All this week the Washington Post will be rolling out its fantasy football rankings by position, starting Monday with the top 30 quarterbacks. Here are the best and worst QB values for the upcoming season.
Kaepernick is projected to be a top-five fantasy QB (3,800 yards and 26 touchdowns) and is in the top 10 in contributing to his team’s winning ways. According to Brian Burke’s Win Probability Added, which measures each play in terms of how much it increased or decreased a team’s chances of winning the game, Kaepernick ranked seventh out of the 44 QBs with at least four games played in 2013.
As an added kicker, San Fransisco has one of the easiest schedules for fantasy QBs during the first five weeks of the season.
McCown left Chicago for the greener pastures of Tampa Bay and should fit in just fine. His weapons aren’t as flashy as those he had in Chicago, but he will have Doug Martin in the backfield, Mike Williams and Vincent Jackson as his receivers and Brandon Myers at tight end. Plus, the Bucs drafted Mike Evans, the most explosive wide receiver in the 2014 NFL draft. His projected 3,400 yards and 23 touchdowns make him a viable backup with enough upside that could sniff around the top 10.
Robert Griffin III
RGIII could be the sleeper pick of the 2014 season. Gene has him ranked ninth and mock drafts have him going in the sixth round as the seventh QB taken in 12-team leagues, but Griffin could easily turn in a top-five performance.
For starters, opposing defenses will have pick their poison when choosing to double cover a Redskins receiver: Pierre Garcon, who led the NFL in receptions last year or DeSean Jackson, who caught 16 passes and scored eight touchdowns on targets of 20 yards or more last season.
Secondly, the Redskins face the most favorable schedule overall for QB points allowed in 2014.
DC-based leagues will probably overvalue RGIII a bit, but for those leagues outside the beltway, Griffin in the sixth round will be a draft-day steal.
The Cowboys quarterback is projected to throw 4,500 yards and 31 touchdowns plus feels he has “just started to come into the player that wanted to be six, seven years ago.” However, he underwent two back surgeries in 2013 — once in April to remove a cyst and again in December to fix a herniated disk — and is expected to face one of the toughest schedules in fantasy football. According to FFToolbox, the Cowboys will face the third least favorable slate in terms of fantasy points allowed for quarterbacks.
Manning is projected to have the 23rd most fantasy points at the quarterback position, but after 10 years the 33-year-old signal caller will be learning a new offense under first-time coordinator Ben McAdoo. Part of that new offense includes having Manning work out of the no-huddle more often, where the Giants registered just 409 yards (13th most in the league) and two touchdowns on 44 plays last season.
Roethlisberger is a middle-of-the-road quarterback who will also be asked to operate more out of the no-huddle in 2014. Last season, the Steelers ran the no-huddle offense on 12 percent of their plays (fourth highest in NFL) and saw Roethlisberger complete 102 of 163 passes for 1,221 yards and 10 touchdowns. But, standing in his way is the fifth-hardest schedule for fantasy quarterbacks, including the 23rd toughest during the weeks where most teams have their fantasy football playoffs.
Projections from Fantasypros.com. ADP draft data from Fantasy Football Calculator.