Missing out on an entire section of talented players can leave you scrambling to fill the void, so utilizing a tiers system is the most efficient way of drafting. In the first installment of our 2020 fantasy football tier rankings, we’ll take a look at which QBs to target in your upcoming fantasy football drafts.
We would all love to live in a perfect world where we take our top-ranked player at every selection, but that’s just not realistic when building a formidable fantasy football squad. Each position has a different point where there’s a considerable drop-off in talent and opportunity. Understanding which round that drop-off comes depends on scoring settings and the flow of each individual draft, so always remain fluid as your draft shifts from one position run to the next. For now, let’s take a look at my QB tiers for 2020 fantasy football.
Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are Tier One QBs for fantasy football in 2020
Tier One: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes
The quarterback position might be the deepest it’s been in recent years, but the two most recent NFL MVP’s are in a class of their own in Tier One of my 2020 fantasy football QB rankings. Jackson and Mahomes both offer unimaginable upside at the quarterback position, making them the rare quarterbacks worth considering in the early rounds of fantasy drafts.
Both Jackson and Mahomes are even more enticing if you’re in the position to stack them with their top pass-catchers in Baltimore (Mark Andrews, Marquise Brown) and Kansas City (Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman), respectively. It cannot be stressed enough what an advantage it is to stack your elite starting quarterback with the talented receiving threats around them.
Four QBs make up Tier Two, although preference may vary among fantasy players
Tier Two: Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray
Tier Two of my quarterback rankings features a group of talented dual-threat passers with the potential to finish as the highest-scoring quarterback in fantasy football. While unseating Jackson and Mahomes from Tier One will be a tough task, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Kyler Murray, have the most upside and potential to get there if things fall just right.
Leading an offense featuring Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb, and Blake Jarwin, Prescott has the most significant opportunity to jump up to Tier One heading into next season. Dallas led the NFL in the majority of passing statistics a season ago and will now replace Randall Cobb and Jason Witten with 2020 first-round pick Lamb and breakout-candidate Jarwin.
Every other player in this tier has the same potential as Prescott to reach the top, albeit with more question marks. Wilson is a bonafide stud, but head coach Pete Carroll’s reluctance to air-it-out all four quarters holds him back a notch. Meanwhile, Watson will have to deal with life post-DeAndre Hopkins, and Arizona was at it’s best in 2019 when pounding the rock with Kenyan Drake. Concern over potential passing volume is my biggest concern for both Murray and Hopkins this season in fantasy football, but their upside is huge if the Cardinals are forced to pass the ball more in 2020.
Consistency puts Josh Allen, Carson Wentz, and Matt Ryan in fantasy’s Tier Three
Tier Three: Josh Allen, Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan
Allen’s game offers enough upside to be considered in Tier Two, but his run-first offense, plus inefficiency as a passer, drops him down a level. Adding one of the leagues’ top route-runners and vertical threats in Stefon Diggs is a smart investment around one of the NFL’s worst deep passers, but Allen’s rushing upside could take a small hit with Zack Moss taking over for the ageless Frank Gore.
Wentz is a high-upside value pick with enormous injury risk, while Ryan is a safe, low-upside quarterback that you can count on to score 15-20 fantasy points every week.
10 QBs are viewed as Tier Four players
Tier Four: Daniel Jones, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, Jimmy Garoppolo, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Burrow, Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff
With his combination of rushing upside and high-ceiling shown in his rookie season, Daniel Jones is probably my favorite late-round quarterback pick in 2020 drafts. Jones was inconsistent in 2019, but he showed his league-winning upside with over 28 fantasy points on four separate occasions.
The New York Giants do begin the season with a brutal five-game stretch (Pittsburgh Steelers, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys) before their schedule softens up, so I prefer to pair Jones with another late-round quarterback.
Jimmy Garoppolo is my ideal match with the 49ers opening the season against the Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, and Miami Dolphins. The schedules for the Giants and 49ers match up perfectly with each other, pushing Garoppolo up my board on most occasions.
The other players in this tier are solid QB2s or streaming options throughout the year. Still, the majority are either old (Tom Brady, Drew Brees), coming off an injury (Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton), or 2019 fantasy football busts (Baker Mayfield, Jared Goff).
Then there’s the ultimate wild-card risk of taking number one overall pick Joe Burrow in a shortened offseason. The Cincinnati Bengals are an underrated offense in real-life and fantasy, so I’m not shying away from taking Burrow as my upside QB2.
Gardner Minshew and Ryan Tannehill are late-round values at the end of fantasy drafts
Tier Five: Gardner Minshew, Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Drew Lock
Tier Five quarterbacks are locked in as QB2 type’s with the potential to be waiver-wire adds later in the season. Minshew is an intriguing late-round flier with better rushing upside than casuals realize, while Tannehill and Bridgewater project as starters on offenses expected to rely on the run-game. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers defenses also project to be two of the worst in the NFL, which has been known to prop up passing attacks on below-average offenses.
Jordan Woodson is a fantasy analyst for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @Jordan_Woodson.