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QUARTERBACK DRAFTING: Finding The Next Patrick Mahomes
Justin Weigal (FantasySharks) published Jun 17, 2019

Allen, Josh BUF QB
Josh Allen

Most experts will tell you to always wait on a quarterback as there is value to be had in the late rounds of drafts and it is argued that early quarterbacks commonly do not produce the value compared to a running back or wide receiver at the same ADP. Last year Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson were some of the first quarterbacks off the board at much higher ADPs than the others. Some people were selecting these quarterbacks as early as round 5-7 last year. Their reward? Cam Newton ranked number 8 in scoring with 20.2 points per game, Aaron Rodgers massively under-performed as the first quarterback off the board ranking 9th in scoring with 19.5 points per game, and Russell Wilson ranked 12th in fantasy scoring with 17.9 points per game.

Those who took a flier on Mahomes in the middle-to-late rounds were heavily rewarded with 26 points per game which was 4 points ahead of the next best player. Matt Ryan once again was slept on and put up a monstrous season. Ben Roethlisberger also not suprisingly, put up a monstrous season, finishing third overall with 21.3 points per game. Ben was a major target last year because he was commonly falling until the latest rounds of the draft and offered great value.

How many quarterbacks averaged over 20 points per game last year? Eight quarterbacks averaged this number with ADP averages all over the place here. Mahomes, Ryan, Roethlisberger, Watson, Fitzpatrick, Luck, Brees, and Newton all averaged 20 points or more per game. Players like Luck and Fitzpatrick were commonly not even drafted. If we want to really extend the range, 21 players averaged 17 points per game when starting. The argument to stream quarterbacks weekly in smaller leagues of 10-12 players starts to sound better when you look at these stats.

Many would also be alarmed to know, the highly drafted Jimmy G averaged just 16 points last year. There is a real cutoff in tiers after Brady/Wentz/Mayfield who all averaged 17 points per game. Flacco, Manning, and Foles all averaged 15 points per game. Beathard, Carr, Stafford, Darnold, and Mariota averaged 13 points each per game representing the basement tier. This shows a perspective on how different each quarterback tier is. Obviously, defenses play heavy into this evaluation on a week-to-week basis.

So who could surprise as the next Patrick Mahomes this year that you can draft late in your fantasy draft?  Here are two to consider:

Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen may become this years “streaming steal of the year” too. Josh Allen became the darling last year, particularly when he averaged more fantasy points than Mahomes week 14-17 with 22.6 per game. Analysts at FantasyPros have concluded that scrambling yardage seems to stay consistent year-to-year while designed runs (Lamar Jackson) have large variability year-to-year. Allen’s ADP of 139 in Yahoo! this year shows a laughable disregard for the insane production of last year and his improved supporting cast for 2019. The Bills signed interior lineman Spencer Long (PFF #37 Center) and Mitch Morse (PFF #12 Center). Ty Nsekhe (PFF #42 Tackle) was also signed. They also added veteran wide receivers John Brown and Cole Beasley. While Beasley is more of a short-route slot receiver, John Brown will really open the field and allow Josh Allen’s arm to be let loose.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott has been a sleeper each year in fantasy football and has ended up a “top-half” fantasy quarterback each and every season. He may not be the typical player you think of when you think #11 fantasy quarterback in 2018 but he was. Dak has been the definition of year-to-year consistency if you look at his stats. He has had 23, 22, and 22 passing touchdowns in his 3-year career and a consistent 6 rushing touchdowns each year. He is a great option in larger leagues as a starter particularly against his terrible division.

According to Fantasy Sharks’ Strength of Schedule, Prescott has the 8th easiest schedule. In terms of newfound optimism, many know how much Amari Cooper helped Dak towards the end of the year. Cooper helped so much last year that Dak was the number 5 quarterback in fantasy with 19 points per game over the last 5 weeks of the season. Dak had a game of 33.5 fantasy points against the Giants and a game with 24.4 points against the Eagles in that span with Cooper added. Now Randall Cobb will be joining the Cowboys to replace Cole Beasley‘s role in the offense. Cobb is still only 28 years old but was rarely healthy last year. He was a reliable player in Green Bay when he was fully healthy though as shown by his Week 1 performance of 9/142/1 against the Bears last year. If his health can return, Dak has another option over the middle-of-the-field while Amari dominates the outside. Dak looks positioned for another Top-12 finish this year and makes a fine streaming option.

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