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2014 Draft Prep: QB tiers, 2.0

Senior Fantasy Writer
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RB tiers | WR tiers | TE tiers | Draft Averages | Rankings | Draft Index

The basic, most clear piece of advice to give for the quarterback position: Don't reach. Aim for at least a little bit of a bargain in standard leagues and maybe more than a little bit of a bargain in PPR leagues.

You'll feel a little weird about this, especially if you're in a league where other owners spend a first-round pick on Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. Let them. You wouldn't buy a beautiful car for $10,000 above sticker price even if your friends did, right? Same logic applies. Those guys are great but if you're really trying to build a strong Fantasy roster, you don't want to be caught short without difference makers at running back and/or receiver. Those difference makers go early for a reason. Besides, you can find a potential difference maker of your own later on. Promise.

After those first four quarterbacks go off the board, the rest of the passers are like a box of donuts -- some with sprinkles, some with a creamy filling, some with jelly, some with chocolate frosting. They are all different but they're all ultimately very sweet (note: research for this paragraph wrecked my diet). It's up to you which donut, er, quarterback you want to take, but remember the first rule about reaching. If it doesn't feel like a bargain then it's not the right time to pick one.

You can read up on the quarterbacks outside of the Top 4 right here, along with gander at the quarterback tiers from late July. You'll also see which elite quarterback I'm really targeting.

Bonus strategy: Extreme Waiting

It might be of interest to you to wait longer than anyone else in your league to take a quarterback, then take two from the likes of Jay Cutler, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, Carson Palmer, Sam Bradford, Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton. Using this strategy you can play the matchups for as long as need be and then once one of your passers -- or one on waivers -- breaks out, ride them. One idea is to go with Russell Wilson for his home games in Weeks 1, 3 and 6 and Cam Newton in Weeks 2, 4 and 5. Both of these guys were on my initial bust list, but if we're talking about back-half-of-draft selections making up your starting quarterback, there's no major argument.

Naturally, the downside to this is that there's no guarantee you'll put up serious points, not to the effect of what you'll get from the Top 4 signal callers. But that might not bother you since you'll fill your plate with studs at other positions and hope to clobber opponents with those players instead of your quarterback.

Lastly, quarterback is an easy position to fix off waivers, so if you decide to wait and then whiff on who you take, a stroll to the friendly wire will solve your problem.

Quarterback tiers for 2014

Elite Value Elite Very Good
Rounds 2, 3, 4 Rounds 5, 6, 7 Rounds 7, 8, 9
Peyton Manning Colin Kaepernick Andrew Luck
Drew Brees Nick Foles Jay Cutler
Aaron Rodgers Tom Brady Robert Griffin III
Matthew Stafford Matt Ryan  
  Tony Romo  
No. 2/Upside No. 2/Less Upside Deep sleeper QBs
Rounds 10, 11, 12    
Philip Rivers Andy Dalton Teddy Bridgewater
Ben Roethlisberger Ryan Tannehill Geno Smith
Cam Newton Alex Smith Johnny Manziel
Carson Palmer Josh McCown Blake Bortles
Sam Bradford Eli Manning  
Russell Wilson Joe Flacco  
  Jake Locker  

Bye-week cheat sheet

Here's a useful guide to seeing what quarterbacks have seemingly favorable matchups when a quality quarterback is on a bye week. Keep in mind that we only list the byes of quarterbacks most owners consider starters, and only list the matchups for potential backups.

Week 4 bye: Peyton Manning
Alternatives: Philip Rivers (vs JAC), Ryan Tannehill (at OAK), Eli Manning (at WAS)

Week 5 bye: None

Week 6 bye: Drew Brees
Alternatives: Philip Rivers (at OAK), Jay Cutler (at ATL), Carson Palmer (vs WAS), Russell Wilson (vs DAL)

Week 7 bye: Nick Foles
Alternatives: Carson Palmer (at OAK), Ben Roethlisberger (vs. HOU), Cam Newton (at GB), Andy Dalton (at IND), Eli Manning (at DAL)

Week 8 bye: Colin Kaepernick
Alternatives: Ben Roethlisberger (vs. IND), Ryan Tannehill (at JAC), Johnny Manziel (vs. OAK)

Week 9 bye: Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford
Alternatives: Carson Palmer (at DAL), Russell Wilson (vs. OAK), Andy Dalton (vs. JAC), Eli Manning (vs. IND)

Week 10 bye: Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers
Alternatives: Russell Wilson (vs. NYG), Alex Smith (at BUF), Joe Flacco (vs. TEN), Josh McCown (vs. ATL)

Week 11 bye: Tony Romo
Alternatives: Cam Newton (vs. ATL), Philip Rivers (vs. OAK), Carson Palmer (vs DET)

Week 12 bye: Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton
Alternatives: Jay Cutler (vs. TB), Eli Manning (vs. DAL), Russell Wilson (vs. ARI)

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Player News
Carlos Hyde does nothing Week 2
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) 49ers running back Carlos Hyde had a dismal Week 2 game against the Bears. Hyde ran four times for zero yards and caught a 5-yard pass on two targets.

It was a step back for the talented rookie, who'll visit Arizona in Week 3.


Frank Gore averages 4.8 yards per carry
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) 49ers running back Frank Gore ran 13 times for 63 yards (4.8 ypc) against the Bears, including an 8-yard touchdown on a counter in which he lunged for the end zone. Gore probably should have gotten the ball more in a game San Fran led by 17 points.

Gore, who has 72 career touchdowns, caught both his targets for 12 yards. He'll visit the Cardinals in Week 3.


Bears DST comes up big
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:32 am ET) Overlooked after a poor Week 1 performance, the Bears DST came up big Sunday night at San Francisco. Chicago forced four turnovers by Colin Kaepernick, with rookie corner Kyle Fuller making two fourth-quarter interceptions.

Defensive end Jared Allen forced a fumble, safety Danny McCray recovering. Safety Chris Conte made his second interception of the season before leaving with a shoulder injury. Defensive end Willie Young led a strong pass rush with four sacks.

Riding a lot of momentum, the rejuvenated Bears DST visits the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

Phil Dawson hits two short field goals
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:28 am ET) 49ers kicker Phil Dawson converted 27- and 24-yard field goals in the Week 2 loss vs. the Bears. Dawson added two PATs for an eight-point night. He'll visit Arizona in Week 3.

Robbie Gould has quiet night
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:26 am ET) Bears kicker Robbie Gould did not get to try a field goal Sunday night at San Francisco, but he converted all four of his PATs. Gould visits the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 3.

Bears get offensive contributions
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:23 am ET) The Bears got a slew of contributions in their 28-20 win at San Francisco. Among them, wideout Santonio Holmes caught both his targets for 20 yards, and tight end Dante Rosario had a 9-yard reception.

Martellus Bennett scores again
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Bears tight end Martellus Bennett scored for the second straight week Sunday night at San Francisco. Bennett hauled in seven of eight targets for 37 yards, including an easy 3-yard score to put Chicago ahead with 13:14 remaining.

Bennett, who tied for the team lead in targets, visits the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 3.


Alshon Jeffery guts it out
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:17 am ET) Playing on a tender hamstring, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery was clearly not 100 percent Week 2 at San Francisco. He managed three catches on six targets for 47 yards.

Jeffery came up with a big play with eight minutes left in the game. His 29-yard reception fueled Chicago's final touchdown drive in a 28-20 win.

Jeffery has an extra day to get healthy for Week 3, as the Bears visit the Jets on Monday Night Football.


Matt Forte held to 36 yards
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:14 am ET) Bears running back Matt Forte couldn't get going Sunday night at San Francisco, totaling 36 yards on 17 touches from scrimmage. Forte ran eight times for 8 yards in the first half and finished with 12 carries for 21 yards.

He added five catches for 15 yards. On the plus side, Forte tied for the team lead with eight targets.

Forte visits the Jets on Monday Night Football in Week 3.


Colin Kaepernick craters with four turnovers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(12:09 am ET) 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick turned in a careless performance Week 2 vs. the Bears. Kaepernick threw three interceptions, including one throw across his body into traffic, and lost a fumble.

He completed 21 of 34 throws for 248 yards and a touchdown and ran nine times for 66 yards.

Things started well for Kaepernick, who tossed a 3-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree less than three minutes in. But he lost tight end Vernon Davis to an ankle injury in the second half and the offense bogged down. Kaepernick was picked off twice in the fourth quarter by rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller as the Bears stormed back to win 28-20.

Kaepernick will try to bounce back Week 3 at Arizona.


 
 
 
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