With the meat and potatoes of free agency behind us and the NFL Draft closing in fast, let’s have a first look at redraft fantasy football quarterback rankings for the 2015 season.
The upper tier at the position runs two deep with Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck first-second, or second-first, or 1A and 1B, depending on your view. Either figures to be a major contributor to your fantasy roster, worthy of a premium draft pick.
After that, it’s a group of players with a mix of concerns including age, injury history and questionable supporting casts.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers
With just under 4,400 passing yards to go along with 38 touchdown passes and only five interceptions, Rodgers was clearly the league’s top quarterback last season. With all of his key weapons returning and second year player Davante Adams expected to take a step forward in 2015, Rodgers sits at the top of our fantasy football rankings at quarterback.
2. Andrew Luck, Colts
Luck established himself as an upper tier fantasy quarterback in 2014, throwing for over 4,700 passing yards with 40 touchdown passes. He also struggled at times as evidenced by his 16 interceptions. While we have him at number two in our quarterback rankings, we wouldn’t fault you for taking him over Rodgers in your draft.
3. Drew Brees, Saints
This is where things get interesting and where the second tier of fantasy quarterbacks begins. We’ll go with Brees here given his proven track record and injury free history. However, losing Jimmy Graham, Kenny Stills and Pierre Thomas gives us some cause for concern. In Sean Payton (and Brees) we trust?
4. Peyton Manning, Broncos
Up next is Peyton Manning, who finished last season as the 4th rated fantasy quarterback despite stumbling badly over the final five games of last season as a torn quad hindered his ability to throw the ball. While tight end Julius Thomas won’t return, the Broncos have more than enough players waiting in the wings to replace his production.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Appearing in 16 games for the second consecutive season, Roethlisberger overcame a slow start to the season to reach a career-high in passing yards with 4,952 while matching his previous high in touchdown passes at 32. With a pair of ascending young pass catchers in Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton, expect more of the same from Big Ben in 2015.
6. Russell Wilson, Seahawks
Wilson finally gets a true number one receiver in the form of tight end Jimmy Graham. The Seahawks don’t figure to change their winning approach much (league best rushing attack coupled with an outstanding defense), but we expect a slight uptick in Wilson’s usage in the passing game, especially in the red zone. Why else acquire Jimmy Graham?
7. Cam Newton, Panthers
An ankle injury caused Newton to miss the first week of the 2014 season but it also hampered him in the passing and running game through Week 5. With a pair of solid receiving options in Kelvin Benjamin and Greg Olsen likely to be complimented by another rookie wide receiver in the draft, Newton figures to be a mid-tier QB1 in 2015.
8. Matt Ryan, Falcons
You have to love Matt Ryan. And you have to admit when it’s time to cut bait on the notion that he will emerge as an upper echelon fantasy quarterback. In seven seasons, he has career highs of 32 touchdown passes and 4,719 passing yards. And he’s not going to get you much production on the ground. And Roddy White is another year older. There is nothing wrong with Ryan. It’s just that his upside isn’t all that great.
9. Tony Romo, Cowboys
DeMarco Murray is gone which means that Romo is going to throw it a lot more than the 435 times he did in 2014. Despite ranking 23rd in passing attempts, Romo was the 9th ranked fantasy quarterback. Maybe, just maybe, having him here is too low.
10. Eli Manning, Giants
Eli was pretty decent last year with 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns despite having Victor Cruz for just six games and Odell Beckham Jr. for 12. Add Shane Vereen’s pass catching ability out of the backfield and there is a chance that Manning could re-emerge as a top five fantasy quarterback next season.
11. Tom Brady, Patriots
Let’s face it – Brady’s a great quarterback but the Patriots lack of upper tier receiving talent limits his upside and causes the team to rely more heavily on its rushing attack. A solid option, but not an elite one for fantasy.
12. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
13. Sam Bradford, Eagles
Earns the coveted lucky 13 ranking because he’s now with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia. For the record, Bradford’s never been much of a deep ball thrower and it’s worth noting that Nick Foles’ success in 2013 was largely a result of his ability to connect on a number of big plays.
Regardless of the hype for incoming rookies Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, they won’t jump into our Top 13 no matter where they land or what transpires at the NFL Draft. However, the landing spots of other skill position players from the draft can push these and other quarterbacks up or down to a degree. Pre-NFL Draft, this is how we see them.