2015 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings- Updated: Saturday, August 29th
Scoring: These rankings are based on standard scoring (one point per 25 passing yards and per 10 rushing/receiving yards and four points per passing touchdown and six points per rushing/receiving touchdown) and are for the 2015 NFL season only.
These rankings are from Kevin Hanson (follow him on Twitter).
Three of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation -- Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees -- all finished outside the top-three fantasy quarterbacks in 2014. From 2005 to 2013, at least one of those three quarterbacks had finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback every season.
Could that happen for a second year in a row? Based on my rankings, my answer is yes.
With that said, here are my fantasy football quarterback rankings for 2015:
1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Throwing for 4,761 yards and a league-leading 40 touchdowns, both of which were career highs, Luck's 40 TDs last season nearly equalled his total from his first two seasons combined (46 TDs). During the season, Luck had the second-longest streak of 300-yard games (eight) in NFL history. Not only does Luck lead one of the league's most prolific passing offenses, but he gets a boost from his mobility with at least 255 rushing yards each year and a total of 12 rushing scores.
2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player, Rodgers was also the top-scoring fantasy quarterback as well. Since becoming Green Bay's starting quarterback seven years ago, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback in six of seven seasons with the lone exception due to injury (broken clavicle, 2013). Over the past four seasons, Rodgers has compiled a 139:25 TD-to-INT ratio with an average of 8.5 yards per attempt, 112.6 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
A top-three fantasy quarterback in 2014, Wilson rushed for 849 yards and six touchdowns, both of which were career highs, and netted fantasy owners an average of 7.56 fantasy points per game from rushing stats alone. While he won't post gaudy passing statistics in Seattle's run-dominant offense, Wilson is the first quarterback in league history to throw 20-plus touchdowns with 10 or fewer interceptions in each of his first three NFL seasons, per Pro Football Reference. Wilson's volume of pass attempts may not spike in 2015, but the Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster trade for tight end Jimmy Graham, which significantly upgrades the team's weapons in the red zone.
4. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
After three consecutive 5,000-yard seasons, Brees fell just shy of that mark in 2014 but still tied for the league lead with 4,952 passing yards and threw 33 touchdowns. For the first time since signing with the Saints in 2006, Brees finished outside the top-five fantasy quarterbacks (sixth) in 2014. And while he has thrown at least 650 pass attempts in five consecutive seasons and he led the league in pass attempts per game (41.2) last season, a transition to a more run-based offense appears set to begin with their offseason moves.
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Based on his 2014 average draft position (ADP), Roethlisberger was one of the biggest draft values last season. Only four quarterbacks scored more fantasy points and he threw for a career-high 4,952 yards, which tied Drew Brees last season for the league lead, and 32 touchdowns, which tied a previous career high. With continuity on the offensive line and one of the league's best group of pass catchers, it wouldn't surprise me if Big Ben posted another top-five finish in 2015.
6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos
With a slow finish to the season, Manning finished the year as the QB4 (312.68 fantasy points) behind Rodgers (354.14), Luck (350.74) and Wilson (327.6). In the first 11 games of the season, Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points per game (323.45 YPG, 34 TDs and nine INTs). In the final five games of the season, however, he averaged just 9.83 FPPG (233.8 YPG, five TDs and six INTs) and never scored more than 13.02 fantasy points in any of those games. Much of the decline can be attributed to last year's thigh injury, but Manning's passing production also tends to slow as the weather turns colder. In a more balanced offense with some issues on the offensive line, it's possible that Manning fails to produce a top-five fantasy season.
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan has more than 4,500 passing yards in three consecutive seasons with the third-most (13,928) over that span. In addition, he has 26-plus touchdowns in five consecutive seasons and the sixth-most (143) during that span. The good news is that Ryan has finished as a top-eight fantasy quarterback in four of the past five years, which makes him a solid mid-QB1 option to target. That said, he has yet to finish as a top-six fantasy quarterback in his career.
8. Eli Manning, New York Giants
In the first six games of the season, Eli finished outside the top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in all but one game. Over the final 10 games of the season, however, Manning posted five weekly top-five performances. With better health from his wide receivers and the free-agent addition of Shane Vereen, a talented receiver out of the backfield, plus more comfort and familiarity with Ben McAdoo's offense, Eli has the potential to post career numbers in 2015. In addition, only Tampa and Washington have a more favorable fantasy strength of schedule than Eli does.
9. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Missing two games and at less than 100 percent for much of the season, it was a down year for Newton. That said, Newton has now exceeded 3,000 passing yards and 500 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. Over those four seasons, he has averaged 3,606 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns per season as well as 643 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Despite the down year, Newton finished seventh in fantasy points per game (17.78) among QBs. And before last season, Newton finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback in his first three NFL seasons. Before the injury to Kelvin Benjamin, I was much higher on Newton, but I still expect him to finish as a top-10 fantasy QB in 2015.
10. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Tannehill posted career highs in passing yards (4,045), passing touchdowns (27) and completion percentage (66.4) with a career low in interceptions (12) in his first year playing for new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. In addition, he rushed for a career-high 311 yards, which ranked fifth among all quarterbacks last season. Starting in Week 6, Tannehill finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in six of 11 weeks, but he finished with the eighth-most fantasy points over the full season. The team's group of top pass-catchers was entirely turned over except for Jarvis Landry, but Tannehill has some upside for those that wait on quarterback in 2015.
11. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
No quarterback underachieved expectations more last season than Stafford, who finished as the QB15 in 2014. Even with the free-agent signing and breakout season from Golden Tate (99/1,331/4), Stafford threw for only 4,247 yards, a four-year low, and 22 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. With better health from Calvin Johnson, who missed a few games and was a decoy in others, Stafford should post better numbers in 2015.
12. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Over his past three seasons, Romo's pass attempts have dropped from 648 (2012) to 535 (2013) to 435 (2014). Despite the drop in volume, Romo threw 34 touchdowns, the most for him since 2007, with only nine interceptions, a four-year low. In addition, Romo led the league in Y/A (8.5), completion percentage (69.9), touchdown percentage (7.8) and passer rating (113.2) last year. Assuming the team stays committed to the run game without DeMarco Murray, who signed a free-agent deal with the Eagles, Romo's upside could be somewhat limited as I project 20-plus QBs to throw more pass attempts this year. Even with his career year in efficiency, Romo still finished just outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks last season.
13. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
The NFL upheld Brady's four-game suspension for his role in the DeflateGate scandal, but the two sides will meet again in court on August 31st although it's unclear by when the finding will be announced. Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Brady may be willing to accept "some form of suspension" for failure to cooperate without admitting guilt. After a slow start last season, only Peyton Manning (31) threw more touchdowns than Brady (29) from Weeks 5 to 17. With good health once again for Rob Gronkowski, Brady could post top-five production on a per-game basis in 2015 although the exact number of games he plays remains the wild card.
14. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013, Rivers followed up his bounce-back season with 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but he also threw 18 interceptions. Dealing with a back injury, Rivers threw seven of those interceptions in the final three games of the season. Rivers should be a relatively safe bet for 4,000-plus yards and around 30 touchdowns once again in 2015.
15. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick averaged fewer yards per attempt (7.0), threw fewer touchdowns (19) and more interceptions (10) than he did in 2013 (7.7 Y/A, 21 TDs and eight INTs) despite throwing more pass attempts (478 in 2014 vs. 416 in 2013). Given the changes to the roster and coaching staff, the 49ers should find themselves trailing (and throwing) more often in 2015. Meanwhile, the addition of Torrey Smith gives the 49ers a vertical threat that can take advantage of Kaepernick's strong arm. He also set career highs in rush attempts (105) and rushing yards (639) even though he rushed for only one touchdown last year (after nine touchdowns in the previous two years combined). While I wouldn't want to count on him as my every-week starter, few QB2 options have as much upside as Kaepernick.
16. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
Bridgewater improved throughout his rookie season, which is something you always want to see with a young quarterback. All four of his games with a completion percentage of at least 70 percent occurred within the final five games of the season. In addition, Bridgewater posted a 1:5 TD-to-INT ratio in his first four games but improved to a 13:7 TD-to-INT ratio for the remainder of the season. With the attention that Adrian Peterson commands from opposing defenses, it should open up the passing offense for Bridgewater in year two. Through two preseason games, Bridgewater has looked sharp.
17. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
Described by ESPN's Jon Gruden as a "6-foot-4 Russell Wilson," Mariota possesses all of the physical tools to develop into an elite fantasy quarterback. Naturally, there will be an adjustment period for Mariota, as there is with all rookies, but Mariota's ability to create outside the pocket could lead to several big weeks even as a rookie.
18. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals
Through four seasons in the NFL, Dalton has finished as the QB18, QB12, QB5 and QB19, respectively. In his first season in Hue Jackson's offense, his pass attempts dropped from a career-high 586 in 2013 to a career-low 481 in 2014. With A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Tyler Eifert all missing significant time in 2014, it's possible that my projection for Dalton is too low, especially if his pass-catchers can stay healthy in 2015.
19. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens
Flacco quietly finished as fantasy's QB13 last season. While the team lost Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels in free agency, they used their first two picks in this year's draft on long-term replacements -- Breshad Perriman and Maxx Williams. Flacco may lack the upside to be an elite fantasy quarterback, but he has never finished worse than QB19 in his seven NFL seasons and the hire of Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator is certainly favorable for his outlook.
20. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
In five NFL seasons since being drafted first overall by the Rams, Bradford has played a total of 49 games -- and only seven of 32 games in the past two years. If, a big if, Bradford starts 16 games for the Eagles, however, he has the potential to finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in 2015. The duo of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez combined to throw 4,581 yards, 27 touchdowns and 21 interceptions last season and score 258.74 fantasy points, which would have placed them 14th among quarterbacks last year.
21. Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals
It was mostly a lost season for Palmer, who missed a total of 10 games with significant injuries, but he actually finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in terms of fantasy points per game (17.26) last season. Provided he stays healthy, Palmer is a high-upside backup fantasy quarterback in Bruce Arians' vertical passing attack with Michael Floyd, Larry Fitzgerald and John Brown forming a good trio of receivers.
22. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
The good news is that Smith has averaged more passing yards per game over each of the past two seasons with the Chiefs than he ever did with the 49ers. The bad news, of course, is that he still has never averaged more than 220.9 YPG. Smith's mobility (685 rushing yards over the past two seasons), lack of turnovers and improved group of pass-catchers are positives, but the "game manager" has relatively limited upside.
23. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
Benched a game in favor of Jimmy Clausen, Cutler played only 15 games and led the league in multi-interception games (seven) last season. Despite the massive contract given to Cutler from the last regime in the previous offseason, he's clearly not in the team's long-term plans and could have a short leash if he doesn't cut down on the turnovers. Per CSN Chicago, the plan is to "take some things away from Cutler and shrink the game for him," which will hopefully cut down on his interception rate.
24. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Despite his past off-the-field concerns, Winston possesses strong on-field intangibles (leadership skills and football intelligence) that you'd want in a franchise quarterback. Based on the style of Florida State's offense and the pair of 6-foot-5 1,000-yard receivers (Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson) already on Tampa's roster, Winston has the potential to make more of a fantasy impact early in his career than fellow rookie Marcus Mariota. In addition, Winston has the softest fantasy football strength of schedule among QBs going into the 2015 season.
25. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sacked a league-high 55 times in 2014, the second-year quarterback will have an improved level of talent around him on offense in 2015. While he's a big and strong quarterback, Bortles dealt with a bit of a "dead arm" down the stretch as a rookie. Bortles rushed for 419 yards (7.5 YPC) and only three quarterbacks rushed for more yards. Due to his dual-threat abilities and the talent upgrades on the offense, Bortles has some fantasy upside as a QB2.
26. Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Coach Jay Gruden was clearly not RG3's biggest fan last year and there was plenty of dysfunction in the nation's capital. Appearing in nine games (missing some due to injury and others due to benching), RG3 threw just four touchdowns with six interceptions last season. Much of Griffin's fantasy upside is derived from his rushing ability, but he averaged only 19.6 rushing yards per game last year and has just one rushing touchdown in his past 22 games. And of course, his rushing attempts expose him to greater injury risk. That said, RG3 remains a high-risk, (potential) high-reward option as a QB2 heading into 2015.
27. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders
Only three teams threw the ball more than the Raiders in 2014 and Carr gets a boost to his receiving corps with rookie Amari Cooper and free-agent addition Michael Crabtree. While Carr posted a very solid 21-to-12 TD-to-INT ratio as a rookie, he averaged an anemic 5.5 Y/A.
28. Nick Foles, St. Louis Rams
Two seasons ago, Foles had a breakout season (27:2 TD-to-INT ratio and 9.1 Y/A in 13 games) and Chip Kelly said he would be the team's quarterback for the "next 1,000 years." After a disappointing half-season prior to breaking his collarbone, the 1,000 years are up and Kelly traded him to the Rams. Meanwhile, the transition to the Rams is a downgrade on a number of fronts -- leakier offensive line, lesser talent at skill positions (compared to 2013/2014 Eagles) and much tougher pass defenses in the NFC West compared to NFC East.
29. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Due to Geno Smith's broken jaw, Fitzpatrick enters 2015 as the team's starting quarterback and there is a good chance that he maintains that role throughout the year. Being reunited with Chan Gailey should bode well for Fitzpatrick as his three most productive seasons (2010 to 2012) occurred within Gailey's offense at Buffalo.
30. Matt Cassel, Buffalo Bills
Few teams have more talent at non-quarterback positions than the Bills. In turn, few teams have as poor of a quarterback situation as Buffalo. The Bills acquired Cassel this offseason, but ESPN's Mike Rodak left Cassel off his 53-man roster projection earlier this offseason. That said, Cassel appears to the best of the team's not-so-great options at quarterback.
The best of the rest:
31. Brian Hoyer, Houston Texans
32. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
33. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland Browns
34. Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
35. Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles
36. Ryan Mallett, Houston Texans
37. Geno Smith, New York Jets
38. Tim Tebow, Philadelphia Eagles
39. Jimmy Clausen, Chicago Bears
40. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
41. E.J. Manuel, Buffalo Bills
42. Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
43. Scott Tolzien, Green Bay Packers
44. Colt McCoy, Washington Redskins
45. Chad Henne, Jacksonville Jaguars
46. Zach Mettenberger, Tennessee Titans
47. Matt McGloin, Oakland Raiders
48. Brandon Weeden, Dallas Cowboys
49. Brock Osweiler, Denver Broncos
50. Tom Savage, Houston Texans
Check out more of our 2015 fantasy rankings:
- 2015 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings
- 2015 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings
- 2015 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings
- 2015 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings
- 2016 NFL Mock Draft
- 2015 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator
- 2015 Fantasy Football Strength of Schedule
- 2015 Fantasy Football ADP Movers
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