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The quarterback is the first position real life general managers look to build their team around, but not in fantasy football. In the first round of most drafts, running backs are still a “must have” and wide receivers have joined them in recent years. Last year, the top six quarterbacks all had more than 300 points in standard scoring leagues, and five had 280 points. Despite those good numbers, quarterbacks still don’t get the attention running backs and receivers get in fantasy drafts with just four being selected in the first four rounds of an average draft. Here’s my top five fantasy quarterbacks and sleepers for this season.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (Bye week 7) – He’s the LeBron James of quarterbacks. You put him on any team, and you have a good chance of winning a championship! Right now, he’s going in the 1st round in standard drafts so don’t hesitate to draft him!
2. Andrew Luck, Indianpolis Colts (Bye week 10) – The next big thing! He threw for 4,761 yards and 43 total touchdowns (40 passing, 3 rushing) and he’s only going to get better. With T.Y. Hilton, newly signed Andre Johnson, Coby Fleener, Donte Moncrief, Frank Gore, etc…Luck has a ton of weapons. He should be the next quarterback drafted, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he picked before Rodgers.
3. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (Bye week 7) – Old reliable. As long as he’s healthy, always expect 4,000 passing yards and 37 touchdowns. Don’t be worried about him losing Julius Thomas. He still has Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Bye week 9) – Michael Vick and Donovan McNabb Jr.- Wilson ran for 849 yards and six touchdowns. I’m not expecting those numbers this year, but his passing numbers should improve with Jimmy Graham now on his radar.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye week 11) – Big Ben had his best season last year with 4,952 yards and 32 touchdowns. There’s no reason to think Big Ben will regress this season. With a great offensive line, I can definitely see 37 plus touchdowns.
1. Ryan Tannerhill, Miami Dolphins (Bye week 5) – With a great offensive line, Tannerhill should repeat his numbers from last season. He remains a borderline QB1 this season.
2. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Bye week 11) – “Mr. Comeback Kid.” Manning threw for 4,410 yards and 30 touchdowns last year (seemed like 28 of them were to Odell Beckham Jr., who was unstoppable). This season should be better with a healthy Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, and newly signed James Jones. Don’t be surprised if Manning ends up as a top seven quarterback this year.
3. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (Bye week 9) – Carson tore his ACL last season, but looks in great shape at training camp. Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and John Brown are ecstatic that he’s back. With a decent offensive line and a healthy Andre Ellington at running back, Palmer should be a solid bye week filler, depending on the matchup.
4. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (Bye week 5) – Towards the end of last season, Bridgewater showed signs of greatness. He threw multiple touchdowns in four of his last six games. This season Adrian Peterson comes back along with deep threat Mike Wallace, Charles Johnson, speedster Cordarrelle Patterson, and Kyle Rudolph. I expect good numbers from Bridgewater as a low end QB2.
5. Geno Smith, New York Jets (Bye week 5) – I know most of you are shocked by this and believe me, I was shocked myself!! Smith first two seasons were embarrassing, but with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker (who showed great signs towards the end of last year), Jeremy Kerley, and a solid running back in Chris Ivory, Smith should see more touchdowns and fewer interceptions. I like Smith as a decent bye week replacement.
Next week, I will give you my top fantasy running backs and sleepers.