2QB Quarterback Big Board: Pre-Season Edition

2QB Quarterback Big Board: Pre-Season Edition

Joe Siniscalchi updates his 2016 QB Big Board tiered rankings now that the preseason has started and we’re in the heart of 2QB drafting season. …

Live football is finally upon us virtual pigskin all stars (even if it is being played by primarily backups and players who will most likely sit as free agents for the majority of the season). Not much has changed since training camp first began, but over the course of the next three weeks, we can potentially see some major changes in the quarterback fantasy landscape between San Francisco, Denver, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. While injuries will always shake up depth charts, now is the time for astute owners to be drafting those Trevor Siemian and Chase Daniel types on the off chance they win the starting job.

2QB Big Board Pre-season Notes

There were a few big fallers for me here, specifically Andy Dalton, as we start to become more removed from 2015 and more objective with our analysis. In the case of Dalton, I’m having a hard time believing he can produce as well as he did in 2015 after losing two wide receivers, his offensive coordinator, and tight end to injury.

I’ve also shaken up my tiers a bit, reducing the amount of low-end QB2s and introducing the fringe QB2 tier. This consists of guys I’d want on the back-end to round out a QBBC (quarterback by committee), or make solid QB3s. This tier has the chance to move into low-end QB2 territory, but I felt there was a clear gap between these players and the other low-end QB2s I had previously grouped them in with.

Those are the notable takeaways from these tiered rankings. Below I present my 2016 Pre-season Quarterback Big Board tiered rankings…

Elite QB1Aaron RodgersGBThe health of Jordy Nelson's knee is apparently the linchpin to the entire Packers offense. Even if he's back at less than 100%, his presence alone is a boon to Rodgers.
Elite QB1Cam NewtonCARWith reports out of camp that Devin Funchess has improved significantly, I'm starting to get excited about Cam's ceiling as a passer. He might overtake Rodgers as my QB1 by the time the season rolls around. Even with a much more difficult 2016 schedule, Cam's floor makes him matchup proof.
Elite QB1Drew BreesNOEven with the 31st ranked fantasy QB schedule in Weeks 1-16, according to Fftoolbox.com, Brees shouldn't be overlooked. He should be your QB target if you're seeking an elite option given his combination of ADP (currently QB5), floor, and ceiling.
Elite QB1Andrew LuckINDLuck threw for at least two scores per game in six-of-seven games played in 2015, even with a slew of injuries. With returned health and an ascending group of pass catchers, Luck has a very real shot at finishing as the QB1 in 2016.
Elite QB1Russell WilsonSEACurrently going one pick ahead of Andrew Luck, Wilson is another legit option to finish as the QB1. Odds are he won't maintain his torrid end to 2015 (24 passing TDs over his last 7 games), but he can certainly come to it as Seattle appears to be warming up to the idea of opening up the passing game.
Reliable QB1Eli ManningNYGManning boasts the third-easiest fantasy schedule for QBs Weeks 1-16, is coming off consecutive seasons where he outperformed is ADP, and is currently going as the QB10. With the improved receiving corps around him, wise owners shouldn't bet against Manning in 2016.
Reliable QB1Philip RiversSDRivers is currently being drafted as the QB11, behind the likes of the unproven Blake Bortles and suspended Tom Brady. On a healthy offense with fresh playmakers, Rivers could be the steal of this tier.
Reliable QB1Carson PalmerARZIf you haven't checked out the Carson Palmer experience podcast, I recommend doing so. Josh and Greg do a great job discussing Palmer's prospects for 2016. The reason Palmer was such a great pick in 2015 was because he vastly outperformed his ADP. In 2016, going at QB7, there is suddenly a lot more risk in drafting Palmer, who has historically been dinged up and turnover prone.
Reliable QB1Tom BradyNECooling off on him a bit. Missing your QB1 for four games is still a deficit hard to overcome with certainty, even in a year where QB is so deep. I'd rather draft any of the three above him and not worry about streaming or handcuffing him with Garoppolo.
Reliable QB1Ben RoethlisbergerPITIn 13 games without Le'Veon Bell the past three seasons, Ben has thrown for about 50 yards more per game. I still think he is a bit of a trap at his current ADP (QB6), and if the reports about Ladarius Green and potential retirement are true, suddenly this Steelers offense is lacking weapons outside of Antonio Brown.
Reliable QB1Tony RomoDALI've already said here why Tony Romo is currently a draft day steal, and at his current price of QB16 you'd be wise to target a historically dependent QB1 who is being drafted as a QB2.
High End QB2Kirk CousinsWASThe gang is returning for Kirk Cousins in 2016. Another year as the starter is only going to be better for him. If Jay Gruden was able to turn Andy Dalton into a good fantasy QB with mediocre weapons, there's little reason to think he can't keep Cousins from doing the same.
High End QB2Marcus MariotaTENThe loss of DGB only really matters slightly when you consider he probably wasn't going to play much and that the Titans will probably pound the ball inside the red zone. I'm dropping him a tad due to his supporting cast, but still believe in the upside.
High End QB2Matt RyanATLLike Romo, Ryan may also be the victim of recency bias, currently going at QB20 in our August ADP. Due for some positive QB regression, Ryan is a great QB2 target for those who are waiting on QB.
High End QB2Derek CarrOAK2015 was filled with fluky TD production, but an improved defense and offensive line should allow him to benefit from more positive gamescript. I'm warming up to his situation, but am still not totally convinced on the player.
Reliable QB2Matthew StaffordDETHis ADP is steadily climbing, and rightfully so. While he hasn't lived up to his ADP in years past, drafters might be overreacting to the loss of Calvin Johnson.
Reliable QB2Blake BortlesJAXIt was only two drives, but Bortles looked well in the pre-season's first action against the Jets. Like Carr, I think his situation is great, but still won't move him much further due to his likely regression.
Reliable QB2Andy DaltonCINDalton's free fall continues for me, as I think every player above him has more TD upside in 2016. The loss of Hue Jackson and other receiving options in the offense combined with Eifert's injury make me very hesitant to consider Dalton as a fringe QB1.
Reliable QB2Tyrod TaylorBUFAs Evan Silva points out, Buffalo is losing players on defense to injury and suspension, which will likely lead to increased passing volume for Tyrod. While his schedule is more difficult in 2016, opportunity is knocking once again for Taylor.
Reliable QB2Jameis WinstonTBI'd like to be higher on Winston, but I'm having a tough time swallowing his ADP of QB13. Of all my calls for 2016, this is the one I am least confident in. I'd love to be wrong, as I think Winston will take a step forward in year two and will improve on his TD totals.
Reliable QB2Ryan FitzpatrickNYJWorking for Fitzpatrick is the fact he plays in an offense loaded with playmakers in a QB friendly system. Working against him is that he's historically been mediocre and faces an much more difficult schedule in 2016. He'll probably outperform his ADP but will regress on his touchdown and turnover totals from last season.
Reliable QB2Joe FlaccoBALHas the talent and offense to put up career highs, but I think the offense will struggle early on as the team waits for the cream to rise to the top at the other skill positions. I'd love to have him as a backup or part of a QBBC.
Reliable QB2Jay CutlerCHII had Cutler as high as my QB13 earlier in the offseason. He has a light schedule, and without Matt Forte, the team will most likely pass more. His situation sets up nicely for him, but history has shown us Cutler is hard to trust as anything more than a QB2.
Reliable QB2Ryan TannehillMIAI'm starting to wonder if we are too low on Tannehill. His coaching staff is doing everything in it's power to prop him up, he has an offense full of weapons, and he's actually been a more-than-solid QB2 for his career. Working against him is a tough schedule and a worrisome o-line.
Reliable QB2Alex SmithKCAlex Smith - the real 2QB hero. Reports out of camp indicate he's having the best camp as a Chief, showing a newfound aggressiveness to throw the ball downfield. Maybe this is the last year we sleep on Alex Smith.
Low End QB2Teddy BridgewaterMINWith the Vikings most likely to improve on their overall passing volume in 2016, Bridgewater has to take a step forward. The question is, how much? Improved weapons, gamescript, and playcalling all point to Teddy taking a step forward in year three.
Low End QB2Brock OsweilerHOUIf the preseason opener provided any indication of what to expect from Osweiler, it's inconsistency. All we've seen out of Texans camp is how Osweiler is doing a lot of learning. I'm avoiding him.
Low End QB2Robert Griffin IIICLENaming him the starter was only a formality, but the real question is can he play well enough to keep the job? He's reportedly looked ordinary in camp to everyone except Hue Jackson. Can he hold onto the job?
DepthSam BradfordPHICarson Wentz's rib injury gives Bradford a bit more security, and the addition of DGB helps his outlook a bit. With an opening slate against the Browns, Bears, Steelers, and Lions, Bradford is an ideal match for those who draft Tom Brady early.
DepthBlaine GabbertSFThe Gabbert hype train is gaining steam. Anthony Amico is bold enough to say he'll be a QB1. While I disagree, I think those who believe in Chip Kelly's system should draft Gabbert as a high-end QB3 or a nice piece to a QBBC.
DepthMark SanchezDENIf Sanchez can't outperform "Trevor Siemian" then Denver has a huge problem. Gary Kubiak's system has long been supportive of QBs for fantasy purposes, but one has to genuinely wonder about Sanchez if he can't win the job.
DepthJared GoffSTLHe's been rather meh so far this summer, but I can't say I expected anything more. He'll have a poor receiving cast, poor offensive line, plays in a tough division, and is on a team built to hide him as he develops. Drafters beware.
FliersJimmy GaroppoloNEI'm having a tough time drafting him knowing I'm only getting four games out of him, but he's not a bad play if you're waiting for someone to pan out on waivers or believe in handcuffing Brady.
FliersGeno SmithNYJIf anything were to happen to Fitzpatrick, Geno is a great QB2 play due to his offense, weapons, and rushing ability.
FliersJosh McCownCLEOf all of the backups, my money is on McCown to see some playing time in 2016.
FliersTrevor SiemianDENSomehow he's neck and neck with Mark Sanchez throughout camp. If he wins the job he has a shot to make some noise in an offense littered with playmakers.
FliersColin KaepernickSFKap's 2016 is shaping up to be RGIII's 2015. His "dead arm" is causing him to miss valuable reps while Gabbert runs away with the show.
FliersChase DanielPHIThe injury to Wentz opens some doors for Daniel if Bradford goes down.
FliersCarson WentzPHIDoubtful we see him after the rib injury, but he's playing behind an injury prone QB and someone who has very limited experience as a starter.

Joe Siniscalchi

I currently reside in New York, and always enjoy looking for new challenges which led me to playing in 2QB leagues. I immediately got hooked on starting the likes of Gus Frerotte and Byron Leftwich and have been playing in 2QB leagues now for over 11 years. I've previously written for TheFakeFootball.com and Football.com. In my spare time I enjoy craft beer, chipwiches, and rooting for sports teams that ultimately wind up breaking my heart.

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