Training camps have started and it’s time to pay attention to our 2017 Fantasy picks. We’ve been writing about the top fantasy players at every position but here we’ll keep the spotlight on the top dog spot.
A quarterback position in the NFL is one of the toughest positions in all of sports. Leader of the offense and the entire team is the guy that is probably most glorified and scrutinized member of the squad. For Fantasy GM’s, picking the right guy might make the difference for the entire season, and although QB’s Fantasy points are adjusted on the way that he might not be the most impactful player on your fantasy roster, he definitely plays the role that must not be overlooked.
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- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The Pack’s QB is considered to be one of the most valuable players that ever played the position. He is the only player in the history of this game that keeps his career passer rating above 100 mark (104.1). Second best is Russell Wilson with 99.6 but he has played only four seasons in the NFL oppose to Rodgers’s 11. Guy that is by many considered to be the best QB of all-time, Tom Brady sits at the No. 3 spot in this aspect with 97.2 in 16 NFL seasons.
Another very important indicator for the fantasy team owners is his incredible touchdown-to-interception ratio which is 4.13 : 1. He needs only three TDs to get to the number 300 while he has only 72 INTs so far. In retrospective, Tom Brady had 115 INT at the time he reached 300 TDs mark while former Packer legend, Brett Favre had 175 INTs. Peyton Manning had 152 INTs while Drew Brees recorded 154 INTs before reaching 300 TDs. It is inevitable that Aaron Rodgers will become the first player who will record 300 TDs with less than 100 INTs in that moment.
Last season, he was the top fantasy QB, recording total of 380 points. He had 4,428 passing yards (40 TDs, 7 INTs) and 369 rushing yards (4 TDs). This numbers makes him a top choice at this position in the upcoming fantasy season.
- Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan was the second best fantasy QB last year and he has the potential to repeat that success again. He recorded 4,944 passing yards (38 TDs, 7 INTs) and 117 rushing yards, delivering 347.5 total fantasy points to the fantasy GMs. It is questionable how will the end of the last season affect Matt Ice, but the guy is definitely competitor and he proved that he can be the offensive leader of the team.
Main reason that gets him on the No. 2 spot is his vast choice of possible weapons that he can use to destroy the opponents’ defenses. Having Julio Jones on a receiving end is the dream for every NFL QB while Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel also posses the talent and the potency for creating nightmares for opponent’s secondary.
Another big indicator of Matt Ryan’s successful fantasy year is the fact that the Falcons have seventh easiest schedule for quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL season, which is calculated by using the number of fantasy points allowed by the opponents in the previous year against single position.
- Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton is behind a very disappointing season in which he has recorded a significant downfall in every aspect in correlation to the 2015 season when he topped the charts with 389 total fantasy points (24.32 points per game). Last season he ranked 17th among QBs with 3,509 passing yards (19 TDs, 14 INTs) and 359 rushing yards (5 TDs). Main reason for this underperformance can be found in the fact that he played the entire season injured. On March 30, he had a surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff on his throwing shoulder and he will enter this season healthy.
WR Kelvin Benjamin should remain his top target while also four rookies were added during the offseason to Panthers’ roster in order to amplify Newton’s offensive options. They also signed Utah State’s rookie TE Wyatt Houston as an undrafted free agent two months ago while veteran Greg Olsen remains a frontrunner on the position.
Similarly as Matt Ryan’s Falcons, Cam Newton’s Panthers have the 2017 schedule strength on their side. They have second easiest schedule for quarterbacks in the upcoming season and with all other factors put together, Newton is a no-brainer if you don’t have the option to pick Rodgers or Ryan.
- Tom Brady, New England Patriots
When you say to your colleague at the work that you managed to get Tom Brady into your fantasy team, the morning after the fantasy draft, you’ll most certainly be characterized as the lucky one, especially if you and the colleague in question play in the same fantasy league. Nevertheless, by my opinion, Tom Brady is not the Top-3 pick in this year’s fantasy season.
There are couple of reasons for this statement and the main one is the fact that even though he won the last Super Bowl, he ranked 15th among the QBs in fantasy points during the last regular season. He recorded 258.9 total fantasy points with 3,554 passing yards (28 TDs, 2 INTs) and 64 rushing yards. In his defense, he did play in only 12 regular season games after being suspended in first four weeks.
Another worrying aspect that might affect his performances in the upcoming season is the strength of the Patriots’ schedule which in this case doesn’t go in QB’s favor. New England is in the middle of the above mentioned table that features the aspects considering the strength of the schedule for quarterbacks as they rank 19th. All this puts Brady as the No.4 fantasy pick of the position.
- Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
The names of the first four guys on the list were pretty much easy to determine but the fifth spot was close, as both Drew Brees who is a constant fantasy points contributor in the last decade and Jameis Winston, who by my prediction faces the breakout season were in the mix. Nevertheless, I gave the advantage to the successor of Peyton Manning in the Colts’ uniform who has proven to be a consistent traveler of the ascending path since he got drafted to the league in 2012 draft as fist overall pick.
Last season, he ranked fourth in overall fantasy points among QBs with 307.7 points, recording 4,240 passing yards (31 TDs, 13 INTs) and 341 rushing yards (2 TDs). Receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief will remain as his top targets but the Colts also addressed the lack of receiving options issue during the offseason by signing five rookie WRs and three rookie TEs. If Luck can stay healthy, finishing as one of the top-5 fantasy QBs at the end of the 2017 season is almost a certainty.