2017 Quarterback Big Board

2017 Quarterback Big Board

*Featured image artwork by Dave Chow – 248-613-0566 – www.davechowillustrations.com

Things move fast in the NFL. A month ago we all had thoughts on what would happen as the regular season began to unfold — particularly at the quarterback position. And if the first three weeks of this NFL regular season are any indication, we’re in for a doozy of a year.

Not too long ago, most of us thought Andrew Luck would miss a game or two of action. Now he’s set to potentially miss all of October and is talked about like that kid from high school who randomly missed half the year and everyone assumed was dead. Jacoby Brissett, formerly of New England third-string lore, is now the Colts’ starter and making fantasy-approving splash plays with his legs.

In Week 1, we watched in amazement as Alex Smith out-Brady’d the Patriots in Foxboro and Sam Bradford out-bombed Drew Brees and the Saints. Additionally, Carson Wentz and Trevor Siemian out-dueled their foes and we all left the opening week scratching our heads.

Things began to take shape in Week 2, and by the end of the Week 3’s Monday Night game, everything seemed to be returning to normal in Quarterback Land. During this time we’ve seen both exceptional and forgettable QB performances. And after reviewing the last three weeks of action, and taking a brief look ahead, I’ve updated my tiered quarterback rankings to reflect where I think our signal-callers reside in the current 2QB landscape.

Best of luck in your leagues, and enjoy the next four weeks of the NFL and fantasy season! Be sure to check back in for updates to these quarterback tiers throughout the season.

2017 Quarterback Big Board – Week 4, 2017

Elite QB1Tom BradyNETom Brady is the football equivalent of Halloween's Michael Myers. He may be slow as hell, but he just won't die. Following the Patriots week one loss to KC, the collective fantasy community was trembling in their closets, hoping against hope that the monster was dead or had given up. But then, BAM, the door is ripped down and now everyone is in trouble. Brady is on pace for Madden-esque numbers this season, so count your blessings if he's on your team.
Elite QB1Aaron RodgersGBThe only negative to note with Rodgers' stat line so far in the young 2017 season are his three interceptions. And even that isn't so much a negative than a semi-interesting footnote in what will be another QB1 year for the man with the mustache. If anything, pray for Rodgers to throw another three picks this week so you can try and buy him "low" from a panicked owner.
Elite QB1Drew BreesNOThe Saints may not be wowing the football community, but Drew Brees is certainly wowing us (the more important community). Posting a very nice 69% completion rate so far, Brees is very much on track to finish at the top with his New England and Green Bay counterparts -- even if the Saints aren't ready to help him there.
Elite QB1Russell WilsonSEAWilson seems to be taking a very quiet, calm approach to fulfilling his top-5 destiny. Like the Saints, Wilson's team is down 1-2 on the season, and we should start to see Wilson's per game production rise a little bit as the offense takes shape. Injuries to skill position players are Wilson's biggest enemy at this point, as we've seen him be successful enough to expect otherwise.
High-end QB1Matt RyanATLSo far, Matt Ryan has lived up to our regression fears. However, I'm not budging (yet). As stated in my previous rankings, I think there's still too much familiarity and talent with this offense to justify anything lower than a top-10 finish in 2017. Those might not be high-end QB1 numbers, but until we see more how deep this regresion goes, we have to believe that 2016 Ryan is still out there.
High-end QB1Matthew StaffordDETStafford ending the year as a top-5 QB was my TwoQBs.com bold prediction for 2017 and, frankly, I feel good about that pick so far. Currently, the Lions defense is playing exceptionally well. Their ability to score and give the ball back to opposing offenses has hurt Stafford's raw production (currently on pace for 3,600 yards) but that level of defensive production is unreliable and soon we'll start to see Stafford's yardage and TD% climb steadily.
High-end QB2Kirk CousinsWASCousins' slow start is mildly concerning, and so I've downgraded him just a bit for where we're at in the season. That said, he's a candidate to rise up my board soon. Potential buy-low opportunity here, so keep an eye on impatient owners.
High-end QB2Alex "2QB Legend" SmithKCAs of Week 3, Smith has a cozy spot in the current QB fantasy points rankings at No. 2 overall. Coming off his, dare I say, schooling of Tom Brady and the Patriots, Smith has followed up the act with two more 15+ point performances. The emergance of Kareem Hunt has done wonders for the Smith-led offense and gives us just one more reason to like Smith going forward. The ball control nature of KC, coupled with Hunt and Hill's ability to turn short passes into home runs, keeps Smith in the high-end QB2 mix.
High-end QB2Marcus MariotaTENMariota has respectable passing and rushing yardage through three games, but I would've really liked to see just one or two more passing TDs. As of now, he's throwing the ball at a higher rate than year's past, but his 3% TD rate isn't anywhere near where it needs to be. I'm going to give him a pass for now and keep him as a higher QB2 with buy ability if he has another quiet game or two.
High-end QB2Cam NewtonCARNearing the quarter-mark of the season and we're still waiting on Newton's positive regression to hit. Not a time to panic, but Newton could be a sell high candidate for his owners.
High-end QB2Derek CarrOAKThrough three games, Carr looks to be on pace for a bootlegged version of his 2015 campaign. A questionably high 6.6% TD rate and 203 yards/game passing have me underwhelmed. And coming off the east coast disaster that was their week three game at Washington has to be worried about the three upcoming EST games remaining on their schedule. There's blow-up potential with this offense, but until Carr gets that yardage rate elevated, I'm dropping him in my rankings.
High-end QB2Ben RoethlisbergerPITUndoubtedly my biggest disapointment up to now. When you have weapons like Bell, Brown, and Bryant you just have to do better than 15.1 points/game. He's certainly on track to be a reliable QB2, however, my current ranking of Ben is on the conservative side and I'm slightly dissapointed to not feel considerably better about his performance than his other QB2 peers.
High-end QB2Carson WentzPHICarson Wentz is following up his hot start from 2016 with, well, another hot start. His pace feels a bit unsustainable, but I'm more than happy to enjoy the ride for now.
Solid QB2Andrew LuckINDMISSING: If found call 317-297-2658. Unless you can freeze time, Luck is going to miss too much time to remain valuable to season-long, redraft rosters. When he returns, we can expect higher-end QB2 production until proven otherwise.
Solid QB2Tyrod TaylorBUFThe Bills continue to do whatever it takes to make sure Tyrod Taylor has little chance to succeed. After trading Watkins and limiting Taylor to just 79 passes through three games, it's a miracle to see Taylor currently ranked as QB14. Unsurprisingly, Taylor continues to dominate with his legs, posting 106 rushing yards thus far, second only to rookie Deshaun Watson. Unless his pass attempts rise (and by extension, scramble attempts) I'm dropping him slightly on my board.
Solid QB2Jameis WinstonTBWith only two starts under his belt, I'm trying not to overreact, but he needs to do better than 14 points/game in order to reclaim a position on this board as a high-end QB2
Solid QB2Dak PrescottDALDak has seen a nice five additional pass attempts per/game boost this year, but hasn't seemed to do much with it on the stats sheet. His TD% is slightly down and his INT% is slightly higher when we compare this current season to his rookie year. Still far too early to tell how things will play out for Prescott but I still have him as the picture of regression for 2017.
Solid QB2Eli ManningNYGLike Rivers and Roethlisberger, Manning is another veteran QB, surrounded by plus talent, failing to do much of note. And like the other QBs mentioned, I'm willing to forgive his lack of statistical production to a point. He's an unpredictable QB2 with sell high or buy low appeal depending on your current QB2 situation.
Solid QB2Sam BradfordMINRemember when Sam Bradford went nuts in Week 1 and had all of his late-round buyers jumping for joy? Well, it's hard to because after two Case Keenum starts, Bradford's week one showcase feels like an eternity ago. Now with (more) lingering knee issues, Bradford is the QB you feel obligated to keep on your roster for fear of missing out. When he comes back I think he's an automatic QB2, no questions asked.
Solid QB2Jay CutlerMIACutler's two-game sample, following his brief retirement, isn't really enough us to make any bold prediction about the direction his season is headed with the Dolphins. I still like his surrounding cast a lot, even if Jarvis Landry isn't quite performing, and think it's enough to keep him relevant as a good QB2 is many leagues.
Solid QB2Jared GoffLARI'm still not completely sold on Goff, but his production under Sean McVay is nice to see. There's still hope that the addition of Sammy Watkins can push Goff's value even further, so I'm understanding of anyone who's high on the youngster.
Solid QB2Deshaun WatsonHOUWatson is QB19 thus far and coming off a gutsy road performance against New England. There's a lot to like about his game so far, particularly in the intangible areas. Watson ranks just 26th in passing attempts (80) and 29th in passing yards (528), but leads all QBs with 128 rushing yards. He reminds me a bit of Tyrod Taylor, in that he seems to be overcoming the constraints of a conservative offense in order to produce respectable fantasy numbers. In order to stay viable, he'll need to cut back on the interceptions and continue to use his legs when rushing opportunities present themselves.
Solid QB2DeShone KizerCLEUnlike fellow rookie Deshaun Watson, Kizer has been afforded the luxury of 108 pass attempts on the season, enough for 10th-most at this point in the season. Unfortunately, with that has come seven interceptions -- including a three-pick clunker against divisional foes Baltimore. I'm excited enough about Kizer's volume to bump him up on the board, but will remain cautious if he doesn't tighten up in the ball security area.
Solid QB2Trevor SiemianDENTrevor Siemian (QB9) has been a pleasant surprise to this point and is deserving of a rankings boost. Cautiously optimistic about what the future holds and looking forward to him showing us more of why he was able to win the Denver QB job.
Low-end QB2Mike GlennonCHIStill not much to be impressed by, and the loss of Cameron Meredith prior to Week 1 is certainly not going to help matters. Despite his massive payday this offseason, I still wouldn't be shocked if the leash is a little short in order for Trubisky to get his shot at a few games.
Low-end QB2Josh McCownNYJMcCown is where I, and virtually everyone else, thought he'd be: at the bottom of the QB totem poll. We know what he is and I think it's best to only roster him as an emergency starter, or in deeper formats.
Low-end QB2Jacoby BrissettINDOf all the low-end QBs on this board I am most excited about Jacoby Brissett -- and it's not even close. Until Andrew Luck returns (if at all this season), Jacoby strikes me as a volitile QB2 play who could make for very interesting trade bait in deep redraft or dynasty leagues. Expect a roller coaster ride with Brissett, but also don't be surprised to see him higher on this board in the future.
Low-end QB2Philip RiversLACSomehow, even with Keenan Allen available, Rivers has been out-produced by the likes of DeShone Kizer, Deshaun Watson, Josh McCown, and Jacoby Brissett (on just two starts). Slow starts normally don't concern me, but, like Roethlisberger, I feel that Rivers needs to be doing more with what he has.
Low-end QB2Andy DaltonCINOh, Andy... 2017 was supposed to be the year and so far you've done nothing but dissapoint us. Things are sure to turn around, but, currently, Dalton is our QB32 -- behind Cutler's two starts on the season and Bradford's lone start in week one. Downgrad until further notice.
Low-end QB2Carson PalmerARII'll openly admit that I'm not sure what to do with Carson Palmer. His current QB15 ranking suggests he works as a reliable QB2 in most league sizes. Quarterback play across the league may have been sub-par through two weeks, but Palmer's 2017 numbers are noticeably lower than his career averages -- concerning enough for me to drop him on the board.
Low-end QB2Joe FlaccoBALFlacco has been underwhelming, even for those of us with the lowest of expectations. Following a spectacular beat down at the hands of Jacksonville in Week 3, Flacco is damaged goods and should be reserved for bye week or emergency work at the QB2 position only.
Low-end QB2Blake BortlesJAXI maintain that Bortles' current QB13 ranking is a mirage, built up by the thumping they gave to the Ravens on all fronts. His Week 3 fakeout accounts for 57% of his current point output on the season and I simply will not fall for it.
Low-end QB2Brian HoyerSFOI wasn't expecting much from Hoyer this season, so it's hard for me to be dissapointed with his output. A handful of outlier performances may keep him on the fringes of your fantasy radar, but that's where he needs to stay.

Anthony Spangler

Anthony Spangler is a fantasy football veteran of eight years, but is new to the 2QB world. Season-long and DFS are both in play for Anthony, and his long-winded text messages to fellow league members is what sparked his interest in writing about fantasy football. In addition to his work for TwoQBs, Anthony is the founding editor of the literary and visual arts site, It Must Be Heartbreaking. You can follow him on Twitter at @AnthonySpang

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