Fantasy football drafts are upon us and that means it’s time to focus in on some players who have a good shot of outplaying their average draft position. We’ll start with quarterbacks, the least important part of your fantasy team, but still an integral cog in the whole.
When drafting quarterbacks I will occasionally grab one I like earlier than the fifth round if I’m feeling frisky, but for the most part I’ll wait until I’m comparing them with my third or fourth running backs and wide receivers. I’m always open to change my strategy during a draft, but at the core, I much rather roster Stefon Diggs than Patrick Mahomes based on the value of the position in fantasy.
Quarterback draft targets
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams (ADP: Q B11, Overall 84)
Stafford is getting a lot of fantasy hype and he’s not as far down in ADP as I’d like, but I do believe in his situation enough to grab him at the back-end of the seventh round. Is Stafford that much better than Goff? I believe he is and I don’t think that’s saying all that much. Goff was a product of a great offensive scheme that was supported by a great offensive line. When that line started to break down, so did Goff. Stafford is much better under pressure and has a better arm to get the ball to Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. With Sean McVay at the helm, I believe we’ll see close to Top 5 fantasy numbers from Stafford.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team (ADP: QB 22, Overall 157)
Trey Lance, San Francisco 49ers (ADP: QB 21, Overall 146)
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears (ADP: QB 20, Overall 143)
No, I don’t think you should draft all three of these quarterbacks on your fantasy team, but I love pairing Fitzpatrick with either one of these rookies. Fields and Lance have great upside, though I do prefer Lance with the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan over Fields with the Bears offense, but a lot depends on your individual draft.
Fitzpatrick is Fitzpatrick and he’s going to be erratic at times, but Washington has some real playmakers at every offensive position and we saw Ol’Fitzbeard McYOLOball put up decent numbers with fewer offensive weapons in Miami last season. In the five games before he was benched for Tua Tagovalio he was averaging a 70 percent completion rate, 268.8 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 104.5 passer rating, while tacking on two rushing touchdowns and 117 rushing yards.
Grabbing Fitzpatrick and one of the rookies around their ADP makes sense to me. Fitz should be a reasonable stand-in until the rookie gets going and if the rookie doesn’t, Fitz has enough upside to handle himself while you look for a streamable backup off of waivers.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints (ADP: QB 27, Overall 191)
We still don’t know who will start for the New Orleans Saints, so Hill is cheaper than he probably should be in fantasy drafts. I’m no Hill enthusiast, but the man can put up fantasy points and if he wins the job, I expect he’ll be in a better place and for his upside to be even higher. Jameis Winston would be lurking of course, making this pick risky even if Hill gets the nod, but at 191st overall, Hills’ upside is well worth it. I could see adding him to that rookie mix in my previous section on Fitzpatrick, but there is a chance Winston wins the job outright at this point. Yes, there’s a chance Jimmy Garoppolo and Andy Dalton keep their jobs as well, but I just don’t see either holding off the rookies this year.
Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ADP: QB 9, Overall 75)
This is a little earlier than I’d like, but the situation in Tampa makes for some consistent fantasy points out of the early seventh round. There are just too many good things for Brady going into this season. This season he has a year in the offense under his belt, COVID-19 didn’t cancel much of summer work, the offense really didn’t get rolling until the last quarter of the season, he gets back every offensive starter from the Super Bowl, he gets a strong receiving back in Gio Bernard, which was one of the few holes in the offense, his schedule is one of the easiest in the league, and, he won’t play the whole season with a torn MCL.
Last season he threw for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, giving him the eighth-most fantasy points for a quarterback. If you look at just his last seven games of the year and extrapolate for the season, he would have had 5,109 yards, 46 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, which would have put him at QB2 in fantasy. I know, the man is ancient, but it is what it is.