Week 1 Rankings (2014): Top 25 Quarterbacks

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Week 1 of the NFL season is always the toughest for fantasy owners, because there is a lot of unknowns.  What we know from 2013, or should we say what we think we know, is really meaningless because so much changes from year to year.  While it’s advisable to not do anything dramatic, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some better matchups than others.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at how our Week 1 rankings currently look:

 

  1. Peyton Manning – Denver Broncos – vs. Indianapolis
  2. Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints – at Atlanta
  3. Andrew Luck – Indianapolis Colts – at Denver
  4. Tony Romo – Dallas Cowboys – vs. San Francisco
  5. Nick Foles – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Jacksonville
  6. Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions – vs. New York Giants
  7. Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons – vs. New Orleans
  8. Tom Brady – New England Patriots – at Miami
  9. Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers – at Seattle
  10. Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – at Dallas
  11. Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks – vs. Green Bay
  12. Philip Rivers – San Diego Chargers – at Arizona
  13. Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears – vs. Buffalo
  14. Cam Newton – Carolina Panthers – at Tampa Bay
  15. Carson Palmer – Arizona Cardinals – vs. San Diego
  16. Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins – at Houston
  17. Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals – at Baltimore
  18. Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers – vs. Cleveland
  19. Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans – at Kansas City
  20. Chad Henne – Jacksonville Jaguars – at Philadelphia
  21. Brian Hoyer – Cleveland Browns – at Pittsburgh
  22. Geno Smith – New York Jets – vs. Oakland
  23. Eli Manning – New York Giants – at Detroit
  24. Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Cincinnati
  25. Alex Smith – Kansas City Chiefs – vs. Tennessee

 

Thoughts:

  • In what could easily be one of, if not the highest scoring game of the week, we are going to get to see Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck go toe-to-toe.  With the Colts’ running game in serious question as it is, and with the necessity to put up a significant number of points, don’t be surprised if Luck is among the biggest scorers in the opening week.
  • Aaron Rodgers draws an extremely tough matchup in Week 1, with the Super Bowl champs at home.  Last season they allowed the fewest passing yards per game (172.0), the second fewest passing TD (16) and the most interceptions (28).  No one is going to recommend sitting Rodgers, because as we’ve learned in the NFL you never know, but he’s got to be moved down your rankings a few spots.
  • We still believe that, overall, Nick Foles is going to significantly regress from his performance in 2013.  That said, the matchup this week still keeps him among the better options in the league.
  • Generally a matchup against the 49ers would give you cause for concern, but not at this point.  The defense has taken a hit this offseason and Tony Romo appears to be healthy and has a full assortment of weapons at his disposal.  It’s hard not to like him at this point.
  • Matthew Stafford is going to be a good option, but the Giants’ secondary should be significantly improved from a year ago.  You also have to wonder how the secondary options are going to produce, whether it is rookie Eric Ebron or import Golden Tate.  It’s hard to argue against him, but there is reason for at least a little bit of concern.
  • Collin Kaepernick has a matchup you have to like, but the Cowboys defense is much worse against the run as opposed to the pass (though, that’s not to say that they are good against the pass).  He’s a QB1, but don’t push him too highly.
  • If Cam Newton were healthy he’d be an easy call to start.  However, at this point he still has a questionable receiving corps and a rib injury that could hinder him.  It makes him tough to trust, depending on your alternatives.
  • Do you trust Robert Griffin III?  It’s hard to say bench him, given the upside, but it’s also incredibly hard to recommend using him.  Proceed at your own risk.
  • We love Ryan Tannehill for a breakout this season, but in Week 1 he draws the revamped Patriots secondary featuring Darrelle Revis.  That’s going to be an incredibly tough sell, to say the least.
  • Even without Josh Gordon, we saw what Brian Hoyer was capable of when healthy last season.  There’s a lot to like, and he has significant upside among the “lower tier” quarterbacks.

Make sure to check out all of our Week 1 rankings:

 

Week 1 Rankings (2014): Top 15 Kickers
Updated 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Top 15 Tight Ends: PPR Formats

6 comments

  1. Nick says:

    Off topic but wanted to ask you.. Who would you start in a PPR league this week..Michael Floyd or Shane Vereen?

  2. Billy Bats says:

    Get Roto another off topic question for you.

    Who would you go for flex this week in a standard, Cordarelle Patterson or Rashad Jennings? Also nice job on the draft guide.

    • Thanks!

      And I’d lean Jennings. With the questions about the passing game I can see Jennings being an important part of the offense this week (and all year long). When it’s close, I always lean RB and in Week 1 I’d say it’s close.

  3. Dave says:

    With Marshall (#3 WR), Jeffery (#6 WR), Bennett (#12 TE) AND knowing Forte is going to get both ground and air production………how do you justify Cutler at #13QB?

    • I am not the one who ranked Marshall/Jeffery, but I’m not sure I’d have them both that high personally. That said, QB is deep and there are guys I’d trust more than him. Does that mean he isn’t worth starting? Absolutely not, it just speaks to the depth at the position.

      Also, you have to remember that other teams have significantly more weapons. It wouldn’t be surprising if Marshall/Jeffery were the only WR on the Bears to have over 20 receiving yards, so they are getting a major chunk of the offense.

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