SportsGuyRy’s 2018 Fantasy Football Rankings
Quarterback Edition (11-20):
*Photo provided by UPI.com*
Welcome back to SportsGuyRy’s Fantasy Corner. In my first series of the year, we covered Running Back rankings for 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30. The second series, we covered Wide Receivers for 1-10, 11-20 and 21-30.
I’m going to switch it up a bit here to keep things fresh. This time around, we are going to be analyzing the Quarterback position. Rather than giving you my best and work my way down, we are going to start at who I ranked my 20th best and work downward.
Let’s dive in:
20. Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys – Ranked #12 QB to end 2017 with 303 points (18.9 per game)
*Photo provided by SB Nation*
I’ll start my top 20 QB’s with Dak Prescott. After a promising rookie year, many had expectations that Dak would leap into the next tier of QBS. He fell short last year of those expectations in a disappointing sophomore season. Let me put into perspective here. His stats were quite similar to his rookie year, but many wanted him to ascend rather than be stagnant. His 3324 passing yards were were down from his 3667 he had his rookie year. His passing touchdowns were down one, from 23 to 22, while his rushing touchdowns stayed at 6. He did rush for more yards in his second season, up from 282 to 357 which is a plus. Part of that had to do with injuries and suspensions and part of it had to do with Dak being exposed as an average to above average QB.
Losing Dez Bryant and Jason Witten may hurt a little but adding Allen Hurns and Michael Gallup to go along with Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley gives him a lot of middle of the road targets to go after. We’ll see if they regret not going after Calvin Ridley or D.J. Moore in the draft. Either way, Dak should have some success this year. He’s got some opportunities to throw to guys listed above and a healthy and active Zeke Elliot.
19. Alex Smith – Washington Redskins – Ranked #5 QB to end 2017 with 334 points (20.9 per game)
*Photo provided by Chiefs Wire – USA Today*
Alex Smith had an incredible season last year. Ending the year as the 5th overall QB with 334 fantasy points, he came as a surprise to many given the fact he went undrafted in most fantasy leagues.
The concern is he is not in the same situation he was last year. Now with Washington, without the likes of Hill, Kelce and Hunt and losing his best offensive weapon to an ACL already in Derrius Guice, he’s got a tall order to try to repeat last years success.
I’m not saying it’s impossible. Jamison Crowder is reliable and Josh Doctson has the tools to be a solid player. Samaje Perine will always have my respect (Oklahoma) and Jordan Reed, if healthy, can be a big difference maker. Can Smith get the best out of these players? We’ll see, but with Jay Gruden at coach, it’s possible given his offensive prowess.
18. Marcus Mariota – Tennessee Titans – Ranked #20 QB to end 2017 with 234 points (15.6 per game)
*Photo provided by SB Nation*
Marcus Mariota, for me, was a big disappointment last year. Granted, I didn’t draft him in any leagues, but I had such high hopes for him and he disappointed yet again. With many tools to be successful with a good arm, accuracy and running ability, you assume he would be a great fantasy asset but it just hasn’t come into fruition in his three NFL seasons.
Enter 2018 and I can’t say with certainty anything will be different. His offense might change now with Mike Vrabel as the head coach. I’m not sure what direction it will go however. They have Derrick Henry as a beast in the backfield. They have Corey Davis needing to break out. Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews being consistent from a receiving standpoint.
So can he put it all together? The 3232 passing yards was not bad but the 13 touchdowns to 15 interceptions is atrocious. The 312 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns was a welcomed site but still, he needs to be more efficient with the ball and score more to be a viable option here.
17. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders – Ranked #17 QB to end 2017 with 251 points (16.7 per game)
*Photo provided by FOX Sports*
A once promising start to his NFL career took a downturn last season when he just wasn’t playing at the level we were accustomed to him playing at in years past. He lost about 500 yards off his passing totals from the previous two years. His touchdowns were down to 22 which is the second lowest of his four year career. His interceptions tied for the highest of his career at 13. The players around him weren’t playing up to their potential either.
Jon Gruden is stepping in to hopefully save the day. A more offensive minded coach vs. Jack Del Rio, Gruden needs to get more out of Carr than what we saw last season and hopefully return him to the 2015 form where he had just shy of 4000 passing yards and 32 touchdowns.
With Amari Cooper hopefully righting his own ship, Martavis Bryant adding some juice into the lineup and other weapons stepping up, we could see a return to form for Carr in his 5th season.
16. Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs – Not ranked as a “redshirt” rookie season
*Photo provided by The Denver Post*
This placement of Patrick Mahomes is purely on potential. Built in a similar mold to Cam Newton, Mahomes is a big dude with a rocket arm and plus mobility. He has so many weapons around him that I don’t know if he’ll know what to do with them all. He has an offensive minded head coach that seems to get the best out of every QB he’s worked with in his career. There’s a ton to like about Mahomes.
What we don’t know yet is how he’ll do. He hasn’t played a game in the NFL. He did get to sit behind Alex Smith for a season and learn but we are not sure how that will translate to the field as of yet.
Either way, I’m excited about this guy and he’s definitely on my target list for a backup QB.
15. Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers – Ranked #33 QB to end 2017 with 102 points (17 per game)
*Photo provided by USA Today – FTW*
What a 5 game stretch Jimmy Garoppolo had to end the season, and start his career with the 49ers. In that small stretch of games he started, he put up 96 fantasy points which was good for 19.2 per game. This was all with a new team with minimal talent around him.
Now with a full off-season under his belt with this guys, he’s hoping to continue that success this upcoming season. With returning guys he had chemistry with in Marquise Goodwin and George Kittle and other talents like Pierre Garcon, Dante Pettis and Jerick McKinnon, he’s in line for good potential this year.
I rank him so low here given the fact we haven’t seen him play like that for an extended period of time. His targets are still below par and his offensive line is average. However, I do believe in his head coach, Kyle Shanahan, to get the most out of him and his weapons.
14. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – Ranked #15 QB to end 2017 with 265 points (16.6 per game)
*Photo provided by NBC Sports*
If you would have asked me to rank Matt Ryan after the 2016 season and I had him as the 13th overall QB going into 2018, everyone but Lindsey Ok would be laughing at me. Turn the clock forward to present time, and some people may feel he’s too high. Funny how that works, isn’t it?
Ryan in 2016 had an MVP season putting up 4944 yards and 38 touchdowns, good for second best that season with 417 fantasy points. In 2017 however, he reverted back to below his average, his worst total in the last 5 seasons. Just shy of 4100 yards, he only threw for 20 touchdowns last year. Maybe he should target Julio Jones more in the redzone…
Going into the second season with Steve Sarkisian, things should be a little more stable this year. He also added Calvin Ridley as another weapon in the pass game and has a healthy Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman this year. He’s got all the tools to get closer to that MVP campaign he had in 2016, but we will see if he can reach those heights in 2018.
13. Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams – Ranked #10 QB to end 2017 with 307 points (19.2 per game)
*Photo provided by The Rams Wire – USA Today*
Sometimes you don’t know the true potential of a player until you get him in the right hands. Jared Goff in his rookie season looked like a bust. Fighting for playing time with Case Keenum and playing in an awful offense with no weapons led by Jeff Fisher, it wasn’t looking promising.
Enter in Sean McVay, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins. Now you have a top 10 fantasy QB. He threw for 3804 yards and 28 touchdowns. Compared to year one, where he would have thrown for 2200 yards and 10 touchdowns if he kept the same pace over 15 games as a rookie. I would expect more of the same from Goff this season. He did lose Watkins but added in Brandin Cooks, who in my opinion, is a better player. He still has Gurley in the backfield keeping defenses honest. There’s a lot to like in his third season in that offense.
12. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – Ranked #9 QB to end 2017 with 319 points (19.9 per game)
*Photo provided by PennLive.com*
Ben Roethlisberger is always going to be a solid fantasy contributor, if not uninspiring. Similar to Stafford and Rivers – he’s relatively safe with good weapons around him and the ability to make every throw in the playbook. Health has been his biggest negative over the years as he hasn’t been healthy for a full season since 2014. However, with weapons like Brown and Bell at your disposal and a up and coming Juju Smith-Schuster, you’re bound for success at the QB position. Last year for example, he totaled 4251 passing yards for 28 touchdowns.
He did lose his offensive coordinator this year giving him some new blood for the first time in a long time. I’m excited and nervous to see how that affects not only his game but those stars around him as well. Regardless, feel confident drafting Big Ben as a middle of the road starter.
11. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – Ranked #11 QB to end 2017 with 306 points (19.1 per game)
*Photo provided by Lombardi Ave*
Some people may think I’m crazy for having the great Drew Brees this low on the list. I agree, I’m kinda nuts. Hear me out though:
Drew Brees last year had a big fall from grace. After finishing one of the top QB’s most years of his career, in his age 38 season he finished 11th with 306 points. That’s still pretty good but looking at the numbers deeper here. He threw for his lowest attempts and completions since 2009. He threw for the lowest yardage total last season since 2005. He only threw for 23 touchdowns last season as they went for a more run centric offense built around Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, his lowest since 2003.
The most encouraging this about his prospect this season is the fact he threw for his highest yards per attempt, at 8.09, since 2011 – the third best of his career. This means he was efficient with his throws. He has a returning Michael Thomas and a pass catching guru in Kamara. He still has a great coach in Sean Payton.
As he ages, I just get concerned about his ability to continue to play at that high level and Paytons desire to continue to make him throw as much as he has in the past. However, he still should be a solid QB, just don’t expect the Brees of old.
Stay tuned for my next post. I will uncover the top ten QB’s this year.
Feedback is always welcomed! You can find me on Twitter at @sportsguyry