Unless you plan on working the waiver wire every Wednesday, you're going to want to land a reliable quarterback in your draft.
That means finding a QB with a proven track record, a plethora of weapons, a rock-solid offensive line, and minimal injury concerns. You'd have to get pretty lucky to land a signal-caller who checks all of those boxes, but those are the qualities you should be keeping in mind when you're on the clock. The ability to rack up rushing yards certainly doesn't hurt, either.
So, now that we know the criteria to look for, who are the top quarterbacks for fantasy football in 2019? Here's a look at the top 20:
Last year, Mahomes threw a touchdown on 8.6 percent of his passes and produced the best fantasy season ever by a quarterback. There's bound to be some regression in 2019, but the 23-year-old still should be the first QB taken off the board in all drafts.
Watson is another candidate to be this year's QB1. Although Houston's horrible offensive line and Watson's injury history both are red flags, the third-year QB proved last season he's an elite fantasy option. If the Texans receiving corps can stay healthy, watch out.
All aboard the Browns hype train. Mayfield should thrive in a potent Cleveland offense that now includes one of the game's best receivers in Odell Beckham Jr. That connection is going to be fun to watch.
When healthy, Luck has proven to be one of the most reliable fantasy QB options out there. Drafting the Colts signal-caller comes with risk -- his status for Week 1 already is in jeopardy due to an ankle injury -- but he's still a Tier-1 QB.
5. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (Week 9)
Don't expect Ryan to air it out as much as he did in 2018 (608 passing attempts, to be exact), but you can still draft the veteran QB with confidence. Consistency is key in fantasy football, and that's what you're getting here.
6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (Week 11)
Rodgers was the No. 6 QB last year in fantasy, and that happens to be where he lands on these rankings. That speaks more to the number of great QB options this season than anything else. If Rodgers slips a bit in your draft, obviously you should snag him. Just don't feel obligated to take him too early because of his track record.
7. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (Week 7)
Newton's shoulder was an issue throughout 2018, so that cost him a couple of spots here. If he's at full strength, which the Panthers have indicated is the case, he's a no-brainer to be a top-10 or maybe even top-5 fantasy QB this season.
8. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10)
Health is the No.1 concern with Wentz. But if the Eagles QB can stay on the field for 16 games, he's capable of putting up monster numbers. He proved that in 2017 when he was on track to win the MVP award before tearing his ACL. Now, with several weapons at his disposal and one of the best offensive lines in football, Wentz is ready to prove his 2017 performance wasn't a fluke.
9. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (Week 11)
Losing Doug Baldwin hurts, but Wilson still should be one of the better fantasy QBs in 2019. A lot rides on how his new weapon D.K. Metcalf will fare in his rookie season. Assuming Wilson continues to rack up impressive rushing totals, he should be a top-10 player at his position.
10. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (Week 9)
We might see Goff air it out more this season since the Rams likely will limit running back Todd Gurley's workload. The 24-year-old also will have one of his favorite wideouts, Cooper Kupp, back in the mix. Goff has the weapons to again be a top-10 fantasy QB.
11. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (Week 9)
12. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (Week 8)
13. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals (Week 12)
14. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (Week 8)
15. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 7)
16. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Week 6)
17. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Week 12)
18. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 7)
19. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (Week 12)
20. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (Week 10)
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Fantasy football rankings 2019: Top 20 quarterbacks in your draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston