2019 Rookie Fantasy Recap: Quarterbacks
Let’s rewind for a moment. At this point last year, we were beginning the conversation of analyzing these incoming rookies. Just like this year, there’s no shortage of people doing their homework on these players and inspecting the tape and reviewing the numbers that they put up in college.
For a few months, this is what all of the NFL’s attention is turned towards. When you turn on NFL Network, it’s all they’re talking about. In addition, all the other major sports news outlets are covering these players and it’s all in anticipation of those few days in April where we find out where these players will end up.
After the NFL Draft, there’s a few weeks of discussing the landing spots and recapping the event. But then the conversation about these rookies falls off a cliff. Specifically in Fantasy Football, there’s very little review on these rookies and how they performed. Whether this is in-season or at the year’s end, we fall victim to the mindset of constantly looking forward.
However, for Fantasy Football, looking back can be extremely beneficial. There are players that may be immediate contributors in 2020, but their situation wasn’t perfect in 2019 and they failed to maximize their potential.
We have short-term memory in Fantasy Football and it’s important to remember that and strive to remedy it. In this article, we’ll look at the 2019 QB rookies and how they performed, while also looking forward to next year and how they can contribute in 2020.
(Players will be listed below in order of where they were drafted)
1. Kyler Murray (ARI)
Kyler Murray played in all 16 games as a rookie and finished as the QB7 in Fantasy Football. His running ability made an immediate impact and he finished with over 500 rushing yards on the season. Murray showed promise as a passer as well and finished with over 3,700 passing yards, which is good enough for 7th all time for a rookie QB. Moving forward, Murray will hopefully have a better infrastructure within the offense in 2020, as the Cardinals are projected to address the Offensive Line. They were exposed several times last year for this roster weakness. Additionally, Murray will get Hakeem Butler and Andy Isabella into more increased roles, which should only help his output. As long as he’s healthy, Murray’s a safe bet to return to a Top-10 ranking next season.
Kyler Murray's (@K1) best throws from his Offensive Rookie of the Year Season:
His deep ball accuracy and elusiveness to evade pressure and create out of structure gives Kyler the potential become an elite NFL QB. pic.twitter.com/zc6ZEbBw2F
— NFL Film Review (@NFLFilmReview) February 5, 2020
2. Daniel Jones (NYG)
Daniel Jones took over for Eli Manning this season and ended up playing in 13 total games. Jones finished with just over 3,000 passing yards and 24 total touchdowns. While there were certainly highlights and glimpses that showed Jones could be valuable for Fantasy Football in the future, there were also some causes for concern. Jones threw 12 interceptions, but also fumbled the ball 18 times. There’s optimism in New York, but a new coaching staff, a new offensive philosophy, the turnover issues, and a lack of elite and consistent weapons has me hesitant to jump on the Daniel Jones bandwagon for 2020. There should be improvement, but I’m not expecting to see Jones make any significant strides next season. He’ll most likely end up somewhere in the early-20s for me when doing season long projections.
3. Dwayne Haskins (WAS)
Dwayne Haskins was thrown into one of the worst situations out of all rookie QBs last year. The lack of weapons in Washington was a huge red flag, but once the season got rolling, it was clear that things weren’t going to be looking up any time soon for a bevy of reasons. The Redskins turned to Haskins after seeing enough from Case Keenum and Haskins ended up starting in seven games, while ultimately playing in nine. He had his rookie growing pains, but showed enough that he should be their starting QB for 2020 and beyond. My expectations are low for Haskins though going into this season with a new coaching staff, limited receiving weapons, and his lack of overall experience. I’ll most likely end up projecting Haskins somewhere in the late-20s for 2020 QBs.
Dwayne Haskins had a pretty up and down rookie season, but this is one of the craziest throws I've seen from this past season. pic.twitter.com/wTjAIrhPOW
— NFL Film Review (@NFLFilmReview) February 6, 2020
4. Drew Lock (DEN)
Drew Lock started the season out on the PUP, but took over the starting role from Joe Flacco in Week 13 and played well down the stretch. From weeks 13-17, Lock was the QB22 and was on pace to throw for over 3,200 yards. Lock still has room to grow, but Denver may have finally found their QB with this one. Lock’s willing to take chances, which may get him in trouble from time to time, but he can also make some throws that not many other QBs in the league are even willing to try. A new offense to learn this offseason may stall some of that progress, but Lock will have plenty of weeks where he’ll be in streaming consideration in 2020. The future’s bright for Lock and the Denver offense, but I’m still going to put him in the same range as Haskins and Jones for 2020 projection value.
5. Gardner Minshew II (JAX)
Gardner Minshew and his mustache/jorts burst onto the scene out of nowhere in 2020. There were nine QBs that were taken ahead of Minshew, but he finished only behind Kyler Murray in total passing yards and games played. Minshew played very well throughout the season and should be the starter for Jacksonville in 2020. Like several of these other QBs on this list, there’s turnover on the offensive staff for Minshew, so it’ll be interesting to see how he plays in a new system. Jay Gruden will have to work this offseason to make sure Minshew’s comfortable in an attempt to recreate what they had last year…Minshew’s a mid-20s projection at this point as well until we see him in action in the preseason and get a feel for what this offense will look like with him at the helm.
Gardner Minshew's first TD of the day was an absolute dime 🎯
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 6, 2019
6. Ryan Finley (CIN)
In the 2019 draft process, I did not expect Ryan Finley to be good in the NFL. Looking back a year later, we can all say that Finley was not good. End of analysis.