Best Ball Quarterbacks to Avoid (2022 Fantasy Football)
When historically evaluating Fantasy QBs, there are a few common traits to look for that make a productive fantasy QB: volume, regression, situation, and rushing. The more times a QB has the opportunity to make a play, the higher chance he has at scoring points. When the volume is there, and the production isn’t, there is a good chance a quarterback has the opportunity to score more (regression) in future games and vice versa, especially if this QB is in a good offense and team situation. Lastly, when a Fantasy QB has a stable rushing floor and viable passing ability, he is highly likely to be relevant if not an elite QB in Fantasy football. However, these QBs listed below have lacked one or more of these four themes in the past season, thus being the reason I believe they are considered overvalued in fantasy football ahead of the 2021 season.
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It was evident that the Seahawks moved on from the “Let Russ Cook” days. After a 2020 season in which Wilson threw for over 263 yards per game on top of 40 passing touchdowns, the former Wisconsin QB only threw for 222 yards per game with 25 passing touchdowns in 2021. On top of this, his passing volume is way down, as Wilson went from a little under 35 pass attempts per game compared to slightly under 29 pass attempts per game in 2021.
One of the things that always separated Russell Wilson in fantasy was his consistent rushing floor. However, his rushing numbers have gone down significantly over the past couple of seasons (especially 2021). Over the past four years (2018-2021), Wilson has averaged 4.28 rushing attempts per game, including a career-low of 3.07 attempts per game in 2021. During the previous four years (2014-2017), Wilson averaged 6.06 rushing attempts per game, including 7.375 attempts per game in 2014. Wilson simply is not getting the same volume that he once had earlier in his career to be a sustainable QB1 in fantasy football.
Wilson’s Best Ball ADP currently stands at 92.7 (QB12), ahead of guys such as Justin Fields (ADP 100, QB13) and Derek Carr (ADP 127.6, QB17). With Wilson being shipped to Denver in a blockbuster trade, there is potential that he is able to turn it around if he utilizes his mobility and the Broncos decide to air it out more. However, with the rise of stud RB Javonte Williams and the potential return of veteran RB Melvin Gordon III, there is a possibility that Denver continues to be a run-heavy team. If this is the case, it will be difficult for Wilson to put up high QB1 numbers given his draft capital.
Coming into the 2021 season, there was a lot to like about Dak Prescott’s situation in the Cowboys offense. In the five games he played in before suffering a season-ending ankle injury, the former Mississippi State QB was on pace for 5,900 yards and 28 touchdowns in what looked to be a high-powered air attack for the Cowboys. However, Prescott took a step back in passing yards in 2021, only throwing for 4,449 yards. While these numbers are still good, his yards per attempt dropped from 8.4 in 2020 to 7.5 in 2021.
Like Russell Wilson, Prescott has not been the same rushing threat he once was since entering the league. Prescott averaged 305 rushing yards per season on top of 4.8 rushing touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league. In 2021, his rushing numbers dropped to 146 yards with only one touchdown. In fact, Prescott had more rushing touchdowns in 5 games in 2020 (3) than in 16 games in 2021. While his severe ankle injury could have been a sign of caution by Dallas to keep him healthy, rushing is a significant factor in the success of a top fantasy QB.
Prescott is currently being drafted 71st overall (QB7) in Best Ball formats over notable QBs such as Trey Lance (ADP 75.9, QB8), Jalen Hurts (ADP 86.2, QB10), and Matthew Stafford (ADP 89.7, QB11). While Prescott may be the safer option as an established QB1 as a passer, there seems to be more upside with Lance and Hurts because of their elite rushing floor and development as young QBs, especially if the 49ers decide to rely heavily on Lance’s legs in 2022. As for Prescott, the offense has the potential to experience some changes in 2022 with RB Tony Pollard emerging and WR Amari Cooper being traded to the Browns.
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