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Fueled by insider information and analysis, we present The MMQB fantasy football rankings

By ggramling
August 27, 2014

Writers Peter King, Greg Bedard, Robert Klemko, Jenny Vrentas and Dan Greene, and analyst Andy Benoit, are spending the summer visiting training camps for all 32 teams. Be sure to check out our running back, wide receiver, and tight end rankings, as well as Peter King’s weekly Fantasy Check video reports. Note: These rankings will update throughout the preseason as we report on more teams.

1. Peyton Manning, Broncos

“If Peyton Manning’s on the board when you pick in the first round, take him. He’s going to have another intergalactic year.” —Peter King, Broncos Training Camp Report

2. Aaron Rodgers, Packers

“After breaking his clavicle last season, Aaron Rodgers is throwing with velocity once again, as exhibited by one 25-yard bullet to a falling Randall Cobb for a touchdown during drills on Monday. He’s also armed with a special running back who can catch the ball, something Green Bay hasn’t enjoyed since Brett Favre had Ahman Green.” —Robert Klemko, Packers Training Camp Report

3. Drew Brees, Saints

4. Matthew Stafford, Lions

“With Caldwell’s and Lombardi’s system, the Lions are betting Stafford matures into an elite quarterback. The physical tools are there; in addition to a hose, Stafford has good pocket toughness and an ability to throw strikes from various platforms.” —Andy Benoit, Lions Deep Dive Preview

The Colts might finally open things up for Andrew Luck. (Andrew Hancock for Sports Illustrated) The Colts might finally open things up for Andrew Luck. (Andrew Hancock for Sports Illustrated)

5. Andrew Luck, Colts

“Don’t take him over any of the big three—Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees—but Luck could be the best quarterback in the next tier. With so much to work with at receiver and tight end, the Colts may open up the passing game a bit more.” —Dan Greene, Colts Training Camp Report

6. Tom Brady, Patriots

7. Cam Newton, Panthers

“I think Cam Newton is going to build on his success of 2013. He’s going to have enough weapons to have an effective 4,000-yard passing season.” —Peter King, 5 Things I Think I Think about the Panthers

8. Nick Foles, Eagles

9. Jay Cutler, Bears

“On all four plays, Cutler had to work deep into his progressions. He hung in the pocket and consistently squared his feet upon releasing. Those have been significant areas of emphasis since Marc Trestman arrived.” —Andy Benoit, Bears Training Camp Report 

10. Philip Rivers, Chargers

“Stick a high value on Rivers. He’ll be even better in Year 2 under coach Mike McCoy. He continues to improve when it comes to helping receivers create yards after the catch.” —Robert Klemko, Chargers Training Camp Report

11. Matt Ryan, Falcons

12. Tony Romo, Cowboys

13. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

“Ben Roethlisberger likes to be in command of his surroundings, particularly now that he’s in his 11th training camp. That’s why the team’s apparent commitment to make the no-huddle offense more of a regular thing, after having success with it in the second half of last season, has the quarterback so excited.” —Jenny Vrentas, Steelers Training Camp Report

14. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers

15. Russell Wilson, Seahawks

16. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins

17. Carson Palmer, Cardinals

“Carson Palmer is a great backup quarterback, and I would be surprised if he didn’t play well enough to be a top-12 quarterback in fantasy this year. He was 7-2 down the stretch, with two 400-yard passing games. And his weaponry is better.” —Peter King, Cardinals Training Camp Report

18. Robert Griffin III, Washington

“His footwork is still being worked on, with Jay Gruden and the offensive staff.. This is something that’s going to be a work-in-progress.” —Greg Bedard, 5 Things I Think I Think about Washington

Josh McCown has a chance to put up some numbers in Tampa. (John Raoux/AP) Josh McCown has a chance to put up some numbers in Tampa. (John Raoux/AP)

19. Josh McCown, Buccaneers

“A lot of people laughed when they gave the big contract and the job to Josh McCown… It was one practice, but Josh McCown looked tremendous.” —Peter King, 5 Things I Think I Think About the Bucs

20. Eli Manning, Giants

“I would love to be bullish on Eli Manning. I spoke with him here, and he’s a very happy man about this new offense. But taking him as your starter is a leap of faith; the Giants are still going to run a lot, and Manning will be playing in a new scheme for the first time in 11 seasons. Draft in the middle rounds at your own risk.” —Peter King, Giants Training Camp Report

21. Joe Flacco, Ravens

22. Andy Dalton, Bengals

“Five years ago, the Bengals ran on half of their snaps (505 of 1,011), a number Marvin Lewis likes. In Dalton’s three years (30 wins, 18 losses), Cincinnati has not run as much as 45 percent in any of the seasons… The Bengals have to shorten the game, particularly with an able offensive line lead by stalwart tackle Andrew Whitworth and rising guard Kevin Zeitler. The way to do that is to get closer to 50-percent runs, which is what the offensive staff is aiming to do.” —Peter King, On Further Review mailbag

23. Alex Smith, Chiefs

24. Jake Locker, Titans

25. Shaun Hill, Rams

26. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Texans

“Fitzpatrick tends to go through periods of sinking and swimming. For a ‘caretaker,’ he has an unusually aggressive style. He’ll extend plays and make the sensational third-down completion. He’ll also take unwarranted risks and lead an offense off the field. The problem is, not having great physical tools but still having a willingness to try to fit balls through tight windows (including on improvisation), Fitzpatrick’s risks promise to outnumber his rewards.” —Andy Benoit, Texans Deep Dive Preview

27. Geno Smith, Jets

28. Matt Cassel, Vikings

“Norv Turner, has expressed optimism about Cassel, even saying that he wanted him in Cleveland last year. Cassel has the pocket-passing wherewithal to succeed in Turner’s system because he’s willing to take shots at the deep-intermediate levels. What Cassel doesn’t have, though, is a particularly strong arm, or an innate ability to make throws with bodies around him.” —Andy Benoit, Vikings Deep Dive Preview

29. E.J. Manuel, Bills

30. Chad Henne, Jaguars

31. Brian Hoyer, Browns

32. Matt Schaub, Raiders

33. Johnny Manziel, Browns

“I really liked the way the ball came out of his hand. I did not expect that.” —Andy Benoit, Manziel's Debut: The Good and the Bad

34. Mark Sanchez, Eagles

“One of the best emergency fantasy quarterbacks this season could be, yup, former Jets whipping boy Mark Sanchez. He’s clearly ahead of Matt Barkley and looks more comfortable in Kelly’s scheme, which takes a lot of the mental work out of the passing game for quarterbacks. Sanchez’s arm, after labrum surgery, was about 90 percent in offseason practices, but his ball had considerable heat at the start of camp. If Foles goes down, because of how prolific this scheme is, fantasy owners shouldn’t hesitate to pick Sanchez up.” —Greg Bedard, Eagles Training Camp Report

35. Derek Carr, Raiders

36. Michael Vick, Jets

With his ability to throw on the move, it might only be a matter of time before Bridgewater is the starter in Minnesota. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP) With his ability to throw on the move, it might only be a matter of time before Bridgewater is the starter in Minnesota. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP)

37. Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings

“Teddy Bridgewater repeatedly rolling to his left and crisply hitting his receivers in stride, then later dropping straight back to connect with Jarius Wright and Rodney Smith on perfectly timed throws released before the receivers made their breaks.” —Dan Greene, Vikings Training Camp Report

38. Blake Bortles, Jaguars

39. Mike Glennon, Buccaneers

40. Zach Mettenberger, Titans

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