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Up first for my 2019 fantasy football position rankings are the quarterbacks! I went a little more depth on the position as a whole in another article. But the basic gist is to wait on drafting your quarterback, like most years. There are too many good quarterbacks in today’s league to be wasting a high pick on one, when the difference between the elite ones and streamers are only a few points (well, assuming you don’t have a season like Patrick Mahomes had last year). And with that being said, here are my top 30 quarterbacks going into the year (I’ll post updated rankings later on in August when situations and injuries start to happen).

 

  1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

The 2018 NFL MVP put up historic numbers in his first season as a starter. Mahomes became the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 plus passing yards and 50 plus passing TDs in the same season (Peyton Manning in 2013 was the first). The Madden 20 cheat code won many people their league’s last year and will be the #1 QB taken in fantasy leagues this year. Replicating those numbers will be tough though, as won’t have Kareem Hunt in the backfield to take pressure off the passing game. Not to mention, those numbers had literally been done one other time before last year. And teams will have had an entire offseason to dissect Mahomes and the offense he leads. But even with a decent amount of regression, he could be the top QB again by a decent distant.

 

  • Ceiling: QB #1
  • Floor: Top 8 QB

 

  1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

After dealing with a broken collarbone that sidelined him for about half the year in 2017, Rodgers’ 2018 season appeared to be in jeopardy as he was carted off the field with a right knee injury in the second quarter of the season opener versus Chicago. But Rodgers somehow came back out during the third quarter, and not finished only that game, but the next 15 games before leaving with a concussion in week 17. But even on a bad knee all year, Rodgers still was sixth in the league in passing yards (4,442) and 13th in passing TDs (25) while only throwing two picks all year. The Packers will have a new look this year, as Mike McCarthy is out and Matt LeFleur is in as head coach/play caller. These changes should vault this offense back into the elite category. Expect a bounce back season for Rodgers (from his standards).

 

  • Ceiling: QB #1
  • Floor: Top 8 QB

 

  1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Watson proved doubters wrong, as he balled out last year and showed that his limited 2017 season wasn’t a fluke. He is one of the premier dual threat QBs in the league, as he rushed for 551 yards and five rushing TDs. Not to mention, he has arguably the top WR in the league (in the form of DeAndre Hopkins) at his disposal. While Watson could very well contend for league MVP this year, his offensive line still concerns me. They did draft offensive linemen in the first two rounds, but their line was by far and away the worst in the NFL last year. Like Luck, drafting a backup for Watson might not be a bad idea.

 

  • Ceiling: QB #1
  • Floor:  Top 10 QB

 

  1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Last year marked the return of Andrew Luck, who we hadn’t seen since the 2016 season. And what a return it was. If it wasn’t for Mahomes putting up historic numbers, Luck could’ve been the MVP last year. Luck had his second most passing yards (4,593) and passing TDs (39) in a season, as both were just a shade worse than his 2014 season (4,761 and 40, respectively). While Luck is perhaps the definition of a glass cannon, he hardly got hit last year. Luck only got sacked 18 times last year, including being sacked zero times from weeks six to 12! However, with all this being said, we have yet to see Luck during training camp. He’s dealing with a calf injury, and even said himself that he’s a little scared from his injury that cost him his 2017 season. It’s still early, but still something that has my eyebrows raised and definitely something to keep an eye on. And like I said, it is still early, but it is enough to move him down a couple of spots in my initial rankings of 2019.

 

  • Ceiling: QB #1
  • Floor: Top 12 QB

 

  1. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

After a disappointing 2018 season, the 2017 MVP put up numbers that rivaled those of said MVP season. Ryan might not be the sexiest option out there, but he was a top option all year long last year. He finished third in passing yards and tied for third in passing TDs. Part of his success could be credited to Calvin Ridley, as the rookie WR proved to be a reliable #2 option for Ryan. Not to mention, Ridley’s emergence opened up the field for Julio Jones. Ryan’s upside might not be quite as high as the guys ahead of him, but he still can put up numbers to rival anyone else in the league.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Top 12 QB

 

  1. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

The Baker Mayfield era started off with a bang. Primetime on Thursday Night Football, Mayfield replaced on injured Tyrod Taylor and led the Browns to their first victory since the 2016 season. A few weeks after that, Cleveland finally fired Hue Jackson, and that’s when Mayfield started playing dangerously. With Gregg Williams as interim head coach and Freddie Kitchens as the new offensive coordinator, Mayfield went on to break Peyton Manning’s record for most TDs thrown by a rookie QB with 27. Now with Kitchens as the head coach and Odell Beckham Jr. in town, Mayfield could be even more dangerous.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints

Brees was going toe-to-toe with Mahomes last year for league MVP last year until week 13. After thrashing Philadelphia in week 12, Brees threw for 702 yards and six TDs weeks 13-16. Four of those TDs came in week 13, and not to mention, he threw four of his five picks he had for the year during that stretch. While Brees still could put up the gaudy stats this year that we’ve become accustomed to, New Orleans has started to rely more on the running game, thanks to Alvin Kamara. With Brees now in the twilight of his career, it might finally be time to temper expectations on the future first ballot Hall of Famer.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams

2018 started off with Goff running Sean McVay’s offense to near perfection. Like Brees, Goff was putting up MVP numbers until December, which was when his production dropped off. Part of that can be attributed to Cooper Kupp tearing his ACL in week 10. Even though Kupp most likely won’t be ready for the start of the season, Goff could see an uptick in production vs his production from December through the Super Bowl. We still aren’t sure what exactly is going on with Todd Gurley, and frankly, this team has Super Bowl aspirations once again, and might want to rely more on the passing game than the running game to start the year to try to keep Gurley as healthy as possible for the playoffs.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Wilson is notorious for having bad September’s, but he mostly avoided that last year. While Wilson did set a career high in passing TDs, he also had career lows in rushing attempts and failed to rush for a TD for the first time in his career. This might be the lowest Wilson has ever been ranked going into a season since his rookie year, and for good reason. He isn’t running the ball nearly as often as he did in the early stages of his career . And not to mention, the weapons in Wilson’s arsenal is the weakest it’s ever been. But at the end of the day, it’s still Russell Wilson, and he could prove doubters wrong once again .

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent

 

  1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

2018 was an interesting year for the Panthers and Newton. For the most part, Newton’s best passing performances came in losses. And while they lost their last six games he played in (Newton missed the last two games) to close out the year, Newton failed to reach double digit rushing attempts in a single game, versus reaching double digits four times in his first eight games. There is also real concern about Newton’s health, and one way to help keep Newton upright is to cut down on his rushing attempts. And while that would be best for Newton from a health perspective, that significantly hurts his fantasy value. Newton’s fantasy arrow might be starting to point downward at this point in his career.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Borderline starter

 

  1. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

The man with a family large enough to have everyone start on one side of the ball had arguably his best year in 2018. Rivers had another season of 4,300 plus passing yards and 30 plus TDs (fourth time he hit both those numbers in the same year). He might have a relatively low ceiling, but his floor is incredibly high. Rivers always finishes anywhere from QB 5-12 at the end of the season, and nearly always gives you more value than what it cost you to draft him. He’s never missed a start since being named starter in 2006, which is always a huge key to fantasy success. He’ll go later in your draft than he should, so getting a solid core of RBs and WRs (and maybe a top TE) and then drafting Rivers could be a good route for you to go.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Top 12 QB

 

  1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

2018 and the first few months of 2019 were not kind to the Steelers. Le’Veon Bell refused to show up for the entire 2018 season, and Antonio Brown became a cancer that needed to be moved (who also strangely went after JuJu Smith-Schuster. #TeamJuJu). And with all this drama surrounding the team, Big Ben went out and set career highs in passing yards (5,129) and passing TDs (34). While I’m not worried about JuJu replacing AB as Big Ben’s #1 option, I question how effective the new #2 option will be. Not to mention, Roethlisberger always seems to miss a handful of games a year. Last year was the first time since 2014 that he played in all 16 games.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Borderline starter

 

  1. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

Tony Romo 2.0 had his second straight season end due to injury. He played in two more games in 2017 than he did last year, but had a whopping 12 less TDs last year than in 2017. He will have DeSean Jackson at his disposal this year, who’s still a threat to score whenever he gets the ball. With his health concerns and with how many good QBs there are (not saying he isn’t one), I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him as my only QB in a 10 or 12 or even 14 team league.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Borderline starter

 

  1. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

Fun fact about the Dak Prescott: pre Amari Cooper trade? Dak had 1,417 passing yards and eight TDs in seven games. Post Amari Cooper trade? 2,468 passing yards and 14 TDs in nine games. I still think a first round pick was a steep price for Cooper, but it really helped the passing offense. A full offseason of getting Amari Cooper to learn the offense, plus the six rushing TDs he’ll give you (he’s hit exactly six each of his first three years in the league), he has the potential to sneak into the top 5 for QBs by the end of the year.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears

As you would expect from a second year QB, Trubisky had some ups, and he had some downs. He improved his completion percentage by about seven percent, and had about 1,000 more passing yards in two more games from year one to year two (as well as 17 more passing TDs). On the flip side, he threw five more picks than he did his rookie year. His decision making at times leaves you wondering what he was thinking. But he also shows flashes of greatness. However, I’m still not sold on Trubisky as a franchise QB and reliable fantasy starter, even if he does have the potential to be both.

 

  • Ceiling: Top 8 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

 

  • Ceiling: Top 8 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

 

  • Ceiling: Top 3 QB
  • Floor: Matchup dependent starter

 

  1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

 

  • Ceiling: Top 8 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals

 

  • Ceiling: Top 5 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

  • Ceiling: Top 10 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars

 

  • Ceiling: Top 12 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

 

  • Ceiling: Top 12 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Sam Darnold, New York Jets

 

  • Ceiling: Borderline starter
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins

 

  • Ceiling: Top 12 QB
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

 

  • Ceiling: Borderline starter
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

 

  • Ceiling: Matchup dependent starter
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

  1. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins

 

  • Ceiling: Matchup dependent starter
  • Floor: N/A

 

  1. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

 

  • Ceiling: Matchup dependent starter
  • Floor: Emergency starter

 

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