In many leagues, waiting until the later rounds of the draft to select a quarterback is a sound strategy. A major reason for this is the slim margin separating the QB7 and the QB14, for example, in fantasy points scored and the requirement that only one QB be started. In 2018, Jared Goff scored 310 points as the QB7. Tom Brady, who finished as QB14, accumulated 280 points. That means that over the course of the season, Goff scored less than two points more than Brady per game. We see a larger spread at running back, a position in which the RB7, James White, scored 277 PPR points and the RB14, Kenyan Drake, scored just 206. Over the course of the season, that’s a disparity of more than four points each week.
I recently posted my full set of 2019 projections. As you might anticipate, quarterback expectations are clustered together within the set. With the exception of Patrick Mahomes, the passers comprising my top-12 are expected to score between 306 and 288 fantasy points. This small spread, despite being a “best guess,” presents us with an opportunity to garner value by targeting QBs that project with starter-level fantasy points but average draft positions that fail to reflect this.
The Starters You Can Get on The Cheap
Dak Prescott – Projected Rank QB7, FFPC Positional ADP QB15
Dak Prescott finished as a top-12 passer in all three of his NFL seasons. As a result, his projection as a mid-level starter isn’t surprising. In fact, it’s easy to envision a number of scenarios in which he substantially outperforms my projection. We could say this for every player but Prescott is going off the board after pick 115 in FFPC Best Ball leagues, behind 16 other QBs.
While he’s never eclipsed 4,000 yards passing, he’s averaged 315 yards and six touchdowns per season as a rusher. This bonus production has allowed Prescott to enjoy a solid floor despite throwing just 22 touchdowns per season. Even with the addition of Amari Cooper, my projection assumes just 25 passing touchdowns. This increase is partially offset by a decrease of one rushing touchdown. Overall, Prescott’s projection assumes a minor increase in statistical production. Nonetheless, his projection of 297 fantasy points places him firmly in the QB1 conversation.
It’s likely that my projections of Aaron Rodgers with just 288 fantasy points and Matt Ryan with 271 are too low. Truthfully, if I were drafting a one player team I’d select both before the Cowboy. But the takeaway here is that the delta in their overall production at seasons end will likely not be commensurate to the delta of their ADPs. As a result, Prescott, who ranks eight spots higher in my projections than in FFPC ADP, represents a much better value.
Mitchell Trubisky – Projected Rank QB10, FFPC Positional ADP QB17
Like Prescott, Mitchell Trubisky benefited from rushing production last season. He accumulated 421 yards and three scores on the ground. While I expect his rushing numbers to look similar in 2019, his passing numbers should spike as he missed two games in 2018. Keeping this in mind, his projected increase of 603 passing yards and three touchdowns seems very achievable.
The former Tar Heel is a somewhat polarizing player in 2019 and for good reason. He displayed tremendous upside in Week 4 of 2018 by slashing through the Buccaneers for 44 fantasy points. Unfortunately, he scored 20 or more points in only four other games.
Despite a healthy Allen Robinson and another year of personal and team development, Trubisky is being selected as the QB17. In 2018, he was the QB11 on a point-per-game basis. Even if you disagree with my projection and expect him to take a step back, he’s likely underpriced and projects with a median outcome stronger than a number of passers with steeper price tags.
Image Credit: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire. Pictured: Deshaun Watson.
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