|1. Peyton Manning||DEN||4||1|
|2. Aaron Rodgers||GB||6||2|
|3. Drew Brees||NO||9||3|
|4. Matthew Stafford||DET||9||4|
|5. Andrew Luck||IND||10||5|
|6. Robert Griffin III||WSH||10||7|
|7. Tony Romo||DAL||11||11|
|8. Nick Foles||PHI||7||6|
|9. Cam Newton||CAR||12||10|
|10. Matt Ryan||ATL||9||9|
|11. Tom Brady||NE||10||8|
|12. Jay Cutler||CHI||9||13|
|13. Colin Kaeparnick||SF||8||12|
|14. Phillip Rivers||SD||10||14|
|15. Russell Wilson||SEA||4||15|
|16. Ben Roethlisberger||PIT||12||16|
|17. Ryan Tannehill||MIA||5||22|
|18. Alex Smith||KC||6||23|
|19. Andy Dalton||CIN||4||17|
|20. Carson Palmer||ARZ||4||21|
|21. Johnny Manziel||CLE||4||18|
|22. Eli Manning||NYG||8||19|
|23. Josh McCown||TB||7||20|
|24. Joe Flacco||BAL||11||UR|
|25. Brian Hoyer||CLE||4||UR|
Why I ranked above ADP:
Tony Romo: For some reason, like every other season, Tony Romo doesn’t get enough credit for what he provides fantasy owners. Sure, he is probably more valuable in fake football than in real life, but he is undervalued nevertheless. He is currently being drafted after the likes of Matt Ryan and Tom Brady, despite the poor seasons they both had in 2013. Romo has dark-horse candidate #1 PPR WR in Dez Bryant, a sophomore wideout who is poised to breakout this year in Terrance Williams, one of the top pass-catching TEs in Jason Witten and an RB with a good pair of hands in DeMarco Murray. Not to mention, Romo might have the best offensive line protecting him and Scott Linehan is his new offensive coordinator. Linehan helped Matthew Stafford throw for almost 5,000 yards last season. Despite having two back surgeries in the past two years, Romo has only missed one game in the past three seasons. Gamers are concerned about his health and age, but he has proven to be durable. Romo could wind up finishing the season as a top five option at the position.
Robert Griffin III: Griffin had what we call a “sophomore slump” last season after having a stellar rookie campaign. Part of that can be attributed to his rushing back from ACL reconstructive surgery too soon and clashing with his coaching staff. However, he has had a whole off-season to recover and with a new regime in place (Jay Gruden as HC and Sean McVay as OC) this year should be different. Gruden has come over from Cincinnati and fills the void at offensive coordinator He helped Andy Dalton (yes, THAT Andy Dalton) produce a top 5 QB season last year. Gruden will institute a more balanced offensive scheme, which should benefit RG3. The new game plan should help utilize RGIII’s cannon of an arm without forcing him to overuse his legs. Plus, he will have reliable receiver Pierre Garcon again (led NFL in receptions last season) and also a new deep threat DeSean Jackson who will stretch the field. Also Jordan Reed is on the mend and will be back early on after dealing with concussion issues at the end of last season. Considering the Redskins’ new coaching staff and Griffin’s health, there is a non-zero chance he finishes as one of the top four or five QB options in fantasy this season.
Why I ranked below ADP:
Tom Brady: Using standard metrics, Tom Brady finished as the 15th ranked QB in 2013. 15th! This year already, owners are drafting him to be a top 10 option, but I don’t buy it. Brady has been Mr. Reliable for a long time, but he just doesn’t put up the same gaudy numbers anymore. Many are banking on him to have a big time bounce-back season due to all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski being reportedly healthy, but one player isn’t going to completely save Brady’s fantasy value. Granted, the Patriots lost both Gronkowski and pass-catching back Shane Vereen for large chunks of the season. Brady has a shot to finish as a top 10 QB, but I’m not ready to gamble on him in drafts to find out. Brady will be 37 in just a couple of days, the New England run game will be prominent again and it is difficult to count on “Gronk” to maintain health for the long haul. My love for Brady is well documented, but for fantasy purposes he’s not who he was.
Andy Dalton: As I mentioned earlier, Dalton did have a top #5 QB year last year in fantasy. But that was with Jay Gruden manning the offensive coordination. Now with Gruden in Washington, his new OC is Hue Jackson. If you don’t know about Jackson, he loves to run the ball and rely on his running backs. Because of that, the player who is going to be affected the most by this is Andy Dalton. The Bengals gunslinger doesn’t do any one thing particularly well, but was put into a nice situation when installed as the starter on a pass-first team. Regression was going to be big story in Dalton’s 2014 anyway, but with the new scheme likely to be installed, his upside becomes severely limited. Clock control may be a theme for the Bengals this season, as their stout defense will likely keep them in most of their games. Dalton still has the tools around him (AJ Green, breakout candidate Gio Bernard) to be a serviceable fantasy option, but expecting anything more may be a mistake.
Statistical credit: Fantasyfootballcalculator.com
Doug Moore is a fantasy football contributor at The Sports Script. Follow him on Twitter @DMM0822!