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NFL Draft

Fantasy Football: Undervalued QB2s To Target

  • The Draft Network
  • August 31, 2020
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Two-quarterback and superflex fantasy football leagues are gaining more popularity and may become the default set up in the next five years or so. For now, it’s still semi-niche. However, the real appeal of two-quarterback and superflex formats is it aligns the value of quarterback play a lot closer to its real-life value than the typical fantasy league. 

You can’t “wait on quarterbacks” in these formats, as the replacement level for passers on the waiver wire is a literal real-life backup that’ll score 0 points. All starters are drafted and an injury to one of your two starting quarterbacks can be a season-killer. 

So, how can you be prepared? Hopefully, you’ve locked down a solid QB1. Now, let’s look at some value plays for the QB2 spot and some potential stash candidates. For the purposes of this article, the quarterbacks mentioned are QB3s or below (currently ranked outside of the top 24) based on their current ADP.

Philip Rivers

Rivers is old, but he’s not dead. Unless he gets hurt, something we have no precedent for, it’s hard to imagine him having a worse season than last year’s turnover fest. And as rough as things were for him last season, he still finished as the QB16 in total fantasy points and QB24 on a points-per-game basis. That’s a perfectly capable QB2. The upgrade from one of the five-worst offensive lines in the NFL to one of the five-best will do wonders for keeping Rivers upright and effective. His pass-catching weapons aren’t quite as good, but it’s not a precipitous dropoff, either. 

Rivers enters the season as my QB17 with a projection of 4,202 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. 

Derek Carr

Everyone seems to hate Carr and I don’t really understand why. Does he play an exciting brand of football? No—this sentence goes on longer than his average pass—but is he an effective enough starter to help your fantasy team? Absolutely. Despite the injury to Tyrell Williams, Carr has a revitalized pass-catching group with the addition of rookies Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards, along with the returning Darren Waller, who broke out last season. I expect Carr’s touchdown rate to be closer to 5% than the 3.75% he’s posted over the last two years combined. That makes him a borderline top-20 quarterback. 

Carr enters the season as my QB19 with a projection of 4,050 passing yards, 24 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatrick is one of the biggest values right now because of the presence of first-round rookie Tua Tagovailoa. However, it’s hard to imagine Tagovailoa playing more than 4-6 games max this season. Fitzpatrick was the QB18 in total points and QB20 on a per-game basis last season and is the starter heading into this year. While there is a serious risk he won’t be starting in the fantasy playoffs, you’ve got to get there first. Getting 10-12 games of mid-level QB2 production from a player with an ADP of QB31 is too good of a value to pass up. You can figure out how to replace him later—check out the stashes below.

Fitzpatrick enters the season as my QB23 with a 12-game projection of 3,100 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. 

STASHES

Rookies: Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa

Going as the QB36 and QB32, respectively, Herbert and Tagovailoa are intriguing stash plays but will likely only be useful for the fantasy playoffs. As mentioned above, I’d be surprised if Tagovailoa plays before Miami’s Week 11 bye. I feel the same about Herbert before Los Angeles’ Week 10 bye, and both have a non-zero chance of redshirting the season. Still, I think they’re both top-20 quarterbacks in the weeks they do get to start and that could provide a tremendous boost to your fantasy team down the stretch or in the postseason if you need it. 

Vets: Mitchell Trubisky and Jameis Winston

We don’t yet know the winner of the Chicago Bears’ quarterback battle, but it’s safe to assume that given the trade for and financial investment in Nick Foles, he’ll be the Week 1 starter. However, I don’t think it’s a given that Foles remains the starter all season, even if healthy. Trubisky, for all of his faults, was the QB10 in fantasy football in 2018 on a per-game basis. From Weeks 10-17 in 2019, Trubisky was the QB13 on a per-game basis (minimum four starts). If/when he starts, he’ll provide potentially top-tier QB2 value depending on his matchup. 

As for Winston, he needs an injury for the second year in a row from Drew Brees in order to play—Brees simply doesn’t miss time. However, if that opportunity presents itself, he has plenty of weapons to throw to and just came off a season where he finished as the QB6 on a per-game basis despite throwing 30 interceptions. He’s a QB1 in any game he starts.

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