Cleat Geeks

Fantasy Football Focus: Top Ten Quarterbacks for the 2017 Season

July is upon us, which means our fantasy football drafts will be right around the corner. Conventional wisdom would tell you to wait on drafting a quarterback because the position is so deep and full of production. That’s as true this year as it ever has been. There are some excellent QBs in the league right now, so even in deep 16 team leagues everyone should find a quality starter. However, there are a few guys who stand out above the rest. Here are my top ten fantasy QBs for the 2017 season.

10) Cam Newton

This time last year Newton was coming off a Super Bowl appearance and an incredible MVP season. Despite dropping back down to his career norms last season, he still offers a lot in fantasy. His ability to run combined with what he offers as a passer will give you a lot of ways to score, specifically touchdowns. Then consider that the Panthers added a pair of pass catching RB to help him out of the backfield and it feels clear that Newton will be one of the top fantasy options in 2017.

9) Andrew Luck

Luck is a fantastic quarterback who has already proven he can elevate his teammates despite not having great talent around him. Last year he ranked eighth in passing yards and fifth in passing touchdowns. You can probably expect similar numbers in the upcoming season as most of his supporting cast is the same. Assuming his offensive line can protect him, he’s basically a top ten fantasy lock.

8) Derek Carr

Fresh off his massive pay day, Carr should be in the conversation for MVP again this season. He ranked 8th in passing touchdowns and was less than 70 yards away from cracking the 4,000 passing yard mark for the first time in his career. The most impressive part of Carr’s game is his low number of interceptions. He threw just six last year, so if you’re in a league the penalized hard for turnovers that’s something to consider. Now with Latavius Murray taking his talents to the Vikings, more of the offense will revolve around Carr throwing the ball than ever before.

7) Drew Brees

Undoubtably, Brees is one of the best to ever play the game. Even at 37 years old he threw for another 5,000+ yards (most passing yards in the NFL) and 37 touchdowns (third most passing TD’s in the NFL). So why is he only my seventh rated fantasy QB going into 2017? Two reasons. One is that he is 37 years old and it’s only a matter of time until he starts slowing down. The second and more important reason is the loss of Brandin Cooks. His 1,100+ yards of production and his excellent explosiveness are just gone with no replacement and that’s going to hurt Brees as a result. Even so, he should still have a very good year.

6) Marcus Mariota

It’s in their third year that most young quarterbacks elevate their game from good to great. That should be fun to watch for Titans fans as he already ranked tenth in passing touchdowns last season. Now with the addition of fifth overall pick Corey Davis, as the number one wide receiver, and Eric Decker, one of the best slot receivers in the game, Mariota’s numbers should be on the rise. Look for him to be one of the top passers in 2017.

5) Ben Roethlisberger

Big Ben is one of the best in the game and has elite playmakers around him. He ranked sixth in touchdown passes last year while missing two games. Now fully healthy going into the season, with Le’Veon Bell expected to play a full season this year, Big Ben should prove to still be one of the elite QB’s in the game. The only thing fantasy owners have to worry about is if he’ll stay healthy the entire year (which he rarely seems to do). So draft Big Ben early, but also consider drafting a backup earlier than normal just in case.

Photo by Matt May/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

4) Jameis Winston 

Winston is another third year quarterback who is expected to make a big jump this season. After becoming the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000+ yards in his first two seasons, the Bucs actually got him some real playmakers to throw to. With the addition of DeSean Jackson in free agency and OJ Howard and Chris Godwin in the draft, Winston’s passing yards (12th in the NFL last year) and passing touchdowns (7th in the NFL last year) to improve dramatically. Don’t be shocked to see him in MVP conversations in 2017.

3) Matt Ryan

Last year Ryan put together a career season on his way to an MVP award and a Super Bowl appearance. While I don’t expect him to be quiet as good this year, I still expect him to be excellent. The Falcons have the best group of skill position players in the NFL, highlighted by the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones. It’s hard to say exactly how the offense will respond to a new coordinator calling the plays, but I can’t overlook Matty Ice and the talent he has to work with.

2) Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers was a fantasy stud last year.  He was fourth in the NFL in passing yards and first in passing touchdowns. Will all of his weapons returning, plus a few more coming in via the draft and free agency, I see no reason Rodgers can repeat or even improve upon last year’s numbers.

1) Tom Brady

Brady didn’t put up the eye popping numbers that many of the guys on this list did last year. That was because he was suspended for the first four games of the year. Even so, he still threw 28 touchdowns and helped lead the Patriots to an epic Super Bowl win. Now he’s not only back for a full season, but he’s got one of the best receivers in the game to throw to this year. Brandin Cooks was traded to the Patriots in the offseason, which means the 1,100+ yards that Drew Brees lost is now at Brady’s disposal.

Did this article just make you hungry for more FOOTBALL? @cleatgeeks has partnered with Pony Keg Sports to bring our fans a great podcast that you can listen to anytime! Go get your #FridayFootballFix with the Pony Keg Sports Podcast as they do a complete mock fantasy draft!

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