The Last of Us – Quarterbacks Edition
On the last episode, we did the top 15 Quarterbacks heading into the 2019 season. This time around, we will take a look at the forgotten. The forlorn. The fallen (rounds).
From Hall of Famers to rookie prospects and everything in between, these last 15 quarterbacks could potentially present the greatest value in your drafts. These are generally the guys you can wait until the last 5 rounds of your drafts to take, and if you hit on one that finishes as a top 10 QB, you’re laughing.
With that said, here are 15 more fantasy quarterbacks worth drafting, ranked from 1st to last based on the likelihood I think they could ascend to a top 10 fantasy quarterback finish.
1 Tom Brady -Tom Terrific is still that, terrific. Regardless of the pieces around him, Brady will find a way to finish with at least respectable numbers. However, the days of Tom being a top 3 fantasy option at the QB position are passed, and unless Gronk unretires, Brady may struggle to have many 300+ yard games with the current roster.
2. Mitchell Trubisky – We all know Trubisky can explode for big games, but what he lacked last year was consistency. Hopefully, he will continue to progress and build rapport with his primary receiver Allen Robinson, and speedy playmaking tight end Trey Burton. Tarik Cohen provides a viable threat out of the backfield, and the auxiliary pieces are still in place to allow Trubisky to have a reasonably productive season.
3. Jameis Winston – Winston is the biggest boom or bust candidate at the quarterback position this year. If new head coach Bruce Arians can whisper this QB into what the Buccaneers had hoped he could develop into, then Winston could actually finish as high as top 5 in points based on the roster. Mike Evans and Chris Goodwin are one of the most underrated WR duos in the league, and OJ Howard will look to make the leap at TE this year. If everything comes together, it could end up being Winston’s best season of his career.
4. Lamar Jackson – Lamar Jackson is an interesting case. His running ability gives him a solid floor week to week, but he will always be capped in his production until he improves his passing ability. Though he does not have a proven WR 1, he does have an excellent prospect in speedster Marquise Brown. If Brown can improve his route running, this passing attack could end up being better than expected.
5. Josh Allen – Much like Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen was able to produce effective fantasy results last year based on his running ability. If he improves as a passer, he could potentially be a star fantasy QB for years to come. Though none of the pieces in Buffalo really stand out, the sum of those parts is enough to produce a viable streaming fantasy QB.
6. Derek Carr – Now that Carr has arguably one of the best WR’s in football, he will be expected to bounce back from a disappointing season. The addition of rookie RB Josh Jacobs should alleviate some of the blitz packages that teams will try to throw at an average offensive line. I would probably be higher on Derek Carr if Jon Gruden were living in 2019 with the rest of us. However, based on everything I’ve read or heard about Gruden, he wants to play 2000 football almost 20 years after the fact.
7. Matthew Stafford – Stafford has been an above average fantasy QB for large portions of his career. However, I am not a big believer in head coach Matt Patricia. Coming from the Belichik tree, Patricia is all about taking what’s given. This means there will be games where the Lions lean heavily on the run, capping Stafford’s potential production. Furthermore, the collection of talent around Stafford is average, and though rookie TE TJ Hockensen is a promising prospect, TE’s do not usually have huge impacts in their first year.
8. Sam Darnold – Darnold’s willingness to take chances makes him a viable fantasy option, especially if the team around him can elevate themselves now that they have a true feature back in Le’Veon Bell. Bell’s ability to catch out of the backfield will also help pad Darnold’s baseline production. If Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson can reclaim their roles from last year (when they weren’t injured or in trouble), then this could be a surprising season for Sam Darnold.
9. Nick Foles – Foles is an interesting case. The former Superbowl MVP will look to prove himself outside of Philadelphia for the first time in his career since a failed run with the Jeff Fisher led Rams. I won’t blame any QB for not being able to succeed under Fisher, but I don’t know how much I can expect from Foles on a run based team with a smattering of mediocre receivers.
10. Andy Dalton – Dalton’s designation as the prime meridian of NFL quarterbacks could potentially be in danger if he’s not able to rebound from the last few disappointing seasons. He has a strong running game behind him in Joe Mixon and long time Bengal Giovani Bernard, and AJ Green is still a top 5 WR when healthy. The biggest problem with the Bengals is the offensive line, which has already suffered multiple injuries, and this could be the downfall of the entire offense.
11. Kyler Murray – Rookie quarterbacks generally don’t have huge statistical outputs year one, RGIII and Cam Newton being the outliers. We will see if Murray is able to replicate what are considered two of the greatest rookie seasons for QB in the history of the league. David Johnson struggled last year after returning from a season ending injury the year before, and if he is able to get back to the form he displayed during his 2000 all purpose yard season, it will be of real benefit to Murray’s statistical finish.
12. Jimmy Garappolo – Jimmy G is easily the most overrated quarterback in fantasy football right now. Now, this is not to say that I think he is a bad quarterback, in fact, quite the opposite. I do think that he is a better real life QB than a fantasy QB. Given his playing style and the talent on the 49ers roster, I just don’t see how Jimmy G finishes top 10 aside from a spectacular individual effort combined with genius play calling from Kyle Shanahan.
13. Marcus Mariota – Mariota is going to be playing for a new contract this year. His career has often been marred by injury and mediocre surrounding talent, so this is the optimal time for him to prove he can be the franchise leader for the Titans. The Titans roster might be as talented as it’s ever been during Mariota’s career, so if he cannot capitalize on this season, it will be right to question his future with the team going forward.
14. Dwayne Haskins – Haskins would be much higher on this list if not for the fact that the Washington Redskins will likely roll out Case Keenum for 4 to 6 weeks as the starter. If Keenum fails to play well, then we may see Haskins take over this team. Unfortunately, even if he does, the Redskins roster seems like a mish mosh of guys who either can’t stay healthy or haven’t played up to expectations or both.
15. Joe Flacco – Like Case Keenum, Flacco will be playing week to week for his job, as he tries to hold off the latest QB drafted by John Elway in Drew Lock. Flacco has a decent enough team around him, so it will be interesting to see how the veteran is able to adapt to his new environment. If Flacco can play at a serviceable level while peppering in some deep balls, he could end up finishing with a solid statistical season.
Bonus: Josh Rosen/Ryan Fitzpatrick
I wouldn’t feel great about taking either of these quarterbacks, as they could end up playing half the season each. Fitzmagic quickly turned into Fitztragic after a magical start to the season in Tampa Bay last year, and based on reports out of Dolphins camp, he could have a similar start to the season this year. If Fitzpatrick can maintain his production levels, he may be able to hold off Josh Rosen for a while, but ultimately, the Dolphins may want to and should want to see what they have in Rosen.