Andrew Luck overcame some early-season
ugliness to finish as the fantasy QB4 in 2018.
Chances are if you are looking for quarterback rankings in February
you do not subscribe to the notion that it is too early in the year
to talk about fantasy football. If you are looking to see who will
be the No.2 ranked quarterback behind Patrick Mahomes in 2019 this
early in the process, chances are you are an avid fantasy football
owner looking to get an early leg up on your competition.
And I would assume that someone like yourself, who is looking
for fantasy intel before the even the combine kicks off, understands
that free agency, the NFL draft, injuries, and roster moves over
the next six months will significantly affect these rankings.
With that said, my fellow fantasy football fanatics, here are
my top 12 way too early quarterbacks for 2019.
Mahomes, KC: No surprise here. Mahomes was a revelation
in 2018, becoming only the third player in NFL history to reach
50 touchdowns and over 5000 passing yards in a season. When you
score 74 more points than the No.2 quarterback, it would be a
ridiculous error not to be ranked as the top QB in the following
draft. Will Mahomes continue with his astonishing 8.6% TD rate?
I doubt it, but even a negative regression to 6% would give him
a solid chance to repeat as QB1.
Rodgers, GB: Speaking of TD% regression, Rodgers posted
his worst TD% (4.2) of his career in 2018 and the fewest passing
touchdowns in a full 16-game season as a starter in the NFL. The
remainder of Rodgers’ metrics seem in line or close to his career
norms, indicating that his TD regression was more of a fluke than
something to be concerned about. Even with a down year, Rodgers
still finished as the QB7 last season. Hopefully, the move to
a new offense and more elaborate route schemes will help A-Rod
return to being an elite fantasy QB.
Luck, IND: The shoulder looks fine, and the offensive
line in Indy is one of the best in the league. As the No.4 ranked
QB last season, Andrew Luck was the second-most consistent QB
behind Patrick Mahomes. The Colts offensive line is young, and
under contract, Luck’s favorite skill position players are coming
back and the Colts have a ton of cap space to improve on both
sides of the ball.
Ryan, ATL: It may surprise many readers to know that
Matt Ryan posted even better fantasy numbers last season than
when he won the MVP trophy in 2016. Ryan threw for 35 touchdowns
and only seven interceptions while adding three rushing touchdowns
on the ground. Some may question how Ryan will do now that offensive
coordinator Steve Sarkisian is gone. But I am not worried, as
Ryan and new OC Dirk Cutter have worked well together in the past.
Watson, HOU: We all knew that Watson’s ridiculous 9.3%
touchdown rate would not continue (at least those not drinking
the Watson cool aide). But even with a more reasonable 5.1 TD
%, Watson provided enough passing touchdowns and yards to go along
with his five rushing touchdowns to finish as the QB5 last year.
Newton, CAR: Although never the most accurate passer,
Cam Newton was clearly injured for most of the season and his
fantasy stats suffered. But with the assumption that offseason
surgery will address his ailing shoulder and with a collection
of young skill position players, look for Newton to bounce back
in 2019 and return as one of the better dual-threat fantasy QBs.
Brees, NO: Ask any Drew Brees owner from last season
if they plan on drafting him again, and the answer will most likely
be no, as Brees burned owners in the fantasy playoffs with three
total passing touchdowns from Weeks 13 through 16. While the frustrations
are understandable, it should be noted that Brees set career-highs
in completion percentage and rushing touchdowns, while throwing
just five interceptions.
Wilson, SEA: After quietly finishing as the QB1 in
2017, Russell Wilson burned fantasy owners who used an early pick
on him in drafts last summer. Although consistently ranked as
one of the best deep ball throwers in the league, Wilson’s pedestrian
427 pass attempts in the run-heavy Brian Schottenheimer offense
kills his fantasy value. It also did not help that Wilson rushed
for a career-low 67 attempts in 2018 while failing to score a
rushing touchdown for the first time in his career.
Roethlisberger, PIT: The uncertainty surrounding Antonio
Brown makes me a bit nervous to rank Big Ben any higher in my
way-too-early rankings. Sure, you can argue that JuJu Smith-Schuster
is a very talented No.2 WR who can slide right into Brown’s spot
as the top option in Pitt, but we don’t know how he will fare
in a full season going against the No.1 cornerback on the opposing
Goff, LAR: The Super Bowl painfully reiterated my belief
that he is not an elite quarterback and the Rams often win in
spite of him and not because of his play. With that said, the
quarterback playing in Sean McVay’s offense is going to put up
numbers, especially when Cooper Kupp returns to the field.
Rivers, LAC: Rivers is a boring fantasy option who
is often overlooked by fantasy owners looking for an upside play
on a more exciting offense. But if you are looking for someone
who will give for at least 21 points per game, Rivers is your
guy. You can also argue that with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams,
Hunter Henry, and Melvin Gordon, Rivers boasts the best skill
position set in the league.
Winston, TB: While there is always the threat of a
Winston meltdown and subsequent benching, you cannot argue the
fact that Winston has the ability to put up monster fantasy numbers.
The former first overall pick ranked ninth last season in fantasy
points per game, and the combination of stats between Ryan
Fitzpatrick and Winston would have resulted in nearly 5000
passing yards and 37 passing touchdowns. I also think that the
Bucs are going to be a prime landing spot for Le’Veon Bell.