There is no more important position in the NFL than quarterback, and having the right QB can also be a huge boost to your fantasy team. While they don’t always go early in season-long fantasy drafts, top quarterbacks usually lead the way on DraftKings, so make sure to choose wisely as you select your signal-caller each week. Here are my top-10 QBs going into the 2017 season that may be able to help your fantasy team:
1. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Rodgers had more DraftKings Fantasy Points (DKFP) than any other QB last year even though he got off to a bit of a slow start. He had multiple passing touchdowns in 10 of his last 11 games last year finishing with an NFL-leading 40 passing touchdowns and 4,428 yards. Rodgers even added four rushing touchdowns since the Green Bay running game often bogged down. He finished the season averaging 25.56 FPPG which was almost two full points more than any other QB (Drew Brees finished second with 23.83 FPPG). The only change to his receiving corps is an upgrade at TE from Jared Cook to Martellus Bennett, so look for another monster season from Rodgers.
2. Tom Brady – New England Patriots
What do you get a QB who wins his fifth Super Bowl at 39 years old and still looks at the top of his game? Apparently, you trade your first round draft pick for a top WR to give him even more weapons in the passing game. Brandin Cooks will offer speed on the outside and a healthy Gronk should make for a frightening receiving corps with Julian Edleman, Malcolm Mitchell, James White and Chris Hogan. Brady will be 40 when the season starts and won’t have to play from behind as often as Rodgers, so he’s not quite my top QB, but his weapons make him an elite option.
3. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
Brees finished second in FPPG at QB last year trailing only Aaron Rodgers. He lost Brandin Cooks, but the Saints seem to always have plenty of receivers who will try and step up including newly-signed Ted Ginn, last year’s rookie-standout Michael Thomas, and always-reliable Willie Snead. Brees has been remarkably consistent since joining forces with Sean Payton in New Orleans, and he should be a top-5 QB again this season. No matter how much the Saints say they want to run the ball, Brees always seems to be among the league leaders in pass attempts which is a great thing for your fantasy QB.
4.Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Wilson never looked right as he battled injury last season and struggled without Marshawn Lynch in the backfield next to him. He still finished in the top 10 in total DKFP for QBs although he ranked 18th in FPPG. Wilson was a top-five QB in each of his first two seasons in the league, and if he stays healthy he should be able to put up good numbers with Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett as his primary playmakers.
5. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts
We don’t have a clear picture of Luck’s injury situation heading into the preseason, but assuming he’s healthy he should be a top-five QB. Last year, he averaged the fourth-most DKFP per game, and the Colts spent a lot of time building his offensive line to keep him healthy when he returns. He has dynamic weapons in T.Y. Hilton, Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief while Jack Doyle will continue to be his safety-blanket tight end.
6. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Ryan had a breakout season last year throwing for 4,944 yards (second in the NFL) and 38 touchdowns (second in the NFL) on his way to the 2016 MVP and a heartbreaking Super Bowl defeat. He had the third-most FPPG and was right there with the elite options most weeks although he usually cost less. Ryan and the Falcons will have to combat a Super-Bowl-loss hangover, but I do think he’s still a top-10 QB.
7. Jameis Winston – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One player who may be ready to challenge to top QBs in the game is Jameis Winston who finished 11th in total DKFP at QB last season. In Winston’s second season, he improved in every passing category, and the Bucs rewarded him by upgrading his weapons, adding DeSean Jackson to play across from stud Mike Evans and a promising first round tight end in Alabama’s O.J. Howard. Due to his division and a soft schedule, he appears to have one of the easiest QB schedules headed into what could be a breakout season.
8. Derek Carr – Oakland Raiders
Carr was a top-10 QB last year in FPPG, but he finished just outside the top 10 overall due to missing Week 17. He is expected to be fully recovered and ready to go for training camp. The Raiders’ running game has been overhauled this offseason, but Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree are back at receiver and Jared Cook at tight end should give Carr even better weapons than he had last year. If he stays healthy, the Raiders should continue to be a team on the rise and Carr’s numbers should rise with them.
9. Kirk Cousins – Washington Redskins
After back-to-back seasons in the top 10, Cousins has proven he can put up fantasy numbers in Coach Jay Gruden’s pass-heavy offense. He was one of only six QBs to average over 20 FPPG last season and he finished fifth in total DKFP overall. Cousins’ receiving corps has turned over with Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson being replaced by Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson who Washington took in the first round in 2016. Cousins has proven he can perform when playing for a contract and he’ll be on the franchise tag again this season with plenty of motivation to continue his success.
10. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
Big Ben is a boom-or-bust play, but he is part of an absolutely overloaded offense stocked with plenty of weapons. With top weapons like Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, it seems almost unfair that he’ll get to add reinstated Martavis Bryant as a second receiver. Injury potential and some recent clunkers on the road keep Roethlisberger from being higher on this list, but I still see him on the fringe of the top 10.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.