In years past, I have big a big proponent of drafting a top quarterback early due to the point differential with quarterbacks in other tiers. This year might be a bit different.
I still expect Peyton Manning and Drew Brees to lead in points, but the gap between the top tier and the next tier might not be as substantial as it has been in previous years.
Manning, Brees, and Aaron Rodgers are still worth early draft picks in the 2nd round, but what we might see this year are quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford, and Nick Foles put up enough points to justify you taking other positions early and attempting to draft them in the 4th or 5th rounds of your draft.
Everyone has their own draft strategy, but anyone who has played fantasy football knows that, much like in real football, if you don’t have a top quality quarterback, you’ll have a tough time winning your league.
Here are my top 10 Fantasy Football Quarterbacks for 2014:
1. Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos – The Broncos replace Eric Decker with Emmanuel Sanders and Knowshon Moreno with Montee Ball, but other than that, it should be business as usual for Manning.
2. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – The Saints keep preaching that they want to establish a power run attack, but with weapons like Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, and rookie Brandin Cooks, Brees will be putting up elite numbers again.
3. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – As long as Rodgers stays healthy, he should be in line for a big year. I’m not overly concerned that Eddie Lacy would take too many touchdowns away from the Packers passing attack.
4. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – I can’t think of another quarterback in the NFL that has had more receivers tackled inside the 5-yard line than Matthew Stafford. New offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi comes to the Lions after 6 seasons with the Saints as Drew Brees QB coach. Expect the Lions to have quite the aerial attack.
5. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – I believe Luck took a big step with his performance against the Chiefs in the playoffs last year when he threw for 443 yards and 4 touchdowns. While the Colts might want to run the ball, they might be forced to throw the ball. With weapons like Reggie Wayne, Hakeem Nicks, TY Hilton, and rookie Donte Moncrief, Luck might be in line for a big fantasy season.
6. Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – I think we just saw the beginning of Chip Kelly’s offense last year. With an extra year under his belt, a full off-season as the starting quarterback, and new weapons like Darren Sproles and Jeremy Maclin, Nick Foles should be in line for an excellent fantasy year.
7. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – It was devastating for Ryan and the Falcons when Julio Jones went down last season, but he’s back and so should be the Falcons offense.
8. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – Yes, I know there are a lot of obstacles for Newton with a lack of weapons and a lack of offensive line, but he is an elite talent and I believe he will still find a way to have a good fantasy year.
9. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – Unlike Cam Newton, I believe Kaepernick has better weapons, but has yet to progress fully as a passer from the pocket. Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and newly acquired Stevie Johnson will give Kaepernick plenty of opportunities to score points through the air, while we know he’ll make his fair share of points on the ground.
10. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – Cutler’s 2nd year under Marc Trestman could lead to him having a big year. Cutler also has arguably the best duo of WRs in the NFL.
Sleeper: Phillip Rivers – San Diego Chargers
Biggest Concern: Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys
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