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Regular Season, Updated: 9/3/15
Change Log: 9/3

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 Andrew Luck, IND (Bye: 10)
1
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 234   DOB: 1989-09-12   Age: 25
College: Stanford   Draft: 2012 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012IND16339 627 4,374 23 18 62 255 5 366.2 22.9
2013IND16345 572 3,830 23 9 63 377 4 345.2 21.6
2014IND16380 616 4,761 40 16 64 263 3 442.4 27.6
2015 (Projected)IND 396 638 4,788 36 15 60 289 3 430.3  

Outlook: Andrew Luck is one of the premier fantasy players in the league, and 2015 may see him get even better. His name is being tossed around as the top player off the board, and why wouldn’t it be after he saw his touchdown total jump from 23 in 2013 to 40 last year? If not for a lackluster three weeks to close out the regular season, Luck’s per-game statistics would be even better. The coaching staff clearly trusts their franchise quarterback to win them football games and relies on his arm to dissect opposing defenses. This pass-happy approach allowed Luck to finish third in the NFL with 297.6 passing yards per game. His receiving corps is arguably better and deeper with the addition of Andre Johnson and expected return to health of tight end Dwayne Allen. The running game was anemic a year ago, but the play-action pass should be far more effective with Frank Gore lining up behind Luck in the backfield. At the end of the day, Luck gives you a high ceiling, high consistency and high volume. He may not be the top player when the season ends, but he is probably the best bet to finish the season as a top-five overall fantasy player.

Matt Hasselbeck was resigned in the offseason to handle the backup quarterback duties. This is what happens when a team knows it has its starter for the next decade and doesn’t want to invest more resources in the position. Hasselbeck will turn 40 this year, and chances are the Colts would make a transaction if Luck was forced to miss a lengthy amount of time.


 Aaron Rodgers, GB (Bye: 7)
2
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1983-12-02   Age: 31
College: California   Draft: 2005 Round 1 (24) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012GB16371 552 4,295 39 8 54 259 2 408.7 25.5
2013GB9193 290 2,536 17 6 30 120 0 206.8 23.0
2014GB16341 520 4,381 38 5 43 269 2 410.0 25.6
2015 (Projected)GB 351 532 4,361 35 8 57 255 2 395.6  

Outlook: After a shoulder injury limited him to just nine games in 2013, Rodgers roared back in 2014, planting his flag on the pinnacle of the fantasy quarterback mountain. Rodgers nabbed his second NFL MVP award and finished with 33 more touchdowns than interceptions (30+ four times in the last five seasons). With the re-signing of the electric Randall Cobb, the assumed health of Jordy Nelson, and the development of young pass catchers Devante Adams, Jeff Janis, and Richard Rodgers, A-Rod helms the league’s most potent passing attack, making him an elite QB1.

Most of the offseason buzz surrounding the Packers concerns the growth of Adams and Janis, two players who should provide Rodgers with a veritable barrage of weapons to deploy against NFL defenses. It will also be interesting to see how a change in play callers will affect the Packer’s offensive aggressiveness, as Mike McCarthy gives way to Tom Clements. With nearly unrivaled offensive weaponry, a consistent offensive system, and a need to score points to protect an inconsistent defense, Rodgers yearly domination is one of the surer things in fantasy football. But if you look deeply enough through the roses and buttercups, some ugly spots lurk in the background that could foil the best laid plans.

After several injuries early in his career slapped him with an “injury prone” label, Rodgers has been a 16 game starter in six of the last seven seasons. But the last two seasons haven’t ended well from a health perspective. The severe calf injury to close out the 2014 didn’t cause him to miss games, but it severely limited what he could do outside the pocket, and may have revealed the start of a potential physical breakdown. Combine his age (31) with the fact that the NFC North defenses should be collectively better in 2015 than they were last year, means there could be a few more bumps in the road than normal.

Every princess has a wart somewhere, but that doesn’t mean you don’t take them to the ball. Rodgers should be battling Andrew Luck for QB1A supremacy, so consider yourself at a distinct advantage with Aaron leading your squad.


 Russell Wilson, SEA (Bye: 9)
3
Height: 5’11”   Weight: 206   DOB: 1988-11-29   Age: 26
College: Wisconsin   Draft: 2012 Round 3 (12) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012SEA16252 393 3,118 26 10 94 489 4 332.8 20.8
2013SEA16257 407 3,357 26 9 96 539 1 331.8 20.7
2014SEA16285 452 3,475 20 7 118 849 6 374.7 23.4
2015 (Projected)SEA 298 472 3,589 24 10 110 636 4 363.1  

Outlook: Improving in each of his first three seasons in the league, Russell Wilson finally broke out as an elite fantasy option at the quarterback position this past season as he finished sixth with an impressive 23.4 fantasy points per game. Wilson did this despite the Seahawks rushing the ball as much and as successfully as any team in the league. Of course, a lot of the team’s rushing came from Wilson himself who became just the eighth quarterback to rush for 800 or more yards in a single season as he finished the year with 849 yards on the ground. His six rushing touchdowns led all quarterbacks in that department as well.

A 20-touchdown, seven-interception season with 3,475 yards is acceptable but not spectacular in today’s NFL. This was likely one reason why the team opted to make a huge offseason move by acquiring tight end Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. Graham, who has been among the elite at his position for quite a few seasons, brings new life to this Seattle passing game, particularly in the redzone where he’s made 51 touchdown receptions during his five year career. This is still the Marshawn Lynch show close the goaline, but Graham’s jump ball skills add a new dimension to the offense which means we could see Wilson’s touchdown numbers inflate this season.

The biggest question regarding Wilson seems to be his ability to be productive as a pure pocket passer. Fortunately, that hasn’t been much of a concern as of yet as he’s stayed healthy thus far in his career while surprisingly avoiding big hits despite his propensity to run. Still, he is one hit away from a “minor” knee, back, rib or other injury that could allow him to continue playing but might substantially limit his rushing numbers. We’ve seen this before from many run-heavy quarterbacks, so it’s always a risk to select a player whose fantasy production is so dependent on him being fully healthy. Nevertheless, Wilson’s dual-threat ability gives him a high floor that few other quarterbacks can achieve. He’ll likely be a top four quarterback in most fantasy drafts and should produce numbers around that ADP so long as he stays healthy.


 Peyton Manning, DEN (Bye: 7)
4
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 230   DOB: 1976-03-24   Age: 39
College: Tennessee   Draft: 1998 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012DEN16400 583 4,659 37 11 23 6 0 381.6 23.8
2013DEN16450 659 5,477 55 10 32 -31 1 496.8 31.0
2014DEN16395 597 4,727 39 15 24 -24 0 390.0 24.4
2015 (Projected)DEN 385 575 4,430 34 12 30 -15 0 356.0  

Outlook: Rumors of Peyton Manning’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. The future first ballot Hall of Famer took a big step back in 2014, throwing for 750 fewer yards and 16 fewer touchdowns with five more interceptions than he threw in 2013. Sounds terribly disappointing on the surface, doesn’t it? Well, despite the drop-off, Manning still finished as the No. 4 quarterback in fantasy football with 39 touchdowns and over 4,700 yards through the air. If you knew you were getting those numbers again in 2015, it’d be almost impossible to turn down Manning as a first round fantasy football selection. But Manning, despite his incredible consistency, does not have the sexy name value anymore like that of Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers. He may not even be as exciting as Russell Wilson now that the Seattle QB has Jimmy Graham to throw to. But one thing’s for certain – Peyton Manning is still Peyton Manning. And when it comes to elite fantasy football production, literally no one in the history of the league has done it better than No. 18.

In fairness, the 39 year-old saw significant regression in the second half of 2014 as he had a couple of very disappointing games where he threw for fewer than 200 yards and he even failed to throw a touchdown in two games, which is an extreme rarity for the veteran signal caller. Still, if you take Manning’s second half of 2014 and project it over the course of a full season, you would have a quarterback who threw for more than 4,300 yards and 30 touchdowns. That would put him 8th among quarterbacks in yardage and tied with his brother Eli at ninth place in touchdowns. Not too shabby for a guy who was noticeably injured. One of the biggest concerns for Manning is the loss of tight end Julius Thomas. The Broncos seem to be excited about the development of second-year receiver Cody Latimer who should see much more playing time this season and Emmanuel Sanders will most likely play out of the slot on three-wide sets, where he was extremely effective this past season. The loss of Thomas could be a major factor, however, as Thomas was among the most dynamic playmakers at the position over the past two seasons. Veteran pass catcher Owen Daniels is expected to take Thomas’ spot at tight end and he should be able to provide some value, but he is an obvious downgrade in terms playmaking ability.

Still, Manning is among the elite at quarterback. With so many questions surrounding other top quarterbacks after the “big two,” Manning provides an extremely high floor with a high ceiling to go along with it. Sure, he’s not going to be the dynamic runner that many other top quarterbacks are, but he should put up high-end passing numbers with the best of them. Because of that, he is a lock to go in the top five at the position in almost every draft.


 Matt Ryan, ATL (Bye: 10)
5
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 220   DOB: 1985-05-17   Age: 30
College: Boston College   Draft: 2008 Round 1 (3) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012ATL16422 615 4,719 32 14 34 141 1 384.1 24.0
2013ATL16439 651 4,515 26 17 17 55 0 335.3 21.0
2014ATL16415 628 4,694 28 14 29 145 0 361.2 22.6
2015 (Projected)ATL 412 624 4,620 27 15 26 89 1 353.9  

Outlook: Matty Ice is coming off his fourth straight season with at least 4100 passing yards but his touchdown totals continue to suppress his fantasy value. In 2012, Ryan needed over 600 passing attempts to post over 30 passing touchdowns and finished as the fifth best fantasy passer that year. The new regime in Atlanta isn’t likely to allow their prized franchise quarterback to drop back that many times in 2015 which makes another top five finish unlikely. However, he remains a viable option after the top five quarterbacks are off the board because of his high efficiency and the talent on the outside to post big games. The 30-year old Boston College alum will be learning a new offense in his eighth season as a pro. The zone blocking and new personnel should also help Ryan stay upright more often causing less negative plays than in recent seasons. Though he will likely finish with fewer passing attempts, Ryan will certainly enjoy the upgrade at the tight end position and potential for play action that comes with a more respected ground game.


 Ben Roethlisberger, PIT (Bye: 11)
6
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 241   DOB: 1982-03-02   Age: 33
College: -   Draft: 2004 Round 1 (11) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012PIT13284 449 3,265 26 8 26 92 0 276.5 21.3
2013PIT16375 584 4,261 28 14 26 99 1 341.0 21.3
2014PIT16408 608 4,952 32 9 32 27 0 378.3 23.6
2015 (Projected)PIT 374 585 4,444 29 12 19 59 0 344.1  

Outlook: Since Todd Haley’s hiring as offensive coordinator in 2012, Ben Roethlisberger has blossomed into a bona fide QB1, but there is a good bet that when he went bonkers with a 50-point game in Week 8 last year he was on your fantasy bench. Did you then curse your luck, pass it off as a statistical aberration and have him on your bench the very next week when he threw another 6 touchdown passes? (let’s hope I’m not the only one!). After watching the Steelers offense shift to a pass oriented mentality since Haley’s arrival, I’ve been targeting Roethlisberger as my QB2 for several seasons now. After his No.5 overall finish in 2014, I think the value days are over.

With career highs in attempts (608), yards (4,952), touchdowns (32) and completion percentage (67.1), Roethlisberger is taking his game to the fantasy stratosphere. With two of the league’s elite playmakers at his disposal in Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown, Roethlisberger not only has the weapons, but also the perfect situation to repeat, or even improve upon his fantastic season. With a pass offense built around his talents, and a defense that hasn’t significantly improved this offseason, look for Big Ben’s pass attempts to again approach 600. Despite the projected workload and production, Roethlisberger doesn’t come without risks. The AFC south defenses, especially Cleveland and Jacksonville, should be much improved, and as a playoff team, the Steeler’s overall schedule will be tougher. Roethlisberger will also be without Bell for three games to start the season, which is a huge blow to the offensive game plan. Either way you slice it, the Steelers are going to have to throw to win games, and that means Ben has a chance to stay in the top-5 conversation. I would be thrilled to sit back and take him as my QB1 after the first tier studs come off the board.


 Matthew Stafford, DET (Bye: 9)
7
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 232   DOB: 1988-02-07   Age: 27
College: Georgia   Draft: 2009 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012DET16435 727 4,967 20 17 35 126 4 365.0 22.8
2013DET16371 634 4,647 29 19 36 74 2 367.8 23.0
2014DET16363 602 4,247 22 12 43 93 2 321.7 20.1
2015 (Projected)DET 368 614 4,360 28 14 28 83 2 350.3  

Outlook: To say Matthew Stafford had a regression in 2014 is akin to calling water wet. It was obvious to every disappointed Stafford owner last year, as he finished outside the QB1 threshold after finishing in the top-5 the previous year. Those in Stafford’s corner will say it was his first year in a complicated system, and he was without Calvin Johnson for a good chunk of the season. Despite the low touchdown total (22), he completed over 60% of his passes for only the second time in his career, and threw a career low 12 interceptions. He finished 2014 by leading his team to the playoffs, and posting a strong 8-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio to go along with two 300-plus-yard games over the last five games of the season.

If you believe the final five games of the 2014 season are a precursor to 2015 success I might wait to buy a ticket on the Stafford hype train. Being a former long-time Detroit area resident, I’ve watched Stafford play extensively over the years, and I’ve come to conclusion that he’s a mediocre quarterback. Sure his arm talent is nearly unrivaled, but during a game you are as likely to say “wow, how the heck did he make that throw?”, as you are to say “why the heck did he make that throw!”. After six years in the league he still hasn’t developed a consistent ability to put touch on the ball, and his fantasy stats have been largely influenced by a ridiculous number of pass attempts. He fails to elevate the players around him, and struggles mightily when any of them miss time. Some games he throws darts all over the field for four quarters, and in others can’t hit a car dealership in suburban Detroit! (it’s a Michigan thing, just trust me). With the Lions publically stating a desire to commit more to the running game (their first two draft picks support this idea), Stafford’s pass attempts should be the lowest since his rookie year. The health of Calvin Johnson and development of Eric Ebron will go a long way in helping his Ryan Fitzpatrickian sub 50% completion percentage in the red zone. Stafford is a great option for owners looking to add their starting quarterback later in the draft as he provides a fairly high floor, and ceiling, but don’t rush out to build your roster around the former Bulldog. Think low end QB1 with 30+ touchdown upside.


 Cam Newton, CAR (Bye: 5)
8
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 244   DOB: 1989-05-11   Age: 26
College: Auburn   Draft: 2011 Round 1 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012CAR16280 485 3,869 19 12 127 741 8 391.6 24.5
2013CAR16292 473 3,379 24 13 111 587 6 359.7 22.5
2014CAR14262 448 3,127 18 12 103 539 5 312.3 22.3
2015 (Projected)CAR 292 487 3,460 21 13 101 555 5 342.5  

Outlook: Cam Newton has seen his average fantasy points per game drop each season since taking the league by storm as a rookie in 2011. When healthy, he has produced top-10 results by relying on his rushing totals. All signs indicate he will be unrestricted and ready to run for the opening of the 2015 season, which should make him a popular choice after the top four or five quarterbacks are off the board. Without a deep talented pool of pass catchers and a gaping hole at left tackle, choosing Newton to anchor your fantasy team comes with plenty of risk. Over the past two regular seasons, Newton has logged nine games with more than 25 fantasy points and 13 games with less than 20 fantasy points. More recently, his numbers are quite comparable to that of Russell Wilson, another dual-threat quarterback with lackluster receivers on a conservative rushing offense. In 2014, the two were almost identical in passing attempts, completions, passing yardage, rushing attempts and total touchdowns, with Wilson getting the slight edge. Wilson is currently being selected almost two rounds ahead of Newton in 12-team formats, making the Panthers quarterback a better value. Anyone drafting Newton should also carry the insurance of a quality backup in case of injury. The Panthers would probably become more conservative if forced to rely on their backup quarterback. Nevertheless, the team resigned Derek Anderson to return as Newton’s backup. He completed 67 percent of his passes over five games last season and is capable of keeping the offense afloat if called upon again in 2015.


 Drew Brees, NO (Bye: 11)
9
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 209   DOB: 1979-01-15   Age: 36
College: Purdue   Draft: 2001 Round 2 (1) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012NO16422 670 5,177 43 19 15 5 1 437.4 27.3
2013NO16446 650 5,162 39 12 34 54 3 437.5 27.3
2014NO16456 659 4,952 33 17 27 68 1 392.4 24.5
2015 (Projected)NO 388 579 4,226 28 14 19 40 1 333.3  

Outlook: 2015 will mark Drew Brees’ 10th season in New Orleans and 15th season in the NFL. Last year, he failed to reach 5,000 passing yards for the first time since 2010. That is also the last time he “only” threw 33 touchdown passes. It seems logical to expect Brees’ numbers to decline even more this year even before accounting for the losses of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills on offense. Yet the so-called decline he experienced may simply be the result of what he lost last year. Had Brandin Cooks not been lost to injury, the rookie may have continued to pace all Saints receivers for the rest of the year. Had Graham been healthier, there is a good chance he would have finished with a few more touchdowns and hit all of his usual marks. Was losing Darren Sproles prior to 2014 insignificant? The team brought in C.J. Spiller to infuse that pass-catching threat out of the backfield back into the offense. Cooks is healthy and gaining confidence each week as he proves himself to be amongst the NFL’s most dangerous young receivers. A more suitable role for the aging Marques Colston and more respectable rushing attack add further reason for optimism in this offense. He is currently slipping into the fifth round of 12-team redraft leagues and remains a cut above the rest of the pack. Luke McCown returns for his second season with the Saints. He will be the primary backup to Brees, but 2015 third-rounder Garrett Grayson appears to be the team’s choice to develop as the heir to the throne once Brees retires.


 Tom Brady, NE (Bye: 4)
10
Height: 6’4”   Weight: 225   DOB: 1977-08-03   Age: 38
College: Michigan   Draft: 2000 Round 6 (33) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012NE16401 637 4,827 34 8 23 32 4 404.6 25.3
2013NE16380 628 4,343 25 11 33 18 0 319.0 19.9
2014NE16374 583 4,109 33 9 36 57 0 343.2 21.4
2015 (Projected)NE 364 578 4,101 30 11 19 32 1 334.3  

Outlook: As one would expect, Tom Brady’s fantasy value hinges greatly on the pending outcome of his lawsuit against the National Football League and commissioner Roger Goddel’s handling of the deflate gate saga. As of the date of publication, Brady’s four-game suspension has yet to be reduced and second-year QB Jimmy Garappolo is slated to start the first four games of the season. Assuming no change will come from the litigation in the case, Brady is slated to start his season for fantasy owners on October 6 against the Colts on Sunday Night Football. 12 games of Brady and four games replacement play from a backup like Sam Bradford or Carson Palmer could make Brady a nice late pickup in fantasy drafts, especially if you subscribe to the narrative that the Patriots will seek revenge for their perceived poor treatment from the league office by taking it out on other teams on the field with a scorched-earth mentality. Add in the fact that the New England defense appears to have taken a step back from last year’s Super Bowl winning team and could possibly force Brady and the offense to keep pace in high scoring games, and you have the makings for a possible steal for owners who fail to secure a QB until the later stages of the draft.


 Tony Romo, DAL (Bye: 6)
11
Height: 6’2”   Weight: 228   DOB: 1980-04-21   Age: 35
College: Eastern Illinois   Draft:
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012DAL16425 648 4,903 28 19 30 49 1 368.1 23.0
2013DAL15342 535 3,842 31 10 20 38 0 319.9 21.3
2014DAL15304 435 3,705 34 9 25 61 0 327.4 21.8
2015 (Projected)DAL 346 533 3,994 32 12 21 45 1 338.2  

Outlook: Despite finishing 13th in fantasy points per game for quarterbacks, Tony Romo was the most efficient quarterback in the NFL last season, leading the league in passer rating, completion percentage rate, and yards per attempt. An improved offensive line gave Romo more time to survey the field and deliver quality, low-risk throws, while the emergence of DeMarco Murray and the ground attack forced opposing defenses to play single coverage outside and opened the door for more play-action passes. The formula worked so well that the Cowboys finished the season with a 12-4 record and an NFC East divisional crown. The Cowboys will continue to use the same balanced attack in 2015 despite the loss of DeMarco Murray to the Eagles via free agency. This bodes well for Romo owners in that he will not be forced to throw the ball 40-plus times to win a game, however, the continued reduction in pass attempts and yardage eats into his overall value, keeping him out of the top-5 quarterback discussion.


 Philip Rivers, SD (Bye: 10)
12
Height: 6’5”   Weight: 228   DOB: 1981-12-08   Age: 33
College: North Carolina State   Draft: 2004 Round 1 (4) 
SeasonTeamGameComp Att Yard TD INTAtt Yard TDFPtsFPts/G
2012SD16338 527 3,606 26 15 27 40 0 288.3 18.0
2013SD16379 545 4,478 32 11 28 72 0 359.1 22.4
2014SD16379 570 4,286 31 18 38 104 0 348.7 21.8
2015 (Projected)SD 373 565 4,240 29 14 46 83 0 336.3  

Outlook: It's never a good thing when the biggest story surrounding an NFL franchise isn't the team's draft from April and isn't the potential of a deep playoff run in the upcoming season. What's worse is when the story involves the franchise potentially being relocated, especially when the franchise quarterback has made it clear that he has little to no interest in remaining with the team if the move does happen. That kind of frustration and general apathy toward the team rarely breeds fantasy success, but it's the exact scenario that is playing out in San Diego right now with quarterback Philip Rivers.

Rivers, who has not missed a start since becoming the team's top signal caller back in 2006, enters the 2015 season with a whirlwind of speculation surrounding the team and must somehow figure out a way to match, if not exceed his 2014 output if he wants to be a top 10 fantasy option.

Although he is coming off of back-to-back seasons where he exceeded the 30-touchdown mark, Rivers also threw an uncharacteristic 18 interceptions this past season – the second-highest total of his career. Much of this was due to inconsistencies in the offense, injuries across the board and a general lack of blocking from his offensive line. The team did make moves to address the offensive line by bringing in free agents Orlando Franklin and Joe Barksdale. While both players should be positives in the running game, Barksdale was atrocious as a pass protector for the Rams in 2014. If Barksdale doesn't make major improvements to his game, Rivers could be seeing plenty of pressure from the right side of the offensive line which could again translate into an abnormally high number of turnovers.

Still, Rivers remains the most important piece of the puzzle in San Diego. The team should have a more consistent, if not more productive running game this season which should give the team more opportunities to score. With a plethora of decent receiving options but no one elite, Rivers could be the one player who provides consistent, high-quality fantasy production in this offense.