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Regular Season, Updated: 9/4/17

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 Andy Dalton, CIN (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1987-10-29   Age: 30
College: -   Draft: 2011 Round 2 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014CIN16310 483 3,398 19 17 60 169 4 286.8 17.9
2015CIN13255 386 3,250 25 7 58 141 3 294.6 22.7
2016CIN16364 563 4,206 18 8 46 184 4 324.7 20.3
2017 (Projected)CIN 349 537 4,083 25 11 46 155 2 331.7  

Outlook: A few things stuck out to me as I prepared this write-up about Dalton. The first tidbit was that he actually finished in the top 12 of overall quarterback scoring despite not having a game with more than 2 touchdowns and only 18 total passing scores. This is probably more of an indictment of injuries hitting some major young stars, but I digress. The second was that his finish came with top targets, A.J. Green, and Tyler Eifert missing a combined 14 games last season. Dalton was white hot out of the gates with two straight 360-plus yard games, and eventually piled up a near career high 4,206 yards passing.

Even if his touchdown numbers don't pop off the page, Dalton has underrated arm strength and athleticism. He should have Green and Eifert healthy and ready to go starting in Week 1, and the Bengals added a dynamic back in Joe Mixon and blazing receiver in John Ross. Dalton is going to possibly have the finest set of skill position players he's had since he's been in the NFL which should translate into better overall numbers.

Despite the improvement in final stats, I think Dalton is due for a regression in overall finish. He was able to get into the top-12 due to injuries to young guns like David Carr, Cam Newton, and Marcus Mariota. He was also harassed and sacked 41 times last season (7th worst in the league) behind an offensive line that seems to have gotten worse on paper. If I'm waiting to draft a quarterback late, I'm simply going to go with players with a higher ceiling than Dalton. Cinci is going to lean on the running game and a young aggressive defense to stay in games and that leads to a much lower attempt total. Other than elite top tier quarterbacks, fantasy signal callers need volume for production, and I just don't know that Dalton is going to get it. Consider The Red Rifle a fine fantasy back-up that won't kill you if you're forced to start him but won't give you a match-up advantage either.

 Derek Carr, OAK (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1991-03-28   Age: 26
College: Fresno State   Draft: 2014 Round 2 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014OAK16348 599 3,270 21 12 30 87 0 256.2 16.0
2015OAK16350 573 3,987 32 13 33 138 0 341.2 21.3
2016OAK15356 559 3,933 28 6 38 69 0 315.6 21.0
2017 (Projected)OAK 360 580 4,120 28 10 31 74 0 325.4  

Outlook: Progressing in each season of his career so far, the hype continues to grow for 26-year-old Derek Carr. His impressive 2016 season had him firmly in the NFL MVP conversation and his value was extremely noticeable in his team's Week 17 loss against the Broncos and subsequent first round playoff defeat at the hands of the Texans - both games in which Carr was unable to suit up. Now entering his fourth season, Carr will again have the opportunity to throw to arguably the league's best one-two punch at wide receiver, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, and he will also add a big-bodied and physically talented tight end in Jared Cook to the mix. The addition of Marshawn Lynch to the running back committee should give fantasy owners some pause as Lynch has been one of the more productive red zone runners in the league throughout his career. That could potentially lead to fewer passing attempts near the goal line for Carr. In addition, Carr's struggles against his divisional competition have to be a big concerning. He threw for an average of just 211 yards per game and just four touchdown passes in the five games he started against AFC West opponents in 2016. None of those teams should take a significant step back defensively in 2017, so Carr is not necessarily a no-brainer every week starter for fantasy purposes at this point in his career. Still, the Oakland offense has tremendous upside overall and there's little reason to be worried that his seasonal numbers will take a dramatic dip down.

 Kirk Cousins, WAS (Bye: 5)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1988-08-19   Age: 29
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2012 Round 4 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014WAS6126 204 1,710 10 9 7 20 0 127.5 21.3
2015WAS16379 543 4,166 29 11 26 48 5 359.1 22.4
2016WAS16406 606 4,917 25 12 34 100 4 379.9 23.7
2017 (Projected)WAS 365 570 4,217 24 13 33 88 2 327.7  

Outlook: Cousins posted a second consecutive top-10 season in 2016 with 379.9 fantasy points (23.7 per game), yet his long-term future in Washington is still up in the air as the Redskins front office used the franchise tag on him as trade rumors swirled all off-season. The primary knock on Cousins is his poor decision making in playoff games, especially in the red zone, which has cost his team points in critical situations.

Neither issue should keep fantasy owners from drafting Cousins as a top-10 option in 2017, as he has proven to be a top-tier performer in an offense that reloaded after the departure of free agents Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson. The signing of Terrelle Pryor from Cleveland will give Cousins a viable deep threat and a big body in the red zone, and the emergence of former first-round pick Josh Doctson should help fill the void left by Garcon.

The Cousins-led offense finished as the No. 8 ranked passing attack in both 2015 and 2016, and another top-10 finish is likely as the Redskins' poor defense (fifth-most points allowed in 2016) will force the offense to put up a large number on the scoreboard to keep pace. The loss of former offensive coordinator Sean McVay to the Rams could be a cause of concern for Cousins owners, but the fact that former quarterbacks coach and Cousins confidant Matt Cavanaugh was promoted to offensive coordinator should ease most worries.

 Dak Prescott, DAL (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 226   DOB: 1993-07-29   Age: 24
College: Mississippi State   Draft: 2016 Round 4 (37) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016DAL16311 459 3,667 23 4 57 282 6 339.6 21.2
2017 (Projected)DAL 314 491 3,729 23 9 68 315 3 328.0  

Outlook: A preseason injury to Tony Romo last season opened the door for rookie fourth-round pick Dak Prescott to take over the starting quarterback job for the Dallas Cowboys. Along with fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott, Prescott led the Cowboys to an NFC-best 13-3 record and a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Prescott would finish second to Elliott in rookie of the year voting while setting NFL records for completion percentage (67.8), passer rating (104.9), and TD-INT ratio (23-4) by a rookie QB. To avoid a sophomore slump, Prescott will need to overcome a tough schedule with road games against Denver and Arizona, and three home games against the Giants, Rams, and Packers before the bye.

In addition, the vaunted Dallas offensive line that helped protect Prescott and open gaping holes for Elliott is without two starting players, as Ronald Leary left via free agency to Denver and veteran right guard Doug Free opted for retirement.

Despite these knocks, Prescott delivered a record-setting performance by a rookie quarterback by making smart decisions with the ball and limiting his mistakes. If he can continue to limit turnovers and score touchdowns with his feet, he once again could be a viable fantasy quarterback for those owners who opt to wait on QB. However, if the offensive line takes a step back and teams are able to limit Elliott and the ground game, Prescott could be forced to take on more of a role in the offense, which could lead to more interceptions and limit his fantasy value.

 Eli Manning, NYG (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 218   DOB: 1981-01-03   Age: 37
College: -   Draft: 2004 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014NYG16379 601 4,410 30 14 12 31 1 349.6 21.9
2015NYG16387 618 4,436 35 14 20 61 0 367.9 23.0
2016NYG16377 598 4,027 26 16 21 -9 0 304.5 19.0
2017 (Projected)NYG 367 574 4,189 28 15 14 25 0 324.0  

Outlook: With a talented wide receiving corps led by Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard, it is somewhat surprising that Eli Manning finished well out of fantasy relevancy as the No.23 quarterback in fantasy points per game last season. Although he managed to top the 4,000-yard plateau for the third consecutive season, he was nine off his touchdown mark from 2016, resulting in four fewer fantasy points per game. The addition of Brandon Marshall to the passing game will no doubt help Manning in the red zone, as Marshall's size and body control near the goal line will give Manning a second weapon alongside OBJ. First round draft pick Evan Engram should also provide a spark on passes over the middle, with Engram's size and speed creating a mismatch for tight ends looking to cover the quicker Engram, who by some accounts looks more like a slot receiver that a true tight end. A positive regression to his TD average of 33 under Ben McAdoo is not out of the question for Manning, assuming that Marshall provides a red zone spark and Manning can keep his interception number close to 15. But with the sheer number of viable fantasy quarterbacks, Manning will be more of a streaming option for most owners in 2017.

 Tyrod Taylor, BUF (Bye: 6)
Height: 6’1”   Weight: 217   DOB: 1989-08-03   Age: 28
College: Virginia Tech   Draft: 2011 Round 6 (15) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014BAL10 0 0 0 0 4 -3 0 -0.3 -0.3
2015BUF14242 380 3,035 20 6 104 568 4 312.6 22.3
2016BUF15270 437 3,023 17 6 95 580 6 313.2 20.9
2017 (Projected)BUF 272 438 3,110 19 7 81 545 5 316.0  

Outlook: One of the most underrated fantasy football quarterbacks since taking the starting job in Buffalo back in 2015, Tyrod Taylor has quietly posted two consecutive seasons with at least 3000 passing and 500 rushing yards.

His 20.9 points per game average last year was better than Russell Wilson and just .10 of a point less than Derek Carr, two quarterbacks who have typically been drafted well ahead of Taylor in fantasy drafts this year.

Although Taylor managed to throw only 17 touchdowns last season, his 508 rushing yards and career-high six rushing touchdowns more than made up for his deficiency throwing TDs. With a healthy Sammy Watkins and the addition of second round rookie Zay Jones, Taylor has arguably his best-receiving duo since joining the team in 2015.

With a QB rank outside the top 12, Taylor will likely be used initially as a streaming quarterback in most 12 and ten team leagues, with Week 4 at the Falcons and home games against the Jets, Saints, Raiders, and Colts as possible lucrative matchups to exploit. But don't count out Taylor as a possible full time starting option, especially if he and Sammy Watkins can recreate the chemistry that made them a force in 2015. Taylor is an ideal target for those fantasy owners employing a late-round QB approach to their draft.

 Carson Wentz, PHI (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 237   DOB: 1992-12-30   Age: 25
College: North Dakota State   Draft: 2016 Round 1 (2) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2016PHI16379 607 3,782 16 14 46 150 2 280.1 17.5
2017 (Projected)PHI 350 573 3,955 22 14 50 185 2 316.3  

Outlook: Wentz looked every bit the top three pick at the start of his rookie season in 2016, posting double-digit touchdown games in three of his first four career starts, including 301 yards and two passing TD's Week 3 against Pittsburgh. As the season progressed and the Eagles faced tough defenses, Wentz struggled with interceptions and a poor completion percentage, highlighted by a two-interception, zero-TD loss Week 6 on the road against Washington.

It did not help the rookie passer to lose starting right tackle Lane Johnson to suspension for most of the season, and the Philadelphia receiving corps was arguably the worst in the league. Both issues were addressed in the off-season with Johnson ready to start the season Week 1, and the Eagles front office adding Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery via free agency.

As a sophomore, Wentz commands an offense with one of the better offensive lines in the league, a revamped wide receiving group, and a productive running back stable of LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, and Ryan Mathews. The depth of the quarterback position will make him a fringe draft pick in most 10 and 12 team leagues, but home games against weak defenses like the 49ers in Week 8 and the Bears Week 11 are excellent streaming options.

 Carson Palmer, ARI (Bye: 8)
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 235   DOB: 1979-12-27   Age: 38
College: -   Draft: 2003 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014ARI6141 224 1,626 11 3 8 25 0 127.8 21.3
2015ARI16342 538 4,671 35 11 25 24 1 382.0 23.9
2016ARI15365 598 4,237 26 14 14 38 0 319.7 21.3
2017 (Projected)ARI 357 576 4,150 27 15 4 11 0 316.6  

Outlook: Carson Palmer was a legitimate NFL MVP candidate during the 2015 season, but the wheels started to come off in 2016. It's hard to tell whether it was age, injuries, play-calling or a lack of performance from his receivers, but Palmer took a huge step back this past season. Realistically, Palmer's unbelievable 8.7 yards per pass attempt from 2015 was unsustainable. But to see that number drop down to 7.1 yards per attempt - his worst number in six seasons - was a bit shocking. Of course, the departure of Michael Floyd and the recurring illnesses of John Brown were not helpful. One major concern is the Cardinals have seemingly transitioned into an offense centered around the skillset of running back David Johnson, who absolutely exploded this past season with gigantic production despite struggles from the majority of the other players in the offense.

Given the age, size and injury history of the receivers on the roster, Palmer simply doesn't have the weapons he has had at his disposal in the past. The truth is that we're unlikely to ever see Palmer put together another season similar to the whopping 35-touchdown, 4,600-plus yard season he did in 2015. However, that doesn't mean that he's guaranteed to be the same guy we saw struggle with efficiency this past season. Palmer is firmly entrenched as a QB2 at the moment, but he's never been particularly safe with the ball, which certainly limits his upside. He's a high-floor option when he's healthy, but he's dealt with injuries in the past so there is some risk there as well.

 Alex Smith, KC (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 217   DOB: 1984-05-07   Age: 33
College: Utah   Draft: 2005 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014KC15302 463 3,268 18 6 50 254 1 266.8 17.8
2015KC16307 470 3,486 20 7 84 498 2 316.1 19.8
2016KC15328 489 3,502 15 8 48 134 5 278.5 18.6
2017 (Projected)KC 332 503 3,720 20 7 63 246 3 308.6  

Outlook: Smith is practically the prototype for a player to avoid in fantasy football. Despite missing Jamaal Charles in 2016 which should have presumably led to an increased reliance on the passing game, Smith continued to perform about as poorly as he always has as a passer, throwing for more than one touchdown just four times and never throwing for more than two scores. He threw for 300 yards just once all season - Week 1 against the Chargers. But while we don't really expect Smith to be a prolific passer, he also was not nearly as productive as a runner. While he did sneak through with an impressive five rushing scores, Smith ran for more than 15 yards in a game just twice. Now without Jeremy Maclin on the roster, Smith will be relying on a superstar tight end and a breakout wide receiver as the only pass catchers he shares chemistry with. Worse yet, the Chiefs have made an investment toward the future at the quarterback position, leading to speculation that Smith may not even finish the season as Kansas City's starter. The limited upside and the questions at wide receiver along with his potential competition should leave Smith undrafted in most leagues.

 Joe Flacco, BAL (Bye: 10)
Height: 6’6”   Weight: 238   DOB: 1985-01-16   Age: 33
College: Delaware   Draft: 2008 Round 1 (18) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014BAL16344 555 3,986 27 12 39 70 2 326.3 20.4
2015BAL10266 413 2,791 14 12 13 23 3 215.9 21.6
2016BAL16437 673 4,317 20 15 22 53 2 313.2 19.6
2017 (Projected)BAL 368 574 4,020 22 13 18 38 2 304.8  

Outlook: Joe Flacco has turned one fortunate Super Bowl run and a series of mediocre seasons into a highly lucrative career. Maybe because it's his quiet nature, or humble beginnings as a Blue Hen from Delaware, but Flacco seems to dodge much of the criticism of other highly paid quarterbacks are subjected to. He throws a pretty deep ball, but turns the ball over too much compared with how many touchdown passes he adds.

He was the same ho-hum quarterback he's been most of his career last year, throwing 20 touchdown passes to 15 interceptions, even though he set a career high in yardage with 4,317. I've said for years that Flacco is a better quarterback when his pass attempts are limited. Unfortunately low volume generally means low production for fantasy. Compounding his general malaise is an early season back injury that has cost him the first few weeks of camp. It doesn't look to be a long term concern, but back injuries are notoriously fickle, especially ones that are happening to 6'6" statues in the pocket. Even with the addition of Jeremy Maclin, Flacco's receivers don't jump off the page, and the upside in his game just isn't there. Outside of two-quarterback or very deep standard leagues, Flacco isn't worth much roster consideration.

 Jay Cutler, MIA (Bye: 1)
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1983-04-29   Age: 34
College: Vanderbilt   Draft: 2006 Round 1 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2014CHI15370 561 3,812 28 18 38 198 2 334.4 22.3
2015CHI15311 483 3,659 21 11 38 201 1 293.1 19.5
2016CHI581 137 1,059 4 5 5 24 0 71.4 14.3
2017 (Projected)MIA 286 440 3,256 21 14 32 135 1 266.3  

 Sam Bradford, MIN (Bye: 9)
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 224   DOB: 1987-11-08   Age: 30
College: Oklahoma   Draft: 2010 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015PHI14346 532 3,725 19 14 25 39 0 266.2 19.0
2016MIN15395 552 3,877 20 5 20 53 0 279.2 18.6
2017 (Projected)MIN 356 539 3,879 21 8 18 46 0 282.6  

Outlook: The Vikings 2016 season was an absolute calamity. Still reeling after kicking away a sure post-season win, the Vikings lost their franchise quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater to a devastating knee injury late in training camp. The team was forced to make a trade for Bradford just prior to the season. And while the team got off to a white hot 4-0 start, future HOFer Adrian Peterson was lost for the year with a knee injury in Week 2, while injuries piled up on the offensive line, contributing to the team losing 8 of their final 11 games to finish at 7-9.

Considering the fact he joined the team a few scant weeks before making his debut, Bradford had a fine statistical season. He played in 15 games, racking up a 20-8 touchdown to interception ratio, and career highs in yardage (3,877) and completion percentage (71.6). He helped to make Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph fantasy assets, and at the very worst kept the franchise afloat while injuries ravaged the roster around him. Despite the decent numbers, Bradford and the Vikes had serious trouble putting up points consistently, scoring 20 or fewer in half of their games. During a mid-season four game losing streak their offensive coordinator bailed, the run game remained in the witness protection program, and their defense showed cracks.

With the dark cloud of the 2016 season moving on, things do look brighter for Bradford and the offense. They've added three new starters on the offensive line, added explosive talent in the backfield, and should get more production (it's nearly impossible to get less!) from former 1st round receiver Laquon Treadwell. Bradford with have a full offseason to get more comfortable with the system as well. This will probably be the most talented team Bradford has led, but the fact remains he's never surpassed 21 touchdown passes in a season, and this Vikings still have a "run the ball and play defense" mentality. If the line can gel, and Bradford can improving the timing with his receivers, I do think he can hit 25 touchdowns and 4,000 yards which would put him squarely in the QB15-20 territory as a mid-range QB2.