Fantasy Football 2019: Quarterback Rankings and Auction Prices

Before I dive into my fantasy quarterback rankings and debut post on SI, I'd first like to say that I'm humbled and extremely thankful for the opportunity to join the SI family.

Over the course of the upcoming season, SI will be the new home for my fantasy football rankings and my primary goal is to help contribute to your fantasy success this season. This post has been updated slightly as news has changed. You can also check out my RB, WR, TE and K/DST rankings.

The basis for my rankings are my full-season statistical projections, but you should know that the gap in projected fantasy points from one quarterback to the next can be quite narrow. As an example, the projected difference between Baker Mayfield (QB8) and Jameis Winston (QB9) is a mere 0.02 fantasy points. And that's for the entire season—not per game.

Therefore, I've grouped players into tiers and added auction values based on 12-team, half-PPR scoring formats with $200 budgets.

As you'll notice, both Mayfield and Winston fall into the same tier and have the same suggested auction value. Hopefully that provides some additional context for my rankings when making your draft decisions.

With all of that said, let's get into the rankings themselves.

Note: Rankings and blurbs updated on August 21.

Scroll down for a chart with each player’s ranking.

TIER 1

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Bye: 12, Auction: $21)

Not only did he win league MVP in his first full season as a starter, but Mahomes became only the second player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns in the same season. When considering Tyreek Hill avoided a league suspension, plus the addition of second-round speedster Mecole Hardman in the draft, Kansas City's skill-position group has arguably more firepower than it did last year. Even so, Mahomes may be overvalued. Yes, he's my top-ranked quarterback, but the opportunity cost of passing on a high-level RB or WR at his current draft-day cost (Round 3) is too rich for my blood given the tremendous depth at quarterback.

2. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (Bye: 10, Auction: $15)

In an injury-shortened rookie campaign (2017), Watson posted an elite-but-unsustainable 9.3 TD%. Even though that rate came down to earth in his sophomore campaign (5.1 TD%), he played a full 16-game slate and finished fourth in fantasy points in 2018. Passing for 4,165 yards (11th in the NFL ) and 26 touchdowns (12th), Watson's dual-threat ability (551 yards and five scores on the ground) gives him legitimate QB1 upside. Not only is DeAndre Hopkins arguably the league's best receiver, but if both Will Fuller and Keke Coutee can stay healthy, Watson has one of the best trios of receivers in the league at his disposal.

3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Bye: 11, Auction: $15)

Since taking over for Brett Favre in 2008, Rodgers has played a full season nine times and has finished as fantasy's QB7 or better in each of those seasons. In his nine healthy seasons as a starter, Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback seven times. Assuming good health, A-Rod is about as safe as it gets.

4. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts (Bye: 6, Auction: $15)

Luck has four consecutive top-five seasons when he's played at least 15 games. Chris Ballard has put one of the league's best offensive lines in front of Luck and surrounded him with the most talented group of weapons since he's entered the league.

There is “guarded optimism” that Luck (ankle) will be ready for Week 1. Luck is still projected to score the second-most fantasy points in my projection model even with a reduced probability that he plays in the opener. That said, the difference between Luck, Watson and Rodgers is small enough that it makes sense to move him down a couple of spots given the additional risk.

TIER 2

5. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Bye: 7, Auction: $10)

While a shoulder injury slowed him down the stretch and then prematurely ended his season, Newton was third in fantasy scoring through Week 13. Before 2018, he had finished as the QB4 or better in five of his seven seasons in the league. Not only is a 500-yard, 5-touchdown rushing line typical, but Newton also has a talented group of young playmakers that excel after the catch and I believe he’s currently undervalued compared to his QB11 ADP (via Fantasy Football Calculator).

6. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Bye: 10, Auction: $10)

The obvious concern with Wentz is durability, as the fourth-year quarterback has now missed at least three games in back-to-back seasons. If he can stay healthy, however, he has a ton of upside. Wentz showed how good he could be in 2017 when he was second in fantasy points through Week 14 before missing the season's final three weeks. The field-stretching dynamic that DeSean Jackson adds to the receiving corps gives Wentz the most complete group of weapons he has had in his young career.

7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Bye: 9, Auction: $8)

Over the past four seasons, Ryan has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback twice (2016, 2018) and as the QB15 or worse twice (2015, 2017). Dirk Koetter returns to coordinate Atlanta's offense after his offense in Tampa led the league in passing last year with 5,125 yards. While Ryan may not lead the league in passing, the offense has all the pieces in place for another elite fantasy season.

8. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (Bye: 7, Auction: $8)

In the final eight games of his rookie season, Mayfield threw 19 touchdowns and averaged 8.57 Y/A. Among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 pass attempts, the only quarterback that performed better over his team's final eight games was Patrick Mahomes (24 TDs, 8.72 Y/A). And that was without Odell Beckham Jr. Going from his rookie season to 2019, Mayfield benefits from both the status quo (Freddie Kitchens) and changes (trade for Beckham).

9. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Bye: 7, Auction: $8)

Playing 11 games and starting nine last season, Winston posted career highs in completion percentage (64.6), yards per attempt (7.9) and TD% (5.0), but he also set a career high in INT% (3.7). Winston needs to cut down on turnovers, but he was much better in that regard over his final seven games (13-to-4 TD-INT ratio) and Tampa's passing offense should rank near the top of the league once again.

10. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Bye: 11, Auction: $8)

Not only were Wilson's pass attempts (427) a five-year low, but his rushing attempts (67) were a career low and he failed to rush for a touchdown for the first time in his career. Even so, Wilson finished the season as fantasy's QB9. Before 2018, Wilson ended the year as a top-three QB in three of four seasons and has finished as a top-12 quarterback every year of his career. While his career-best 8.2 TD% was more than two full percentage points above his career average (6.0 TD%), Wilson has thrown at least 34 touchdowns in three of the past four seasons.

11. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Bye: 9, Auction: $7)

Comparing actual production to preseason ADP, Goff has been undervalued in each of the past two seasons and that could be the case again in 2019. The QB16 in ADP last year, Goff finished seventh in fantasy points. In 2017, he was outside the top 24 QBs in ADP yet finished with a top-12 season. You'd be hard-pressed to find a team with a better trio of wide receivers and Goff seems like a lock for another top-12 season.

TIER 3

12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Bye: 8, Auction: $7)

Yet to finish outside the top 12 in his career, Prescott has been fantasy's QB6, QB11 and QB10, respectively, in his first three NFL seasons and I expect another top-12 performance this year. His consistency begins with his touchdown production—either 22 or 23 passing scores and exactly six rushing scores every year. His 18 rushing touchdowns over that span are a positional high and at least double all quarterbacks not named Cam or Tyrod. A full season with Amari Cooper also bodes well for Prescott, as his splits with Cooper (19.3 fantasy PPG, ninth most) were much better than his numbers without the 25-year-old wideout (16.0 PPG, 23rd).

13. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Bye: 9, Auction: $6)

A model of consistency, Brees has finished as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 15 consecutive seasons. The days of Brees slinging it 600-plus times appears to be over, however, as his pass attempts in 2017 (536, 33.5/G) and 2018 (489, 32.6/G) are the two lowest of his Saints tenure. Admittedly, it feels a bit weird to rank the future HOFer as the fourth-best option in his own division, but this could be the first time in his Saints tenure that he finishes outside the top 10.

14. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Bye: 12, Auction: $5)

In a fast-paced, spread-it-out offense, Murray and Arizona should be fun to watch, at a minimum. The quick passing game should allow their playmakers to get the ball in space and hopefully mask offensive line shortcomings. Last year's Heisman Trophy winner has elite quickness and as we've seen with mobile quarterbacks, fantasy success can come early.

15. Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears (Bye: 6, Auction: $5)

Chicago's offense and Trubisky himself started 2018 slowly, but we got a glimpse of how productive he could be when things clicked. Blowing up for a 43.5-point fantasy performance in Week 4, Trubisky began a six-game stretch where he scored more than 27 fantasy points five times. From Weeks 4 to 10, no quarterback scored more fantasy points on a per-game basis than Trubisky (28.0). There is plenty of upside from Trubisky at minimal cost, especially if we see the consistency that eluded him last season.

TIER 4

16. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Bye: 7, Auction: $4)

Since Antonio Brown entered the NFL in 2010, Big Ben has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in only four of those nine seasons—and two of those were just barely: QB12 in 2013 and QB10 in 2017. There may be less locker room drama, but losing such a difference maker will likely impact Roethlisberger's on-field production as well. Given how infrequently he has played a full season, his pronounced home-road splits and the loss of AB, Roethlisberger is outside my top-15 fantasy quarterbacks for 2019.

17. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Bye: 8, Auction: $3)

Starting just seven (regular-season) games, Jackson led the team in rush attempts (147) and was second in rushing yards (695). Even though he eked out only one 200-yard passing game (204 in Week 16), Jackson scored the eighth-most fantasy points per contest during his seven-week stretch as starter. The goal should be for Jackson to run less (for durability's sake), but offensive coordinator Greg Roman has had success orchestrating offenses led by mobile quarterbacks. Here are the fantasy QB finishes in Roman's last four seasons as OC: QB8, QB14 (Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo) and QB16, QB11 (Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco).

18. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Bye: 6, Auction: $3)

Like Jackson, Allen's elite rushing stats compensated for his lack of passing in 2018. After missing some time and then returning following Buffalo's Week 11 bye, no quarterback averaged more fantasy points per game down the stretch (Weeks 12 to 17) than Allen (24.2/G) although Deshaun Watson (24.1/G) was close. Allen averaged a massive 12.93 fantasy points per game from his legs alone—576 rushing yards and five scores—over the final six weeks.

TIER 5

19. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Bye: 10, Auction: $2)

Since 2002, Brady has played a full 16-game slate in all but two seasons. Excluding his injury- and suspension-shortened campaigns, Brady has performed as a top-12 QB every year except for two (2013 and 2018). On a per-game basis, Brady was fantasy's QB17 in 2018 with a less-dominant version of Rob Gronkowski. With Gronk retired (for now?), the G.O.A.T. is not much more than a fantasy streamer entering his age-42 season.

20. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Bye: 12, Auction: $2)

After three consecutive QB8 (or better) finishes, Cousins finished 2018 as fantasy's QB13 in his first season with the Vikings. With Kevin Stefanski taking over as interim OC in the final three games, the Vikings ran the ball on 47.98% of their plays (compared to their season-long ratio of 35.59%). The biggest concern for Cousins is that his 2019 passing volume could take a year-over-year hit as the Vikings fully implement a run-first approach.

21. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (Bye: 12, Auction: $1)

Rivers has finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in nine of the past 11 seasons, but he's also finished outside the top 10 in four of the past five. The passing numbers aren't the problem, as my projections call for top-12 numbers in both passing yards (4,192) and passing touchdowns (28) for Rivers; it's the non-existent rushing production (five scoreless yards in his past 32 games). Most of the quarterbacks in the two tiers above use their legs to bolster their fantasy production.

TIER 6

22. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (Bye: 4, Auction: $0)

Garoppolo has been solid—8.5 Y/A, 4.5 TD% and 3.0 INT%—but not spectacular in his nine games played for the 49ers. There is some upside for any quarterback in a Kyle Shanahan offense, but Jimmy G.'s current ADP is ahead of some that I'd prefer over him (Trubisky, Jackson, etc.).

23. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (Bye: 6, Auction: $0)

Since entering the league five years ago, Carr has finished as a top-20 fantasy quarterback every season. The QB18 in 2018, Carr threw for a career-high 4,049 yards but a career-low 19 touchdowns. Carr's career-low 3.4% touchdown rate was a full percentage point below his career average, but Oakland's upgrade in weapons—Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Josh Jacobs—should see that normalize to, or even exceed, his career average. Carr may be underrated compared to his ADP and even my own rankings.

24. Sam Darnold, New York Jets (Bye: 4, Auction: $0)

Even if there were some (expected) ups and downs as a rookie, Darnold ended 2018 on a positive note. Throwing six touchdowns to only one interception over his final four games, the 22-year-old should build upon his late-season success with improved weapons in 2019.

25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals (Bye: 9, Auction: $0)

Going into 2018, Dalton had been fantasy's QB18 (or better) in each of his seven seasons. While he failed to extend that streak in his injury-shortened 2018 season, Dalton was fantasy's QB16 through Week 12 (his last game played). Not necessarily someone you should target to be your starter, he should at least outperform his 2019 ADP and be a viable streamer in favorable matchups if his weapons can stay healthy. (Of course, A.J. Green’s injury is not a great start.)

26. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (Bye: 5, Auction: $0)

In 2018, Stafford averaged just 6.81 Y/A, an eight-year low, with a TD% of 3.8, a four-year low. While part of that dip in performance could be attributed to playing through broken bones in his back down the stretch, Stafford wasn't exactly lighting it up before his back issues and he shouldn't be viewed as much more than a low-upside QB2 in Detroit's run-first offense.

TIER 7

27. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (Bye: 11, Auction: $0)

The next time that Mariota plays a full 16-game season will be his first. While he expects to play at roughly 230 pounds this year, Mariota has missed eight games over the past four seasons. In Tennessee's run-first offense in 2018, Mariota threw for 180.6 yards per game and 11 touchdowns, both of which were career lows. Over the past two seasons, he has nearly as many interceptions (23) as touchdowns (24) and he's just a fringe QB2 at this point.

28. Nick Foles, Jacksonville Jaguars (Bye: 10, Auction: $0)

More than anything, Foles will provide a boost for Jacksonville's skill-position players, as he cuts down on the team's turnover rate that it experienced with Blake Bortles under center. That said, he's a low-upside option only worth consideration in two-QB leagues.

29. Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos (Bye: 10, Auction: $0)

The Broncos ranked in the bottom half of the league last season in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense, so Flacco gives the team an upgrade, albeit a modest one, over Case Keenum. Over the past four seasons combined, Flacco has averaged just 6.32 Y/A, 40th out of 41 quarterbacks with at least 500 pass attempts over that span (via Pro Football Reference). And if the Broncos are out of contention winding down the season, it's certainly possible that we see Drew Lock start a game or two.

30. Eli Manning, New York Giants (Bye: 11, Auction: $0)

Manning posted a career-high 66.0 completion percentage and seven-year high in Y/A (7.5) in 2018, but he has a sub-4.0 TD% in back-to-back seasons. Replacing Odell Beckham with Golden Tate (who is now suspended four games) is clearly not a one-for-one tradeoff, and Manning has struggled (more than usual) without OBJ. At best, he's a low-end QB2 that could eventually lose his job at the most important time of the fantasy season.

31. Dwayne Haskins, Washington Redskins (Bye: 10, Auction: $0)

It's unclear if Haskins will start Week 1, but it's fairly obvious that he'll start the majority, if not all, of the team's games as a rookie. Unlike recent rookies that have had fantasy success (e.g., Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson), Haskins is unlikely to make many plays with his legs to give him fantasy relevance—outside of dynasty or two-QB leagues—as a rookie.

32. Josh Rosen, Miami Dolphins (Bye: 5, Auction: $0)

33. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins (Bye: 5, Auction: $0)

Fitzpatrick opened training camp taking first-team reps and reportedly outplayed Rosen over the offseason. At this point, I envision Fitzpatrick starting the first four games and then Rosen taking over after the team's Week 5 bye so the Dolphins can get a closer look at what they have ahead of the 2020 NFL draft. Either way, neither is likely to have much fantasy relevance in 2019.

34. Daniel Jones, New York Giants (Bye: 11, Auction: $0)

If the Giants are out of the playoff hunt as early as most expect, it may be difficult to stick to the Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers plan. Due to his mobility, Jones could have some streamer appeal if and when he does start, but he's off the fantasy radar entering the season.

35. Case Keenum, Washington Redskins (Bye: 10, Auction: $0)

If Keenum makes a few early-season starts, his grip on that job will be tenuous at best.

Rank

Tier

QB

Team

Bye

Price

1

1

Patrick Mahomes​

Kansas City Chiefs​

12​

$21​

2

1

​Deshaun Watson

Houston Texans​

10

$15​

3

1

Aaron Rodgers​​

Green Bay Packers​​

11​

$15​

4

1

Andrew Luck​​

Indianapolis Colts​​

6​​

$15​​

5

2

Cam Newton​​

Carolina Panthers​​

7​​

$10​​

6

2

Carson Wentz​

Philadelphia Eagles​

10​

$10​

7

2

Matt Ryan​

Atlanta Falcons​

9​

$8​

8

2

Baker Mayfield​

Cleveland Browns​

7​

$8​

9

2

Jameis Winston​

Tampa Bay Buccaneers​

7​

$8​

10

2

Russell Wilson​

Seattle Seahawks​

11​

$8​

11

2

Jared Goff​

Los Angeles Rams​

9​

$7​

12

3

Dak Prescott​

Dallas Cowboys​

8​

$7​

13

3

Drew Brees​

New Orleans Saints​

9​

$6​

14

3

Kyler Murray​

Arizona Cardinals​

12​

$5​

15

3

Mitch Trubisky​

Chicago Bears​

6​

$5​

16

4

Ben Roethlisberger​

Pittsburgh Steelers​

7​

$4​

17

4

Lamar Jackson​

Baltimore Ravens​

8​

$3​

18

4

Josh Allen​

Buffalo Bills​

6​

$3​

19

5

Tom Brady​

New England Patriots​

10

$2​

20

5

Kirk Cousins​​

Minnesota Vikings​​

12​

$2

21

5

Philip Rivers​​

Los Angeles Chargers​​

12

$1​

22

6

Jimmy Garoppolo​

San Francisco 49ers​

4​

$0​

23

6

Derek Carr​

Oakland Raiders​

6​

$0​

24

6

Sam Darnold​

New York Jets​

4

$0​

25

6

Andy Dalton​​

Cincinnati Bengals​​

9​

$0​

26

6

Matthew Stafford​

Detroit Lions​

5​

$0​

27

7

Marcus Mariota​

Tennessee Titans​

11​

$0​

28

7

Nick Foles​

Jacksonville Jaguars​

10​

$0​

29

7

Joe Flacco​

Denver Broncos​

10​

$0​

30

7

Eli Manning​

New York Giants​

11​

$0​

31

7

Dwayne Haskins​

Washington Redskins​

10​

$0​

32

 

7

Josh Rosen​

Miami Dolphins​

5​

$0​

33

7

Ryan Fitzpatrick​

Miami Dolphins​

5​

$0​

34

7

Daniel Jones​

New York Giants​

11

$0​

35

7

Case Keenum​​

​Washington Redskins

10

$0​​

Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2019 season. His fantasy rankings have placed him in the Top 20 in each of the past two seasons among all the industry experts tracked by FantasyPros.com, and he has been in the Top 25 in six of the past eight years.

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