Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Waiting on a quarterback is a philosophy that is paying off more and more in fantasy football drafts.
This year is no different.
You likely can't afford to wait if you want to draft a guy like Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson, who top our list. But there are plenty of great options after that, including established talents and ascending stars.
Seattle Seahawks gunslinger Russell Wilson is our No. 3 quarterback. New England Patriots star Tom Brady is No. 4, while Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck rounds out our top five for the 2018 season.
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For clarity, here are some of the best quarterbacks to look out for in five separate tiers, as well as some unheralded sleepers.
HALL OF FAME
1. Aaron Rodgers, 2. Deshaun Watson
The Green Bay Packers suffered mightily after losing two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to a collarbone injury in 2017. But he's back and the Packers looked primed to compete for the NFC North. Despite losing longtime teammate Jordy Nelson, Rodgers has a solid No. 1 target in Davante Adams and several complementary targets behind Randall Cobb. He also has a new weapon: Jimmy Graham. Look for Rodgers to top quarterbacks again this season and be a constant force in your lineup if you choose to draft a quarterback early. Before his injury-shortened 2017 season, Rodgers had at least 31 passing scores and 3,800 yards in three consecutive seasons. Look for the All-Pro to post similar numbers this season, while limiting turnovers.
Deshaun Watson put the NFL on notice last season during his rookie campaign for the Houston Texans. Then came a season-ending knee injury. But Watson is primed to kick off the 2018 campaign for the Texans, as they look to fight for an AFC South crown. The weapons are great for the sophomore gunslinger with DeAndre Hopkins and burner Will Fuller outside. Watson should also benefit greatly from another year under Bill O'Brien. He is our No. 2 quarterback overall for the 2018 season and can win you matchups with his talent.
5. Andrew Luck, 8. Carson Wentz
Andrew Luck is back and set to start for the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 of the 2018 season. Before missing the 2017 season, Luck was a lock to post at least 30 scores and 4,200 passing yards each year. He could come close to those numbers once again in 2018 as he has a healthy arsenal of weapons. Luck is our No. 5 option at the position and can likely be had for a lower price than the aforementioned players. You should probably draft and insurance policy later in your draft if you do decide to pull the trigger on the Colts gunslinger.
Carson Wentz is another high-upside, yet risky play. But he is our No. 8 quarterback this season because of his situation and play in 2017. The Philadelphia Eagles star was an MVP frontrunner in 2017 before going down to a torn ACL and LCL. Wentz is still a question mark for Week 1 of 2018, but even if he doesn't play he is still worth a late round pick due to his upside. Wentz is a near lock for at least 30 touchdown passes and 3,300 yards this season.
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Los Angeles Chargers gunslinger Philip Rivers might be one of the most underrated fantasy football players available each year in drafts. He is a good target if you are willing to wait on a quarterback, while filling up your roster with running backs and wide receivers. The Chargers are loaded with talent in 2018 and Rivers should take advantage of that for his sixth consecutive season with at least 4,300 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. He is our No. 9 option at the position entering fantasy football drafts.
Matt Ryan looks to rebound from a lackluster 2018 season and is our No. 10 option at the position. The Atlanta Falcons star watched his touchdown passes drop from 38 to 20 last season and threw for nearly 900 fewer yards last season than he did during his 2017 MVP campaign. Expect Ryan to get back to 30 touchdown passes, helped by the addition of rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley. Ryan also faces just one defense which ranked inside the top five for fewest fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last season.
JUST NAPPING [EARLY TO MID-ROUND SLEEPERS]
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton appears to have tight end Tyler Eifert back in 2018, as well as his most familiar target, A.J. Green. With running back Joe Mixon working out of the backfield and additions to the offensive line, look for the Bengals' high-octane offense to return this season and Dalton to be a benefactor of that reemergence.
Like Ryan, Derek Carr watched his numbers drop off in 2018 after a stellar MVP-level showing in 2016. Carr should post numbers good enough to make him a plug-in starter based on the matchup this season. The three-time Pro Bowler lost a big-time touchdown maker this offseason in Michael Crabtree, but he should have a trusted target with the addition of Jordy Nelson. Carr is our No. 18 option at the position.
DRIFTING OFF [MID TO LATE-ROUND SLEEPERS]
Top 25 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings
1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers, Bye Week 7
2. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans, Bye Week 10
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Bye Week 7
4. Tom Brady, New England Patriots, Bye Week 11
5. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts, Bye Week 9
8. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles, Bye Week 9
9. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers, Bye Week 8
10. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons, Bye Week 8
12. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, Bye Week 10
14. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs, Bye Week 12
16. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, Bye Week 9
18. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders, Bye Week 7
19. Eli Maning, New York Giants, Bye Week 9
22. Alex Smith, Washington Redskins, Bye Week 4
24. Case Keenum, Denver Broncos, Bye Week 10