Ranking players by position is an important part of fantasy football preparation. But grouping them into tiers is crucial to identifying the value you might be leaving in the draft room. If you're on the clock and looking at several quarterbacks in the same tier, it could make sense to wait a round — someone equally as good will probably be available with your next pick.
Tiers can also help group players with similar expectations, whether that means grouping the reliable vets or risky young players with upside. Either way, we don't want to pay more than the next drafter for a similar player.
This article is the first in a series on skill position tiers. The rest will follow on a weekly basis.
Tier 1 – Worthy of an early pick
There is no debate that these are the top two quarterbacks — the only question is which order to rank them. PFF's consensus ranks unanimously have Jackson above Mahomes.
Two years ago, Mahomes put up the top fantasy performance by a quarterback over the last five years. Last year, Jackson tallied the second-best over that time period. While regression is working against both players, there is reason to believe they could both still get better. For Jackson, it’s more likely than not that the duo of Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin improve in their sophomore seasons. The Ravens also invested four picks in the first four rounds on offensive players.
Mahomes played even better in the playoffs than he did the regular season, suggesting that we might not have seen his ceiling. I typically like waiting until the later rounds to pick a quarterback in single-QB leagues, but these two are worth drafting much earlier than the rest.
Tier 2 – Reliable QB1s