These 2017 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 2017 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2017 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Bye: 9. AUG. 14 UPDATE: It's natural to expect Philip Rivers to shine in the preseason, even against Seattle's defense, but the primary take-away is that Rivers had plenty of time in the pocket in the exhibition opener despite Forrest Lamp being out for the year. Rivers had a clean pocket on most plays, and the one time that wasn't the case was by design on a screen. Rivers led the Chargers down the field, throwing a touchdown to Antonio Gates. He went 5-of-6 for 56 yards and a touchdown. Rivers provides a ton of value at his 10.03 ADP.
Philip Rivers has gotten off to hot starts the past couple of seasons, but has regressed when his team has been banged up. He lost Keenan Allen, Danny Woodhead, and then some offensive linemen as the season progressed before ultimately seeing Melvin Gordon get knocked out. Rivers will post QB1 numbers as long as his teammates stay on the field. It's just so difficult to trust the Chargers, however.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers. Bye: 9.
Ben Roethlisberger has missed six games the past two years, and at 35, he can't be counted on to stay healthy going forward. However, he'll post fantasy QB1 numbers as long as he's healthy. He's still a terrific passer, and he has an outstanding supporting cast, especially with Martavis Bryant returning from suspension.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions. Bye: 7. JUNE 12 UPDATE: I discussed how Taylor Decker's injury will affect the Lions in the Disaster Grades, but haven't mentioned him when it comes to fantasy football. Decker's absence will obviously adversely affect the numbers of Matthew Stafford and his supporting cast. Stafford struggled at the end of 2016 when he lost Travis Swanson, and Decker is just about as important as Swanson is to the offense. Granted, Stafford also hurt his finger, which affected his play a bit, but there's no doubt that Swanson's injury played a factor. Decker's absence could have similar consequences.
Matthew Stafford didn't post great fantasy numbers, but he had a great real-life season in 2016. He threw for 4,300 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns. Stafford's numbers will improve in 2016 if he can have Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick healthy all year, and it's possible that he could be a bottom-end QB1. The Lions did a good job of bolstering Stafford's offensive line this offseason, which will definitely help.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Bye: 8. AUG. 20 UPDATE: Marcus Mariota finished his second preseason game 6-of-8 for 61 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 9-yard scramble. He did this on just two drives versus Carolina's fearsome defense. One of his incompletions was thrown away. Mariota, thanks to his terrific blocking and rushing ability, could end up being a fantasy QB1 this season.
Marcus Mariota made great strides in his second season, throwing for 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in his sophomore campaign. He also rushed for 349 yards and two scores. Mariota will continue to improve his game, and he projects as a potential low-end QB1, especially with the addition of Corey Davis.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins. Bye: 5. AUG. 28 UPDATE; Washington's offense has struggled this preseason. The pass protection hasn't held up, while Kirk Cousins hasn't looked quite right without his top two receivers from a year ago. The struggles continued in the dress rehearsal, as Cousins finished 10-of-19 for 109 yards and an interception in two-and-a-half quarters of action. Cousins has been very overrated in fantasy mock drafts this summer, as his ADP has been way too high.
AUG. 20 UPDATE; Kirk Cousins had a misleading stat line against the Packers. He went 14-of-23 for 144 yards and a touchdown. However, a bulk of his yardage, as well as his touchdown, came against the backups. Cousins struggled versus the Green Bay first-stringers. He had Vernon Davis for a potential touchdown, but underthrew him, allowing a defender to break up the pass. He then overshot Terrelle Pryor on a third down. Cousins was nearly pick-sixed after that by two players on a toss to Jamison Crowder. He later failed to hit an open Crowder, sailing the ball over his head. Cousins made some nice throws as well, but he was way too inconsistent, and he remains an overrated fantasy option.
Kirk Cousins has extreme highs and lows, but at the end of the day, he threw for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2016. It's reasonable to expect him to regress because Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson both departed, so Josh Doctson's development will be a big factor in how Cousins performs this upcoming year.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts. Bye: 11. SEPT. 5 UPDATE: One more update on Andrew Luck: It's official now that Luck will be sidelined Week 1. The fact that the Colts ruled him out so early in the week suggests that he won't be available Week 2 either. I would stay away from all Colt players unless they fall far in your draft.
AUG. 29 UPDATE: It'll take a "miraculous turn of events" for Andrew Luck to play Week 1, according to Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star. The Rams have opened as three-point favorites in numerous sportsbooks, so even the oddsmakers believe Luck won't play. It sounds like Luck will be out for a few weeks, and he may not be 100 percent even when he returns.
AUG. 25 UPDATE: The odds are against Andrew Luck playing in Week 1, according to Mike Wells, ESPN Colts. It's sounding like Luck will miss a few games.
AUG. 10 UPDATE: Colts GM Chris Ballard said it remains to be seen if Andrew Luck will be ready for Week 1. This is newsworthy, as Ballard was more optimistic in a July 23 interview. Now, he's reluctant to confirm Luck's availability for the opener, though he did say the reserve/PUP list wasn't an option. Luck's status is still up in the air, but the smart money would be on him missing at least a couple of games.
AUG. 8 UPDATE: There's a chance Andrew Luck won't be ready for the season opener, according to Adam Schefter, ESPN. Schefter expressed concern over Luck's injury, and it's not a given that he'll be playing against the Rams.
AUG. 1 UPDATE: Jason La Canfora said he has heard rumblings about Luck beginning the year on the reserve/PUP list because of his shoulder issues. That would mean he would miss six games. Meanwhile, general manager Chris Ballard told the media that Luck will be activated from the active/PUP list prior to Week 1. This could be wishful thinking on Ballard's part, however, and even if Luck is activated, there's no guarantee that he'll play early on. And even if he does, he may not be 100 percent. This is obviously bad news for Luck's outlook, and he should be avoided unless he falls numerous rounds. His supporting cast should be avoided as well.
JULY 30 UPDATE: Andrew Luck wouldn't commit to playing in Week 1. When asked about it, Luck said, "It's hard for me to look beyond, really, today's rehab session." Luck is a risky fantasy pick because the status of his shoulder is unclear, and even if he returns, he may not be 100 percent. T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Jack Doyle all have troubling outlooks as well.
JULY 24 UPDATE: "Chris Ballard's presser is over. My takeaway: Luck will play in the opener but you won't see him in the preseason." - Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star. Owning Luck in leagues this year is going to be risky. Even if he returns from shoulder surgery to play in the opener against the Rams, he may not be 100 percent.
JUNE 14 UPDATE: Andrew Luck wasn't committal when asked if he would be ready for the start of training camp. Luck is coming off shoulder surgery and has lost some weight this offseason. He'll probably ready for Week 1, but this is slightly concerning, as Luck may not be 100 percent to start the year.
Andrew Luck had a disastrous 2015 campaign, but it was revealed that he was dealing with torn cartilage on two of his ribs during the season. He bounced back in 2016 to throw for 4,240 yards and 31 touchdowns in 15 games. With improved play from the offensive line, Luck should be even better this upcoming year. He'll remain one of the top fantasy quarterbacks.
Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals. Bye: 8. AUG. 13 UPDATE: I was not a huge fan of Carson Palmer last year. I wrote during the preseason that I thought he looked done. I downgraded him and his receivers as a result. News broke this summer that the Cardinals knew that Palmer had a dead arm, so they gave him more rest this offseason. Their decision to do so has paid dividends because Palmer looks like his old self again. Palmer played just one drive in his preseason debut, but he made it count. The numbers may not look great - he went 4-of-8 for 39 yards and a touchdown - but he took some good shots downfield. He overthrew Jaron Brown for a deep touchdown, but made up for it with a powerful strike to Brittan Golden for a score.
Carson Palmer looked horrendous last summer during the preseason, so I dropped him to 13th in my rankings. Palmer had some strong performances, but struggled overall. He did play better down the stretch, and it was revealed that he was dealing with some sort of injury, but Palmer is now 37. It's likely that we won't ever get to see the 2015 version of him again. He'll remain a QB2/streamer option this upcoming season.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals. Bye: 6.
Andy Dalton saw his touchdown total drop from 25 to 18 last year, but he was missing either Tyler Eifert or A.J. Green in almost every game. Assuming that both can stay healthy in 2016, Dalton could bounce back to 2015 form, when he threw those 25 scores in only 13 games. John Ross will also help. Dalton would present buy-low value, but his offensive line is now a big concern with Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler gone.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills. Bye: 6.
Tyrod Taylor is a solid quarterback, so it's unclear why the meddlesome Terry Pegula tried to run him out of town. Taylor returned to Buffalo after all, and he'll remain a solid QB2 because of his rushing ability. He gained 580 yards and six touchdowns on the ground this past season. Having Zay Jones at his disposal will help, too.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants. Bye: 8.
Eli Manning has regressed, and general manager Jerry Reese has begun telling the media that he's thinking about who is next quarterback will be. Manning's 2016 struggles weren't all his fault, as his offensive line was atrocious (and still is), but at 36, Manning's skill set is declining. Still, despite his issues, Manning threw for 4,027 yards and 26 touchdowns last year, so he's still not a terrible bye-week option.