Unless you are in a two quarterback fantasy football league, there is no reason to select a quarterback earlier than round three of your draft. The position is deep and there has been turnover in the ranks because many of the young quarterbacks are prepared to start and make a statistical impact much earlier in their careers. Also, there is a dearth of quality players at the other fantasy football positions like running back and wide receiver. It’s more important to get the best players at these positions and hold off drafting a quarterback until the middle to late rounds.
As most fantasy football leagues are twelve-team leagues, we’ll focus on the top twelve quarterbacks and then rank the best of the rest as back-ups.
(1) Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
In just his second season as a pro, Patrick Mahomes was second (barely) in passing yards (5,097) and first in touchdown passes (50). The Chiefs offense flows through him and expect him to remain a top five quarterback for the foreseeable future. He’ll be the top fantasy football quarterback drafted in 2019 in round three.
(2) Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Every season, Aaron Rodgers is in the conversation for the number one or number two ranked fantasy football quarterback. That’s because he’s expected to throw the football 550-plus times, a fete he has accomplished four times (three of the last four season) when he has played all sixteen games in a season. He’s also thrown for 4,200-plus yards five out of six times when he’s played all sixteen games. Rodgers has thrown less than thirty TDs just twice in a full season. Add to that an expected 250-plus yards rushing and it’s easy to see why he is viewed as the number one quarterback in fantasy football each season. Rodgers gets all of his top receivers back from last season.
(3) DeShaun Watson, Texans
In his first full season as a pro, DeShaun Watson threw for 4,165 yards but just 26 touchdowns. A lot of his struggles were due to being sacked a league leading 62 times. Expect that number to go way down this season. With some of the better receivers in the league to throw to, Watson should push for number two honors on 4,000-plus yards passing and 40 TDs on the season.
(4) Andrew Luck, Colts
Is it Andrew Luck’s shoulder or calf we should worry about these days? When healthy, he can throw the football for 4,500-plus yards and push for 40 TDs. With a solid group of wide receivers, there’s plenty of reason to think Luck will be chucking the ball downfield to his favorite receiver, T.Y. Hilton, often this season. As usual, get a good backup.
(5) Matt Ryan, Falcons
Matt Ryan was top five in both yards and touchdowns passes in 2018. Ryan has been a consistent 4,000-plus yard passer for the past eight seasons. However, he has only passed for 30-plus touchdowns in three of those seasons, two of the last three seasons. There is nothing to indicate that the Falcons offense will be anything different than it has been in recent years. The Falcons invested in their offensive line during the draft with two first round picks, giving Ryan additional protection.
(6) Jared Goff, Rams
Jared Goff’s third year as a pro was a good one, finishing with 4,688 yards and 32 touchdowns. With the health of Todd Gurley’s knee a huge question mark, the season sets up right for Goff to do even better throwing to some of the best receivers in the league.
(7) Baker Mayfield, Browns
In his rookie season on 13 starts, Baker Mayfield impressed throwing for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns. With adding Odell Beckham, Jr., Mayfield should easily surpass 4,000 yards passing and thirty plus touchdowns. The arrow is easily pointing up for Mayfield and the Browns.
(8) Carson Wentz, Eagles
In another limited season, Carson Wentz compiled 3,074 yards and 21 TDs in 11 Games. In 2018, he had four 4 TD games in the final seven weeks of the season. Wentz has a great receiving group and can top 4,000 yards and 30-plus TDs this season. If Carson Wentz can stay healthy, he lines up to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
(9) Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
In 2018, Ben Roethlisberger led the league in passing yards (5,129) and was fifth in touchdowns (35). In four of the past six seasons, Roethlisberger has thrown for over 4,200 yards and around 30 TDs. Roethlisberger has also played a complete 16-game season in three of the last six seasons. Despite losing Antonio Brown this offseason, he still has a great group of wide receivers around him. If you select Roethlisberger, you must take the good with the bad and have a solid back-up on your bench just in case.
(10) Tom Brady, Patriots
Except for the 2016 season, Tom Brady has averaged 4,430 yards passing and 31 touchdowns per season since 2013. Regression is inevitable as one ages, but so far, Brady has had a solid floor.
(11) Philip Rivers, Chargers
For six seasons in a row, Philip Rivers has topped 4,200 yards passing and averaged 30 touchdowns per season. Rivers is like clockwork. Helping him will be the holdout of Melvin Gordon. If that happens, his ceiling will only go up.
(12) Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
The key to Jameis Winston’s success has been his health. After his first two seasons in the league where he totaled over 4,000 yards passing and 50 TDs, Winston struggled to stay on the field missing eight games. If healthy, he can top 4,000 yards and thirty touchdowns as the Buccaneers running is not much to speak of.
The Top QB2 Fantasy Football Back-Ups
If you’re in a 16-team fantasy football league, you’ll be interested in the next four quarterbacks. Each has a great set of receivers and solid running games. How much they score through the air is the only issue.
(13) Russell Wilson, Seahawks
(14) Drew Brees, Saints
(15) Cam Newton, Panthers
(16) Dak Prescott, Cowboys
(17) Kirk Cousins, Vikings
(18) Mitch Trubisky, Bears
(19) Kyler Murray, Cardinals
(20) Lamar Jackson, Ravens
(21) Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
(22) Josh Allen, Bills
(23) Derek Carr, Raiders
(24) Sam Darnold, Jets
Best of the Rest for 16 Team
Fantasy Football Leagues
These are players whose consistency over a sixteen game season is an issue.
(25) Andy Dalton, Bengals
(26) Matt Stafford, Lions
(27) Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins
(28) Nick Foles, Jaguars
(29) Marcus Mariota, Titans
(30) Joe Flacco, Broncos
(31) Dwayne Haskins, Redskins
(32) Eli Manning, Giants