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Three’s Company: Fantasy QBs

The Three QB Studs, Stay-Aways & Sleepers in 2017:

Ben Heisler
August 28, 2017 - 3:44 pm

We are less than two weeks away from the start of real football! All throughout the week, we’ll take a look at each fantasy football position: QB, RB, WR & TE and break down each of them into three categories.

The Studs: These are the players at this position that you don’t need to think twice about because you’re guaranteed to have them deliver at their ADP (average draft position)

The Stay-Aways: The players that I’m not going to touch this year or the players that are being drafted far too early despite their likely contributions.

The Sleepers: The players that are going anywhere from mid-to-late rounds in fantasy drafts, including some that may not be drafted at all!

Today we’ll kick off Three’s Company with the QB breakdown.


Writer’s Note: I don’t think it does much good for a write-up of Aaron Rodgers & Tom Brady. They are both clear and away the top two fantasy options at QB and are interchangeable at 1A (Rodgers) & 1B (Brady). I’ll therefore put a little more risk into my Studs at the QB position fully knowing that two of them are clear and away at the top.

DREW BREES, New Orleans Saints:

It’s crazy to me that there are those undervaluing a guy who over the last six seasons has averaged 5141 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. Yet the reports coming out of camp are that the Saints are more likely to be run-oriented with Mark Ingram, Adrian Peterson and rookie Alvin Kamara. Brees’ home/road splits are a tiny bit concerning, but don’t overthink this one.

MARCUS MARIOTA: Tennessee Titans

Everyone seems to be on the Titans bandwagon in NFL circles and Mariota’s steady development over the last few seasons has lead to breakout expectations. Besides the additions of Eric Decker and 1st round rookie WR Corey Davis to go along with 1,000 yard receiver Rishard Matthews and Top-10 TE Delanie Walker, Mariota is remarkably efficient in the red zone with 30 TDs and ZERO picks.

MATT RYAN: Atlanta Falcons

Ryan finished as the second-highest scoring fantasy QB last season only behind Aaron Rodgers and he doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Via Fanball.com, Ryan has averaged 4500 passing yards the past five straight years and has at least 26 touchdowns in six of his last seven seasons. It helps when Julio Jones is your top receiver, but add in the pass-catching abilities of Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman and breakout TE candidate Austin Hooper and Matty-Ice should remain red-hot.


ELI MANNING, New York Giants. PHILIP RIVERS, Los Angeles Chargers.


BEN ROETHLISBERGER, Pittsburgh Steelers:

It seems counter-intuitive to stay away from the QB of the offense that has Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown & Martavis Bryant, but his production has slowed the last two years: 21 TDs and 16 picks in 2015, a better year of 29 and 13 last year. But he’s also missed time in both seasons: 6 games in the past few years and has home/road splits that would make Drew Brees blush. I need to be risk-averse at QB and Big Ben just doesn’t provide it.

CAM NEWTON, Carolina Panthers

Cam was my 3rd round pick in 2016 in one of my leagues after he was the #1 scoring QB in 2015 and it didn’t go well from there. He fell to the 15-20 range as a QB last season and this year, there’s been an effort to not have him running for the goal line and getting concussed yet again. That means more TDs for Jonathan Stewart instead of 6-pointers for Cam. Factor in a completion percentage around 53% and I’m no longer sold on Superman in fantasy this season.

RUSSELL WILSON, Seattle Seahawks

Paul Charchian of Fanball.com wrote a whole piece on Wilson this offseason and while I don’t buy that he’ll be as poor as he believes him to be, I certainly don’t think he deserves to be a Top-5 QB taken off the board as a bottom end QB1 last year. He was hurt throughout the first half and with another brutal offensive line and a rushing attack with Thomas Rawls & Eddie Lacy, I’m not convinced there’s going to be a whole lot of balance for him. I can’t see him living up to anywhere close to his ADP.


CARSON WENTZ, Philadelphia Eagles

The training wheels are now off for Wentz as he enters his second year in the league. He’s developed a great relationship with TE Zach Ertz who’s a terrific vertical threat, they’ve added Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith to the mix. Add in another year of a safety blanket out of the flat in Darren Sproles and Wentz could sneak into the mix as a Top10-15 guy. Nobody seems to be sure of whether LeGarrette Blount is going to play

JAY CUTLER, Miami Dolphins

Don’t throw up on your computer screen just yet. Jay had his best TD/INT ratio under Adam Gase a few years back when he was the offensive coordinator in Chicago. Now he’s in Miami with a far better offensive line, a great PPR over-the-middle target in Jarvis Landry, and DaVante Parker ready to explode into Top-15 WR territory. Factor in a deep-target Kenny Stills and an athletic freak in Julius Thomas (Cutler targets TEs for greater than Ryan Tannehill), and this might be a stunning revelation for “Smokin’ Jay.”

BRIAN HOYER, San Francisco 49ers

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan hand-picked Hoyer for this season as the team begins its rebuild. A few years back, he was the reliable option DeAndre Hopkins needed in Houston to have his breakout season and I think Hoyer will have a similar effect for Pierre Garcon. We’ll get to Garcon more later this week, but this pairing maximizes QB talent. Think Matt Ryan in Atlanta, and even Matt Schaub in Houston when HE LED THE LEAGUE IN YARDS PASSING AND YARDS PER GAME! Hoyer’s not a QB1, but he might be a backup that gets you a win when you least expect it.

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