With 2014 fantasy football drafts just around the corner, it’s time to start your pre-draft research. This article spotlights our top 10 fantasy quarterbacks for 2014. Experts across the country will always tell you to wait due to depth at this position. That is correct, but waiting too long can put you at a big disadvantage to start the season. Having a top producing quarterback is something almost all championship teams must have.
1. Peyton Manning
I hope this is not a shock to anyone. Sure, there are other sites out there trying to make a statement by saying Manning will regress and putting Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees as the top quarterback this year. We think having Manning at anywhere except for #1 is silly. He could regress ten percent and still throw for 4,929 yards and 49 touchdowns, which would be the third greatest quarterback season in history. Don’t overthink it, if your the first person to draft a quarterback in your league it better be Peyton Manning.
2. Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay was riddled with injuries last season including Rodgers himself. Everyone is now healthy and Rodgers looks to return to his old form when he was the league MVP. He has always had to throw the ball a ton due to no stud running back on his team but, Eddie Lacy looks like the real deal. Some might argue a better run game will hurt Rodgers, but the running game will actually open things up for him. Just think, if teams have to stack the box and he gets one on one coverage on the outside, he should excel. He is so accurate he will just pick defenses apart. I might be bold to state this, but I see Rodgers as having his best season of his career due to the fact that the Packers have so many weapons.
3. Drew Brees
Ever since Brees has joined the Saints all that he has done is finished inside the top 5 overall in standard leagues each and every year. Amazingly durable, (sorry I am sure I just jinxed him) Brees loves to toss the old pigskin around and play that backyard football game. It does not hurt that he has the greatest tight end to ever play the game (Yeah I said it). There is literally no stopping the combo of Brees to Jimmy Graham and those two, barring injury, should connect for 15+ touchdowns again this season. I know he has lost some of his other weapons, but it is very realistic to think he will repeat a season of over 5,000 yards and close to 40 touchdowns again in 2014.
4. Cam Newton
Well this was an argument at the ranking summit but the brothers Barkley (Dustin and Mike) overruled me. I hate the fact that Newton has no one to throw to, not a great running game, and the fact he threw for only 300 more yards than Geno Smith last year. However, fantasy football is about putting up stats and no one (even me) can argue the rushing attack of Cam Newton. He rused for 585 yards and 6 touchdowns last year. That is the equivalent of over 1,500 passing and 9 additional passing touchdowns stat wise.
5. Andrew Luck
What’s not to love about Andrew Luck? He has lived up to the hype and is primed to have his greatest statistical season ever in 2014. His accuracy reminds me of Rodgers and Manning, but he is built closer to Newton than either of them size wise. Luck will easily top 4,000 passing yards this year, but I believe he will also rush for close to 500 yards as well. Too often does his running game not get the love it deserves. Similar to Newton, Luck is the best option on the goal line for the Colts, which equals rushing touchdowns and fantasy goodness.
6. Matthew Stafford
Stafford had that bounce back year we all thought he would last season and his potential is even higher in 2014. He still has Calvin Johnson but the addition of Golden Tate is extremely intriguing to me. This is the first time that Stafford has a legit one, two punch for his wideouts. Throw in the fact he is going after the likes of Trent Richardson and Michael Floyd makes him my favorite quarterback to target at the start of the sixth round in standard 10 team leagues. Stafford’s return on the investment has the greatest upside of any quarterback this year, because 5,000 passing yards with 40+ touchdowns is not too crazy to envision.
7. Robert Griffin III
We are betting on Robert Griffin III this year. Since FantasySmackTalk is headquartered in Ashburn, VA (training camp site for the Washington Redskins) we heard all about all the drama last year with Griffin, his brace, and the coaching staff. Fast forward a year later, he has shed the brace, has a new coaching staff, and found himself with a new wide receiver in DeSean Jackson. Pair that with our breakout tight end pick of Jordan Reed and now the Redskins offense is quite interesting. What makes his fantasy outlook even better is the fact that the Redskins defense is still not that great. This means he will play in high scoring games and that is always a recipe for a quarterback to put up solid numbers.
8. Nick Foles
Someone explain to me why so many other sites have this guy ranked so low? He did not even begin 2013 as the starter and still ended up with 27 passing and 3 rushing touchdowns. Oh and by the way, he only threw two picks. All we heard about all of last preseason was how Chip Kelly’s offense was so fast and how it could produce the most fantasy points out of any offense we have ever seen. Well, they did play fast, had a ton of snaps, and will repeat that this year. So, one can imagine Foles having another great year which we believe will happen.
9. Tom Brady
Sorry New England fans but Tom Brady barely made our top ten. The 25 touchdowns he threw last season were his lowest since 2006 and New England ran the ball last year more than any other team. New England is all about winning and if they can run the ball and win they will do that. Sure, Brady has upside, but I do not see him jumping back into his top tier production simply since he does not have the weapons to do so.
10. Matt Ryan
About a year to the day I wrote about Matthew Stafford being too good not to bounce back and therefore being a draft day steal. Well, this year the same can be said for Matt Ryan. Throw out last year’s stats (which by the way he still threw for over 4,500 yards) because he did not have a healthy Roddy White nor Julio Jones all year long. When those guys are healthy they can battle Green Bay and Chicago for the best receiving corps in the game. Matt Ryan is going around pick 80 currently as the 10th quarterback off the board. If you like to gamble I highly recommend waiting as long as possible in your draft and target Matt Ryan this season.
A lot can change during the NFL preseason, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date 2014 fantasy football quarterback rankings.