Drew Brees(ADP QB7 / My Ranking QB5)
Brees is still an extremely accurate and high-upside fantasy quarterback with plenty of receiving weapons. Last season, we saw the Saints use the rushing game exceptionally successfully, but that has always been a tenet of Sean Payton's offense. The trouble for Brees' fantasy upside last year had to do with just how effective the rush was near the goal line, resulting in rushing touchdowns instead of passing. In the red zone last year, the Saints ran the ball 62 times, which resulted in 15 touchdowns. The only other team with more rushing touchdowns inside the red zone were the Patriots, who needed 93 rushing attempts to get 16 touchdowns. The Saints scored on 24 percent of their rushing attempts inside the red zone, and I don't see that happening again this year, which should help Brees get his touchdown numbers back to his historical norms.
Andrew Luck(ADP QB9/ My Ranking QB6)
Luck's ADP has everything to do with his injury and subsequently missed 2017. We know he's right and especially in fantasy, as he has the third-best fantasy season for quarterbacks since 2014. And even when his shoulder was hurting in 2016, he still put up top-five numbers. Now that he has shown that he is healthy, I don't see why he's not an easy pick.
Philip Rivers(ADP QB15 / My Ranking QB8)
In seasons in which Rivers' offensive line isn't constantly in the E.R., he puts up top-10 numbers without much trouble. Last season, Rivers was a bit inconsistent, yet still ended up as the No. 8 fantasy quarterback. Oddly enough, Rivers' numbers were hurt badly by two games against Kansas City, which didn't have the best pass defense last season, but intercepted him six times. If you take away those two games, Rivers is sitting right up there with the top quarterbacks. Thankfully, the Chiefs haven't improved their pass defense much, and Rivers should have better luck against them this season. The Chargers also get the Raiders' awful pass defense twice, while the Broncos are getting worse against the pass. The loss of Hunter Henry hurts, but he wasn't used well last year, and Rivers still had a strong season, and this year we should see Mike Williams become a more useful target. Overall, I see no reason Rivers doesn't keep his high floor going.
Ben Roethlisberger(ADP QB12 / My Ranking QB9)
Roethlisberger finished as the 10th-best fantasy quarterback last season, and during Weeks 10 through 16, he led all quarterbacks in fantasy points, yards and touchdowns. When he's on, he's one of the best fantasy quarterbacks in the league, but he's not always on, especially on the road. His splits weren't quite as stark last season, but they remain tough to reconcile with his insane home numbers. The good news is that those crazy home numbers are still there, and with the best receiver and a top-three receiving back, he's always going to have trouble completely flopping on the road. Add in rookie James Washington, a second-year Juju Smith-Schuster, and an offensive-minded Vance McDonald at tight end, and you have a recipe for a top-five fantasy season.
Alex Smith(ADP QB20 / My Ranking QB15)
I have never been an Alex Smith fan, but I do respect that he has been able to play above his head, or at least that's what I always called it. Last season, Smith was so good that I couldn't say that anymore. He put up great numbers and not in a fluky way. I also have never been a big of Kirk Cousins, but in Washington, he put up good and positive fantasy numbers. Now that Mr. Smith has gone to Washington, I don't' see much of a difference between him and Cousins, and if there is one, I think I'd take Smith over Cousins. But the main reason for optimism is volume, as Cousins averaged 563 attempts to Smith's 488 attempts over the last three seasons. That volume should keep Smith in the fantasy discussion no matter your take on his ability, and when you add in a relatively easy pass-defense schedule, I see him as a safe pick this year.
Blake Bortles(ADP QB29 / My Ranking QB18)
Bortles isn't a great quarterback by any stretch of the imagination, but he's in a situation that allows him to throw the ball in the best cases due to a strong running game and a great defense. Last season was his worst as a fantasy quarterback, and he finished 13th overall, while he's being drafted as the 29th fantasy quarterback this year. I understand we want top-five upside when grabbing our late quarterbacks, but if we factor in that he's been running more of late and that he's on a team set up to win games, he can have top-10 upside at a price that is ludicrous. I won't be drafting him as my No. 1 quarterback, but he makes a great backup this year and a target in 2QB leagues.