Today I’ll be taking you through the latest update of my redraft quarterback rankings, with my commentary focused on any major changes since my previous article, and there have been some changes! How far did Lamar Jackson fall?
If you missed my initial QB article, check it out here. These are primarily set up for a 1QB league, but I will comment on situations where Superflex is the primary focus.
I finished last season as the most accurate quarterback ranker on FantasyPros, so I hope that you can use these rankings with confidence. You can find my full rankings, including dynasty and individual defensive player (IDP), at ffdfantasyfootball.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments, but you can also hit me up on Instagram @thefantasyfirstdown where I answer all questions, or Twitter @FantasyFirstDwn.
To make things a little easier, I’ve broken things up into tiers, grouping players who are, in my opinion, close in value. Where you actually draft these players in drafts really depends on your specific league settings, so I won’t be covering that here. If you need assistance with drafting for your league, check out our special offer on personalized rankings.
Also, note that these rankings are for four-point passing TDs. Running QBs drop a little if your league values passing TDs more.
Tier 1: The Elite Options:
Josh Allen remains my QB1, though these three are all very close. I personally plan on waiting until one or two are taken before taking the third with my next pick. I think all three are being under-drafted, but I’d rather be the second or third to strike rather than pull the trigger unnecessarily early.
This preseason, we’ve only seen bad news for the Chiefs’ pass catchers, with Kadarius Toney undergoing knee surgery and Rashee Rice apparently thrust into a starting role in an offense that is notoriously difficult for rookies to pick up. That has kept Patrick Mahomes from rising past Allen for me. Jalen Hurts remains a great option if you’re not willing to pay up for the other two.
Tier 2: The Next Best
Joe Burrow’s calf injury hasn’t dragged him down my rankings yet. But he goes from being on the cusp of the elite tier to barely leading this second tier. Assuming Burrow is fully healthy by Week 1, he could be a real league winner if he falls in your league. If this injury drags into the season, though, he may end up wasting a roster spot in those valuable early weeks.
Justin Fields remains a tempting option, with Darnell Mooney getting healthier and a lot of positive buzz coming out of training camp, most importantly including suggestions that Fields will continue to run a lot.
Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson drops further as all the signs suggest a balanced passing offense with limited designed runs, and that will really hurt Lamar. His floor is so much lower than the others in this tier, as his passing volume won’t come close to compensating for his lost rushing points.
Tier 3: The Best of the Rest (At least there’s upside!)
I’ve dropped Trevor Lawrence down a tier as I’m nervous about just how aggressive the Jaguars will be. The team’s offensive line is looking particularly dicey, and while I hope that leads to more scrambling by Lawrence, it also adds to his injury risk.
The fact the Cowboys haven’t signed a significant running back keeps Dak at 9 for me, but if someone like Ezekiel Elliott signs on, I may drop Dak a little as a result, as it signals an intent to continue needlessly leaning on the run.
Deshaun Watson has jumped past Daniel Jones, meanwhile. I’m concerned about the Giants’ pass catchers being able to remain healthy. I was hoping we’d have some concrete news regarding Wan’Dale Robinson and Sterling Shepard by now, and that just hasn’t happened.
Meanwhile, the Browns’ offense is showing a lot of positive signs that this will be a potent offense in general. He’s risky, but I favor Watson here over Jones.
Tier 4: The ‘Hope This Works Out’ Group
- Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
- Kirk Cousins (MIN)
- Russell Wilson (DEN)
- Anthony Richardson (IND)
- Geno Smith (SEA)
- Aaron Rodgers (NYJ)
- Jared Goff (DET)
- Derek Carr (NO)
It’s hard to truly love any of these guys. I think Tua has the most upside, and if he was healthy, I think I’d have him as high as QB9, but with that head injury an ever-present issue, I can’t advise taking him earlier unless you’re a fan of taking high-risk swings.
Kirk Cousins is another risky option. Top fantasy quarterbacks typically need a rushing floor, and the target pin-up man doesn’t offer that, but with a strong room of receivers and a stud tight end, there is certainly passing upside. Having a weaker running back also helps, as the Vikings may need to pass more often this year. Cousins has finished as a Top 13 QB in each of the last 8 seasons, but that’s often due to a lack of injuries. On a per-game basis, he may well disappoint.
The other minor adjustment involved moving Aaron Rodgers above Jared Goff. This is primarily in response to my concerns about Breece Hall. Without Hall, I expect more passing by A-Rod. But I’m burying the lead; I’ve finally moved Anthony Richardson into my draftable prospects.
I will have absolutely no shares of the rookie, as I’m not convinced he starts Week 1, and the history of rookie quarterbacks is ugly to say the least, but I understand the temptation to take a cheap shot on Richardson’s upside. I wouldn’t, but he does offer more upside than anyone else in this tier, so the ball is in your court.
Tier 5: Guys we just hope keep the job
- Sam Howell (WAS)
- Matthew Stafford (LAR)
- Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)
- Jordan Love (GB)
- Kenny Pickett (PIT)
- Baker Mayfield (TB)
- Bryce Young (CAR)
- Brock Purdy (SF)
- Mac Jones (NE)
- CJ Stroud (HOU)
- Ryan Tannehill (TEN)
- Desmond Ridder (ATL)
- Kyler Murray (ARI)
I’m going to assume if you’re drafting one of these players, you’re in a Superflex league or a 20+ person 1QB league. In that case, you’re going to want to manage the risk all of these passers carry against their positive potential. Having said that, I tend to favor the league-winning upside of the likes of Sam Howell, Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy.
Purdy, in particular, will rise a lot for me if we get clarity on his Week 1 status. That risk for Jimmy G seems to be reducing, too, hence his jump in my rankings. If we get the news he’s fully healthy, he returns to the tier above. Meanwhile, I love Howell, but there’s a very real risk he loses the starting job to Jacoby Brissett, and that makes him scary.
Baker Mayfield has made a big leap for me as the Buccaneers will likely need to pass a lot, and Baker seems to be the starter, but that fear of him losing the job or just plain busting is keeping him lower than he could be.
Tier 6: Other players relevant in 2QB
- Colt McCoy (ARI)
- Gardner Minshew (IND)
- Jacoby Brissett (WAS)
- Kyle Trask (TB)
- Taylor Heinicke (ATL)
- Will Levis (TEN)
- Trey Lance (SF)
- Sam Darnold (SF)
In 2+QB leagues, sometimes you need to draft and bench a QB who just might have a starting role this season. These are the main options for that role.
Colt McCoy is at least locked into a starting job for a while, though his chances of being anything more than a fantasy QB3 are low. At least we know Kyler Murray is likely out for a good portion of the season, making it likely he holds that role over Clayton Tune.
Gardner Minshew could also start Week 1, so I like him as a desperation pick.
The 49ers are the others who could reasonably start Week 1, but I don’t like either’s chances of keeping the job. The others all have a good chance of getting snaps at some stage in the season, so they’re reasonable options.
Next week I’ll be back with a breakdown of my updated running back rankings. Remember to check out my full rankings for all positions at ffdfantasyfootball.com and check out all my other articles on Razzball.