2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Our experts debate their quarterback rankings
Amid Quarterback Week, we get our experts on the record as they defend their rankings. How high should Andrew Luck be ranked? Or Jimmy G? Or Alex Smith vs. Eli Manning.
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We use Slack to communicate internally, and now we're going to use it to communicate with you guys. Every Wednesday, we're going to have our trio of Fantasy football experts — Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard and Heath Cummings — discuss (and maybe debate) their rankings. We're talking about quarterbacks this week.
chris.towers: Alright guys, it's time to answer for your quarterback rankings.
You've all got Aaron Rodgers No. 1, and , so no need to belabor the point. Let's move down to No. 2, where Jamey stands alone with Russell Wilson. I don't think he needs to defend it — Wilson was No. 1 last year! — so I'll ask Dave and Heath: Why do you have Brady ranked above Wilson?
jamey.eisenberg: Yeah, slackers.
Can all the questions be like this where I don't have to answer?
chris.towers: I'm coming for you next.
dave.richard: Hello! Brady's been more consistent over the past several years, and I believe the Patriots will continue to be pass-centric even with Brady at the ripe young age of 41 when the season starts. I'm getting a little worried about Wilson keeping up his numbers from last season, even if the Seahawks run game isn't solved like they want it to be.
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heath.cummings: I'm worried about passing volume and receiver help for Wilson. Every signal the Seahawks have sent (from drafting Rashaad Penny to hiring Brian Schottenheimer) suggests they want to get back to running the ball. They let Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham go, and replaced them with Brandon Marshall and Jaron Brown. This is troubling.
chris.towers: He's never really had good wide receivers, though. Are we sure Paul Richardson — Paul Richardson! — is some kind of loss to be worried about? And you guys have spent all offseason talking about how Jimmy Graham might be cooked. Wilson's been the top scoring QB over the past three seasons in CBS Fantasy leagues. Is there some reason to believe he's going to stop running?
jamey.eisenberg: Do I get to talk now?
chris.towers: Make the case for Russ!
jamey.eisenberg: Yes, the receiving corps in Seattle is somewhat troubling, and the Seahawks want to go back to running the ball. But can they? At least at a high enough level to take the ball out of Wilson's hands on a consistent basis? This defense is going to be the worst he's ever played with, and likely the worst since Pete Carroll has been the coach, so Wilson might not have a choice to do plenty of heavy lifting. I still expect Wilson to account for 35-plus total touchdowns, and his rushing prowess is just an added bonus given what he showed last year and should show again.
heath.cummings: I love Russell Wilson, so don't take this the wrong way, but I'm pretty sure he's the No. 1 QB over the past three years because he's played 48 games.
chris.towers: Sure, that's part of it, but it also includes two top-three finishes.
jamey.eisenberg: Don't insult the guy asking the questions.
chris.towers: And No. 5 in 2014.
And No. 7 in 2013.
dave.richard: We get it, he's good. Who are we talking about next?
chris.towers: Let's go down the rankings a bit — to Andrew Luck. Arguably the biggest question mark at the position. Jamey, you have him eighth, and he's ninth for both Heath and Dave. At what point in the draft are you willing to take him right now, and how high could you see him climbing by the end of draft season.
jamey.eisenberg: His ADP is Round 9, which feels like a good spot for him. I could see him moving as high as No. 5. When he's right, he's a contender for the No. 1 QB spot.
chris.towers: At FantasyPros.com, Luck's consensus ADP is 94 overall — QB11. Wentz is at 59 overall — QB5.
dave.richard: I know what his potential is given the past, and I actually love his peripherals (offensive line, projected game scripts, coaches). Once it's clear he's "back," it's hard to put him any lower than No. 6 overall worth taking in Round 5 or 6.
I'm pretty sure he'll look good in the preseason and his ADP will rise like Amazon stock.
jamey.eisenberg: Yes, another question off for me. #winning
heath.cummings: I like Brees' potential for a fast start without Mark Ingram. I don't think the Saints give Alvin Kamara 25 touches a game, and I'm not sure how effective Terrance West will be. Plus, Brees starts the year with Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Atlanta and the Giants. My hot take is he'll be the No. 1 QB when Ingram returns. He has some positive touchdown regression coming as well.
As for Roethlisberger, he's pretty consistently been a top six or seven QB on a per game basis, and I'm not too worried about games missed at a position this deep. With Brown, Bell and JuJu, and what I think may be a suspect defense, he has enormous upside.
dave.richard: Roethlisberger might become the most snubbed quarterback of the summer. Pretty sure people will look at his home/road splits, his age and the other younger quarterbacks available in Round 7-plus and turn their noses up at Big Ben. I think that's a mistake — he'll throw plenty this year, as he does every year, and it's possible his receiving corps is just as dangerous as it was last year. Heath's right about the defense too: I am not sure how good it will be. I love the idea of waiting for a quarterback on Draft Day and finding Roethlisberger in Round 8 or later.
chris.towers: One interesting thing I'm noticing in looking at both your rankings and the industry consensus compared to ADP is this: The Joes are a lot higher on Jimmy Garoppolo (ADP: QB9) than the Pros (Consensus Rank: QB13). Jamey, since you can't stop crowing about how little you've had to do, why don't you explain the disconnect.
jamey.eisenberg: I mean, have you seen how handsome Jimmy G is? Everyone loves him. I think the reason people are falling for Garoppolo is the hype. He's the shiny new toy. He obviously played well last season, and the hope is he picks up where he left off with a (slightly) improved receiving corps. But there's another shiny new toy in Patrick Mahomes as well. He's one of my favorite breakout candidates at any position, but he's being drafted after Garoppolo based on ADP. I'd rather wait for Mahomes and let someone else reach for Jimmy G.
chris.towers: Who would you rather have: Garoppolo or Patrick Mahomes?
jamey.eisenberg: Look up there.
dave.richard: Mahomes. I studied both this week —, and — and believe Mahomes has way more upside. Better receivers, better cannon for throwing downfield. I will warn that both have tough schedules this year, though.
heath.cummings: I'll reluctantly say Jimmy G ... ugh.
chris.towers: And to close it out: Give me the top-10 QB you're most worried about, and three quarterbacks outside your top-20 with the most upside.
heath.cummings: Top 10 by ADP or by our rankings?
chris.towers: Your rankings.
jamey.eisenberg: Wentz has too much bust potential.
heath.cummings: Well then it has to be Andrew Luck, because I don't have Carson Wentz in my top 10
Team Name Wednesday! Wentz too early in the draft
dave.richard: I guess I'm a little freaked out by Drew Brees' drop in pass attempts and touchdowns last year, and know that not much has changed philosophically for the Saints offense this season. I'd still draft him, but I'm not targeting him.
heath..cummings: Outside my top 20, I'd say Andy Dalton, Dak, and...ugh... Eli
dave.richard: Eli needs to be in your top 20, Heath.
Wait. Scratch that
Eli needs to be in your top 15, Heath.
heath..cummings: Alex Smith is the very definition of a top-20 quarterback, Dave!
chris.towers: Can't believe we left the Alex Smith vs. Eli Manning debate for the end. That's on me. My bad.
dave.richard: Last year he was the definition of a top-five quarterback! Here we are giving him zero respect.
chris.towers: Thanks, guys. See for Running Back Week.
dave.richard: Running backs are gonna be fun this year. Can't wait to talk about them.
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