01 Jun 2020 Superflex Quarterback Tiers
Looking Under Center
Tiers are often the best way to work within the season on evaluating trades, and how your roster is shaping up down the stretch. I have divided my Quarterbacks into 7 tiers considering 3 key factors:
- Future Value & situation
It is more important to focus on the tier than the ranking, but for arguments sake, and since we all love a list…
Tier 1 – Blue Chip Stocks
These Quarterbacks are the blue-chip stocks of the NFL. They are the ones who have a genuine chance to finish at QB1 in the NFL in the next two seasons.
There is some expected room in value between Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, as an example, but these are the players you can expect to pay the big bucks for. And, they are also the ones you can ride into the fantasy championships. Since 2014 only one quarterback has registered back to back Top 3 seasons, and that is Russell Wilson (2014-15). We should expect some sort of regression for Lamar Jackson this season, much like we did for Mahomes last year, but these are the guys that if they play a full seventeen game season will be in the hunt for that top QB spot.
Tier 2 – Yeah, I’m good here!
This is the comfort zone. Quarterbacks in secure jobs, who have shown that they can finish as a QB1.
Matt Ryan is an excellent buy-low target in most leagues, and has shown he can be an overall Top 3 QB of the league. A little long in the tooth at 35 years of age, you can still expect another 3-5 years of play, committed to a dome and a pass-heavy offense.
Two QBs that could make the leap into the top tier by end of the season are Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Some may already have Murray in Tier 1, especially with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins, but don’t forget Mayfield’s 2019, and he added Odell Beckham. Baker also could fall further in 2020. With another underwhelming season under center, he could be a candidate to be replaced. Carson Wentz is also in that boat.
Tier 3 – Changing Places
This is where we see the changing of the guard.
Five players heading into the twilight of their careers, three of which are likely ticketed for Canton. The other two are just getting started, and vying for supremacy for valedictorian of this latest NFL Draft class. Stafford, Rodgers, and Cousins will provide a few more years than Brady or Brees, but all should be considered a declining asset.
If you are a championship-caliber team, it is worth holding onto the seasoned vets even into the final years of their career. But, if you are not a contender, find that team that loses their starter, or is making a push to bolster their playoff roster.
Tier 4 – Point to prove
The young guns on the come up, plus Tannehill and Garoppolo trying to prove they weren’t one hit wonders.
Darnold has the most leeway built in, and is still just 22, and one of the youngest starting quarterbacks in the league. This is put up or shut up season for both he and his coach though, and having admitted to seeing ghosts is not working in his favor. Lock has the most upside, clearly having the most weapons in Denver. If your starters are from this tier, you better be on the rebuild or looking at your QB3. There is upside and potential stability in this tier, and also a lot of question marks.
Tier 5 – Penny Stocks
This is where it gets uncomfortable. Great 4th or 5th Quarterbacks, but none you want to have to rely on as your starter.
Minshew mania gripped the league last year, as he fought off Superbowl MVP Nick Foles to take the job (and hearts) in Jacksonville. Haskins was mainly disappointing in his rookie year, but now has a new coaching staff, and a fresh start from training camp. The rest of these quarterbacks should be seen as expendable, unless you are in the running for the title.
Tier 6 – Rosterable
- Cam Newton
- Jordan Love
- Mitch Trubisky
- Jameis Winston
- Nick Foles
- Jalen Hurts
- Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Marcus Mariota
- Josh Rosen
- Jacob Eason
- Jacoby Brisett
- Andy Dalton
- Tyrod Taylor
- Kyle Allen
Underwhelming, and hardly the topic of conversation, but there is value to be had in this tier for Superflex leagues. And, all of these players should be rostered in deeper leagues (25+ roster spots).
Cam Newton, Nick Foles, Jalen Hurts, and Jordan Love have the highest value. While they are not going to present the highest value immediately, they have the greatest upside if and when they get the playing time. If you have any of these players, they are best sold as backups to the team with the starter. Kyle Allen is an interesting outlier to this group. Drafted by Ron Riviera, and then traded for by the same Ron Riviera, he is a player that should be on everyone’s buy low list moving forward. Haskins may have been the first round pick, but there does not seem to be a commitment from Rivera should he struggle.