2017 Outlook: Brady was suspended for the first four games of last season, but he still managed to toss 28 touchdowns, which was seventh most in the league. Brady was absolutely dominant upon his return, ranking fifth in completion percentage (67 percent) and second in yards per attempt (8.2), while throwing only two interceptions. He posted a top-10 fantasy week during 58 percent of his outings and has ranked top-five in that category during five of the past seven years. The return of Rob Gronkowski and the team's addition of Brandin Cooks only add to Brady's appeal during his age-40 season.
2017 Outlook: Fantasy's reigning top-scoring quarterback is coming off a season in which he threw for 4,428 yards, ran for a career-high 369 yards and had a hand in 44 touchdowns. Rodgers finished in the top five of the league in pass attempts, completions, passing yards and touchdowns. The Packers won't be as obscenely reliant on the pass in 2017, but this remains a pass-first offense that added Martellus Bennett to a unit that also includes Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and Davante Adams. Rodgers has finished as a top-two fantasy quarterback during seven of the past nine seasons and is the best bet to top the charts in 2017.
2017 Outlook: As consistently dominant as they come, Brees has finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback during seven of the past 11 seasons, and no worse than sixth during that span. He's ranked top-two in the NFL in attempts, completions, yardage and completion percentage during six of the past seven seasons. Incredible. Brees was off target on an NFL-best 9.7 percent of his throws last season and has led the NFL in the category during four of the past six years. The loss of Brandin Cooks is far from ideal, but Brees' success has been built on spreading the ball around anyway. Expect Brees, 38, to provide nothing less than another top-five fantasy campaign.
2017 Outlook: The Falcons' offense absolutely exploded during Kyle Shanahan's second season calling the plays and although Shanahan is off to San Francisco, we shouldn't expect anything more than some regression to the mean. Ryan enjoyed a career-best season in 2016, ranking second in passing yards, passing touchdowns and fantasy points. He averaged an absurd 9.26 yards per attempt, which is the best we've seen in the NFL since Kurt Warner hit 9.88 in 2000. Ryan benefited from the league's most help after the catch (6.2 RAC) and second-lowest drop rate (2.8 percent), but his superb accuracy (fourth or better in off-target percentage each of the past five years) and the presence of Julio Jones will allow him to post another strong fantasy season.
2017 Outlook: Limited by injuries throughout 2016, Wilson failed to finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback for the first time in his career. Wilson tossed 21 touchdowns (second lowest of his career) and rushed for a career-low 259 yards on 72 carries. On the plus side, Seattle leaned more on its passing game, which allowed Wilson a career-high 4,219 passing yards (10th in the NFL). He's finished no worse than 11th in yards per attempt and no lower than third in carries among quarterbacks during each of his five pro seasons. Wilson's low fantasy ceiling (just six top-10 weeks) and massive bust rate (seven weeks outside the top 20) are red flags, but Wilson will certainly be a rebound candidate at full health in 2017.
2017 Outlook: Needless to say, 2016 was a disappointing season for Newton. One year after posting 45 more fantasy points than any other player, Newton fell to 17th at the position. He posted just five top-10 fantasy weeks, and only three after Week 2. Newton's completion percentage dipped to a league-worst 53 percent and he was off target on 21.8 percent of his throws (second worst), although in fairness his 10.6 average depth of throw was tops in the NFL. Newton posted career lows in carries (90) and rushing yards (359), and his five rushing scores were half his 2015 total. Newton is still only 27 and thus is a rebound candidate in an offense that quietly led on 45 percent of its plays last season (fifth highest). The additions of Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel figure to add to the offense's efficiency.
2017 Outlook: Cousins' breakout 2015 campaign saw him finish 10th in the league in passing yards (4,166), eighth in yards per attempt (7.7) and eighth in fantasy points. He was even better last season, ranking third in yards (4,915), third in YPA (8.1) and fifth in fantasy points. Cousins has a reputation for being too conservative, but his 8.9 average depth of throw was ninth highest in the league in 2016. He's shown good accuracy and quietly ranks third at the position with nine rushing scores over the past two years. Cousins will be without Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson this season, but he's still sitting pretty with Jordan Reed, Terrelle Pryor Sr., Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson.
2017 Outlook: Say what you want about the Cowboys' offensive line, the quarterback still has to make throws. And Prescott did that at the highest level imaginable for a rookie last season. The fourth-round gem ranked 23rd in pass attempts, but posted a 23-to-4 TD/INT mark and ran for 282 yards and a position-high six touchdowns. Prescott ranked fourth in the league in completion percentage (68 percent) and yards per attempt (8.0). The rookie was fantasy's sixth-highest-scoring quarterback, but that's likely his ceiling unless 2016's run-heaviest offense is forced to throw the ball more often. Regardless, Prescott's efficiency and rushing ability keeps him in the top 10 at the position.
2017 Outlook: Following an underwhelming rookie season and a solid sophomore campaign, Carr took another step forward in 2016. The former second-round pick tossed 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions. His completion rate improved to 64 percent despite 31 dropped passes; Carr has now ranked top-four in drops each of his three seasons. Granted, Carr's efficiency has been fairly average, but Oakland's terrific offensive line and the combination of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree have helped him to a top-10 fantasy week during a healthy 45 percent of his past 31 starts. Carr is only 26, so it's possible we haven't yet seen his best work.
2017 Outlook: Now two seasons into his career, Winston has essentially been a poor man's Cam Newton. He's struggled badly with accuracy (third-worst off-target rate in both 2015 and 2016), but makes up for it by slinging the ball down field (10.3 average depth of throw ranked second in 2016) and with his legs (top-10 in carries at the position each of his first two seasons). Winston needs to tone down the turnovers (33 interceptions in two seasons), but the additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard will help, especially after his receivers averaged 4.0 yards after the catch last season (second lowest). Winston's lack of fantasy upside (seven career top-10 weeks) is a red flag, but the former No. 1 overall pick is a candidate for a leap forward with a better supporting cast in his third year.
2017 Outlook: Mariota seemingly took a step forward in his second NFL season, but his statistical improvement was more related to volume than it was efficiency. In fact, his first- and second-season completion percentage, off-target rate and yards-per-attempt marks are almost exactly identical. Mariota ran for 349 yards and two touchdowns, which helped out his fantasy production, but he still fell short of finishing as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. Mariota's durability is also a slight red flag after he's missed five games in two seasons. The Oregon product's fantasy upside will also be limited by a Tennessee offense that called pass 55 percent of the time last season (second lowest). Especially with fifth overall pick Corey Davis now in the mix, Mariota is a strong QB2 option.
2017 Outlook: Luck, 27, has struggled with injuries (10 missed games during the past two seasons) and a poor supporting cast, but he has still managed plenty of fantasy production when active. He has finished as a top-four fantasy quarterback during three of the past four seasons. Last season, 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 best in the league. AFC South defenses are improving, but Luck is one of the league's most talented and highly efficient passers and works in a pass-first offense. He's a top-end QB1 option.
2017 Outlook: Stafford has suddenly become one of the most reliable quarterbacks in fantasy. He hasn't missed a game or finished lower than ninth in passing touchdowns in six seasons and has finished among the top-11 quarterbacks in fantasy points during five of those years. Last season, Stafford dealt with an NFL-high 32 drops, but he still completed 65 percent of his passes (12th best) and averaged 7.3 yards per attempt (14th). Stafford has converted into one of the game's most conservative passers (7.1 average depth of throw is third lowest in the NFL over the past three years), but it hasn't slowed his fantasy production. Offensive line improvements aside, Stafford's supporting cast won't be much better this season, but he remains a relatively safe back-end QB1.
2017 Outlook: Roethlisberger's shaky durability isn't new (at least one missed game during seven of the past 10 years), but he's recently turned into a must-start fantasy quarterback at home and a must-bench on the road. Over the past three years, Roethlisberger has a 59-to-16 TD/INT mark and sits third in fantasy points at Heinz Field. He sits at 23 TDs, 22 INTs and 18th in fantasy points during 22 road games in that span. Roethlisberger's efficiency took a hit across the board last season and, this may be hard to believe, but he's posted one top-10 fantasy campaign during the past seven years. It's possible the returns of Ladarius Green (health) and Martavis Bryant (suspension) will launch Roethlisberger back to fantasy stardom, but in the meantime, he's a borderline weekly starter.
2017 Outlook: Quite incredibly, Rivers has started every single one of the Chargers' games over the past 11 years. He's thrown for at least 4,200 yards during seven of the past eight seasons and is averaging 30.0 passing touchdowns per season since 2008. Despite the volume, Rivers hasn't managed a top-10 fantasy campaign since 2013. His completion percentage fell off a cliff to 60 percent last season, although he went deep more often (8.5 average depth of target) and dealt with the league's 10th-highest drop rate (4.7 percent). Rivers threw a career-high 21 interceptions last season, but the good news is that he'll have an impressive, deep supporting cast in 2017, led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Tyrell Williams and Melvin Gordon. Rivers is best viewed as a QB2, but there's some upside here.