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Fantasy Football Player Notes

2020 Draft Rankings
Patrick Mahomes II Note
Patrick Mahomes II photo 1. Patrick Mahomes II KC (vs . LAC)
If you invested a first-round pick in Mahomes last year, you weren't happy with the results. In games he started, he posted QB1-type numbers in just 57.1 percent of them. However, there were some factors to take into consideration. One, he was going to regress. Two, he suffered an injury during the Week 7 game against the Broncos that seemed to affect him throughout the remainder of the regular season. In the seven games following that injury, he threw for three touchdowns just once, while throwing for more than 283 yards just twice. Was that a sign of things to come? Probably not considering he threw for 901 yards and 10 touchdowns in three playoff games. You must ask yourself, "What's the worst/best-case scenario with Mahomes?" prior to drafting him. Worst case was probably last year, where he was the No. 52 value-based player. That means if we'd drafted 2019 all over again, his value would've been correct as the 52nd player selected, so a fifth-round pick. Best case scenario is that he finishes as the No. 5 value-based player like he did in 2018. If you're somewhere in the middle, he's still worth a third-round pick with upside for more. Most of the time with Mahomes, it all just depends on your particular draft, as there are some who'll see him go in the first round of their 1QB league. You're baking in too much risk there. As a late-second, early-third round pick, you have some room for growth. Anything beyond that is just a steal. With the lack of offseason, it'll affect defenses more than it will offenses, so we could see a record-breaking year for Mahomes.
13 weeks ago
Lamar Jackson Note
Lamar Jackson photo 2. Lamar Jackson BAL (at CIN)
If we were replaying the 2019 season, Jackson would be the No. 2 pick in fantasy leagues, and it wouldn't be a reach. He was behind only Christian McCaffrey in value based drafting score. We talk all the time about regression when it comes to quarterbacks with a high touchdown rate, and Jackson is no different after posting a ridiculous 9.0 percent touchdown rate in 2019. That's going to come down. Lowering that mark to 5.0 percent (which is still above average), he would've thrown 20 touchdowns instead of the 36 that he did. However, something to help offset that is his rushing touchdown output. Based on where his carries took place last year, Jackson should've scored closer to 12 rushing touchdowns rather than the seven that he did. The downside to Jackson is that he's a bit thinner than you'd like as a mobile quarterback. While it's tough to get a clean hit on him, we have a history of mobile quarterbacks not withstanding a lot of hits. When you invest a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback, you need him on the field. If Jackson were a lock to play all 16 games, he'd be my QB1 and well worth a second-round pick. When you add in some of that risk, he's more of a third-round selection. There were nine separate occasions last year where he delivered 28-plus fantasy points. Those are week-winning performances.
13 weeks ago
Dak Prescott Note
Dak Prescott photo 3. Dak Prescott DAL (at NYG)
We all know that Cam Newton was a pretty dang good fantasy quarterback throughout his career, right? Like, one of the best of this generation. Or how about Drew Brees, he's been extremely good and consistent throughout his career. What happens when we look at them and Prescott side-by-side? Prescott's numbers have been just as good, if not better. He's never finished outside the top-12 quarterbacks and is about to play in the same system that just netted him the QB2 finish. Did I mention he also had CeeDee Lamb added to his arsenal? And do you remember all those years we drafted Aaron Rodgers as the top quarterback? That was with Mike McCarthy as his head coach (Prescott's new coach). If you're on the clock and choosing between Prescott, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson, and Russell Wilson, I'm choosing Prescott. There's the least number of variables with him, though Wilson is close. I'll leave you with this: Since Amari Cooper joined the team, Prescott has completed 616-of-916 passes (67.2 percent) for 7,369 yards (8.04 yards per attempt), 44 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. That's over a span of 25 games. He's also rushed for 346 yards and seven touchdowns.
13 weeks ago
Russell Wilson Note
Russell Wilson photo 4. Russell Wilson SEA (at SF)
The knock on Wilson has forever been "he doesn't throw the ball enough!" That argument only holds so much water, as Wilson has now finished as a top-three fantasy quarterback in four of the last six seasons. Let me tell you... if Wilson attempted 600 pass attempts, he'd under consideration as the first quarterback off the board. Despite topping out at 553 attempts, Wilson has thrown at least 31 touchdowns in four of the last five seasons. There's been just one season he's averaged less than 7.7 yards per attempt. He's hit a 6.0 percent touchdown percentage in 6-of-8 career seasons. He's the good stuff. Can we anticipate more pass attempts? Sure we can. The first year under Brian Schottenheimer they threw the ball just 427 times. The second year (2019), that number went up to 516 attempts. Why did that happen? Not because the run game wasn't effective. It certainly was. It's because the Seahawks defense has trended in the wrong direction, which bodes well for Wilson's pass attempts. They did just trade for Jamal Adams, which will certainly help matters, but their front seven doesn't generate a whole lot of pressure. If they lose Jadeveon Clowney, it only gets worse, but I'd consider 516 attempts the floor for Wilson in 2020. When you add in the growth/chemistry between Wilson and D.K. Metcalf, the ceiling continues to grow. Don't forget that Metcalf was a rookie last year, while Tyler Lockett dealt with injuries over the second half of the season. I can't say Wilson gets to 600 pass attempts, but we don't need him to in order to produce elite numbers, as we've seen. Provided he's healthy, his floor is likely a top-six quarterback, something not many can say.
13 weeks ago
Deshaun Watson Note
Deshaun Watson photo 5. Deshaun Watson HOU (vs . TEN)
After finishing as the No. 4 quarterback in back-to-back seasons, many are starting to slide Watson down draft boards due to the loss of DeAndre Hopkins. We've never seen Watson without Hopkins, which certainly does raise some questions, but it also could provide an outlet for even more rushing yards for him. Watson maneuvers the pocket extremely well and buys himself time to find open receivers. Now without his safety blanket in Hopkins, we could see his rushing ceiling go up. Did you know he rushed for at least 32 yards in 9-of-15 games last year but never topped 47 rushing yards? That's odd, to say the least. The Texans defense will be as bad as it's ever been with Watson under center, which should mean even more dropbacks. The reason I'm still okay drafting Watson as a top-six quarterback: He's only thrown 26 touchdown passes in each of the last two years and has still been a top-12 type quarterback in 63.2 percent of his career games, which is the second-highest rate since 2000, behind only Patrick Mahomes. For context, there were just seven quarterbacks who topped 50 percent last year alone. Watson may not have the passing ceiling without Hopkins, but I'm expecting his rushing totals to make up for some of that, leaving him in the top-six quarterbacks.
13 weeks ago
Kyler Murray Note
Kyler Murray photo 6. Kyler Murray ARI (at LAR)
There's a realistic scenario where Murray is the QB1 at the end of the season, though I can't say we should expect it. In the first year of Kliff Kingsbury's offense, he averaged just 6.9 yards per attempt. While it was his rookie season, the Cardinals also had the element of surprise, in that no one had existing tape on the offense. Adding DeAndre Hopkins surely helps his chances, though. Did you know there were six games that Murray didn't throw a touchdown last year? Based on where his pass attempts and rushing attempts took place, Murray should've scored the third-most fantasy points among quarterbacks last year. Natural progression to his career should improve efficiency. If you're looking for upside, he's got it. He belongs in the same tier as guys like Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Deshaun Watson. The difference between him and those guys? They've proved to be top-three fantasy quarterbacks already.
13 weeks ago
Josh Allen Note
Josh Allen photo 7. Josh Allen BUF (vs . MIA)
Did you know that 36.4 percent of Allen's fantasy production came on the ground last year? His nine rushing touchdowns were the sixth-most all-time, while his 631 rushing yards ranked 18th on that list. According to where his carries took place on the field, he scored 30.97 more fantasy points than he was supposed to on the ground alone. As a passer, he scored 1.66 fewer fantasy points than expected. The Bills want to play solid defense with a ball control style offense, and knowing Allen's strengths, they'll be running the ball quite a bit. The addition of Zack Moss to the backfield will lower Allen's rushing touchdown ceiling, as Moss is a better version of 2019's Frank Gore. Not many realize Gore ranked 13th among running backs for carries inside the five-yard-line. Adding Stefon Diggs will certainly help his choices when scanning the field, but Allen needs to get better completing the deep ball. My issue with Allen is his inconsistency, and I can best explain it with this stat: It took 18.6 fantasy points on average to finish as a top-12 quarterback in 2019. Allen hit that mark just 43.8 percent of the time, which was worse than Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the same percentage as Jared Goff. Sure, the booms will be bigger with Allen than those guys, but he's not someone you want to put in your starting lineup every week.
13 weeks ago
Matt Ryan Note
Matt Ryan photo 8. Matt Ryan ATL (at TB)
His finishes over the last four years are (most recent first): QB11, QB2, QB15, QB2. So, are we supposed to expect another QB2 finish this year? The bad news is that Ryan offers nothing on the ground. The good news is that he's played under Dirk Koetter in four separate seasons and has finished top-8 in pass attempts in each of them. It also doesn't hurt throwing to Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, and now Todd Gurley and Hayden Hurst. Knowing there isn't any running back depth behind the trending-downward Gurley, it seems more likely than ever that Ryan chucks the ball up 620-plus times. His weekly floor won't be as high as some of the top-six quarterbacks, but Ryan is certainly in the next tier. The best part is that you get him at a discount because he's not the "sexy" pick that someone like Josh Allen is. He's my No. 7 quarterback and I feel pretty good about that.
13 weeks ago
Carson Wentz Note
Carson Wentz photo 9. Carson Wentz PHI (vs . WAS)
Despite missing every starting wide receiver not named Nelson Agholor, Wentz was able to throw for over 4,000 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2019, highlighting just how stable his floor is when healthy. The Eagles rewarded him by drafting three wide receivers, as well as trading for Marquise Goodwin. It's worth noting that the Eagles did strengthen their defense, which could lead to fewer pass attempts, but his efficiency should rise. His weekly ceiling may not be as high as someone like Josh Allen, but his weekly floor is much higher.
13 weeks ago
Drew Brees Note
Drew Brees photo 10. Drew Brees NO (at CAR)
I'm not sure if anyone has realized it, but Brees has broken the age 40 barrier and is now 41 years old. Unlike Tom Brady, Brees is going to retire after this year. His average depth of target continues to decrease, which will require more pass attempts in order to reach QB1 territory. How to prove that? He completed 74 percent of his passes and threw a touchdown on 7.1 percent of his attempts, yet he was just the No. 7 quarterback in fantasy points per game. His ceiling at this point in middling QB1 territory.
13 weeks ago
Tom Brady Note
Tom Brady photo 11. Tom Brady TB (vs . ATL)
The end of an era. Crazy to write Brady's name under the Bucs, but hey, this might be the least crazy thing about 2020. He's going from Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. That should help his shockingly low 6.6 yards per attempt from 2019. Not only that, but 2019 was the first time in Brady's career where he didn't have a touchdown percentage of 4.0 or above. It was also the first time since 2004 where he completed less than 61 percent of his passes. Will the upgrade in receivers help him get back on track, or are we at the end for the greatest of all-time? The Patriots offensive line was not particularly good last year, so when you combined that with Brady's inability to move at all, you get bad numbers. The Bucs offensive line hasn't been good over the last few years, though they were slightly better in 2019, and they did draft tackle Tristan Wirfs in the first round, highlighting the fact that they know Brady needs protection. They don't have a James White/Julian Edelman on the roster to be his safety valve, though I suspect Godwin will become that player to him. Will the pass attempts drop off from Jameis Winston? Probably, but know that Bruce Arians has not fallen out of the top 20 in pass attempts since back in 2010. His teams have now been top-five in each of his last three years as a coach. Knowing they don't have a running back like Saquon Barkley on the roster, we should expect 580-plus pass attempts, and if you look at the receivers on the roster, and what their career averages are when it comes to yards per target, yards per reception, touchdowns, etc., it's hard to say Brady won't finish as a top-12 quarterback in 2020. There's risk that he's just flat-out done, as well as risk of chemistry with no offseason, but Brady did workout with a lot of the skill-position players even when the NFL advised against it. He's not a top-five candidate, but if you snag him as a back-end QB1, he shouldn't lose you fantasy leagues.
13 weeks ago
Matthew Stafford Note
Matthew Stafford photo 12. Matthew Stafford DET (vs . MIN)
There have been a lot of people talking about Stafford's 2019 season before injury, highlighting that it could be a sign of things to come. He was the No. 6 quarterback in fantasy through nine weeks, yes. But do you know who No. 5 was? Aaron Rodgers. That didn't end well. Stafford's 8.2 yards per attempt was easily a career high and just the second time in his career over 7.6 yards per attempt. He's going to be a fine low-end QB1/high-end QB2, but he's not likely to be a league winner at this stage of his career.
13 weeks ago
Aaron Rodgers Note
Aaron Rodgers photo 13. Aaron Rodgers GB (at CHI)
How did we get here? Rodgers was the poster child for consistency in fantasy football. He may not have had the Lamar Jackson upside, but you knew he would finish as a top-five quarterback as long as he was healthy. Last year was the first time he finished worse than the No. 7 quarterback while playing at least 10 games. His QB9 finish was worse than it appears at first sight. Rodgers actually finished with fewer than 15 fantasy points in 10-of-16 games. There were four games that essentially carried him through the season, and those games were against the Raiders, Giants, Chiefs, and Eagles. Three of those were among the worst in football. Fortunately, Rodgers has a semi-decent schedule in 2020, as he'll play the Lions twice, Panthers, Falcons, Texans, and Jaguars defenses during the fantasy season. Was it the new offense he was learning? Was it the lack of weapons to throw to? Neither has changed, so it's tough to say he'll return to the Rodgers we all know and love as fantasy players, but his cost doesn't reflect that it's even a possibility, as he's being drafted outside the top-10 quarterbacks. If you're one of those fantasy owners who refuses to spend up at quarterback, taking a shot on Rodgers in the eighth or ninth round would make plenty of sense. He's 36 years old and has seven top-two finishes under his belt.
13 weeks ago
Cam Newton Note
Cam Newton photo 14. Cam Newton NE (vs . NYJ)
Newton missed most of last season with a foot injury, but wasn't very good in the two games he did play, completing just 56.2% of his passes. He has always made up for any deficiencies in his passing game with his legs, but at 31 years old and coming off two injury-plagued years, it's fair to wonder how much he'll contribute on the ground. Nevertheless, despite the less than stellar options at receiver, Newton will start at quarterback for the Patriots and they'll surely figure out how best to use his talents. That makes Newton a mid-tier QB2 with upside, despite all the uncertainty.
12 weeks ago
Daniel Jones Note
Daniel Jones photo 15. Daniel Jones NYG (vs . DAL)
Here's a fun fact: Jones had two of the top-10 single game performances by quarterbacks in 2019. Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson are the only two other quarterbacks who can say that. In fact, Jones had four games where he tallied 28-plus fantasy points, including three games over 30 points, something Philip Rivers has never done in his career. It wasn't all pretty, though. Outside of those four explosion games, Jones was a train wreck, finishing with 14.7 or fewer fantasy points in the eight other games he started. His matchups where he exploded were against the Washington Football team, Bucs, Jets, and Lions. That's a far cry from his start to the season in 2020 where he'll open the season against the Steelers, Bears, and 49ers. You're going to find him on waiver wires before long. In fact, he has one of the toughest schedules in the league, though the start is just brutal. What his 2019 season reminded me of was 2018 Mitch Trubisky. Don't believe me? The stats highlighted in The Primer: Draft Day Edition back that up. Now to be fair, Jones is under a new head coach, though Jason Garrett may not be a better play caller than Pat Shurmur. On top of that, Jones never got the luxury to play with Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, and Darius Slayton on the field at the same time. The upside is certainly there for Jones to take the leap into top-12 quarterback status, but the early schedule means you shouldn't draft him in 1QB leagues, unless you plan on platooning quarterbacks. In 2QB formats, he's the ideal solution, as he has job security, rushing upside, and his defense is horrendous.
13 weeks ago
Ben Roethlisberger Note
Ben Roethlisberger photo 16. Ben Roethlisberger PIT (at CLE)
This is one of the weirdest offseasons in NFL history. It's uncharted territory with so many question marks. Then you add in Roethlisberger, who's been rehabbing from an elbow injury that had him tear three tendons in his throwing arm. Yikes. His teammates have said he looks good while throwing the ball around, and have also said he's lost weight, and looks lighter on his feet. Many are undervaluing the Steelers this year due to what happened last year, but don't forget they averaged 66.4 and 66.1 plays per game in 2017 and 2018, while averaging just 58.6 plays per game in 2019. That amounts to an extra 120-plus plays for this offense with Roethlisberger back. The pass attempts dropped from 687 to 510. While that 687 number from 2018 was sky-high, the Steelers continually have averaged 585-610 pass attempts. We can talk about Roethlisberger throwing at least 26 touchdowns in six of his last eight seasons and that he's averaged at least 7.5 yards per attempt each year from 2014-2018, but none of that matters if his elbow isn't right. It adds a level of risk to the entire roster, though he was apparently playing through some elbow pain for quite some time, and it makes sense considering how three tendons finally snapped. We'll talk about it throughout the season in The Primer, but you should also know that Roethlisberger has been horrendous on the road over the last six years, averaging just 15.22 fantasy points per game compared to the 22.19 fantasy points per game at home. He opens the season on the road against the Giants, which is a juicy matchup, but should you trust him coming off the arm injury? I'd probably play it safe and stream him throughout the year once we know he's healthy.
13 weeks ago
Jared Goff Note
Jared Goff photo 17. Jared Goff LAR (vs . ARI)
I can't explain what happened to Goff after that game in 2018 where the Rams went toe-to-toe with the Chiefs (remember that 54-51 game?) but something happened. In his first 26 games under Sean McVay, Goff threw 54 touchdowns on 858 pass attempts (6.3 percent touchdown rate). Since that Chiefs game in 2018, he's thrown just 28 touchdowns in 21 games on 806 pass attempts (3.5 percent touchdown rate). That's not great for a quarterback who offers nothing with his legs. He did throw two touchdowns in eight games last year but didn't hit three touchdowns until Week 17. Now you take away Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley, only to replace them with Van Jefferson and Cam Akers? It's quite ridiculous, but the Rams didn't address the offensive line issues, either. Their offensive line was among the worst in football last year, which is a problem because Goff isn't good under pressure. He ranked 25th among quarterbacks with a 60.4 QB Rating under duress. The offensive line is the biggest concern for me, as that's the one thing that took a major step back last year, and it seriously impacted his numbers. The good news is that his pass attempts have been skyrocketing, which help make up for some of the decreased efficiency. Goff makes for a decent No. 2 quarterback in Superflex/2QB leagues, as he's not getting benched, and there's always the possibility he goes back to who he was, though I'm not counting on it based on the moves that were - and weren't - made this offseason.
13 weeks ago
Ryan Tannehill Note
Ryan Tannehill photo 18. Ryan Tannehill TEN (at HOU)
When someone goes from anywhere in between 6.7 and 7.7 yards per attempt throughout their first six years, then jumps up to 9.6 yards per target, we call that an outlier, especially when said outlier contains just a 286-pass attempt sample size. We can't ignore it, though. Tannehill put his name on the record books, as his 117.5 QB Rating in 2019 ranks as the fourth-best all-time. His 0.67 fantasy points per actual pass attempt ranked as the fourth-best mark over the last 10 years. What made it all that more impressive is that he was sacked every 10.8 dropbacks, which was the third-most often in the league. By comparison, Drew Brees was sacked every 32.5 dropbacks. So, that leaves us saying, "Okay, we know there'll be regression, but how much?" Under Mike Vrabel, the Titans have run exactly 58.8 plays per game in each of his first two seasons as head coach. We know they want to be a run-first team, right? That's why the pass attempts have been 432 in 2018 and 448 in 2019. That's a problem. For the sake of argument, let's raise that number to 500, which would be a massive difference. Even assigning Tannehill a number of 8.3 yards per attempt (Patrick Mahomes' number from 2019), it would amount to 4,150 yards. Then let's say he throws a touchdown on 5.0 percent of his passes (Dak Prescott from 2019). That would amount to 25 touchdowns. So, 4,150 passing yards and 25 touchdowns while comparing him to Mahomes and Prescott, while raising his pass attempts up to 500? Do you see why it makes little sense to think Tannehill even approaches top-10 territory? By comparison, Tom Brady threw for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns last year - he was hardly usable. Treat Tannehill as a streamer and you'll be happy. He's a great No. 2 quarterback to have in Superflex/2QB leagues because he's locked into the job and has shown top-five upside, even if it's highly improbable.
13 weeks ago
Joe Burrow Note
Joe Burrow photo 19. Joe Burrow CIN (vs . BAL)
Trusting a rookie quarterback in fantasy? Nonsense. Now? After we practically had no offseason? It sounds crazy, and it probably is. However, I don't know if I've seen a quarterback with Burrow's confidence and swag come into the league in a long time. He's also walking into a situation where he has one of the best wide receiver depth charts in the league (when healthy). The offense that Zac Taylor ran last year presented plenty of opportunity, as Andy Dalton finished with the 12th most expected fantasy points despite missing three full games. He threw the ball at least 36 times in 11-of-13 games, including three games with 50-plus attempts. The offensive line is a problem, though it helps he'll get last year's first-round pick Jonah Williams back at left tackle. While the pass attempts and talent at wide receiver are great, what should attract you to Burrow is his willingness to run with the ball. Sure, he broke records as a passer at LSU, but he also rushed for nearly 800 yards and 12 touchdowns over the last two years. That adds breakout potential to a quarterback, so when you combine that with his arm talent, he makes for an ideal QB2 in fantasy. The Bengals defense is in a complete rebuild mode, and while they've added talent this offseason, it'll take time for them to come together. They allowed 26.2 points per game last year (8th most), so if they continue to struggle, Burrow could become 2020's version of Jameis Winston.
13 weeks ago
Baker Mayfield Note
Baker Mayfield photo 20. Baker Mayfield CLE (vs . PIT)
It was a nightmare sophomore season for Mayfield, who regressed rather than progressed. His completion percentage dropped 4.4 points, yards per attempt dropped 0.5 yards, he threw five less touchdowns, and threw seven more interceptions. Wait, I thought Odell Beckham was supposed to help? It's clear that Freddie Kitchens hurt all players involved, as even Nick Chubb was extremely inefficient in the red zone, totaling negative 16 yards on nine carries inside the five-yard-line. Let's just erase that season, shall we? Kevin Stefanski will be the new head coach and play caller. Do we have a lot to go off? Not really. What we do know is that they added two offensive linemen who'll make a difference at the most important positions, as well as add a pass-catching tight end. It seems they would like to replicate what the Vikings did last year under Stefanski, which would be brutal for Mayfield's outlook, as Kirk Cousins threw the ball just 444 times. Mayfield has some mobility but not enough to overcome that low of volume through the air. But knowing that's possible, we know Mayfield could have a lower floor than most would like to admit. He should be treated as an excellent QB2 in Superflex/2QB formats, while being looked at as a streamer in standard leagues.
13 weeks ago
Gardner Minshew II Note
Gardner Minshew II photo 21. Gardner Minshew II JAC (at IND)
It was quite miraculous what Minshew accomplished in 2020, especially when you factor in the lack of draft capital (sixth-round pick) they used to acquire him. Don't understand just how good he was? Put his numbers up next to Kyler Murray's. Minshew averaged more yards and passing touchdowns, while having fewer interceptions per game. And keep in mind that Minshew didn't even start two of the games included in that sample. Am I going to say that he should be drafted like Murray? No. However, he is being undervalued by those in 2QB leagues. The average quarterback rushes for a touchdown every 96.2 yards rushing. Had Minshew scored three rushing touchdowns (instead of the zero that he did) on 344 rushing yards, he would've finished as the No. 14 fantasy quarterback... in his rookie season... as a sixth-round pick. The Jaguars defense is as bad as ever, so we'll see plenty of pass attempts out of him. It should also be noted that Jay Gruden (his new coordinator) has produced top-14 quarterbacks in 6-of-9 years, and the years he didn't, there were injuries and/or multiple quarterbacks playing. Minshew has zero competition and can potentially be a Jameis Winston-lite in 2020. He's the perfect target in 2QB leagues and will be streamable quite a bit in 1QB leagues.
13 weeks ago
Jimmy Garoppolo Note
Jimmy Garoppolo photo 22. Jimmy Garoppolo SF (vs . SEA)
There are a lot of people (myself included) who don't realize just how impressive Garoppolo's numbers have been to this point in his career. He's averaged at least 8.0 yards per attempt in every year he's started a game, including 8.4 yards per attempt in 2019. He's completed 67.5 percent of his passes, and he has a 2.10:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Despite all that, he's been a top-12 type quarterback in fantasy just 28.0 percent of the time since joining the 49ers. How is that? He plays for Kyle Shanahan and has averaged just 29.7 pass attempts per game. When you do that to a strictly pocket passer, it crushes his fantasy upside. It's unlikely that changes in 2020, especially when you consider he'll be without his No. 1 receiver for a while, as Deebo Samuel recovers from broken foot surgery. It's worth noting that two of his four QB1 performances in 2019 were against the Cardinals, the team he'll play in Week 1. Again, he'll be without Samuel, but George Kittle might go nuclear. Garoppolo is a solid quarterback in 2QB formats, even if he doesn't come with a top-12 type ceiling.
13 weeks ago
Kirk Cousins Note
Kirk Cousins photo 23. Kirk Cousins MIN (at DET)
It's never easy to lose your top receiver during the offseason, which is what happened to Cousins when the Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs. They tried to replace him immediately, snagging Justin Jefferson in the first round of the NFL Draft. For a guy who threw just 444 pass attempts and offers no mobility, it's quite an accomplishment to finish as the No. 15 fantasy quarterback, as Cousins did. Now, with Kevin Stefanski out of town, you must wonder if the offense moves towards a more balanced attack under Gary Kubiak, though he may have been the genius behind the offense last year. Still, it's unrealistic to think Cousins throws the ball just 444 times again. Not only is the defense going through a rebuild process, but the Vikings just can't remain that efficient on the ground. Did you know the previous three seasons, Cousins was the (most recent first) QB12, QB6, and QB5? He's trending in the wrong direction, but he's still been a usable streamer in 1QB leagues. I'd be shocked if he's below 500 pass attempts this year, though he is going to become less efficient losing Diggs. Even if we repeated last year's numbers, Cousins ranked 20th in top-18-type performances, which make him a solid quarterback to use in 2QB/Superflex formats. He has no shot to lose the job, likely sees increased volume, and has finished as a top-five quarterback before. Just don't draft him in 1QB leagues as a starter for Week 1, because he's playing the Packers, a team he scored just 8.9 and 6.9 fantasy points against last year.
13 weeks ago
Philip Rivers Note
Philip Rivers photo 24. Philip Rivers IND (vs . JAC)
There's no masking it, Rivers was bad in 2019. He's now 38 years old (will be 39 in December), which is the age quarterbacks used to hit their decline (before Brady and Brees came along). Have we reached the end with him? He played behind a bad offensive line last year, something he's done through much of his career. In 2020, he'll play behind a top-three offensive line in football. He has already played under Frank Reich back when he threw for 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns, then a career-high 4,792 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2015. Does that make a difference knowing it was five years ago? Well, yeah, in a way. The good news is that he at least knows the basics of the offense, which is important this year when we've had practically no offseason. The bad news is that chemistry will have to be built on the fly, and it's even harder when your top receiver (T.Y. Hilton) shows up to camp on the injured list. We did see Jacoby Brissett and Brian Hoyer combine for 22 touchdown passes last year and Andrew Luck throw for 39 touchdowns in 2018, so it's a good offense. If you want to select Rivers in a 2QB format, it could pay dividends, though his fantasy floor might be a bit lower than someone like Gardner Minshew who uses his legs. There are way too many variables to consider him anything more than a streamer in 1QB formats.
13 weeks ago
Drew Lock Note
Drew Lock photo 25. Drew Lock DEN (vs . LV)
Well, there's one thing that's for certain. If Lock can't get it done with the skill-position players around him now, he never will. The Broncos went out and signed Melvin Gordon in free agency, then drafted top wideout Jerry Jeudy in the first round, speedster KJ Hamler in the second round, then Lock's former teammate Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round. Pair them with Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, and Noah Fant, and you suddenly have one of the most talented rooms in the league. It's tough to judge anything we saw from Lock in his rookie season, as he was asked to start late in the season, and it was a different coordinator. What we do know is that Pat Shurmur is his new offensive coordinator, and he's produced some solid quarterback play in his time. The last time he was a coordinator was 2017 when he coached Case Keenum to a 68 percent completion rate, 22 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. My concern with Lock is that this is still Vic Fangio's team, and their defense should be very good. If Fangio doesn't give full reigns to Shurmur, we're likely to see a defensive-minded, run-heavy offense, which would cripple Lock's fantasy appeal. The high end for Lock's pass attempts is likely in the 525-attempt range, which isn't great for a quarterback with limited mobility. He's a great target in 2QB leagues, but I wouldn't trust him as an every-week starter in 1QB formats.
13 weeks ago
Teddy Bridgewater Note
Teddy Bridgewater photo 26. Teddy Bridgewater CAR (vs . NO)
It's going to be tough for the Panthers to have much success this year, as they have a new head coach, new play-caller, new quarterback, and an offensive line that's been shifted around, all while having very little offseason practice time. The defense is in a position to allow a ton of points, which does add appeal to Bridgewater. We should see him rack up the pass attempts, and it doesn't hurt to know that his 6.2 intended air yards per target was the lowest in the league, which should mean a lot of short completions to D.J. Moore and Christian McCaffrey. The issue is that Bridgewater offers no mobility after his reconstructive knee surgery. That means he'll have to be more efficient than other pocket passers available later in the draft, guys like Kirk Cousins and Jared Goff. Again, with no offseason, that's going to be incredibly hard to do. Save Bridgewater for 2QB leagues where he's a great target as a No. 2 quarterback with no chance to lose the starting job.
13 weeks ago
Derek Carr Note
Derek Carr photo 27. Derek Carr LV (at DEN)
You may or not know that Mike Mayock had an affinity towards Mariota during the 2015 NFL Draft. He's the GM of the Las Vegas Raiders, so when he got the opportunity to sign Mariota, he did. This is not great news for Carr, who has been solid, but not irreplaceable over the last two seasons under the Jon Gruden/Mayock regime. But instead of replacing him, they gave him competition, even if it's one he should win fairly easily. He's going to have a much better surrounding cast in 2020, as the Raiders drafted three skill-position players in the top three rounds of the draft, including wide receiver Henry Ruggs at No. 12 overall. The issue with liking Carr, however, is that he's never going to be an every-week starting quarterback in 1QB leagues; we've learned that by now. He's also not someone you can fully trust as your QB2 in Superflex/2QB formats now that he has actual competition on the roster.
13 weeks ago
Sam Darnold Note
Sam Darnold photo 28. Sam Darnold NYJ (at NE)
It hasn't been the start to his career that he'd hoped for, as Darnold has finished as a QB1-type performer in just 6-of-26 games (23.1 percent). Even lowering the bar to a top-18-type performance, he's hit those marks in just 10-of-26 games, and that's why it's tough to rely on him as your QB2 in Superflex/2QB leagues. On top of those struggles, he's now dealing with two brand-new receivers on the perimeter with practically no offseason while playing for Adam Gase. That's like the trifecta of bad. Part of the issue has been the offensive line, though the Jets have tried to address that this offseason, snagging three players in free agency, and then another two in the first four rounds of the draft, including the mammoth of a man, Mekhi Becton, in the first round. That's an issue in itself, as offensive lines take time to develop continuity/consistency, so expecting that to happen with four or five new starters is going to be an issue. Darnold is just not in a position to succeed right now.
13 weeks ago
Tyrod Taylor Note
Tyrod Taylor photo 29. Tyrod Taylor LAC (at KC)
Taylor certainly has the potential to be a viable quarterback option in deeper two-quarterback leagues with a soft early schedule, especially with an improved Chargers offensive line. The problem for Taylor is that Los Angeles is almost certainly going to lean on its strong defense and rely on its running game, which isn't a recipe for fantasy production from a quarterback. Even if he does hold off Justin Herbert for the full season, his likely low pass volume should hold his fantasy value in check. He can be considered a low-end QB2 in most leagues, but he's not the most exciting option.
12 weeks ago
Dwayne Haskins Note
Dwayne Haskins photo 30. Dwayne Haskins WAS (at PHI)
Haskins did not look ready to be an NFL QB in 2019 - it's as simple as that. He was the worst quarterback in the league in terms of completion percentage and yards per attempt, and frequently missed wide open throws. He'll start for Washington but with only Terry McLaurin as a reliable receiver, Haskins would need to take a giant leap to be worth drafting in anything other than two-quarterback or superflex leagues. The odds are not in his favor.
12 weeks ago
Ryan Fitzpatrick Note
Ryan Fitzpatrick photo 31. Ryan Fitzpatrick MIA (at BUF)
Fitzpatrick is going to start the season at quarterback for the Dolphins, but with Tua Tagovailoa waiting in the wings, it's unclear how long he'll last. Fitzpatrick closed 2019 strong with the Dolphins, and was a top-five fantasy quarterback over the final five weeks. But the Dolphins have perhaps the worst offensive line in football and are unlikely to compete for a playoff spot. He's only worth drafting as a backup in superflex or two-quarterback leagues and, even then, don't expect to be able to roster him past the midpoint of the season.
12 weeks ago
Mitchell Trubisky Note
Mitchell Trubisky photo 32. Mitchell Trubisky CHI (vs . GB)
Trubisky will start the season at quarterback for the Bears, but he's one of the last quarterbacks you'd draft in your fantasy league. He regressed significantly last year, rarely pushing the ball down the field and looking tentative all season long. He threw just 17 touchdown passes, had just a 6.1 YPA average, and ran for only 193 yards. Even with Trubisky beginning the year as the starter, he almost certainly won't have much fantasy value, and should be an afterthought on draft day.
12 weeks ago
Nick Foles Note
Nick Foles photo 33. Nick Foles CHI (vs . GB)
Foles will begin the year backing up Mitch Trubisky. Although he had an incredible 2013 season and a magical playoff run culminating in an Eagles Super Bowl, he hasn't been fantasy-relevant at many points in his career. Foles has experience with Bill Lazor, John DeFilippo, and Juan Castillo, and could fit in in nicely with the Bears if given a shot. But for now, as a backup, he should be off the fantasy radar.
12 weeks ago
Tua Tagovailoa Note
Tua Tagovailoa photo 34. Tua Tagovailoa MIA (at BUF)
Justin Herbert Note
Justin Herbert photo 35. Justin Herbert LAC (at KC)
Jarrett Stidham Note
Jarrett Stidham photo 36. Jarrett Stidham NE (vs . NYJ)
Unsurprisingly, Stidham lost the starting quarterback job to Cam Newton. He may still be the future in New England, but for 2020, he's purely a backup with little upside even if he eventually takes over should Newton be injured. Ignore him for redraft purposes.
12 weeks ago
Taysom Hill Note
Taysom Hill photo 37. Taysom Hill NO (at CAR)
Jameis Winston Note
Jameis Winston photo 38. Jameis Winston NO (at CAR)
Marcus Mariota Note
Marcus Mariota photo 39. Marcus Mariota LV (at DEN)
Andy Dalton Note
Andy Dalton photo 40. Andy Dalton DAL (at NYG)
Jalen Hurts Note
Jalen Hurts photo 41. Jalen Hurts PHI (vs . WAS)
Jacoby Brissett Note
Jacoby Brissett photo 42. Jacoby Brissett IND (vs . JAC)
Kyle Allen Note
Kyle Allen photo 43. Kyle Allen WAS (at PHI)
Case Keenum Note
Case Keenum photo 44. Case Keenum CLE (vs . PIT)
Jordan Love Note
Jordan Love photo 45. Jordan Love GB (at CHI)
Robert Griffin III Note
Robert Griffin III photo 46. Robert Griffin III BAL (at CIN)
Alex Smith Note
Alex Smith photo 47. Alex Smith WAS (at PHI)
Mason Rudolph Note
Mason Rudolph photo 48. Mason Rudolph PIT (at CLE)
Nick Mullens Note
Nick Mullens photo 49. Nick Mullens SF (vs . SEA)
Jeff Driskel Note
Jeff Driskel photo 50. Jeff Driskel DEN (vs . LV)
Joe Flacco Note
Joe Flacco photo 51. Joe Flacco NYJ (at NE)
Brett Hundley Note
Brett Hundley photo 52. Brett Hundley ARI (at LAR)
Josh Rosen Note
Josh Rosen photo 53. Josh Rosen TB (vs . ATL)
Chase Daniel Note
Chase Daniel photo 54. Chase Daniel DET (vs . MIN)
Phillip Walker Note
Phillip Walker photo 55. Phillip Walker CAR (vs . NO)
Will Grier Note
Will Grier photo 56. Will Grier CAR (vs . NO)
Ryan Finley Note
Ryan Finley photo 57. Ryan Finley CIN (vs . BAL)
AJ McCarron Note
AJ McCarron photo 58. AJ McCarron HOU (vs . TEN)
Blaine Gabbert Note
Blaine Gabbert photo 59. Blaine Gabbert TB (vs . ATL)
Chad Henne Note
Chad Henne photo 60. Chad Henne KC (vs . LAC)
Jake Luton Note
Jake Luton photo 61. Jake Luton JAC (at IND)
Colt McCoy Note
Colt McCoy photo 62. Colt McCoy NYG (vs . DAL)
Brian Hoyer Note
Brian Hoyer photo 63. Brian Hoyer NE (vs . NYJ)
Jacob Eason Note
Jacob Eason photo 64. Jacob Eason IND (vs . JAC)
Matt Schaub Note
Matt Schaub photo 65. Matt Schaub ATL (at TB)
Jake Fromm Note
Jake Fromm photo 66. Jake Fromm BUF (vs . MIA)
Logan Woodside Note
Logan Woodside photo 67. Logan Woodside TEN (at HOU)
Sean Mannion Note
Sean Mannion photo 68. Sean Mannion MIN (at DET)
Matt Barkley Note
Matt Barkley photo 69. Matt Barkley BUF (vs . MIA)
Geno Smith Note
Geno Smith photo 70. Geno Smith SEA (at SF)
Nate Sudfeld Note
Nate Sudfeld photo 71. Nate Sudfeld PHI (vs . WAS)
John Wolford Note
John Wolford photo 72. John Wolford LAR (vs . ARI)
Joshua Dobbs Note
Joshua Dobbs photo 73. Joshua Dobbs PIT (at CLE)
C.J. Beathard Note
C.J. Beathard photo 74. C.J. Beathard SF (vs . SEA)
Tim Boyle Note
Tim Boyle photo 75. Tim Boyle GB (at CHI)
Cole McDonald Note
Cole McDonald photo 76. Cole McDonald FA (BYE)
James Morgan Note
James Morgan photo 77. James Morgan NYJ (at NE)
Easton Stick Note
Easton Stick photo 78. Easton Stick LAC (at KC)
Ryan Griffin Note
Ryan Griffin photo 79. Ryan Griffin TB (vs . ATL)
Tommy Stevens Note
Tommy Stevens photo 80. Tommy Stevens CAR (vs . NO)
Anthony Gordon Note
Anthony Gordon photo 81. Anthony Gordon FA (BYE)
David Blough Note
David Blough photo 82. David Blough DET (vs . MIN)
Mike Glennon Note
Mike Glennon photo 83. Mike Glennon JAC (at IND)
Bryce Perkins Note
Bryce Perkins photo 84. Bryce Perkins LAR (vs . ARI)
Trevor Siemian Note
Trevor Siemian photo 85. Trevor Siemian NO (at CAR)
Cooper Rush Note
Cooper Rush photo 86. Cooper Rush DAL (at NYG)
Matt Moore Note
Matt Moore photo 87. Matt Moore KC (vs . LAC)
Nathan Peterman Note
Nathan Peterman photo 88. Nathan Peterman LV (at DEN)
David Fales Note
David Fales photo 89. David Fales NYJ (at NE)
Chad Kelly Note
Chad Kelly photo 90. Chad Kelly IND (vs . JAC)
Alex Tanney Note
Alex Tanney photo 91. Alex Tanney FA (BYE)
Devlin Hodges Note
Devlin Hodges photo 92. Devlin Hodges PIT (at CLE)