Way Too Early Top 5 QBs for 2017

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Yes, it might seem way too early to begin discussing the 2017 fantasy draft as the 2016 season still has one more game to play. Not that the Super Bowl is a big deal in any way… But for kicks and giggles and water coolers everywhere in America, we have our Way Too Early Top 5 QB Ranks for 2017.

To prep you on QBs, the Ballers dived into the TRUTH about QBs in 2016 on the podcast this week while also laying down some enlightening facts in our 25 Statistics: QBs article. The Fantasy Footballers’ Writing Staff has ranked the top 10 players at each position to give a clear picture of the consensus top 5.

2017 Top 5 Quarterbacks (4 pt per passing TD)

Consensus Rank Player Team Highest Rank Lowest Rank
1 Aaron Rodgers GB 1 2
2 Tom Brady NE 1 6
3 Andrew Luck IND 2 7
4 Drew Brees NO 3 6
5 Matt Ryan ATL 3 8

*Also received a top 5 vote: C. Newton, B. Roethlisberger, K. Cousins 

After looking at our collective rankings, let’s ask our writers a few questions to illustrate a better picture of our top 5 QBs.

Q1. Who did you rank in the Top 5 that did not make the consensus?

Cam Newton

I ranked Cam Newton 5th. I get it…he disappointed a lot of fantasy owners this year, but he did finish the year within 10 points of Russell Wilson who finished as the #11 QB according to FFToday.com. His OK year seems terrible because of where he was drafted, but have we so soon forgotten that he was the #1 QB in 2015 with a higher fantasy total than Rodgers had this year? He’s also had top-5 finishes in four of his last six years, which is the main reason he’s in the top-5 for me.
Eric Ludwig@FF_Gouge

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It is far too early to bail on Cam Newton. The top QB pick in 2016 drafts earned that position with an incredible 2015 season. As he ages, he may not run as much as he has in the past, so owning him now before that decline shows itself, feels like the right time. Physical tools are not the issue with Newton and shouldn’t be blamed for his abysmal 2016 performance. I don’t feel like he recovered from his Super Bowl hangover. He became too enamored with off-field scenarios and did not pay his craft the respect it deserves. “Should I dab? Are the refs out to get me…?” If Newton is going to put all the pieces together (passing, running, focus and leadership), what better time than 2017, coming off of what could only be described as a wasted 2016 campaign?
-Marcus Meaney@badfish211

Ben Roethlisberger
I ranked Big Ben at #5. I understand his Jekyll and Hyde play when it comes to home vs away games scares a lot of people, but I just can’t see him performing THIS bad when playing away next season. He has way too much talent around him on offense to not have a chance as a top 5 QB in 2017.
Nate Hamilton@DomiNateFF

Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins made my top 5.  Since Week 14 of the 2015 season, Cousins is the QB #3.  Not only is Cousins a top 5 performer, but he has the added benefit of being available in drafts 4-5 rounds later than the other top options.

Keaton Denlay, @KeatonDenlay

Q2. Which player outside the top 10 consensus has the best shot to crack the top 5?

Matthew Stafford

I still buy into the upside of Matt Stafford.  The Detroit running game isn’t going to fix itself overnight so the team will continue to rely on Stafford’s arm (which will hopefully have all 5 fingers attached for 16 games).  Keep in mind this is still a young offense with room to improve going into its second full year in this offensive system.
Keaton Denlay, @KeatonDenlay

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Matthew Stafford has a realistic chance to finish 2017 inside the top 5. One must assume the Detroit running game will improve in 2017 with the return of Ameer Abdullah, in turn opening up more realistic passing options for Stafford and the Jim Bob Cooter offense. Stafford threw for 5,038 yards and 41 TDs in 2011, proving he is capable of huge fantasy numbers. Throwing to Calvin Johnson obviously helped, but in year 2 post-Calvin, Stafford should be more accustomed to his passing game targets.
Marcus Meaney@badfish211

For a deeper look at Stafford’s 2016, check out his 2016 Report Card article.

Blake Bortles
This name was my first instinct and then I looked and looked for a good reason not to go with him. Believe me it doesn’t taste very good saying it, but I think Blake Bortles has a shot.  He finished 8th this year despite playing with a slightly separated right shoulder for half the season. He’s just one year removed from a #3 finish. Fantasy points are fantasy points no matter how they’re scored or when.
Eric Ludwig@FF_Gouge

Philip Rivers
For me, it’s Philip Rivers! I ranked him just outside the top 5 at #6. He could easily be at 5 for me and I’d have no problem with it. Rivers doesn’t get respect enough. He consistently finishes in the top 10 for fantasy and did so again this season without Keenan Allen. The Chargers offense suffered plenty of injuries but Rivers continued putting up great fantasy weeks. If he landed in the top 5 in 2017, it would not surprise me at all.
Nate Hamilton@DomiNateFF

Q3. What round are you willing to take one of these top QBs?

Those top-3 QB picks are going to cost you a 4th-5th round draft pick depending on format, which is too high for me. I’d go for Cam Newton around the late 6th round, but I’m OK waiting to grab some combination of Blake Bortles, Andy Dalton, or Joe Flacco much later. It looks like an ugly list, but someone in that range or even later consistently cracks into the top 5.
Eric Ludwig, @FF_Gouge

At this point in the offseason, it is easy for me to say that I won’t be taking a QB before Round 10.  But I know that when I’m on the clock in my drafts I will be tempted by Rodgers/Luck if they start to slide into 4th round or so.
Keaton Denlay, @KeatonDenlay

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I’m still planning to wait on QBs in 2017, but if Rodgers, Brady or Luck last into the 5th round, I would be willing to pull the trigger. Ultimately, I would prefer to wait a few rounds and draft high upside players like Wilson or Newton.
-Marcus Meaney, @badfish211

If you haven’t yet, check out our discussion last week on the Way Too Early RBs for 2017. Stay tuned for The Fantasy Footballers’ writers consensus Top 5 at WR and TE of 2017.

 

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