Top 5 QB Targets 17-18 Fantasy Football Season
I wanted to lead off with a bit of an introduction, as I'm fairly new to this site. My name is Randy, I've been covering sports for about a decade, from fantasy football, to pro basketball, college basketball, and even a bit of baseball in there.
I’ve written for newspapers in Florida, blogs in Providence, and Radio shows/internet news sites in Boston, covered the Boston Celtics, PC Friars, and URI Rams, and am really into numbers and analytics. I’m an accountant by trade/degree, a writer by hobby, and a sports fan for life, a combination which results in what is often a numbers heavy analysis and breakdown of sports.
I really enjoy basketball and football the most of the big sports here in the states, but also watch and get into some baseball. Baseball in third grade math class is where my love for statistics was born after all, even if I didn’t develop a love of the game itself at any point in time. Without further ado, I’m going to start preparing you for the 16-17 fantasy football season by going through top QB targets, including some that might not be so obvious.
The 15-16 fantasy football season gave us some interesting results at the quarterback position, with a perennial MVP finishing outside the top ten overall, due to suspension, a third round draft pick finishing inside the top 5 overall, and several of the usual suspects-as well as a name or two you might not have suspected-rounding out the rest of the top ten fantasy producers at the quarterback position. The 16 -17 season could prove to be just as surprising, here’s my effort to help clear things up a bit, and prepare you better for your fantasy football draft. The top QB’s, where you should take them, and who would make a good backup for them if you draft them, and why.
Randy Lutz Last Updated: May 9, 2017.
That’s the top 5 QB’s for the 16-17 fantasy football season, according to Randy. I’m pushing it on word count right now, so I’ll write up a separate piece outlining a few QB sleepers for the upcoming season. Stay tuned, and I hope this helps you in your draft!
- Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
- Brady appears in every expert’s top 5, and most expert's top 3, but I went with Brady at the top of my QB projections for one real reason: This year, the AFC East matches up against the NFC South, two divisions absolutely chock full of miserable pass defenses. This lines up well for Brady (and Brees later on in this list) to pile up the fantasy points. Based on the schedule and my personal defensive rankings, Brady will face exactly one pass defense that I rank inside the top 5 pass defenses in the league in the Denver Broncos, in week 10.
- It should be noted here that Brady has a week 9 bye, and he and Coach Belichick have a ridiculously good record coming off a bye. Facing a team in the Broncos that doesn't know who their starting quarterback or left tackle is on offense yet, the Pats won't likely have to pile up a lot of points to win that game however, so while I project a win for the Patriots there, it'd be a good week to find someone with a cupcake matchup to backup Brady if you draft him. You'll have to take him in round 1 or 2, as he’s currently got a 19.9 ADP, but he’ll be worth it.
- Eli Manning makes a potentially solid backup for Brady here, as he faces the LA Rams and then SF 49ers in weeks 9 and 10. Another name to look at would be Jameis Winston, who faces New Orleans and the Jets respectively in those same weeks. One last name to consider might be Tyrod Taylor, facing the Jets and then Saints (same matchups as Winston just backwards) in those weeks. Manning you should be able to pick up sometime around the tenth round, Winston around the 6th or 7th, and Taylor later on, also around the 10th or 11th, depending on how many owners your league has (all my projections and rounds are based on ESPN standard 12 team leagues).
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
- Brees is second on my list for the simple fact that he continually puts up fantasy points. The Saints offense almost literally does nothing but throw, throw, throw. Since 2010, the Saints' have consistently been in the top 5-7 in the league in terms of pass play ratio. Last year was no different, with Brees piling up over 5200 yards through the air despite leading the Saints to a sub .500 record and a seat on the sidelines for the playoffs.
- This year, Brees faces new challenges as his top producing receiver Brandin Cooks was traded to New England in the off-season. But he’s moved through receivers before, and it hasn't stopped him from putting up 5,000 yards or close to it pretty much every season since his arrival in New Orleans, and he's also facing weak defenses like the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills in out of division play, and just as weak defenses for 6 games of in division play in Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Atlanta, Brees should top 5,000 again this season, and find himself with another top 3 finish among QB's as well.
- Brees does face a tough matchup vs. the Vikings defense in week 1, and has a bye week in week 5, so you’ll need to find a backup for those weeks. I’d look at either Luck (Rams and 49ers in weeks 1 and 5), Sam Bradford (Saints and Bears), perhaps even the 49ers starting QB, as they’ll be facing the Panthers and Colts in those weeks.
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Rodgers lead all QB's last year, scoring 380 points over 16 games for 23.75 per contest. With the Vikings in his division so he faces them twice, and a game against Seattle to start off the year however, Rodgers’ schedule is simply a bit tougher than that of Brady or Brees, so I’ve got to project him third here.
- He’ll put up his numbers, but I expect Brady and Brees to edge him out in fantasy production ultimately. Rodgers has those tough matchups in weeks 1, 6, and 16 (Championship week for a lot of people, eek) and his bye is week 8. Considering these facts, I think a great backup for him could be Blake Bortles. He's not perfect, as they share a bye week, so you’d have to pick up a third QB at least for that week (I’d think about Andy Dalton vs. Ind, Carson Wentz vs SF, or even Tannehill vs. the Ravens that week) but in weeks 1, 6, and 16 he’ll be facing Houston, the Rams, and the 49ers respectively. Might be favorable to start over Rodgers against Minnesota in week 16, depending on what’s on the line for both teams.
- Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
- Ryan was an unexpected star last year in fantasy football, finally taking the "next step" everyone's been waiting on him to take since being drafted first overall out of Boston College. Surrounded by weapons like Gabriel, Hooper, oh, and a guy named Julio Jones, "Matty Ice" should continue to turn in regular 20+ fantasy point nights.
- While he really produced last year, he finds himself at fourth on this list due in part to having a few tougher matchups (weeks 11 and 13 vs the Seahawks and Vikings respectively) but also due to the fact that he’s the newer face at the top of this list, and needs to prove his consistency of excellence before finding himself ranked over guys who have been putting up these sorts of numbers for years, like Brees, Brady, or Rodgers before him. Ryan's tough matchups come in weeks 11 and 13, and his bye comes in week 5. I think this lines him up perfectly with Stafford as a backup, if you can get him. In weeks 5, 11, and 13, Stafford and the Lions face the Panthers, Bears, and Ravens. Three pretty lousy pass defenses from last year.
- Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
- It seems like there’s no shortage of expectations for Andrew Luck ever since he was drafted. And he had big shoes to fill, essentially stepping into Peyton’s shoes, despite the Painter/Orlovsky bridge between them. But while he hasn’t yet lead the Colts on any deep, memorable playoff runs, or won any MVP’s, he did take a 2-14 Colts team and make them somewhat respectable again.
- He hasn't had much help in recent years, but it hasn’t stopped him from putting up fairly impressive numbers when he’s been on the field, culminating in fantasy production of 20.51 fantasy points per contest last season. I think this season we finally see Luck take that leap forward, as he grows even more comfortable with receivers like Moncrief, Hilton, and Dorsett.
- With Luck playing touch matchups in weeks 2, 4, and 15, and having his bye week in week 11, I think a great backup for him would be Carson Palmer. If he can stay healthy throughout the whole season, he’s facing in those weeks the Colts, the 49ers, the Texans, and the Redskins.
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