Fantasy Football Rankings 2017: Post-Free Agency Quarterbacks - Roto Street Journal
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Fantasy Football Rankings 2017: Post-Free Agency Quarterbacks

Though a few big names remain homeless, the main waves of free agency have come crashing down. Thus, it’s crucial to re-examine our original 2017 Fantasy Football Rankings with all of these movers and shakers in mind. Indeed, the draft and training camps will alter these lists even further, but this stage of the offseason deserves to be captured on it’s own.

Thus, The Wolf will be releasing a new set of post-free agency rankings throughout the next two weeks, beginning with quarterbacks on Tuesday, running backs on Thursday, and wide receivers, tight ends and a “Post-Free Agency Top-100 Big Board” all the following week. Each position will be broken into multiple pages via tiers, with a summative cheatsheet at the end of each group.

Where does Kirk Cousins fall after his weapons-cabinet shakeup? What does DeSean Jackson do for Jameis Winston’s value? Why is Cam Newton falling like Eddie Lacy heaved off a bridge? Read on to find out where the quarterbacks stand after a busy last month.

Emoji Key:

 ↗= riser

 ↘= faller

🔥 = guys we are higher on

 💩= guys we are lower on

Tier One – The Elite

The weekly game-changers. Genuine weekly 30 point ceiling / 20 point floor combinations. With the opportunity cost so high at other positions, I likely won’t be investing in any of these gems, but floor seekers should snag one in Round 4.

1) Tom Brady (NE) 🐐🔥🔥🔥🍆💦💦🍆🍆💦💦

Stock Up Update:  Though he was already my QB1, Brady’s top-dog status is only further cemented with Brandin Cooks’ addition to an already stacked weapons cabinet. Though Tom could do whatever he wanted to me and it’d be an honor,  I’ve never considered drafting him in fantasy — the positional depth and opportunity at quarterback made waiting on the position the only strategy.  That might all change now.  

As discussed with WEEI’s Ryan Hannable on our very-own Fantasy Fullback Dive, the Patriots are clearly going all in as Brady’s window creeps towards closing.  Owner Robert Kraft likened this trade to 2007’s acquisition of Randy Moss — when The Second Coming shattered records with 50 TDs. That remain a very real possibility now with the explosiveness of Cooks and the beastliness of a returning Gronk now joining an already stacked cast. Records could be set, and when that’s a possibility, I chuck my previous strategy bias out the window. 

Previous AssessmentWho else but Jesus could top this list? All homerism aside, anyone with a pair of eyeballs can see it: Tom Brady, already the clear GOAT, is actually improving with age. Despite approaching 40, Brady is more agile than ever in the pocket, and his improvement under pressure has impossibly taken his game to a new level. The Second Coming posted his best TD:INT ratio of his career, tossed 3+ TDs in over half of his contests, and outscored Cam Newton — everyone’s consensus #1 QB — in four less games.

The Reincarnate accomplished all this without arguably his top weapon in Rob Gronkowski. With Gronk’s return, a likely step forward from exciting sophomore Malcolm Mitchell, another offseason of rapport development with exciting big play threat Chris Hogan, and of course his boy Julian Edelman, Brady might be looking at his most stacked supporting cast outside of 2007 (where he just happened to throw a then record 50 TDs). Plus, LeGarrette Blount and his league-leading 18 TDs could be moving elsewhere, opening up even further scoring possibilities. Most will rank Aaron Rodgers higher, but they’re overlooking an enormous 45+ TD ceiling here. Give me the GOAT any day of the week.

What can I do for you, Thomas? Literally, anything. Go ahead.

2) Aaron Rodgers (GB)

Rodgers was 2016’s clear-cut top QB, finishing 33 points ahead of second-place Matt Ryan; undoubtedly, this will place him atop almost everyone’s 2017 rankings list, and everything is in place for another 380+ FP season. Rodgers remains the league’s premier physical talent at the position, his weapons cabinet might be even more stacked if Davante Adams continues to ascend, and with Eddie Lacy potentially gone in free agency, this offense may be even more aerial in 2017. Plus, Rodgers used his legs more than ever, trailing only Tyrod Taylor and Colin Kaepernick in rushing yards and TDs. If he had any type of sack, I’d say Rodgers will be more motivated than ever… but that remains questionable. Even with a lackluster mentality, you’ll get your ho hum 4,800 total yards and 40+ total TDs.

Tier 1.5

3) Drew Brees (NO) ↘

Stock Down Update:  Losing Brandin Cooks certainly doesn’t do any favors for Brees’ fantasy value, but it certainly doesn’t cripple the superstar.  As discussed on our podcast with The Advocate’s Nick Underhill, this offense has lost stars before (re: Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston), and not missed a single beat.  Meanwhile, Ted Ginn is no Cooks, but he still can fly, ensuring Brees, one of the game’s top deep-ball slingers, still has a big-play threat at his disposal.  Yawn, 4,800+ yards and 30+ TDs, this machine keeps ticking.

Previous AssessmentNo other quarterback has ever topped 5,000 yards more than once in a career, and Brees is now coming off his fifth time doing so, posting his second most yards in a single season with 5,208 (stir in 37 TDs for fun why don’t ya).  With burgeoning stud Michael Thomas a year more seasoned, the ever creative Sean Payton still calling the shots, and a joke division still ahead, everything is in place for another massive campaign. Brees lowest yardage and TD output over the past six seasons was the 4,870 and 32 TDs of 2015… where he also missed a contest.  Until the day he hits a cliff, Brees’ floor will always be among the sturdiest in the league.

4) Matt Ryan (ATL)

After losing offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers, the league’s reigning MVP makes for an obvious regression candidate.  Nonetheless and unsurprisingly, head coach Dan Quinn has already said this system will remain the foundation for new coordinator Steve Sarkisian:

“We love the way that we attack, and it took a lot of work to put that system in place,” Quinn said. “Along with Thomas [Dimitroff, the Falcons’ general manager], we have a real emphasis now on how we can fit guys into that system. It’s very important that we stay consistent with that.”

Quinn also praised Sarkisian’s willingness to take risks on offense.

“I felt, No. 1, what an aggressive playcaller he’s been through the years,” Quinn said. “He has a real familiarity from the wide zone scheme, the keepers that are such a big part of what we do.”

Thus, still in the system in which he flourished, Ryan’s 4944 yards and 38 TDs should remain relatively similar in 2017. He looked like a whole different quarterback mentally outside of shitting his pants in the Super Bowl, and Ryan still has Julio Jones, the game’s most dangerous wideout, a great running game, and a bevy of other explosive options to keep his floor sky high.

For 2017’s High-End QB1’s, continue on to Page Two

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