We’re excited for another year of fantasy football, especially with the extended season this year. To prepare fans for the season, we’ll start our rankings with one of the most crucial positions: the quarterback. In recent years, more and more quarterbacks have been drafted in earlier rounds as the elite fantasy quarterbacks set out to differentiate themselves from the competition. Deciding when to draft your quarterback with the recent shift in elite quarterbacks being taken earlier and earlier is what we will do in this article. We’ll give our fantasy quarterback tier breakdown on when you should draft each quarterback based on standard 10/12 team leagues.
Tier 1 Quarterbacks: The Elite
- Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
- Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
- Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals
This trio of quarterbacks have been at the top of the fantasy quarterback rankings over the last couple seasons and for good reason. All 3 quarterbacks are on teams that have improved their offense around them in the offseason to give them even more opportunities to succeed in their role. Outside of being on a team that has multiple weapons, what makes each of these quarterbacks elite? All 3 are younger, top-tier arm strength, and can rush the ball when needed giving them an edge on quarterbacks in Tier 2 for fantasy value. It’ll be tough to pass on a running back or wide receiver stud early, but securing your chance of having a top 3 quarterback would be worth it in the first few rounds.
Tier 2 Quarterbacks: Playoff Starters
- Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
- Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
- Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
All 3 quarterbacks in this tier have many similarities with the group right above them but lack the footwork that the 3 above have. That’s not saying the 3 in this group can’t get themselves out of a blitz attack and sticky situations, but compared to the elite, they don’t actively seek rushing plays on their own. All 3 quarterbacks should go in the early middle rounds if you missed out on grabbing one of the elite 3 on your team and can help lead your team to a playoff spot. Justin Herbert has escalated himself into the top 5 conversation after an incredible performance in his rookie season.
Tier 3 Quarterbacks: Quality Starters
- Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
- Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
- Matthew Stafford – Los Angeles Rams
- Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
The next wave of quarterbacks include solid starting quarterbacks. This bunch features established veterans who will consistently get you a solid amount of points week in and week out. Tannehill and Stafford should both look to put up some of their career bests with finally being on teams that have serious deep receiving threats. This group of players will get the job done for you and could end up being the biggest steals for you in your draft.
Tier 4: Quality Backups
- Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
- Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals
- Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
- Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
- Ryan Fitzpatrick – Washington Football Team
This group primarily consists of aging veterans who are in the last years of their career. They will still have better stats than some of the younger quarterbacks above them, but in terms of fantasy value are just a little bit lower. Cousins, Roethlisberger, and Fitzpatrick are all quarterbacks who are dwindling down the draft boards, but could help your team if you are in a pinch. They are often undervalued due to their age and poor performance, but with the weapons around them, they can prove to be worth a later round pick. Burrow is the lone youngster in this group as he looks to bounce back from a season ending injury and get his very promising career back on track.
Tier 5: Boom Potential Youngsters
- Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins
- Jalen Hurts – Philadelphia Eagles
- Daniel Jones – New York Giants
- Sam Darnold – Carolina Panthers
- Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
- Justin Fields – Chicago Bears
- Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
Primarily rookies, 2nd year, and quarterbacks in the early portion of their career looking for a fresh start. We don’t fully know what to expect out of this group, but several have the potential to jump up in these rankings such as Trevor Lawrence living up to the hype, Tua Tagovailoa coming into his own with Waddle and Fuller, or Sam Darnold getting the chance he needs with a new team with an elite running threat. There is potential with everyone on this list and several have boom potential to be a starting quarterback while the rest will be a mediocre backup for this season.
Tier 6: Mediocre Backups
- Jared Goff – Detroit Lions
- Zach Wilson – New York Jets
- Jameis Winston – New Orleans Saints
- Cam Newton – New England Patriots
- Andy Dalton – Chicago Bears
- Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
If you have to draft any of these quarterbacks in deep leagues, we understand. If you don’t have to, why would you use a draft pick unless you are in a dynasty league. These quarterbacks are mediocre in real life and in fantasy. They don’t have as much potential to thrive in the league, but will at least put up points that you can expect compared to the last group if they are starting.
Tier 7: The Rest
- Trey Lance – San Francisco 49ers
- Taysom Hill – New Orleans Saints
- Jacob Eason – Indianapolis Colts
- Teddy Bridgewater – Denver Broncos
- Drew Lock – Denver Broncos
- Tyrod Taylor – Houston Texans
- Mac Jones – New England Patriots
- Carson Wentz – Indianapolis Colts
If Carson Wentz didn’t suffer a foot injury in the offseason, he would have been well above this since he is going to miss the majority of the season. We intentionally left Deshaun Watson out of this list and if he did make this list, it would be in the rest due to the looming uncertainty around his future in the NFL. The quarterbacks in this section are desperation pickups if needed.