These 2016 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2016 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2016 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots. Bye: 9. SEPT. 2 UPDATE: Tom Brady finished 16-of-26 for 166 yards, one touchdown and the pick in the preseason finale. The numbers aren't horrible until you factor in that more than half of Brady's snaps came against practice squad-caliber scrubs. If there's any sort of silver lining, it's that Brady was woeful last August as well and then went on to have a terrific season. I speculate that some sort of help was involved, but I have no proof of this. Still, Brady is now 39, so expecting him to repeat what he did in 2015 is being very optimistic.
JULY 16 UPDATE: Tom Brady has conceded his appeal process and has taken the four-game suspension. While Brady will miss the first quarter of the season, he's still a bottom-end QB1 in 12-team formats. If you pick him, just make sure you have a viable with an easy early schedule.
JULY 14 UPDATE: Tom Brady's appeal was denied by the U.S. Circuit of Appeals. He can now appeal to the Supreme Court, but it seems as though he will finally be suspended for deflating footballs. Brady almost certainly won't be around for the first four games, but you can sure as hell bet that he'll be in classic "Tom Brady FU Mode" when he returns to action.
Tom Brady has been suspended for four games. It sounds like he'll once again fight the penalty. This time, he may not be as successful upon his return. I'd be shocked if Brady, as a 39-year-old, continues to perform on the highest level in 2016, but he could still be a medium QB1.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills. Bye: 10. AUG. 21 UPDATE: Tyrod Taylor played extremely well in the second preseason game. One of his initial passes featured a spin move to get away from a potential sack, allowing him to hurl a 59-yard bomb to Charles Clay. Taylor continued to be impressive for the rest of the afternoon, finishing 7-of-10 for 132 yards and a touchdown. His numbers could've been much better as well; a second potential touchdown was fumbled at the 1-yard line by Jerome Felton, while a 32-yard reception by Reggie Bush was wiped out by replay review that allowed the official to see that Bush dropped the pass. Thus, Taylor could've gone 8-of-10 for 165 yards and two scores - despite missing Sammy Watkins! Taylor has a decent chance to finish as some sort of a QB1 this year.
Tyrod Taylor is a solid fantasy option because of his great running ability. He'd be an even better passer if the Bills could've found a solid No. 2 receiver across from Sammy Watkins. Alas, they did not. His durability is also a concern, so make sure your other quarterback is a "safer" option.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals. Bye: 9. AUG. 28 UPDATE: Carson Palmer finished 5-of-9 for 64 yards and two interceptions against the Texans. None of his throws were overly impressive, and most of his yardage came on a 40-yard toss to an open Darren Fells. Outside of that pass, Palmer was 4-of-8 for 24 yards and two picks. Palmer hasn't looked good this preseason, and I would stay away from him in fantasy drafts. Maybe I'm overreacting to meaningless games, but Palmer is 36 and has an extensive injury history. I'd rather be safe than sorry.
AUG. 20 UPDATE: Carson Palmer did not perform very well in the second preseason game. He was basically sacked on the first play - the officials should've called him in the grasp - and then he slightly underthrew a deep pass to Michael Floyd. It only got worse from there, as Palmer was pick-sixed on a lazy toss to Jaron Brown, as Brandon Flowers read Palmer's eyes perfectly. Palmer was then nearly pick-sixed again on a weak throw to Floyd toward the sideline. He finished 4-of-8 for 37 yards and the interception. He has struggled in the preseason thus far, as something doesn't look quite right with him. Perhaps his age - 37 in December - is the true culprit.
Carson Palmer had an MVP-caliber 2015 campaign, thanks to an outstanding receiving corps and great coaching. However, Palmer will turn 37 at some point during the 2016 season, and he has a lot of wear and tear on his body. He could post QB1 numbers again, but it's fair to be skeptical.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 10.
Matthew Stafford had a miserable start to his 2015 campaign, but he was fantastic down the stretch under new offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter. This would bode well for Stafford going forward, but Calvin Johnson's time in Detroit has come to an end. All the Lions could do to replace Megatron was sign the middling Marvin Jones. That's not too exciting.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders. Bye: 10.
Derek Carr's numbers showed improvement during his second season, thanks to Amari Cooper. However, a decline in offensive coaching hurt his mechanics, and that was prevalent when Cooper was hurt at the end of the year. Carr should be a low QB1/high QB2 heading into his third year.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Bye: 13. AUG. 21 UPDATE: Marcus Mariota played extremely well in the second preseason game. He completed all but one of his 10 passes, generating 104 yards and a touchdown. He also picked up 13 rushing yards on two scrambles. His sole misfire was an interception, however. It was a low throw, and Mariota didn't see Bene Benwikere in coverage. That was his only blemish though, and Mariota looked great against one of the NFL's best defenses. He converted numerous third-and-long opportunities, appearing to be light years ahead of where he was at this point last summer. Mariota could definitely finish as some sort of a QB1 at the end of this season.
Upgrading Marcus Mariota's protection was crucial for the Titans this offseason, which would explain why center Ben Jones was signed. Marcus Mariota got hurt on multiple occasions as a rookie, so Tennessee obviously needed to do something about this. If Mariota can stay healthy, he can be a borderline QB1, thanks to his rushing ability.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Dolphins. Bye: 8. JUNE 21 UPDATE: Ryan Tannehill has struggled with accuracy at OTAs, per Barry Jackson, Miami Herald. Turns out Peyton Manning may not have helped that much. This is hardly a surprise, as Tannehill has never developed as a quarterback. Adam Gase might still be able to get the most out of Tannehill, but it's beginning to look bleak.
Peyton Manning showed up to Miami's facilities to help coach Ryan Tannehill. Adam Gase is the connection with Manning. I don't know how much this will help Tannehill, but it certainly can't hurt. In a new offense coached by someone who helped Jay Cutler, Tannehill is worth looking into as a QB2 with some upside.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. Bye: 9.
Andy Dalton is coming off his best regular season yet, but he'll lose yet another offensive coordinator. Dalton should continue to be solid in meaningless games, though, as long as he can keep throwing to A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. Losing Marvin Jones will hurt if Green goes down, but maybe second-round rookie Tyler Boyd can step in and be effective.
Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons. Bye: 11.
Matt Ryan has been one of the most overrated players in the NFL over the past few years. Everyone has seemed to recognize this, however, so he could be underdrafted for the first time, especially in the wake of the Alex Mack signing. Rookie tight end Austin Hooper could help in the red zone.
Brock Osweiler, QB, Texans. Bye: 9. AUG. 28 UPDATE: While Carson Palmer struggled, Brock Osweiler lit up Arizona's secondary. Osweiler was firing accurate lasers for the most part, and when he wasn't, he was lofting precise touch passes downfield. Osweiler went 11-of-13 for 146 yards and a touchdown, and he was actually even better than those numbers indicate. One of Osweiler's incompletions was a perfect bomb to Will Fuller, who dropped the ball despite it hitting him right in his hands. Had Fuller caught it, he would've scored an 84-yard touchdown, bringing Osweiler's numbers to 12-of-13 for 230 yards and two touchdowns - all in less than one half of action! Osweiler is not being drafted in most fantasy leagues, but I'd rather have him than some other signal-callers being selected in the late rounds.
Brock Osweiler was one of the big winners of the draft, as the Texans acquired plenty of talent - Will Fuller, Braxton Miller, Nick Martin - to help him transition into the new offense. However, his fantasy outlook isn't as great; Houston's excellent defense will make it so Osweiler doesn't have to throw all that much. He won't be compiling garbage-time numbers very often.