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Regular Season, Updated: 7/12/18


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FF Today Standard Scoring: Review Scoring
 Aaron Rodgers, GB (Bye: 7)
1
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1983-12-02   Age: 34
College: California   Draft: 2005 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015GB16347 572 3,821 31 8 58 344 1 355.5 22.2
2016GB16401 610 4,428 40 7 67 369 4 442.3 27.6
2017GB7154 238 1,675 16 6 24 126 0 160.4 22.9
2018 (Projected)GB 391 611 4,338 36 8 65 343 2 407.2  

Outlook: The consensus No.1 fantasy quarterback heading into the 2017 season, Aaron Rodgers certainly looked the part over the first five contests, but a devastating shoulder injury torpedoed the season for Rodgers, the Packers, and any fantasy owners caught in the aftermath.

Green Bay's gunslinger returns with a healthy wing, but comes back to a bit of a turnover in the receiver room (as well as at quarterback coach). Much to the chagrin of Rodgers, Jordy Nelson is gone, and although a talented group remains, Nelson and Rodgers had an uncanny connection during their career together, especially in the red zone. The Pack signed Jimmy Graham to fill that void, but this offense has struggled to really get the tight end involved in recent years, and nothing can replace the chemistry Nelson had with his QB, as they often used improvisation and line of scrimmage adjustments to score inside the 10.

All in all I think there's enough talent on this offense to make Rodgers a lock for top-3 status. How well he meshes with Graham, and how well a suspect right side of the line blocks will go a long way to determine just how high the quarterback's ceiling is. I think this will be one of the most improved divisions in the NFL, and the fantasy quarterback pool is deep enough where I'm not sure Rodgers will be the weekly advantage he has in the past, but make no mistake, this #12 in green and gold is still the best in the league.


 Russell Wilson, SEA (Bye: 7)
2
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 206   DOB: 1988-11-29   Age: 29
College: Wisconsin   Draft: 2012 Round 3 (12) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SEA16329 483 4,022 34 8 103 554 1 398.5 24.9
2016SEA16353 546 4,219 21 11 72 259 1 326.9 20.4
2017SEA16339 553 3,983 34 11 95 586 3 411.8 25.7
2018 (Projected)SEA 325 524 3,880 28 10 88 492 3 373.2  

Outlook: Seattle's leader, quarterback Russell Wilson is back for his seventh NFL season and is the reigning points leader from the 2017 fantasy football season. Wilson exceeded expectations, tying his career high with 34 touchdowns. While he also tied a career high with 11 interceptions, that's still extremely low and he's among the least turnover-prone quarterbacks in the history of the game.

While he's still considered a high-end option at the position, there are some concerns heading into 2018. Wilson lost two of his top targets this offseason, most notably tight end Jimmy Graham, but also wide receiver Paul Richardson. The loss of Graham will likely be seen in the red zone where he was the most-targeted player (26) in all of football in 2017, which he converted for an impressive 10 touchdowns. Unfortunately Seattle hasn't added much of consequence to replace those players. Former third-round pick, tight end Nick Vannett will be entering his third season as a pro and his 6'6", 261-pound frame does give him the possibility of being a red zone weapon, but he's still very raw and hasn't proven much on the field. The team also added Brandon Marshall, who has historically had excellent red zone efficiency, but there's a real chance that he doesn't even make the 53-man roster.

On the positive side, Seattle has lost a lot on defense while the rest of the division appears to be passing them by, and the Seahawks will almost certainly be in more pass-heavy situations this season than they have been throughout the early part of Wilson's career. Wilson also continues to have a high weekly floor due to rushing numbers. He has averaged 34.1 yards per game rushing over the course of his career and actually exceeded that with 36.6 yards per game rushing in 2017. It's worth considering that many quarterbacks begin to slow down rushing as they get older, but Wilson is still quite mobile and his experience has helped him become smarter about when to run the ball, as opposed to just taking off and running as soon as his first option is covered.

Wilson is a very safe option to finish as mid-to-high-level QB1 but he's being drafted as the fourth, fifth or even sixth quarterback off the board in many drafts, which could make him a value, particularly in drafts where quarterbacks slide down the board overall.


 Tom Brady, NE (Bye: 11)
3
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1977-08-03   Age: 40
College: Michigan   Draft: 2000 Round 6 (33) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NE16402 624 4,770 36 7 34 53 3 405.8 25.4
2016NE12291 432 3,554 28 2 28 64 0 296.1 24.7
2017NE16385 581 4,576 32 8 25 28 0 359.6 22.5
2018 (Projected)NE 367 556 4,450 33 9 26 42 1 364.7  

 Cam Newton, CAR (Bye: 4)
4
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 244   DOB: 1989-05-11   Age: 29
College: Auburn   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015CAR16296 496 3,837 35 10 132 636 10 455.5 28.5
2016CAR15270 509 3,509 19 14 90 359 5 317.4 21.2
2017CAR16291 492 3,302 22 16 139 754 6 364.5 22.8
2018 (Projected)CAR 302 511 3,425 21 13 134 668 5 352.1  

Outlook: Despite trading away the team's number 1 wide receiver mid-season, Cam Newton reclaimed his spot within the top 5 fantasy quarterbacks. After finishing as the QB15 in 2016, Newton had an ADP of QB9 according to Fantasy Football Calculator and needless to say, he drastically outperformed his draft position. He was consistently startable without many bust weeks.

As is typically the case for Newton, he added a significant amount of value with his legs. His 139 carries was the most for any season of his career. He led all QBs with 754 yards rushing, by a margin of 168 yards, and he tied for the lead in touchdowns with 6. Newton has never been an efficient passer - the last time he completed more than 60 percent of his passes was in 2013 - and outside of his outlier year in 2015, he hasn't thrown more than 25 TDs in a season. Yet, he continues to be a fantasy asset thanks to his ability around the goaline (22 rush TDs the last three seasons). His ability on the ground keeps him in the QB1 conversation.


 Drew Brees, NO (Bye: 6)
5
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 209   DOB: 1979-01-15   Age: 39
College: Purdue   Draft: 2001 Round 2 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015NO15429 627 4,878 32 10 24 14 1 379.3 25.3
2016NO16471 673 5,207 37 15 23 20 2 422.4 26.4
2017NO16387 537 4,338 23 8 33 12 2 322.1 20.1
2018 (Projected)NO 400 580 4,585 28 15 4 22 1 349.5  

Outlook: At first glance, Brees' QB11 finish would appear to be adequate, but 2017 was a true disappointment for the future hall of fame quarterback. After being selected as the third overall QB in fantasy drafts, Brees fell well short of his expectations. Despite finishing within the QB1 range, he only managed to finish as a top 12 QB in four of his 16 starts, well short of his 60 percent average over the previous five seasons.

But there's reason for optimism, despite concerns about age, changing scheme, and improving defense. 2017 marked Brees' lowest number of pass attempts since 2009 when he had one fewer start and his lowest number of TD passes since 2003. Compared to 2016, Brees attempted more than 8 fewer passes per game. With Mark Ingram's suspension and the seeming reluctance to over-utilize Alvin Kamara during that suspension, Brees will likely see his pass attempts rise slightly. If Brees can regain 3 to 4 passes per game, he'll likely experience some positive TD regression as well.

After mortgaging their 2019 first round pick, it's evident that New Orleans believes they need to win-now during Brees' last remaining seasons. Barring a Peyton Manning-like fall in efficiency, Brees remains a QB1 with top five potential, however, his acquisition cost will likely be close to his finish so the value is slightly limited.


 Philip Rivers, LAC (Bye: 8)
6
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 228   DOB: 1981-12-08   Age: 36
College: North Carolina State   Draft: 2004 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015SD16438 662 4,793 29 13 17 28 0 358.5 22.4
2016SD16349 578 4,390 33 21 14 35 0 355.0 22.2
2017LAC16360 575 4,515 28 10 18 -2 0 337.6 21.1
2018 (Projected)LAC 357 585 4,448 29 14 10 11 0 339.5  

 Matthew Stafford, DET (Bye: 6)
7
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 232   DOB: 1988-02-07   Age: 30
College: Georgia   Draft: 2009 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015DET16398 592 4,262 32 13 44 159 1 363.0 22.7
2016DET16388 594 4,327 24 10 37 207 2 345.1 21.6
2017DET16371 565 4,446 29 10 29 98 0 348.1 21.8
2018 (Projected)DET 362 565 4,240 26 11 38 135 1 335.5  

Outlook: As consistent of a fantasy player as they come, Stafford has been one of the better value picks at the position for several years now. He's been well over 4,000 yards and has accounted for 24+ touchdowns in four straight seasons. He has also become a true asset for the Lions franchise, willing them to come from behind victories, and although he's still failed to win a playoff game, he's severely cut down on his turnovers. He plays in a small market, and doesn't get adequate respect from his own fanbase, but those in fantasy football know that Stafford is a lock for production year after year.

There has been some big coaching and personnel changes that need to be considered when taking a look at Stafford in 2018. In comes defensive minded Matt Patricia from New England. A very good sign for Stafford's continued development, and offensive continuity is the fact they've kept Jim Bob Cooter on as the offensive coordinator. Since taking over the position several seasons ago, Cooter has helped the Detroit gunslinger stay upright, teaching him to get rid of the ball more quickly. The offense thrives on crossing and rub routes, and best of all, neither coach nor quarterback is afraid to take calculated deep shots. Stafford led the NFL in 2017 with 16 completions of 40 yards or more.

It helps tremendously that he's got a versatile group of receivers in Tate, Jones and Galladay who can get open at all levels of the defense. What I don't think bodes well for Stafford's overall fantasy production is the additions of LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson at running back. I feel like the Lions finally have the tools on the line and in the backfield to making running the ball more than a theory. Blount is the best bet Detroit has had on the goaline in a decade, and Johnson has the tools to be a workhorse between the 20's.

Ultimately I still think this offense runs through #9, but I wouldn't be surprised if Stafford came up short in the touchdown department. Still, when it's all said and done, Stafford has the best overall offensive personnel grouping he's had in his career, and should be a shoe in for QB1 status.


 Matt Ryan, ATL (Bye: 8)
8
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1985-05-17   Age: 33
College: Boston College   Draft: 2008 Round 1 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015ATL16407 614 4,591 21 16 37 63 0 319.9 20.0
2016ATL16373 534 4,944 38 7 35 117 0 410.9 25.7
2017ATL16342 529 4,095 20 12 32 143 0 299.1 18.7
2018 (Projected)ATL 371 562 4,325 25 13 35 126 0 328.9  

Outlook: Following his 2016 MVP season, there were high expectations for Matt Ryan and his QB4 average draft position was reflective of the overall expectation for his potential. But with the loss of Kyle Shanahan in the off-season, Ryan fell well short of his draft value. And even though he only missed the QB1 ranking by two spots, he was unreliable as a starter with only four weeks as a top 12 QB.

Compared to his 2016 season when he finished as a top 12 QB during 12 weeks of the season, Ryan let down most fantasy players who drafted him. And looking at his final season stats, it's clear to see why there was such a steep drop-off in production.

In 2016, Ryan posted career highs in completion percentage and a career low in interceptions, and not only did Ryan regress back to his career norms, he posted his worst completion percentage since 2011 which help contribute to his worst passing yardage total since 2010 and fewest touchdown passes since his rookie season.

Ryan's 18.7 fantasy points per game was his worst since 2009 so it's likely that 2017 was a slight outlier, however, his 25.7 points per game in 2016 also appears to be an outlier and the most likely outcome is closer to his career average in the 21 or 22 point per game range. His current ADP is QB12 in the middle of the 9th round. While he'll likely finish in that range, he's not a QB you need to take. My preference would likely be to pass of Ryan for later round quarterbacks even if he's due for positive regression.


 Deshaun Watson, HOU (Bye: 10)
9
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 221   DOB: 1995-09-14   Age: 22
College: Clemson   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (12) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017HOU7126 204 1,699 19 8 36 269 2 199.9 28.6
2018 (Projected)HOU 271 452 3,346 24 14 87 507 2 326.0  

 Patrick Mahomes, KC (Bye: 12)
10
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1995-09-17   Age: 22
College: Texas Tech   Draft: 2017 Round 1 (10) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2017KC122 35 284 0 1 7 10 0 15.2 15.2
2018 (Projected)KC 326 525 4,045 24 15 51 182 1 322.5  

 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (Bye: 7)
11
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 241   DOB: 1982-03-02   Age: 36
College: -   Draft: 2004 Round 1 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015PIT12319 469 3,933 21 16 15 29 0 283.6 23.6
2016PIT14328 509 3,819 29 13 16 14 1 314.4 22.5
2017PIT15360 561 4,251 28 14 28 47 0 329.3 22.0
2018 (Projected)PIT 339 530 4,084 27 15 18 28 1 321.0  

 Kirk Cousins, MIN (Bye: 10)
12
Height: 6’3”   Weight: 214   DOB: 1988-08-19   Age: 29
College: Michigan State   Draft: 2012 Round 4 (7) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2015WAS16379 543 4,166 29 11 26 48 5 359.1 22.4
2016WAS16406 606 4,917 25 12 34 100 4 379.9 23.7
2017WAS16347 540 4,093 27 13 49 179 4 354.6 22.2
2018 (Projected)MIN 347 533 3,945 24 14 52 155 2 320.8  

Outlook: The Vikings came off a snake-bitten 2016 season to have one of the most magical runs in history last year. Despite losing their starting quarterback and running back to season ending injuries early on, the Vikings held it together largely behind the play of an aggressive defense and their journeyman quarterback Case Keenum. While the defense returns largely intact, the Vikings made the splash of the offseason, replacing Keenum with Kirk Cousins.

While Keenum's success was an absolute shock, Cousins has racked up the statistics the past several years. The last three seasons has seen Cousins finish as the No.9, No.5, and No.4 overall fantasy quarterback. He's gone over 4,000 yards three straight years, and has tossed 25+ touchdowns in those seasons as well. Now these prolific numbers haven't exactly translated into wins for his teams, but the former Redskin has become the poster child for the strategy of taking a quarterback late in your draft.

So can Kirk continue to churn out the fantasy numbers as he moves to a more talented, established team? My gut tells me no. For years the Redskins failed miserably to build a reliable defense or running game around Cousins, and he racked up a ton of garbage time statistics trying to win shootouts or salvage respect in blowout losses. The Vikings will likely be favored in most of their games in 2018, and still want to win with defense and their running game. Say what you will about the wins and losses, but Jay Gruden can coach offense, and I think his scheme was very friendly to Cousins. I expect a statistical regression across the board, especially in attempts and touchdowns, but because of the talent he's throwing and handing off to, Kirk should still remain a good bet to finish as a QB1, just one that lands toward the end of the pack rather than in the middle.