9 Late-Round Quarterbacks to Target (2022 Fantasy Football)
It’s important to be flexible as you prepare and complete your fantasy football draft. There are a bevy of fantasy football draft strategies to consider, but flexibility and the ability to take what the draft board gives you is key. It’s good to know of the different strategies so you can keep calm and build a solid roster even as your leaguemates and sniping you and otherwise throwing you curves with their picks.
A popular strategy across the fantasy football community in recent years is waiting on quarterback. While fantasy managers are becoming sharper on the value of rushing quarterbacks while also waiting on the position more, there are still several gems that you can find late in fantasy football drafts. Our analysts provide the top quarterbacks they are taking later in 1QB and Superflex formats.
Rankings noted using FantasyPros half-PPR Expert Consensus Rankings (ECR) and Consensus ADP.
Late-Round Quarterbacks to Target
Garoppolo’s shoulder surgery is the only reason he hasn’t been traded. Once he is deemed healthy, I’d presume he gets moved to a QB-needy team or to a roster that sustains an injury at the position.
Lance only started two games but showed off the rushing that excited fantasy managers during draft season. The 49ers’ first-year signal-caller averaged 22.4 expected fantasy points and 60 rushing yards per game.
Got league-winning upside as a late-round quarterback.
Kirk Cousins (MIN)
The Minnesota Vikings passer finished as the QB11 in total fantasy points and QB12 in points per game in 2021. And his new head coach comes from an offense that threw more aggressively on early downs under neutral game scripts; fifth-highest rate over the past two seasons. The Vikings ranked 27th in the category. Don’t be surprised to see Captain Kirk flirt with top-10 numbers in 2022. He finished last year as PFF’s fourth-highest graded quarterback.
He was exactly that from 2019-2020, and there is no reason to think the 26-year-old won’t pick up where he left off. During his last season of play, Watson led the NFL in passing yards and yards per attempt (8.9).
Considering some best ball leagues are won in November/December, not September, he’s worth stashing if you opt to wait on the quarterback position.
Justin Fields (CHI)
Justin Fields has fallen all the way to QB18 in early best ball ADP. Everyone is afraid of the situation in Chicago. But don’t forget that a washed-up Cam Newton went from irrelevant to a top-12 ranked QB in one week last year because of rushing production.
Fields finished as a top-12 fantasy quarterback in his last four full games in 2021, averaging 21.7 fantasy points per game. He also averaged 56 rushing yards per game over his last six. All in all, Fields averaged 35 rushing yards per game during his rookie season. The last three rookie QBs to do so? Newton, Josh Allen and Robert Griffin III. They all finished as top-12 fantasy quarterbacks in their second seasons, with the two former QBs finishing top-6.
It won’t take long for the narrative to spin on the talented Fields after he starts the season hot out of the gates. Five of the Bears’ first six matchups are against secondaries that are the weak part of their respective defense, lost talent in free agency and/or are unproven. In Week 1, Fields takes on the 49ers. He rushed for over 100 yards against them last season.
Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)
The Tua Tagovailoa slander all offseaon has been something to behold. While the masses make noodle-arm jokes on repeat, I’ll continue to pound the table for a quarterback that will silence the haters this season. Tagovailoa ranked top 12 last season in deep ball, clean pocket, and under pressure accuracy last season (per Playerprofiler.com). Yes, you read that right. He was top 12 in deep ball accuracy last year. Actually, he was ranked first. The first thing usually brought up next is that he finished 30th in deep ball attempts. This is true but asking Tagovailoa to stand in the pocket and chuck it deep last year behind an offensive line responsible for the fourth-highest pressure percentage is crazy (minimum 25 pressured dropbacks, per PFF). With a revamped offensive line and new weapons at his disposal in South Beach this season, Tagovailoa will cement himself as the Dolphins’ long-term quarterback and surprise in fantasy football.
Matt Ryan (IND)
After spending his entire 14-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan will be the starting quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts in his 15th season. Atlanta traded Matt Ryan to the Colts for a 2022 third-round pick.
It’s a major upgrade for Ryan’s fantasy appeal that he was able to get out of Atlanta – a franchise that looks to be in a massive rebuild. Last season, Ryan lacked a strong supporting cast which contributed to his lackluster numbers.
Calvin Ridley played five games, and the Falcons owned the league’s second-worst blocking offensive line per PFF. Ryan faced pressure at the sixth-highest rate (40%).
Ryan was also vastly underrated as a passer despite the ongoing turmoil ranking above average in many of PFF’s sticky efficiency metrics in 2021: 12th in PFF passing grade from a clean pocket, second throwing at the intermediate level, and ninth throwing on early downs.
Entering a Frank Reich system that prides itself on churning out play-action (5th) and screen passes (10th) will make Ryan’s life a helluva lot easier than it was in Atlanta.
Ryan ranked 33rd in screen throw rate and 12th in play-action rate in 2021. The new Colts quarterback is back on the fantasy QB2 radar for 2022.
Mac Jones (NE)
The rookie quarterback was highly efficient as a passer, finishing 18th in PFF passing grade, throwing 10-19 yards, 13th from a clean pocket and 10th on early downs. Those specific metrics tend to be sticky year over year and more predictive than raw counting stats.
Still, those numbers were equally impressive for Jones, who posted the sixth-highest passer rating (92.5) and second-highest completion percentage (67.6%) for a rookie quarterback with at least 300 attempts in NFL history.
Daniel Jones (NYG)
Per the Athletic’s Dan Duggan, the Giants want to unleash quarterback Daniel Jones. It’s music to the ears of fantasy drafters looking for a late-round quarterback with upside, because Jones has the skill set to be that player in a better offensive environment.
Before a Week 5 concussion, Jones was the QB8 overall and in points per game (23.3). The Giants quarterback ranked third in rushing yards per game (47/game) and second in PFF passing grade.
This offseason, New York drafted the best offensive tackle in the draft with the selection of Evan Neal at No. 7 overall. It provides Jones the protection he desperately needs as he looks to prove to the New York organization that he is worthy of being the long-term answer at quarterback.
With the Giants upgrading their entire offensive line through free agency and the draft, Jones is back on the fantasy QB2 radar in Superflex formats. Recall that last season he was playing behind PFF’s third-worst graded offensive line.
He will also benefit greatly from the No.1-easiest strength of schedule for QBs.
Jameis Winston (NO)
The additions of Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave, and the return of Michael Thomas are massive benefits for quarterback Jameis Winston, who is starting to emerge from this offseason as an intriguing late-round quarterback fantasy option. Winston played with almost zero weapons a season ago and still managed to average 17.5 fantasy points per game – good for QB14 on the year. The Saints quarterback also finished the season with the league’s sixth-highest passer rating (102.8) and the lowest turnover-worthy play rate (3%) of his career. Winston led all QBs last year in fantasy points per dropback (0.64).
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Mike Maher is an editor and content manager at FantasyPros and BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive, follow him on Twitter @MikeMaher, and visit his Philadelphia Eagles blog, The Birds Blitz.