Drafting a QB Week #1

Going into Week #1, who is the best quarterback to start on your daily fantasy football team? At this point in the year, this can be a tough decision just because you don’t yet have a lot of information to work with, but there are some things that we can say we a lot of certainty. For example, even though he’s a top ranked QB this year, we can pretty much determine that Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is not a safe choice. In fact, according to a poll of fantasy analysts, Newton doesn’t even make the top 10 best quarterbacks this coming weekend. That’s a surprise to a lot of people, especially considering that he’s expected to put up some great numbers against weak Jacksonville Jaguars.

So, who are the best QBs to start this weekend? The number one ranked QB right now is Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.

This is no surprise at all. Rodgers was the MVP last year and keeps coming back each season in better shape. He is up against the Chicago Bears on Sunday and there’s no reason to doubt that he will perform well. With Newton, there’s a level of uncertainty, and his potential for gain doesn’t quite outweigh that. The allure of Newton is that he will be cheaper than Aaron Rodgers, but cheap doesn’t ever equal a lot of fantasy points.

Coming in at number two, according to the experts, is Tom Brady. This is a recent development, as Brady is currently receiving a ton of hype because of the overruling on his suspension. Brady is a great QB, and is the main reason why the New England Patriots made it to, and then won, the Super Bowl last year. Going against the Pittsburgh Steelers should be a good matchup for him, and he is likely to post some great points, but taking him as your QB is probably going to cost you too much when you consider the fact that there are cheaper QBs out there that will more than likely score more fantasy points. As great as Brady is, he’s probably a pass for Week #1.

Peyton Manning is the number three choice. He’s going against the Baltimore Ravens, who had the 6th best defense in the NFL last year. While Manning is still a great QB, he may find himself having issues against a strong defense, especially one with a strong ability to break through the offensive line. They tied the Eagles last year with the second highest number of sacks in the league, behind just the Buffalo Bills. Manning will do well as he has a good line, but not quite as well as the statistics would lead you to believe. Again, he should probably be faded this weekend as there are very likely to be better performing quarterbacks at cheaper prices.

Where did top MVP prospect Andrew Luck fall on the list? He came in at number seven. The Colts are going up against the Buffalo Bills, who look to have an even better defense than they did last year. That’s saying quite a bit, and although the Colts are still favorites for this game, Luck will be tried like he hasn’t been tried in his short NFL career. Luckily for him and the Colts he is very talented, but the odds are he will not be a top performer this weekend. If you look at what the daily fantasy sports sites are ranking him at, though, you wouldn’t know this. At FanDuel, for example, he is the second most expensive player in the league, behind only Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers deserves the big price tag; Luck doesn’t. Not in this case, at least.

The rest of the top seven was rounded out by Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, and Tony Romo. Value-wise, Ryan and Romo are both good choices. Roethlisberger is a great performer, but he’s going up against the Patriots and will likely not have the upperhand. Ryan is going to be playing Philadelphia, and Romo will face the Giants. Both are good value plays, although Romo may struggle a little because of the fact that he has fewer strong offensive weapons than he did last year.

The bottom line: Aaron Rodgers is your best choice. If you can’t afford him, your next best choice is Matt Ryan.