When drafting or building a dynasty team, it’s not unusual to adopt the same strategy as a real NFL team – draft a franchise quarterback and build around him. Think about it – how many quarterbacks last 10 years as opposed to running backs or receivers? Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady all of whom have been around for a decade or more and are still viable fantasy options. If you can snag a franchise quarterback now, you do it. The following are the best of the best according to our dynasty rankings.
- Aaron Rodgers (GB)
- Cam Newton (CAR)
- Andrew Luck (IND)
Most Likely to Improve: Andrew Luck. Taken 1st overall in 2012, Luck is the heir to Peyton Manning in Indy and should be a top-tier quarterback for many years to come. He ranked 7th in passing yards (4,374) his rookie year despite finishing next to last in completion percentage (54.1%) and being sacked the 4th most times in the league (41).
First, the offensive line. While grading out poorly last year (via Pro Football Focus and Football Outsiders), this year’s edition should be much better. They’ve added Gosder Cherius at tackle and Donald Thomas at guard in free agency which should immediately boost Luck’s protection. Anything to improve that 41 number.
His completion percentage should improve as well with shorter drops and more dump offs to the running backs. With Dwayne Allen, Colby Fleener, and TY Hilton no longer rookies, less rookie mistakes, inherently, should be made. Luck, at just 23, has several productive fantasy years ahead of him and if this is his floor then watch out.
Most Likely to Drop: Aaron Rodgers. I know, I know. It’s sacrilegious. NFL MVP. Super Bowl MVP. Maybe the only quarterback in the world that could have made Green Bay forget about Brett Favre.
But while Rodgers had his best season in 2011, it just means last year, and future years, are slated to be regressions to the mean. He had his worst Y/A (7.8) since his first full year as a starter. His offensive line has never been better than league average at allowing sacks (%+ 82 out of 100 – less than 100 is bad) and that was before Bryan Bulaga went down with a knee injury. They did nothing to upgrade that sore spot but did move things around in the hopes that a change would do them good.
Then there’s the running game. Oh the running game, where Cedric Benson was signed off the street and immediately made the starter in 2012. He was so bad he hasn’t even caught on with another team yet. But the Packers did much to improve that department in drafting Eddie Lacy and Johnathan Franklin. Of course, with a bruiser like Lacy, the goal-line slants that Green Bay executed so well might be needed less this year and in the future. It’ll definitely prolong Rodgers health but will cut into his touchdowns.
Bottom line: Rodgers is still the safest pick. He’s only 30 and there’s been nothing to indicate he’ll drop off dramatically while still being one of the best in the league. But there are a few things that could knock him down just enough. Andrew Luck, at just 23, may be one of the best and able to give you 5-7 more years of high-end productivity. His yards, improved line, and just another year of experience should solidify this position. If this were a re-draft league, there’d be no contest. But this is dynasty.