Which QBs will stand out this year? Will there be any new faces that have break out years? There are so many opportunities for players to stake their claim as a top end QB in the NFL, but who will seize that opportunity? Let’s take a look at who the top 5 fantasy football QBs will be in 2015.
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the series:
5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
Hey, if I had Antonio Brown, I might have the most pass attempts in my last five seasons, too. So it stands to reason that Big Ben will keep on chucking, as his pass attempts have been on the rise every season since 2010.
I have him figured for 625 attempts at a little more than 7.5 yards per attempt, putting him at 4,700 passing yards. His TD rate is still a little behind the other passers, but even at a high side of 35, Big Ben ends up just short of Russell Wilson at four.
4. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
This is a tough one because there is a couple of small leaps of faith that keep Wilson at #4 ahead of our final QB here.
One leap of faith is the pass attempts I’m figuring here. I’m counting on Wilson to throw 29 times per game. That’s one more pass attempt per game that in 2014, which was the most attempts since Wilson has been QB. Why take the leap? Well, Jimmy Graham has to be worth at least one attempt per game more than last season. Even at 29 PA per game, Pete Carroll won’t have to worry about relinquishing his annual hold of fewest pass plays per game.
The other leap is that Wilson will keep running. About 25% of his fantasy point value will be found in his running, which is based on an average of about 37 yards per game and six scores for the year. If I figured he wouldn’t run more, I would likely bump up his pass attempts, but I think that he has one more full rushing season before that number begins to come down, based on previously rushing QBs.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
If I was ranking the best QBs period, and not just based on fantasy points, Rodgers would be the #1 guy by a good distance. But the fact is, and has been well established, that the Packers simply don’t attempt enough passes to push Rodgers any higher.
The Packers have been locked in at 35 passes per game and an average of eight yards per attempt, meaning Rodgers is a good bet for about 4,500 yards. Touchdown passes fluctuate as the randomness of getting tackled near the goalline would suggest, but the Packers have established enough track record to figure in about 37 for Rodgers.
Put in a couple of touchdown runs and about 200 yards rushing and Rodgers finishes third, just 0.5 points per game behind Brees.
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Many are assuming that Brees will attempt fewer passes that in the past five seasons. I do not subscribe to this theory.
In the Sean Payton/Drew Brees era, the Saints have routinely attempted 40+ passes per game. This includes the time before Jimmy Graham came into the picture. Given this, there is no reason to conclude that Brees will throw less. There will come a time when Brees fades from the NFL field, but there isn’t an indication that time has arrived.
So with that the track record of an average of 41 attempts per game and 7.5 yards per attempt, Brees is set to challenge 5,000 yards again, with his projection coming in around 4,950. The Saints track record of TD passes puts Brees comfortably at 35 for the season, meaning that even though Brees does not have the advantage of running scores in to boost his fantasy value, he should still come in at #2
1. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck dropped back to pass 680 times in 2014, 64 more times than in 2013. This is a trend that does not portend to fade, rather still has potential for growth.
The Colts tried to run the ball, running it 26 times per game, 18th in the NFL. They just weren’t good at it, and in total the running game only accounted for 25% of the team’s total offense, 30th in the league.
Often the Colts would try to be the balanced team, it wouldn’t go anywhere and they would turn Luck loose. The Colts ran the second most pass plays per game, just 0.1 attempts per game behind the Saints. And these weren’t dinks and dunks, as the Colts were 7th in yards per pass attempt, too.
If the Colts were to hold to form and average 40 pass plays per game, Luck is likely headed for a 640 pass attempt season, which would put his yardage total in the 4,800 yard ball park based on last year’s 7.5 yards per attempt rate. Luck also led in TD passes last season and he should get the chance to replicate that by throwing 40 more.
Add in Luck’s rushing yards and random rushing TDs and he is a firm #1, almost two fantasy points per game ahead of our #2 QB.