2015 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Rankings

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Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

4. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers – I’m not sure why Ben isn’t getting more press as a fantasy asset this year? He tied Drew Brees for the most passing yards (4,952) last season, had a 32 TD / 9 INT ratio, has a young receiving core and offensive line that should be better this season, and will be missing his RB for at least a couple games this year. Roethlisberger had the best season of his career in 2014 and the improvement of Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton could boost his passing totals even higher this season.

5. Peyton Manning, Broncos – He’s been the best for so long that it’s hard ranking Manning this low, but… His dead arm period (6 TD / 6 INT) over the last seven weeks of the season is troubling. Off-season reports have the Broncos committed to building their offense around the running game to preserve the 38-year-old Manning for the playoffs. The loss of TE Julius Thomas will hurt Manning’s productivity. He’s one awkward landing away from retiring due his chronic neck injury. Am I wrong to worry about Manning this year? To me he is a fantasy risk for the first time since last century (1999).

6. Drew Brees, Saints – Speaking of risk, Brees will be 36 this year, one year away from the usual age of statistical decline for elite QBs. On top of that the Saints have been talking about being a more balanced offense the last few seasons, but I think this is the year that they finally do it. They got rid of Brees’ primary target (TE Jimmy Graham) and best deep threat (WR Kenny Stills) and spent significant money on two running backs (Mark Ingram & CJ Spiller).  I am a huge Brees fan, but the loss of his two most dangerous weapons, his advanced age, and an offensive scheme that wants to run the ball more all point to Brees dropping out of the top five fantasy QBs in 2015.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

7. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins – In his 3rd NFL season Tannehill finished 8th among QBs and 13th overall in fantasy points. In the offseason the Dolphins added burner Kenny Stills, reliable vet Greg Jennings, TE Jordan Cameron,  rookie RB Jay Ajayi, and 1st round pick WR DeVante Parker to go with last year’s break out rookie Jarvis Landry.  Tannehill had a solid 27 TD / 12 INT ratio and a sneaky 311 rushing yards, good for 5th in the league among QBs. With the influx of skill-position talent and an increased comfort level in the 2nd year of OC Greg Lazor’s fast-paced, Eagles-esque offense, Tannehill’s passing stats could see a significant spike and solidify his top ten rank.

8. Eli Manning, Giants – In the first year of a drastically different offensive scheme, Eli still finished with the 6th most passing yards in the NFL. Considering that he only averaged 224 passing yards per game over the first three weeks (with no Odell Beckham), his 4410 total passing yards is even more impressive. In 2015 Eli will have both Beckham and Victor Cruz plus breakout candidate Reuben Randle and a dangerous receiver out of the backfield in Shane Vereen. Eli is primed for the best season of his career and would rank him higher if I had more faith in the Giants O-line.

9. Matt Ryan, Falcons – Somehow finished as the 7th best fantasy QB despite having one of the worst offensive lines in the league, zero running game, and a TE who couldn’t catch. Ryan produced despite the incompetence around him and the lack of team defense kept him on the field for the 2nd highest total of pass attempts (628) in the league. With HC Dan Quinn coming over from the Seahawks the defense should be much better in 2015 and not force Ryan to throw so many passes. That will be good for the Falcons as a team but bad for Ryan as a fantasy commodity. Ryan has plenty of talent around him and should be primed for a solid season, I just think the improved defense and corresponding drop in pass attempts will drop Ryan a few spots from where he finished in the rankings last season.

10. Tony Romo, Cowboys – Despite being old (35) with a bad back, Romo had the most efficient season of his career with a 35 TD / 9 INT ratio and a solid 3,705 passing yards. The Cowboys are bringing everyone back except their workhorse RB which could lead to significantly more passes from Romo. With Dez Bryant back in the fold, an emerging talent in Terrance Williams, and the reliable Cole Beasley, the Cowboys could become a pass first team in 2015 if the Joseph Randle / DMC combo can’t match Demarco Murray’s production at RB (they won’t). If Romo stays healthy, he could easily be a top 5 fantasy QB, but I’m worried about his back holding up all season.