The 2014 Fantasy Football season has officially started now that the disgrace of the "big game" is behind us. While you might not think it's that time of year, many of us owners have already started doing our early rankings for the upcoming season. Of course, what better way to kick off those early rankings than with the quarterback position.
We've seen a changing of the guard over the last several years. What was once a running back heavy NFL has turned into a pass-happy league that we see today. And that trend should continue. That means quarterbacks are more valuable than ever. Don't be surprised to see 3-4 quarterbacks drafted in this year's first round of all fantasy leagues. Especially if you get 6 points for a passing touchdown.
Below are my top 10 quarterbacks as of right now. These rankings will change as we head into the NFL Draft and free agency, so make sure to check back to our site as much as possible to get the most recent rankings.
1. Aaron Rodgers - Packers
A collarbone injury knocked Rodgers out for 7 games of the regular season. He clearly wasn't himself in the playoff loss to the 49ers either. Rodgers should be another top quarterback pick again this year. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are back. Jarrett Boykin showed that he could be an upgrade over James Jones.
2. Drew Brees - Saints
While Brees isn't surrounded by true studs outside of Jimmy Graham, 3-straight years of 5,000+ yards and 39 or more touchdowns makes him a top 3 quarterback in all formats this year. Don't expect the Saints to turn into a run-oriented offense anytime soon.
3. Peyton Manning - Broncos
If March tests say Manning's neck is good enough for him to play another year, you better believe his ego isn't going to let his career end on a sour note against the Seahawks. Eric Decker could be gone, but there are enough weapons to make Manning a powerhouse fantasy option again.
4. Cam Newton - Panthers
Newton continues to show that the Panthers made the right decision by drafting him so high. He had a career high 24 touchdown passes in 2013, but also continued to make plays with his legs (Racking up almost 600 rushing yards). If the Panthers continue to ignore their receiving corps, Newton will just have to go back to his roots and make plays on the ground. Either way, the combination of total yards pushes Newton up as a top-flight fantasy option.
5. Matthew Stafford - Lions
Calvin Johnson is enough to make any quarterback a stud, but Stafford continues to fly under the radar simply because his NFL play is somewhat lacking. The Lions have hired OC Joe Lombardi to improve Stafford's mechanics, which have been an issue since he's been in the league. Having Reggie Bush and Joique Bell in the backfield will also help pad Stafford's fantasy numbers.
6. Tom Brady - Patriots
Hate him as much as you want, but Brady's 271 yards-per-game average in 2013 is a testament as to just how good a quarterback he is. Keep in mind this was without Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola for much of the year. Not to mention the rest of the receiving corps that failed to live up to expectations (Thanks Kenbrell Thompkins). Bringing back Julian Edelman will help Brady's cause as he was one of the few receivers Brady could depend on.
7. Tony Romo - Cowboys
I hate the Cowboys with a passion, but I will not deny adding Romo to my team if he is available. There's been a lot of talk that Romo is starting to wear out his welcome due to his inability to get the team in the playoffs or on a playoff run. That doesn't matter to owners. It's what Romo does from Week 1 to Week 15-16. His passing numbers were down from last year, but he shaved off 9 interceptions from 2012. Dez Bryant, Jason Witten and, hopefully, Terrance Williams will help Romo put up another big season. Who cares about his playoff chances.
8. Nick Foles - Eagles
Who would have thought a player who was on his way out of Philly would wind up being the team's franchise quarterback? Chip Kelly was able to take Foles' strengths and make him a stud. The biggest concern for owners will be whether Foles' season, that included just 2 picks, was a fluke or a sign of bigger things to come. I like to think the latter. At the very least, Foles is a better bargain as he will be drafted later, but brings much more upside than a few guys I've listed.
9. Colin Kaepernick - 49ers
Slowly, but surely, CK has crept into the echelon of QB1 status. His passing numbers and total touchdowns have gone up from 2012-2013. 2014 could be the year he finally breaks out. Frank Gore is getting up in age. Plus, keep in mind Michael Crabtree will be at full health (hopefully) come Week 1. I'm hoping the team finds a way to bring Anquan Boldin back. His signing would be a huge upgrade for the 49ers offense period. Like Newton, Kaep's numbers hinge on his running ability.
10. Andrew Luck - Colts
Don't worry Seahawks fans. Russell Wilson really isn't that far behind in the rankings. But for me, Luck is simply more polished as a passer and a guy who can quietly get you yards with his legs, which included 4 rushing touchdowns. When healthy, the Colts have a very potent passing attack with Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton and the tight end combo of Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. Luck has passed for 23 touchdowns in each of the past 2 seasons. He should be able to reach 30+ as long as guys like Wayne can stay healthy.