While NFL owners are meeting to determine how best to deal with anthem protests and kickoffs, fantasy football owners are already eyeing their draft strategy for the 2018 season.

Athlon Sports just released its cheat sheet for the top-300 players entering the fantasy football season, offering up a road map for how best to meander through the August draft.

I’ll take a few stabs at what I see with the cheat sheet, so here’s my take on the quarterback rankings.

Will the public listen?

What this cheat sheet is showing is what I’ve been saying for years. Quarterbacks should be devalued.

The top quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, is listed as the 35th-best fantasy option. Even at that level, I still wouldn’t take him, especially considering his past issues with generating enough yards in case his touchdowns aren’t the best in the NFL.

But will the public listen?

I doubt it. Every year, the average draft position for quarterbacks is much higher than their value. With only one quarterback rostered in the majority of leagues, there’s not enough difference to warrant risking such a high draft pick on a quarterback. Not even Rodgers or anyone other than Peyton Manning, circa 2013, should be considered that high in the draft.

Too much risk

Russell Wilson being labeled as the second-best quarterback of the fantasy football lot is perfectly fine. Even ranking him at 47 is closer to where I would consider a top-tier quarterback.

After that, though, there is a potential for gargantuan risk.

Quarterbacks three through sixth are Carson Wentz (limited evidence and coming off an injury), Deshaun Watson (even less evidence of success and coming off an injury), Tom Brady (great, but aging) and Cam Newton (can produce huge fantasy outputs in single games, but limited consistency).

I have no desire to waste a fantasy football pick on any of those quarterbacks. Wentz is really good, but we only have evidence of him being good in an injury-shortened season. Watson only played a handful of games last year, and while he was good, that doesn’t always translate to the sophomore season.

There’s way too much risk associated with those players to consider them that high in fantasy football drafts.

Marcus Mariota should be considered one of the best sleeper quarterbacks available in the 2018 fantasy football draft. Flickr

Sleepers plentiful

I love this season in terms of sleeper quarterbacks.

Kirk Cousins, with more weapons at his disposal and in a better situation, is rated 10th among quarterbacks. Marcus Mariota, who struggled through several injuries last year, is ranked 11th, and my favorite pick of the draft, Dak Prescott, is ranked outside the QB1 tier at 14th.

That’s not to mention Andrew Luck at 18th and Jameis Winston at 20th. Winston was my main guy last year and didn’t pan out, but he still has several weapons.

Cousins, Mariota, Luck and Prescott all have the potential to be top-five guys. So why would you shoulder the burden of those early risks when there’s plenty of quality quarterbacks waiting later in the fantasy football draft?

I’m interested to see where the average draft positions fall for these guys, but right now, I’m bullish on the potential for the late QB1/early QB2 players.

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