Its that time of the year again ladies and gents…fantasy football draft month. Since i’m the X’s and O’s guy and fantasy sports guru at Hash Sports, it’s my goddamn duty to provide all of our loyal followers with yet another year of Robo’s fantasy rankings and prepare you for fantasy domination. We will begin this four part series with the leader of your franchise…the Quarterback.
1. Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers was back to his old ways in 2016 after a down 2015 (he still finished QB7 without top weapon Jordy Nelson). He gets the top spot because I am less worried about Father Time’s undefeated record in regard to the next guy. He proved with a healthy Davante Adams, who I think is mediocre, that he can make stars out of scrubs. He’s a solid bet for 35+ TD passes and has sneaky solid rushing numbers every year. Speaking of rushing, I don’t love Green Bay’s running game, meaning he will be throwing even more (if possible) in 2017. Adding Martellus Bennett, his best Tight End since Jermichael Finley in 2011 (Finley was not good) should give him a big red zone target and a guy that can attack the seams.
2. Tom Brady
Weapons. That’s the key off-season word for Tom Terrific. After leading an improbable Super Bowl comeback, the Pats added Brandin Cooks, who has averaged 81 catches, 1150 yards and 8 TDs the last two seasons with Drew Brees in New Orleans. He still has Edelman, a hopefully healthy Gronk, AFC Championship Game hero Chris Hogan and Malcolm Mitchell. Small worry here is that the Pats strengthened their rushing attack. Keyword: weapons.
3. Drew Brees
I say it every year…Death, taxes, and Drew Brees throwing for 4,300 yards and 32 TDs. Put it down in ink. The Saints cut Marques Colston and replaced him with Ohio State’s Mike Thomas, who caught 90+ balls and had 9 TDs as a rookie…no big deal. He’s the nephew of Keyshawn Johnson. Thomas will hopefully add a little more to his game now that Cooks is in New England. Regardless, Brees spreads it around and the Saints will throw. They seem to have a strong dislike of Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson has a lot of wear and tear on those 33-year-old tires.
4. Cam Newton
Offseason additions, Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel give this offense something they’ve lacked in recent seasons…speed and agility. Offensive Coordinator Mike Shula should use them to set up misdirection allowing Newton clearer running lanes. I’m either way too high on Cam or a spot too low. It all comes down to the rushing. They want to protect him, but he isn’t a great thrower. Here’s hoping Samuel and McCaffery add a dimension Cam hasn’t had in awhile
5. Matt Ryan
We always believed Matt Ryan had a ceiling for fantasy. Well in 2016 he shattered that ceiling on his way to an MVP season. He has two good pass catching backs and a monster prototype #1 WR that is known by only one name, that’s how you know when someone is good. The loss of former OC Kyle Shanahan will hurt but Mo Sanu is a pro that makes game winning plays, Taylor Gabriel is a speed demon and Justin Hardy could finally break out. I just don’t see a lot going wrong here.
6. Russell Wilson
He got hurt week 1. He wasn’t good last year so if you got burned by him I understand if you think this rank is too high. But Doug Baldwin and Russ have real chemistry. Jimmy Graham is a year removed from that scary patella injury and says he feels more like his former high-flying self. If Tyler lockett or Paul Richardson can emerge then Russell could have his best statistical season throwing the ball to date.
7. Andrew Luck
Would likely be higher if I knew he was going to play Week 1 and if I was confident that he would stay healthy all year. I worry about him playing 16. I worry he’s an elite fantasy QB. He has the 40+ TD season on his resume but you know who else has one of those? Matt Stafford. And no one is calling for him to be ranked this high. This could be the last year I rank luck amongst the top 10 QBs. Injury risk? Yes. Turnover prone? Yes. Win you some fantasy weeks? Yes.
8. Ben Roethlisberger
Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant haven’t been on the field together at the same time much at all since they entered the league. When they have been, they were basically the 2016 Atlanta Falcons offense. So yeah, let’s hope all 4 can play 14+ games this season and if so, I am too low on Big Ben. If you draft Ben you need a 2nd QB because Ben rarely plays 16 games.
9. Derek Carr
He finally broke out. I had him in the top 10 and was rewarded for my love. He is a little scary this season because if Amari Cooper or Mike Crabtree go down, Cordarrelle Patterson and Seth Roberts are the backups and perennial underachiever Jared Cook is at TE. For the time being I’m driving the Carr, though.
10. Kirk Cousins
He just slings it around and the dude loves the deep ball. Washington lost deep threat DeSean Jackson and replaced him with Terrelle Pryor Sr. who is fast and tall and doesn’t bitch and moan and quit on routes when the ball isn’t coming his way. Jamison Crowder is super reliable out of the slot. Jordan Reed is injury plagued but a mismatch when he’s healthy. If Cousins can get something from Josh Doctson the 2nd year WR and former 1st round pick out of TCU who missed basically his entire rookie season, Cousins could be primed for a monster fantasy season.