There are just two weekends left before the NFL starts the regular season. Thousands of fantasy football leagues will be drafting this weekend. For the next five days reigning 3-peat Office Football League champ Rich Tijerina and I will share our rankings for each position side-by-side. We’ll start with quarterbacks followed by running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and defenses. At the end of this list are a few questions regarding where we ranked the QBs. Ranks in bold are discussed at the bottom.
1. Tijerina — Aaron Rodgers; Vasquez — Aaron Rodgers
2. Tijerina — Tom Brady; Vasquez — Tom Brady
3. Tijerina — Drew Brees; Vasquez — Drew Brees
4. Tijerina — Russell Wilson; Vasquez — Russell Wilson
5. Tijerina — Matt Ryan; Vasquez — Andrew Luck
6. Tijerina — Jameis Winston; Vasquez — Dak Prescott
7. Tijerina — Kirk Cousins; Vasquez — Matt Ryan
8. Tijerina — Dak Prescott; Vasquez — Kirk Cousins
9. Tijerina — Phillip Rivers; Vasquez — Andy Dalton
10. Tijerina — Marcus Mariota; Vasquez — Jameis Winston
11. Tijerina — Matthew Stafford; Vasquez — Derek Carr
12. Tijerina — Cam Newton; Vasquez — Marcus Mariota
13. Tijerina — Derek Carr; Vasquez — Matthew Stafford
14. Tijerina — Ben Roethlisberger; Vasquez — Philip Rivers
15. Tijerina — Andrew Luck; Vasquez — Cam Newton
16. Tijerina — Eli Manning; Vasquez — Ben Roethlisberger
17. Tijerina — Andy Dalton; Vasquez — Carson Palmer
18. Tijerina — Carson Wentz; Vasquez — Eli Manning
19. Tijerina — Carson Palmer; Vasquez — Carson Wentz
20. Tijerina — Tyrod Taylor; Vasquez — Tyrod Taylor
21. Tijerina — Joe Flacco; Vasquez — Jay Cutler
22. Tijerina — Deshaun Watson; Vasquez — Joe Flacco
23. Tijerina — Blake Bortles; Vasquez — Blake Bortles
24. Tijerina — Trevor Siemian; Vasquez — Deshaun Watson
25. Tijerina — Brian Hoyer; Vasquez — Sam Bradford
Three questions about these rankings:
Why do you believe (or not) in Luck?
Tijerina: I believe in Luck’s talent and viability as a top-five fantasy quarterback. It’s just that with the injury, his lack of offseason work and the fact that he probably won’t play in the preseason all make me want to see him prove it before I expend a high pick on him. In fact, I’m not sure there’s a single Colt that I wouldn’t fret about after drafting. Luck’s hurt, Moncrief is dependent on Luck, Marlon Mack might be a good value pick but he’s also an unknown. The offensive line is still shaky and the defense is still a question mark. Sure, Luck’s a stud QB. I just think there are safer QBs to go with this year.
Vasquez: He’s coming off a season in which he set a career high in total QBR and he’s been great when healthy. He started his career playing in every game for three straight seasons. After missing half the season in 2015, he played in 15 games last year. If Donte Moncrief can stay healthy he’ll provide Luck with another weapon to pair with T.Y. Hilton. Another plus to Luck’s game is his rushing ability. He had 341 yards and two rushing TDs last season. Luck has 14 rushing touchdowns in his career. I don’t think he’ll suffer from missing preseason.
Is Andy Dalton a QB1 or QB2?
Tijerina: If Dalton hasn’t gotten to QB1 status by now with A.J. Green to work with, he’s not going to. But for me, he’s a fairly safe QB2; he’s got Green back from injury and also has Tyler Eifert — who has 18 TDs in his 20 games over the last two years — along with John Ross and Joe Mixon. His line lost its two best guys, however. I don’t see Ross blowing up as a rookie and I still see Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard taking away Mixon carries.
Vasquez: Dalton has thrown for more than 4,000 yards twice in his career, and one of those times was last season. It was a season in which he missed A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert for extended periods. He has the weapons with those two returning, not to mention two additions through the draft. Joe Mixon could take short dump off passes to the house and John Ross can fly on the outside.
Will Jay Cutler be a viable streaming option?
Tijerina: No. Miami won’t see much of a dropoff in the passing game but that’s also taking into account that Miami’s passing game was already average to below-average for fantasy purposes. Cutler lacks what Ryan Tannehill does best: Be mobile and draw plays out. If Cutler was a non-factor in fantasy his last few years in Chicago, I don’t see him catching fire with a set of receivers he doesn’t know.
Vasquez: Smokin’ Jay Cutler will definitely be a decent streaming option for teams with their No. 1 QB on bye. He looked solid, for someone set to be a broadcaster just days earlier, in his debut with Miami. Cutler completed 3-of-6 passes for 24 yards. His addition to the Dolphins could mean big things for DeVante Parker. Cutler could also make Julius Thomas a viable fantasy tight end if they build some chemistry. The quarterback knows head coach Adam Gase and performed well with him as an offensive coordinator two years ago in Chicago.