Fantasy Football

2024 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tiered look at the quarterback draft landscape

2024 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tiered look at the quarterback draft landscape

We’re working our way through the Shuffle Up series for the new fantasy football draft season. The dollar values you'll see below are unscientific in nature but reflect how I see the clusters of talent at the quarterback position. Use these tiers however you like.

We opened the series last week with the tight end tiers. Soon to come will be the running backs and wide receivers.

Have some disagreements? Good, that’s why we have a game. I welcome your reasoned disagreement over at X: @scott_pianowski.

In the NFL, the quarterback is the glamour position and the stress position. Everything is about finding a quarterback, keeping a quarterback, developing a quarterback. And if you don't have one, you can't sleep at night.

The feeling is much different in standard fantasy leagues, where quarterback is the least-stressful of the four field positions. The NFL has good quarterback depth at the moment, and it means you can do well at your draft at any jumping-off point. It also means I'm probably going to be patient with the position, eschewing the first tier and maybe even the top of the second, hoping to find someone in the second half of the Top 10 who can crash the Top 5. I'm also looking to add an upside pick later, someone who doesn't qualify as an auto-start today but might be there after a few weeks of the season.

Don't sweat if you miss the first quarterback bus. There's another one coming in five minutes.

Allen is at the top of the list because someone has to be there, but I doubt I'll be drafting him much, if at all. The Bills offense wasn't as pass-happy after Joe Brady took over the offense in the second half of 2023, and the Buffalo receiving room is full of question marks. I'm also not going to pay the freight for the 15 rushing touchdowns Allen piled up last season; it's the only time he's made it to double-digits in that critical category.

Allen's rushing yardage did take a modest dip last year, and I suspect Allen's rushing stats could slowly start to decrease as Buffalo looks for ways to keep its franchise player healthy for the long haul. Some of Allen's career comps include Cam Newton, Daunte Culpepper and Andrew Luck, aggressive quarterbacks who took plenty of physical punishment. The Bills don't want Allen's back-nine career trajectory to resemble that group.

For the first couple of months in Philadelphia last fall, the theme song was "Hurts So Good." That downshifted to "Everybody Hurts" for the final third of the season, when the team's quarterback was obviously playing through physical ailments and struggling. The season mercifully ended quickly in the playoffs, a drubbing at the hands of an ordinary Tampa Bay team.

Hurts' fantasy production has been buoyed by the Tush Push, all those short-yardage touchdowns. Are the Eagles going to keep featuring that prominently for 2024? Star center Jason Kelce has retired, and the backfield has been fortified with the Saquon Barkley acquisition. Hurts was nothing special as a passer last year, with a QB rating right at league average.

Jackson's career has been a whirlwind to this point, six seasons in. He has as many MVP Awards (two) as he does playoff wins (two, against four losses). Jackson probably won't fully shake his most determined critics until he delivers at least a Super Bowl trip for Baltimore.

Jackson's fantasy production comes in an unusual package. His season high for pass attempts came last season, a modest 457. And although he's among the most electrifying runners in the game, the Ravens don't steer a lot of short-yardage touchdowns to Jackson — he's had just 5, 3 and 2 the last three years. Gus Edwards was the designated scorer from in close last season, and now the Ravens have a better version of Edwards — future Hall of Fame Derrick Henry. Jackson's highlights leave you breathless, but he could easily be a fantasy disappointment against his 2024 draft cost.

Mahomes is oddly the most boring of the four top quarterbacks from a fantasy standpoint. He doesn't offer the rushing juice of the other three, though Mahomes isn't a zero in that category either. And Mahomes is coming off a QB8 finish, his worst charting since becoming a starter back in 2018.

But maybe Mahomes can push back to the top of this list for 2024. He's still working with Andy Reid, perhaps the best play designer in the league. Travis Kelce is on the final laps of a great career, but he showed his dominant kick in the playoffs. Rashee Rice is a question mark with off-the-field issues pending, but he was a productive player last season. And Hollywood Brown and Xavier Worthy add dynamic speed to the outside. If Mahomes slips even a little bit in my drafts, I could easily make an in-progress audible.

  • $19 C.J. Stroud

  • $18 Anthony Richardson

  • $18 Joe Burrow

  • $17 Dak Prescott

  • $17 Jordan Love

Some will look at Love critically because his touchdown rate was so high last year — those things often regress to the mean in subsequent seasons. But given that Love is still a fairly new starter and he's tied to head coach Matt LaFleur and a talented Green Bay receiver room, I view him as a target player. LaFleur's offensive résumé has to be respected.

The problem with drafting Richardson is you have to elbow half the room out of the way — that's what happens when a buzzy young player starts dunking basketballs on social media. To be fair, I see the case for Richardson hype; he's a fabulous runner and he's being coached up and schemed up by well-regarded offensive designer Shane Steichen. But I tend to be allergic to buzz during draft season, more likely to take what the room gives me rather than plant exuberant flags at the top of the draft.

It's just a matter of health with Burrow, because he's capable of winning an MVP in a fully healthy season. He's also tied to an alpha-receiver in Ja'Marr Chase, someone who is capable of a 20-touchdown season. The Bengals also have ordinary talent in the backfield, which means the touchdown split could skew toward the passing game. Here's hoping the injury gods give Burrow a pass for once.

  • $16 Kyler Murray

  • $16 Brock Purdy

  • $15 Jayden Daniels

  • $14 Tua Tagovailoa

  • $14 Jared Goff

  • $13 Caleb Williams

  • $12 Trevor Lawrence

  • $11 Kirk Cousins

  • $11 Matthew Stafford

  • $10 Justin Herbert

  • $10 Aaron Rodgers

Cousins has no rushing juice to speak of, but his pocket style has usually kept him healthy (2023 the obvious exception) and Atlanta's offense has three dynamic skill players for Cousins to riff with. A paper-thin Atlanta schedule is also part of the pro case, and the Falcons will also play most of their games indoors.

The Lions offense kept the band together — that includes retaining OC Ben Johnson — so Goff is more than capable of being a reliable QB2 for fantasy. But we'd like to see better road-game production from Goff; last season he had 19 touchdown passes and a juicy 107.9 rating at home, but that sagged to 11 touchdown passes and an 89.4 rating on the road.

The Daniels Heisman season included 1,134 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, and Washington's cupboard isn't bare at the receiver position, where Terry McLaurin skippers a decent ship. Kliff Kingsbury might be one of those coaches who is frustrating as a head coach but actually successful when coordinator-only.

  • $8 Deshaun Watson

  • $8 Baker Mayfield

  • $7 Geno Smith

  • $6 Will Levis

  • $6 Derek Carr

  • $5 Daniel Jones

  • $4 Bryce Young

  • $3 Russell Wilson

  • $3 Bo Nix

  • $2 J.J. McCarthy

  • $2 Gardner Minshew

  • $2 Sam Darnold

  • $1 Drake Maye

  • $1 Justin Fields

  • $1 Jacoby Brissett

  • $1 Aidan O'Connell

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