1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
2017 Stats: 7 G, 1,675 pass yards, 16 pass TDs, 6 INTs, 126 rush yards, 0 rush TDs
Outlook: There’s no doubt that when healthy, Aaron Rodgers is the best fantasy football quarterback. He’s a guaranteed 4000+ yards and 35+ TDs. In addition, he’ll give you a few rushing touchdowns here and there. DaVante Adams will continue to help Rodgers’ cause, as he is looking like one of the best young wide receivers in the league. The Packers also brought in Jimmy Graham to be a big target for Rodgers. Expect Rodgers and the Packers to be back in a big way this year, and Aaron Rodgers to have one of his best seasons yet.
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2017 Stats: 16 G, 4,577 pass yards, 32 pass TDs, 8 INTs, 28 rush yards, 0 rush TD
Outlook: No matter who Tom Brady has at wide receiver, he’s always going to be a top-3 fantasy quarterback. The only concern for Brady would be his age (41), but he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing down. Brady lost Amendola and doesn’t have Edelman for the first four games, but still has Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski, who I expect to play big roles. Also expect a good passing game out of the back field, as first round pick Sony Michel from Georgia replaces Dion Lewis. This year should be no different for Brady & Co.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,983 pass yards, 34 pass TDs, 11 INTs, 585 rush yards, 3 rush TDs
Outlook: Russell Wilson has continued to prove every year that he could do something with not much around him. Yes Doug Baldwin is a good wide receiver, but Wilson has never had as good of targets around him as some of the other quarterbacks. Although I think the Seahawks will be significantly worse this season, I don’t see Wilson’s numbers dropping at all. He’ll be throwing a lot every game, and his rushing stats are a nice added fantasy bonus. Expect Wilson to finish in the top 3-5 of fantasy QBs, a place he’s certainly used to being.
4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
2017 Stats: 7 G, 1,699 pass yards, 19 pass TDs, 8 INTs, 269 rush yards, 2 rush TDs
Outlook: Deshaun Watson was last season’s biggest surprise until he tore his ACL in practice during November of 2017. He was on pace to throw for nearly 4000 yards, and rush for over 500. With his ACL healed, Watson will be ready to start week 1, and I’m curious to see what he can do for a full season with the weapons he has in DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V. Deshaun Watson is undoubtably a top-5 fantasy QB when healthy, and I think he can be just as good as last season.
5. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 13 G, 3,296 yards, 33 pass TDs, 7 INTs, 299 rush yards, 0 rush TDs
Outlook: Carson Wentz is another rising star coming off an ACL tear, but it looks like he will be ready to start week 1 of the 2018 NFL season. Expect Carson Wentz to only get better with another year of experience under his belt, and with several solid weapons around him such as Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, and Nelson Agholor. A full season of Carson Wentz could mean 4,000+ passing yards, and 30+ TDs, which is fantasy gold.
6. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
2017 Stats: 16 G, 4,334 yards, 23 pass TDs, 8 INTs, 12 rush yards, 2 rush TDs
Outlook: While Drew Brees had a statistically down year in 2018 due to the rushing attack of the Saints, he’s proven to be a top fantasy quarterback in every single other year prior. There’s just no way that the Saints will repeat the performance on the ground that they had in 2017, and with Michael Thomas still on the rise, Alvin Kamara catching screens, and the addition of Cameron Meredith, Brees has some great weapons. Expect Brees to be a top-7 fantasy quarterback this year.
7. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
2017 Stats: 16 G, 4,093 pass yards, 27 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 179 rush yards, 4 TDs
Outlook: I’ve always been a Kirk Cousins fan in terms of a fantasy quarterback. In the past, Cousins has put up great numbers with mediocre talent in Washington. This leads me to believe that with a team in Minnesota, he has star potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kirk Cousins throws for over 4,300-4,400 yards this season to go along with 30 TDs.
8. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,302 pass yards, 22 pass TDs, 16 INTs, 754 rush yards, 6 TDs
Outlook: Cam Newton has been a solid fantasy quarterback his entire career, but I’m not sold on him for this season. Although the Panthers did add D.J Moore and Torrey Smith, and will have a healthy tight end back in Greg Olsen, I think the Panthers will be more reliant on the running game this season. Expect C.J Anderson to play a much bigger role than people think. Cam Newton will put up numbers, but I think he has less upside than many QBs out there.
9. Phillip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
2017 Stats: 16, G, 4515 pass yards, 28 pass TDs, 10 INTs, -2 rush yards, 0 TDs
Outlook: Phillip Rivers is a great value pick in 2018 fantasy drafts. Rivers has thrown for over 4500 yards in 2 of the last 3 seasons, and has thrown for 28 TDs or more in every season since 2013. He never gets hurt, and is the definition of consistency. Furthermore, with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen fully healthy, Phillip Rivers has the weapons to put up some of the best numbers of his career.
10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
2017 Stats: 15 G, 4,251 pass yards, 28 pass TDs, 14 INTs, 47 rush yards, 0 TDs
Outlook: Ben Roethlisberger is another extremely solid quarterback who we know is going to put up great numbers when he’s on the field in arguably the most dangerous offense in the NFL. However, you do have to worry about injuries with Big Ben. As long as you get a good backup quarterback, Big Ben can be a great option in the later rounds of your draft.
11. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions
2017 Stats: 16 G, 4,446 pass yards, 29 pass TDs, 10 INTs, 98 rush yards, 0 TDs
Outlook: Matt Stafford is a slightly worse version of Phillip Rivers in the sense that he’s a model of consistency. You know that with Stafford you’re going to get 4,200+ yards and 25+ TDs. The reason he is ranked lower than Rivers is because I feel as though he doesn’t have as good of receivers as him. However, he’s still an extremely solid option late in your draft.
12. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
2017 Stats: 6 G, 1,560 pass yards, 7 pass TDs, 4 INTs, 11 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: Jimmy Garoppolo has a legitimate chance to finish this season as a top-7 fantasy quarterback. He was extremely productive at the end of the 2017 NFL season, putting up 260 passing yards per game in his 6 games of action. Kyle Shanahan has always coached teams with high-powered offenses, and I fully expect that to be the case with the 49ers. Jerrick McKinnon will be a great pass catcher out of the back field for Jimmy G, and the WR duo of Pierre Garcon and Marquese Goodwin will surprise people. Don’t be surprised if Garoppolo passes for over 4000 yards with 25+ TDs.
13. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
2017 Stats: 16 G, 4,095 pass yards, 20 pass TDs, 12 INTs, 143 rush yards, 0 TDs
Outlook: Matt Ryan’s production dropped off tremendously once Kyle Shanahan departed for San Francisco. He went from throwing 38 TDs in 2016 to throwing only 20 in 2017. I can’t trust Ryan at all, but he still has a ton of talent on that Falcon offense with him. If Ryan and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian can get on the same page, he can go back to being the Matt Ryan of old.
14. Pat Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2017 Stats: 1 G, 284 pass yards, 0 pass TDs, 1 INTs, 10 rush yards, 0 TDs
Outlook: Pat Mahomes has a ton of potential, but we have barely seen him play. With Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Travis Kelce catching passes from him, we could be looking at the Deshaun Watson of last year. However, he could also be Jared Goff or Mitchell Trubisky in their rookie years, who took time to adjust to the NFL level. It’s extremely hard to project how good Mahomes will be in 2018, so I’m not sure I’d draft him as my starting fantasy QB.
15. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
2017 Stats: 15 G, 3,804 pass yards, 28 pass TDs, 7 INTs, 51 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: After an extremely rocky rookie year, Jared Goff took a monster step last season as he threw for 28 TDs and only 7 interceptions on his way to leading the Rams to the playoffs. With Brandin Cooks now on that Rams offense, and 2 years of experience under Goff’s belt, I could only see him improving. Expect big things from Jared Goff in 2018.
16. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,324 pass yards, 22 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 357 rush yards, 6 TDs
Outlook: Dak Prescott has his critics, but I think he’s a great NFL quarterback. For fantasy purposes, I’d take him as a backup, but not much more. Dak will give you solid production, but nothing that will blow you away. His lack of receivers and the loss of Jason Witten are a cause for concern though.
17. Alex Smith, Washington Redskins
2017 Stats: 15 G, 4,042 pass yards, 26 pass TDs, 5 INTs, 355 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: Alex Smith had one of the best seasons of his career in 2017, but the trade to the Redskins decreases his value tremendously. I don’t like the Redskins wide receivers much at all, and I don’t think Smith will be much more than a game manager there. Expect Smith’s fantasy value to plummet from last year, going from within the top-5 to outside of the top-15.
18. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
2017 Stats: DNP – SHOULDER INJURY
Outlook: All signs are pointing to Andrew Luck being healthy, but the fact that his throwing shoulder was injured scares me. Luck went for a long period of time without throwing a football, so it may take him some time to get back to where he was as a quarterback (if he could get back to that point). I’m not risking taking Luck as my starting quarterback this year. I’d own him as a backup at most.
19. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
2017 Stats: 15 G, 3,232 pass yards, 13 pass TDs, 15 INTs, 312 rush yards, 5 TDs
Outlook: Marcus Mariota went off in 2016, only to have an extremely disappointing 2017. However, with a new offensive coordinator in place, don’t be surprised if Mariota returns back to his 2016 form. Corey Davis being fully healthy and Dion Lewis as a pass catcher out of the backfield won’t hurt him either.
20. Eli Manning, New York Giants
2017 Stats: 15 G, 3,468 pass yards, 19 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 26 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: While most are skeptical about how much Eli Manning has left in the tank, I think he could be a deep sleeper this year. It’s possible that Manning could have a top-5 running back, top-5 wide receiver, and top-5 tight end on his offense this season, which leads me to believe that his stats will be much improved from last year. Most importantly though, the offensive line is improved from 2017, so Eli will have more time to throw the football.
21. Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns
2017 Stats: 15 G, 2,799 pass yards, 14 pass TDs, 4 INTs, 427 rush yards, 4 TDs
Outlook: While the Browns drafted Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick, it’s pretty clear they won’t rush him along. I expect Tyrod Taylor to start 12-16 games for Cleveland this year, and having Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry to catch passes from him makes me think he’ll put up some decent numbers. Tyrod could be a backup QB in fantasy leagues.
22. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears
2017 Stats: 12 G, 2,193 pass yards, 7 pass TDs, 7 INTs, 248 rush yards, 2 TDs
Outlook: Mitchell Trubisky is a legitimate breakout candidate in 2018. With Matt Nagy at head coach for the Bears, I could see Trubisky taking a Jared Goff like jump in year two. It doesn’t hurt that the Bears also added Allen Robinson, Trey Burton, and Anthony Miller in the offseason.
23. Case Keenum, Denver Broncos
2017 Stats: 15 G, 3,547 pass yards, 22 pass TDs, 7 INTs, 160 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: Case Keenum had the best year of his career last season as he brought the Vikings to the NFC Championship, putting up some great numbers while doing so. Now with the Broncos, Keenum will again be surrounded with good wide receivers. The question is whether or not Keenum was for real in 2017, or was he just the product of a system.
24. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 Stats: 13 G, 3,504 pass yards, 19 pass TDs, 11 INTs, 135 rush yards, 1 TD
Outlook: I’ve been waiting for Jameis Winston to break out for the past few years, and it just hasn’t happened. Now, he’s suspended for the first three games of this season and has a ton to prove when he comes back. Luckily for him, he’s surrounded by guys like Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, and O.J Howard. Expect Winston to be a backup fantasy QB at best this season.
25. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,687 pass yards, 21 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 322 rush yards, 2 TDs
Outlook: The Jaguars are a team that are going to rely on their running game and defense to win games this year. They just need Blake Bortles to be a game manager and a guy who doesn’t turn the ball over. Don’t expect much from Blake Bortles fantasy-wise in 2018.
26. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
2017 Stats: 15 G, 3,496 pass yards, 22 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 66 rush yards, 0 TD
27. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,320 pass yards, 25 pass TDs, 12 INTs, 99 rush yards, 0 TD
28. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
2017 Stats: DNP – KNEE INJURY
29. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3,141 pass yards, 18 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 54 rush yards, 1 TD
30. Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals
2017 Stats (UCLA): 11 G, 3,756 pass yards, 26 pass TDs, 10 INTs, -97 rush yards, 2 TDs
31. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
2017 Stats (USC): 14 G, 4,143 pass yards, 26 pass TDs, 13 INTs, 82 rush yards, 5 TDs
32. A.J McCarron, Buffalo Bills
2017 Stats: 3 G, 66 pass yards, 0 pass TDs, 0 INTs, 0 rush yards, 0 TDs
33. Sam Bradford, Arizona Cardinals
2017 Stats: 2 G, 382 pass yards, 3 pass TDs, 0 INTs, -3 rush yards, 0 TDs
34. Josh McCown, New York Jets
2017 Stats: 13 G, 2,926 pass yards, 18 pass TDs, 9 INTs, 124 rush yards, 5 TDs
35. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
2017 Stats (Oklahoma): 14 G, 4,627 pass yards, 43 pass TDs, 6 INTs, 311 rush yards, 5 TDs
36. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2017 Stats: 6 G, 1103 pass yards, 7 pass TDs, 3 INTs, 76 rush yards, 0 TDs
37. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
2017 Stats (Louisville): 13 G, 3,660 pass yards, 27 pass TDs, 10 INTs, 1,601 rush yards, 18 TDs
38. Nick Foles, Philadelphia Eagles
2017 Stats: 7 G, 537 pass yards, 5 pass TDs, 2 INTs, 3 rush yards, 0 TDs
39. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts
2017 Stats: 16 G, 3098 pass yards, 13 pass TDs, 7 INTs, 260 rush yards, 4 TDs
40. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
2017 Stats (Wyoming): 11 G, 1,812 pass yards, 16 pass TDs, 6 INTs, 204 rush yards, 5 TDs