The last time these tiers were updated, I was struggling with where to place Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. While it's never easy to place rookies before we see them play a down of football, that's a lot easier than trying to figure out what to do with Cam Newton and Baker Mayfield heading into the 2020 season. They ended up separated by two tiers, mostly because of age and injury risk, but it's hard to feel certain in any approximation of their value.
Mayfield was a consensus top-five Dynasty quarterback at this time last year. He was coming off a brilliant rookie year, he had a young, exciting head coach and one of the best sets of weapons in the league. And he was a disaster. So was his young exciting head coach, for that matter. Now he has Kevin Stefanski running the show and yet another weapon in Austin Hooper. So do we see 2018 Mayfield or the 2019 version moving forward?
While I'm concerned about Mayfield in re-draft, I'm mostly giving him a pass in Dynasty. Pass volume could be a problem for him, and he's not Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, so he won't make up for it as easy, but Mayfield should be much more efficient in Stefanski's system. After a year of that, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Browns ease back on the reins a bit and let Mayfield loose. He's a No. 2 quarterback this year who still possesses top five long-term upside. Of course, that describes some quarterbacks in Tier 4 and Tier 5 as well. What separates Mayfield is his rookie production and pedigree.
Newton hasn't been a top-five Dynasty quarterback for some time, but just a year and half ago he was looking pretty great in Norv Turner's system. Through the first 15 weeks of the season he ranked No. 6 in four-point per pass touchdown leagues, was completing 67.9% of his passes and had 488 rushing yards. He was outscoring consensus top-five quarterbacks Wilson, Watson and Dak Prescott. Of course, that was multiple surgeries ago.Newton is now in New England with Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels. He's now 31 years old. There's plenty to fear.
There's just no denying the talent and upside we saw as recently as 19 months ago. Newton slotted into Tier 5 because of those fears, but he may have more upside than Mayfield this season. If he wins the job as easily as I expect him to and gets off to a fast start, you shouldn't be surprised if he joins Mayfield in Tier 3 by September.
Here are my July Dynasty tiers at quarterback: