2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

- Updated: Monday, July 25th

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. 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. Like Cam Newton (but to a lesser extent), 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-three fantasy finish from the Colts' franchise quarterback.

4. 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. Wilson should once again finish as a top-five fantasy 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. 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.

7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Despite his four-game suspension to start the season, Brady should easily 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.

8. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

With 662 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.

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 repeat the 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, 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 and he's a low-end QB1 going into the 2016 season.

13. Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

Tannehill has thrown for 4,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons and 24-plus touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. In addition, he's averaged 225 rushing yards per season over his career. Over the past three seasons, Tannehill has finished as the QB16, QB9 and QB17, respectively. With Adam Gase taking over as head coach (and Peyton Manning helping him learn the offense), Tannehill has sneaky top-12 fantasy upside.

14. 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.

15. 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. Upgrading their offensive line this offseason, no team allowed more sacks than the Titans (54) last year. 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.

16. 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.

17. 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 and a favorable fantasy strength of schedule (ninth-best).

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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.

22. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

What's worse than breaking your collar bone? Breaking it twice. Not only did Romo break his collar bone twice last season, but he had surgery in March. If he (and Dez Bryant) can stay healthy, Romo could finish as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Then again, I expect the Cowboys to utilize a run-heavy attack similar to two seasons ago when Romo finished as only fantasy's QB11 despite having his most efficient season ever (69.9 completion percentage and 34:9 TD-to-INT ratio). On a positive note, Romo has a favorable fantasy strength of schedule -- 2nd-most favorable on paper to only Matthew Stafford and the Lions.

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. 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. Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets

Still an unsigned, unrestricted free agent, Fitzpatrick and the Jets will hopefully work out an agreement before training camp -- or at least before the start of the season. 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. If he doesn't re-sign with the Jets, it would lead to a downgrade in my projections for the team's pass-catchers and the offense in general.

25. Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns

Going into the 2016 NFL season, few projected 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.

Here are the best of the rest:
26. Brock Osweiler, Houston Texans
27. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
28. Blaine Gabbert, San Francisco 49ers
29. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
30. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings
31. Mark Sanchez, Denver Broncos
32. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams
33. Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles
34. Jimmy Garoppolo, New England Patriots
35. Geno Smith, New York Jets
36. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
37. Paxton Lynch, Denver Broncos
38. Trevor Siemian, Denver Broncos
39. Josh McCown, Cleveland Browns
40. Chase Daniel, Philadelphia Eagles

More Fantasy Football Rankings: More of our 2016 fantasy football resources: Good luck in your 2016 fantasy football league(s)!