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My Favorite QB Targets for 2016

It’s getting to be that time of year again where fantasy players have to start planting some flags. I’ve talked plenty of strategy this summer, but at the end of the day, you need to decide what players you are going to build your teams around. Last summer I brought you my 24 Championship Building Blocks, going over exactly who it was I was targeting in drafts.

Since I’ve already spoken extensively about my favorite WR targets, I’m going to do things a little bit differently this year, and just give my favorite targets by position, excluding WR. Having recently spoken about my favorite TE targets, it is time to move on to QB today.

Jets QBs

That’s right, my first selection is not one player, but two! With Ryan Fitzpatrick’s contract situation unresolved, it is unclear if he or Geno Smith will be the starter for the Jets this season. But no matter who is under center for Gang Green, you need to be drafting them to your fantasy teams. Why? Well because of Chan Gailey of course.

YearTeamQBGamespaATTspaYDSpaTDSpaINTruATTruYDFP
16 Gm Avg--16532.73572.325.617.356.7285.2264.2
2015NYJRyan Fitzpatrick165623905311560270304.2
2012BUFRyan Fitzpatrick165053400241648197241.7
2011BUFRyan Fitzpatrick165693832242356215247.8
2010BUFRyan Fitzpatrick134413000231540269223.9
2008KCTyler Thigpen144202608181262386220.9

The 16-game average for Gailey QBs would have finished as the QB18 last season. Furthermore, Fitzpatrick himself, a journeyman QB at age 33, finished as the QB11 just last year! That includes a game against Oakland that he left early after just five attempts. If Fitzpatrick does sign, he’s going to be a terrific value. Fantasy players were only selecting him as the QB22 during the first month of MFL10s, before his contract became a real issue.

And if he doesn’t, then Smith is back and ready for more fantasy fun. Aside from all of the usual reasons there are to draft Smith,1 we have already gotten a glimpse of what he can do in the Gailey offense. In the aforementioned game that Fitzpatrick left, Smith scored 21 fantasy points. With Gailey running the show, and Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to throw to, I have no doubts that Smith can be a (somewhat) reliable fantasy option in 2016.

Until we have clarity on this situation, I have no issue with scooping up who you think will be the starter with your last pick in your draft. Even if you’re wrong, you can probably scoop the true starter off of the waiver wire.

49ers QBs

If some QB uncertainty is good, more must be better right? There is some murkiness in San Francisco as to who will be the starter for new head coach Chip Kelly, but the bottom line is that you want whoever is going to start in the Bay area.

YearpaATTpaYApaAYApaYDpaTDpaINTruATTruYDruTDFPRank
Average5847.67.34442.727.316602472307.7410.7
20156237.06.44341231832610253.7420
20146217.46.745812721531551291.7410
20135088.79.14406329955255377.742

QBs under Kelly have managed to be productive in the aggregate, combining for an average finish of a QB1. And the names of the signal-callers have not been particularly impressive: Nick Foles, Michael Vick, Matt Barkley, Mark Sanchez, and, most recently, Sam Bradford.

We know that Kelly likes to push the tempo, and that should lead to more passing attempts and scoring opportunities than the 49ers would have otherwise. He also likes to get his QBs involved in the run game, which we saw the most with Vick’s 33 rush attempts for 307 yards and two TDs in the first five games of 2013 before he was injured.2 Now Kelly is basically guaranteed to have a mobile player under center come September.

49er QBs

Most people know that Colin Kaepernick has outstanding athleticism and rushing upside, but very few people talk about it with Blaine Gabbert, who is almost as athletic. The 49ers also drafted a potential YOLO QB in Jeff Driskel in April. It certainly seems like Kelly is prepared to run his QB once again in 2016.

And very similar to what is going on with the Jets, any 49er QB is going to come at an extreme discount while there is a lack of clarity. Even once a starter is named, unless he is being drafted as a QB1,3 there is going to be tons of upside baked into the price. I really think owning this QB group could win titles in 2016.

Ryan Tannehill

Neil Dutton pointed out that pace was an important factor to Ryan Tannehill coming out as the QB15 in our staff projections. It is also worth noting that Adam Gase has gotten Jay Cutler and Peyton Manning to produce about 17 percent more fantasy PPG than their career scoring averages.4 And as Brian Malone stated, more DeVante Parker will probably be good for Tannehill this season.

Miami also added a WR in Leonte Carroo who looks dominant based on the traits Kevin Cole proved to be vital to evaluating WR prospects, along with weight and draft position.

Carroo BSS2

Put simply, an investment in Tannehill is a belief in Gase and the tremendous weapons in Miami. Considering that Tannehill was the QB8 just two seasons ago, I don’t think it is a stretch to say he could crush his QB21 ADP.

Tyrod Taylor

Most people don’t think of Tyrod Taylor as a QB who is can produce like the top-end signal callers, but that is exactly what happened in 2015.

Tyrod vs Brees

Obviously Drew Brees attempted many5 more passes than Taylor in 2015, but it is still impressive to see his almost identical efficiency. Taylor was also more efficient than both Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers in 2015, but they are going inside of the top five in QB ADP while Taylor is now outside of the top 15. That doesn’t seem to make much sense, especially considering what Taylor can do on the ground.

Tyrod Wilson Rushing

A player with the passing efficiency of Brees and the rushing efficiency of Russell Wilson intrigues you does it not? We even saw in a brief sample that he could produce without star WR Sammy Watkins, should his foot injury linger into the season.

Tyrod Sammy Splits

I’m really struggling to find the hole in Taylor’s game or situation that would justify his price. He seems to be an easy choice in 2016.

  1. No really, they exist!  (back)
  2. The fact that he was 33 years old at the time made this even more impressive.  (back)
  3. which I doubt  (back)
  4. That number probably would be even higher had Cutler not also worked with another QB guru in Marc Trestman.  (back)
  5. many  (back)

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