Waiting on your quarterback continues to gain steam in fantasy football circles. Most in the know pass on the first quarterbacks drafted each year, instead using their initial picks to load up on wide receivers and running backs. If you’re still not considering this strategy, here are a few reasons why you should as you prepare for your 2018 fantasy football drafts.
Still, this strategy begs the question, if not Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady then who? Our writers have teamed up to provide their top late-round quarterbacks of 2018. These are quarterbacks that are currently sitting outside the top 10 of our consensus ADP.
Andrew Luck (IND) – ADP QB11
Perhaps the most polarizing fantasy conundrum of 2018, Luck is throwing without pain and should be good to go for the Colts season opener. We’re talking about a player who could potentially win your league for you if he’s healthy. No quarterback at this point will offer the upside of Andrew Luck, and would it really surprise anyone if he finishes as a top-five QB at the end of the season? The biggest question is his health, but the talent has always been there. He’s worth a shot at this price-point.
Shane Davies (@sbdavies7)
Jared Goff (LAR) ADP QB13
Goff finished 2017 as a borderline QB1, but it seems that nobody is expecting him to break through into that threshold this year. On one hand, his touchdown and yardage totals do seem inflated when contrasted with his passing volume, which was only in the middle of the pack for QBs. But that was just his second year in the league, and he’s going into 2018 with a nearly identical supporting cast, with the only difference being Brandin Cooks replacing Sammy Watkins (an upgrade to be sure). Furthermore, he’s going to be going up against some secondaries that aren’t nearly as scary as they used to be. Look no further than Goff’s very own NFC west, where Seattle’s Legion of Boom is no more and Arizona will be depending on Patrick Peterson to cover up an otherwise lackluster secondary unit.
Shane McCormack (@ShaneMcCormack_)
Matt Ryan (ATL) ADP QB14
Ryan has yo-yo’d the past few seasons with finishing as high as QB2 (2016) and as low as QB19 (2015). In 2017, his QB15 season was a tad uninspired however growing pains w/ new OC Steve Sarkisian and TD-regression could easily take the bulk of the blame. Bringing in Calvin Ridley to pair with Jones and Sanu, the Falcons are poised to have a strong year, attacking through the air, downfield.
Ethan Sauers (@ethansauers)
Philip Rivers (LAC) ADP QB16
He’s not a flashy pick with league-winning upside like Pat Mahomes, Marcus Mariota, or Mitchell Trubisky, but Philip Rivers typifies the position’s extraordinary depth. The 36-year-old, who has not missed a game in over a decade, has cleared 4,000 passing yards in nine of the past 10 seasons. He’s averaging 4,491 passing yards and 30.6 passing touchdowns per year since 2013. If I wait out the top-tier signal-callers, I’ll happily grab Rivers near his Round-10 ADP and pair him with a younger upside play.
Andrew Gould (@andrewgould4)
Marcus Mariota (TEN) ADP QB18
Drafters are very low on Marcus Mariota evidenced by his low ADP. This year he’s going off the board as the QB17; last year he was the QB7 in offseason drafts. There are plenty of reasons to like Mariota heading into this year, and that’s before factoring in his appealing 12th-round ADP. The Titans removed the archaic-minded coach Mike Mularkey this offseason. In steps offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur. LaFleur has learned under offensive gurus Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay over the previous two seasons, helping design two high-powered efficient offenses along the way. Jared Goff and Matt Ryan were both near the league lead in YPA and TD% with LaFleur and I expect Mariota to do the same. Mariota already enters the year as the strongest positive touchdown regression candidate among quarterbacks; his career 4.6% rate dwarfs last year’s 2.9% rate. Mariota’s injury-prone label is overblown after playing consecutive 15-game seasons. Since 2016, he is fifth among quarterbacks in rushing yards. With new playcalling and a bevy of versatile weapons, Mariota is headed for a top-12 season.
Eli Weiner (@eweiner_bball)
Eli Manning (NYG) ADP QB24
The Giants had a train wreck 2017, after being a popular pick to win the NFC last season. Eli Manning returns as the starter under new head coach Pat Shurmur who has gotten great production out of the likes of Case Keenum and Sam Bradford in recent seasons. Manning is a declining player at this stage of his career, but an elite set of skill players, including Odell Beckham Jr., Evan Engram, and Saquon Barkley along with Sterling Shepard can elevate Eli’s stats in 2018 for a bounce-back season.
Jordan McNamara (@mcnamaradynasty)
Mitchell Trubisky (CHI) ADP QB27
If you are believing that the Chicago Bears can be this year’s LA Rams, then Trubisky is a great pick up at the end of drafts as your QB2. He has weapons now, and his rushing strength is so underrated. Could be a better Mariota.
Marc Mathyk (@Masterjune70)
What if I told you I have him ranked in my top 12? You’d probably call me crazy. But you also would’ve called those same people who were high on Jared Goff last year crazy. The parallels are cliche and obvious, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true. John Fox is just as bad of a coach as Jeff Fisher – he shackled the offense tremendously. Matt Nagy is a more offensive minded coach and all of the Bears offseason moves suggest a transition to a more aerial attack. No one is doubting Trubisky’s weapons, many just aren’t sure of his actual talent. Let me set the record straight – Mitch is real and he’s spectacular.
Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)
Thanks again to our writers for their contributions. Who’s your favorite late-round QB of 2018?