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Early 2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings, Tiers & Notes

Early 2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings, Tiers & Notes

The easiest way to kick off any way-too-early 2024 fantasy football rankings is to take a look back at what happened the year before. What worked, what didn’t work – but most importantly, addressing the “WHY” behind the successes and failures and using that as a driving force to make smart draft decisions next season.

That’s how I’ll start the breakdown of the quarterbacks for early 2024 fantasy football rankings as we look ahead to the 2024 best ball season. Because with best ball, it’s never too early to start drafting.

Early 2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings, Tiers & Notes

Strategy

My 2024 quarterback draft strategy follows a pseudo-late-round QB approach. It’s the same as last season, which was why I was overexposed to Lamar Jackson and underweight on Patrick Mahomes in 2023.

I want an elite fantasy quarterback at the best price. That helps me capture a ton of upside while also limiting bust potential with my selections. And when it comes to identifying QBs with elite ceilings you can quantify it by aiming for QBs that have shown the capability of scoring 20-plus fantasy points per game.

As you’ll see in the rankings, the guys at the top are consistently averaging north of the 20-point average threshold. And they all have a ton of value added due to their abilities as rushers. Even in 2024, the mobile QBs reign supreme.

Other things to keep in mind, beware of TD regression. In 2022, five of the six highest-drafted QB busts were the passing TD leaders from the previous year. If you just copy-paste the TD passing leaders from 2022 – Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Joe Burrow, Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert – five of the eight were busts in 2023.

Also, new situations, coaches, receivers, etc., increase the chance that a player busts. The uncertainty is often viewed as untapped potential (which can be true), but the risk heightens substantially when it is already baked into an inflated ADP. Something I didn’t look enough into was the pairing between a team’s OC/HC and the QB. Is the pairing primed for sustained success? Or is the team just throwing something at the wall, hoping it sticks?

The other major theme with a lot of these QB busts is injuries. Whether it be to the quarterback or their supporting cast (pass-catchers and OL). Predicting injuries is easier said than done. But if you want to avoid drafting QB busts, it needs to be part of your drafting equation. 2023 was bad for QB injuries, but by the QBs nobody thought would be injured. The injury QBs to “fear” were Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson. They played the entire season. Matthew Stafford only missed one game. When it comes to injuries, I think we “think” more than we know. So instead of following the herd, be advantageous and embrace the injury discount for players coming off injuries. Note that this is different than players who get hurt during the preseason/training camp. A la, Joe Burrow.

2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings

2024 Fantasy Football Quarterback Tiers & Notes

S TIER

1. Josh Allen BUF

The Bills will most likely add more weapons around Allen. Gabe Davis is a free agent and Stefon Diggs is coming off his worst year to date in a long time. Allen’s TD equity (51 total TDs scored last season) remains unmatched.

2. Lamar Jackson BAL

Second in points per game (22.6) this season. Led all QBs in rushing yards. Hardly had an outlier season from a passinh TD% pass rate of 5.3%. Same as in 2022. The rushing gives Jackson an extremely high floor, and he just barely scratched the surface in his first year with Todd Monken. Zay Flowers will be entering Year 2 and Mark Andrews will be healthy next season.

3. Jalen Hurts PHI

Biggest question marks among the QBs in the S Tier. Will the rushing TDs come down? That’s the big question mark surrounding Hurts. Whether the “tush push” gets removed entirely, or defenses devise a better plan to stop this offseason. But no debate Hurts has the best offensive personnel among A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert and DeVonta Smith among my highest-ranked QBs.

4. Patrick Mahomes II KC

2023 is probably the worst we will see from him. His 2023 statistical output sticks out like a sore thumb compared to his previous seasons. First time in his NFL career that Mahomes finished outside the top-7 QBs. First time he has been below 20 points per game. Simply put, the Chiefs aren’t going to run back as weak an offensive WR unit in 2024. Mahomes will be firmly back in the QB1 overall discussion but at a fraction of the cost.

A TIER

5. Justin Fields CHI

Nearly 22 points per game from Week 4 onward. Similar upside to the elite, but question marks with a potential new team create some hesitance. Also, the passing is not nearly good enough compared to the S Tier QBs.

It’s the same old song and dance with Fields. He plays horribly for a few games but turns things on when he utilizes his rushing. He’s not the perfect QB for most franchises, but he needs to be ranked in a certain tier with his rushing that doesn’t project to go away. If and when he can take that passing game leap.

6. Anthony Richardson IND

Incomplete rookie season by Richardson. But he flashed the elite fantasy football ceiling at 22.4 points per game in 3 games played (only two played completely). The Colts QB offers immense rushing upside from a fantasy perspective. Another year in Shane Steichen’s system should do wonders for A-Rich. Will come at a discount based on the injury discourse and small sample size. And that’s why I am circling him early and ranking him aggressively ahead of 2024. Let others be overly concerned with injuries. If he hits, you are going to benefit in a big way.

7. Joe Burrow CIN

Just throw last year out the window. And buy the discount on the Bengals. 4th in points per game in 2022. Loved the Bengals going into 2023, and injuries destroyed this team offensively. And this coaching staff under Zac Taylor (even without Bill Callahan next year) showed that they could build around a QB, based on how well Jake Browning played in relief of Burrow. Browning was PFF’s fifth-highest QB when operating from a clean pocket. Also 6th in yards per attempt and first in completion percentage (70.4%). Burrow finished second in completions per game (24.4) and pass attempts (36.5).

8. C.J. Stroud HOU

Stroud led the NFL in passing yards per game and TD-to-interception ratio. 23 TD passes and just 5 interceptions as a rookie. But the rushing is not there. That’s not great. Weapons? Good, but not world-beating. Stroud concerns me because of his likely inflated price tag in 2024. Slightly concerning that despite his amazing accolades, he was still UNDER 19 points per game. Also, there’s a potential the team loses OC Bobby Slowik. Stroud is a stud no doubt. But success in the NFL (and in fantasy football) is not always a linear path, with lofty expectations firmly set.

9. Dak Prescott DAL

Is 2023 probably the best we will see from him? It’s possible. Although according to expected fantasy points, he still left A LOT on the table. 1st in expected points per game. 4th in points per game overall. Prescott was a QB I was vehemently “fading” last season, and I was flat-out wrong. But he’s done this act before. In 2021, Prescott averaged 21.1 points per game. 4,700 yards and 38 TDs. In 2022, Prescott was horrible and was barely a fantasy QB1. QB13 in points per game. But then he bounced back BIG in 2023: 21.3 points per game in 2023. 4,922 yards and 39 TDs. With his recent performance at the top of fantasy drafters’ minds, Prescott is going to be drafted much higher than I am willing to pay. Essentially, I look at Prescott’s 2023 as the perfect storm. The defense underwhelmed versus expectation and Prescott greatly benefitted from Tony Pollard‘s inability to score rushing TDs. Can be a fantasy QB1 again? Sure. But for him to be top again, I am very skeptical. Betting on Mike McCarthy doing the right thing is something that doesn’t work in my opinion in the long run.

10 Justin Herbert LAC

Two bad years in a row. Just a lot of question marks. Keenan Allen is another year older, Mike Williams is a logical cut candidate, Austin Ekeler is surely gone and Quentin Johnston a bust. But we still know Herbert is #goodatfootball. 20.5 expected points per game ranked 4th this past season. Back-to-back seasons where Herbert has underperformed versus expectation. Eventually, things are going to regress to the norm with Hebert as a fantasy star, assuming he and his key offensive pieces can FINALLY get healthy. Herbert eclipsed 22 fantasy points per game, through his first two seasons.

Who the team hires as head coach and OC will need to be considered when drafting/ranking Herbert in 2024. Jim Harbaugh anybody? Yes, please.

B TIER

11 Jordan Love GB

QB7 in points per game. First-year as a full-time starter and all he did was score fantasy points the entire season. 21 points per game from Week 10 onward. The young nucleus of Green Bay playmakers to grow with next season. Averaged MORE points per game than Brock Purdy, despite a stark difference in boost by those surrounding him. It’s early, but I already know I want to draft A LOT of Love next season if he’s in this backend fantasy QB1 range during the draft season. Second in passing TDs (32) in his first year as the starter.

12 Kyler Murray ARI

QB11 in points per game and 10th in expected points per game after returning from his torn ACL injury in 2023. 18.9 points per game (very close to Brock Purdy). Murray has been closer to his floor than his ceiling the last two seasons. He’s a candidate to jump back up into the top 5 conversation considering he has averaged 22 points per game from 2020-2021. Over 30 rushing yards per game last season. The Cardinals might be a sneaky team to take a major leap forward under Jonathan Gannon’s second season, especially if they equip Murray with more weapons through free agency and the NFL Draft.

13 Brock Purdy SF

Back-to-back season where Purdy has posted a passing TD rate at 7% or higher. Most fantasy points scored ABOVE expectation in 2023. Nearly an average of 5 points or more scored over expectation. Tossed nearly 10 more TDS over expectation. QB33 in expected points per game. But with all that factored in. Still under 20 points per game at 19.2 (QB8). If you don’t draft Purdy, I don’t think it will kill your fantasy team. Everything has to remain perfect around him for him to be a top-8 fantasy QB, let alone top-5.

14 Trevor Lawrence JAC

QB15 in points per game, 11th in expected points per game. Everybody expected Lawrence to take this massive step forward. But the Jaguars had bad injury luck. They missed the playoffs. But Lawrence still scored more points per game than the previous year. The entire Jaguars offense might be a case of “we were a year too early” with the Colts/Texans the newest darlings out of the AFC South. After being out on the QB8 overall from 2022 during the 2023 draft season, I am much more open to taking the discount on T-Law after he failed to fire in 2023. Anybody who watched the Jaguars knows this offense left so much production on the field.

15 Tua Tagovailoa MIA

QB19 in points per game (17.2) despite leading the NFL in passing yards. I warned those about Tagovailoa not offering elite upside due to his lack of rushing during 2023 fantasy draft season. And outside a strong start against bad defenses with spiked weeks of production, Tagovailoa killed fantasy teams when facing tougher matchups in the second half of the season. He’s one of the most matchup-based QBs in today’s fantasy landscape. From Week 10 onward he averaged 14 points per game. He needs everything to be perfect for him to be a fantasy QB1 and not even a top-5 guy at that. These Shanahan Scheme QBs can only be brought along so far.

16 Jared Goff DET

QB16 in points per game. But the question remains…does Ben Johnson return as OC? Also, the Lions benefited greatly from staying healthy for the majority of the season. Goff is fine. But there are enough concerns that he falls behind other veteran pocket passers next season.

17 Matthew Stafford LAR

QB20-QB17 range in terms of actual versus expected fantasy points per game in 2023. Stafford’s fantasy production never seemed to truly align with his actual real-life play. Posted career-high PFF passing grade in 2023. If he is drafted outside the top 15 QBs, he will be a strong value option as a late-round QB in both 1QB and Superflex formats.

18 Kirk Cousins MIN

He will be 36 years old and coming off a major injury next season. Cousins suffered the torn Achilles when his Minnesota Vikings were visiting the Green Bay Packers in Week 8. Led the NFL in TD passes (18) before his injury. QB6 overall and just under 20 points per game. Considering mobility was never part of Cousins’ game, he’s another strong late-round QB option that will inevitably sneak into the top-12 if healthy in 2024. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about his injuries, especially if he lands back in Minnesota.

C TIER

19 Deshaun Watson CLE

Woof. He’s just been so bad. However, 2023 was better than 2022. Nearly 18 points per game in his five full starts. He ran the ball effectively in all his starts. 28.4 rushing yards per game. Watson also went 5-1 as Cleveland’s starting quarterback. He’s not Joe Flacco. But this offense can be very fantasy-viable for a gun-slinging QB and his weapons between Amari Cooper and David Njoku.

As somebody who was “in” on Watson last season, I feel horrible backing him again for 2024. But as I have learned from my Courtland Sutton 2023 fade (after selling the farm for him in 2022) I can’t let my emotions or prior takes get in the way when the price doesn’t match a player’s upside. Simply put, Watson is going to be super cheap even after being discounted last season. And like it or not, there’s a pretty easy path for him to accrue a 20-points-per-game pace in 2024. Flacco averaged nearly 22 points per game.

20 Baker Mayfield TB

Regression. It’s scary. Do the Buccaneers lose OC Dave Canales who has rejuvenated QBs in back-to-back seasons? Is Mayfield just this year’s Geno Smith after last season? That’s the real concern with being overly aggressive on Mayfield, who has been anything but reliable in fantasy football throughout his NFL career.

21 Geno Smith SEA

He regressed after his first season as the starter. QB25 in points per game. QB24 in expected points per game. Lost his OC. Could not match his massive TD output from 2022. Threw 10 fewer 10 TDs. We shall see who Seattle brings in at HC/OC. Because we shouldn’t be too quick to completely write off Chef Geno. His 5 game-winning drives led all QBs last season. He also ranked top-10 in the fewest sack rate and interception rate. He’s a better QB than his fantasy points indicate from 2023.

22 Daniel Jones NYG

Jones never stood a chance. Brutal schedule to open the year, and injuries killed the offensive line for New York. That led to Jones getting hurt himself. Still, Danny Dimes spiked weeks – 31 points scored in Week 2 – and will always be present with the rushing he can offer. Likely a draft-day value outside the top-20 QBs after being a fringe fantasy QB1 in 2023 drafts. QB9 overall in 2022 in Brian Daboll’s first season as the Giants HC.

23 Derek Carr NO

Carr finished the season on a high note. Weeks 12-18, he averaged 17.5 points per game. Weeks 1-11, that number was 12.6. Did enough to keep the starting job in 2024.

D TIER

24 Bryce Young CAR

Nowhere to go but up. The rookie year was an utter disaster for Bryce Young, but this roster could receive a massive overhaul to help him on the offensive side of the ball. This needs to happen quickly after Young took 62 sacks last season.

25 Aaron Rodgers NYJ

Aaron Rodgers hasn’t passed for 300 yards since Week 14 of the 2021 season. Coming off the Achilles injury at 40 years old, A-Rod seems like a floor play at best in 2024. Labeled him as a bust last season and got bailed out because of his injury. The only case I can make for Rodgers is he will be dirt cheap. QB15 price tag last season. Have to imagine he is outside the top 20 in 2024.

26 Russell Wilson DEN

Three years we have gotten a bad Russell Wilson. QB16, 18 and 13. Hasn’t sniffed 18 points per game in any of the last 3 seasons. He would have to land in an extremely favorable spot to be anything more than a high-end fantasy QB2.

27 Will Levis TEN

Levis peaked vs the Atlanta Falcons in his first NFL start, and it fell apart from there. Brian Callahan is the new head coach, but Levis will struggle until the Titans completely overhaul their offensive line. Would imagine the Titans felt Callahan was a nice fit with Levis, given how a short-passing game can alleviate a bad OL. Jake Browning was PFF’s fifth-highest QB when operating from a clean pocket. Also 6th in yards per attempt and first in completion percentage (70.4%). Joe Burrow finished second in completions per game (24.4). Levis finished 43rd in completion rate last season (58.4%) among 45 qualifying QBs.

28 Kenny Pickett PIT

Will he even be the starter? Good grief. The former first-rounder has thrown 13 TDs in 25 games played in his NFL career. In one game he has thrown for 2 TD passes. And who has been brought in to save the day as the new OC? Arthur Smith. Woof.

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