There's no controversy that Aaron Rodgers deserves the top spot, but where do players like Carson Wentz and Jared Goff rank? ASL's writers rank the top 25 QBs for 2018.
With NFL preseason having finally arrived, ASL is giving you its ranking of the top-25 QBs. Aaron Rodgers is the obvious top choice. The bigger question is, how will players such as Carson Wentz and Jared Goff fare this fantasy football season?
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For easy reference, we are putting the table at the top of the article and our team’s player analyses below. We included standard deviation (“Std Dev”) in the table, which is a measure of how well we agree on the ranking of a particular player. A smaller standard deviation indicates greater agreement. Wentz and Goff have the largest two standard deviations and are likely to present more risk, but also more upside potential. Check out our comments and decide for yourself.
|1||Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers||1.0||1||1||0.00||1||1||1||1|
|2||Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks||2.3||2||3||0.43||2||3||2||2|
|3||Tom Brady - New England Patriots||5.0||3||8||1.87||3||5||8||4|
|4||Cam Newton - Carolina Panthers||5.3||2||10||2.95||4||2||10||5|
|5||Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints||6.3||5||7||0.83||5||6||7||7|
|6||Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings||7.3||6||9||1.30||9||8||6||6|
|7||Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans||8.3||4||13||3.19||8||4||13||8|
|8||Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles||9.3||3||19||6.02||6||9||19||3|
|9||Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions||9.5||7||11||1.66||7||11||11||9|
|10||Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers||10.5||4||15||4.03||11||15||4||12|
|11||Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Steelers||11.3||10||14||1.64||10||10||14||11|
|12||Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts||12.0||7||18||4.06||13||7||18||10|
|13||Jared Goff - Los Angeles Rams||13.3||3||19||6.10||15||19||3||16|
|14||Philip Rivers - Los Angeles Chargers||14.0||12||17||1.87||12||14||17||13|
|15||Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans||14.5||12||17||1.80||14||12||15||17|
|16||Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs||15.5||9||19||3.91||18||16||9||19|
|17||Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys||16.0||12||20||2.92||20||17||12||15|
|18||Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons||17.0||13||20||2.55||17||13||20||18|
|19||Mitch Trubisky - Chicago Bears||17.8||5||22||7.36||22||22||5||22|
|20||Alex Smith - Washington Redskins||18.8||14||24||3.96||16||21||24||14|
|21||Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders||20.5||19||23||1.50||19||20||23||20|
|22||Eli Manning - New York Giants||22.3||16||26||3.77||23||26||16||24|
|23||Tyrod Taylor - Cleveland Browns||25.0||21||27||2.35||26||27||26||21|
|24||Andy Dalton - Cincinnati Bengals||24.8||22||27||2.28||27||23||22||27|
|25||Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers||25.3||18||31||4.71||25||18||27||31|
1. Aaron Rodgers - Green Bay Packers
Jason's #1: This perennial MVP candidate is clearly at the top of the QB class. He's coming off an injury-marred 2017 but has a 40:9 TD-to-INT ratio over his last 16 regular-season games. Jimmy Graham will help with red-zone efficiency much like Jordy Nelson once did. A true difference-maker, although he's still not worth a top-50 pick at a replaceable position.
Josh's #1: Everyone loves A-Rod. He is the house favorite from everyone to finish as the overall QB1.
Levi’s #1: Rodgers is back to prove he deserves to be the highest-paid QB. Look for him to put up big numbers.
Brian Murphy's #1: You know how good of a passer he is. Don't forget that Rodgers was inside the top five in rushing yards among QBs in 2015 and 2016. I like to wait on quarterback, so I won't draft him. But as long as he plays 15-16 games, you know you're getting the best or second-best fantasy signal-caller out there.
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2. Russell Wilson - Seattle Seahawks
Josh's #2: Wilson was last year's MVP despite not winning the award. He accounted for all but one offensive TD that Seattle had in 2017. He is worthy of consideration in rounds 4-6.
Levi’s #2: If last year was any indication, Wilson will be running for his life once again. This could also be another season in which he provides 80 percent of Seahawks' offense.
Brian Murphy's #2: I think expecting a 2017 repeat from Wilson is unwise. However, the rushing ability keeps his floor high and he has shown himself to be a simply prolific passer over the past few seasons.
Jason's #3: Wilson provides both a high floor and high upside. He will need to pass early and often to overcome Seattle's leaky defense. Questions around WR Doug Baldwin's health and horrendous O-line play are big concerns that suppress his value. Finished as a top-three QB in three of the last four seasons.
3. Tom Brady - New England Patriots
Brian Murphy's #3: I get it: He's 41. At some point, he has to play like it. Julian Edelman is out for the first month. But Brady just keeps on truckin'. He has been a top-three QB in fantasy points per game in each of the past three years. I'll drop him from this perch when his play makes it clear that he's no longer worth it.
Levi’s #4: Most places have Brady ranked as the No. 2 QB, but Brady has historically been horrible in December when results matter most in fantasy.
Jason's #5: The GOAT will likely be overdrafted following his historic postseason numbers. Brady has done it before with a weak supporting cast, but his current lack of dependable passing weapons is alarming. Looked very average with only six TDs against five INTs in the last five games of the 2017 regular season. Advancing age is always a concern.
Josh's #8: No one but me is afraid of Brady losing weapons and getting older, I guess. I am not in lockstep with this idea among mainstream fantasy folks that he is the No. 3 QB.
4. Cam Newton - Carolina Panthers
Jason's #2: Unique talent who has finished as top-five fantasy QB in five of seven seasons. Will never be an elite passing threat, but the Panthers made improvements around him. Provides head-to-head advantage of an extra RB in your lineup. Posted 754 yards on the ground in 2017, and OC Norv Turner looking for more in 2018.
Brian Murphy's #4: Newton will have games in which he makes you wonder if he is really a quarterback. Yet as long as he keeps topping 500 rushing yards with 5-8 TDs on the ground, fantasy owners should continue to love him.
Levi’s #5: Newton's rushing alone has him as my No. 5 QB. However, with OC Norv Turner in town, the Panthers could look to limit his designed rushing plays. Still, Cam will be Cam, and when the pocket falls apart, he’ll run.
Josh's #10: Cam is starting to break down a little bit, and if he can't be the epic rushing threat he has been in the past, he isn't that scary anymore.
5. Drew Brees - New Orleans Saints
Brian Murphy's #5: Putting Brees fifth feels like a safe choice. I'm assured that the Saints will throw more often, especially while Mark Ingram is sidelined. I really like the trio of Michael Thomas, Cam Meredith and rookie Tre'Quan Smith. Oh, not to mention that Alvin Kamara kid in the backfield.
Jason's #6: Coming off a banner 2017 campaign with the highest completion percentage and lowest interception rate of his career. Expect positive regression with his disappointing touchdown rate and a spike in pass attempts during RB Mark Ingram's suspension. Brees could be the best value pick in 2018. Target aggressively.
Josh's #7: Barring injury, Brees will be a top-10 QB. I just think he's more likely to finish among the bottom half in his age-39 season.
Levi’s #7: With Mark Ingram out for the first four games, the Saints plan on throwing more. Look for Brees to better last year's numbers.
6. Kirk Cousins - Minnesota Vikings
Josh's #6: I don't love Cousins as a QB. I do love Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs at WR though, so there is that.
Levi’s #6: Cousins is in a great offense that will benefit him in every way. He has a top-five TE, two top-25 WRs and a top prospect RB who can catch the ball. Plus, since he got paid a lot of money, they're not going to hold him back.
Jason's #8: Indoor home games and elite WRs give Cousins immense upside, but it will take time for him to jell with his new team and new coordinator. Moves from pass-centric offense to a team that attempted only 527 passes last year. Ideal low-cost, high-upside value pick who will hit his stride come midseason. This season could be his best.
Brian Murphy's #9: His supporting cast is fantastic. But did you know that only Cam Newton and Tyrod Taylor have rushed for more touchdowns among QBs since 2015? That feels awfully unsustainable.
7. Deshaun Watson - Houston Texans
Jason's #4: Only a six-game sample size with expected efficiency regression after he posted an unrepeatable 9.3 touchdown percentage. High-upside pick with overall QB1 ceiling. Rushing stats will protect his floor in bad passing weeks. Strong chemistry with receivers will grow with additional practice time.
Levi’s #8: There is a lot of hype surrounding Watson and the Houston Texans. I have seen him go as high as the No. 2 QB overall in mocks. If he resembles anything close to what he was last year, Watson could finish as the top-scoring QB.
Brian Murphy's #8: I know I won't get him on any of my teams because the preseason hype surrounding Watson is unreal. The combo of the small sample size and a surgically repaired knee for a running QB makes me wary.
Josh's #13: How come everyone screams "Small sample size!" about Jimmy Garoppolo but is fine with Watson as a top-five option? He can totally be a QB1, but I also think he will miss a few games due to injury.
8. Carson Wentz - Philadelphia Eagles
Levi’s #3: I may be a little bullish on Wentz, but he was on pace to be one of the top, if not the top QB last year. Don't be scared by him missing the whole preseason.
Brian Murphy's #6: I will probably move Wentz up this list when it's clear that he isn't suffering any ill effects from last year's major knee injury. Right now, I'm not sure if that
Jason's #9: Ideal complimentary QB who has a safe floor from week to week but limited upside due to the Eagles' strong defense. Wentz was the second-ranked QB in fantasy before a torn ACL ended his season in Week 14. He's due for efficiency regression but plays behind the best offensive line in the league and has a lot of weapons around him.
Josh's #19: Wentz has missed a ton of practice. Are we really sure he will be ready for Week 1?
9. Matthew Stafford - Detroit Lions
Brian Murphy's #7: You may view Stafford as boring for fantasy purposes. I view him as a player who has finished as QB7 in each of the past two seasons and three of the past five. Soooo ...
Levi’s #9: Trusty ol' Stafford has thrown for 4,000-plus yards seven seasons in a row. Draft him late and keep your head high.
Jason's #11: Non-elite QB who provides safe weekly floor but has never finished better than seventh in fantasy scoring. Excellent WR options and questionable rushing attack will continue to drive the Lions' 65 percent pass-play offense. Expect a hot start due to a soft schedule. A solid matchup quarterback option.
Josh's #11: Stafford seems to be a bottom-end QB1 every year
10. Jimmy Garoppolo - San Francisco 49ers
Josh's #4: Yes, I have Jimmy G ahead of Brady, Brees, Watson, Cam, etc. Let's not forget that he didn't have time to fully learn Kyle Shanahan's system last year. We saw what Jimmy G could do with the training wheels on. This offense will be legitimately great.
Brian Murphy's #11: Jimmy is a QB1 in deeper formats, but if you're putting him any higher than seventh at this position, I don't understand the thrill. I expect mixed results -- good days mixed with turnover-centric bad days -- this year.
Levi's #12: Garoppolo has the ability and the scheme to finish as a top-five QB this year. The 49ers have done a good job surrounding their franchise QB with talent this offseason.
Jason's #15: Hot finish to 2017 season will lead to him being overdrafted. Efficient passer who makes the most of the team around him. The problem is he has a weak supporting cast. Not a threat to run, and his 7:5 TD-to-INT ratio from last year wasn't encouraging. Needs a bit more seasoning and an impact WR to take it to the next level.
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11. Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Steelers
Jason's #10: Career trend shows that Ben is elite when playing at home. Explosive receiving corps might be his best ever. An underrated fantasy weapon, Roethlisberger has finished inside the top 10 in average fantasy points per game for six consecutive seasons. You have to expect he will miss a few games due to injury. Ideal matchup QB option.
Brian Murphy's #10: Ben has finished above QB10 only once since 2009, so maybe this ranking is too generous. But if the Killer Bs along with JuJu Smith-Schuster play 16 games together, a banner fantasy season seems inevitable.
Levi’s #11: Roethlisberger is surrounded by talent this year, but he also has a third-round rookie to hold off. The biggest thing to take into account when drafting Big Ben are his home-road splits; he always does better at home and then turns around to throw five picks on the road. Buyer beware.
Josh's #14: A projected few games missed puts him down here. I always consider Ben an injury risk just due to the reckless hits he takes.
12. Andrew Luck - Indianapolis Colts
Jason's #7: Coming off a lost season due to injury, Luck has an overall QB1 ceiling if his health cooperates. Camp reports state he is showing good chemistry with undervalued WR T.Y. Hilton. Rebuilt O-line should offer better protection. A top-four QB in three of the last four seasons in which he played, Luck is a risk-reward pick that could pay off big.
Levi’s #10: Luck is returning after a year off from injury. This rank is solely based on his previous performances. He could also come back and be completely awful as the Colts go 1-15.
Brian Murphy's #13: As long as Luck looks good during the preseason, I guarantee I will draft him much earlier than this rank would lead you to believe. I, like the rest of the fantasy community, just need to see it first.
Josh's #18: I simply don't trust his shoulder until I see it for myself. You also have to consider that Luck might break down somewhat later in the year.
13. Jared Goff - Los Angeles Rams
Josh's #3: Goff finishes as a QB1 last year, gains more weapons, gets another year in Sean McVay's system, but everyone has him as a middle-of-the-road QB2. Don't be fooled. Goff is locked and loaded as a QB1.
Brian Murphy's #15: The Rams ranked 24th in pass attempts last season and led the league in scoring. Why fix what's not broken?
Levi"s #16: Goff has a shiny new weapon in Brandin Cooks, who could benefit Goff but hurt the overall offense. He finished as QB12 last year, but I think there's more upside in others to have him ranked higher than this.
Jason's #19: Top-12 option who made huge strides in 2017, concluding with an elite 28:7 TD-to-INT ratio. Negative regression is expected as the league catches up to head coach/ offensive guru Sean McVay's methods. Although he'll carry a safe floor from week to week, Goff won't be asked to carry the load by the Rams. He's a mid-level QB2.
14. Philip Rivers - Los Angeles Chargers
Brian Murphy's #12: Rivers is a solid back-end QB1. Nothing wrong with that. There's just no upside left here, especially with Hunter Henry down for the year.
Levi's #13: I really should have Rivers higher as he hasn't finished outside of the top-15 since 2012. He is down a couple of TEs, but I think Antonio Gates will sign as we get closer to the season. Rivers does have 6-foot-4 sophomore WR Mike Williams, who could be a great red zone target.
Jason's #14: Solid but unspectacular QB1 option. Provides a stellar floor each week but has limited upside. The loss of TE Hunter Henry hurts, but Rivers is not receiver-dependent. This top-10 QB in 2017 has a solid O-line and productive running game to help balance the offense. A complementary fantasy QB.
Josh's #17: Missing his security blankets at TE is going to hurt him badly.
15. Marcus Mariota - Tennessee Titans
Jason's #12: Post-hype pick brings upside and solid rushing contributions. Positive regression candidate who had only 13 passing TDs to go with 15 INTs in 2017. Mariota has contributed 600-plus yards and seven scores rushing over the past two seasons. His injury history suggests you will need a solid backup. Underrated breakout candidate.
Brian Murphy's #14: I have faith that the Titans' new offense will be better suited for Mariota than the team's outdated 2017 attack. He will run more often in 2018, and his receiving corps is better than you think, especially if you like Corey Davis as I do.
Josh's #15: Hopefully Mariota takes a step forward in 2018. He is very talented. I'm not sure why he is struggling so badly to put it together.
Levi's #17: Mariota doesn't have the exotic, smash-mouth scheme to deal with anymore. OC Matt LaFleur comes in from the Rams and should tailor Tennessee's offense to Mariota's strengths. Look for more rushing attempts in his near future.
16. Patrick Mahomes - Kansas City Chiefs
Josh's #9: Mahomes is a guy whom I want to push higher than this, but I am concerned about his schedule.
Jason's #16: Strong-armed talent with burners all around him. He will be forced to pass due to a weak defense and tough schedule, but will that lead to TDs or turnovers? Mahomes has untapped rushing skills; he scored 22 times on the ground over his final two collegiate seasons. Sleeper pick who could pay off big.
Brian Murphy's #18: Sometimes, I can be stubbornly risk-averse. I really should place Mahomes higher on this list, but I'm scared of the fact that we just don't know yet how he'll perform as the full-time starter. So, I rank him as a QB2, but he has the potential to find himself within the 5-10 range at the position.
Levi's #19: Most everyone seems to be high on Mahomes, but I am not one. All that has been coming out of Chiefs camp is how this gunslinger is throwing picks all over the place. Andy Reid doesn't seem to worry; remember that he once coached Brett Favre, to whom many have compared Mahomes.
17. Dak Prescott - Dallas Cowboys
Josh's #12: His lack of dependable weapons scares me, but the kid is so talented that he should still be around this range.
Levi's #15: This rank is the one that I can see being way off. Prescott finished as QB6 in 2016 and QB10 in 2017. Yes, there is no Dez Bryant, but when was the last time he was a factor? The Cowboys could be on the upswing.
Jason's #17: Was elite for the first seven weeks in 2017, then lost confidence and crashed when RB Ezekiel Elliott returned from suspension. Dallas' league-worst WR corps and run-centric offense limits Prescott's appeal and upside. He's a legitimate threat on the ground with improving rushing numbers and six rush TDs in each of the past two years.
Brian Murphy's #20: Prescott's 2017 season was an incredible tale of two halves. Is he the guy who had a 16:4 TD-to-INT ratio during last season's first half or the guy whose ratio was 6:9 during the second half? With his bevy of unproven or unexciting receivers, I think it's going to be closer to the latter. The Cowboys should be even more run-centric this year.
18. Matt Ryan - Atlanta Falcons
Jason's #13: Likely to be a value pick following a disappointing season. Due for positive regression after throwing 18 fewer TDs in 2017 than in 2016. A decent low-end QB1 with little upside but provides a solid floor and smooth weekly point totals. Not a matchup play; more of a complimentary QB.
Brian Murphy's #17: Interestingly, Ryan has spent the past six years basically jumping in and out of the top 10 fantasy QBs. Following the pattern, 2018 should be one of those better years. But I know that is stupid logic. Fact is that Ryan, when you watch the film, is a pretty average QB who doesn't possess the upside of some of the youngsters here.
Levi's #18: The Falcons seem to want Ryan to have options to throw to by drafting Calvin Ridley in the first round. However, I think offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian has different plans. Look for Atlanta to ride Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman this season.
Josh's #20: I'm sure some of you are shocked that Ryan is this low on my list. You were shocked when I had him as a QB2 last year. This is simply who he is. Everything else is the outlier.
19. Mitch Trubisky - Chicago Bears
Josh's #5: This ranking may surprise you, but Trubisky is this year's Goff. The Bears are quietly loaded with weapons. If he isn't a QB1 this season, I will be absolutely shocked.
Jason's #22: He's worth a late-round flier as an improved supporting cast and a new, pass-first head coach have given him more upside. Virtually unstartable throughout 2017, he could be a worthwhile backup option in the right matchups. Not someone to target, but a second-year leap would not surprise.
Levi's #22: Trubisky looks to take a big step forward this year with first-time head coach Matt Nagy, who did great things with Kansas City's offense last year.
Brian Murphy's #22: A good breakout candidate, I probably have Trubisky too low here. He was not very impressive as a rookie, but that was under a different staff. In retrospect, I should have him at least a few spots higher.
20. Alex Smith - Washington Redskins
Levi's #14: Smith is playing in a lesser offense this year, but I wouldn't let that hold you back. If head coach Jay Gruden looks at film and figures out a good system for Smith, he could be in line for another career year.
Brian Murphy's #16: Smith was great in fantasy last season, and I think he will continue to be solid with the Redskins. But I won't believe that Alex Smith (!) will throw for more than 4,000 yards and record 25-plus passing TDs again. That feels like an outlier.
Jason's #21: Came through with a career-best season but starts over with a new team and coaching staff. Washington's West Coast offense plays to his strengths, but he will likely finish in the middle of the pack, per usual. Provides stable, low-end floor from week to week. Rushing contributions are overrated. Backup material.
Josh's #24: I am probably not giving Alex enough credit, but I don't trust the Redskins' WR corps.
21. Derek Carr - Oakland Raiders
Brian Murphy's #19: If his back is feeling 100 percent, I think Carr could have a very successful season. However, I am very concerned that Jon Gruden's offense is going to resemble something the NFL left behind a decade ago.
Jason's #20: Played injured from the start in 2017 and his numbers suffered. However, Carr averaged 30 passing TDs over the two years prior. Coaching staff changes suggest a shift to a more run-heavy attack, but Carr could surprise with a career-best season. Sleeper pick.
Levi's #20: Jon Gruden wants to jumpstart Carr's career back to 1998. With that comes a lot of passes to one wideout and picks. Carr is the player who will be most negatively impacted by this coaching change, I believe. Look for another down year from him.
Josh's #23: Something doesn't smell right with Oakland's offense. Or perhaps this is just my Broncos fandom sneaking in.
22. Eli Manning - New York Giants
Josh's #16: I love Eli's weapons. He isn't a good NFL QB anymore, but, man, you can make a living throwing to the dudes he has around him.
Brian Murphy's #23: Eli is running on fumes, but he has a mouth-watering list of receiving targets around him. He has a top-12 ceiling. Granted, a lot of "ifs" would have to go in his favor for that to happen.
Levi's #24: Manning has all the weapons to be a top-10 QB and very well could win Comeback Player of the Year. Head coach Pat Shurmur did great things with Case Keenum last year, and Manning is just as good as him at this stage of his career.
23. Tyrod Taylor - Cleveland Browns
Levi's #21: This rank has more to do with my love for Baker Mayfield. I think the Browns will turn to Baker at some point this season and never look back.
24. Jameis Winston - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jason's #18: Early-season suspension makes him virtually undraftable as a starter, but he's an ideal backup with immense upside. Three missed games hid his statistical improvement across the board last season. He was a top-10 fantasy QB in nearly half of his 13 starts. Winston will be a solid QB1 play once he returns.
Brian Murphy's #25: Winston is a nice buy in the late rounds of your draft. Get a QB to cover for him for the first month (there are plenty of guys who can do that) and then watch him stat-pad his way to fantasy relevance. He'll probably finish between Nos. 12-15 in fantasy points per game.
25. Andy Dalton - Cincinnati Bengals
Josh's #22: Andy Dalton has fallen pretty far, folks.
Jason's #23: A perennial disappointment, Dalton appears to be regressing. A strong supporting cast has led to annually high expectations but has resulted in middling performances. A weak O-line and his own subpar history suggest that Dalton can only be considered in a pinch despite the good amount of talent around him.
To win your league, start by winning your draft.