2014 Fantasy Football QB Rankings
It’s never too early to start preparing for fantasy football 2014. The annual NFL combine just wrapped up, free agency is in full swing, and the NFL draft is just around the corner. FantasyFootballAid will be posting its initial fantasy football rankings for the 2014 season over the next several days, starting with quarterbacks and concluding with tight ends in our four part series, Get Ready for Fantasy Football 2014.
- Aaron Rodgers – GB. The former MVP will be back in 2014. Don’t let the collarbone injury scare you off. In our opinion, the injury was a bit of a fluke due to the way he fell, but not something that he will be prone to in the future. Rodgers will be better than ever in 2014. He has plenty of weapons. The emergence of Eddie lacy only makes the offense better. Rodgers is the safest bet to top the quarterback points this year.
- Peyton Manning – Den. Peyton was embarrassed in last year’s super bowl loss to Seattle. He will be on a mission to redeem himself as the king of fantasy football once again. Keep those touchdowns rolling. Can he match last year’s 5400 yards and 55 TD performance? I wouldn’t bet against it. Even without Eric Decker, Manning has perhaps the best pass catchers in the game.
- Drew Brees – NO. Brees is mister consistency among fantasy quarterbacks. One of the easier categories to predict success across seasons, Brees has posted 5,000 yards and nearly 40 TDs three years in a row. He and Sean Payton are tough to defend. Look for Brees and speedster Kenny Stills to hook up for a few more long bombs in 2014.
- Matt Stafford – Det. No team throws the ball more often than the Lions and with weapons like Bush and Calvin Johnson, why not. Stafford will be a solid fantasy performer again. Look for the Lions to add another WR threat opposite Johnson, making Stafford look even better at #5 in our fantasy football rankings.
- Tom Brady – NE. Brady had a forgettable season in many regards, but finished the season strong, despite a miserable start. A healthy Gronk, Vereen, and Amendola will go a long way to boosting Brady’s numbers. One more consistent weapon could put Brady back in the top 5. He’s still a QB1, but be prepared to grab a backup in case injuries and age catch-up with the champ.
- Andrew Luck – Ind. Luck would be a fantasy star if it weren’t for Pep Hamilton’s conservative offense. I don’t see the Stanford style changing much in 2014, which will hold Luck’s numbers below his potential.
- Matt Ryan – Atl. Ryan was all the hype coming into 2013. I think we were a year too soon. Injuries to Julio Jones and Roddy White killed Ryan’s production. Look for the offense to get back on track this year and make some big strides.
- Jay Cutler – Chi. Even though Cutler battled through some injuries in 2013, he emerged as a viable QB1 when healthy. There’s no denying that Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferey qualify as a dominant offensive machine under Marc Trestman’s guidance. I’ve been converted into a Cutler believer.
- Phillip Rivers – SD. Rivers posted some career bests last season. Many owners drafted him as a backup and discovered he was a top QB by week 5. Perhaps a change at head coach has rejuvenated this fiery competitor or maybe a healthy Antonio Gates has given the Chargers a boost. We like the Rivers to Keenan Allen connection a lot in 2014.
- Nick Foles – Phi. By the time preseason nears, Foles will be the darling of all fantasy football analysts. He now has a full year of experience and will benefit from a complete offseason under Chip Kelly’s potent offense. In addition to McCoy, Desean Jackson and Riley Cooper, the Eagles will have Maclin returning from injury and have added Darren Sproles in a trade with the Saints. Philadelphia could have the best offense in football
- Tony Romo – Dal. Count on Romo to post similar numbers this year. I see no reason that the defense will play any better. The defensive line has been overhauled; therefore, Romo and the boys will be playing catch-up quite a bit, which is good for fantasy numbers.
- Russell Wilson – Sea. Wilson, like Luck, is a product of the system. He has all the dual threat skills to be a fantasy stud, but Pete Carol likes the run first approach vs. putting it all on Wilson’s shoulders.
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pit. Big Ben surprised many with decent numbers last year. Ben had his second best year as a pro statistically in 2013. He’s a winner and can throw the ball. Surrounded by good talent at other positions, your fantasy team can win with Big Ben. His auction value will be a bargain.
- Cam Newton – Car. Cam started slow in 2013, but again finished in the top 7 under most scoring formats. Newton is still a dual threat QB and is big enough to withstand hits better than Wilson and Kaepernick. (Update: Since the departure of Ginn, LaFell, and Stev Smith, drop Newton down a couple spots.)
- Andy Dalton – Cin. Dalton showed glimpses of being a star, but also fell into ruts of inconsistency. As long as he’s throwing to AJ Green, Dalton can post good numbers.
- RG3 – Was
- Colin Kaepernick – SF
- Ryan Tannehill – Mia
- Alex Smith – KC
- Brian Hoyer – Cle
Where are the rookies in our fantasy football 2014 rankings? We have Manziel, Bridgewater and Bortles on our radar, but I don’t think either of them will put up top 15 numbers in 2014. The best situation might be Cleveland. If Bridgewater gets picked fourth and Cleveland can add a RB in free agency as well as a talent to play opposite Josh Gordon, that situation may produce fruit. But in general, rookie quarterbacks struggle their first year or two. We’ll monitor it more after the draft.
Closing Fantasy Football Advice
Our advice for fantasy football 2014 is to watch free agency and the draft closely for talented contributors to these teams. QB rankings will fluctuate depending on added or subtracted weapons around them. Just look at Tom Brady last season. Without reliable targets to throw to, QB numbers will plummet. Don’t overlook changes to offensive lines as well. Teams that can bolster their blocking through free agency or the draft will help QB numbers immensely. It’s a team game. Analyze coaching changes, especially offensive coordinators. Even though the Colts head coach remained in 2013, changes to offensive philosophy impacted Luck’s fantasy season. There are many factors.
Lastly, remember to participate in a Fantasy football mock draft or two as the season gets closer. This will give you a good feel for where the top quarterbacks are being selected.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our fantasy football rankings part 1. Look for Part 2, RBs, coming soon.