2015 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Rankings
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18. Sam Bradford, Eagles – On talent and opportunity alone, Bradford would be a borderline top 10 fantasy QB, but with his injury history I can’t recommend going into the season with him as your QB1. Despite his low pre-season rank, Bradford could easily end up in the top 10 if he can stay healthy the whole season. The Eagles high-octane offense is a good fit for Bradford’s skill-set and I’ll spend a few bucks securing him as a high-upside backup on a few of my squads.
19. Jameis Winston, Bucs – If I had to bet on one rookie QB making an impact in fantasy football this year it would be Winston. He played in a pro-style offense at Florida St, showed a surprisingly mature understanding of defensive schemes during the draft process, and is surrounded by a lot of weapons in Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Doug Martin, and Charles Sims. If the Bucs can get decent play out of their O-line (questionable), Winston could be a top 15 fantasy QB.
It will take a lot of things going right for that to happen, but he has the talent and the talent around him for it to happen. He’s a gutsy passer which will result in more turnovers than ideal, but also plenty of big plays. I actually expect Winston’s final stat line to resemble a typical Jay Cutler experience with 25-28 TDs & 20-23 turnovers. Useful stats, but better from a backup than your starting QB.
20. Joe Flacco, Ravens – He’s boring but did finish as the 13th best fantasy QB last year (27 TD / 12 INT) despite having garbage to throw to outside of the Smiths (Torrey, Steve Jr). The Ravens lost Torrey but added explosive rookie Breshad Perriman and not much else. Perriman could provide a few big plays, but he’s raw and drops too many passes so probably won’t be much of a factor as a rookie. Flacco makes an alright backup or 2nd QB in two-QB leagues providing reliable 15-20 point fantasy games, but just doesn’t have enough weapons around him to warrant a starting gig in fantasy. He’ll probably be available on your waiver wire so don’t waste any money on him during the draft.
21. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers – I think I picked Kaepernick to go under his projected point total for 16 straight weeks and was rarely wrong. He’s been over-rated since his awesome performance in the 2013 opener against Green Bay (434 yards, 3 TDs) and hasn’t come close to repeating that magic. In 34 games since, Kaepernick only has 1 game with more than 2 TD passes. He has under-performed his expected fantasy output week after week for the last two seasons and this season could be even worse with the 49ers in shambles.
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22. Derek Carr, Raiders – I’m not sure why Carr isn’t getting more love from fantasy pundits after a 21 TD / 12 INT rookie season despite being surrounded by one of the least talented supporting casts in the NFL. I’ve seen Bortles ranked higher on plenty of fantasy sites even though they had basically the same situation last year and Carr was much better. When you consider the fact that the Raiders added the best WR in the draft in Amari Cooper and former 1st round pick Michael Crabtree, Carr is a reasonable candidate for 30+ TD passes. I’m not going into the season with Carr as my QB1 in any leagues, but will have him as a high-upside backup in at least a couple of leagues.
23. Robert Griffin III, Redskins – His breakout 2012 season (20 TD / 5 INT) seems like a decade ago after two injury filled years for RG3. When healthy last season (9 games) his 4 TD / 6 INT ratio was underwhelming to say the least. Griffin reportedly has lost the respect of his teammates and is in danger of losing snaps to Kirk Cousins and even Colt McCoy. The talent still may be there for a bounce back season, but who knows if his knee is sturdy enough to hold up or provide the speed and acceleration that made him such a dangerous weapon out of the backfield.
I may find a place for Griffin with my last roster spot in a couple leagues with deep benches, but there is no chance I would count on him for anything more than a bye week replacement. If he does start out with a few good games, RG3 could be a decent trade chip as some owners will inevitably remember how good he was in 2012. Don’t kid yourself, that player is long gone.