We have come to the final article in our Over/Under-Rated series and it is time to look at Quarterbacks. I am all about drafting value on QBs and this year there are some things to watch out for in drafting your team’s QB. Below I go over the guys I am holding off from and one specifically that I am targeting.
Deshaun Watson, HOU
I get that Watson is talented. He’s athletic. He finds ways to win. Last season he exploded onto the scene in his first 7 games to be one of the top fantasy scoring QBs only to have his season cut short by an ACL injury. He was on pace for 3,885/43/18 as a passer and 615/4 as a rusher. Had his season not been cut short, he may have been the top fantasy QB instead of Russell Wilson. All that being said, I still have trouble drafting him as the #2 QB off the board when he is going a round in front of Tom Brady and Russell Wilson and two rounds in front of Cam Newton and Drew Brees.
I don’t want you to think that I believe DeShaun Watson to be an absolute scrub. He isn’t. My own rankings have him as the QB5. However, here are a couple concerns that I have about Watson. While he does not have a full season under his belt, NFL teams now have a little bit of tape on Watson to try and gameplan for. He also has one of, if not THE worst offensive line in the NFL. Pro Football Focus graded it as the #32 O-Line coming into 2018. And while some of you are screaming, “BUT RUSSELL WILSON….” Russ has done it for 6 years now. Watson has done it for 7 NFL games…TOTAL.
I don’t doubt that Watson could very well end up the #2 fantasy QB by the end of the season. My personal preference though, is to take they guy that has proven to do it consistently a round or two later in my draft to continue to stack RBs and WRs.
Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
Jimmy is another player that has seen a lot of hype over the offseason with how last year ended. Coming off the bench to lead an end of the game TD drive in a game they had already lost, Jimmy helped the 49ers to end the season with 5 straight wins. His pace during those 5 games was 4,160/19/13. That pace is almost identical to Matt Ryan‘s season of 4,095/20/12 who finished 2017 as the QB15. On some platforms his ADP is QB9, meaning people are taking him even earlier than that!
Pro Football Focus has ranked the 49ers O-Line tight in the middle of the pack at 16 which means that Jimmy should be protected pretty well and have time to make his reads and throws. He has veteran WRs in Garcon and Goodwin with whom he has shown chemistry over this preseason. The Niners also added WR/Special Teamer Dante Pettis out of the University of Washington and Jerrick McKinnon from the Vikings to give the offense plenty of weapons. Garrapolo also has Kyle Shanahan as his head coach, implementing an offensive strategy that helped Matt Ryan become NFL MVP.
However, even with some good talent around him, Jimmy does not have Julio, Devonta Freeman or Tevin Coleman to help him on offense like Ryan did. Jimmy is a solid QB that will fit perfectly as a second QB in 2QB leagues, or as a streaming posibility based on matchup. But seeing how early he is going in some leagues, compells me to tell you to leave Jimmy alone and take someone like Andrew Luck, Matthew Stafford or Philip Rivers who are all being taken around the same point in the draft depending on the platform you are on.
Andrew Luck, IND
I have always been hesitant to draft Andrew Luck as early as he was going in drafts in past years (last year not included since he was out the entire year). But his value this season is hard to ignore. I understand that he is coming off a full season away from the game. He has had to have surgery on his shoulder and did not even start throwing a football again until a couple months ago. The Colts have wanted to be very careful with their franchise QB. Because of this, Luck’s value has never been better. This is the year to get him cheap.
Indianapolis drafted to help their offensive line in order to better protect Luck. They let the oft injured Donte Moncrief go, added Ryan Grant and Eric Ebron, and still have the explosive TY Hilton as well as Jack Doyle for Luck to throw to. Andrew Luck has the ability to finish as a top 5 QB in fantasy this year. He is the only one going this late in fantasy drafts (ADP as low as QB15 on Yahoo) that can finish that high without needing the help of major injuries to QBs ahead of him on the list.
If you are willing to pass on how early guys like Rodgers, Watson, Brady and Wilson are going, Luck can be the QB to anchor your fantasy team this season.