Dynasty: Bang for Your Buck: 2018 Quarterback Tiers

By Alex McCarthy
Alex McCarthy A simple rankings list can be helpful when trying to get an idea of where a player generally rates among his position, but often the difference between Player 1 and Player 2 is a lot bigger than the difference between Player 2 and Player 3. This is where tiered rankings come into play. Tiers are groups of players who are considered to be of similar value (in this case in my personal opinion), and the breaks between tiers represent a significant drop in value. For quarterbacks I’ve separated the top twenty-five players into five tiers (my full rankings are also available under my profile), within which I’ve also identified the most over- and undervalued players according to ADP (Average Draft Position, per DynastyLeagueFootball.com), ECR (Expert Consensus Rank, per FantasyPros.com), and my own anecdotal experience.

Tier 1

Aaron Rodgers

Best Value: Not much to say here. Even in 1QB leagues, Rodgers’ VORP (Value Over Replacement Player) is so high that he’s a bargain at anything even close to market value (overall ADP 50).

Worst Value: *crickets*

Tier 2

Russell Wilson
Carson Wentz

Best Value: Russell Wentz has put up consistently elite fantasy numbers the past several years despite having arguably the worst offensive line in the NFL, so if forced to choose I’ll take him over Wentz- if only because we have yet to see what he could do with a little protection.

Worst Value: I wouldn’t describe Wentz as a bad value by any means, but his ascendant sophomore season has some owners proclaiming him a younger Rodgers- a claim for which I am definitely not willing to pay. Buy Wentz for market value, but don’t reach for him.

Tier 3

Andrew Luck
DeShaun Watson

Best Value: Though injuries have caused many to question if he’ll ever return to form, Andrew Luck was once the dynasty QB1 and could feasibly return to that place, possibly even within a single season. Some owners are starting to experience fatigue with Luck, so now is the time to make a run at him and secure your QB spot for the future if you can.

Worst Value: DeShaun Watson has the potential to make me feel very stupid for writing this, but he wouldn’t be the first QB to explode with a small sample size and then fade with time (Robert Griffin, anybody?). Investing now could pay massive dividends, but at his current prices it’s a bigger risk than I would advise most owners to take.

Tier 4

Jared Goff
Marcus Mariota
Jameis Winston
Cam Newton
Matthew Stafford
Kirk Cousins
Derek Carr
Jimmy Garoppolo
Matt Ryan
Tom Brady
Alex Smith

Best Value: After Tier 3 the QBs all start to blend together, and the best value tends to have more to do with the composition of your team than anything else. If the Brady owner isn’t an immediate contender then you can likely convince them to deal a top-3 QB next season without having to give up anything of major significance (in 1QB leagues, anyway). Significantly improving your championship chances with a QB upgrade to Brady is probably worth more than what you’ll have to pay for it, making him the best value in this tier if you’re in that market.

Worst Value: Cam Newton is likely to end up at the top of this tier in fantasy points at least once more in his career, but the issue is that his career seems more likely to end prematurely than most of his peers. His explosive upside can make him a bit pricey and his rough style of play (and corresponding health issues) make him, in my opinion, not worth the risk.

Tier 5

Patrick Mahomes
Philip Rivers
Drew Brees
Ben Roethlisberger
Dak Prescott
Mitchell Trubisky
Tyrod Taylor
Andy Dalton
Case Keenum

Best Value: On a week-to-week basis, Phillip Rivers has as much upside as almost anybody in the league outside of Rodgers and Brady. Due primarily to his age he isn’t being assigned much value these days, but he has a powerful array of skill players around him and somewhere between thirty and forty children to support financially, both of which could lead to him playing several more years. He would potentially provide above-replacement-value QB play during that time, making him well worth current market value (overall ADP 193).

Worst Value: Dak Prescott is the new gold standard game manager in the NFL, but he has a ridiculous ECR of QB10 and an even more ridiculous ADP of QB7. In any given season Dak will be an average starter at best, so giving up anything of real value for him is a massive waste. Obviously the equation is a bit different in superflex or 2QB due to his age and role as the Cowboys franchise QB, but in 1QB comparable quarterbacks can be had for next to nothing.