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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
Patriots claim Harland Gunn off waivers
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:53 pm ET) The Patriots were awarded guard Harland Gunn, who was waived by Atlanta a day earlier, on Sunday, per ESPN

Gunn played in 13 games for Atlanta over the last two seasons. 


Redskins RB Matt Jones suffers knee injury Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:50 pm ET) Redskins running back Matt Jones is being evaluated after sustaining a knee injury during Sunday's practice, reports The Washington Post.

Jones was a third-round draft pick in the 2015 draft and is expected to compete for the starting running back role.


Redskins WR DeSean Jackson dealing with finger issue
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:45 pm ET) Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a dislocated finger during Saturday's practice and is having the injury further evaluated Sunday, reports The Washington Post

Jackson caught 56 passes for 1,169 yards and six touchdowns last season.


49ers DT Darnell Dockett is 'ready to go'
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:38 pm ET) 49ers defensive tackle Darnell Dockett did not participate in Saturday's practice, but coach Jim Tomsula said the team was just being cautious, reports ESPN.com.

"He's ready to go," Tomsula said of Dockett. "There's no limitations on him from the training room."

Tomsula added that the plan is to limit Dockett's work during team drills to protect his surgically-repaired knee, which cost him the entire 2014 season.


Report: Broncos LB Von Miller no longer in NFL drug program
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:32 pm ET) Broncos linebacker Von Miller was recently released from the NFL's drug program, a source told The Denver Post.

With Miller not failing a drug test over the last two years along with a new drug policy, Miller has been removed from the program and will no longer require multiple tests each week.

Miller violated the league's drug policy in 2013 and was suspended for six games.


Eagles limit running back DeMarco Murray in Sunday's practice
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:27 pm ET) Despite not being listed with an injury, Eagles running back DeMarco Murray did not participate in any of the team drills during Sunday's practice, reports ESPN.com.

Murray participated in the early portion of the practice, but then watched the rest from the sideline. Coach Chip Kelly did not mention any injury to Murray before the practice began.


Bengals DE Michael Johnson suffers apparent knee injury Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:24 pm ET) Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson had to be carted off the practice field Sunday after sustaining an apparent knee injury, reports NFL.com.

After the practice, coach Marvin Lewis said Johnson will be OK, but he still needs to be evaluated, according to ESPN.

Johnson produced four sacks and 27 tackles in 14 games last season. He signed a four year, $14 million deal during the offseason.


Jets DE Muhammad Wilkerson leaves practice with hamstring injury
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3:58 pm ET) Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson left Sunday's training camp practice early after suffering a hamstring injury . 

 Coach Todd Bowles said that Wilkerson "tweaked" his hamstring, and the team doesn't think it's serious, per ESPN New York.


Browns' Luke Lundy, Vinston Painter suffer injuries Sunday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:18 pm ET) Browns running back Luke Lundy had to leave Sunday's practice after sustaining a concussion, reports the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Moreover, offensive tackle Vinston Painter suffered a neck injury, which also forced him to leave practice early.


Chiefs waive RB LaVance Taylor; sign RB Darrin Reaves
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) The Chiefs parted ways with one running back and signed another Sunday. The team announced it waived running back LaVance Taylor, while signing running back Darrin Reaves.

 
 
 
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