2017 fantasy football position rankings: Quarterbacks

Over the next few weeks we’ll take an early look at our 2017 fantasy football position rankings. This week we’ll talk about the signal callers before turning our attention to running backs next week. We’ll rank the QBs from 1 to 32, the running backs from 1-36, the wide receivers 1-36 and the tight ends 1-24. Defenses and kickers will be ranked 1-12.

First up we’ve got the quarterbacks. You’ll notice Matt Ryan is still in the top-5, but he’s not the No. 1 quarterback like he was at the end of the 2016 season.

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers—He still has Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. Davante Adams is a rising star and the addition of Martellus Bennett should help Rodgers have the best season among QBs.

2. Tom Brady, Patriots—He’ll be 40 by the time the season starts but he seems to have a lot of tread left on the tires. The addition of Brandin Cooks and Mike Gillislee adds more weapons for the Super Bowl MVP.

3. Drew Brees, Saints—Probably one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, Brees just seems to put up numbers with whatever talent he has on the roster. His home-away split is a factor, but he should still end up top-3.

 

Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints drives for a touchdown during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Rams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 27, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

4. Andrew Luck, Colts—All the guy needs is time in the pocket and he’ll feast. The Colts got some protection help in the draft so his production should improve over last year.

5. Matt Ryan, Falcons—Last year was a career year for Ryan, his tenth in the league. He lost his offensive guru in Kyle Shanahan, so I’m expecting a bit of a regression in numbers.

6. Russell Wilson, Seahawks—Wilson’s best seasons have been when he’s been able to run around and make plays with his legs. Last season he was hurt early in the year. If he’s healthy to start the season he’ll start strong and possibly play well wire to wire.

 

Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks looks to pass against the New York Jets in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on October 2, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

7. Derek Carr, Raiders—Carr was very solid last season and he seems on the verge of breaking into the top-5. He’s got Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and now Marshawn Lynch to help him out.

8. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers—A big winner after free agency and the draft was Winston. He got DeSean Jackson, a big-play threat, and O.J. Howard, a versatile rookie tight end, as new weapons.

9. Dak Prescott, Cowboys—You worry about a sophomore jinx, but with how poised he played last season he might be immune. He’ll have a full offseason to work with his receivers and you can’t forget about Zeke Elliott who can take a seemingly harmless screen pass 80 yards to the house.

Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys rushes in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

10. Philip Rivers, Chargers—If Keenan Allen can stay healthy, Rivers can be even better than last year. He finished in the top six in standard scoring last season with a bunch of nobodies catching passes. Now he has Mike Williams, the top receiver in the draft, as another option.

11. Kirk Cousins, Redskins—He was actually one of the best fantasy quarterbacks last season and nearly threw for 5,000 yards. Losing DeSean Jackson hurts, but Jamison Crowder is coming on and the Redskins added Terrelle Pryor.

12. Cam Newton, Panthers—He’s still in my top-12, but barely. The addition of Christian McCaffrey should help him. He’s just not an accurate quarterback and his value drops when he isn’t running, which is something he cut back on when he was getting punished weekly.

Cam Newton will have to utilize his running ability to keep his fantasy value high. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Cam Newton will have to utilize his running ability to keep his fantasy value high. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

13. Marcus Mariota, Titans

14. Eli Manning, Giants

15. Andy Dalton, Bengals

16. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

17. Matthew Stafford, Lions

18. Carson Palmer, Cardinals

19. Alex Smith, Chiefs

20. Blake Bortles, Jaguars

21. Tyrod Taylor, Bills

22. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

23. Carson Wentz, Eagles

24. Joe Flacco, Ravens

25. Sam Bradford, Vikings

26. Trevor Siemian, Broncos

27. Josh McCown, Jets

28. Brian Hoyer, 49ers

29. Tom Savage or DeShaun Watson, Texans (will update as starter becomes clear)

30. Mike Glennon or Mitch Trubisky, Bears (will update as starter becomes clear)

31. Jared Goff, Rams

32. Cody Kessler, Browns

Fantasy football impact: Jamaal Charles to the Broncos

The Broncos have decided to give Jamaal Charles a chance to play with little risk on their end. He was signed for the veteran minimum and his contract is heavy on incentives.

It’s yet to be seen if Charles can return to old form after a devastating knee injury sidelined him for essentially two years. He had just a handful of carries in 2016 before being shut down again. In fact, since his contract has no guaranteed money, he’s not a lock to make the team.

What is clear is C.J. Anderson probably takes a hit in fantasy value if Charles is worthy of a roster spot. If Charles is able to provide even half of the production we’re used to seeing out of him, Anderson’s numbers will fall. Plus you have to remember Anderson’s overall history.

C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos carries the ball as he is followed by Caraun Reid #91 of the San Diego Chargers during the fourth quarter of a 21-13 Charger win at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Before getting hurt, Anderson rushed for 437 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. Those were solid numbers for the time he played, but you have to remember that in his four years he hasn’t carried the ball over 200 times nor has he rushed for more than 849 yards. He’s a modest pass receiver, only scoring three times through the air in his career.

Charles, on the other hand, has 20 receiving touchdowns in his nine-year career. He’s also carried the ball over 200 times in four of his nine seasons.

The big question is if he can reproduce something close to those numbers. We’ll just have to wait and see if he can bounce back from a very tough couple of years.

I currently have him ranked in the top-70 of my top-100 fantasy football rankings for the upcoming season, but that will very likely change before the season gets started.

Mock drafts aren’t as optimistic as I am and have him going in the mid-90s.

There’s a lot yet to be determined but the big takeaway is that C.J. Anderson’s value likely takes a hit and Charles is a big x-factor at this point. One thing to note is that Charles seems to be carrying a chip on his shoulder over the way he was let go by the Chiefs. That could prove useful for him if he’s healthy enough.

2017 fantasy football rankings following the NFL draft

An early look at 2017

It’s never too early to take a look at next season’s rankings, especially now that the NFL draft has happened.

You can probably call the first through third picks 1A, 1B and 1C. It’s really that close, but David Johnson is a real candidate to gain 1,000 yards in rushing and receiving. That would make him the third player to ever accomplish that feat, joining Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk.

Keep in mind if you play in a league that awards six points per touchdown for quarterbacks, they should be ranked higher than what you see here.

1. David Johnson, RB, Cardinals

2. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Steelers

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

4. Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers

5. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants

6. Julio Jones, WR, Falcons

7. LeSean McCoy, RB, Bills

8. Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers

9. Jordan Howard, RB, Bears

10. Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers

11. A.J. Green, WR, Bengals

12. Devonta Freeman, RB, Falcons

13. DeMarco Murray, RB, Titans

14. Jordy Nelson, WR, Packers

15. Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

16. Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

17. Dez Bryant, WR, Cowboys

18. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts

19. Lamar Miller, RB, Texans

20. Mark Ingram, RB, Saints

21. Rob Gronkowski, TE, Patriots

22. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

23. Brandin Cooks, WR, Patriots

24. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Texans

25. Carlos Hyde, RB, 49ers

26. Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders

27. Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs

28. Todd Gurley, RB, Rams

29. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks

30. Tom Brady, QB, Patriots

31. Davante Adams, WR, Packers

32. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Eagles

33. Latavius Murray, RB, Vikings

34. Allen Robinson, WR, Jaguars

35. Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers

36. C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos

37. Sammy Watkins, WR, Bills

38. Jordan Reed, TE, Redskins

39. Tyreek Hill, WR, Chiefs

40. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs

41. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Browns

42. Drew Brees, QB, Saints

43. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Broncos

44. Tevin Coleman, RB, Falcons

45. Michael Crabtree, WR, Raiders

46. Adrian Peterson, RB, Saints

47. Andrew Luck, QB, Colts

48. Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins

49. Brandon Marshall, WR, Giants

50. Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals

51. Terrelle Pryor Sr., WR, Redskins

52. Greg Olsen, TE, Panthers

53. Eddie Lacy, RB, Seahawks

54. Doug Martin, RB, Buccaneers

55. Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

56. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots

57. Tyler Eifert, TE, Bengals

58. Derrick Henry, RB, Titans

59. Martavis Bryant, WR, Steelers

60. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers

61. Robert Kelley, RB, Redskins

62. Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks

63. Frank Gore, RB, Colts

64. Bilal Powell, RB, Jets

65. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals

66. Ty Montgomery, RB, Packers

67. Derek Carr, QB, Raiders

68. Donte Moncrief, WR, Colts

69. Jamaal Charles, RB, Broncos

70. Delanie Walker, TE, Titans

71. Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers

72. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys

73. Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Broncos

74. Jamison Crowder, WR, Redskins

75. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Raiders

76. Leonard Fournette, RB, Jaguars

77. Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks

78. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Lions

79. Golden Tate, WR, Lions

80. Kenneth Dixon , RB, Ravens

81. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers

82. Kyle Rudolph, TE, Vikings

83. Matt Forte, RB, Jets

84. Rishard Matthews, WR, Titans

85. Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers

86. Paul Perkins, RB, Giants

87. Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins

88. DeSean Jackson, WR, Buccaneers

89. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers

90. Mike Gillislee, RB, Patriots

91. Danny Woodhead, RB, Ravens

92. Stefon Diggs, WR, Vikings

93. Randall Cobb, WR, Packers

94. Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals

95. Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans

96. Eric Decker, WR, Jets

97. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seahawks

98. Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots

99. Theo Riddick, RB, Lions

100. Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers