2015 Two Quarterback League Rankings
August 10, 2015 | Chet
Each year when coming up with my initial tiers for two quarterback leagues, I like to take a look at the rankings for the year before. When looking back on my 2014 rankings, I had a few takeaways.
First, there are much more structured tiers. Last year, there were a lot of unknowns within each tier. This season, however, you can pretty much lump players into specific tiers based on their expected production, pitfalls, concerns, and reasons for optimism.
Second, the QB2 tier is littered with floor production, risk, and QB1 potential. This makes streaming your QB2 or going with a QBBC a not only viable option, but extremely attractive one given the mix.
Lastly, don’t gamble on the quarterback battles. There’s more likely than not going to be turnover at the position regardless, so your best bet is to let someone else draft the starter heading into the season, then grab the backup off waivers when things begin to fall apart.
A great exercise for your 2QB draft prep is analyzing the current ADP Landscape. Joshua Lake has done a great job of setting up mocks and cataloging ADP data here. Combining this data with conducting several mock drafts has led me to believe that there are several quarterbacks who are extremely undervalued. Part of my favorite strategy, the Stud and Stream approach, involves identifying these quarterbacks who are extremely undervalued and pairing them with one of the elite QB1s. As you’ll see below, there are several players who are being criminally underdrafted when considering their yield on investment.
With that, here are my 2015 2QB Rankings:
The Cream of the Crop (Elite QB1s):
* Aaron Rodgers – Keeping Randall Cobb was more important to his #1 overall status than you might believe. Crazy efficient in 2014 and has only thrown double digit INTs twice in his career.
* Andrew Luck – Has had arguably the best start to his career of any quarterback, but quietly ended 2014 with 3 out of 5 games below 200 passing yards and faces obvious TD regression.
The Fading Stars (Should remain elite QB1s, but legitimate concerns for a dropoff exist):
* Drew Brees – BREAKING: Drew Brees will survive without Jimmy Graham. There’s slight concern for the shift in offensive philosophy, but Brees won’t suddenly become a game manager.
* Peyton Manning – There’s some reason for concern as he now has a poor mix of age, questionable offensive fit, and a coach/gm that now seemed committed to the run game. Then again he’s Peyton Manning.
Most Likely to Ascend into the Top 4 (Players that have all maintained QB1 value and have the stars aligned for a truly elite season):
* Tony Romo – 2014 was a fluke, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen his ceiling.
* Cam Newton – Beautiful schedule, returned health, and more weapons to throw to. Ron Rivera has no plans on stopping him from running. Even though Joshua Lake has some concerns about Cam, I think he’s a sneaky bet to finish as the QB1.
* Russell Wilson – They’ve taken the gloves off, as he’s increased his passing AND rushing attempts in each season, but what goes up must come down. How long can he progress and remain efficient?
* Matt Ryan – The man has thrown for at least 4,500 yards and 26 TDs in three straight seasons. What’s wrong with valuing consistency?
The Safe Picks (Your low end QB1s):
* Tom Brady – He’d probably be in Tier 2 if it weren’t for the suspension. As long as there’s Gronk, he holds QB1 value.
* Ryan Tannehill – Has steadily improved since his rookie season, is entering his prime, and is in an offensive system not unlike Chip Kelly’s. Oh yea, he also has the 10th easiest schedule for QBs in the league. Sign me up.
* Ben Roethlisberger – Remove his two week massacre during weeks 8 & 9 and he still averaged 292 passing yards per game. Some point to his easy schedule, but he actually played better against top pass defenses.
* Eli Manning – We should expect bigger things in year 2 after a career year for Eli. Ben McAdoo’s offense has rejuvenated his career.
* Philip Rivers – Was arguably fantasy’s best quarterback to start last season, but slowed down due to a back injury. At his current ADP, he’s a steal.
With Great Highs Come Steep Lows (QB2s who will put up elite weeks):
* Matthew Stafford – At this point we know who he is – a player inflated by Calvin Johnson who is maddeningly inconsistent.
* Carson Palmer – In the 6 games he played last season, he put up QB1 numbers with 22 FPPG.
* Sam Bradford – We all know the Eagles QB narrative by now, but what’s more important is his knee appears to be holding up. I think his ADP will peak at the top of this tier.
* Jay Cutler – The hate has gone too far. The loss of Marshall hurts, but Alshon and Kevin White isn’t a horrible pair either. Be happy to snatch him up as your QB2 at his current ADP.
* Colin Kaepernick – It’s a trap! Sure he has new weapons and improved mechanics, but he also lost half his starting offensive line and is a poor performer when playing from behind.
The Low End QB2s With Upside (All the floor you want for a QB2, but with legitimate upside):
* Teddy Bridgewater – Another potential trap player. He showed a lot of promise in 2014, but people are expecting him to take too big of a leap. His similarity scores aren’t too hopeful.
* Joe Flacco – Would love him much more if he had better weapons. Trestman will mean more checkdowns.
* Andy Dalton – While I think 2013 was a bit of a fluke for Dalton, I don’t think he’s as bad as his 2014 numbers suggest. With the return of a healthy Tyler Eifert, AJ Green, and Marvin Jones, Dalton is a sneaky play.
* Robert Griffin III – His value is currently on life support, but we all know what he is capable of when his head is in the right place. He’s 2 years removed from his ACL surgery, a year in Jay Gruden’s system, and an improved offensive line. Do you believe?
* Alex Smith – A player with virtually zero upside in 2014, Smith now gets Jeremy Maclin, Chris Conley, and still has Travis Kelce. Draft him knowing he won’t be the guy to win your matchups, but he won’t lose them either.
Your Upside Fringe QB2s/Fliers (Solid QBBC fodder):
* Jameis Winston – Has the easiest schedule for quarterbacks and massive red zone weapons, but he’s still a rookie with no offensive line. A fine upside play if you’re streaming your QB2.
* Geno Smith – A year ago, many were saying Geno was a QB2 gem. Now he has a bonafide WR1 and an offensive system that caters to his strengths. There are worse dart throws at his current ADP.
* Derek Carr – While the numbers may not show it, he played well in 2014 with zero offensive weapons around him. If all goes well, he’ll be a poor man’s Alex Smith in 2015.
* Blake Bortles – The Jaguars have done a good job of propping him up after a trainwreck rookie season. With a tough opening slate though, he presents more of a buy low opportunity later in the season.
* Marcus Mariota – Has been lights out in camp and has a great set of comps, but I’m most worried about his lack of weapons.
The Undesirables (If you missed out on the rest…):
* Nick Foles – What a difference a year makes. On a new team with inferior yet intriguing questions, Foles is arguably 2015’s biggest unknown at quarterback. Goes from QB9 to QB27.
* Josh McCown – It says a lot that Terrelle Pryor might legitimately be his best weapon.
* Brian Hoyer – If he wins the job, he may get some more volume with the loss of Foster, but hasn’t done much to make anyone think he’ll take full advantage of the opportunity.
* Matt Cassel – He might not even win the starting job, plays in a division full of strong defenses, and is in a run first offense. Zero draft incentive.
*Stats and information provided by the RotoViz Game Splits App, Simillarity Scores App, myfantasyfootballcalculator.com ADP, Fakepigskin.com 2QB ADP, fftoolbox.com, Pro-football-reference.com, and profootballfocus.com