The 2022 NFL season is right around the corner, but not to worry, you’ve still got plenty of time to hash out your fantasy football strategy. And depending on what kind of fantasy league you’re playing in, you’ll need to take some different factors into account. Here, we’re going to look at some sleeper options at quarterback for best ball leagues.
In case you need a refresher, or you’re just dipping your toe into the water of the best ball format, it’s a little different than the tradition fantasy format. The nice thing about best ball leagues is that there’s no hassle with setting your lineup each week, so no kicking yourself for leaving that one guy on the bench when he’s torching some woebegone NFC East defense. The highest scores at each position count toward your overall score, and total points determine your final standings for the season.
While it’s nice not to have to mess with your lineup every week, because there are no roster moves during the season (even in the event of a player injury), your success almost entirely hinges on how well you draft. So you’ve got to go into draft day with a strategy in mind. That’s where we come in. Here are some quarterbacks who should definitely be on your radar for the later rounds.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
Despite some speculation that they’d ditch him, the Phins decided to stick with the third-year signal caller this season. Not only did they not replace him, they made some big moves to get a better group of players around him. The big addition was former Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill, giving the quarterback a field-stretching speedster that should do a lot for his overall passing numbers. That’s not a bad pairing with Jaylen Waddle, last year’s first-round pick who finish with 1,000+ yards and six touchdowns. Injuries have been an issue for Tagovailoa lately, but the addition of left tackle Terron Armstead should keep him from running for his life so often.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders
Another quarterback who’s been the beneficiary of a major offseason addition. The Raiders swung a deal with the Green Bay Packers to bring in Carr’s former college teammate Davante Adams. That’s the first bona fide No. 1 wideout Carr’s had since Amari Cooper was there back in 2016.
Carr posted a career-high 4,804 passing yards last season, but he slipped in his touchdown-interception ratio, just 23-14. With Adams and old reliable tight end Darren Waller, Carr could push for career highs in the touchdown column, which currently stands at 32, back in 2015, when he had Cooper lined up outside.
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts
A lot of people are going to overlook the former Falcons quarterback this year. He’s in his late thirties, 37, and coming off a run of underwhelming seasons. But he’s in a much better environment now with the Colts. This isn’t a team in the throes of a rebuild; this is a squad eyeing a division title. Jonathan Taylor is going to be the focal point of this offense, but, as you know, he’s one of those backs who does a lot to help the quarterback, and it’s looking like he’ll play a bigger role in the passing game this year too. He’s got a much better offense line to play behind now, and he should be able to get back into the 30+ touchdown range with 4,000+ yards.
Another factor to take into consideration with Ryan is his health. He’s missed one game since 2010. That’s not something to ignore in best ball leagues.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
It’ll be important to keep an eye on Winston as the summer progresses to see how well he’s recovering from a torn ACL last season. However, players bounce back much faster from torn knee ligaments these days, so it’s not unreasonable to expect Winston to be in solid form come September.
Assuming he is good to go, the Saints have done a great job setting him up for success this season. Not only should he have a healthy Michael Thomas in the lineup, he’ll also have first-round pick Chris Olave, another blue chip wideout prospect from Ohio State, and the recently signed Jarvis Landry. Though he played just seven games last season, Winston had 14 touchdowns and just three picks, so it’s intriguing to think what he can do with a much improved roster around him this year.