Wed. Nov 13th, 2019

2019 Fantasy Football Sleepers and Busts: Quarterback Edition

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Candy Andy

Sleeper: Ben Roethlisberger

Let’s do the math. Subtract Ben Roethlisberger’s 2018 overall fantasy rank (3) from his 2019 ADP (14) and you are left with the number 11. Meaning, Big Ben is getting drafted 11 spots later than he finished the previous year. Case Keenum (15) and Eli Manning (14) are the only NFL starters who have bigger differences than Ben and we aren’t drafting them as a QB1. He threw the ball 95 more times, had 69 more completions and 32 more pass yards than Pat Mahomes last year. He had the fourth-best consistency rank of all quarterbacks last year too ⁠— 0.377. In fact, per ESPN, Ben only had one single “stiff” performance (classified as the number of times the player’s point total ranked among the worst at his position, making almost any waiver-wire option a smarter choice). For perspective, Pat Mahomes had zero and Andrew Luck had three “stiff” performances. I understand no more Antonio Brown but Juju is a top-tier wide receiver who will handle the additional defensive pressure. If you like late-round value at the quarterback position then Ben is the one.

Bust: Lamar Jackson

Does starting seven games with 99 completions and six total touchdowns constitute top-20 value for a quarterback? I guess so but tread lightly, aye? Of the 45 quarterbacks with at least 50 completions last year, here are Lamar’s ranks: 40th in completion percentage (58.24), 32nd in QB rating (84.5), last in yards/game played (75.1), and 25th in adjusted value (8). Ryan Fitzpatrick started seven games last year, as well, and threw for 1,165 additional yards, 11 more touchdowns and had a QBR of 100.4. I’m curious, where is he being drafted in Maryland leagues? 

Lukas Kacer

Sleeper: Josh Allen

Quietly good is the way to describe Allen’s finish to the 2018 fantasy season, as in Week 12 through 17 Allen finished as a weekly top five QB four times. These numbers proved that Allen is a capable starting quarterback every week, but based on current average draft position he is a low end QB2 as he is going at QB19 in drafts today. Of course, there has to be some red flags on Allen’s consistency or else he wouldn’t be going at QB19 and that concern is related to his lack of accuracy when throwing the ball. Allen was brutal in adjusted completed percentage as he ranked dead last at 64.7% which netted him an overall 52.4% unadjusted completion percentage. However, there is some hope for Allen as when he had a clean pocket he averaged a 79.8 QB rating and with the addition of Mitch Morse, Cody Ford, and LaAdrian Waddle I can only imagine an improved offensive line which will only help Josh Allen. This O-line improvement is clearly shown as in the 2019 offensive line rankings the Bills jumped up to 19 from 26 last year. Yes, Allen does need to improve his accuracy, but with a whole offseason to improve and a new o-line I can only see fantasy greatness for the 2019 season.

Bust: Patrick Mahomes

After the best fantasy season in history, it may seem like a lock for this player to be a great value for the 2019 season. Don’t get me wrong Patrick Mahomes is going to perform and have a great fantasy season and most likely finish in the top 5, but do NOT draft him at his current ADP in non-superflex leagues. In one QB league, his current ADP is 3.06 along with Marlon Mack and before guys like George Kittle, Stefon Diggs, and Kerryon Johnson. When drafting you always want to find the best value pick and when there are at least four other Qbs that will put up similar numbers there is no need to get Mahomes this early. Not to mention that his best weapon, Tyreek Hill, may be suspended for part, if not the whole, season. Please do not waste a 3rd round pick.

Sleeper: Jameis Winston

Yes, Jameis Winston is always touted as the big sleeper QB going into the season and he seems to always underperfom, but this year is the year that the hype is real. Although he only played in 11 games last season, Winston threw for just under 3000 yards (2992), had a completion percentage of 64.6, and finished 8th in total QBR with 68.3. This year, although Winston lost the speedy receiver, DeSean Jackson, he gains one of the best offensive head coaches in Bruce Arians, and a new offensive coordinator in Byron Leftwich. An offense designed by them with weapons like Mike Evans and OJ Howard surrounding Winston can turn the former Heisman winning QB from a mid-tier QB2, (current ADP is QB12) into potentially a QB1.

Bust: Kyler Murray

Can someone honestly tell me how a rookie QB who’s 5 foot 9, (if you believe the combine measurement shame on you) and a first time NFL head coach who was average at best in the Big 12, is currently having an average draft position of QB10? I know it’s been reported that the Cardinals are going into a full air raid offense, which is perfect for PPR leagues, but this offense has an atrocious line and only one proven receiver who will most likely retire after this season. The only way Murray could have some success this year is if running back, David Johnson can return to his pre- 2017 self. If not, Murray will only produce somewhat better than Josh Rosen did with the Cardinals in 2018, where he ranked dead last in QBR with 25.9. Murray is a low tier QB2 at best, stay away from him as long as you can.

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