Fantasy Football 2017: Rookie QB Rankings
Fantasy Football 2017: Rookie QB Rankings
Fantasy Football drafts don’t begin in earnest for another couple of months, but when it comes to projecting the best of the newbies, why wait?
Ben Standig ranks the top rookie quarterbacks for the 2017 fantasy football season.
8. Nathan Peterman, Bills
Draft Pick: No. 171 Overall, (No. 28, 5th Rd.)
Tyrod Taylor is the clear starter and Cardale Jones might hold onto the primary backup role, yet buzz throughout the draft process had Buffalo possibly seeking a quarterback in the early rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft.
They eventually snagged Peterman in the fifth round, which is something of a bargain based on the pre-draft hype that the ex-Pittsburgh Panthers passer had day 2 potential.
The 6-foot-2 Peterman threw 27 touchdowns to seven interceptions during his senior season.
Not worth a look in re-draft leagues, but there’s some hope in dynasty formats.
7. Davis Webb, Giants
Draft Pick: No. 87 Overall (No. 23, 3rd. Rd.)
Fact: Since 2005, Eli Manning hasn’t missed a regular season start.
Fact: New York’s quarterback is 36 years old.
That doesn’t mean it’s time to put Peyton’s younger brother out to pasture, but at some point soon a backup plan is required. Enter Davis Webb.
The Giants spent a third-round selection on the 6-foot-5 passer.
Like many in this class, Davis isn’t ready immediately.
New York also added Geno Smith as their number two, but it’s hard imagining he’s considered a long-term solution.
6. C.J. Beathard, 49ers
Draft Pick: No. 104 Overall, (No. 40, 3rd. Rd.)
We think Kirk Cousins takes his talents to San Francisco next season for a reunion with Kyle Shanahan if he doesn’t land a long-term deal with Washington.
If that projection proves false, the 49ers may turn to their 2017 third-round pick in 2018.
Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley will battle for work this season, but San Francisco didn’t spend a day 2 selection on Bobby Beathard’s grandson for kicks.
Sure, Beathard didn’t exactly impress during his final season at Iowa (56.5 completion percentage).
He also doesn’t have impressive veteran options in front of him.
5. Joshua Dobbs, Steelers
Draft Pick: No. 135 Overall (No. 29, 4th Rd.)
If you’re looking for this year’s Dak Prescott – middle-round selection thrown into the starting lineup and thriving – may we introduce Dobbs.
Ben Roethlisberger is the man in Pittsburgh, but the Super Bowl winning QB is often banged up and he reportedly contemplated retirement last offseason.
Landry Jones enters the season as the No. 2, but he’s never been terribly impressive on the NFL level.
Dobbs, an aerospace engineering major at Tennessee, has the needed mental and physical traits required for the job.
There are also reasons why he fell to the fourth round, notably accuracy.
Should he find his way into the starting lineup, he’ll find Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant and more around him.
4. DeShone Kizer, Browns
College: Notre Dame
Draft Pick: No. 52 Overall (No. 20, 2nd Rd.)
Cody Kessler wasn’t actually that bad as a 2016 rookie.
Brock Osweiler is the veteran on the depth chart, assuming he makes the roster.
Kizer most certainly will, but where the former Notre Dame starter lands on it depends on just how quickly he can harness his physical gifts.
The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder is huge for a quarterback and has the big arm to match.
Yet Kizer helmed Notre Dame to a 4-8 record last season in part because of his decision-making.
Normally we’re talking about an ideal stash candidate. Little is normal with the Browns.
If Kessler doesn’t secure the job in training camp, Kizer’s number might get called upon sooner than later.
3. Mitch Trubisky, Bears
College: North Carolina
Draft Pick: No. 2 Overall, (No. 2, 1st Rd.)
The second overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft must be a lock to start immediately, right?
Eh, probably not in this case, which is why Trubisky isn’t atop this list.
With only one full season as a college starter under his belt, the former North Carolina standout likely needs additional seasoning before getting tossed into the deep end.
That works out for Chicago, which signed Mike Glennon to a hefty free agent contract in the offseason.
Eventually – which probably means no later than 2018 – Trubisky takes over.
He completed 68.2 percent of his passes in 2016 while tossing 30 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. There’s upside, just maybe not this season.
2. Pat Mahomes, Chiefs
College: Texas Tech
Draft Pick: No. 10 Overall, (No. 10, 1st Rd.)
There’s a case for the former Texas Tech star as the top rookie option, but unlike Deshaun Watson in Houston, Mahomes has a major veteran QB blocking his way.
Alex Smith won’t lose the job easily. He also won’t wow anyone with his skill set.
Kansas City offers some impressive offensive weapons in tight end Travis Kelce, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, running back Spencer Ware and human chess piece Tyreek Hill.
Trading up in the first round for the strong-armed Mahomes essentially means Smith’s time is up in Kansas City after 2017.
If Coach Andy Reid decides the offense needs more oomph, the timeline for a QB change could get bumped up a year.
1. Deshaun Watson, Texans
Draft Pick: No. 12 Overall (No. 12, 1st Rd.)
The third quarterback selected in the 2017 NFL Draft landed in the best spot of first-rounders.
Watson gets to throw at DeAndre Hopkins, one of the game's top receivers who must be ready for a big year after Houston’s signal callers couldn’t get him the ball in 2016.
Lamar Miller’s presence in the backfield ensures a balanced offense.
Then there’s the high-impact defense led by sack master J.J. Watt.
In addition, Houston plays in the AFC South, which isn’t exactly loaded with juggernauts.
Maybe Tom Savage starts initially, but Watson will eventually take over and will do so with a relatively soft-landing spot.