Fantasy Football: Early QB Rankings for 2019 Part 2
In the most recent episode of The Fantasy Footballers podcast, hosts Andy, Mike, and Jason gave us the second half of their early quarterback rankings for 2019. Make sure to go back and check out the first episode of the series and the corresponding article from Lauren Carpenter, where the early top ten quarterback rankings are discussed.
This episode covers the quarterbacks that have a few more question marks. There’s a good chance that some of these guys end up on #FootClanTitle teams, given the drop off in value for these quarterbacks just isn’t proportional to their availability so late in the draft.
If you want to know more about GREAT, GOOD, and BUST games referenced below, check out the TRUTH series that dives deep into positional performances of 2018. All rankings are based on 0.5 PPR, which is Ballers Preferred Scoring.
Note: No rookies are listed in the rankings. Stay tuned for the Rookie Preview shows coming out next week.
11. Jameis Winston
Winston is coming off of a bizarre 2018 that saw him suspended for the first three games of the season, only to lose and regain his starting job multiple times. Despite the back and forth, Winston was able to finish the season strong once it was clear that he’d remain the starter. He was the QB7 down the homestretch of the season in Weeks 12-17.
There’s a lot to like about Winston headed into 2019. Ryan Fitzpatrick packed up and headed south to Miami, ensuring Winston will get every chance to be the Bucs franchise quarterback. Bruce Arians brings his “No risk it, no biscuit” style of offense that will encourage him to take shots down the field. Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and maybe even Justin Watson give Winston all the weapons he needs to succeed.
12. Josh Allen
You couldn’t miss Josh Allen’s massive potential at the end of the season in 2018. After battling some rookie struggles and injuries early on in the season, he came on strong and posted the most fantasy points per game for quarterbacks from Week 12 on. He also put up GREAT games 36% of the time, trailing only Patrick Mahomes (63%), Matt Ryan (44%), and Drew Brees (40%).
Allen was able to put up these huge numbers because of what he was able to do on the ground. He has plenty of question marks headed into 2018. Will Buffalo fashion their offense around his running talent or try to form him into a more reliable passer? Will his career take a trajectory more akin to Tim Tebow or Cam Newton? He’ll be one of the most intriguing quarterbacks to track this fantasy draft season.
13. Lamar Jackson
Speaking of running quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson posted the 11th most QB rushing yards of all time with 695 yards in his rookie campaign, despite only starting seven games. The Ravens are dedicated to building their offense around Jackson’s next level athleticism and the hope is that his passing accuracy improves in his second year.
14. Jared Goff
Goff started off the year on fire, coming in as the QB2 from Weeks 2-11, which included his five touchdown explosion against the Vikings in Week 4. He struggled in the back end of the season, in part due to the injuries suffered by two of his best weapons, Cooper Kupp and Todd Gurley. It also didn’t help that he got absolutely shut down in Soldier Field when the Bears held him to -0.3 fantasy points in Week 14, not to mention the bad taste he left in everyone’s mouth after the dud he put up in the Super Bowl.
The best thing that Goff has going for him is that his weapons will all be locked and loaded for 2019. It also helps that he’ll be working in close proximity with offensive mastermind Sean McVay.
Big Ben had had a career year in 2018, posting career-highs in pass attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns. He finished as the QB3 for fantasy, easily his highest finish ever. The glaring question heading into 2019 is where do the 168 targets vacated by Antonio Brown go?
It’s hard to envision Roethlisberger repeating his 2018 performance, even with rising stars JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner. The veteran quarterback isn’t the most exciting fantasy option, but he should be startable most weeks with a rock solid floor.
16. Philip Rivers
Rivers is another reliable veteran that may not have the highest ceiling but offers one of the safest floors at the position. The Chargers have surrounded the veteran quarterback with offensive weapons. Keenan Allen is a proven number one receiver, Mike Williams had a nice breakout in 2018 with 10 touchdown catches, Melvin Gordon has demonstrated that he can be a pass-catching weapon, and Hunter Henry is back at tight end after missing all of 2018 with a knee injury. There’s no reason to think Rivers won’t finish in the low QB1 to high QB2 range yet again in 2019.
17. Tom Brady
Ah Tom Brady, the plant man himself. He may still be one of the best real football quarterbacks in the NFL, but he’s fallen from the elite class of fantasy quarterbacks. He threw one or fewer touchdowns in half of his games played last season, which simply won’t cut it for fantasy quarterbacks. One of his favorite all-time weapons, Rob Gronkowski, called it a career and the Patriots appear to be dedicated to winning through running the ball more with Sony Michel.
Brady will still start every game for the Patriots, put up a few nice fantasy performances, and probably win a lot of NFL games. At the end of the season, he probably won’t finish in the QB1 range of fantasy quarterbacks.
Trubisky was a boom-or-bust quarterback in 2018, putting up GREAT performances 29% of the time, but finishing at #24 in the consistency rankings. He put up the top fantasy quarterback performance of the season in Week 4 with 43.46 points, but he also had eight BUST weeks where he failed to top 15 fantasy points. He’s a candidate to take a big step forward in his third NFL season, which will be his second season running Matt Nagy’s brand of offense.
19. Dak Prescott
It was a tale of two seasons for Prescott in 2018. He was dreadful through the first five weeks of the season, coming in at QB30 over that span. Once Amari Copper came to town it was a completely different story, and he was able to finish the season a QB10.
Through three NFL seasons, Prescott has never finished worse than QB11. The pass-catching emergence of Ezekiel Elliott, second-year growth of Michael Gallup, and return of Jason Witten should all benefit him from a fantasy perspective. As the Ballers hinted at in the episode, he may be moving up the rankings as the offseason continues.
20. Kirk Cousins
Cousins rounds out the top 20 rankings. He was a bit of a disappointment in 2018, where he finished as the QB12 for the season after his ADP saw him as the ninth quarterback off the board. There’s been buzz surrounding the Vikings desire to run the ball more after firing John DeFilippo for his pass-heavy play calling last season, but they do have one of the best pass-catching tandems in the NFL in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.