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Quarterbacks With Top-5 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

Quarterbacks With Top-5 Potential (2024 Fantasy Football)

Top-end fantasy football quarterbacks frequently don’t come cheap in drafts. The opportunity cost to select Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts or Lamar Jackson instead of a running back, wide receiver or tight end in their average draft position (ADP) range is high.

However, hitting a top-five fantasy QB at the cost of a QB2 can set the foundation for a fantasy championship — namely, if gamers also hit a home run at a different position in the rounds that the aforementioned stud signal-callers were chosen. Mobility has been a helpful attribute for top-five quarterbacks in recent seasons and the two suggested QB2s with top-five quarterback upside in this article can add fantasy value with their legs. Furthermore, the first one already has two top-five seasons in fantasy points per game on his ledger.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

QB2s With Top-5 Potential

Kyler Murray (ARI – QB): 92.0 Underdog Fantasy ADP/QB13

Kyler Murray has already been a top-five quarterback in points per game twice among quarterbacks with double-digit starts, finishing as the QB3 in fantasy points per game (24.4) in 2020 and as the QB4 (22.2) in 2021. He averaged 18.9 points per game in 10 games in 2023 after returning from tearing his ACL on December 12, 2022.

Murray was less than a point per game behind the QB5 in 2023. Considering Murray has added value with his legs and was returning from a significant knee injury, his 2023 showing was encouraging. Additionally, Marquise Brown played only five games with Murray and was largely ineffective while dealing with a heel injury during some of those contests. Michael Wilson was also out for three of Murray’s eight starts.

Trey McBride was a reliable blossoming weapon for Murray but the ancillary options behind him were underwhelming. Murray should have improved weaponry this season. The NFL consensus mock draft projects the Cardinals to pick Marvin Harrison in the first round. Arizona choosing Harrison and the rookie hitting the ground running would be a boon for Murray’s passing potential.

And, of course, Murray is still a talented runner. According to The 33rd Team, Murray had multiple designed runs in seven out of eight games. Furthermore, he had nine designed runs in his four starts before Arizona’s bye in Week 14 and 11 in four after the bye. Murray’s loosened usage after the bye could serve as a baseline for expectations for his designed runs pace in 2024. He’s a bargain in Underdog Fantasy drafts and should have an ADP closer to the 75-80 range.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Drake Maye (FA – QB): 155.5/QB24

The rookie quarterback class is talented. Caleb Williams is considered the top incoming quarterback by most reputable draft analysts. Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are jostling for the second spot for most analysts. However, prospecting is imperfect, and universal agreement doesn’t exist. For example, Nate Tice has Maye as the top player on his big board.

All three quarterback prospects have high ceilings and the previously linked NFL consensus mock draft has Williams picked first, Maye second and Daniels third. Even though all three players are highly regarded prospects, Williams (109.9 Underdog Fantasy ADP) and Daniels (119.2) are picked much earlier than Maye. The gap is too vast.

Daniels, the 2023 Heisman Trophy Award winner, had the most statistical success of the trio in their final collegiate campaigns. Still, Maye was also impressive. Among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks with at least 100 dropbacks in 2023, Maye was Pro Football Focus’ (PFF’s) ninth-ranked passer. He had a 63.3% completion rate, 75.1% adjusted completion percentage, 3,608 passing yards, 8.5 yards per pass attempt, 24 passing touchdowns and nine interceptions in 12 games.

Maye was also tied for the ninth-highest big-time-throw rate (7.5 BTT%). The strong-armed quarterback’s ability to spin it wasn’t accompanied by putting the ball in harm’s way often. Instead, Maye was tied for the ninth-lowest turnover-worthy-play rate (1.9 TWP%). His ability to avoid costly mistakes and evade pressure are reasons to believe he can succeed instantly. The following table has the turnover-worthy-play rate (TWP%), time to throw (TTT) and pressure-to-sack-rate (P2S%) in 2023 for Williams, Maye and Daniels, via PFF.

Passing is still the most important part of playing quarterback. Still, Maye's rushing ability is exciting for his fantasy potential. In 2022, he had 899 rushing yards, 5.9 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns before posting 582, 6.3 and nine in his final collegiate season. He has the athletic ability and size to scramble or be an asset as a designed runner.

What would it take for him to be a top-five quarterback in 2024? The upcoming table has the stats and fantasy scoring for the QB5 among quarterbacks with at least 10 games in the respective season they were the QB5 from 2020 through 2023.

Rushing has been a critical component of fantasy scoring for top quarterbacks. The QB5 in the previous four seasons has averaged more than 20 rushing yards per game three times and scored multiple rushing touchdowns each year. And, of course, Allen, Hurts, Jackson and Murray were excellent runners and elite fantasy quarterbacks in that period. Maye's rushing ability is crucial for his chance to finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback in 2024.

Thankfully, there is a precedent for rookies having fantasy success in recent seasons. Among quarterbacks who played at least 10 games in the season in question, Justin Herbert was the QB7 in points per game (22.9) as a rookie in 2020, C.J. Stroud was the QB8 in points per game (18.7) in 2023 and Anthony Richardson averaged 18.4 points per game in four games as a rookie, two of which he was knocked out of early and had sub-35% snap shares. Richardson had over 20 fantasy points in two of his four starts. Maye has a sky-high ceiling and is an outstanding target in fantasy football drafts.

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Josh Shepardson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Josh, check out his archive and follow him @BChad50.

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