The NFL is a pass-first league, and even though running backs and wide receivers typically dominate the first round in many fantasy football drafts, it’s important to grab a trustworthy quarterback early.
Consistency is key to winning your fantasy league, and the top five quarterbacks should provide you with a reliable performer on a week-to-week basis.
Here are our top 30 quarterback rankings for the 2017 season.
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 4,428 yards, 40 TDs, 7 INTs
Rodgers is a model of consistency and the safest pick at the position. It helps that he has a loaded receiving corps and a quality offensive line, too. Oh, and the addition of veteran tight end Martellus Bennett also should help.
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Bye Week: 9)
2016 Stats: 3,554 yards, 28 TDs, 2 INTs
Brady put up impressive stats last season despite missing four games because of his Deflategate suspension. The offseason addition of super-talented wide receiver Brandin Cooks and the healthy return of elite tight end Rob Gronkowski should propel Brady to another fantastic fantasy season.
3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week: 5)
2016 Stats: 5,208 yards, 37 TDs, 15 INTs
Brees always is a threat for 5,000 passing yards, and playing inside a dome eight times per season certainly helps. Rising star wideout Michael Thomas could have a breakout season in the Saints’ passing attack.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Bye Week: 6)
2016 Stats: 4,219 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs
Wilson often was running for his life behind a poor offensive line last season. If that O-line improves, expect another monster campaign from Wilson, who also puts up fantasy points with his legs as a mobile QB.
5. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (Bye Week: 10)
2016 Stats: 3,937 yards, 28 TDs, 6 INTs
A late-season injury cut Carr’s 2016 season short and ended the Raiders’ hopes of making a deep playoff run. But he has a loaded offense around him that just added veteran running back Marshawn Lynch.
6. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Bye Week: 11)
2016 Stats: 3,509 yards, 19 TDs, 14 INTs
Newton had a disappointing 2016 campaign, but he’s still an elite fantasy QB, especially when you factor in his ability to score rushing touchdowns inside the red zone.
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week: 5)
2016 Stats: 4,944 yards, 38 TDs, 7 INTs
Ryan has plenty of motivation to play at an MVP level after his Falcons blew a 28-3 lead to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
8. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week: 11)
2016 Stats: 4,240 yards, 31 TDs, 13 INTs
Injuries have hurt Luck’s value over the last two years, but he’s shown in the past he’s capable of being a top-five fantasy QB when healthy.
9. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye Week: 11)
2016 Stats: 4,090 yards, 28 TDs, 18 INTs
Winston already had an elite wideout in Mike Evans, and then the Bucs signed veteran receiver DeSean Jackson and drafted Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. Tampa Bay could have a very explosive offense this season.
10. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 9)
2016 Stats: 3,819 yards, 29 TDs, 13 INTs
Roethlisberger has plenty of weapons, including arguably the best wide receiver (Antonio Brown) and running back (Le’Veon Bell) in football. He’s an elite fantasy quarterback if healthy.
11. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 3,426 yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs
Mariota is capable of racking up fantasy points with his arm and legs as a dual-threat quarterback. He also doesn’t turn the ball over much and finally has a deep-threat receiver in rookie Corey Davis (fifth overall pick).
12. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Bye Week: 7)
2016 Stats: 4,327 yards, 24 TDs, 10 INTs
Stafford often throws for a ton of yards — six straight seasons of 4,000-plus yards — but he doesn’t throw for many touchdowns. He’s hit the 30-TD mark just once in the last five seasons.
13. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 6)
2016 Stats: 3,023 yards, 17 TDs, 6 INTs
Taylor has a lot to prove after his performance was questioned last season. He doesn’t turn the ball over much and is capable of picking up points in the running game.
14. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (Bye Week: 5)
2016 Stats: 4,917 yards, 25 TDs, 12 INTs
Cousins threw for nearly 5,000 yards last season, is blessed with a talented receiving corps and has the motivation of playing for a new contract. That’s all the ingredients for a huge season.
15. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 6)
2016 Stats: 3,667 yards, 23 TDs, 4 INTs
Prescott might take a step back in his second year as opposing defenses have a whole year of film on him, but he’s fortunate to have an elite receiver (Dez Bryant) and running back (Ezekiel Elliott) by his side. His offensive line is spectacular, as well.
16. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 4,027 yards, 26 TDs, 16 INTs
Manning throws a lot of interceptions, but the presence of Odell Beckham Jr. and the newly signed Brandon Marshall give him plenty of quality wideouts to target.
17. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 10)
2016 Stats: 3,782 yards, 16 TDs, 14 INTs
Wentz is primed for a breakout sophomore season in a talented Eagles offense.
18. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye Week: 9)
2016 Stats: 4,386 yards, 33 TDs, 21 INTs
Rivers’ interception total increased last season and he had his worst completion percentage since 2007, but he throws often and is a good bet for 30-plus touchdown passes.
19. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 3,905 yards, 23 TDs, 16 INTs
Bortles isn’t a good quarterback to earn real victories, but for fantasy purposes he’s not a horrible backup.
20. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 6)
2016 Stats: 4,206 yards, 18 TDs, 8 INTs
Dalton is an accurate passer and is able to connect on big plays downfield with elite wide receiver A.J. Green. He’s a solid QB2.
21. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 4,233 yards, 26 TDs, 14 INTs
Palmer is a dependable QB in most fantasy leagues, but health always is a concern. He’s missed 11 games over the last three seasons.
22. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (Bye Week: 10)
2016 Stats: 4,317 yards, 20 TDs, 15 INTs
Flacco’s recent back injury is troubling, and he’s thrown for more than 22 touchdowns in a single season just once since 2010. He shouldn’t be your starting quarterback in any type of fantasy league.
23. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Bye Week: 7)
2016 Stats: N/A (rookie)
There’s plenty of talent around Watson in Houston, but rookie QBs always are a risk, and the Texans likely will play whoever gives them the best chance to win because they’re already a playoff contender.
24. Sam Bradford, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 9)
2016 Stats: 3,877 yards, 20 TDs, 5 INTs
Bradford is a solid fantasy backup who’s accurate and doesn’t throw many interceptions.
25. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week: 10)
2016 Stats: 3,502 yards, 15 TDs, 8 INTs
Smith is the classic game-manager quarterback. He’s only a backup from a fantasy perspective.
26. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Bye Week: 8)
2016 Stats: 1,089 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs
Goff can’t play any worse than he did as a rookie.
27. Paxton Lynch, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 5)
2016 Stats: 497 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT
Lynch has the physical tools to be successful, and it helps to have a pair of top-tier wide receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas to target.
28. Jay Cutler, Miami Dolphins (Bye Week: 11)
2016 Stats: 1,059 yards, 4 TDs, 5 INTs
Cutler has completed more than 60 percent of his passes with an average of 22 touchdowns in each of his last three full seasons.
29. Brian Hoyer, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 11)
2016 Stats: 1,445 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs
Outside of talented running back Carlos Hyde, no one on the 49ers offense is worth targeting high in your draft. That said, Hoyer is a starting QB and that does have value in leagues that start two quarterbacks per week.
30. Mike Glennon, Chicago Bears (Bye Week: 9)
2016 Stats: 75 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
Will the Bears pull the plug on Glennon if he struggles and put in No. 2 overall draft pick Mitchell Trubisky?
Thumbnail photo via Jason Bridge/USA TODAY Sports Images
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