’m giving you my own QB rankings to start the 2020 season, and I’m giving you a table of 2019 data to help you understand where each QB’s strengths and weaknesses lie. You can look at the table and determine yourself if you want to be more aggressive, defensive, or just trust the system. I’ll be updating the table as we go through the year, and if you’re familiar with my baseball pitcher rankings on the baseball side of Razzball, you’ll see how quickly these kinds of tables help you understand trending players. 

It’s fair to point out that I didn’t include rushing on the category ranker because so few QBs rush for meaningful yards. I incorporated rushing into my ranking, but I didn’t display it in the table because it complicated matters. After the season starts, you’ll be seeing rushing usage come into play on the data table.

Here’s the quick breakdown:

  • Rank and Name: Where I, EverywhereBlair, have ranked the player. If you just want my rankings, look no further!
  • Y/G= Passing Yards per game in 2019. 
  • AGG%= Rate of aggressive passes as calculated by NextGen Stats at NFL. This indicates how frequently a QB is willing to throw into tight coverage, which can lead to greater yardage outcomes for good passers or interceptions for bad passers. 
  • CAY/C= Completed Air Yards per Completion. On an average completion, how many of those yards were thrown in the air? 
  • YAC/C= Yards after Catch per Completion. On an average completion, how many of those yards were the receivers’ work? 
  • Bad%= Percentage of passes that Pro Football Reference considered very off-target or nearly uncatchable, with throwaways excluded. 
  • OffLine=The passer’s team’s offensive line as rated for pass protection in 2019, as calculated by Football Outsiders. I know teams upgrade in the off-season, but, we don’t have 2020 data yet. 
  • RCR= Razzball Consensus Rating. I averaged Rudy Gamble, Donkey Teeth, MB, and Aaron Pags’ quarterback rankings to show where the Razzball rankers value each quarterback. You can compare how aggressive or defensive I am to this RCR.
  • Green = top 20% of performance in that category / Red = bottom 20% of that category. NA= no data available due to rookie status or 2019 injury. 
Rk Player Y/G AGG% CAY/C YAC/C Bad% OffLine RCR
1 Lamar Jackson 208.5 14.7 6.7 5.1 17.5 8 1.75
2 Patrick Mahomes 287.9 12.2 6.5 6.1 18.3 4 1.5
3 Kyler Murray 232.6 14 5.4 5.3 17.9 26 3.75
4 Russell Wilson 256.9 18.6 7 5 18.5 24 4
5 Dak Prescott 306.4 17.8 7.7 4.9 14.8 2 5.75
6 Deshaun Watson 256.8 15.8 6.5 5.1 16.7 27 5
7 Drew Brees 270.8 13.8 5.3 5.3 10.7 3 11.25
8 Matt Ryan 297.7 16.6 6.9 4 14.6 13 9.25
9 Carson Wentz 252.4 16 5.8 4.6 17.8 11 11.75
10 Ryan Tannehill 228.5 19.6 7.4 6.2 12.6 32 16.75
11 Josh Allen 193.1 15.4 6.5 4.9 20.3 23 8.5
12 Tom Brady 253.6 15.2 6 4.9 20.6 22 9
13 Jared Goff 289.9 12.8 6.1 5.7 20.2 1 17.75
14 Matthew Stafford 312.4 23.4 8.6 4.8 20.8 19 16
15 Daniel Jones 232.8 22.4 5.7 5 17.9 17 12.5
16 Aaron Rodgers 250.1 14.2 5.6 5.7 21.2 10 10.25
17 Baker Mayfield 239.2 18.9 6.3 5.7 18.1 18 17
18 Jimmy Garoppolo 248.6 15.3 5.5 6.6 13.7 15 26.5
19 Teddy Bridgewater 153.8 13.8 4.8 5.7 11.8 29 22
20 Derek Carr 253.4 11.7 5.4 5.9 11 6 28
21 Kirk Cousins 240.2 12.9 5.9 5.8 15.5 14 21.75
22 Gardner Minshew  233.6 15.6 5.9 5.6 18.6 16 20.75
23 Joe Burrow N/A           16.5
24 Cam Newton N/A           18.75
25 Ben Roethlisberger N/A           20.25
26 Philip Rivers 288.4 17.1 6.2 5.6 15.4 9 23.25
27 Sam Darnold 232.6 17.9 5.7 5.4 17.8 30 24
28 Drew Lock 204 14.1 4.7 5.5 17.8 25 24.5
29 Dwayne Haskins 151.7 22.7 6.3 5.2 19.4 31 N/A
30 Ryan Fitzpatrick 235.3 20.9 7.3 4.1 17.7 28 28.5

 

Aye, you made it this far, didn’t ya. EverywhereBlair is, well, located at home right now. He’s a historian and lover of prog-metal. He enjoys a good sipping rum. When he’s not churning data and making fan fiction about Grey and Donkey Teeth, you can find him dreaming of shirtless pictures of Lance Lynn on Twitter @Everywhereblair.

  1. Donkey Teeth

    Donkey Teeth says:
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    Great work, Doc!

    Good to see someone else respecting Tannehill!

    Allen, Baker and Minshew are the main three I think are too low…

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      [Sammy Sosa-style chest pound and finger kiss]

      Tannehill forever!

      Allen’s gonna be reliant on those legs, his accuracy worries the heck outta me as a fantasy owner. He’s the QB for best ball leagues. Same kind of goes for Baker Mayfield; if we just look at his 2nd halves over his career, he’s a top 10 QB.

      But you’re a brave one, Mr. DT, to be putting Minshew at the fringe of starting QBs in a 12-teamer. I salute you!

  2. Foxman says:
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    Blair,
    Thank you for sharing your rankings, I like the table format so much more than the paragraph write-up on each player. Allows people to use the data and choose for themselves.

    Quick Rant, but would love to hear your thoughts.
    Why isn’t the industry standard a superflex league? It seems ridiculous to devalue a position like QB so much. Allows “experts” to recommend waiting on the position until late in draft. How convenient, and not challenging at all. Think of the strategy differential between a (1) QB league and a superflex league.
    The most important position on every offense getting devalued in the fantasy game makes zero sense. In my opinion

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Thanks for the compliment and the comment, Foxman!

      I agree, QBs shouldn’t be de-valued in fantasy. Fantasy sports is, to some degree, an attempt to create the illusion of sports management; there are only so many head coaches in the NFL, but fantasy allows the fan to join in.

      The popular argument against Superflex is that it creates artificial scarcity for QBs; many standard fantasy players don’t worry about QB, but in an SF league, suddenly all the QBs are off the board by round 8.

      Personally, I enjoy SF leagues and wish they did become normalized. I enjoy 6 points per passing TD, and first down scoring as well. I think that helps separate the QB field, thus giving even more value, rather than scarcity, to the QB position.

      Thanks for checking in, and happy to provide this format for all readers.

  3. Chris says:
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    Thanks for the rankings!

    I’m in an 8 man league what do you like best? I have the 3rd overall pick.

    Barkley/Elliot-Julio-Next best RB
    Barkley Elliot-Hill (If Julio is gone) Next best RB
    Barkley Elliot-Next best RB-WR

    Thanks!

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      Sorry, the comment posted as a parent instead of a child. See the below comment!

  4. everywhereblair

    everywhereblair says:
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    I like the third option. Especially in smaller leagues, the RB point differential is really important. The differential between top WR isn’t as much, and you can see Hill had a not-so-great 2019 campaign.

    That said, if you get to 2.05 and a bunch of good RB are on the board for you at 3.03, don’t worry about it and grab a receiver. Good luck!

  5. Joe says:
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    Trying to finalize keepers in a 12 team league, hoping for some feedback if you don’t mind! It’s a 12 team league and I pick 12th, plus I traded away my 4th round pick last season.

    We can keep two players in the round they were drafted last season. My options are Michael Thomas (1st), Lamar (10th), Jacobs (3rd), AJ Brown (13th), Mixon (1st). QBs get points for completions so Lamar was still the league’s QB1 but not by as much as he probably was elsewhere – he had 13 points more than the QB2 (Dak) and 40 more than QB3 (Jameis).

    Still, I’m leaning Jacobs and Lamar, but not sold on throwing Thomas back. Just thought it’d be nice to start off with Jacobs and Lamar and still have picks 12 and 13, where we should still have some really good players available.

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      I agree with your take, Joe. If you’re already short a 4th rounder, you want to keep those top draft picks as much as you can.

      Jackson and Jacobs are more or less 1st rounders in this league, meaning you would still have a first round pick to use if you keep them.

  6. jdred5 says:
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    I was loving Wentz (and De Jackson and Reagor) as great picks at their ADP this year. With my draft tonight I’m getting cold feet due to Wentz’s decimated O-Line. Justified? Still worth that 9th overall QB ranking?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      What’s up Jdred? I’ma tell you a little secret, and don’t tell this to anybody else, OK?

      Take a look here: https://football.razzball.com/projections-qb-restofseason

      Take a look at the season projections for the QBs from Josh Allen (#9) to Jimmy G (#23).

      What’s the point differential between them? About 20 points, right? They’re all about the same! Shhhhh…don’t tell anybody! It’s your draft secret!

      So, if you’re drafting anybody below QB8 or so, you’re looking for homerun power. There are QBs down in that level that will boom and outperform projections.

      Wentz is one possibility, with Ertz/Goedert/Raegor/Sanders. Yards after catch can make a QB, and they’re gonna be stacked.

      If you’re not thrilled about Wentz, Daniel Jones is a great opportunity for a boom backup. He’s got a ton of playmakers at WR/TE/RB. Even better, you can probably get both and stream them.

      Myself? If I’m not getting Kyler, then I’m waiting until the Tannehill/Jones area and grabbing those guys.

      Good luck tonight!

      • jdred5 says:
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        Thanks for such a thorough answer! Much appreciated.

  7. Gerg says:
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    My league has similar keeper rules to Joe’s but we can’t keep last year’s 1st or 2nd picks. It’s a 10team half ppr league. I can keep 2 of:
    Aaron Jones (13th)
    Kyler (10th)
    J. Jacobs (4th)

    Jones is pretty much a lock and I’m leaning Kyler partly because it gives me more flexibility to take a rb in the 1st and partly because this league has a run on QBs every year and I just don’t want to be stuck streaming QBs this yr

    But I’m hesitant to let Jacobs slide since I’m picking 10th and with keepers of the board, my 1st Rd pick will probably be more like a mid 2nd. Does one of the two stick out to you as a value?

    • everywhereblair

      everywhereblair says:
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      I think if you can get an idea of which players other managers are keeping (ESPN lets you see this, for example), you can get an idea of how many RB will be available. In a 10-team keeper, I’d prefer to start my team with Jacobs and Jones.

      If you’re looking at people’s keepers and you’re seeing a lot of non-RBs kept, then yes, keep Kyler. In a 10-team league, there will certainly be enough QBs to draft such that you don’t have to stream. Good luck!

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