Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: Quarterback is a critically important position in fantasy football.
We’re not advising you use your first or even second overall pick on a QB, but you shouldn’t wait until the later rounds to address the position. As we saw last season, having one of the few consistent, stat-stuffing signal-callers on your roster can take you over the top in your league.
So without further ado, here are our top 30 quarterbacks for the upcoming fantasy football season:
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week: 12)
Do we really need to sell you on Mahomes? The reigning NFL MVP was the top fantasy performer last season after throwing for 5,097 yards with 50 touchdowns. With basically all of his weapons returning, as well as the addition of rookie speedster Mecole Hardman, the Chiefs quarterback is bound for another successful campaign.
2. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Bye Week: 10)
The 2018 season was a big one for Watson, who played a full 16-game slate after tearing his ACL the year prior. The third-year signal-caller is just as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm, making him a fantasy points machine. Barring injuries, the versatile QB is primed to make “the jump” in 2019.
3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week: 9)
The Falcons as a team have disappointed the past two seasons, but Ryan has not. He fell 76 yards shy of the 5,000-passing yard threshold last season and was three touchdown passes short of matching his career-high (38). He and Julio Jones remain one of the league’s most lethal tandems, and Calvin Ridley could be in store for a breakout season. Durability also is a major plus with Ryan, who’s only missed two games in his 11-year career.
4. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Bye Week: 11)
Last season really couldn’t have gone worse for the Packers, but Rodgers still managed to put together a fine season in which he only threw two (!) interceptions. The only real concern for Rodgers is his receiving corps, which is surrounded by relative uncertainty outside of two-time Pro Bowl selection Davante Adams.
5, Russell Wilson. Seattle Seahawks (Bye Week: 11)
Wilson is a touchdown machine, as he’s thrown for at least 34 scores in three of the last four seasons. He did lose a favorite target when Doug Baldwin elected to retire, but Seattle helped bridge the gap by drafting D.K. Metcalf in the second round. If the 6-foot-3, 229-pounder can refine his game, he and Wilson have the chance to be a dynamic duo for quite some time.
6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week: 6)
Much like Watson, Luck’s body of work last season provided a major sigh of relief from a health standpoint. Not only was Luck out there every week, he also didn’t miss a beat, throwing for 4,593 yards with 39 touchdowns. The Colts provided Luck with another weapon in the offseason in the form of Devin Funchess and used a second-round pick on playmaker Parris Campbell. Look out for another big season from Indy’s QB.
7. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (Bye Week: 7)
The Browns buzz is aplenty as the new season approaches, and Mayfield is a big reason why. Expectations for Mayfield always were going to be high following a promising rookie season, but they grew even larger after the Browns traded for Odell Beckham Jr. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner has all the weapons he could ever need, and now it’s time for him to live up to the hype.
8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week: 9)
It’s tough to believe Brees’ 18th NFL season was one of his best. The Saints QB set a career-high in completion percentage (74.4) and limited his interceptions to only five. Stuffing the stat sheet also is made a whole lot easier when your offense includes Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, both of whom are coming off career seasons. Don’t let age scare you from drafting Brees.
9. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 10)
There’s no more quarterback controversy in Philadelphia. It’s Wentz’s team, and a clean bill of health should allow the fourth-year pro to return to his normal self. Chunk plays very well could be a weekly occurrence for the Eagles, as Wentz’s arsenal consists of talented deep threats like Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and DeSean Jackson. It also doesn’t hurt having one of the best tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz.
10. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Bye Week: 9)
The No. 1 overall pick in 2016 took his game to the next level last season and fell just short of a Super Bowl championship. The Rams still own one of the strongest wide receiver depth charts in the league with Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp. Goff threw multiple touchdowns in over 50 percent of his games last season, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t follow suit in 2019.
11. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Bye Week: 7)
When healthy, fantasy quarterbacks don’t come much better than Newton, who at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Turnovers can be a bit of an issue, however, as he’s thrown double-digit interceptions in all eight of his seasons. Still, a rocket arm, powerful legs and a propensity to find the end zone make Newton too strong of an option to drift into the later rounds.
12. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye Week: 12)
Rivers is about as consistent as it gets, and he’ll likely lead the Chargers to the postseason once again in 2019. That said, he’s right on the line of being worth a consistent starter. Rivers would be a great quarterback to have on your roster and start purely based on matchups, especially considering L.A. will face a handful of stout defenses this season, including the Houston Texans, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
13. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 7)
Fantasy players might hesitate to draft Roethlisberger now that Antonio Brown is out of Pittsburgh. JuJu Smith-Schuster will make it a lot easier for the Steelers to turn the page, and James Washington appears bound for a leap. James Conner also is a more-than-capable receiver out of the backfield. So yeah, Big Ben should be just fine.
14. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 12)
Cousins is a strong example of disregarding reality for the sake of fantasy. The veteran QB has yet to prove he’s capable of leading a team to a Super Bowl, but his regular-season stats always are above-average. Having one of the league’s top WR duos in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will help continue this trend.
15. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 8)
Restoring championship glory in Dallas won’t be Prescott’s only source of motivation in the upcoming season. A new, lucrative contract awaits the 26-year-old, and while he’s already proved his worth, he only will boost his stock by continuing to grow. And with a full training camp and preseason together, Prescott’s chemistry with Amari Cooper should be awfully strong.
16. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Bye Week: 8)
It would be tough to trust Jackson as your clear-cut starter this season. He flashed his untapped potential at times as a rookie, but the jury is very much out on whether he’s capable of being a pure passer in the NFL. Still, from an athleticism standpoint alone, Jackson probably is worth a spot on your roster as a backup with the hope he evades the sophomore slump and takes off.
17. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Bye Week: 10)
Seeing Brady this low on quarterback power rankings is highly unusual, but it’s the reality in the current fantasy football world. While he routinely puts the Patriots in position to win week in and week out, he’s simply not the fantasy points producer he once was. Not to mention, New England could feature a more run-heavy attack in 2019 given its mediocre cast of pass-catchers.
18. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Bye Week: 5)
Stafford could be a sneaky strong pick if you’re able to grab him in the later rounds. The Lions aren’t expected to be very good in 2019, but that might actually lead to a high volume of points from Detroit’s QB, who could be able to pad his stats in garbage time. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay also is worth keeping an eye on a potential breakout start in the upcoming season.
19. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 6)
This very well could be the final season Allen finds himself on the outside looking in of the top fantasy quarterbacks list. His arm strength is off the charts, and he’ll have capable deep threats at his disposal like John Brown, Zay Jones and Rober Foster. Don’t sleep on Allen as a runner either. The 2018 first-rounder paced Buffalo with eight (!) rushing TDs last season.
20. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 4)
In terms of early-round picks, Jimmy G would best be labeled as a high-risk, high-reward option. We’ve seen flashes of what Garoppolo can be, but it’s probably best to tread lightly with a player coming off a torn ACL. The 49ers did grab one of the best wideouts in the 2019 class in Deebo Samuel, but their depth chart at the position still leaves a bit to be desired.
21. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (Bye Week: 6)
Much of Carr’s fantasy stock in 2019 rests on the shoulders of his new No. 1 wideout. If Brown can be his usual Pro Bowl self, the pairing could form an awfully impactful connection. But if injuries hinder AB and/or he pulls more primadonna stunts, Carr quickly could revert back to being a middle-of-the-road QB.
22. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccanneers (Bye Week: 7)
Winston, much like Stafford, probably will be the beneficiary of empty stats in the upcoming season. The Buccanneers likely will finish last in the NFC South, but Mike Evans, Charles Godwin and O.J. Howard likely will keep Winston afloat as a decent fantasy QB.
23. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 12)
It’s really anyone’s guess what we’ll see from Murray as a rookie. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner obviously boasts all of the athleticism in the world, but it remains to be seen if his game can translate to the NFL level. Murray wasn’t thrust into a situation to succeed either, as the Cardinals haven’t posted an above-.500 record since 2015. Murray very well could go off as a rookie, but the risk probably is too high to invest an early-round pick on him.
24. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 9)
Dalton typically is a serviceable fantasy option, but A.J. Green’s lingering injury makes the Bengals QB questionable at best. Tyler Boyd and John Ross both are coming off breakout seasons, but you probably shouldn’t bank on consistent points from Dalton.
25. Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears (Bye Week: 6)
Let’s call a spade a spade: Chicago once again will be powered by their defense in 2019. Trubisky did impress with 24 touchdown passes last season, but his 2018 showing didn’t really suggest he’s on the horizon of being a fantasy monster by any means. He’s not the worst Plan B for selective matchups and bye weeks, though.
26. Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 10)
The end appears near for Flacco, whose injury led to a demotion to backup in his final season in Baltimore. The Super Bowl XLVII will have every opportunity to succeed in Denver, but what can you really expect?
27. Sam Darnold, New York Jets (Bye Week: 4)
We might end up looking foolish for having Darnold this low on the list. The Jets QB now has a comfy security blanket out of the backfield in Le’Veon Bell, and his comfort level should be higher in 2019 following a respectable rookie campaign. But it’s the Jets we’re talking about, and they typically find a way to mess things up.
28. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 10)
Don’t get caught up in Foles’ recent magic. The first-year Jaguar won’t help you win your league. Jacksonville’s bread and butter is its rushing attack, and Foles’ crew of pass-catchers is mediocre at best.
29. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (Bye Week: 11)
How much longer are we going to wait for Mariota to take the next step? The No. 2 overall pick from 2015 might just be an average quarterback, and he’s probably only worth starting if you’re in a pinch.
30. Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins (Bye Week: 5)
Ryan Fitzpatrick might start the season as the Dolphins’ starting signal-caller, but we’re assuming Rosen takes over not terribly long into the campaign. The second-year pro has high upside, but it probably will take some time for him to flourish in South Beach.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images