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The basic, most clear piece of advice to give for the quarterback position: Don't reach. Aim for at least a little bit of a bargain in standard leagues and maybe more than a little bit of a bargain in PPR leagues.
You'll feel a little weird about this, especially if you're in a league where other owners spend a first-round pick on Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Let them. You wouldn't buy a beautiful car for $10,000 above sticker price even if your friends did, right? Same logic applies. Those guys are great but if you're really trying to build a strong Fantasy roster, you don't want to be caught short without difference makers at running back and/or receiver. Those difference makers go early for a reason. Besides, you can find a potential difference maker of your own later on. Promise.
After those first four quarterbacks go off the board, the rest of the passers are like a box of donuts -- some with sprinkles, some with a creamy filling, some with jelly, some with chocolate frosting. They are all different but they're all ultimately very sweet (note: research for this paragraph wrecked my diet). It's up to you which donut, er, quarterback you want to take, but remember the first rule about reaching. If it doesn't feel like a bargain then it's not the right time to pick one.
You can read up on the quarterbacks outside of the Top 4 right here, along with gander at the quarterback tiers from late July. You'll also see which elite quarterback I'm really targeting.
Bonus strategy: Extreme Waiting
It might be of interest to you to wait longer than anyone else in your league to take a quarterback, then take two from the likes of Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton. Using this strategy you can play the matchups for as long as need be and then once one of your passers -- or one on waivers -- breaks out, ride them. One idea is to go with Russell Wilson for his home games in Weeks 1, 3 and 6 and Cam Newton in Weeks 2, 4 and 5. Both of these guys were on my initial bust list, but if we're talking about back-half-of-draft selections making up your starting quarterback, there's no major argument.
Naturally, the downside to this is that there's no guarantee you'll put up serious points, not to the effect of what you'll get from the Top 4 signal callers. But that might not bother you since you'll fill your plate with studs at other positions and hope to clobber opponents with those players instead of your quarterback.
Lastly, quarterback is an easy position to fix off waivers, so if you decide to wait and then whiff on who you take, a stroll to the friendly wire will solve your problem.
Quarterback tiers for 2014
|Elite||Value Elite||Very Good|
|Rounds 2, 3, 4||Rounds 5, 6, 7||Rounds 7, 8, 9|
|Peyton Manning||Colin Kaepernick||Andrew Luck|
|Drew Brees||Nick Foles||Jay Cutler|
|Aaron Rodgers||Tom Brady||Robert Griffin III|
|Matthew Stafford||Matt Ryan|
|No. 2/Upside||No. 2/Less Upside||Deep sleeper QBs|
|Rounds 10, 11, 12|
|Philip Rivers||Andy Dalton||Teddy Bridgewater|
|Ben Roethlisberger||Ryan Tannehill||Geno Smith|
|Cam Newton||Alex Smith||Johnny Manziel|
|Carson Palmer||Josh McCown||Blake Bortles|
|Sam Bradford||Eli Manning|
|Russell Wilson||Joe Flacco|
Bye-week cheat sheet
Here's a useful guide to seeing what quarterbacks have seemingly favorable matchups when a quality quarterback is on a bye week. Keep in mind that we only list the byes of quarterbacks most owners consider starters, and only list the matchups for potential backups.
Week 5 bye: None