Friday - Mar 22, 2019

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ADP FACE-OFF: Quarterbacks

Numbers in parentheses are the players ADP from MFL10s.

Aaron Rodgers (50) vs. Russell Wilson (68)

Rodgers just might be the most talented quarterback to ever play the position and his resume speaks for itself. He has played at least 15 games in 8-of-10 seasons as a starting quarterback. In those eight seasons, he’s finished as a Top-7 fantasy quarterback each time. When healthy, he is the best fantasy quarterback out there. Wilson is also a stud in his own right. Did you know that Wilson has never missed a start in his first six seasons in the NFL? He has played in every game since his rookie season in 2012 and has finished as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback in five of those six seasons, including being the best fantasy quarterback in 2017. There’s more subjectivity with the top running backs and wide receivers than there is at the quarterback position. This one is easy in my opinion. It’s Rodgers over Wilson for me and I’d say a good portion of the fantasy football community would agree with that.

Tom Brady (81) vs. Deshaun Watson (72)

Veteran against youngster. Legend against phenom. Brady, for all the slack he gets outside the bubble that is New England, is arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play the position. As a football fan, I yearned for the Brady against Peyton Manning showdowns of the early-to-late 2000’s. Two all-time greats battling it out for the ultimate goal – a spot in the Super Bowl. Believe it or not, Brady won’t be playing in the NFL forever. The state of the quarterback position is in somewhat of a transition and Watson is the future of the NFL. As a football fan, I am looking forward to future matchups of Watson against Andrew Luck or Marcus Mariota or Patrick Mahomes or Derek Carr. The matchups between these quarterbacks, especially in January, are going to be incredible to watch as a football fan. My point is, it’s important to enjoy these last few years of Brady playing in the NFL and whether you’re a Tennessee Titans or Indianapolis Colts fan, embrace the fact that the NFL has a few budding superstar quarterbacks who are only beginning to scratch the surface in this league. Watson, Luck, Mariota, Mahomes and Carr are going to be fun to watch over the next 10 years and I’m willing to take a chance that that time is now.  I’m taking the fantasy upside of Watson over the 41-year-old Brady.

Carson Wentz (94) vs. Drew Brees (98)

Wentz was well on his way to being crowned the NFL’s MVP in 2017 before he was injured. Even after missing three games, Wentz finished second in the NFL with 33 passing touchdowns and was still able to finish as the sixth-best fantasy quarterback last season. Brees has been one of the most proficient fantasy quarterbacks of the past 15 seasons. From 2003-16, he finished as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback every season, including No. 1 finishes in 2008, 2011 and 2012. However, the combination of a dominant running game and an improved defense resulted in the New Orleans Saints not having to rely on the passing game as often as they had in the past. Brees had just 538 passing attempts last season, his lowest amount of passing attempts since 2009. Even with 550 or so passing attempts, I still think Brees can finish as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback. However, his best days are now behind him. Boil it all down and I’m taking Wentz over Brees because I think Wentz has a higher ceiling.

Cam Newton (91) vs. Kirk Cousins (105)

Newton has not had a completion percentage better than 60 percent since 2013. Enter Norv Turner. Turner is taking over as the offensive coordinator in Carolina and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The addition of Turner combined with the return of Greg Olsen, the additions of Torrey Smith and rookie D.J. Moore are going to transform Newton’s passing numbers to heights we’ve never seen before. Couple that with the fact that Newton’s rushing numbers provide a high weekly floor and you’re looking at what should easily be a Top-7 quarterback finish for Newton in 2018. Cousins is a familiar face in a new place in 2018. He has had at least 4,000 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns and four rushing touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Once Cousins gets acclimated to his new offense and starts rolling, all bets will be off. This is a tough matchup since I’m a big fan of both of these players, but ultimately, I’m going with Newton over Cousins because of the intangibles and the rushing touchdowns!

Jimmy Garoppolo (112) vs. Matthew Stafford (111)

With all due respect to Jimmy Garoppolo, I’m hesitant to fully invest in him in 2018. His success last season with the San Francisco 49ers and in 2016 with the New England Patriots is too small of a sample size for me to fully endorse him as an elite fantasy quarterback. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a highly talented quarterback who has all the intangibles and physical tools to be a successful quarterback. However, before I crown him as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback, I need to see more. His counterpart, Stafford, is one of the most underrated fantasy quarterbacks out there. He has finished as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback in each of the last three seasons and six of the last seven seasons. He has routinely put up 4,200-plus passing yards year-after-year and has two solid wide receivers to throw the ball to in Golden Tate and Marvin Jones. What’s not to like? I prefer the “set it and forget it” quarterback over the risk/reward type of quarterback. As a result, I’m taking Stafford over Garoppolo this season.

Philip Rivers (120) vs. Ben Roethlisberger (117)

Both of these quarterbacks are in the latter parts of their respective careers. Both have been reliable, top-notch quarterbacks since they entered the league together in 2004. Did you know that Rivers has finished as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback in four of the last five seasons and eight of the last ten seasons? Despite his sustained success, Rivers does not get the respect he deserves in the fantasy football community. He continually is drafted in the QB10-24 range in fantasy football drafts. Roethlisberger on the other hand, has had a few seasons where he’s had elite fantasy numbers, but more often than not is an inconsistent and unpredictable fantasy quarterback. He has missed seven games in the last three seasons and has finished as a Top-10 fantasy quarterback just once in the past three seasons. This one is easy. It’s Rivers over Roethlisberger and I’m not thinking twice about it.

About Evan Reardon

An avid Boston sports fan, Evan has been a Patriots and NFL fan since the 1990's. Fantasy football runs in his family. He grew up in the 90's watching his father and uncles play in a 6-team, Touchdown-only league. He has been playing fantasy football since the early 2000's and has been writing fantasy sports content since 2014.