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Draft Strategy

2020 Draft Tiers -- QB

By Kevin English 8:08am EDT 8/24/20

We pore over the rankings every spring before you ever see them. We argue loudly about whether Player B actually belongs just ahead of Player A rather than just behind him. And we nudge/bounce guys up and down the rankings as needed throughout the preseason.

But exact rankings can often matter less than tiers within a position.

You’ll never get every single guy you want in a draft. If you do, you’re either targeting the wrong players or playing in the wrong league.

Our Perfect Draft series can help show what you can expect to find at every turn throughout your draft, while also assisting with your general plan going in. Your MVP Board, of course, will also help to guide you even if things don’t go according to plan -- regardless of your scoring format.

But it can also help to devise tiers before you draft. Knowing how many similar players remain at a position will keep you from panicking when inevitable position runs show up -- or wavering when you expect such a run is on the horizon.

Over the next few days, we’ll divide every position into usable tiers, starting with QBs.

Patrick Mahomes

Lamar Jackson

Last year, Jackson paced all QBs by over 4 fantasy points per game. That, of course, came with historical rushing production.

2019 was a down year for Mahomes — at least compared to the standard he set in 2018. Back healthy and with a loaded supporting cast, he’s the guy we feel most confident in finishing as the overall QB1. We’re simply not investing a top-24 pick in either guy (outside of 2-QB and SuperFlex setups, of course).

Dak Prescott

While Mahomes and Jackson aren’t ripe values, Prescott is when he falls to Round 6.

He’s been a consistent fantasy producer since entering the league, never ranking below QB11. He brings rushing upside and will throw to one of the league’s best pass-catching corps.

Yes, please.

Kyler Murray

Russell Wilson

Deshaun Watson

Tom Brady

Check your MVP Board, and Brady will noticeably lag behind the others in ceiling projection. Look no further than a large discrepancy in his rushing projection. The future Hall of Famer does have the most fantasy friendly schedule, per our numbers

Murray’s clearly the wildcard here. Remember that the 2nd-year pro started only one college season. He’s a dynamic rusher with a deep group of weapons and a scheme that’ll spread out defenses. The problem, however, is that we prefer Dak Prescott at a nearly identical ADP.

Carson Wentz

Matt Ryan

Josh Allen

Drew Brees

Aaron Rodgers

Wentz is your top target here — and he’s typically been the best value of the bunch. Philly’s pass-catching corps looks night-and-day better than it did last season. Dallas Goedert’s thumb injury barely cost him any practice time. With DeSean Jackson healthy and Jalen Reagor in the mix, anything Alshon Jeffery (Lisfranc) provides will be a bonus.

Rodgers probably isn’t done as a top-tier passer, but the Packers have failed to surround him with talented bodies beyond Davante Adams. An injury to Adams could prove catastrophic for fantasy.

Jared Goff

Daniel Jones

Matthew Stafford

Joe Burrow

Baker Mayfield

Cam Newton

Ben Roethlisberger

Derek Carr

Ryan Tannehill

Jimmy Garoppolo

None of these guys are weekly starters, but that's fine. You can easily grab 2 guys from this range (or 1 here and 1 from the next tier) and play the matchups.

Joe Burrow, Baker Mayfield and Cam Newton each made our Stealing a Top-10 QB article. Burrow also made our Sleepers article.

Roethlisberger’s moved up our rankings following an encouraging training camp report.

Drew Lock

Kirk Cousins

Teddy Bridgewater

Gardner Minshew

Lock and Bridgewater stand out because of the talent surrounding them. Bridgewater brings extra promise — and mystery — with young offensive gurus calling the shots (HC Matt Rhule and OC Joe Brady). Minshew supplies the rushing upside to carry a high floor. Cousins can be sneaky in that area, too, but swapping out Stefon Diggs for Justin Jefferson is likely an immediate downgrade. Efficiency will again be critical for the 32-year-old.

Philip Rivers

Sam Darnold

Dwayne Haskins

Not much to get excited about here. Rivers moves outside of California for the first time since 2004 to play for a Colts squad that’s far from pass heavy. If T.Y. Hilton misses substantial time, a bounce-back season from the 38-year-old will be a long shot.

Darnold and Haskins bring streaming upside largely on their individual talent level. But a lack of weapons for both passers — especially Haskins — keeps expectations low.

Nick Foles

Tyrod Taylor

Ryan Fitzpatrick

It would be a surprise if all 3 of these guys stuck in starting roles all season. Chicago hasn’t even settled on a Week 1 starter. Barring injury, Taylor and Fitzpatrick are locks to be under center for the opener.

Current projections have Foles for 10 games, Taylor for 9 and Fitzpatrick for 8. They’re mostly DFS options in the right matchup.

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