2018 Outlook: Rodgers missed nine games last season but was otherwise his usual dominant self, posting the second-most fantasy points among quarterbacks in his six full games. Rodgers has finished in the top two at the position in fantasy points and top six in passing touchdowns in seven of his past eight full seasons. Rodgers' game changed a bit last season, as he posted a career-low 7.0 average depth of throw (third-lowest at the position), and that figure might not rise much with Jordy Nelson out and Jimmy Graham in. Rodgers is now 34 years old and taking a more conservative approach, but he's still arguably the league's best player. He's your top option at quarterback in 2018.
2018 Outlook: Brady might be 40 years old, but his recent play suggests he isn't slowing down one bit. Brady was a top-three fantasy quarterback in 2015 and 2017 and was third in fantasy points per game during his suspension-shortened 2016 campaign Brady led all passers in attempts (581) and yards (4,577) and ranked third in touchdowns (32) last season. Brady adds value with his incredible ability to protect the football (26 interceptions the past four seasons). Brady enters 2018 with a deep supporting cast that includes Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Matthews, James White, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, Chris Hogan and now-healthy Julian Edelman. Expect another elite fantasy season in New England's pass-heavy offense.
2018 Outlook: Newton might have peaked in 2015, but he has still been a terrific fantasy quarterback for most of his seven-year career. Despite a slow start, Newton trailed only Russell Wilson in fantasy points last season. He threw 22 touchdowns (third-most of his career) but was intercepted 16 times (his most since 2011). Newton continues to struggle with accuracy but makes up for it with his elite rushing ability. He set new career highs in attempts (139) and yards (754) last season and has finished no lower than fourth among passers in carries, yards, OTD and touchdowns during his seven seasons. Powered by his rushing ability, Newton has been a top-four fantasy quarterback in five of his seven campaigns and is again a top option in 2018.
2018 Outlook: Wilson paced all quarterbacks in fantasy points last season after ranking no worse than 11th and no better than third in his first five seasons in the NFL. Wilson tossed a position-best 34 touchdowns and ran for three more. Seattle has been one of the league's pass-heaviest teams the past two seasons, but is expected to revert back to a run-first scheme in 2018, which figures to decrease Wilson's volume. Wilson, who has yet to miss a game in his career, has finished in the top three at the position in carries all six seasons. Wilson's underwhelming supporting cast, including one of the league's worst offensive lines, is a red flag, but his do-it-all ability and impressive durability make him a top-end fantasy QB.
2018 Outlook: Watson was the 12th overall pick in the 2017 draft and had the look of a superstar-in-the-making prior to tearing his ACL prior to Week 9. At that point, Watson had accounted for 21 touchdowns in 26 quarters and had finished four straight weeks as a top-two fantasy quarterback. On the other hand, Watson threw eight interceptions and was off-target on a league-worst 24.0 percent of his throws. Watson clearly needs to improve his efficiency, but he has elite playmaking ability and is only 22 years old. He'll have DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V at his disposal in 2018, and he adds a ton of value with his legs (269 rushing yards on 36 carries), assuming he returns to full speed. He has one of the highest ceilings in fantasy.
2018 Outlook: Luck is expected to return this season after missing the entire 2017 season with a shoulder injury. Durability is obviously a major concern here, as Luck has missed 26 games the past three seasons. Luck's supporting cast is also one of the worst in the league, though that's hardly new, and he has still managed plenty of fantasy production over the years. The 28-year-old finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback the past three seasons in which he has played at least 15 games. In 2016, he ranked eighth in passing yards, fifth in passing touchdowns and seventh in rushing yards among quarterbacks. He averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, which was fifth in the league. One of the league's most talented and highly efficient passers, Luck will be a mid-round steal if his health holds up.
2018 Outlook: Following a high-volume, low-efficiency rookie campaign, Wentz exploded onto the fantasy scene with 10 top-10 fantasy weeks in 13 2017 appearances. That 77 percent rate was tops at the position, and Wentz trailed only Russell Wilson in fantasy points when he tore his ACL in Week 14. Wentz was super-aggressive in his second season, posting a 10.0 average depth of throw (fourth-highest), but he still managed an outstanding 33-to-7 TD-to-INT mark. Wentz also carried the ball 64 times (fifth-most), though his vigorous running style raises questions about his ability to hold up for 16 games. Assuming Wentz is trending toward being ready to start in Week 1, he makes for a fringe top-five fantasy QB with upside.
2018 Outlook: Prior to resting for the playoffs in Week 17 last season, Roethlisberger ranked second in the league in passing yardage (4,251), fourth in touchdowns (28) and seventh in fantasy points. Roethlisberger has finished eighth or better in fantasy points per game in each of the past six seasons, but games missed (usually due to injury) have limited him to one seasonal finish better than 10th in the past eight years. He also adds the bare minimum as a rusher, totaling 117 yards and one touchdown the past four seasons. The Steelers' offensive line is terrific, and Roethlisberger has the likes of Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and JuJu Smith-Schuster at his disposal. History suggests that the 36-year-old passer won't hold up for 16 games, and Roethlisberger is still a solid QB1 when active.
2018 Outlook: Cousins joins Minnesota following six seasons in Washington, the past three of which have resulted in a top-eight finish among quarterbacks in fantasy points. Cousins has ranked no lower than 12th in pass attempts, eighth in completions, 10th in yards, 13th in touchdowns, 10th in completion percentage and 11th in yards per attempt each of the past three seasons. He added 13 touchdowns with his legs during that span, which trailed only Cam Newton (21) and Tyrod Taylor (14). In Minnesota, Cousins will enjoy an upgraded supporting cast in the form of Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph, Dalvin Cook and Kendall Wright. Cousins is a strong bet for another top-10 fantasy campaign, and he sports top-five upside.
2018 Outlook: Remember when Stafford's durability was a giant concern? The 30-year-old passer hasn't missed a game since 2010. During that seven-year span of health, Stafford has posted six top-nine fantasy campaigns, which includes seventh in 2017. Stafford finished no lower than ninth in pass attempts and yards each of those seven years and has averaged 28.1 passing touchdowns in that span. To Stafford's benefit, Detroit operates one of the league's pass-heaviest offenses, having called pass at least 65 percent of the time during each of OC Jim Bob Cooter's three seasons. Stafford will work behind one of the league's best offensive lines and will be throwing to a strong trio of wide receivers in Golden Tate, Marvin Jones Jr. and Kenny Golladay. Stafford is a high-floor, back-end QB1 option.
2018 Outlook: The Chiefs traded Alex Smith to Washington during the offseason, which means Mahomes is the team's new starting quarterback. The 2017 first-round pick has appeared in only one game -- a Week 17 start against a tough Denver defense -- during which he completed 22 of 35 passes for 284 yards. Mahomes is 6-foot-2, 225 pounds with a huge arm and solid accuracy. He also adds value with his legs, having rushed for 285 yards and 12 touchdowns on 131 carries during his final season at Texas Tech. His inexperience makes him risky, but with Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt at his disposal, Mahomes has massive fantasy upside.
2018 Outlook: Brees had perhaps the most efficient season of his career in 2017, but a drastic dip in volume led to his worst fantasy finish (ninth) since he joined New Orleans. Brees had finished no lower than third in the league in pass attempts in seven consecutive seasons prior to finishing ninth in 2017. Brees set an NFL record by completing 72.0 percent of his throws, and his 10.6 percent off-target rate was the best in the league for the fifth time in seven seasons. Brees managed only two weekly finishes better than 10th last season, and New Orleans' injury-ravaged defense is now healthy and added more talent to the mix. This means Brees' volume is unlikely to bounce back more than slightly in 2018. The 39-year-old has settled in as a back-end QB1.
2018 Outlook: Ryan exploded for a career-best season in 2016 and, though he was a no-brainer regression-to-the-mean candidate last season, the fall was much farther than expected. Ryan's pass attempts dropped by only five, but his passing yards fell by 849 and his touchdowns by 18. Fantasy's No. 2 quarterback in 2016 finished 15th in 2017, and his lone weekly fantasy finish better than 10th came in Week 17. Aside from 2016, Ryan has never finished a season better than seventh in fantasy points, and he has finished 15th or worse in three of the past five seasons. In other words, Ryan's 2017 campaign was closer to his norm, and we shouldn't be counting on a big bounce-back to 2016-level production. Ryan is best viewed as a mid-pack QB2.
2018 Outlook: Rivers finished eighth among quarterbacks in fantasy points last season, which is notable, considering that it was his first finish better than 12th since 2013 and only his second-best finish the past seven seasons. Rivers finished top-five in pass attempts (575), yards (4,515) and touchdowns (28). He also helped his cause by throwing only 10 interceptions -- his lowest total since 2009. The Chargers have scored a massive 81 percent of their touchdowns through the air since 2012. Led by Keenan Allen, Hunter Henry and Melvin Gordon, Rivers has a pretty good supporting cast, and his offensive line is the best he has had in years. He's a fringe QB1.
2018 Outlook: Traded to San Francisco just before the 2017 deadline, Garoppolo didn't make his first 49ers start until Week 13. He played very well from that point forward and fits the bill as a player positioned for a major step forward in 2018. The 2014 second-round pick completed 118 of 176 attempts (67 percent) for 1,542 yards (8.8 YPC), six touchdowns and five interceptions in his five starts. Despite the poor TD:INT ratio, Garoppolo sat eighth at the position in fantasy points in that span. Garoppolo won't add much with his legs, which might limit his ceiling, but his terrific early-career efficiency suggests that he could be emerging as a star. That's enough to make him well worth a mid-round draft pick.