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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
Report: Patriots DE Chandler Jones out at least six weeks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:44 pm ET) Patriots defense end Chandler Jones (hip) will miss at least six weeks of action, and the team fears he could be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, the Boston Herald reports.

Jones suffered the hip injury during Week 7 and initial reports put him out for about a month. It appears his best-case scenario is now a return in Week 13, with the possibility he could need another month to recover. Jones has recorded a team-high 4.5 sacks.


49ers re-sign Raymond Ventrone
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(1:17 pm ET) The 49ers re-signed safety Raymond Ventrone Saturday. He was waived earlier in the week upon the addition of quarterback Josh Johnson to the active roster.

49ers place Chris Cook, Daniel Kilgore on IR
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(1:15 pm ET) The 49ers have placed cornerback Chris Cook (hamstring) and Daniel Kilgore (ankle) on injured reserve.

Cook recorded five tackles and one pass defensed while plaing both defense and special teams. Kilgore started each of the team's first seven games before suffering a broken ankle.


Browns activate Nick McDonald, waive Gerell Robinson
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 pm ET) The Browns activated offensive lineman Nick McDonald from the reserve/NFI list Saturday and waived tight end Gerell Robinson.

McDonald began the season on the reserved list after suffering a broken wrist during the rummer. He received practice time with the starters this week at center and could be in line to man the center of the offensive line this Sunday against the Raiders.


Cardinals sign Solomon Patton to practice squad, waive Jalen Sauders
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(1:05 pm ET) The Cardinals signed wide receiver Solomon Patton to the practice squad Saturday, waiving wide receiver Jalen Saunders in a corresponding move. Patton served as the Buccaneers' primary return man over the team's first six games.

Report: Buccaneers, Gerald McCoy agree to seven-year extension
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:00 pm ET) The Buccaneers and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy have agreed to a seven-year extension, FOXSports.com reports. The deal is worth $98 million with $51.5 million guaranteed, per NFL.com.

McCoy recorded a career-high 9.5 sacks and 50 total tackles in 2013 while being named a first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press. He has managed two sacks this season while battling injuries that have limited him to four games.


Garrett: Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence should return Week 9
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:06 pm ET) Cowboys coach Jason Garrett indicated Saturday that defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence should be activated for the team's Week 9 matchup with the Cardinals, ESPNDallas.com reports.

Week 9 is the earliest Lawrence is eligible to be activated off the short-term IR. Recovering from a foot fracture suffered in late July, the rookie defender returned to practice last week.


Jaguars waive Tavarres King, sign Peyton Thompson
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:53 am ET) The Jaguars waived wide receiver Tavarres King Saturday and signed cornerback Peyton Thompson , the Florida Times-Union reports. The cornerback depth was necessary with Dwayne Gratz (hip) listed as questionable to play.

Titans RB Shonn Greene faces multiple driving charges
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:48 am ET) Titans running back Shonn Greene was arrested Friday night on multiple charges, including a resisting stop charge related to his leaving the scene of an incident in Franklin, Tenn., the Tennessean reports.

Greene was charged with a handicap parking violation, driving on a revoked/suspended license, reckless driving and resisting stop/halt/frisk. According to the report, he parked in a handicap parking space and upon being approached by an officer, got back into his car and maneuvered around the officer's vehicle before speeding off. According to the police, he was approached later when police caught up in traffic and sped off again. Greene later turned himself in after learning there were warrants for his arrest.

Greene was listed as probable to play Sunday due to a hamstring injury, but there's no indication as of yet to how the parking incident will affect his availability.


Lions LB Josh Bynes added to Week 8 inury report
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(11:14 am ET) Lions linebacker Josh Bynes is probable to play in London Sunday after being added to the Week 8 injury report Saturday. Bynes is dealing with a teeth issue.

 
 
 
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