2017 Fantasy Football Season in Review: Passing down around the league thanks to injuries

Check out a breakdown of each position in 2017 here: QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

Don't let anyone tell you quarterbacks don't matter in Fantasy. But don't let anyone tell you that you must take a starter with an early-round pick in 2018 drafts, either. 

Passing was down across the league as quarterbacks collectively attempted the fewest throws since 2011. The average Fantasy point total of the top-12 passers in 2017 was 20.3 per game, down 1.2 from 2016 and 2.6 from 2015. Crummy results, but it came in a year where Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, Carson Palmer and Jameis Winston missed at least three games each. Four of those six quarterbacks ranked in the top-six in terms of game-to-game, 20-plus-point consistency, and Luck seemingly would have been among the consistent based on his track record. Palmer was the odd man out but, even he found 17-plus Fantasy points in each of the final five games he finished. 

So forget about the 20.3 points per game – it's a joke of a number. Instead, hang your hat on eight quarterbacks reaching at least 20 points in half of their games and 16 gunslingers notching at least 20 Fantasy points in 43.8 percent of their games. Here's that group:

Quarterback GP FPTS FP/gm Consistency
Aaron Rodgers  6 156 26 83.3%
Carson Wentz  13 335 25.77 76.9%
Deshaun Watson  6.5 203 31.23 76.9%
Russell Wilson  16 399 24.94 68.8%
Ben Roethlisberger 15 309 20.6 66.7%
Jameis Winston  11.5 229 19.91 52.2%
Tom Brady  16 349 21.81 50.0%
Drew Brees  16 298 18.63 50.0%
Case Keenum  14.5 273 18.83 48.3%
Alex Smith  15 333 22.2 46.7%
Jared Goff  15 302 20.13 46.7%
Ryan Fitzpatrick  4.5 84 18.67 44.4%
Philip Rivers  16 319 19.94 43.8%
Matthew Stafford  16 319 19.94 43.8%
Kirk Cousins  16 317 19.81 43.8%

If you want to download the full chart, go to this Google Doc spreadsheet and click "File + Download."

And here is how every quarterback who scored at least 97 points – we had to sneak Jimmy Garoppolo in there – fared when looking at Fantasy points per game as well as consistency. The size of the bubble represents their total Fantasy points for the season (scroll over for more details): 

The best news of all is that there's no reason to worry about finding a starting quarterback next year. Our 2018 rankings will read like a who's who of studs. The supply will greatly outweigh demand. 

So the key instead is to find a passer who will not just score 20 points most weeks, but 25 or more. Those quarterbacks will be worth targeting early. In 2017, no one had more games with 25-plus Fantasy points than Russell Wilson (9 of 16 games, 56 percent of his games), followed by Carson Wentz (7 in 13 games, 54 percent) and Kirk Cousins and Dak Prescott (six each, 37.5 percent). That's a heck of a lot better than Matt Ryan, Marcus Mariota and Joe Flacco, each of whom failed to hit 25 points in any game this past season. 

Be on the lookout for the big gamers and put them ahead of the rest of the pack. 

But even if you can't find any to your liking, or can't get your hands on any of them in drafts, there will be plenty of quarterbacks to choose from as capable starters. Fantasy owners are already excited about Jimmy Garoppolo's potential with the 49ers, and if Patrick Mahomes replaces Alex Smith in Kansas City, then not only will he be a trendy sleeper but Smith could also find a landing spot that could continue his strong numbers from 2017. Plus there are Fantasy staples like Cam Newton, Ryan, Derek Carr and Prescott to dissect, along with rookies Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold.

Bottom line: 2018 should be great for quarterbacks. You might be content with drafting one, but you could find incredible value and potential late in drafts if you opt to pick two. 

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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