Drafting the quarterback position in Fantasy Football is always an interesting debate. Do you take one high or do you wait until you can grab ultimate value? It honestly depends on the league and the individual. There are a lot of quarterbacks that can be productive enough for you to hitch your wagon to, but being in the market for a top tier guy is what remains to be seen.
For example, many people salivate at the thought of Tom Brady leading the charge and are willing to draft him in the very early rounds of their respective draft. However, they could very easily just wait and draft a guy like Philip Rivers who will bring a very productive statline each week on a team that will always be throwing the ball. Like I said, it’s all about personal preference.
With the preseason more than halfway over, I wanted to take a look at some QBs who I think can bring back great value in the later rounds. With a very high class of RBs and WRs, the guys I mention below could be worth the wait. Here are my quarterback sleepers for the 2017 season:
• Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
For all of his shortcomings, Andy Reid knows quarterbacks. If you are still in doubt, go back and look at all the other stiffs he passed over in 1999 to instead draft Donovan McNabb. This year, he was at it again. When Reid and the Chiefs traded the No. 27 overall pick, a third-round pick and their 2018 first-round selection to the Buffalo Bills to move up to No. 10 to select Mahomes, everyone was in shock. This was a bold move, but one that had to be made. Alex Smith still remains the starter, but Mr. Average himself isn’t going to cut it in an offense that will like to go deep often with Tyreek Hill. Mahomes has been shining in the preseason with his quick bursts out of the pocket and the ability to throw downfield on the run. It will only be a matter of time before Alex Smith is holding a clipboard and drinking Gatorade next to the line judge, and when that moment happens, you’ll be glad you snagged this guy in the later rounds.
• Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
Doesn’t it always seem that Stafford is a forgotten guy in fantasy drafts year after year? All this guy does is put up productive point totals even with the loss of Megatron. He isn’t flashy but he remains extremely consistent. In any league, I’m always looking for a QB to give me a solid 20 points each week, with the opportunity to go higher. I’d rather go with consistency instead of an up-and-down swing. Over the last three years, Stafford has averaged 4,278 yards and 26 TDs. For what it’s worth, he carries a 21.5 weekly average in 6-point TD leagues around the net. If you’re looking for value, he is every bit of your man!
• DeShone Kizer, Cleveland Browns
Yes, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. I am listing a Cleveland Browns quarterback as a potential starting player on your fantasy squad. Now, before you flip the page and treat this as trash, let me explain my point. The Browns have showed they are on the right track to rebuilding and have some nice pieces in place. They have a solid offensive line, a very good running game led by Isaiah Crowell and a revamped receiving core with Corey Coleman and Kenny Britt. Britt is one of the keys to this as he will serve as the safety valve for Kizer. Every young quarterback looks to outlet the pass to hands they can trust. Britt had 111 targets last year with garbage throwing him the ball and still turned that into a nice payday. His presence cannot be underestimated.
Kizer has the tools to make himself a name in the NFL. He is on a team that could put up some decent points on a weekly basis and could throw more than you think. Remember, they have a guy named Duke Johnson that loves to catch the ball out of the backfield as well. I know Kizer hasn’t officially been named the starter yet, but it has already been implied as he’s starting this weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I really don’t think you could go wrong drafting a guy like Kizer very late in the hopes that he could blossom, especially in keeper leagues. Keep your eye out for this potential value pick at QB!
• Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
Captain Kirk is playing on a one-year deal again and laughing all the way to the bank. Whether you like his quirky attitude or his stance, one thing remains certain – the man can sling the rock. The Redskins have a very sneaky offense and really sound offensive line. As a unit, their running game averaged 4.6 yards a carry last year and gave the Captain plenty of time to air it out. They signed Terrelle Pryor in the offseason, who could easily outplay his $7 million dollar contract by midseason. Combine that with Jamison Crowder, Josh Doctson, and Jordan Reed, the ‘Skins have a very formidable core.
Cousins just missed 5,000 yards last year (4,917) and was pretty consistent in his point totals. I think with the addition of Pryor, the steady development of Crowder and Doctson, and the hopeful health of Reed will continue to make him a bargain in the eighth round, which is where he’s been selected.
• Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
For all that have followed me, you know I’m a Marcus Mariota guy. His combined speed and poise make him a keeper in my eyes. In 2016, he threw for 26 TDs and ran for two more in 15 games. He’s got another year of a stellar running game, a draft pick in the name of Corey Davis and the addition of Eric Decker, who could be a lethal asset if he returns to form. I understand both have been sidelined with injuries so far, but I fully expect them to be fine once the season starts. Marcus had four 30+ point explosions in a six-game span last season, a number I expect to grow this year. He looks to be fully recovered for the broken leg he suffered last year and ready to excel in 2017. If all things fall into place, I could see him inching close to a top five fantasy finish this year. Oh, it’s TRUE … it’s damn TRUE!
As always you can stop by my Facebook page (FantasySportsAddiction) or tweet me (@TCutillo23) for questions or some nice fantasy debates. I can also be heard weekly via the internet stream live at WengRadio every Monday at 4:00pm EST for a weekend sports wrap. But most importantly, you can catch me here at Pi!
For fantasy purposes, all my articles are predicated upon a PPR-based system.