Alright all you fantasy freaks out there, including myself. Before we know it, our commissioners will be scheduling drafts, and we will be frantically surfing web sites in search of that deep, deep, deep sleeper that nobody else knows about. We will bask in all our glory when we pick him in the last round, only to see him tear his ACL in the first quarter of the first game. Or maybe that’s just me.
Anyhow, the fantasy season is right around the corner, so why not start looking at who might end up on our roster? Pretty soon there will literally be millions of different rankings lists out there, so one must have a very discerning eye. There are so many so-called “gurus” now, that it’s often hard to separate fact from fiction.
I’m here to tell you that I am definitely no guru. What I am, is a guy who has played fantasy for many, many years. And yes, I’ve actually won my league a couple of times. Nothing says fantasy success like a couple of lucky picks and a couple of timely injuries to your opponent’s team! Without further ado, let’s look at the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks according to yours truly.
- Cam Newton: This one is a no-brainer for me. I like Cam here for several reasons. First and foremost, he has an absolutely incredible last name. Secondly, after losing in the Super Bowl, taking heat for not diving on the fumble, and then tanking the press conference, I think Newton will have an enormous chip on his shoulder this season. Nothing like a little extra motivation for the reigning mvp. The great thing about Newton is his ability to score points in a variety of ways. Newton passed for nearly 4,000 yds. and rushed for over 600 in 2015. He threw 35 touchdowns and ran for 10 more. Newton rushed for over 40 yards 10 times. That’s fantasy gold. He has one of the best tight ends in the league in Greg Olsen. Ted Ginn Jr. looked good, despite a few drops here and there. Devin Funchess is a promising young receiver, and Kelvin Benjamin will be back after missing the season with an ACL tear. Cam has weapons and he will be hungry to get back to the big game.
- Aaron Rodgers: Again, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon or a brain scientist to figure this one out. Rodgers may very well be #1 on many lists, and I don’t have a problem with that. This guy is freaking good. I was fortunate enough to see Rodgers play live in Houston a few years ago. I’ve never seen a better quarterback display. After an early sack at the hands of Watt, Rodgers went on to throw six touchdowns…..six. The pinpoint accuracy and the velocity on the ball were unbelievable. Rodgers will have Jordy Nelson back to go along with Randall Cobb and Jeff Janis. Eddie Lacy catches the ball well too. 2015 stats: 3,821 yds., 31 tds., 8 ints.
- Ben Roethlisberger: Here’s another guy who could be at the top, but there’s always that concern about injuries with Big Ben. I think the Steelers have the best offense in the AFC, if not the whole NFL. Roethlisberger is poised for a huge year. Antonio Brown is unstoppable, and Le’Veon Bell catches the ball well. Markus Wheaton and Sammie Coates are dangerous on the outside, and Pitt signed Ladarious Green, who is a matchup nightmare at tight end. The Steelers scored 26.4 points per game last year. I’m guessing they will be at 30 in 2016. 2015 stats: 3,938 yds., 21 tds., 16 picks (missed 4 games with injury).
- Russell Wilson: No matter how many douchey pictures Wilson puts out on Instagram, it’s hard to deny his ability on the football field. Russ was great in 2015, not counting the playoff beat down at the hands of Carolina. Wilson threw for 4,034 yds., 34 tds., and 8 interceptions. He carried the Seahawks on his shoulders all year long. Marshawn Lynch was injured and Jimmy Graham went down, but Wilson kept the Hawks rolling. I’m not a huge fan of the receivers in Seattle, but Doug Baldwin came through big time with 14 scores. Graham should be back to give Russ another big target. Wilson is borderline elite at this point.
- Blake Bortles: Whether or not you are a believer in Bortles, you cannot deny his stats. Bortles threw for over 4,000 yards and tossed 35 touchdowns. He also had 18 interceptions, but that’s beside the point. He has two of the best young receivers in the game, Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson. He also has Julius Thomas at tight end. The Jaguars are trending upward and Bortles has gotten better each year. This guy will get you a bunch of points, guaranteed.
- Carson Palmer: At 36, Palmer is getting a little long in the tooth, but he can still sling it around. Palmer had the best year of his career in 2015. He threw for 4,671 yds., 35 scores, and 11 ints. He has a lot of weapons at his disposal. Larry Fitzgerald enjoyed a resurgent year. He just seems to get better and better. John Brown is a speed merchant, as is J.J. Henry. And if that weren’t enough, Michael Floyd can be a beast on the outside. Oh, and running back David Johnson is a dynamic threat out of the backfield. You could do a lot worse than Palmer.
- Tom Brady: Brady would be a lot higher on this list if it weren’t for the suspension looming over his head. Let’s face it, the guy is freaking great, year after year. As of now, Brady will miss the first four games. You can bet that when he gets back, he will be loaded for bear. Last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yds., 36 tds., and 7 ints. He puts up video game numbers every year, and he has the ultimate weapon in Gronk. Not to mention, the ever dangerous Julian Edelman.
- Drew Brees: The Saints had a bit of down year, yet Brees still managed to throw for nearly 5,000 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He’s just a great quarterback. He should once again be hooking up frequently with Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. Marques Colston is no longer around, but NO drafted the speedy Michael Thomas out of Ohio St.
- Tony Romo: If Romo and Dez can stay healthy, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t put up big numbers. Last year was a dumpster fire in Dallas, so they will be looking to rebound in a big way. Dez will be back to partner up with Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, and Jason Witten. Zeke Elliott will provide an interesting option out of the backfield. Barring injury, Romo should have a great year.
- Kirk Cousins: Laugh all you want, but the Kirkster knows how to toss the ball around the yard. Washington rewarded Cousins with a rich contract in the offseason after he led them to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. Cousins threw for 4,166 yards, 29 tds., and 11 picks. He has the speedy Desean Jackson and the reliable Pierre Garcon at his disposal. He also has a very good young receiver in Jamison Crowder, and one of the top tight ends in the league with Jordan Reed. The Skins also drafted Josh Doctson, perhaps the most NFL-ready receiver available.
The best of the rest: Phillip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Matt Stafford, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan, Brock Osweiler
Tomorrow we will look at running backs, yay!
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Header image provided by Parker Anderson (CC BY-ND 2.0)