These 2018 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings will be updated often throughout the spring and summer, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out my other 2018 Fantasy Football articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2018 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders. Bye: 7. AUG. 15 UPDATE: Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal wrote that Derek Carr is in "real command" of Oakland's new offense. Carr has been part of my Fantasy Football Sleepers list all summer because of Greg Olson's presence, so this isn't a surprise in the slightest.
Derek Carr battled injuries and regression in 2017, posting a disappointing 3,496 yards and 22 touchdowns, down from 3,937 and 28, respectively, in 2016. There is good news for a buy-low opportunity, however, and that would be the hiring of offensive coordinator Greg Olson. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Olson's work, he once took Josh Freeman to a Pro Bowl; he coached up Jared Goff this past season; and he was coaching Blake Bortles when Bortles threw 35 touchdowns in a season.
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers. Bye: 7.
Ben Roethlisberger got off to a slow start in 2017, as it seemed as though he spent a bit too much time thinking about retirement this past season. Roethlisberger is now saying he wants to play for 3-5 more years, so he should be a high-end QB2 again.
Andrew Luck, QB, Colts. Bye: 9. AUG. 28 UPDATE: Andrew Luck has a minor foot injury. It might not be too bad, but it could slow him down a bit. Luck's arm strength isn't totally there yet, so he's a risky QB1.
AUG. 21 UPDATE: Andrew Luck failed to complete half his passes against the Ravens, going 6-of-13 for 50 yards and an interception. Two of Luck's misfires were dropped, and he didn't have T.Y. Hilton at his disposal, but he failed to test his arm strength. It's unclear if Luck is at 100-percent health right now, but it doesn't seem that way. Luck is still smart, and he'll shred bad defenses, but I'm not sure he'll be able to perform well versus stout stop units like Baltimore's.
AUG. 11 UPDATE: Andrew Luck threw the ball in live action for the first time since December 2016 in his preseason debut at Seattle. Luck led the Colts on a scoring drive that culminated in a field goal to start the game. He went 6-of-9 for 64 yards. However, Luck threw mostly short passes and didn't put himself in a position where he needed to use his arm strength; even his fourth-down conversion was a short toss to Robert Turbin. There was one exception where Luck tried to complete a pass that needed velocity, but cornerback Justin Coleman broke up a possible completion. I wouldn't hit the panic button on Luck yet, as he may have been just taking it easy in his first return to live action, but I need to see his arm strength at some point this August before I invest a fantasy pick on him in the first eight rounds. It's worth noting, however, that Luck took a hit to the shoulder on a third-down scramble on his second of two possessions, but got up and didn't look like he was in pain at all.
JULY 30 UPDATE: In his first padded practice, Andrew Luck was 12-of-14 in 11-on-11 situations, and one of the incompletions was a dropped touchdown. And yes, he was throwing NFL-sized balls. We still need to see Luck in real-game action, but this is great news for his fantasy outlook. T.Y. Hilton obviously needs a bump as well.
JULY 25 UPDATE: Colts head coach Frank Reich said he expects Andrew Luck to play in the preseason opener. This is quite the shock; Luck was ready for training camp, but I didn't expect him to see game action so soon. This is obviously very encouraging for both him and T.Y. Hilton.
JULY 21 UPDATE: Andrew Luck has been cleared for training camp. He'll take some days off, but he won't be limited when he practices. This is obviously great news, and if Luck looks like his old self in preseason games, he'll be worth drafting as a QB1.
JUNE 19 UPDATE: Andrew Luck said that the pain from his shoulder is gone. That's great news, but it'll be even better if we see that Luck hasn't lost any of his arm strength. He'll be a must-watch in the preseason.
JUNE 14 UPDATE: Andrew Luck just threw a pass for the first time in 527 days. The catch is that he was throwing a high school football, which is a bit lighter than a pro ball. Still, it's a good sign that Luck will be ready to play in the season opener.
Remember there was speculation that Andrew Luck would be able to play in the season opener last year? So much for that! Luck missed all of 2017 because of a shoulder injury. It's unclear if he'll be ready for 2018, but if he is, he should revert back to QB1 form, albeit with a heavy amount of risk. Unfortunately, Luck still isn't throwing a football yet.
Jared Goff, QB, Rams. Bye: 12.
Jared Goff was utterly awful as a rookie, but had tremendous growth under Sean McVay and Greg Olson. Goff won't have Olson around next year, but he should still thrive going into his third year, as he's a very hard worker. Goff threw for 3,804 yards, 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2017 despite not playing in the final game.
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers. Bye: 8.
Philip Rivers threw for 4,515 yards and 28 touchdowns despite the fact that he turned 36 in December. There's no reason to think Rivers will regress, especially with guard Forrest Lamp returning from injury to help bolster the offensive line.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Vikings. Bye: 10.
Despite lacking a No. 1 receiver and enduring tons of injuries to his offensive line, Kirk Cousins posted solid stats in 2017. He generated 4,093 passing yards and 31 total touchdowns (27 passing, 4 rushing). His passing yards fell from 4,917 to 4,093, a number that seems realistic for 2018, as he won't have to throw as much because of Minnesota's elite defense.
Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys. Bye: 8. AUG. 7 UPDATE: Dallas' offense has had issues getting the ball downfield, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. This isn't a surprise, as the Cowboys have a putrid receiving corps and an offensive line that isn't as good as it was in 2016. Prescott's ADP is in the 13th round, which seems about right. He's just a mediocre QB2 heading into 2018.
Dak Prescott was terrific as a rookie, but endured a sophomore slump in 2017. His outlook for this upcoming season took a hit in the wake of Dez Bryant's release and Jason Witten's retirement. The offensive line is better, but Prescott is just a high-end QB2.
Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles. Bye: 9. SEPT. 1 UPDATE: Nick Foles will start Week 1, according to Doug Pederson. Carson Wentz may miss the first few games of the season, so I wouldn't touch him until the double-digit rounds.
AUG. 27 UPDATE: Carson Wentz still hasn't been cleared for contact. That could change soon, but at this point, I'd bet on Nick Foles starting the season opener.
AUG. 19 UPDATE: Carson Wentz has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills. With Nick Foles nursing a shoulder injury, the Eagles may rush Wentz back a bit sooner than expected.
AUG. 8 UPDATE: Carson Wentz could be held out the entire preseason. There was previous optimism with Wentz, but Doug Pederson has scaled down his practice time because he saw some hesitation from Wentz with his knee.
JULY 30 UPDATE: There's more great news on Carson Wentz: He practiced in full pads in 11-on-11 drills this weekend. In fact, some linemen made contact with his knee, and he was fine. At this point, it would be surprising if Wentz weren't under center come Week 1.
JULY 27 UPDATE: Carson Wentz has managed to avoid the active/PUP list. This is obviously very encouraging news, as there's a good chance that Wentz will be ready for the season opener against the Falcons.
JUNE 7 UPDATE: ESPN's Chris Mortensen said he's starting to believe that Carson Wentz will be ready for the season opener. Wentz may not have his complete mobility, however, so I would not draft him in the first five rounds (his ADP is 6.01.)
MAY 30 UPDATE: Carson Wentz has been jogging without a hitch, according to Jeff McLane of Philly.com. This is obviously great news for Wentz's outlook for Week 1, though he still should be considered questionable for the opener.
Carson Wentz was my big fantasy quarterback sleeper for 2017, and that prediction looked great until he tore his ACL. Wentz did this in early December, but I wouldn't be surprised if he's close to 100 percent by kickoff weekend, based on how hard he works. Wentz may run a bit less in 2018, but he's an elite quarterback who should be considered of the top fantasy players at the position.
Mitchell Trubisky, QB, Bears. Bye: 5.
Mitchell Trubisky has a good chance to make a Jared Goff-type leap in 2018 with Matt Nagy coaching him up. His receiving corps has improved with Allen Robinson joining the roster, so that will help as well.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans. Bye: 8.
Marcus Mariota was a disappointment in 2017. He threw more interceptions (15) than touchdowns (13). His rushing numbers dropped a bit as well, from 349 to 312, but that was a byproduct of a mid-season injury. Mariota played hurt for several games, so perhaps he'll be better in 2018.