We’re about to see if the NFL can hold a season amid a global pandemic.
But if the league is going to try, you, too, should be ready to give fantasy football a go in 2020.
The 2019 NFL season was a breakout year for a number of quarterbacks, and this offseason saw plenty of signal-callers change teams. Tom Brady, of course, chief among them.
So, here are our rankings for the top 30 quarterbacks to target in your draft ahead of the 2020 campaign.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye Week: 10)
You really can’t go wrong with either Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, but we’ll give the edge to Mahomes based solely on experience. He’s proven he can beat defenses that have no shortage of film on him. Now, it’s time for Jackson to do the same in his second full season as a starter.
2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Bye Week: 8)
He’s most certainly a star already, and he is sure to put up some eye-popping fantasy numbers this season. But as mentioned, let’s see how he fares now that teams are increasingly familiar with his style and will put more focus than ever on him while game planning.
3. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye Week: 10)
There are plenty of reasons to suggest Prescott will have a career year. Dallas upgraded at wideout while bringing in a legitimate NFL starter, Andy Dalton, to breathe down Prescott’s neck as the backup QB. Oh, and the biggest thing, he’s playing for the massive contract he’s been eyeing for years.
4. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Bye Week: 8)
Murray showed great flashes in his rookie season, and now his arsenal of weapons has been upgraded with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins. This could be a big year for Murray.
5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Bye Week: 6)
Wilson was a legitimate MVP-caliber player for much of last season. He’s done a lot with limited weapons before, but his connection with Tyler Lockett should be as good as ever. Plus, DK Metcalf looks like a budding star, while Phillip Dorsett could be a nice depth option. Wilson should have another good year.
6. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Bye Week: 8)
If Watson had decent options around him, he’d be up there with Mahomes and Jackson. But Bill O’Brien decided to gut the offense, meaning Watson, who at times last season was mistake prone, will have to be even more efficient with less.
7. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Bye Week: 11)
People love bagging on Allen, but he’s not that bad and he’s great for fantasy purposes. He can pass for big yards, and he’s a sure rusher in the red zone. The erraticism can be off-putting, but he’s a good choice if you want to load up at other positions before picking a quarterback.
8. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Bye Week: 10)
The Falcons’ problem last season was an abysmal defense. Not Ryan. Losing Austin Hooper hurts, but Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley still are in Atlanta, so Ryan should continue to be a stable option. We’ll see how much Todd Gurley has left in the tank, as well.
9. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Bye Week: 6)
One of these days, Brees is going to drop off. But the Saints’ offense still has so many weapons that the timeline will continue to be pushed back. Because of his annual volume of passing yards, Brees remains a useful enough option.
10. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye Week: 9)
Wentz’s issue long has been availability. He enters this season healthy and with a rookie, Jalen Hurts, pressuring him on the depth chart. So while that might be incentive for Wentz to play at the level we all know he’s capable of, it’s also a sign that he might be a risky pick.
11. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Bye Week: 5)
Rodgers still has to do plenty of heavy lifting in Green Bay’s offense. But talk about a guy who’s probably going into this season angry after the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the first round. Maybe that’s reason for Rodgers to pack it in, but he seems more like a “let’s have a revenge year” kind of guy.
12. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye Week: 6)
It’s been a while since Brady has been a particularly useful quarterback from a fantasy perspective, and we’re reticent to think he’s magically going to turn it on, even with more offensive options now in Tampa. You could do worse, but we’re proceeding with caution here.
13. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Bye Week: 5)
Stafford is healthy again and seems as well positioned as ever to air it out with the best of them. Having Kerryon Johnson around also should make his life a little easier.
14. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (Bye Week: 11)
The Giants invested in their offensive line in the draft, so they seem hellbent on keeping Jones upright and limiting how often he has to force throws. We’ll see how far that goes as he looks to take the next step in Year 2.
15. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye Week: 8)
Roethlisberger is a better option than Duck Hodges and Mason Rudolph, but we’re skeptical of going all in on him after an injury-shortened 2019 season. Who knows how much Big Ben has left in the tank.
16. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (Bye Week: 6)
Newton would soar up this list if we got the chance to see him in preseason action and/or if we knew for certain he’ll be the Patriots’ Week 1 starter. He’d be a wise selection in a later round to tuck away on your bench.
17. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (Bye Week: 7)
The Titans went all in on Tannehill based on a fairly small sample size, and we wouldn’t suggest you do the same. Still, though, he’s a good backup option.
18. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye Week: 9)
Someone in your draft probably will take Burrow way too early. And while he might be a bona fide star in due course, the Bengals aren’t exactly loaded with options around him. Plus, he’s entering his rookie year without a full preseason because of COVID-19. Take him if he’s there later in the draft, but don’t go all in.
19. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (Bye Week: 9)
The Browns are doing everything they can to surround Mayfield with quality players, as evidenced most recently by the Austin Hooper signing. But what have we really seen from him at the NFL level?
20. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Bye Week: 7)
Cousins had some really nice stretches last season. Another guy people like to bag on, but his willingness to air it out helps boost his fantasy stock.
21. Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye Week: 7)
He got a vote of confidence from the organization with the Nick Foles trade, and Jacksonville still has decent wideout depth. (D.J. Chark seems like the real deal.) Maybe don’t start Minshew right away, though.
22. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Bye Week: 11)
Garoppolo just isn’t a great fantasy quarterback. The 49ers run the ball too much, and he’s effectively a game manager, though some people don’t like when he’s classified as such. The big performances are too few and far between.
23. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Bye Week: 9)
Not having Todd Gurley anymore hurts, though you could argue the Rams didn’t really have him last year, either. The Rams seem destined for a full-fledged rebuild. Goff might not be the smartest choice right now.
24. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (Bye Week: 8)
John Elway invested in the offense this offseason, and it’s clear he thinks he has something in Lock. That might be so, but we haven’t seen enough of that yet to be so sure.
25. Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina Panthers (Bye Week: 13)
The Panthers clearly like him. And he’s a great story. But let’s not forget that many overstate how good he was with the Saints last season.
26. Philip Rivers, Indianapolis Colts (Bye Week: 7)
Rivers might throw the ball to a surprising degree with his new team, but he seems too far on the decline at this point.
27. Sam Darnold, New York Jets (Bye Week: 11)
Maybe one day he’ll be what the Jets think he can be.
28. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Football Team (Bye Week: 8)
Haskins might be better than a lot of people think, even though we have him ranked 28th. Third-round draft pick Antonio Gibson could add some variety to Washington’s offense, and Terry McLaurin is blossoming into quite the wideout. Maybe grab Haskins at the end of the draft and stash him.
29. Tyrod Taylor, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye Week: 10)
First of all, Taylor didn’t get a fair shake at the end of his tenure in Buffalo. Clearly, he’s just keeping the seat warm until Justin Herbert is ready in Los Angeles, but Taylor might be able to do something similar to what Bridgewater accomplished in New Orleans last season.
30. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (Bye Week: 6)
Carr is just, well, bad. The Raiders tried to upgrade the personnel around him in the offseason, but they also signed Marcus Mariota, someone who was an NFL starter a year ago. Carr’s leash is going to be real short.