4 Quarterbacks Set to Bounce Back in 2016
To say that the 2015 fantasy football season was full of surprises would be an understatement. Owners that invested an early round pick on a QB were probably disappointed with the return on their investment. On the other hand, owners that took a flier on Cam Newton or Blake Bortles in the later rounds, couldn’t have been happier with their value picks.
One of the best parts about fantasy football is that situations change from year-to-year. The ability for draftees to recognize and capitalize on these changes can help owners build a league winning team. Here are some QBs that underperformed last year, but are in line for a bounceback season.
Andrew Luck (IND) – ADP: QB4, Overall 43
Luck was supposed to make his move into the elite QB realm last season, but various injuries and poor play sidetracked that plan. During the offseason, the Colts focused on their terrible offensive line by drafting four offensive linemen. They have also been working with Luck on his footwork and with getting the ball out of his hands quicker.
The Colts have been running a lot of three WR sets with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and speedy Phillip Dorsett during camp, and many expect Moncrief and Dorsett to have breakout seasons. Expect Luck to throw the ball early and often, especially with 33-year-old Frank Gore in the backfield.
Owners should target Luck around the fourth round during fantasy drafts; I would take Luck over the current QB3, Russell Wilson.
Aaron Rodgers (GB) – ADP: QB2, Overall 28
Rodgers had a down year, by his standards, and still finished as the seventh best QB in fantasy football last season. The loss of Jordy Nelson clearly negatively impacted Rodgers, as the Packers’ offense looked lethargic and out of sync. The return of Nelson this season will help open things up for WR Randall Cobb, who struggled as the No. 1 receiver last season.
Rodgers should also benefit from the offseason signing of field stretching TE Jared Cook. After having a subpar season, Rodgers will be on a mission to prove that he is the best QB in the NFL. Look for him to return to his spot as the No. 1 fantasy QB this season.
Rodgers should be drafted as the No. 1 fantasy QB; I believe that Newton will have some rushing TD regression this season. However, with QB being a very deep position, in the pass-happy NFL, I wouldn’t draft Rodgers before Round 3 in standard leagues.
Colin Kaepernick (SF) – ADP: QB32, Overall 247
If anyone can resurrect Kaepernick’s fantasy relevance it’s Chip Kelly; Kaepernick is the prototypical QB to run Kelly’s up-tempo offense. More importantly, Kaepernick’s skill set of being mobile will be better utilized by rollouts and QB bootlegs. Expect Kaepernick to make short, quick throws and take the occasional deep shot down the field to WR Torrey Smith.
Kaepernick’s speed combined with winded opposing defensive players should allow Kaepernick to break some long touchdown runs this season. The 49ers should be trailing in a lot of games this season which means a bunch of garbage time production as well.
Kaepernick is currently battling with Blaine Gabbert to be the starting QB for week 1, but I think his talent will give him the edge. Kaepernick is worth a late round flyer during drafts based on his upside and history. If he plays anywhere close to what we saw a few years ago, then the return value will be tremendous.
Ryan Tannehill (MIA) – ADP: QB21, Overall 169
Tannehill was a sleeper pick on many draft boards last season but ended up the 17th best QB in fantasy football. There is optimism in Miami going into this season and for good reason. The Dolphins hired QB guru Adam Gase, as head coach this offseason, which should make an immediate impact on Tannehill completion percentage and lower his number of interceptions.
The addition of veteran RB Arian Foster and his ability to catch passes out of the backfield should boost Tannehill’s TD numbers in the red zone. Tannehill also has a young and talented group of WRs in DeVante Parker, Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills who have impressed many so far in camp.
Tannehill is one of my top sleeper picks this season. If Gase can work his magic on Tannehill like he did with Jay Cutler last season, there’s no reason that Tannehill can’t finish the year as a top 12 fantasy QB. I plan on targeting Tannehill in the later rounds, in all of my leagues that have a superflex.