2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings- Updated: Sunday, August 28th
Scoring: These rankings are based on standard-scoring formats -- one point per 25 passing yards and one point per 10 rushing yards plus four points per passing touchdown and six points per rushing touchdown.
These rankings are from Kevin Hanson and are for the 2016 NFL season.
Here are our top 40 fantasy quarterbacks for the 2016 NFL season:
1. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
The top-scoring fantasy quarterback in 2015, Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. Newton has now finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in four of his five NFL seasons. No quarterback has more weekly upside than the 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player as he finished as the weekly QB1 in five of his final nine games in 2015.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The loss of Jordy Nelson (ACL) for the season hurt the offense in general and Rodgers' production in particular. Rodgers completed 60.7 percent of his attempts for just 6.7 Y/A, both of which were lows since becoming a starter (2008). Before this season, however, Rodgers finished as the QB1 or QB2 in all full seasons as a starter and should finish as a top-two performer in 2016 with good health from the team's passing-game weapons.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
After a slow start, Wilson's production spiked down the stretch as he once again finished the full season as fantasy's QB3. Not only did Wilson rush for 500-plus yards for a third consecutive season, he finished with career-best passing numbers — 4,024 yards, 34 touchdowns, 68.1 completion percentage and 110.1 passer rating. Perhaps the Seahawks throw a bit more following Marshawn Lynch's retirement, but the dual-threat Wilson should at least finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback once again.
4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
It was a lost season for Luck, who missed more games (nine) than he played (seven) in 2015. And when he was on the field, he was (much) less than 100 percent for many of those games. In addition to being in a high-volume passing offense, Luck benefits from his dual-threat abilities as he rushed for 255-plus yards per year with a total of 12 touchdowns in his first three seasons. With better health in 2016, I expect a bounce-back season and a top-four fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.
5. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Even without Jimmy Graham last year, Brees averaged 324.7 yards per game, which was the second-highest of his career. Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. Since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).
6. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
With 661 pass attempts (previous career high: 582), Rivers averaged a career-high 299.6 yards per game and threw 29 touchdowns despite multi-game absences by his top-two pass-catchers -- Keenan Allen (played eight games) and Antonio Gates (11 games). Rivers averaged 21.05 fantasy points per game with Allen; only 14.52/G without him. Through Week 8, the only quarterback that averaged more fantasy points per game than Rivers was Tom Brady. Appearing on my list of 12 Undervalued Players in 2016 Fantasy Football Drafts, Rivers offers plenty of upside at his current ADP to those who wait to draft a QB.
7. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
For a second consecutive season, Big Ben has led the NFL in passing yards per game (328.2/G in 2015). Even with the full-season suspension of Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger has top-five upside provided he can stay healthy for 16 games. That said, Roethlisberger has now missed at least three games in half of his past six seasons.
8. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should finish as a top-five (or better) quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game. Scoring more fantasy points than every quarterback not named Cam Newton last season, Brady threw for 4,770 yards and a league-high 36 touchdowns in 2015. Given the depth at QB (at least in terms of fantasy), pairing Brady with a high-upside QB2 is certainly a viable strategy for fantasy owners in 2016.
9. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
Palmer set career highs in passing yards (4,671, fourth-most in the NFL) and passing touchdowns (35, second-most) in 2015 as the Cardinals led the NFL in total offense and finished second in scoring offense. With a talented trio of wide receivers in addition to one of the league's best young running backs, Palmer should finish as a top-10 fantasy QB with the upside to once again finish as a top-five fantasy QB. Through Week 16, Palmer threw for 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in all but two games last season.
10. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
In his second season, Bortles threw for 4,428 yards, 35 touchdowns and 18 interceptions and ran for 310 yards and two more scores. Bortles needs to cut down on the turnovers and he's unlikely to throw another 35 touchdowns, but he was consistent in terms of fantasy production last year. Finishing with the fourth-most fantasy points among quarterbacks, Bortles was a top-10 weekly performer 10 times last season.
11. Eli Manning, New York Giants
For a second consecutive season, Manning finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. In both seasons, Manning threw 600-plus times and exceeded 4,400-plus yards while throwing a total of 65 touchdowns. With one of the league's most dynamic players as his go-to receiver, Eli could finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for a third straight season.
12. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Slumping down the stretch (at least in part due to Amari Cooper's foot injury), Carr averaged 18.33 fantasy points (263.18 Y/G and 24:6 TD-to-INT ratio) through Week 12, but he averaged only 14.34 (218.4 Y/G and 8:7 TD-to-INT ratio) over his final five games. That said, Carr still finished as fantasy's QB14 overall in 2016. Going into the 2016 season, Carr is a back-end QB1 with upside.
13. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Over the final 10 games of the season, few quarterbacks were as productive as Cousins, who threw 23 touchdowns, rushed for four more and threw only three interceptions. During that 10-game span, Cousins finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback seven times and as fantasy's weekly QB1 three times. Cousins is set up for success with a talented supporting cast — in fact, even more talented than last year's group — and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).
14. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Not only has Tannehill thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons, but he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his young career. Outperforming his current ADP (QB22) in each of the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as fantasy's QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively, from 2013 to 2015. With Gase taking over as head coach (and some tutoring from Peyton Manning), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.
15. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a rookie, Winston threw for more than 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for another six scores and finished the season as fantasy's QB13. From a fantasy perspective, Winston was incrediby consistent as he never finished with less than 12 fantasy points in any week. Going into his second season, Winston is a high-upside QB2.
16. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Typical for a rookie quarterback, Mariota had an up-and-down season, but he finished as a top-six weekly fantasy quarterback in one-third (four) of his 12 games played. No team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year, but they upgraded their offensive line this offseason. With better protection from his line and a full offseason of development under his belt, the dual-threat quarterback has plenty of upside entering 2016 especially if he runs more often.
17. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Before sustaining a thumb injury that essentially ended his season, Dalton was having a career-best year: 106.2 passer rating, 66.1 completion percentage, 8.4 Y/A and 25:7 TD-to-INT ratio. While Dalton is healthy again, the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and several of his top weapons from 2015 means it's unlikely that he performs at that pace once again. That said, he goes into 2016 as a low-end QB1/high-end QB2 option.
18. Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills
Averaging 8.0 Y/A and posting a 20:6 TD-INT ratio, Taylor averaged a mere 27.14 pass attempts per game. More than likely, the Bills will once again rank near the bottom of the league in pass attempts, but Taylor is a high-upside QB2 due to his rushing ability. Finishing as a top-10 weekly fantasy quarterback in half of his 14 starts in 2015, Taylor rushed for 568 yards and four touchdowns in his first year as an NFL starter.
19. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
After an incredibly slow start, things turned up for Stafford, who finished as fantasy's QB9 in 2015. Through the first five games, Stafford averaged just 11.12 fantasy points per game and posted a 6-to-8 TD-INT ratio. In his final 11 games (most of which were with Jim Bob Cooter as coordinator), Stafford averaged 21.29 fantasy points per game and posted a 26-to-5 TD-INT ratio. During that 11-game stretch, Stafford finished as a top-12 weekly fantasy quarterback seven times. While Stafford has the most generous fantasy schedule (on paper), he lost Calvin Johnson to retirement this offseason.
20. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has thrown for more than 4,500 yards in each of the past four seasons, but Ryan's 21 passing touchdowns were the lowest since his rookie season (2008). After finishing as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons, Ryan finished as fantasy's QB19 in 2015. If there's a positive for Ryan going into 2016, it's that he should feel more comfortable with a full season of running Kyle Shanahan's offense under his belt.
21. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Despite all of the uncertainty about his status for the season, Fitzpatrick re-signed with the Jets on a one-year deal worth $12 million. Fitzpatrick has had his most productive seasons in a Chan Gailey offense and he threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last year in his first season with the Jets.
22. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns
Going into the 2016 NFL season, few starting quarterbacks have a wider range of possible outcomes than RG3. With more scout team reps at safety than pass attempts last season, Griffin was named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012 when he finished as a top-five fantasy QB. While a top-five (or even top-12) finish would be an unrealistic expectation, a fresh start in a new city with a QB-friendly head coach is certainly a positive for RG3 and his outlook.
23. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Despite missing six games due to a torn ACL, Flacco had six games with 40-plus pass attempts -- only Drew Brees (10), Eli Manning (eight), Philip Rivers (eight) and Matt Ryan (seven) had more such games. While I don't expect Flacco to sling it 41.3 times per game, like last year, his supporting cast -- when at full strength -- is better than he's had over the past few seasons. (Of course, the group isn't yet at full strength, though.) And prior to last season, he had finished as a top-16 fantasy quarterback in four of the previous five seasons. In other words, he's a solid, if not spectacular, QB2 going into 2016.
24. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Injuries at wide receiver limited Cutler's fantasy production, but he still completed 64.4 percent of his pass attempts (second-most in his career) and averaged a career-high 7.6 Y/A. The team's top-three wide receivers -- Alshon Jeffery, Kevin White and Eddie Royal -- played a total of 18 games last season. Not surprisingly, Cutler averaged more than three fantasy points per game more with Jeffery (16.41/G) than he did without him (13.13/G). With a healthy supporting cast, Cutler should at least finish as a top-20 fantasy quarterback with top-12 upside.
25. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
With Tony Romo (back) expected to miss at least six games, Prescott will hope his preseason success (39-of-48 passing, 9.46 Y/A, seven total TDs and no INTs in three games) carries over into the regular season. As much as Prescott has exceeded expectations in the preseason, it certainly won't be as easy in the regular season. Not only does Dak have plenty of fantasy upside as a QB streamer and DFS option in the first half of 2016, but only Matthew Stafford and the Lions have a more favorable fantasy football strength of schedule in 2016.
Here are the next 15 quarterbacks:
26. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
27. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
28. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
29. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
30. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
31. Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers
32. Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
33. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
34. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
35. Paxton Lynch, Denver Broncos
36. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
36. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
37. Case Keenum, Los Angeles Rams
39. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
40. Jeff Driskel, San Francisco 49ers
More Fantasy Football Rankings:
- Fantasy Football QB Rankings
- Fantasy Football RB Rankings
- Fantasy Football WR Rankings
- Fantasy Football TE Rankings
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
- Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- Fantasy Football Projections
- Fantasy Football Mock Draft
- Fantasy Football Profiles
- Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) Cheat Sheets