Forget Manning, Brees and Rodgers. Here is when you should draft a QB in fantasy football.

The Post Sports Live crew offers picks for fantasy quarterbacks beyond the top three of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Your fantasy football draft is almost here. You’ve researched the best players in the draft. You’ve got your sleeper list. Maybe you even considered trying something new, like waiting to draft a running back until the fourth or fifth round. But if you are still wondering where to draft your quarterback, this will help.

Peyton Manning was the highest scoring fantasy player last season after throwing for 5,477 yards and 55 touchdowns, so it is no surprise he is being taken in the first round (1.08 ADP), sometimes as early as the number one overall pick. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers are the next quarterbacks off the board, but they have been second round picks (2.05 and 2.07 ADP, respectively).

Typically, you want to grab as much talent as you can at running back and wide receivers, possibly a tight end if Jimmy Graham is available, before targeting a passer. That’s because there is a ton of value at the quarterback position late in the draft.

Over the past three years, a top-12 scoring quarterback (QB1) has been taken, on average, with the 75th pick. Remove the top three scorers and that drops to the 88th pick, or somewhere in the seventh to eighth round. Here is the year by year trend for the past three seasons:

Nine of the 12 highest scoring options at quarterback last season were available in the sixth round or later, and one (Nick Foles) went undrafted.

Top 12 QB ADP 2013

By waiting until after the sixth round to draft a quarterback, you can stockpile on running backs and wide receivers and still have a great chance at snagging a top passer. Here are three you should keep an eye on:

Matt Ryan, 6.10 ADP

Ryan is on the precipice of being considered one of the NFL’s elite passers. He is projected to throw for over 4,700 yards and add 30 touchdowns for 289 points, which would be good for top 10 in most fantasy leagues.

Jay Cutler, 8.03 ADP

Cutler started 11 games for an offense that scored the second most points in the NFL last year and heads into the season with the best wide receiver tandem in the league in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. Add in  a solid running game led by Matt Forte and Cutler could squeak into the top 10 this year.

Philip Rivers, 9.12 ADP

Rivers finished as the sixth best quarterback in most formats last season after tossing 4,478 passing yards and 31 touchdowns. He has a deep backfield, a standout receiver in Keenan Allen, who produced five 100-yard games and caught eight touchdowns, and one of the best tight ends in the game (Antonio Gates).

All stats and draft data based on a 12-team non-PPR league based on the NFL default fantasy scoring system.

Average draft position data from Fantasy Football Calulator.

More Fantasy Football

2014 Fantasy Draft Home | Cheat Sheet | Mock Draft Analysis

Positional Rankings: Top 30 QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | Ks | DEF

Draft Talent Tiers: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs

Fancy Stats Value Players: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.

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Neil Greenberg · August 20, 2014