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Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 FANTASY FOOTBALL FINAL QB RANKINGS

Here are the final rankings for 2014 fantasy football starting with the quarterbacks.  Consider this list a good early primer for 2015 as well.

1.  Aaron Rodgers:  Tough call versus Andrew Luck but Rodgers has done it at a higher level for longer. 
2.  Andrew Luck:  Led the NFL in touchdown throws with 40 and has turned into the first round star we said he would be.  Can even get better for 2015 but the Colts need to address their offensive line.
3.  Peyton Manning:  We all knew Manning was not going to come close to his ridiculous 2013 but 39 touchdowns was a terrific tally regardless.  Will return to a loaded offense but second half semi-fade at least a reminder of his age.
4.  Drew Brees:  The yardage remains at an insane level but Brees has now seen his TD total decline for the fourth straight year.  Still love him but at least a bit of shine is wearing away due to age.
5.  Ben Roethlisberger:  Two blockbuster seasons in a row have Big Ben at his highest ever ranking which he has done more than earn.  The Steelers are a passing offense now that is here to stay.  Buy into the numbers and ignore the early career mediocre TD totals.
6.  Tony Romo:  Been saying it for years on record that Romo is criminally underrated as he showed again in 2014 with 34 touchdown passes while playing with two broken bones in his back.  The only knock is a lower yardage total than the guys around him due to renewed emphasis on the Dallas running game.  The bias against Romo is still so strong that he likely will be a value play again next season.
7.  Tom Brady:  Aging like a fine wine.  After Week 4 we all indulged in some "he is fading" talk but from that point on Brady was the third-best producing QB in the game from a points perspective.  38 is a scary age but Peyton Manning is also still going very strong which lessens the risk a bit.  Also Brady doesn't have the surgeries Manning has so don't let him slip to far due to his birth certificate.
8.  Matt Ryan:  Yeah I like him more than most but deservedly so.  28 touchdown passes behind arguably the worst offensive line in the game showed that Ryan was quietly terrific.  Roddy White could be at the end of the road here so the Falcons have to re-tool the offense a bit.
9.  Philip Rivers:  Durable as they come and Rivers has back-to-back 30-plus campaigns in the bank.  The numbers are always there and the price remains attractive relative to others surrounding him.
10. Eli Manning:  The West Coast offense was a smashing success for Manning as he had arguably his best season with 30 touchdowns and 4,410 yards.  Better yet, the historically turnover-prone Manning tossed only 14 interceptions.  Will throw to Victor Cruz, Odell Bekcham Jr., Reuben Randle, and Larry Donnell in 2015.  Could be the steal of the QB class next season.
11. Russell Wilson:  Not my kind of guy as Wilson only threw 20 touchdowns behind this very intense run-heavy offense.  Still Wilson makes up for some of the low scores with terrific running so look at the big picture.
12. Ryan Tannehill:  I called a career-year for Tannehill in 2014 and delivered with 27 touchdown throws and only 12 interceptions.  A shot at 30 is not out of the question for 2015 and the draft price will be sweet.  The guy you grab when you really wait to draft your QB.
13. Matthew Stafford:  For the second season in a row, Stafford came up small in December which makes him a firm representative on my "Do Not Draft" list.  If you can't depend on Stafford to clinch a title for you, there is no reason to look here.
14. Nick Foles:  I think Foles is back under center for the Philadelphia Eagles next season as Mark Sanchez proved he was not the answer.  Still Foles was pretty erratic before getting hurt last season, averaging only 6.0 yards per pass and greatly spiking his turnovers.  Was a colossal bust in 2014 but the loaded Eagles offense and dirt cheap price at least make him a smart backup play.
15. Joe Flacco:  Again not my kind of guy as Flacco is a better real-life QB than a fantasy football one due to some low TD totals.  Still he did toss 25 last season as the Ravens relied on the pass more.  Best left as a QB 2 for those that take part in two-passer leagues.
16. Jay Cutler:  What is crazy here is that Cutler statistically had his best ever season in 2014 with 28 touchdowns before getting benched for Casey Clausen of all people.  Not expected back in Chicago, Cutler's value depends on where he lands.  You don't want to depend on him as your starter however.
17. Teddy Bridgewater:  Was the best producing rookie QB as we said he would be (those who purchased our NFL DRAFT guide remember we had him as the number 1 ranked QB in the draft over Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles).  Very poised and accurate QB who can help with his feet.  Upward we go.
18. Derek Carr:  It was shaky at times but overall I like what I saw out of Derek Carr as a rookie.  Strong-armed kid who managed 21 touchdowns in a putrid offense with only 12 interceptions.  Use only in two-QB leagues.
19. Cam Newton:  I know I will have him ranked much lower than other publications but I don't care.  The numbers don't lie and they show only 18 touchdown throws and 12 picks for a pathetic 3,127 yards.  The read option is defeated. 
20. Andy Dalton:  The arrival of Hue Jackson and his run-loving ways destroyed the value of Andy Dalton as we thought it would.  Now only in second QB territory. 
21. Mark Sanchez:  This is me thinking Sanchez will find a starting spot somewhere.  He played very well at times for the Eagles but his career penchant for turnovers ruins him in fantasy football.
22. Alex Smith:  The epitome of the second QB in two-passer formats.
23. Colin Kaepernick:  Looked like absolute garbage for most of 2014 as he becomes another read option victim.  New QB in San Francisco has his work cut out for him.
24. Blake Bortles:  Was pretty awful at times for the Jacksonville Jaguars but Bortles should be given another season to see what he can do. 
25. Johnny Manziel:  Will get the chance to show his terrible debut in limited action was not a trend.  Not holding my breath.

There you have it.  Let us hear your thoughts.

 

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