2015 Fantasy Football: Top 10 QBs Post-Super Bowl
The Super Bowl is now behind us and it’s never too soon to start looking forward to next fantasy season. This is the first of a four part series in our pre-draft, pre-free agency top 10 lists. We start with the quarterbacks.
Top Fantasy QBs of 2015
1. Andrew Luck
Luck takes our top spot as of now. In just his third year in the league, Luck was edged out by Aaron Rodgers for the fantasy QB1 spot as he stumbled down the stretch. The Stanford alum threw the ball a whopping 616 times in 2014. He completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 4,761 yards and 40 TDs. He also added 273 yards and three TDs on the ground. The only reason he was bumped to the QB2 spot was due to the fact he threw 16 INTs and put the ball on the ground 12 times. As Luck continues to develop into one of the league’s top QBs, he should get the turnovers under control and cut way back on the negative fantasy points.
With about $40 million in cap room this offseason, the Colts should be able to improve their woeful roster. Indy’s offensive live has been horrible since Luck was drafted first overall and they desperately need a legitimate running back. His WR corps is average at best as well. With all due respect to the great Reggie Wayne, his days as an elite WR1 are now behind him and Hakeem Nicks’ career has fallen off a cliff. T.Y. Hilton has the talent but still drops too many key passes. Donte Moncrief should see a larger role in his sophomore season and has shown promise. While his tight ends are solid, he needs help and, more importantly, protection. Luck should only get better as should his supporting cast. Look for him to be an elite QB for years to come.
2. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers is the NFL’s most talented quarterback. He will head into 2015 as the league’s reigning MVP and fantasy QB1. His ability to limit his mistakes put him over the top this past season. He threw for 4,381 yards and accounted for 40 TDs. Where he had the edge on Luck was his impressive five interceptions for the entire season. Jay Cutler can match his season total in a half! Rodgers will keep on rolling along in 2015. Hopefully for his sake the Packers can manage to fit star WR Randall Cobb under their salary cap. That remains to be seen though. With or without Cobb, Rodgers will be an elite fantasy QB and once again fight for that top spot.
3. Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben is coming off by far the best fantasy season of his career. He threw for 4,952 yards and had a TD-to-INT ratio of 32-to-9. This includes back-to-back six touchdown games against the Ravens and Colts. At home his TD-to-INT ratio was a ridiculous 23-to-4. He has the league’s top fantasy WR Antonio Bryant and the official NFL Fantasy Football MVP, Le’Veon Bell. Bell caught 83 passes for 854 yards and three TDs from the running back position, while Brown caught an unbelievable 129 receptions for 1,689 yards and 13 TDs. Still, the offense didn’t really click until rookie standout Martavis Bryant burst on to the scene against the Texans Week 7. He caught six TDs in his first four games and ended the season with 26 receptions, 549 yards and eight TDs in just 10 games. Bryant is a raw talent that has the potential to improve by leaps and bounds this offseason.
Roethlisberger may have the best arsenal of weapons in all the NFL. He has always had the talent but not weapons of this caliber. Bell is a very special player and makes all the difference in the world as we saw in the Wild Card round of this year’s playoffs. Perhaps I am a bit biased being that I have a trophy sitting in my living room much in part thanks to Big Ben, nevertheless, I believe in him and believe in the Steelers offense in 2015.
4. Russell Wilson
Welp, at least Wilson beat Tom Brady at one thing. I’m sure being ahead of him on this list is a fair consolation for losing the Super Bowl in heartbreaking fashion in which many people blame him for the loss. Wilson has one of the worst groups of pass-catchers in the NFL and was still the third leading QB in fantasy football. He led all QBs in rushing with 849 yards and six TDs. He also threw for 3,475 and 20 TDs with only seven INTs. Four may seem a little bit high for Wilson being that he is not as prolific a passer as most of the other QBs on the list, but consider that his top pass-catchers this season were Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse. Now imagine if they get him a decent wideout.
5. Peyton Manning
Manning ended 2014 as the fantasy QB5 and will do the same in 2015. However, it’s not a good five. Next season will go a lot like last season. Look for Manning to get off to a hot start and light it up in September and October making fantasy owners everywhere forget what he did to them in the previous playoffs. Maybe it was the injured quad, right? Wrong. He’s old and can’t finish a full season anymore. Manning is about to turn 39 in the beginning of March and it’s already clear his arm isn’t what it used to be. It’s not going to get better now. Smart fantasy owners will draft Manning and trade him high before Thanksgiving. You heard it here first.
6. Tom Brady
Now that Brady has forced his way in to the greatest quarterback ever conversation and cemented his position as the greatest QB of his era, Brady is poised to jump from the fantasy QB9 to QB6 next season. Last season Brady threw for 4,109, 33 TDs and nine INTs. After tearing his ACL last season, Rob Gronkowski was on a snap count of some sort for the majority of the season. With Gronk 100 percent to kickoff next season, that should prevent another slow start. My bold prediction is that Larry Fitzgerald ends up in New England this offseason and completely rejuvenates his career.
7. Drew Brees
Brees has steadily seen his numbers drop off over the last four years. Slowly but surely, year by year. In 2011 he threw for a career best 5,476 yards and 46 TDs. In 2012 his numbers dropped to 5,177 yards and 43 TDs. Then in 2013, Brees threw 5,162 yards and 39 TDs. Last season Brees threw for 4,952 yards and 33 TDs. Not too shabby, but clearly you can see his decline. He is 36-years-old, undersized and has had a major shoulder surgery on his throwing arm in his career. Not that a top seven QB is bad by any stretch, nevertheless, he is no longer among the league’s elite.
8. Cam Newton
Newton had an injury plagued season, which led to by far the worst fantasy season of his career. He was forced to miss a game early with an ankle injury. Newton had surgery before the season started and it never really got back to full strength and clearly hindered his mobility and ability to run. As he began to get healthy, he was in a somewhat serious car accident in which he flipped his truck and suffered two cracks in his back. On top of all the injuries, he had a brand new set of WRs led by rookie Kelvin Benjamin. With an offseason to get healthy and build chemistry with Benjamin and the rest of his WRs, Newton should have a bounce back campaign next season. Look for the Panthers to bolster their O-line this offseason and add another WR in free agency. My guess is they sign Cecil Shorts.
9. Ryan Tannehill
Believe it or not, last season Tannehill was the fantasy QB8, and he seems to only be getting better each season. Unlike Brees, Tannehill’s numbers have increased in each of the last three seasons. In 2014, he threw for 4,045 yards, 27 TDs and 12 INTs. He also rushed for 311 yards and a TD. He started running the read option around Week 5 and it looks like it’s here to stay. He had a five game span when he ran for at least 35 yards. Look for Tannehill and his skill position players to continue to grow and mature in Bill Lazor’s offensive system. It has taken him time to develop but this kid might be the real deal.
10. Matthew Stafford
How the hell did Stafford end the season as the QB15 just behind Cutler? The whole offense is setup for the QB to put up huge numbers. It’s not like the team was bad. They made the playoffs. Yes, Calvin Johnson missed some time with an ankle injury, however, Golden Tate had a breakout year, Theo Riddick played well catching the ball out of the backfield and Joique Bell gave them a legitimate running game in the second half of the season. It just doesn’t make much sense. Stafford threw the ball over 600 times for 4,257 yards but only 22 TDs. That is somewhat of a bizarre stat line. We fully expect his TDs to go up in 2015. A healthy Megatron and all his TEs not being injured most of the season should go a long way to make that happen. Also, Eric Ebron should be much better in his sophomore campaign.
Just Missed the Cut
There is one reason we believe Manning will be hovering around the top 10 next season. That reason is Odell Beckham Jr. Manning actually threw for 4,410 yards and 30 TDs last season and was the fantasy QB10. If not for a terrible game against the 49ers in which he threw one TD and five INTs, we may be talking about him in a whole different light right now.
This one is pretty simple. He was the best rookie QB and had a very promising season. He also has a handful of talented young WRs who could also be poised to breakout, especially, Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright. They both showed flashes this season.
Because Somebody’s Going to Ask
Sorry Cowboys’ fans. No I’m not a “hater”, there is actually a good reason for Romo being left off this list. Last season he had the best season of his career and was an MVP candidate. He was still only the fantasy QB11. The team learned that not allowing him to throw as much results in success. Odds are he won’t have a better season in 2015. Not to mention he’ll be 35-years-old with a bad back.