Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Fantasy Football – QB Rankings

By Legion Report 
Twitter handle -@legionreport
aaron rodgers

Wham Bam Boom! Fantasy Football season is aggressively approaching and we are kicking our rankings off. Last season we ranked Numero Uno in Fantasy Football Accuracy throughout the Nation and are working hard to repeat that feat. As always, we offer personalized advice and recommend paying attention to our consistent article flow as the season unfolds. Additional updates and new article releases can be seen via Twitter @LegionReport

QB Rankings:

1 - Aaron Rodgers – Rodgers will enter 2014 completely recovered from a broken collarbone and a healthy WR duo in Jordy Nelson (contract year) and Randall Cobb (fully recovered). Jarrett Boykin, 6’2 – 220, will replace James Jones as the WR3; the TE position is still in the air with Andrew Quarless, Brandon Bostick (Ex-Basketball Player) and the athletic/physical freak Colt Lyerla. The Packers want to run 75 plays per game this season (Denver ran a league leading 72.1 in 2013) which isn’t very realistic, however it suggests the type of Tempo and Offense the Packers want in 2014. Rodgers is elite and will continue to dominate in 2014. This is a no-brainer here. Drafting Rodgers is a worry-free position week-after-week and one that fantasy owners will reap rewards with. Oh, by the way, their schedule is fairly easy, especially taking on ATL, @BUF, @TB in the Fantasy Playoffs. LOCK IT UP!

2 - Peyton Manning – “Maybe I can’t throw the 100 MPH fastball anymore, but I can still strike you out, picking my spots, working the plate,” Manning said. “I don’t make the same kind of throws I used to make, I try to use the cerebral part and use my experience.” Manning erupted in 2013 with a record breaking season for 55 TDs, 5477 Passing Yards and 450 Completions on 659 Passing Attempts. Denver led the NFL last season with 72.1 plays per game. After losing Eric Decker to the New York Jets, the Broncos swiped Emmanuel Sanders and will add him to a core of options such as: Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas. The Denver Bronco’s had one of the easiest schedules in the NFL last season which resulted in great success. This year they’re rated as having the 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL, which is a factor in 38 year old Peyton Mannings #2 rank, even with their Top 5 Offensive Line.

3 – Drew Brees – Brees has been a Top 2 Fantasy QB in 5 of the last 6 seasons. He’s a dead-lock for 5,000 Passing Yards and 40 TDs. Our Top 4 QBs are “can’t miss” options and are a large grade above the rest. Pretty standard stuff here, you know what you’re getting from Brees and you get it!

4 – Matthew Stafford – We like Stafford to take an even bigger step forward this year. With the acquisition of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron, Stafford adds more sizzle to an arsenal that already included Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. Reggie Bush stated that the Lions New Offensive Scheme is “exactly the same” as the one he learned with the Saints. With new OC Joe Lombardi aboard (Previously spending his last 7 seasons in New Orleans) look for him to bring an up-tempo look to the Detroit Offense in 2014. During Lombardi’s time in the NOLA, their offense ranked: 1st, 2nd, 6th, 1st, 1st & 4th in Total Offense. We’re buying the Detroit Offense and recommending Stafford as a no doubt QB for 2014.

5 – Andrew Luck – This is the next tier according to fantasy football standards and one where you lose the monstrous numbers of the “Big 4″. With another year of development under his belt, Luck continues to grow as an offensive mastermind. OC Pep “Stubborn” Hamilton and his run-first attack kept Luck from over-performing last season. Enter Rob Chudzinski “personal assistant to the Head Coach.” Pagano hired Chud in hopes to influence less of a run game in the Indi offense, as well as his outstanding QB production. Lets not forget Chud is an aggressive aerial attack type of commander who groomed a Pro Bowl berth out of Derek Anderson in Cleveland and a massive record setting rookie year with Cam Newton in Carolina. With the addition of Hackeem Nicks and a healthy Dwayne Allen, Luck’s 2014 Fantasy Potential is mammoth. Luck has averaged 598 Passing Attempts per season and is a generational talent, just not quite in the Tier 1 category on a fantasy football perspective, yet. We said YET!

6 - Matt Ryan – Expect a major bounce back year out of Matty-Ice. A porous defense will put Atlanta in the position for many many shootouts this year. With TE Tony Gonzalez gone the Falcons weren’t interested in refilling his position. Instead, they added another WR, Harry Douglas, which gives Ryan three great WR options. Julio Jones has already been spotted running, cutting, juking – so I don’t see his left foot being any concern this season. A healthy WR Corps, a 31 year old RB Steven Jackson, a bad defense and a pass happy OC Dirk Koetter is more than enough to expect Atlanta to lead the league in pass attempts this season.

7 - Tony Romo – Just like Matt Ryan and Atlanta you can expect a lot of shootouts this season due to a horrendous Dallas Defense. This offseason the Cowboys went out and snatched up former Detroit Offensive Coordinator, Scott Linehan. Linehan is a pass-happy OC that is used to working with Top WR’s (Calvin/Moss) which is perfect for Dez Bryant. The past 3 season under OC Lineham, Matt Stafford averaged 42.7 Passing Attempts per game; expect an up-tick in Romo’s 33.4 Pass Attempts last season. Romo will be among the league leaders in Pass Attempts and Yards surrounded by lethal weapons which makes him a darkhourse at the possibility of a Top 5 Fantasy QB.

8 – Tom Brady – The 7 weeks Gronkowski played last season, Tom Brady averaged 315 yards nearly 2 TD’s per game. When Gronk wasn’t playing he averaged 237 passing yards with 1 Td a game. It’s safe to Brady’s production directly correlates with Gronkowski’s health and availability. This season New England brings back a healthy Gronk, a healthy Vereen and a healthy sophmore receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. Vereen will the feature back while also being very active in the passing game. Edelman and Thompkins as a 1-2 punch with Gronk at TE should label Tom Brady as a value pick.

9 – Robert Griffin III – RG3 is now almost a year and a half removed from his ACL injury and reportedly “looks like a different QB.” Washington will have DeSean Jackson running deep routes alongside Pierre Garcon while TE Jordan Reed (who has the Aaron Hernandez ability) dominates the middle of the field. Washington signed Pass-Happy Coach Jay Gruden this offseason, who led Bengals Andy Dalton to a Top 5 Fantasy QB finish last season. Expect a major bounce back year for RG3.

10 – Nick Foles – He’s got too good of weapons, too good of an Offensive Line and too good of a coach to have a sophomore slump. Philly went out and acquired Sproles and Matthews with the departure of DeSean Jackson. Jeremy Maclin has participated in every minicamp and OTA and looks to be fully healed from his ACL injury – if he remains healthy for 16 games, he’ll be a Top 25 WR. Riley Cooper found a way to get 835 Receiving Yards last year with the help of DeSeasn Jackson drawing extra coverage. Jordan Matthews, who’s been nothing less than stellar so far, will take over the WR2 sooner rather than later. Foles averaged 11.7 passes per TD (Peyton averaged 11.9 passes per TD) last season while throwing the ball a NFL 27th ranked 315 times for 27 TDs and 2 INTs.

11 – Cam Newton – The Carolina Panthers have one of the worst, if not worst, Offensive Lines in the NFL this season. Coupled with this, the Panthers have a completely new WR Corps in Rookie WR1 Kelvin Benjamin, Free Agent WR2 Jerricho Cotchery and Free Agent WR3 Tiquan Underwood. To top things off, Newton has had very little work with his brand new WR’s due to recovery from ankle surgery. The ankle surgery was to tighten the ligaments in his foot that has been an issue since his days at Auburn. We’re not expecting a big year out of Newton as there’s too many variables in the way, however, expect to see a high volume of TE Greg Olsen this season.

12 – Jay Cutler – The concern here with Cutler is that he’s missed 11 total games in the past 3 seasons. Last season Cutler threw 19 TD’s in 10 games in a Marc Trestman genius offense. Cutler is surrounded by exceptional talent in WR1 Brandon Marshall, WR2 Alshon Jeffery, RB Matt Forte and TE Martellus Bennett (A.K.A. The Black Unicorn) that offers Top Fantasy QB potential. The Bears released WR3 Earl Bennett in hopes that their former redshirt rookie WR Marquess Wilson will take over. Wilson was drafted in the 7th round, but is known for round 1 talent. The concern was his strength and he quit his college football team, a reason he was drafted so late. Wilson takes over as the WR3 spot in Chicago, although one shouldn’t expect a huge year, he’s a great 5th Option for Cutler. By the way, Cutler has a juicy Fantasy Playoff Schedule playing at home against DAL, NO and DET. If Cutler can remain healthy for a whole season (something he hasn’t done since 2009) he’ll be a sure fire Top 1o Fantasy QB. The question is, can he?

13 – Colin Kaepernick – If you miss out on one of the big boys, we feel that Kaepernick and Cutler offer the greatest amount of upside for fantasy owners. The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that since 2011, the 49ers have not ranked any higher than 31st in the NFL in Passing Attempts. Additionally, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman expressed that they could stray away a bit from their ground-pounding roots. San Fran bolstered their WR corps by adding Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd to a group that already included Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. Kaepernick had a dismal season last year totaling 3,197 Passing Yards and 21 TDs on only 416 Attempts in 16 Games. We consider Kaepernick on the 3rd Tier of Fantasy QBs, however he carries one of the highest ceilings within that tier.

14 – Philip Rivers – Rivers was named the 2013 Comeback Player of the Year last season as he shocked the world in the process. An area of concern for future Rivers owners is that HC – Mike McCoy transitioned the offense from a quick-hitting passing attack to a more heavy run offense, as Rivers only threw for 30+ Passing Attempts only once in the final six games of the season. Even though Rivers finished as a top-line fantasy quarterback in 2013, we feel that there are 13 other trustworthy options out there to roll with who can lead you to a championship.

15 – Ben Roethlisberger – The departure of WR2 Emmanuel Sanders will definitely not help Big Ben, however, Pittsburgh has a lot of faith in 2nd year Speedy WR Markus Wheaton. Pittsburgh also acquired Lance Moore who will be their WR3. Antonio Brown is coming off a successful year in OC Todd Haley’s hurry up offense, which they look to implement again this season while using Le’Veon Bell as an every down back. This hurry-up offense will only help Pittsburgh’s questionable offensive line. WR2 Markus Wheaton is Pittsburgh’s biggest WR standing at 5’11/180 with Antonio Brown standing at 5’10/186 and Lance Moore at 5’9/190. This should make Heath “Healthy” Miller, 6’5/256, a lock for 10+ TD’s and a main Red Zone Target.

16 – Russell Wilson – Pete Carroll confirmed recently that the Seahawks will remain committed to the run in 2014. In the past two seasons, Wilson tallied 393 Attempts (32nd in the NFL) and 407 Attempts (31st in the NFL) and will probably hover around the 400 mark once again in 2014. Both the running game and defense are so strong that the Seattle Offense doesn’t call for a potent aerial attack. Wilson is as solid as they come and should be considered a stable option in 2014, but not one to topple other fantasy opponents.

17 – Carson Palmer – Arizona has plenty of options in 2014 – Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Andre Ellington. Throughout the final nine games of the season, the Cardinals jumped their PPG mark 7.3 Points up to an average of 27.3 PPG. The offense has continued to mesh as they become more fluent with Bruce Arians; Carson Palmer was recently quoted in saying that the offense is “light years” ahead of where they were last year. The Cards play in a difficult division who is not friendly to opposing QBs, however we think Palmer takes a step forward in 2014.

18 – Andy Dalton - Previous OC Jay Gruden allowed Andy Dalton to toss 586 passes last season (The Red Rifle averaged 543 Passing Attempts over the past 3 Seasons). New OC Hue Jackson is dedicated to the ground game and the philosophy will be adapted in 2014. Cincinasty will see less pass and more of a ground game in 2014 as have been quoted saying that Dalton will be reduced in passing attempts somewhere near Russell Wilson’s number of 407.

19 – Josh McCown - Not sure how the league plans to cover the Tampa Bay WR’s, but they better figure it out in a hurry. The gruesome twosome of Vincent Jackson (6’5″/230 lbs) and Mike Evans (6’5″/231 lbs) will be a tantalizing duo to have to deal with. For Josh McCown, this is Chicago 2.0 as Tampa is laying out the blueprint comparable to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. If we are putting it out there, Evans is a future double-digit NFL touchdown scorer and could flirt with that number this season. Our favorite adjective that we have heard attached to his name is that he has fire-hoses for arms. In all honesty, this is a duo that could jump up the ranks in 2014.

20 - Alex Smith – Smith was a model of consistency in 2013 as he propelled a lackluster Chiefs Offense back to dominance. We do not think that Smith will replicate the same head turning numbers due to the lack of offensive receiving weapons on the current roster. KC was stung hard as Emmanuel Sanders had all but signed on the dotted line before pulling out and heading to divisional foe – Denver. If Kansas City can put a little magic together and work a deal for Andre Johnson, it catapults them entirely as contenders in the NFL and Alex Smith will see an uptick in value on a Fantasy Football perspective. Until then, we would let other owners trot down that road called Danger!

21 – Joe Flacco - Flacco has adopted the Eli Manning label … confusing many beginner fantasy players with the idea that because he has won a Super Bowl, he’s going to be successful in my fantasy lineup. Wrong!


No comments:

Post a Comment