Fantasy Football 2019: QB Rankings, Projections and Top Team Names

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray smiles as he throws a pass during an NFL football training camp practice at State Farm Stadium Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

We hear the following fantasy football advice all the time: Don't reach for a quarterback on draft day, which is the opposite approach to reality in the NFL

On the other hand, fantasy managers should consider a quarterback who can transcend a large pool of players and score 340-plus points—only five signal-callers eclipsed that mark in standard Yahoo scoring settings last year. Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson rounded out the group. 

For those who rolled the dice on Mahomes, he racked up 429.08 fantasy points—67.62 more than Ryan. Among the five passers, Watson had the most rushing yards (551), and he was the only one to play for a team with a rushing offense ranked higher than 16th in yards.

It goes without saying—fantasy owners should target high-volume passers if they prefer to pick up a quarterback early in the draft. Secondly, a high-end quarterback could put together a productive year when paired with a poor-to-average ground attack.

We'll rank and project 2019 passing and fantasy numbers for the top 12 quarterbacks—suited for 12-team leagues under standard Yahoo settings. Who's primed to finish in the top five for the upcoming season? Also, check out some creative team names for your squad.


Quarterback Rankings and Projections

1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, 382.45

2. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, 380.21

3. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, 361.19

4. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles, 356.34

5. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, 348.16

6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, 341.27

7. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals, 323.02

8. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, 318.82

9. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, 309.64

10. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams, 306.10

11. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns, 304.79

12. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints, 302.28


Matt Ryan Closes the Gap on Patrick Mahomes

Jason E. Miczek/Associated Press

Last year's top two quarterbacks hold those spots once again, but this time the margin shrinks to 2.24 fantasy points.

For starters, Mahomes isn't likely to throw 50 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. Secondly, Ryan will once again work with Dirk Koetter, who served as the Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator between the 2012-14 campaigns. In those three seasons, the team's passing offense ranked top 10 in passing yards twice and top five in touchdowns once. 

Since 2012, Koetter's ground attacks have ranked 24th or worse in all but one season. If this trend continues, Ryan will have a lot riding on his arm for the upcoming year.

Fortunately for Ryan, he's throwing to two-time All-Pro Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, who led the Falcons in receiving touchdowns last year (10) and Mohamed Sanu—a steady veteran with a 66.2 percent catch rate. Don't forget Austin Hooper will look to build upon a breakout 2018 campaign, where he finished with 71 catches for 660 yards and four touchdowns as TE6 in fantasy leagues.


Carson Wentz's Return 

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 11: Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws the ball during mandatory minicamp at the NovaCare Complex on June 11, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Of course, we have to acknowledge the injury risk with Carson Wentz, but he's participated at training camp without notable restrictions on his activity. If he holds up throughout the season, managers may see him in 2017 form. 

Two years ago, before tearing his ACL, Wentz performed at the level of an MVP candidate, logging 3,296 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Last year, he missed five games because of a fractured vertebra but still recorded 3,074 yards, 21 touchdowns and seven picks. 

Fantasy managers should feel optimistic about Wentz's rapport with DeSean Jackson, who will provide a much-needed deep threat in the passing game. The quarterback talked about his connection with the 32-year-old wide receiver, per Tim McManus of ESPN. 

"Every day it grows," Wentz said. "Whether it's on the field and you actually see it with live reps or after practice or off to the side between reps during the team drills when we're talking, we watch film together."

Even in his best season, Wentz didn't have a wide receiver to stretch the field. Mack Hollins led the team in yards per reception (14.1) but only caught 16 passes in 2017. For perspective, Jackson averages 17.4 yards per reception for his career and led the league in that category last season (18.9).

Jackson's presence should boost Wentz's passing yardage and touchdown totals in 2019.


Gambling on Kyler Murray

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Here's one for risk-takers who don't mind stepping ahead of the curve. The Arizona Cardinals will employ an uptempo offense with dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray. According to running back David Johnson, head coach Kliff Kingsbury wants to run 90-95 offensive plays per game, which would be a record pace.

The Cardinals may not average 90 plays per contest, but the objective could result in a high number of passing attempts for Murray. According to The Athletic's Scott Bordow, Arizona may keep seven wide receivers on their depth chart. 

"Kingsbury has hinted that he'll keep seven receivers," Bordow wrote. "Five seem locks: Fitzgerald, Kirk, Johnson, Isabella and Butler."

The Cardinals' prospective offensive style and Murray's ability to use his legs to pick up yards could push him into the top 10 in terms of fantasy production. Last year, he ran for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns at Oklahoma. The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner won't come close to that number at the NFL level because of the need to preserve his body, but 500-600 yards on the ground seem reasonable.


Top Team Names 

Krystle Rich @KrystleRich

Guess I’ll go with “InfluWENTZ” again as my #FantasyFootball name. What are your best team names this season? #FlyEaglesFly

InfluWENTZ (h/t Krystle Rich of NBCS Philadelphia)

Suh-Tang Klan

Finding Deebo

Watson In Your Wallet

Pop, Drop Lockett

Le'Veon La Vida Loca 

Hot Chubb Time Machine

All I Do Is Winston 

Roethlisberger Helper 

Gone Gurley