Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks by Utter-Fantasy Writer Cambrick Broady
Three Food Tiers of NFL Quarterbacks: “Filet Mignon”, “Buffalo Wings” and “Just order a cheap Pizza”
Many fans, analysts, writers and regular people debate often about the 32 teams in the NFL being good or bad and the #1 selling point on your argument typically revolves around the quarterback. There are a few teams every year that can overcome with shaky quarterback play with their dominant running backs, wide receivers or defenses but eventually that will catch up to you….(unless you are the 2015 Denver Broncos!)
Hopefully you are at least “Buffalo Wings” if you’re starting for a team in the NFL. So why are there so many “cheap pizza” QBs you wonder? Well, GM’s have been trying to figure that one out since the league started, and if you know they answer, let every GM, fantasy football fanatic and delivery man know.. In the meantime- here’s my breakdown of the 32 teams quarterbacks currently sitting at the top of their depth chart, who are either “Filet Mignon, Buffalo Wings and Just order a cheap Pizza”, along with commentary and fantasy projections for the first two.
“Filet Mignon and Sipping your favorite Red Wine”
1. Tom Brady QB – New England Patriots; putting the golden boy shouldn’t get any back lash on any social media site or grumble in your random sports bar. If you’re a New England fan, the sound of his name is like someone just offered you a tall glass of water in the middle of the desert. If you’re a Jets, Dolphins or Bills fan his name probably strikes that nerve of someone’s kid in the store that just WON’T SHUT UP! There aren’t many players in the Kobe/Jordan/Russell category…you know those guys who’ve won 4 or more titles for the franchise that drafted them. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; yes, I know he’s suspended 4 games but when he comes back it’s business as usual.
2. Aaron Rodgers QB – Green Bay Packers; you know you’re good when your TD celebration becomes the entire storyline of an insurance commercial. Well, he’s as good as advertised and Packer fans will make sure you know it. He makes all WR’s better and with a stable running game, the Packers will compete every year with him at the helm. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; should be no argument here, he’s been a solid fantasy starter for years.
3. Ben Roethlisberger QB – Pittsburgh Steelers; I’m sure some Steelers fans cringed when they drafted him in 2004 out of Miami, Ohio. Ask that same fan now, how they feel now about his career 94% passer rating and 2 Super Bowl rings? They’ve always got championship written all over them and with a healthy running game, the usual Pittsburgh fan has ammo in any fan smack talk. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I think you should be taking him earlier than I saw in last year’s drafts as he will be throwing a lot to Antonio Brown and that says enough.
4. Drew Brees QB – New Orleans; has some of the best pocket presence you’ll see and does a great job reading defenses, one of those QBs where it doesn’t matter the receiver out there as long as they can catch. He gave the city of New Orleans a championship when they needed it most and has a guaranteed fantasy sleeper WR on his roster every year. Fantasy Projection: Round 4-5; I’m scared to say his numbers may drop this year considering he’s got a new target in Michael Thomas and Brees normally makes all receivers look good.
5. Russell Wilson QB – Seattle Seahawks; Every year in the playoffs, one Super Bowl under his belt, and he’s done this without a true #1 WR. (doesn’t hurt to have a stout defense behind you) Want to argue him being Filet Mignon? Well, his passing yards have increased each year, he hasn’t thrown more than 10 interceptions in any year and he is a dual threat. Case closed. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6;
6. Cam Newton QB – Carolina Panthers; 2015’s NFL MVP showed sustained improvement in his footwork and decision making. He led the Panthers to the Super Bowl without a legit #1 receiver…wow! The challenge now is consistency and keeping his demeanor in check, I like the guy personally and his new custom ride is pretty nice. He gets Kelvin Benjamin back this season as well. Fantasy Projection: Round 2-3; last year a guy won my league by picking up Newton as a FA. That won’t happen this year, take him in the top 5 if you want and I won’t blink an eye.
7. Matt Ryan QB – Atlanta Falcons; he’s been in the top 5 for NFL passing yards every year since 2012 (bet you didn’t know that). His first NFL pass was a TD and it was a dart that he read instantly. He’s got good footwork and has been putting up career numbers behind an under-performing offensive line for a few years. Signing C Alex Mack and WR Mohamed Sanu will give Ryan an edge going into this season. Fantasy Projection: Round 5-6; you may want to take him earlier than normal this year, he’s got intriguing new weapons.
8. Andrew Luck QB – Indianapolis Colts; I’m admire him honesty and he didn’t have the best season last year by any means. He actually looked as if he regressed (I know he was injured) which I know was scary for Colts fans. Don’t worry however, this talented QB will bounce back this year. His skillset of passing accuracy, strength and running ability will allow him to get back on track. You don’t write off Luck after one bad season. In my league he was drafted #1 overall because of his spectacular 2014 season ( #1 QB) ; and expectations were that he could take the Colts deep in the playoffs. Now one must be concerned because his division has seriously improved. Fantasy Projection: Round 3-4; he should come back on a vengeance and could be in line for comeback player of the year.
9. Tony Romo QB – Dallas Cowboys; You can blast me on twitter all you want for listing Romo as a QB that should have a spoon of herb flavored brown butter right over the top…but tell me that the NFC East teams aren’t scared to play the Cowboys this year with a healthy Romo and Elliott in the backfield. If you aren’t, you haven’t been paying attention to football. He has the accuracy, he also has the command you like and his OL is the best in football. He has to minimize the turnovers though. Fantasy Projection: Round 6-7; he’s got all kinds of weapons in this offense and will be serviceable but I understand if you want to proceed with caution due to his injury history.
10. Eli Manning QB – New York Giants; Listen, I don’t want to hear it at all. He’s a hot and cold type of QB but has won 2 Super Bowls and I’ll bet your favorite QB hasn’t won any. I’ll agree he’s the bottom Filet Mignon on my list. He makes great reads and if the Giants can get his guy a running game, the NFC East will have serious competition. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; I have to be realistic with his fantasy projection, even with a dynamic OBJ, he just hasn’t been as reliable in fantasy. I predict a comeback this year so take in round 6 with confidence.
“Buffalo Wings and a Sam Adams”
1. Carson Palmer QB – Arizona Cardinals. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; he’s a bargain pick this year
2. Blake Bortles QB – Jacksonville Jaguars. Fantasy Projection: Round 7-8; #3 QB in 2015…great new defense
3. Matthew Stafford QB – Detroit Lions Fantasy Projection: Round 8-9; worst rushing average per attempt in the NFL…and Megatron retired.
4. Joe Flacco QB – Baltimore Ravens. Fantasy Projection: 9-10 What weapons does he have? I’ll wait.
5. Kirk Cousins QB – Washington Redskins. Fantasy Projection: Round 9-10; no RB, forced to pass a lot
6. Andy Dalton QB – Cincinnati Bengals. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; proceed with caution
7. Phillip Rivers QB – San Diego Chargers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; who are his WR’s?
8. Derek Carr QB – Oakland Raiders. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; he will improve this year, but RB??
9. Jamies Winston QB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; needs more passing yards
10. Marcus Mariota QB – Tennessee Titans. Fantasy Projection: Round 10+; new RB’s will really help him
These quarterbacks are good and on any given Sunday, they can be “really good”. If any of these guys are your teams quarterback, you can go into the season with a great deal of optimism. • Many of you feel Carson Palmer is Filet Mignon and I will argue that all day otherwise,and show you the tape of him playing in Oakland. He’s good because he doesn’t lose the game for you, but Arizona was a top 3 defense and as long as you don’t turn the ball over; that’ll keep you in games. • Blake Bortles makes the list because he was the #3 QB in the NFL last year, his progression has been impressive and he has made Robinson and Hurns red hot receivers who none us knew about before last season. • Matthew Stafford has been a adequate fantasy football quarterback, but has he been an adequate NFL quarterback? • I know Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and is the only QB on this list to have done so, but I’m just not sold on him being more than good Buffalo Wings. Give Matt Ryan the defense that Flacco had that year with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed and the Falcons might be 2 Super Bowls deep by now. The best QBs overcome a bad OL, no WR’s, no RB’s and still have good productive and competitive seasons. • Kirk Cousins was the sole reason the Washington Redhot Sauces won their division. • The only QB that I see possibly getting bumped down next year is Andy Dalton; he’s shown flashes of being really good and shown flashes of being really bad. He did not play in the post-season last year which hurt their team and the NFL window shortens each season. • In 2013, Phillip Rivers QB was the #6 QB in the NFL, 2014 he was #9 and 2015 he was #10. I can see the downward trend continuing. • Derek Carr needs to be careful with his decision making, considering his division is full of strong defenses outside of San Diego. • Some may look at the list and say “Jamies Winston and Marcus Mariota….really?” But after this year, they will back off that statement as they pass the celery and bleu cheese. Marcus Mariota could find himself with a solid running game this year but his defense will need to hold up. Jamies Winston impressed me at times last season and he’s got a good WR and RB.
“Just order a cheap Pizza with a free Mountain Dew”
1. Alex Smith QB – Kansas City Chiefs.
2. Jay Cutler QB – Chicago Bears
3. Sam Bradford QB – Philadelphia Eagles
4. Colin Kaepernick QB – San Francisco 49ers
5. Mark Sanchez QB – Denver Broncos
6. Nick Foles QB – LA Rams
7. Brock Osweiler QB – Houston Texans
8. Ryan Tannehill QB – Miami Dolphins
9. Tyrod Taylor QB – Buffalo Bills
10. Teddy Bridgewater QB – Minnesota Vikings
11. Robert Griffin III QB – Cleveland Browns
12. Geno Smith/Ryan Fitz QB – New York Jets
I’ll get some flack about a few of these guys I’m sure. • Alex Smith has silenced plenty of doubters after the 49ers gave up on him for Kaepernick (and who knows, they may still be kicking themselves). • Jay Cutler hasn’t been good despite having decent weapons in Forte, Bennett and Jeffrey, who some see as a top 5 WR. Cutler might be the worst QB inside the red-zone in the NFL. • Sam Bradford has been robbing teams since being drafted, and he reminds me of NBA’s Grant Hill and what he did to many teams, always being hurt. • Colin Kaepernick misses wide open WR’s…I mean WIDE OPEN so enough said there. • Mark Sanchez, ha, I’m sorry but Denver should concede this season or they might think about starting Lynch sooner than later. • I was going to list Jared Goff as average and put a disclosure by it, but I don’t think that’s fair; I’ll give him time to toss a few pies first and Nick Foles is surely average to LA Rams fans. • Brock Osweiler hasn’t shown us much so far but he has the potential to move out of the Little Caesar’s section. • Ryan Tannehill is the QB that the analysts every year say is going to have “a breakout season” but just never does. • Tyrod Taylor really should be a back-up pizza cook; I saw a lot of good routes run by Sammy Watkins with no pass coming his way. Reminds me of how upset Michael Vick used to make his WR’s because they’d get open and wouldn’t have a chance to make a play. • Teddy Bridgewater plays in a “run-first” offense and only threw 14 touchdown passes last season. • Robert Griffin III doesn’t know how to slide and Geno Smith/ Fitz are here because where else are they going to be….and no argument about them being average I’m sure.
Cambrick Broady is Sports Scout, Fantasy Sports Analyst and a contributing writer for Utter-Fantasy.com. Please follow Cambrick on twitter @