Quarterbacks to Avoid Based on Current Rankings (2020 Fantasy Football)
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Last week, we examined running backs our writers are avoiding at their current cost. This week, we’ve asked our writers for quarterbacks that they are most likely to pass on based on our fantasy football expert consensus rankings. Here’s what they had to say.
Q: Which quarterback are you least likely to draft at their current ranking?
Dak Prescott (DAL): QB3
Lamar Jackson’s 28 fantasy points per game last season were six more than the next-best quarterback (Deshaun Watson) and 11 more than the median quarterback’s average of 17 points per game. Patrick Mahomes offered similar upside (26 points per game) in 2018, and I’m confident each of these guys can repeat their past performances. Although it isn’t likely, I could see myself grabbing Jackson or Mahomes early in the draft for a chance at a seven- to eight-point positional advantage each week. There’s a significant drop-off in expected performance after those two quarterbacks, so I’m least likely to draft the next highest-ranked of the bunch. Dak Prescott finished as QB2 in 2019, but on average scored only one more point per game than Jameis Winston, Russell Wilson, and Drew Brees. Matt Ryan, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray were all within a few points per game of Prescott, and I expect each of them to match his performance in 2020. I have confidence in Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger later in the draft, so I can’t envision a scenario where I draft Prescott ahead of the flex-worthy starters I can find in his tier.
– Daniel Comer (@DanComer404)
There are only two quarterbacks that are worth reaching for. Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes offer massive upside and are in a class of their own. Dak falls into the next tier of quarterbacks that are great fantasy options, but he is not worth taking at his ADP when there are similar options you can choose from at lower draft capital. I would rather take a chance on James Conner, Terry McLaurin, or David Montgomery, looking for a high-upside breakout candidate and waiting to take Josh Allen or Carson Wentz as alternatives. There is very little variability in the second tier of quarterbacks, so there is no reason to take Dak at his current ADP, considering his close proximity to Jackson and Mahomes in ADP. There is no doubt Dak is a solid quarterback option, but there is more to gain drafting a wide receiver or running back at this ADP.
– Brandon Torricella (@Btorricella3)
Aaron Rodgers (GB): QB12
This offseason was all of the proof I needed to slam the door on drafting Aaron Rodgers. With an ECR of QB12, the draft capital he currently requires would suggest the drafter intends to keep him as their starting quarterback for the entire season. While I have some serious cognitive dissonance from saying Aaron Rodgers is not good enough to be a top-12 quarterback, last season’s data backs up my claim. Despite his QB10 overall finish, Rodgers was rarely playable week in and week out. The Green Bay quarterback only finished as a top-12 quarterback five times, where he put up outings of 28, 19, 46, 27, and 28 points. Those weeks, Rodgers gave you a solid advantage at the position. However, he was a detriment to your lineup in the remaining 10 games. He scored under 15 points over 66 percent of the time last season, including outings of 11, 14, and nine points in the fantasy playoffs. Rodgers passed for under 250 yards on 10 occasions and played three games in which he failed to score a touchdown. He took a back seat to Aaron Jones in this offense, and it looks like it will be more of the same this season. The Green Bay regime lost more talent on offense than it acquired, as the Packers vacated 115 combined targets from Jimmy Graham and Geronimo Allison while failing to retain one of their best offensive lineman, Bryan Bulaga. Their key additions were the oft-injured Devin Funchess and bruiser running back A.J. Dillon; I don’t expect either to replicate the receiving production Green Bay lost in free agency. Rodgers was already barely usable last season, but now his supporting cast is worse and his coach is drafting players for a run-dominated scheme. Rodgers may be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but there is no chance I am drafting him at his current rank.
– Dan Ambrosino (@AmbrosinoNFL)
Aaron Rodgers finished the year as QB10 last season, but the Packers’ biggest pass-catching addition was Devin Funchess, who missed the majority of last season due to a broken collarbone. Rather than selecting another offensive weapon for Rodgers, Green Bay drafted his successor in Jordan Love. Rodgers threw for 4,002 yards with 26 touchdowns and four interceptions across 16 games in 2019. The 36-year-old passed for 250 yards or more in just four games and had a career-low 29.1 completion percentage on downfield attempts. The Packers also drafted RB A.J. Dillon in the second round as they head toward a run-first offense. With a lack of weapons outside Davante Adams and the Packers set to rely heavier on the run in 2020, it will be tough for Rodgers to return top-10 value. I would rather wait until later in the draft and take my chances on Baker Mayfield, Daniel Jones, or even old reliable Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom are ranked a few spots below Rodgers.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)
Kyler Murray (ARI): QB5
Let me start by saying Kyler Murray is poised for a very bright future. His dual-threat capabilities make him one of the most exciting quarterbacks for fantasy entering 2020. However, his No. 5 ranking combined with an ADP in the fifth round leaves almost no room for error. At that premium price, you essentially need Murray to finish as a top-four quarterback for the pick to pay off. The Oklahoma alum finished as fantasy’s No. 7 QB as a rookie, but it wasn’t always a smooth ride. Murray certainly has the talent and weapons around him to do it, but I’d rather not risk sophomore struggles this high in the draft. As tempting as his upside is, I’d rather wait to grab a more proven quarterback with similar upside later in the draft.
– Matt Barbato (@RealMattBarbato)
Drew Brees (NO): QB9
Despite missing five games due to injury, Drew Brees was his usual efficient self in 2019. The future Hall-of-Famer completed 70% of his passes for the fourth consecutive season while his 7.9 yards per attempt was right in line with a typical year of his. However, he turned 41 years old in January, and the Saints continue to rely less and less on him in their offense. Coach Sean Payton has transformed the unit into more of a ball-control, run-first attack over the past few years. Additionally, Taysom Hill continues to be mixed in more and more, particularly in the red zone. This isn’t to say Brees won’t be usable in fantasy this year, especially when playing at home in potential shootouts. Currently ranked as the QB9 in our ECR, he is ultimately a matchup-based streaming option being priced as an every-week starter.
– Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma)
Tom Brady (TB): QB10
I have written about Tom Brady a lot this offseason; I just do not think he is a good value at this point. I understand that the Patriots made some roster decisions that backfired last year. They had no plan for replacing Rob Gronkowski, and the result was the worst fantasy tight end unit in the NFL. They did not do enough to upgrade the wide receiver position either, and the result was a unit loaded with slot receivers that lacked a true deep threat and red-zone target. The Buccaneers will not have those problems this year. Their receivers led the NFL in fantasy points in 2019, and O.J. Howard and Rob Gronkowski have the potential to form one of the NFL’s best tight end duos. All that said, Brady is going to be 43 years old in August. Although a highly skilled veteran in 2017, he looked like an old quarterback in 2018 and 2019. He does not look the same as he did in his prime, and upgrading the skill positions isn’t going to turn back the clock. Brady cannot play forever; at some point, age will prevent him from performing at a high level. Carson Wentz and Aaron Rodgers have a similar ECR to Brady’s overall 86 ranking. Joe Burrow and Kirk Cousins are both bargains at an ECR of 136 and 142, respectively. I don’t see the need to gamble on Brady’s age and new offense when there are so many safer options or better bargains with more upside. He would need to have at least 4,000 yards passing and 25 passing touchdowns to justify his current ranking, which is fairly close to his ceiling and leaves little room for him to become a bargain.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
Jared Goff (LAR): QB17
Jared Goff is currently being drafted as a mid-tier QB2 based on his ECR of 17. While I don’t blame fantasy drafters for wanting steady production from the quarterback position, Goff offers almost no upside at his current ranking because of his inability to provide any production on the ground. Despite throwing for over 4,600 yards in each of the last two seasons, he regressed a bit last season, only tallying 22 passing TDs compared to 32 in 2018. The passing TDs may normalize a bit back to the mean, but it’s unlikely he throws for more than 30 in 2020. Now let’s look at his stats on the ground. Last season, Goff ran 33 times for 40 yards and two TDs. Those 1.2 yards per carry is not what I want from my fantasy quarterback. Compare that to Daniel Jones, who is ranked similarly as a mid-tier QB2. Jones rushed 45 times for 279 yards and two TDs in just 13 games. That’s a whopping 6.2 yards per carry average. Jones could run the ball even more in 2020, leading to positive TD regression for the sophomore quarterback. Combine his lack of rushing ability with the departure of two key offensive players in Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, and you won’t find me drafting Goff at his current ADP. I’m not saying I don’t trust Goff to perform at his ADP, but I’d rather take a shot on Jones, Ryan Tannehill, or even Joe Burrow, all of whom offer more upside based on their ability to tuck it and run.
– Adam Koffler (@AdamKoffler)
Russell Wilson (SEA): QB4
Russell Wilson finished as the QB4 in 2019 and fittingly sits at QB4 in FantasyPros’ current ECR. Drafting him as the QB4, however, would be a mistake. While his overall fantasy finish demonstrates the elite talent he possesses, Wilson’s consistency was severely lacking last season. In fact, he finished as a top-12 quarterback only seven times in 2019. Putting that into perspective, 13 other quarterbacks managed to post at least seven top-12 fantasy finishes. Drew Brees accumulated eight top-12 finishes in only 11 games, while Ryan Tannehill did the same in just 10 starts. Ryan Fitzpatrick, currently ranked as the QB30 (which reflects his job security more than his fantasy potential), managed to post the same number of top-12 finishes as Wilson. Quarterback is evidently a deep position, considering the fact that 39 different signal-callers finished in the weekly top-12 at the position at least once in 2019. Wilson averaged a QB12 finish last season, a far cry from his overall ranking, and a repeat performance would ultimately leave drafters wishing they had streamed the position every other week. Further, the Seahawks’ run-heavy offensive scheme inspires little hope that improved consistency is around the corner. Their 517 pass attempts in 2019, a year after finishing dead last with 427 pass attempts, ranked 23rd in the NFL. Wilson’s ultra-efficient ways — his 6.0 touchdown percentage from 2019 matched his career touchdown percentage — will continue to provide week-winning upside. Yet without an increase in passing volume, his numbers will continue to fluctuate heavily. The rushing numbers will keep his floor relatively high, but keep in mind that Wilson has only surpassed 400 rushing yards once since 2015. Wilson has finished as a QB1 every season of his career and is likely to do so again in 2020, but his current ranking does not reflect the bumpy road that his fantasy investors will be required to navigate. With excellent options such as Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, and Josh Allen slotted lower in the ECR, managers would be wise to avoid Wilson unless he slips later into drafts.
– Mark McWhirter (@mmcw19)