2020 Rankings Breakdown: Quarterbacks

May 11, 2020
2020 Rankings Breakdown: Quarterbacks

We've released our initial rankings for the 2020 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 summer as injuries occur, camp battles develop, and rookies (or other young players) emerge.

Other Rankings Breakdowns: RB | WR | TE

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 average best ball ADP). I’ll go over the quarterbacks in this article, and discuss the running back, receiver and tight end positions in upcoming articles.

Early-Round Quarterbacks

The quarterback position looks to be as deep as ever, so there’s no real 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, Aaron Rodgers, Baker Mayfield, and Matt Ryan all went in the top five and they finished No. 9, No. 19, and No. 11, respectively.
  • Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Cam Newton were drafted in the top five in 2018 and they finished No.11, No. 9, and No. 12, respectively.
  • In 2017, 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.
  • Three years ago, 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. Wilson was the third quarterback off the board, but he finished as the No. 10 quarterback after playing through a bad ankle injury early in the year.

So 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 securing a passer early on is wholly unnecessary.

About thirty points separate our No. 5 quarterback (Russell Wilson) and our No. 19 quarterback (Kirk Cousins) so owners who want to punt the position and perhaps draft a couple of late-round quarterbacks with significant value or upside can load up on running backs, receivers, and tight ends for the first 10 or so rounds before pulling the trigger on a passer.

Early ADP Observations

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