We’ve already begun setting the table for the 2020 season. We jumped in early with seasonal rankings and player writeups that will be updated throughout free agency and NFL Draft. Then we added early rookie rankings and player writeups that also will get a fresh coat of paint once we have their NFL destinations in April. In the last phase of fully fleshing out our rankings hub, where you can find all of those early ranks, we’re going to put out rankings and tiers for dynasty formats. 

Since I’ve already laid out initial thoughts and nuggets on players regarding their 2020 outlooks, I’m not going to double down on the same approach here. I encourage you to check those out if you want to see my thoughts on a player heading into this upcoming season. Instead, we’re going to lay out the position rankings in tier format with a short synopsis of those tiers and then at the end of the week provide linear top-300 lists for 1QB and SuperFlex formats. 

Some real quick methodology here. If you’re new to how I do tiers, they are not like most. I make my dynasty tiers based on a blend of age, fantasy performance, career arc, team situation, and fantasy archetype. There is a large overlap to actual player rankings, but there can be some discord where the tiers don’t specifically follow the rankings linearly.

The purpose of tiers not being a carbon copy of player rankings is to spot a potential arbitrage situation and shop in different buckets based on how I want to build my team. Sometimes I may want a veteran starter based on where my current roster is, other times I may want to chase more youth and upside. I may rank someone like Baker Mayfield higher than Sam Darnold and prefer Mayfield to Darnold in an apples to apples comparison, but they are not as drastically of different dynasty options at this current moment than a ranking number in front of their names may suggest in terms of age, career arc, contract situation and how both players accrue the points they put up. 

*Player Age = Age on 9/1/2020

Tier One

QB1.Patrick Mahomes (Age: 24.9)
2. Lamar Jackson (23.7)
3. Kyler Murray (23.1)
4. DeShaun Watson (24.9)

The top of the position is filled with young and mobile passers. Their legs give them a high floor, but all have passing acumen to turn in a high-ceiling season. At the very top, it’s really a longevity question of believing Patrick Mahomes’s arm has a longer shelf life than Lamar Jackson’s legs, but for the immediate future, there’s not a concern with either… Deshaun Watson is a best of both worlds option that has ranked top-five in points per game at the position in all three of his seasons so far… Losing DeAndre Hopkins is a sting to overcome… Kyler Murray doesn’t have a league-winning stretch under his belt yet like the top three, but he’s in the same mold and ready to make that jump in his second season after ranking as the QB8 overall in points and the QB12 in scoring per game as a rookie with a limited arsenal. Murray now gets a true lead wideout in Hopkins entering his second season. Watson and Murray are two of the better current startup values of players for any position considering their age and longevity of the position.  

Tier Two

5. Dak Prescott (27.1)
6. Russell Wilson (31.8)

Tier two is short, two-man tier. Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson are the only two quarterbacks to have top-10 overall finishes in each of the past four seasons and both provide dual-threat fantasy production. Wilson is the one top quarterback to hit his thirties, but his passing efficiency is just as strong as ever. Wilson’s rushing has dipped a bit. He’s rushed for fewer than 30 yards per game in three of the past four seasons, but is still tacking on useful production there. 

Tier Three

7. Carson Wentz (27.7)
8. Josh Allen (24.3)
9. Baker Mayfield (25.4)
11. Jared Goff (25.9)
17. Sam Darnold (23.2)

This tier is passers that have shown uneven passing production, but have shown high ceilings in spurts. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have similar contract situations and safety. Both have had big highs with Wentz as the QB3 in points per game in 2017, but has been the QB18 and QB15 in that area the past two seasons. Goff had back-to-back QB1 scoring seasons over his first two years with Sean McVay prior to ranking QB22 in points per game a year ago.

The other part of this tier is the top of the 2018 quarterback class. It’s hard to say if any of Allen, Darnold, or Mayfield have locked themselves in for a massive second contract as it’s not far-fetched that any of these guys could still “Trubisky” themselves, but all three have shown signs on the positive end.  Josh Allen and Sam Darnold have been similar passers through two seasons, but Allen took a step forward in year two while he has the rushing trump card. I’m still willing to give Darnold almost a full pass for 2019 due to his early season illness, but his surrounding cast is still a potential thorn… Baker Mayfield regressed in year two, but still has a strong surrounding cast of playmakers to get back to his 2018 season finish.  

Tier Four

14. Matthew Stafford (32.6)
16. Matt Ryan (35.3)
15. Aaron Rodgers (36.7)
19. Cam Newton (31.3)
20. Kirk Cousins (32.0)

Tier Four is a group of veterans that all still have QB1 potential with strong floors, but are just on the other side of their career arcs at this time. If you’re a contending team with a hole at the position, these are all viable options to pursue and plug in. With the way quarterbacks have extended their careers into their early forties, all of these guys have multiple season-potential in that regard.  

The one exception here in terms of safety is Cam Newton, who is coming off surgeries in each of the past two seasons. It’s also fair to question if he can regain his rushing prowess since it was such a significant factor in his early-career viability for fantasy. Entering 2020 at age 31, Newton is coming off of two major surgeries the past two seasons and appeared in just two games a year ago. On the ground Newton, has posted his two lowest rushing-points-per-game totals over his last three full seasons played as he hits his early thirties, but his legs are still where the crux of his fantasy appeal come from. Outside of last season’s two games, Newton’s lowest finish in fantasy points per game is QB13 in 2016 with seven seasons as the QB8 or higher in points per game. Health, limited weaponry, and low passing volume are question marks, but also are question marks that have existed for much of his career.

Tier Five

10. Joe Burrow (23.7)
12. Daniel Jones (23.3)
13. Tua Tagovailoa (22.5)
18. Justin Herbert (22.5)
20. Drew Lock (23.8)
29. Dwayne Haskins (23.3)
31. Gardner Minshew (24.3)
36. Mitchell Trubisky (26.0)
39. Jarrett Stidham (24.1)

This is a wildcard tier filled largely of rookies and second-year starters that could still go in any direction. Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert are expected to all be top-10 picks this spring. The only one we have to question making significant starts out of the box is Tagovailoa, who may be redshirted a season. 

Daniel Jones showed major upside in year one, having four weeks as the QB1 or QB2 in weekly scoring. He also is attached to a solid set of offensive playmakers and has athleticism. But he also showed a low floor and a fondness for turning the ball over. 

Dwayne Haskins had a rough rookie season, but we’ve seen quarterbacks such as Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, and Goff come back from horrendous rookie campaigns to have positive fantasy outputs in year two. That group may not say much for his longevity on sustaining a spike in output, but unless Washington completely throws the towel in on Haskins this offseason, he’ll be a starter in full for year two. 

The only non-rookie or second year option here is Mitchell Trubisky. He’s in a very similar spot this offseason as the one we saw Marcus Mariota last year. Trubisky has had fantasy success — he was the QB11 in points per game in 2018 — but the Bears are a surefire bet to add an experienced quarterback to the roster this season. Trubisky could be on the hot seat quickly if he can’t respond early in year three.  

Tier Six

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (28.8)
23. Teddy Bridgewater (27.8)
24. Ryan Tannehill (32.1)
30. Jameis Winston (26.7)
32. Derek Carr (29.4)

These tweeners have cleared their rookie contracts and big money on second deals if they already aren’t free agents and their organizations want to press their luck moving on. Jimmy Garoppolo would be surprising, considering he just quarterbacked a team in the Super Bowl in his first full season as a starter while coming off a significant injury. But he also doesn’t have the fantasy ceiling as the veterans in Tier Four, either. 

As it stands now, there’s probability that one of Winston, Bridgewater, or Tannehill will be the odd man out during the free agency carousel this offseason. Jameis Winston appears to be that guy after the initial wave of free agency. Winston will likely have to compete to start or back up an aging veteran short term. Teddy Bridgewater was perhaps the biggest winner from this group, getting locked into a starting spot for the next few seasons while attached to a young playmaking corps and a forward-thinking passing game. 

Tier Seven

25. Drew Brees (41.6)
26. Ben Roethlisberger (38.5)
27. Philip Rivers (38.7)
28. Tom Brady (43.1)

These are our veteran passers in the danger zone. Any season could be their last from this point on. Drew Brees was just as good as ever a year ago and is the prime target to buy for an “all-in” roster missing a piece at quarterback… Philip Rivers would have some lower-end QB1 appeal if he ends up in Tampa Bay, but neither Indianapolis or Washington would move the needle much and would be downgrades from leaving the Chargers. Big Ben still has a group of intriguing, young pass catchers, but no longer has the security of being attached to Antonio Brown while coming off elbow surgery. Tom Brady became the oldest player in league history to attempt 250-plus passes in a season last year. Father Time is ultimately undefeated, but the pieces of the Tampa Bay offense and the offensive approach in the passing game are upgrades over what he was leaving in New England.

Tier Eight

33. Jacob Eason (22.8)
34. Jalen Hurts (22.1)
35. Jordan Love (21.8)
41. Jake Fromm (22.1)
43. Jake Luton
47. James Morgan
48. Cole McDonald
50. Ben DiNucci

The next tier of rookie quarterbacks. This group doesn’t have a strong signal for Week 1 starting potential in 2020, but we could see any or all of them at some point pending where they are selected. 

Tier Nine

38. Marcus Mariota (26.8)
39. Nick Foles (31.6)
40. Andy Dalton (32.8)
42. Tyrod Taylor (31.1)
43. Jacoby Brissett (27.7)
44. Taysom Hill (30.0)
45. Ryan Fitzpatrick (37.8)
48. Robert Griffin (30.5)

The backups tier mixed with a few current placeholders for the job. Over 50 different quarterbacks have made starts in each of the past seven seasons, so these guys should all be owned in SuperFlex formats. Fitzpatrick has a decent shot at being the Week 1 starter for the Dolphins and showed last season that he’s still capable of being a fantasy streamer…Mariota will have to go the Ryan Tannehill route of getting his career back on track… Foles should have the opportunity to compete for the starting job in Jacksonville, but they project to be so bad that I wouldn’t bet on him getting a full 16 games. The same goes for Taylor with the Chargers.