Dynasty Bust QBs (Fantasy Football)

May 8, 2017

Deshaun Watson may not have the skills needed to succeed in the NFL

We are less than a month removed from the NFL Draft – a time when football fans everywhere get overexcited by all the “new hotness” entering the league. Despite the fact that just about 70% of NFL draft picks fall somewhere between “below average” and “utterly useless,” the mainstream commentary teams during the draft almost never condemn any draft pick as a bad selection. If we didn’t know any better, we’d assume every player drafted was poised for a long and prosperous career.

With that being said, the draft always gets us fantasy players primed for the future of our dynasty/keeper teams. We instantly react to landing spots, the impact the new players have on the incumbents, and what players we think we can get on our teams now and keep for the majority of their careers. At this point in the offseason, the outlook on players is mostly positive. Not to rain on that parade (read: totally to rain on that parade), here are a few quarterbacks that will be owned this year, but hopefully not by you.

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Deshaun Watson (HOU)
After Tajh Boyd’s success at Clemson, the Tigers upgraded to a better model: Deshaun Watson. Apparently, Boyd’s skills did not translate to the NFL. Although Watson is significantly better than Boyd and I would not necessarily directly compare the two, I do not foresee much success at the professional level for Watson either.

This year’s QB class was one of the worst in recent memory, and that fact is what pushed a player like Deshaun Watson into the first round. He was a great college quarterback, but as we’ve seen, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be great at the next level. I’ve seen comparisons to Robert Griffin, Marcus Mariota, and even Dak Prescott.

It is interesting how even five years later, scouts are still looking for the next rookie year version of Griffin. My comparison is Troy Smith. While the combine skill tests are not the be all end all of the comparisons, this is a fun one to look at.

Watson ran a 4.66 40-yard dash. Smith ran it at 4.72. Watson completed the three-cone drill in 6.95 seconds. Smith did it in 6.93 seconds.

Watson completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.31 seconds. Smith did it in 4.23 seconds. For an additional speed comparison, as Watson is a guy many consider to be a running quarterback, Mitch Trubisky ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds, just one-hundredth of a second slower than Watson.

On the passing front, Watson has been criticized for his accuracy, specifically on the deep ball, his ball placement in general, and his tendency to zone in on his primary read – all things he can get away with in college. Also adding to the case against him is the fact that he operated almost exclusively out of the shotgun. Bill O’Brien and the Texans will be asking him to get under center a lot more.

In the NFL, a player cannot survive on purely quick passes and mobility. The Texans are a good football team, but they are not a great offense and this is not an ideal fantasy situation. I believe Watson to be a career backup/borderline starter.

I am also not entirely convinced he will beat out Tom Savage for the opening week start. While I do believe he is the most likely to see immediate action, I don’t think he will be particularly successful.

I also wouldn’t expect it to last very long. I imagine there will be rookie dynasty drafts where Watson is the first quarterback taken. Let someone else make that mistake.

DeShone Kizer (CLE)
Eschewing the “lol Browns” narrative we could easily go with, there is a reason that Kizer, who was once considered the top QB prospect for 2017, ended up falling out of the first round entirely. He’s just not that good. Kizer was the fourth quarterback taken, and I understand why the Browns did it, but he is just going to be another name on the long, long list of early round failed quarterbacks taken by the Browns.

DeShone Kizer has landed on a team with a decades-long losing pedigree. This is a team that just let Terrelle Pryor walk, yet had no problem shelling more money and a longer commitment to bring in Kenny Britt. Corey Coleman is an excellent young talent and I do like him, but this is not an offense primed for a lot of success.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Kizer started Week 1 (Cody Kessler and Brock Osweiler aren’t exactly stiff competition), but it also wouldn’t surprise me if Kizer got benched at a later date (which would be nothing new for Kizer – he was benched at Notre Dame as well). Kizer barely cracked a 60% completion percentage in college and turned the ball over too much.

Kizer lacks the college accolades of DeShaun Watson, is in a worse landing spot, and is all around just not as good of a player. And we’ve already established I don’t believe in Watson. I see no reason to roster Kizer at all in any format.

Mike Glennon (CHI)
Given that Glennon hasn’t started a game since 2014, I would imagine he is unowned in most dynasty leagues and certainly unowned in other keeper formats. I like Glennon as a passer and think he could be a low-end starter in this league. The reason he finds himself on this list is because of the deja vu he just experienced.

In 2014, Mike Glennon looked like he was at least going to get the chance to be the Bucs’ QB of the future. In 2015, the Bucs drafted Jameis Winston. After not starting a single game for the past two seasons, Glennon signed a nice contract with the Bears to be their starter in 2017 (his only competition was Matt Barkley).

Then, on April 27, the Bears traded up one spot to make sure they got Mitch Trubisky. That is not a move teams make just for the sake of doing so.

The Bears are going to give Trubisky every opportunity to start, and even if it’s not this year, it would be a huge upset if Trubisky was not the starter by 2018. Given how bad the Bears project to be this year, however, I would expect Trubisky to be given some real game experience once this season becomes a lost cause.

Additionally, Glennon’s motivation to perform could be questioned as he has gone on record to having felt “cheated” by the Bears. I think it’s fair to assume Glennon was given some assurances when he was negotiating his contract with the Bears, and it’s possible some of those assurances were broken not just by the drafting of Trubisky, but by the apparent fact that the Bears never told Glennon they were drafting Trubisky. While Glennon certainly has himself to play for with the hopes of another opportunity with another team after the Bears likely release him next offseason, he is unlikely to get a third chance to be a team’s starter.

There isn’t much hope with Glennon anymore. He will likely enter this year as a starter and thus will be owned in most dynasty leagues, but that does not mean you have to be the one to own him. Both his short and long-term prospects are grim.

Check back next week for the next installment on RBs.


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Jason Katz is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jason, check out his archive or follow him @jasonkatz13.


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