Sunday, August 13, 2017

2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

With the preseason underway, we will update our 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings on a weekly basis (or even more frequently, if necessary) from now to the start of the NFL season.

Earlier today, we have updated our rankings and here are our 2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings:

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Posting an insane TD-INT ratio of 165 to 34 over the past five seasons combined, Rodgers led the league in passing touchdowns (40) last year while throwing for 4,428 yards, the third-most of his career. Since becoming a starter in 2008, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in seven of nine seasons (and one of those two outliers was his injury-shortened 2013 season). With good health, he's a virtual lock for a top-two fantasy season.

2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Now 40 years old, Brady has shown no signs of slowing down. In 12 games following his four-game suspension, Brady averaged 296.2 yards per game and 8.2 Y/A, a five-year high, while posting a 28-to-two TD-INT ratio. With the Patriots acquiring Brandin Cooks this offseason and Rob Gronkowski missing half of last season, Brady could post even better per-game numbers in 2017.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Tom Brady isn't the only quarterback that thinks he can play to 45. Regardless of how much longer he actually plays, Brees is a top-three fantasy QB for the 2017 season. Granted, passing statistics are generally inflated in historical terms, Brees has five career 5,000-yard seasons (including 5,208 last year) and 32-plus touchdowns in nine consecutive seasons. The last time Brees finished outside the top-six fantasy QBs was 2005 (QB9), his final season in San Diego.

4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

Coming off an MVP-winning season, Ryan shattered previous career highs with 4,944 passing yards and 38 touchdowns while throwing a career-low seven interceptions. With Steve Sarkisian taking over as offensive coordinator, the plan is to not deviate from the team's current offensive scheme, but it won't be easy for Ryan to duplicate last year's career numbers.

5. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

Finishing as fantasy's QB12 in 2016, Mariota threw for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. An elite athlete, the dual-threat quarterback also ran a little more often (60/349/2). Given the team's offseason investments to put an improved supporting cast around Mariota, 2017 should be even better — perhaps much better — for this ascending quarterback.

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Even though he was less than 100 percent last year, Luck still scored the fourth-most fantasy points among QBs as he threw for 4,240 yards, 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Almost certainly out for the entire preseason, the potential risk of Luck (shoulder) not being ready for the season opener knocks him down a spot in my QB rankings from my previous update.

7. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

It was an uneven season for Wilson as he once again had a stronger second half than first half. Finishing as fantasy's QB11 in 2016, Wilson struggled running the ball with a career-low 3.6 YPC and 259 rushing yards with just one rushing score. Even though they used a second-round pick on LSU's Ethan Pocic, the offensive line remains one of the team's biggest concerns going into the 2017 season.

8. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

A top-15 fantasy quarterback in each of his first two seasons, Winston has the potential to post his first top-10 fantasy season in 2017. The Buccaneers added DeSean Jackson, one of the league's best vertical threats, in free agency and O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin via the draft, all of whom should take some pressure off of Mike Evans and really open things up for the passing offense in general.

9. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins

One year after throwing for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns (and finishing as fantasy's QB8), Cousins threw for 4,917 yards and 25 scores (and finished as fantasy's QB5). In addition, he has a total of nine rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons combined. Even though the team lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency, Washington signed 1,000-yard receiver Terrelle Pryor this offseason and they should get much more out of Josh Doctson, their 2016 first-round pick.

10. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

After being named league MVP in 2015, Newton completed 52.9 percent of his pass attempts and averaged only 6.9 yards per attempt and 4.0 yards per carry, all of which set career lows, as he finished as fantasy's QB17 last year. The selection of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel with their first two draft picks should help to make things easier for Newton, but it's likely that Newton roars runs less in 2017.

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Good luck in your 2017 fantasy football league(s)!