Click here to enter the 2017 Lester’s Legends Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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Brady Spike
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With fantasy drafts taking place, here’s an updated and expanded look at the 2017 fantasy football quarterback landscape.
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1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
5. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
10. Marcus Mariotta, Tennessee Titans
11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
12. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
13. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
16. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
17. Eli Manning, New York Giants
18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
19. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
20. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
21. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
22. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
23. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
24. Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins
25. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
26. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers
27. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
28. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
29. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
30. Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears
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2017 Quality QB2 Options

3 August 2017

Philip Rivers baby blue
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Not everybody can land a Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, Big Ben, Cam Newton, Russell Rilson or Matt Ryan in their fantasy drafts. If you miss out on an elite quarterback it’s not a bad plan to nab a quality QB2 that you can play the matchup game with when your starter has a tougher opponent. Assuming Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott round out your QB1s, here are some quality QB2 options.
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Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers – Rivers is always a good option for a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2. He has averaged 4,485.5 yards and 31.25 touchdowns over the past four years. He’s often overlooked, but he finished 5th in passing yards and 4th in touchdown passes. Once again a dozen or so quarterbacks will likely go off the board before Rivers.
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Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – Stafford is another one that seems to be forgotten about on draft day. Yet he finished 6th with 4,327 yards. He only threw 24 touchdowns (14th), which has kept him from fantasy greatness. Stafford has only topped 30 touchdowns twice. However, he’s averaged 4,583.5 yards over the past six seasons.
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Eli Manning, New York Giants – Manning throws to arguably the best wide receiver in the game. He has averaged 4,291 yards and 30.3 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Last year Manning finished 13th in passing yards (4,027) and tied for 10th with 26 touchdowns.
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Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders – After finishing with 28 touchdowns to 6 interceptions to go along with 3,937 yards in an injury-shortened season, it would not be a stretch if Carr went as a QB1. If not, he’s a real nice QB2.
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Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals – Palmer finished 9th with 4,233 yards and tied for 10th with 26 touchdowns. He had 4,671 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2015. His age makes him a little scary, but Palmer can still produce.
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Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals – Dalton throws to A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. He finished 11th with 4,206 yards. The injuries to the two aforementioned stars limited him to 18 touchdown passes. He has averaged 23.6 touchdowns in six season.

Click here to enter the 2017 Lester’s Legends Fantasy Football Team Name Contest!
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Brady Spike
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With the NFL Draft behind us it is time to start thinking about next year’s fantasy football landscape. Here is an early look at quarterbacks. Click here for the updated rankings.
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1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
5. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
8. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
9. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
10. Marcus Mariotta, Tennessee Titans
11. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
12. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
13. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
14. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
15. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
16. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
17. Eli Manning, New York Giants
18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
19. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
20. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
21. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
22. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
23. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings
24. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
25. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
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Also check out:

Brady Spike
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Now that the dust is settling on another season, let’s take a look at the QB landscape.
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The Elite
Tom Brady – Missed four games because of Roger’s vendetta. 3,554 yards, 29 TDs, 2 INTs which extrapolate to 4,739 yards, 39 TDs and 3 INTs. Set the Super Bowl record for passing yards as he got the last laugh. No signs of slowing and has a great group of weapons that fit his style. If Gronk can stay healthy, he’s even more dangerous.
Drew Brees – 5,208 yards, 37 TDs, 15 INTs. A remarkable fifth 5,000 yard season. He’s 38, but no signs of slowing. Good young receiving options.
Aaron Rodgers – 4,428 yards and an NFL-high 40 TDs to just 7 picks.
Matt Ryan – Matty Ice may have a Super Bowl hangover after that debacle, but he has the best receiver in the game, along with numerous weapons. MVP season with 4,944 yards, 38 TD and 7 INTs.
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The Next Wave
Andrew Luck – 4,240 yards, 31 TDs, 13 INTs. Great to see the TD-INT ratio come back. Adding 341 yards and 2 TDs on the ground has him knocking on that elite status.
Philip Rivers – 4,386 yards, 33 TDs. A little heavy on the INTs (21). Key injuries set him back, but still solid year nonetheless. Consistently delivers. Also consistently undervalued.
Ben Roethlisberger – 3,819 yards, 29 TDs, 13 INTs in 14 games. He’s a force but tends to deal with injuries. You’ll want a capable backup.
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Strong Options
Derek Carr – It’s a shame he got injured as he was in the MVP discussion with 3,937 yards and 28 TDs to just 6 INTs.
Kirk Cousins – Third in league with 4,917 yards, but a little light on TDs (25) to be considered in the upper echelon.
Cam Newton – 3,509 yards, 19 TDs, 14 INTs with 359 yards and five rushing TDs. Should produce more next year both with his arm and his feet.
Matthew Stafford – Same boat as Cousins with 4,327 yards and 24 TDs. Only 10 INTs though.
Russell Wilson – 4,219 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs with 259 yards and a rushing score. Injury limited his mobility. He should be back to his dual threat tendencies next year.
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Up and Coming
Marcus Mariota – 3,426 yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs with 349 yards and 2 TDs rushing. Took a huge next step before being injured.
Zak Prescot – 3,667 yards, 23 TDs and 4 INTs with 282 yards and 6 TDs. Impressive rookie year. Future looks bright.
Jameis Winston – 4,090 yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs. A little heavy on the INTs, but he did progress in year two.
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Veterans
Andy Dalton – 4,206 yards, 18 TDs, 8 INTs
Joe Flacco – 4,317 yards, 20 TDs, 15 INTs
Eli Manning – 4,027 yards, 26 TDs, 16 INTs
Carson Palmer – 4,233 yards, 26 TDs, 14 INTs
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Also check out:

Tom Brady Intense
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The Patriots have dominated the AFC East for the past 15 years and will face off against one of their divisional rivals this week when they travel to play against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Todd Bowles’ men have struggled immensely in the secondary this term, with even future Hall-of-Famer Darrelle Revis displaying signs of his age.
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As a result, expect Brady and his passing attack to carve up the Jets’ defense with Martellus Bennett, Julian Edelman and potentially Rob Gronkowski playing a crucial role. The return of Dion Lewis in the Patriots’ backfield could even see Bill Belichick’s men towards the 40-point mark.
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A win would put the Patriots in with a strong chance of locking up one of the top seeds in the AFC, and in the latest betting odds they are backed as strong contenders to win the Super Bowl, although prices can vary so looking at comparisons in sites that review the best bookmakers, casinos and slots online could be make the difference in placing the right punt.
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Mariota and the Titans offense are really beginning to hit their stride as proven with their 47-point display against the Green Bay Packers. The 23-year-old is beginning to deliver on his potential that saw the AFC South outfit use the second-overall selection in the 2015 Draft to acquire his services.
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He will be facing a poor defensive team in the form of the Chicago Bears, who were taken apart by the player picked one spot ahead of Mariota last year, Jameis Winston. As a result, Mariota will have a huge day in the air, connecting with his tight end Delanie Walker and receivers Kendall Wright and Rishard Matthews.
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Tennessee need to keep up their form on offense as their defense has been porous at times this season, which could prevent them from earning a post-season berth in their division.
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Manning has been below-par this season, failing to connect with the talent around him, and is projected to finish with a lower total touchdown count than last season’s 35 where he spread the ball around well, enjoying one of the best campaigns of his career.
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The perfect remedy for a struggling offense this term has been to play the Cleveland Browns, who are ranked in the bottom five in the NFL in passing defense. There is a dearth of talent in the AFC North side’s pass rush and secondary, leaving them vulnerable to quality attacks.
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The 34-year-old should have little problem firing to Odell Beckham Jr and Sterling Shepard for touchdowns aplenty at FirstEnergy Stadium and that would send his touchdown totals in the right direction as well as keeping the Giants in the hunt of the post-season.

Luck
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Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts“ (CC BY 2.0) by  EDrost88 
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Everything went wrong for Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts last year. After reaching the AFC Championship game in 2014, plenty of NFL fans believed that Chuck Pagano’s men would push on and compete for a place in the Super Bowl in 2015. However, an injury to star quarterback Andrew Luck all but ended their chances of glory and Colts fans had to sit and watch as the Houston Texans won the AFC South title.
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Despite their struggles last season, there is plenty of optimism in the air at Lucas Oil Stadium ahead of the new campaign. Luck is back to 100% fitness and the Colts focused heavily on improving their offensive line in the 2016 NFL Draft. With added protection in front of him, Indianapolis may be about to regain their 2014 form – and the rest of the AFC will be wary of their offensive prowess.
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As of August 16th, the Colts are 25/1 in bet365’s NFL betting odds to go on and win the Super Bowl. While that may be a step too far, Indianapolis will certainly be much more competitive this time around. Luck is widely regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the business and he will be very influential for the Colts this season. But he could also be central to your fantasy football this year. If you get the chance, you should definitely select him.
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Luck’s poor 2015 season was down to a few things.
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Firstly, Indy’s offensive line was virtually non-existent. There was a clear lack of protection for the Colts quarterback throughout the campaign and a hit-and-miss running game meant that Luck had to carry the offense on his own. Unfortunately, it was a step too far for the number one overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft but that shouldn’t be an issue this season.
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Secondly, Luck was trying to force things a little too much. With new offensive co-ordinator Rob Chudzinski working closely with him, Luck may be about to improve and benefit from a tweaked scheme. Indianapolis are still going to be a pass-heavy offense but added focus on the running game should help to take a bit of pressure off Luck’s shoulders as the Colts look to get back to their best.
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His fantasy stock has fallen in the offseason but that could be good for your team. If you are fortunate, you could select Luck in the fifth round of the draft – a decent mid-round pick that will give you a solid option at the quarterback position. He is never going to do a Cam Newton but Luck has MVP potential and if he can regain his 2014 form, you could be on your way to the fantasy title.
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For us, he’s a top five quarterback without a shadow of a doubt. Write Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts off at your peril… we dare you.

Big Ben
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Like the AFC East this division is split between teams that have established quarterbacks and teams that are hopeful that their young quarterbacks will deliver.
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Ben Roethlisberger may be better equipped to deal with the lockout than any quarterback in the league. After all he sat out the first four games last year and stepped in with a three-touchdown performance in his season debut. Despite playing in 12 games he finished with 3200 yards and 17 TDs (5 INTs). Big Ben knows the offense and knows his players. If the lockout drags on, the veteran Steelers could actually be at an advantage. Big Ben is a solid QB1 that you should to be get at a good value.
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Joe Flacco had a solid season throwing for 3622 yard and 25 TDs (10 INTs). Unfortunately his number seem to decline at the end of the year. Last year he averaged 169.7 passing yards in Weeks 14-16 and 249 yards in the first 12 games. In 2009 he averaged 210 yards in Weeks 14-16 and 240.1 in the first 12 games. In fantasy championship week, typically week 16, he has averaged 134 yards the past two years. The Ravens added speedster Torrey Smith to help stretch the defenses. He should be a nice compliment to Anquan Boldin. Flacco remains a borderline QB1 and should put up solid numbers once again.
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Colt McCoy is back with some experience under his belt. He didn’t light the world on fire, but he didn’t crash and burn either. He completed 60.8 percent of his passes, a number that should rise as he is well-suited for the West Coast Offense the Browns run. They could have added Julio Jones, but opted to trade out of the sixth pick in the draft. They did add Greg Little in the second round, who could end up being one of the best receivers in this class.
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Finally we have the Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer is as good as gone. Whether he is traded, retires, or just sits out the year is the question. Andy Dalton was taken in the second round and he has a good chance to open the season as the starter. Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are also likely to be gone, but Jerome Simpson came on at the end of the year and they added A.J. Green in the draft. With Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham, Dalton has a good chance to be a solid QB2 as a rookie.
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Also check out:

Tom Brady throwing
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The AFC East is truly a case of the “haves” and the “have nots”.
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The quarterback position is the most glamorous one in the league, and the Patriots have the most glamorous one at that position. Not only does Tom Brady have the model wife and movie star looks, but he puts up video game numbers. Most quarterbacks would struggle after losing a talent like Randy Moss, but Brady got better. He finished with 3900 yards and 36 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions. Jay Cutler did that in one game last year. Look for Brady to be the class of the division and among the best in the league again.
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Mark Sanchez doesn’t put up the monster numbers like Brady as he three for just 3291 yards and 17 TDs (13 INTs) last year, but he’s also a winner having been to two consecutive AFC Championships. With their rushing attack Sanchez doesn’t have to carry the team, but he is more than a caretaker. Look for Sanchez to improve once again for the Jets, assuming he gets Santonio Holmes and/or Braylon Edwards back.
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While Ryan Fiztpatrick is a far cry from Tom Brady, he actually was fairly effective for the Buffalo Bills. He threw for 3000 yards and 23 TDs (15 INT) despite playing just 13 games. There were thoughts that the Bills would grab Blaine Gabbert in the 2011 NFL Draft, but Buffalo opted to stick with the Harvard quarterback. He developed a nice rapport with Stevie Johnson, which should continue going forward. Questions remain as to whether or not the Bills will pick up Lee Evans option. If he leaves, it will be a blow to Fitzpatrick. If he stays, Fitzpatrick makes a solid QB2.
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Then there’s Miami. Chad Henne isn’t the answer. There is some talk that the fins will deal for Kyle Orton. He was be a quality QB2 if  he’s reunited with Brandon Marshall. We’ll have to see who ends up getting the nod before we can rate their quarterback situation.

Here are some Quarterbacks putting up serious preseason numbers.  Let’s take a look and see if they have a chance to translate some of that preseason production into fantasy worth in regular season play. 

Matt Hasselbeck throwing
Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks
- Through two games, Hasselbeck leads all QBs with a 111.9 passer rating.  He has completed 67.9% of his passes (19 of 28) for 198 yards and 2 TDs.  The key to his success is staying healthy.  Now that two of his starting offensive lineman have been injured, I would move Hasselbeck down from a low-end QB1 to a high-end QB2 as he’s likely to take more hits with his make-shift line.  It’s nice to see him getting into a rhythm though.

Tarvaris Jackson, Minnesota Vikings - T-Jack responded to the challenge of Brett Favre’s arrival with a perfect 158.3 passer rating, completing 80% of his passes (12 of 15) for 202 yards and 2 TDs.  Unfortunately for Jackson, the Vikings are likely showcasing him so they can try to trade him.  With Favre, T-Jack, Sage Rosenfels, and John David Booty on the roster, something has to give.  The Vikes won’t carry four QBs this year.  Depending on where he ends up, he could have some fantasy value, but I wouldn’t waste a roster spot with him.

A.J. Feeley, Philadelphia Eagles - Feeley leads all QBs with 347 preseason passing yards.  He has completed 34 of 44 passes (77.3%) with 1 TD and a 106.9 passer rating.  The showing is nice, but he is unlikely to unseat Kevin Kolb for the backup role.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills - Fitzpatrick has been unconscious completing 72.1% of his passes (31 of 43) for 316 yards.  He’s sixth in the preseason standings with a 90.8 passer rating.  He had a good preseason last year as well, and we saw what he did when Carson Palmer went down…little.  He has a little better weapons with the Bills, but don’t expect much from him if Trent Edwards gets hurt.

Brodie Croyle, Kansas City Chiefs - It’s unlikely Croyle can unseat newcomer Matt Cassel.  That would almost be an admission that the old regime was right.  Still, if Croyle continues to push Cassel with his 60.7 completion percentage (17 of 28) and 80.4 passer rating (8th best), fans could start calling for Cassel’s head if he struggles out of the gate.

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

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You’ve seen the Sleepers.  Now it’s time to explore the players who I feel will be disappointments to fantasy football owners.  I’ll start with the Quarterbacks.

Ben Roethlisberger – Will he have a good year?  Probably.  Will he have a great year?  Not likely.  I don’t put Big Ben on another 32 TD, 11 INT year.  Sorry.  He was 3rd in TD Passes last year and 14th in Passing Yards.  That bothers me a little.  Pittsburgh is traditionally a Run First team.  WIth the addition of Rashard Mendenhall to compliment Willie Parker, I think you’ll see a deeper running attack next year.  As for the flurry of TD passes?  I’m just not buying it.  He still should be a good QB next year, but don’t expect him in the Top 6 again.

David Garrard – I like Garrard a lot.  I really do.  I think he does what it takes to win in this league.  There will be owners taking him ahead of Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Eli Manning, and several others.  The problem is, Jacksonville is a Run First team as well.  He averaged 209 yards passing and 1.5 TDs per game last year.  What saved him was the low INT total (3).  Do I see another 6-1 TD:INT ration from Garrard again?  Nope.  Sure don’t.

Tom Brady – Brady will have another fantastic year, but if you are expecting even 4500 yards and 40 TDs you may come away disappointed.  A more realistic season for Brady would be 4200 yards & 36 TDs.  If you can live with that from a late-first/early-second round pick, then by all means take him.

Derek Anderson – I like Anderson, but I need to see proof that it wasn’t a fluke before I invest an early pick in him.  I know this.  He (or Cleveland) won’t be sneaking up on anybody this year.  They will be better equipped to deal with what’s coming.  Just looking at his splits is enough of a reason to raise some red flags for me.
Games 1-8:  91.7 rating, 2108 yards, 17 TD, 9 INT
Games 9-16:  73.7 rating, 1679 yards, 12 TD, 10 INT

How about his performance in the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16)?  He averaged 191 yards, 1.3 TDs, and 1.7 INTs.  Are those numbers that are going to bring you fantasy glory?  I didn’t think so.  What’s worse is they came against the Jets, Buffalo, and Cincinnati.  Not exactly your Powerhouses last year.  One contributing factor is the weather.  Cleveland is cold.  They get a lot of wind and snow.  Next year they play in Philly Week 15 and at home against Cincy Week 16.  You think they could have some weather to deal with?  Yeah, me too.


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