Quarterbacks score the most points, but it’s a gamble to select a quarterback early. The top three are no-brainers. Quarterbacks 4 through 18 aren’t guaranteed to finish in the top 10, so wait if you don’t land Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers.
1. Peyton Manning, Denver ($48): He won’t match last year’s ridiculous 55 TD passes, but at age 38 he tops the QB list.
2. Drew Brees, New Orleans ($44): The 35-year-old fantasy star isn’t slowing down. He threw for 5,162 yards and 39 TDs last year.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay ($40): Rodgers last year threw “only” 17 TD passes, but missed half the season with a broken collarbone.
4. Matthew Stafford, Detroit ($30): In the Lions’ offense, Stafford still hasn’t lived up to his potential. Threw 29 TD passes last year.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta ($28): A slight disappointment last season, Ryan can always be counted on to throw for 27 to 30 TD passes.
6. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis ($28): His value is he chips in four or five rushing TDs on top of his 23 passing TDs, which should improve.
7. Tony Romo, Dallas ($28): Because there’s no D in JerryWorld, Romo will be forced to win shootouts, which is fantasy gold.
8. Tom Brady, New England ($24): Lacking weapons, Brady, 37, slumped to 25 TD passes, but he averaged 34 TDs the previous four years.
9. Nick Foles, Philadelphia ($22): Throwing 27 TDs and only 2 Ints was the biggest surprise in fantasy football. Can Foles come close to that production?
10. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati ($20): It’s time to believe. Dalton has thrown 60 TD passes the past two years, including 33 last season.
11. Cam Newton, Carolina ($20): In what some labeled a down year Newton still produced 30 TDs (24 passing, 6 rushing).
12. Philip Rivers, San Diego ($20): Last year’s monster year (4,478 yards, 32 TDs) wasn’t a fluke. He’s thrown for 34 and 30 TDs two other seasons.
13. Russell Wilson, Seattle ($17): He doesn’t rack up the yards, but has thrown 26 TDs passes each of his first two seasons.
14. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco ($17): More than 500 rushing yards and 4 rushing TDs add value, but he still only scored 25 TDs combined.
15. Robert Griffin III, Washington ($14): Overhyped. Even two years ago, he accounted for only 27 TDs (20 passing, 7 rushing).
16. Jay Cutler, Chicago ($12): It wouldn’t be surprising to see Cutler surpass his career high of 27 TD passes.
17. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh ($10): Because the Steelers had a down year, some overlooked Big Ben, but he had a big year (4,261 yards, 28 TDs).
18. Sam Bradford, St. Louis ($6): Is this his breakout year? Bradford was sidelined by a knee injury but threw 14 TDs in only seven games.
19. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants ($4): He’s coming off a horrible season (18 TDs, 27 interceptions), but Eli threw for 26 and 29 TDs the previous two years.
20. Josh McCown, Tampa Bay ($3): Jay Cutler’s understudy in Chicago might shine in a starting role.
Others: 21. Joe Flacco, Baltimore; 22. Carson Palmer, Arizona; 23. Ryan Tannehill, Miami; 24. Alex Smith, Kansas City; 25. EJ Manual, Buffalo; 26. Johnny Manziel, Cleveland; 27. Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota; 28. Jake Locker, Tennessee; 29. Matt Schaub, Oakland; 30. Geno Smith, N.Y. Jets; 31. Chade Henne, Jacksonville; 32. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Houston.