Fantasy Football

Way Too Early 2019 Quarterback Rankings

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What do you think of this kids throwing motion? Okay, might be a little too early in the kids development for that analysis. However, it’s not too early to preview the 2019 quarterback rankings. So with tongue firmly in cheek, we present our Way Too Early 2019 Quarterback Rankings.

We realize we are not the first ones to release 2019 quarterback rankings. But like the worm avoiding the early bird, it’s okay not to be the first one out. However, it is a good exercise to get an early survey of the terrain. I like to do this now while the NFL season is still fresh in my mind but before the draft, free agency, and all the final coaching hirings. This way, when I do to my rankings later, it forces me to consider and remember why I ranked a player where I did.

Part of doing this exercise is to highlight


-Potential Busts in the Top 25

-Who could be a surprise Tier 1 QB?

-Which quarterback(s) could easily fall out of this group?

-Who, outside the elite tier, could finish as the overall QB1

(hint: He dated a porn star whose work includes “Cougars Gone Wild 2”. And in case you were unclear, it’s not a film about one of that quarterback’s rival conference schools mascots, the Cougars of SIU Edwarsdville).

Way Too Early 2019 Quarterback Rankings

Omissions

Before we pounce into my early targets for next year, let’s talk about some top QBs last year that I don’t think will crack the Top 25 in 2019.

Cam Newton and Alex Smith are likely to miss the 2019 season due to injury.

Eli Manning will likely start the year as the Giants quarterback, but I can’t shake the feeling that he doesn’t finish it as the Giants starter, whether its injury or the Giants handing the reigns to someone else.

The last omission is a little more interesting. Derek Carr was a top 25 quarterback last year, but it sure doesn’t feel like he was, does it?

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Between the Raiders possibly signing a free agent quarterback, a constantly shifting home crowd, and currently a lack of weapons, I am definitely keeping Carr out of my early top 25 rankings. So who is making the cut? Let’s start near the bottom of the rankings.

Tier 5

“You are really focusing on the other positions aren’t you?”

RankPlayerTeam
25Andy DaltonCincinnati Bengals
24Joe FlaccoDenver Broncos
23Josh AllenBuffalo Bills
22Jameis WinstonTampa Bay Buccaneers
21Sam DarnoldNew York Jets

Joe Flacco, Denver Broncos

His 2018 point per game numbers were better than you think!

Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccanneers

No quarterback has more variability coming into 2019 than Winston. A top 10 finish wouldn’t surprise me, nor would a final ranking outside of the top 40.

Everything will depend tremendously on what the Bucs new head coach thinks of Winston and whether or not he fits that coach’s system. Winston might easily get cut. He might easily be the Bucs starter. Plus Tampa Bay has that Evans fellow who is pretty good catching touchdowns.

Of course, Winston needs to stop throwing interceptions like he did 14 times this past season. When you have more interceptions than games started, that’s not good. But Winston threw 28 touchdowns and passed for over 4,000 yards as recently as 2016. So the potential is there and that’s why he cracks this list.

Tier 4

“We Learned Something From The Last Few Weeks and Playoffs, Right?”

RankPlayerTeam
20
Nick FolesFA
19Carson WentzPhiladelphia Eagles
18Dak PrescottDallas Cowboys
17Jared GoffLos Angeles Rams
16
Mitch TrubiskyChicago Bears
15Lamar JacksonBaltimore Ravens

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Nick Foles, RFA/Eagles

So much depends where Nicky Franchise lands. If Cam Newton sits this year out and Foles lands in Carolina, I don’t think Foles even sniffs top 20 territory. Carolina is going to be the Christian McCaffrey show. However, should Foles end up in Jacksonville, tossing long bombs to Marqise Lee and finding Dede Westbrook in the holes in the zone, I think he might even be a QB1 in 2019.

Tier 3

“Could Easily Jump a Tier or Two”

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RankPlayerTeam
14Matthew StaffordDetroit Lions
13Baker MayfieldCleveland Browns
12Kirk CousinsMinnesota Vikings
11Jimmy GarrappoloSan Francisco 49ers

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Nope, he’s not the one who faced SIU Edwardsville. And right now, he’s not a QB1. But if the Browns draft or sign an elite wide receiver, Mayfield will shoot up my rankings. Of course, that brings us to our next option, who did face SIU Edwardsville.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

Yup, Jimmy G is the chosen one, and I’m a Jimmy G believer. If nothing else, I think the system in San Francisco is one that will help any quarterback, let alone one of Jimmy G’s skill set.

The 49ers will spend much of the offseason trying to improve the defense, but I do think we see another weapon added at some point. But even if they don’t add a wide receiver, I think Jimmy Garoppolo could easily be the Mahomes of 2019, who takes the football world by storm.

It was supposed to happen last year. Unfortunately, it didn’t. However, the world has a way of righting itself. This is a very conservative estimate ranking Garroppolo as a low-end QB1. Don’t be surprised if we see a Belichick gem in the Super Bowl again next year, but he won’t be named Brady.

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Speaking of Brady….

Tier 2

“Likely QB1s Who I Like Less Than My 2019 Tier 1 QBs”

RankPlayerTeam
10Tom BradyNew England Patriots
9Philip RiversLos Angeles Chargers
8Ben RoethlisbergerSeattle Steelers
7Matt RyanAtlanta Falcons
6Andrew LuckIndianapolis Colts
5DeShaun WatsonHouston Texans

I’ll be honest with you. You could throw these six names up in the air and I’d be okay with any order in which they land. That’s how tight this tier is.

Yes, Brady’s upside is huge, but with New England shifting to a running team, his floor could be pretty low.

DeShaun Watson could jump into the Elite tier, but his reckless style makes him an injury risk.

Philip Rivers meanwhile has permanent residence in this tier. He’s not jumping into the elite status, but he’s not dropping out of QB1 status.

Both Brown and Bell might be gone next year, but Ben will still have Juju. Blah blah blah. Enough of this boring tier; let’s talk about the elite.

Tier 1

“The Elite”

RankPlayerTeam
4Drew BreesNew Orleans Saints
3Aaron RodgersGreen Bay Packers
2Russell WilsonSeattle Seahawks
1Patrick MahomesKansas Chiefs

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Let’s break this one out a little bit more, shall we?

My No. 4 QB Drew Brees will be driven to avenge the NFC Championship loss but not as much as Aaron Rodgers, my No. 3 quarterback will be driven to return to the top of the rankings. Okay, he really won’t care about being atop my rankings, but returning himself and the Pack to an elite level will burn more than a hot pocket right out of the crisping sleeve. You cannot count Rodgers out. Ever. When 4400 yards and 25 touchdowns is considered a “down year”, that’s a QB whose floor I am absolutely willing to pursue.

But that pursuit is part of the issue. Rodgers is still likely to be drafted as a top three QB. I like to go after QBs who have less fervor around them. And less fervor is exactly what you get with the captain of one of the best running teams this past year. My #2 quarterback might be the biggest surprise, but I really like Russell Wilson in 2019.

Russell Wilson as the No.2 QB?

Yes, Russell Wilson is my No.2 quarterback. Wilson often started slow, but excelled as the half wore on. See for yourself.

I expect Wilson’s stats to smooth out in 2019. Wilson should have a¬†healthy Doug Baldwin back this year, so it will be his first and third quarter stats improving. If Wilson can improve his stats during those quarters, it’s just a small jump to a QB who throws for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. And lest we forget, Wilson runs pretty well with the ball too! Of course, I’d still rather have the No. 1 QB in my too-early top 25.

The No.1 QB in My Top 25 Too Early QB Rankings

Pat Mahomes is my No.1 Quarterback. Surprise. I don’t actually think he throws for 50 touchdown and 5,000 yards again this year. But 47 and 4,700 seems extremely doable and I would set his floor somewhere around 40 touchdowns and 4,500 yards. For most players, that’s a ceiling!

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Maybe as we get closer to the season, I will start finding warts and reasons to knock Mahomes down a rank or two. But for now, it’s way to early to start doing that!


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About Mark Strausberg

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