Quarterback Key Considerations

by Shamin Shah, June 16 2020 – 5 minute read

  1. If you draft a top quarterback in early rounds, having a backup will likely waste a bench spot for most of the season. Most of the top quarterbacks are matchup proof and will end up being at the top of week to week ranks. These include of course Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, and to a certain extent this upcoming year, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, and Kyler Murray. If you end up getting any of these guys, don’t waste another draft pick on a QB. You are better off getting WRs or RBs that you will actually play if they pan out.
  2. On the other hand, if you don’t draft one of the top 5 or so QBs, it would be tremendous value for you to draft a second quarterback (assuming 1 QB leagues) who may end up with better matchups throughout the season. Below, we will go over some quarterback pairings that go well together based on the schedule.
  3. Rushing ability will launch most quarterbacks to fantasy stardom. They will also give you a much safer floor. Players like Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, and Kyler Murray should be good safe picks and will continue to have that floor that QBs like Brady, Brees, Rothlesberger and Rodgers simply won’t get. You will be relying on these players to at least throw 2 TDs and get 300 yards for them to hit their weekly projections. Otherwise, it can completely break your entire team that week and give your opponent a major advantage.
  4. While injuries do happen to quarterbacks, they happen far less often than to other positions. Coaches draw up players that play to their quarterback’s strengths and for the post part, these plays are designed to protect them throughout the game. Running plays, quick passes and designed screen plays will mostly keep the QB safe. My suggestion is not to draft a second quarterback simply to have a backup incase of injury. 
  5. Matchups are VERY important when it comes to QBs. There will usually be playable quarterbacks available on a weekly basis on the waiver wire. Even the least popular QBs can have huge games against bad defenses. See Daniel Jones @ Wash, Andy Dalton @ Mia, Fitzpatrick vs Cin as the top 3 scorers in last year’s fantasy finals. If you plan on waiting on QBs, make sure to get good matchups in the first few weeks of the season. We will do some matchup analysis below, but just to give you a preview, keep in mind that the first 5 weeks for the following QBs are solid: Josh Allen, Jimmy Garrapolo, Gardner Minshew, and if you’re really feeling bold, whoever will start for the Bears.
  6. Be wary of drafting Rothlesberger as your QB1 as he is coming off a major injury and has shown every year that his road stats aren’t close to his home stats. WIth the possibility of playing in arenas with no fans due to COVID-19, I would wait to see how he does before inserting him into your starting lineup.
  7. Be mindful of game flows. Here are some scenarios in which QB game flows and coaching style can impact projections.
    1. QBs on teams with bad defenses will end up throwing the ball more. From the players above, this includes Watson, Murray, Stafford, Ryan and Wentz.
    2. QBs without much of a run game will end up throwing the ball more. This includes Brady, Stafford, and possibly Brees and Wentz (as their RB1 is a major pass catching threat)
    3. QBs on teams with good defenses will end up throwing the ball less. This includes Allen, Rodgers, and Rothlesberger, however Allen can make that up with his running ability.
    4. QBs with a great run game will end up throwing the ball less. This includes Prescott, Rodgers, Tannehill, and Wilson.
    5. There are players that will likely be coming from behind against these tougher opponents, therefore they may put up quality garbage time fantasy stats even with the tough matchups. This scenario will likely happen with Watson, Murray, Ryan, and Stafford throughout the season.
  8. On a final note, find different ways to do your own kind of analysis that makes sense to you. Turning information into something relevant to your draft strategy is the reason why we do so much analysis to prepare for our drafts.  This only scratches the surface for QBs. Make sure to do some mock drafts to identify which strategy works best (picking up a top tier QB early, picking up a mid tier QB, or picking up 2 QBs late).
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