Another year, another even deeper group of quarterbacks to draft from (have you tried superflex/2QB yet?). That doesn’t mean that waiting at quarterback is the right answer, as the latest crop of elite fantasy quarterbacks continues to set the scoring bar higher, lowering the value of replacement-level production that is always available in the late rounds or on the waiver wire. This year’s quarterback picture is muddied by two uncertain elite quarterback situations that could, in turn, affect other uncertain boom/bust quarterback situations. What does the quarterback landscape look like this year?
This group is four deep with not very much separation between one and four, making the strategy angle easy. Just try to take the QB4. This will be easier to pull off if you have a mid-round draft slot.
Superflex/2QB Tip: Be willing to spend your first-round pick on any of this group.
Scoring Tip: Mahomes and Allen get bumps in leagues with 5 or 6 points per passing touchdown, yardage bonuses, long touchdown bonuses, or efficiency.
Mahomes is still the gold standard and could be improved if the overhauled offensive line exorcises the memories of a miserable Super Bowl against the Buccaneers' vicious defense. However, he’s still not worth taking a round or more earlier than the other elite fantasy quarterbacks.
Murray was running away with the QB1 distinction before hurting his shoulder in Week 11 vs. Seattle. Does that mean he’s a value as the likely QB1 if he can stay healthy, or that he is likely to experience a dropoff in scoring and effectiveness when you need him the most because of the incompatibility between his size and his willingness to run? Murray will also benefit from his first full offseason in the NFL after only fully committing to football in 2019.
It’s difficult to shake the feeling that just about everything went right for Allen last year. 2020 probably represents his peak, and the team could be looking to put more effort into the running game after it was non-existent at times last year. He’s the easiest of the top five quarterbacks to pass on.
Jackson got a boost with the addition of Sammy Watkins, Rashod Bateman, and Tylan Wallace to the wide receiver room. He’ll gain back stud left tackle Ronnie Stanley but lost the player who admirably replaced Stanley last year after holding down right tackle, Orlando Brown. The first half of the year was difficult for Jackson, and he should be improved after coming on in the second half of the year.
Prescott is fully healed from his heartbreaking ankle injury last year. He was on pace to be the QB1 last year but was aided by a terrible defense that gave him desperation come from behind game scripts. We haven’t gotten the chance to see him perform with Amari Cooper, CeeDee Lamb, and Michael Gallup with Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, and Zack Martin all healthy, which is what the Cowboys hope they can roll out in Week 1 against the World Champion Buccaneers.
None of these quarterbacks have the rushing potential of Murray, Allen, or Jackson, and it would take a truly best-case scenario for them to rival Mahomes or Prescott’s passing numbers. Still, they have the potential to be closer to the top five than ADP suggests.
8/26 UPDATE: Prescott has moved down to the middle of this tier because of uncertainty about his shoulder.
Superflex/2QB Tip: Be willing to take quarterbacks from this group over any RB/WR/TE except the top five running backs and Travis Kelce, especially if you didn’t take a quarterback in Round 1.
Scoring Tip: The gap between the top five and this group is smaller in leagues with yardage and distance touchdown bonuses and efficiency (attempt/completion) scoring.
Wilson fell off of a cliff in the second half last year and lost the trust of fantasy players (again). Still, the Seahawks traded for a top-notch offensive lineman (Gabe Jackson), hired a passing game coordinator to run the offense (Shane Waldron - Rams), drafted a receiver with their first pick (Western Michigan’s DWayne Eskridge in the second round), and worked up speeding up their tempo in the spring, all good signs that they are going to let Russ cook again.
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