Dynasty Sleeper QBs (Fantasy Football)
To identify value at a skill position in fantasy football, it is imperative to gauge the market and trade value of a specific player. Even more, it is necessary to determine the present and future outlook of an individual based on an NFL roster’s depth chart. In doing so, sleeper candidates can be identified for fantasy football purposes.
For the sake of this article, a sleeper is best categorized as a player with significant breakout appeal at a relatively low price. For the first installment of this series, all attention is devoted to the quarterback position.
Jared Goff (LAR)
After being selected first overall in the NFL Draft a season ago, it’s safe to assert that Jared Goff failed to deliver on his draft capital in 2016. Fear not, as the 22-year-old quarterback can take a major step forward as a sophomore in 2017 due to personnel changes. Now that the Jeff Fisher era has come to an end for the Los Angeles Rams,
Goff will be under the direction of Sean McVay. The former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator was an instrumental piece in the development of Kirk Cousins.
Under the control of McVay, the former fourth-round pick managed to set a career-high in passing yards (4,917) last season. While there is no guarantee that Goff will find the same level of success as Cousins under McVay, there is at least some reason for optimism moving forward.
Because Goff did not start until Week 11 in 2016, it is entirely possible that he can breakout as a sophomore. After all, he only recorded 1,089 yards passing with five touchdowns and seven interceptions across seven games as a rookie.
It’s a small sample size but reassures fantasy owners that it is far too early to write off the California product. Don’t sleep on Goff’s potential, as his pedigree and age indicate that he is a sound stash in dynasty formats.
Ryan Tannehill (MIA)
As a result of his inconsistency on the NFL gridiron, Ryan Tannehill is often viewed exclusively as a streaming option in the fantasy football realm. Now entering his second season under the helm of Adam Gase, it is fair to wonder if the 28-year-old quarterback can be relied on as a weekly starter moving forward. Miami’s supporting cast indicates that it’s a realistic possibility, as the team has a plethora of weapons to utilize in Jay Ajayi, Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, Kenny Stills, and Julius Thomas.
Before missing the final three weeks of the 2016 regular season due to a partially torn ACL and sprained MCL, Tannehill was on pace to set career-highs in multiple passing categories. In fact, his 67.1 completion percentage and 7.7 yards per pass attempt both represented the best totals of his career to this point.
If 2016 was any indication, Tannehill could elevate his game under the guidance of Gase. That alone warrants sleeper consideration for 2017, as the quarterback can currently be acquired at a low asking price.
Carson Wentz (PHI)
There’s little doubt that Carson Wentz is an ascending talent in the NFL. As was the case in his rookie campaign, it remains to be seen if he can be trusted on a weekly basis for fantasy football purposes in 2017. After passing for 3,782 yards in Philadelphia’s aerial attack last season with a less than ideal supporting cast, those that own Wentz have to be pleased with the offseason additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.
Entering his sophomore campaign, Wentz will look to build off of an inefficient rookie season in which he completed 62.4 percent of his passes on 607 attempts. The volume was promising from a fantasy perspective, but Wentz’ completion percentage ranked eighteenth in the NFL. Outside of superflex leagues (in which two quarterbacks can be started on a weekly basis), it’s hard to imagine Wentz being valued as an elite asset in dynasty formats. Therefore, he still possesses a certain level of sleeper appeal heading into this upcoming season.
Jimmy Garoppolo (NE)
Although it appears as though the New England Patriots will decide against trading Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason, he remains a premier stash at the quarterback position in dynasty formats. If Garoppolo does indeed enter this upcoming season as a backup to Tom Brady, it will be under the final year of his rookie contract. Provided the fact that Brady’s future as a 39-year-old quarterback in the NFL is uncertain, it makes sense that New England is hesitant to trade a rising talent in Garoppolo.
As a former second-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, it’s clear that Garoppolo’s pedigree carries significant value. During his final season at Eastern Illinois in 2013, the quarterback managed to throw for 5,050 yards passing and 53 touchdowns. In the process, he surpassed Tony Romo in the school’s record books.
Over the span of three NFL seasons, Garoppolo has failed to earn sufficient opportunities to deliver on his lucrative resume. The 25-year-old has recorded 690 yards through the air and five touchdowns with zero interceptions across 17 career appearances. Garoppolo also owns a 67.0 career completion percentage and 106.2 passer rating, which indicates that he is an efficient passer at the NFL level.
The issue is, it is unclear when or if a starting position will become available for him to fill. For that reason alone, Garoppolo should be viewed primarily as a sleeper candidate for the imminent future.
Paxton Lynch (DEN)
Barring the addition of unforeseen competition at the quarterback position, Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian appear poised for another battle to earn the title of Denver’s signal caller in 2017. The former resides as a first-round pick (26th overall in 2016), while the latter won a starting role last season with a seventh-round pedigree.
From an age perspective, Lynch stands as the more appealing asset to invest in from a dynasty standpoint at 23 years old. Sure, the Memphis product remains a work in progress. However, he impressed as a rookie in a limited sample size of three games by completing 59.0% of his passes for 497 yards in Denver’s aerial attack.
The quarterback apparently possesses a higher ceiling, as he compiled 3,776 passing yards with 28 touchdowns during his final collegiate season in 2015. While he is projected to begin his sophomore campaign behind Siemian on the team’s initial depth chart, Lynch’s pedigree and raw athleticism combine to make him an enticing sleeper candidate.