2018 Rankings Breakdown: Quarterbacks & Tight Ends
We've released our initial rankings for the 2018 fantasy football season. Typically, they require some explanation. Our process is arduous and time-tested, and while it provides a good starting point, these rankings can and will change significantly throughout the spring and summer as injuries occur, camp battles develop, and rookies (or other young players) emerge.
I’m going to go through the initial rankings and explain my thoughts about each position as a whole. I’ll also discuss why a few specific players are ranked where they are (relative to the General Consensus, or GC, and/or his ADP in 12-team formats). I’ll go over the quarterbacks and tight ends in this article, and discuss the running back and receiver positions in an upcoming article.
I’m going to start with the quarterback position since I often plan my entire draft strategy with the intention of drafting a particular passer in a particular round.
The position is once again extremely deep, so there’s no reason to draft a top-five quarterback in the early rounds. While it’s true that an elite passer having an elite season can carry a team to a fantasy championship, there is risk associated with drafting a quarterback early.
Last year, the first quarterback off the board, Aaron Rodgers, struggled to a No. 29 finish after breaking his collarbone. Matt Ryan was the fourth passer drafted, and he finished No. 15, despite playing a full season. Derek Carr was the sixth quarterback off the board and he finished No. 21.
Two years ago, Cam Newton was the consensus top pick at the position, and he finished as the No. 17 fantasy quarterback after a No. 1 finish in 2015. Ben Roethlisberger was the fifth quarterback off the board, but he finished the season as the No. 18 quarterback thanks to two missed games. Russell Wilson was the third quarterback off the board, but he finished as the No. 10 QB after playing through a bad ankle injury early in the year.
My point? It’s not all puppy dogs and ice cream when drafting a top-five quarterback in the first five or six rounds. While quarterbacks drafted early will generally outperform those drafted later—something that’s true at every position—there’s so much value available later in the draft that drafting a passer early is wholly unnecessary.
Continue reading to see John's values, breakouts, and sleepers at the quarterback and tight end positions...
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