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Best ball draft targets: Quarterbacks

We look at quarterbacks who you should target in your 2022 best ball drafts.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For football fans, it may be the summer doldrums, but that just means it’s the perfect time to start preparing for your fantasy football season. Preparing for your fantasy draft is especially important if you’re going to play in a best ball league.

If you don’t know, a best ball league is a system that takes the points for the best player at each position on your roster. You don’t have to set your lineup every week, which also means you don’t have to worry about having that No. 3 receiver on the bench when he goes wild in some random October game. There’s also no waiver wire moves, so you’ve got to be smart about who you’re drafting. Seriously, ask that person who took Derrick Henry in a best ball league last season.

To help, here are a few quarterbacks we think are worth targeting this season. These aren’t necessarily the best signal callers in the game or deep sleepers. They’re just players we believe are poised for a strong year, capable of leading your fantasy football team to gold.

I’m going to leave off a couple of obvious players, specifically Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes. Yes, those are both very good players to have on your fantasy team, and they’re likely to be among the best fantasy performers at the position. To get them in your draft, you’ll have to make some serious choices between them and some of the game’s best receivers, one of the handful of big time tight ends and that rarest of all birds, the bell cow running back. There are other quarterbacks who are still worthy of serious fantasy love, some are obvious, others less so.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

The first quarterback to throw at least 30 touchdowns passes in his first two seasons, Herbert’s poised for another big season, maybe his best yet. He had 38 touchdown passes last year and more than 5,000 yards, finishing third and second in those categories. And while he’s not going to give you the kind of production as a runner like Josh Allen, he did manage to add in a respectable 302 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. There were only five games last season where Herbert had just one touchdown. He plays for one of the most aggressive offenses in the league, and in a division that’s going to feature shootout after shootout. Topping 40 passing touchdowns isn’t a stretch.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

The MVP back in 2019 isn’t exactly someone you’d call a sleeper. However, after a down season—just 16 touchdowns to 13 picks—that included some lost time to injury, Jackson and the Ravens are due for a bounce back in 2022. Since his MVP season, he’s been the top scoring player at his position just three times.

With beefed up offensive line and a healthy Ronnie Jackson back on his blind side, the field should be a little friendlier to Jackson this year. Sure, we would have liked to see the Ravens bring in some help in the receiver department, but don’t be surprised if Jacksons runs his back into the top-five quarterbacks this season.

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos

Wilson threw a career-high 40 passing touchdowns in 2020, tantalizing some of us enough to think that Seattle was finally going to unleash the passing beast. He followed that with a 25-touchdown effort last season as the Seahawks slumped into a rebuild. But he’s in Denver now, playing with an incredible group of offensive skill players. The rest of the team isn’t too shabby either, especially that top-10 defense. Another year with 40 touchdowns should be easy for Wilson.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins

We’re in riskier territory now, sleeper picks even. Behind the scenes, it looked like the Dolphins were doing everything they could to find someone to replace Tua, flirting with Tom Brady and getting connected to Deshaun Watson on the rumor mill. In the end, it’s still Tagovailoa leading this offense, and at least the Dolphins made the moves to help him succeed. Having Tyreek Hill on the roster opposite Jaylen Waddle is going help the quarterback’s production, especially in the yardage department. And don’t overlook the addition of left tackle Terron Armstead, which should help him stay upright and give him plenty of time to find his targets down the field.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Just hear me out. He’s been a top-15 fantasy quarterback in each of the last two seasons. Cousins might not be the guy you want in a two-minute drill with the season on the line, but for fantasy purposes, he’s consistently putting up games with multiple touchdowns and 300+ yards. Now, he’s got a head coach, Kevin O’Connell from the Rams, who throws the ball a lot more than Vikings did under Mike Zimmer’s conservative approach. Cousins isn’t going to threaten Allen or Mahomes for the quarterback leaderboard, but he’s going to produce enough to have some big weeks and be a steady presence the rest of the year.