2018 Fantasy Football Quarterback Tiers

by Ryan Lopes ·

Here is a brief overview of the proper fantasy football quarterback strategy:


The “late-round quarterback” strategy isn’t a new approach to fantasy football drafts, but we can certainly thank Mr. J.J. Zachariason for popularizing it. This year’s starting fantasy quarterback options are the deepest in NFL history. With that depth in mind, and a reasonable late-round strategy at hand, there is still some semblance of logic that goes on behind the scenes here. There are certain options later on in the draft that will prove more effective for you, based on advanced stats, metrics and analytics player profiles. We can easily use these tiers in order to pinpoint where the potential outliers and obvious value may be.

I’m a proponent of the late-round quarterback. That is my mindset and approach, and how I enter all of my drafts. With that said, anything can happen when the clock starts ticking. The board doesn’t always fall how you’d like or expect. If I’m “forced” to take a quarterback early, my favorite targets in early drafts have been the Panthers’ signal-caller, and a round or so later, the bearded one who returns in Indianapolis after a lengthy, and at times, frustrating absence.

The tiers below have a redraft, full-point PPR focus and complete rankings are found on the PlayerProfiler “World Famous” Draft Kit’s Extreme Draft Cheat.

Tier 1

Aaron Rodgers, GB: Most naturally talented quarterback I’ve ever seen returns healthy, minus Jordy Nelson but plus Jimmy Graham.

Tier 2

Cam Newton, CAR: Believer in the weapons that surround Newton.

Russell Wilson, SEA: Seattle’s once-vaunted defense is no more. Expect the team to rely even more heavily on Wilson’s skill set (if that’s even possible).

Tom Brady, NE: Hard to really place the man anywhere else until he walks away and/or falls off a cliff – whichever comes first.

Check out Tom Brady on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:

Drew Brees, NO: Ticketing Brees for an uptick in pass attempts in what figured to be a “down year” for him due to an improved Saints’ defense (and ground game) in 2017.

Tier 3

Deshaun Watson, HOU: Last season’s hot-streak was rare, though Watson is undoubtedly a special player at the position. He is returning from injury, it’s fair to temper expectations, but when healthy, his all-terrain skill set sets him apart.

Andrew Luck, IND: Perhaps a bit too optimistic, given the missed time and questions surrounding the injury itself. When he’s active and healthy, he’s one of the best in the game.

Carson Wentz, PHI: Another young, ascending player whose season was cut short due to injury. Eagles have arguably the most talented roster top-to-bottom, which will make the eventual return a bit easier. Efficiency and pace should take a hit.

Tier 4

Ben Roethlisberger, PIT: Nearing the end, but still surrounded by elite weapons and a front office that drafts playmakers at the wideout spot consistently — hello, James Washington.

Kirk Cousins, MIN: Now paid in Minnesota, Cousins gets the dynamic duo of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thelien, Kyle Rudolph at tight end, and sophomore Dalvin Cook at running back, albeit back from injury.


Matthew Stafford, DET: Stafford’s still got a cannon and one of the more talented and consistent wide receiver groups in the league.

Matt Ryan, ATL: There should be fireworks in Atlanta all season long; Falcons added Calvin Ridley in the early rounds of the draft.

Tier 5

Jimmy Garoppolo, SF: With Kyle Shanahan on the headset, “Jimmy GQ” looks to build on a shockingly strong 2017 season. Could go down as one of the greatest trades of all time.

Patrick Mahomes, KC: With a rocket launcher attached to his arm, enough mobility and one of the league’s best supporting casts, the situation doesn’t get much better for young Patty.


Marcus Mariota, TEN: One year too early on the breakout call in 2017; stars aligning once more.

Phillip Rivers, LAC: Missing Hunter Henry, unfortunately, but Rivers is overlooked annually. There are some pretty egregious blunders at times, but all the father of seventeen does is pack the box score and produce.

Tier 6

Jared Goff, LAR: Splashed all of 2017, in large part due to whiz kid Sean McVay. Floor remains solid.

Mitchell Trubisky, CHI: Matt Nagy is an Andy Reid disciple; Chicago’s revamped offense is ready to explode.

Mitchell Trubisky Advanced Stats & Metrics Profile

Derek Carr, OAK: Personally, not sold on the Jon Gruden reunion tour, but I am expecting great things from the quarterback-head coach paring. I think “Chucky” pushes and elevates Carr.

Alex Smith, WAS: Always “just a streamer,” Smith might’ve hit his peak last year in Kansas City. Now, counting on some regression, perhaps even more so with the loss of stud rookie runner Derrius Guice.

Tier 7

Eli Manning, NYG: Returns Odell Beckham and adds Saquon Barkley in the backfield.

Andy Dalton, CIN: Banking on Tyler Eifert’s health, Joe Mixon’s sophomore breakout, and the emergence of one or both of John Ross and Tyler Boyd. Lots of pieces need to line up.

Jameis Winston, TB: Arrow was screaming upward prior to the suspension.

Blake Bortles, JAX: Intriguing group of pass-catchers, highly regarded running back and the league’s best defense will keep Bortles afloat.

Dak Prescott, DAL : Pass-catchers and offensive line in question heading into the season.

Tier 8

Case Keenum, DEN: Some noteworthy wideouts in Denver, and a solid defense to rely on, but overall, a dropoff from Minnesota.

Tyrod Taylor, CLE: Legs give him an obvious boost in the fantasy world, but how long can he hold-off first overall selection and former Heisman winner?


Joe Flacco, BAL: Gains Michael Crabtree and a revitalized John Brown, but overall ability still in question.

Ryan Tannehill, MIA: Easily forgotten given the injury history. Loses Jarvis Landry to Cleveland, but still surrounded by adequate weapons.

Sam Darnold, NYJ: Promising showings from the rookie this preseason should lead to his start under center for New York when the games start counting.

Tier 9

Sam Bradford, ARI: Bradford (suspect knees and all) is now the presumed starter in Arizona, a team that invested a high selection in a quarterback.

Ryan Fitzpatrick, TB: Filling in for Winston during his time away.

Baker Mayfield, CLE: Talented enough to start right away, and stock has heated up since posing next to a tiger in front of a Rolls Royce.

Josh Rosen, ARI: The truly exciting Josh who is #GoodAtFootball actually resides in Arizona.

Josh McCown, NYJ: Boring Josh lives in New York.

Josh Allen, BUF: Credit where it’s due: Allen looked better than many (myself included) expected in his second outing. Still, the Bills’ skill-spots outside of McCoy are questionable at best.