Quarterback Sleepers, Values and Targets
If there's one theme that has been universally accepted by the fantasy football community over the past several seasons, it's that the quarterback position is extremely deep. More and more, the NFL has become a passing league and there is no shortage of quality throwers, even when we get into the double-digit rounds of fantasy drafts. To put things into perspective, our No. 2 quarterback, Deshaun Watson, is only projected to score 12 more points than our No. 12 quarterback, Jameis Winston. Winston is only projected to score 10 more points than our No. 19 quarterback, Mitch Trubisky.
Over the past six seasons, 30 of the 72 (or 42%) quarterbacks finishing the season in the top 12 were drafted outside the top 12 at their position. Moreover, 13 of the 36 (36%) quarterbacks who finished in the top six were drafted outside the top 12. In other words, there are always passers available deep into the draft who will go on to provide strong QB1-type numbers.
As a result, the nearly-unanimous recommendation for leagues with typical scoring systems is to wait as long as possible to draft a quarterback, either by targeting one of the last few fantasy starter-types off the board or by ignoring quarterback until the later rounds and either stream the position (plucking passers with good matchups on a weekly basis) or play Quarterback By Committee (QBBC), the practice of drafting two or three QBs late in the draft with the idea you'll play the best matchup each week. Which path you choose has more to do with the quality of the position on the waiver wire than anything else. If you play in a league where only 12-16 quarterbacks are rostered at any given time, then streaming is a good option. If the waiver wire in your league is pretty bare on a weekly basis—due to league tendencies and/or roster size—a quarterback committee is a good idea.
Those owners in multiple leagues may want to consider drafting a good quarterback in the middle rounds in order to minimize their weekly waiver wire work. I sometimes fall into this category due to the sheer number of leagues I'm in, along with my weekly duties here at 4for4. (The last thing I want to do on a Wednesday night is scour multiple waiver wires hoping to find that Joe Flacco is available.) Going QBBC will also work, but owners will still have to decide which quarterback to start, adding another decision they have to make every week.
However, owners who don’t mind the work (or are only in a handful of leagues) will find that streaming quarterbacks or playing QBBC can result in solid QB1-type output without having to spend an early or middle-round pick on the position on draft day. This means owners can draft an additional middle-round running back, receiver, or tight end who could turn out to be the difference at the end of the year.
^ Indicates a player or blurb added or updated after initial publication.
These are currently my fallback options if I’m not able to get my targets at the position.
Matt Ryan, Falcons
Ryan has a tendency to slip in drafts if Kyler Murray and/or Carson Wentz go earlier than expected. He was the No. 2 quarterback last year and has the third-highest fantasy points per pass attempt in the last three seasons. I’m not too concerned about the OC change since he’s very familiar with Dirk Koetter and his system. Ryan is typically off the board before I’m thinking about the position, but he’ll occasionally slip.
Philip Rivers, Chargers
Continue reading for two more QB values, seven QB sleepers and five QBs John is targeting regularly in drafts...
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