Fantasy Football 2014: Quarterback Rankings and Projections for Week 1

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2014

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 04:  Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 4, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

It does not matter who was drafted in what round once the fantasy football season starts. All you should care about is which players will help you win.

While the players taken in the first few rounds were selected for a reason, it is always important to look at situations and match up for every position. In a deep position such as quarterback, you should not be afraid to take a risk when it could lead to a bigger payoff.

Even at this early stage of the year, every point matters, and you want to get as many as possible.

Although every fantasy owner has the chance to make his own decisions, here are projections for how the top quarterbacks will fare in Week 1.

Week 1 Quarterback Rankings
RankPlayerTeamOppPass YardsRush YardsTDsINTFantasy Pts.
1Peyton ManningDENIND35503026
2Drew BreesNOATL31733122
3Matthew StaffordDETNYG34702021
4Jay CutlerCHIBUF25303120
5Andrew LuckINDDEN28182019
6Tony RomoDALSF306172119
7Tom BradyNEMIA26902018
8Philip RiversSDARI25502018
9Nick FolesPHIJAX30272118
10Colin KaepernickSFDAL206521017
11Aaron RodgersGBSEA265142117
12Andy DaltonCINBAL29302117
13Robert Griffin IIIWASHOU231471017
14Russell WilsonSEAGB266271016
15Cam NewtonCARTB210331015


Notable Players

Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Rick Osentoski/Associated Press

In the past, Matthew Stafford was limited by a lack of options. Sure, he had arguably the best receiver in the game in Calvin Johnson. However, he ended up staring down this one target while struggling to spread the ball around.

As Daniel Jeremiah of notes, there are a few more options this season:

Add this to quality pass-catching running backs in Reggie Bush and Joique Bell, and Stafford will have a lot of weapons in this offense. This should lead to a big season for a quarterback with plenty of ability and a lot of opportunities to succeed.

Fantasy owners will see the payoff right away in a matchup against the New York Giants. Tom Coughlin's team used to be known for its pass rush, but only five teams had fewer sacks last season. With Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph gone, the unit will be even worse.

Stafford should get all day to spread the ball around, which should lead to a big day for the young player.


Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys scrambles with the ball in the second half during an NFL game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermot
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

A lot of people are looking at Colin Kaepernick to have a big game against the poor Dallas Cowboys defense. However, the entire San Francisco 49ers offense has struggled in the preseason and does not look ready to dominate.

Kaepernick's rushing ability will help him have a solid week in fantasy, but it will be nothing too special.

On the other side of the ball, though, Tony Romo has a chance to really impress in Week 1. The often-mocked quarterback finished 10th among quarterbacks in fantasy points last season despite missing the last game with an injury. If he had played and reached his average of 16.8 points per game, he would have jumped to seventh.

Meanwhile, facing the 49ers defense is not as daunting as usual. The secondary has been completely remade in the offseason, with only second-year player Eric Reid returning as a starter. This is more of a problem with Aldon Smith (suspension) and NaVorro Bowman (injury) out for the first part of the season.

Bleacher Report's Matt Miller discusses what the team is looking at this year:

Regardless of whether the talented players come through down the line, it will be tough to rely on so many newcomers in Week 1. Romo will have a lot of pass attempts, and he has a chance to have a good game.


Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Tom Gannam/Associated Press

There is a good chance Aaron Rodgers becomes the highest-scoring player in fantasy football this season. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and has the talent around him to be a consistent contributor almost every week.

Unfortunately, it will be tough for him to come through in Week 1 on the road against the Seattle Seahawks.

Rodgers recently explained the difficulty of facing this squad, via Clare Farnsworth of

There’s a challenge at every level. They’re really talented up front. They’re as good as they come on the backend with the safety-corner tandem. And they’re very talented and long and rangy and athletic and physical in the linebacker group...This is as talented a defense as you’re going to see in the league.

Considering how well Seattle defended Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, there is no reason to expect too much better from the Packers, especially playing in CenturyLink Field.

Fantasy owners will have an elite player for 15 other games this season, but it might be smart to avoid him this week if you have a better option.


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