Fantasy Football: Do Not Ignore These Late Round QBs
As someone who has been a life long “Draft your QB late!” guy, I don’t know if I will ever have an easier time writing an article. My initial idea was just to write “Don’t forget about these late-round QBs: ALL OF THEM” and let that be the end of it. However, I thought twice and decided to keep the editor working (Editor’s note: Thank you) and will break down a few of my favorites this year. My criteria for a QB to be considered late-round was two-fold:
1. His ADP has to be after the 10th round
2. He needs to be going after QB12 in drafts.
It kind of feels like cheating if I’m telling to just draft a late QB1. With that said, here are 4 quarterbacks that are certainly worth the wait.
There are times when I am researching my articles and I just do not understand the fantasy football community. This is one of those moments. Stafford finished as the overall QB7 last year. He was the QB8 the year before. How’s his ADP looking in 2017? He’s being drafted as the QB15 in the 11th round. What? Taking a look at his 2016 Consistency Chart from the Ultimate Draft Kit, you see that he was a QB1 in 8 of 16 games last year. While this is nothing to write home about, it’s better than or equal to 8 of the QBs being drafted ahead of him. We’ll have to wait and see if Eric Ebron and Kenny Golladay can step into the spot vacated by Anquan Boldin but if I’m gambling on a QB with only a 50% chance of being a QB1, I’d much rather do so in the 11th round than 7th.
Remember 2013? When 3rd year QB Andy Dalton set the fantasy world on fire? Yeah, that feels like an eternity ago. Since that amazing QB3 finish, Dalton has disappointed at every turn and never posted a finish better than QB17. So why the optimism for 2017? The law of averages. In 2016, Dalton actually had a pretty good season with one glaring weakness: touchdowns. Coming into last year, he was averaging 27 TDs per season but limped out of 2016 with only 22. I’m sure losing AJ Green after 10 games did not help. How much of a difference could 5 TDs make? The difference between Dalton finishing at QB17 (his 2016 finish) and a potential QB8 finish with those extra fantasy points. With the return of AJ Green and the additions of Joe Mixon and John Ross, this Bengals offense looks primed to rebound. Right now, Dalton is being drafted as the QB17 in the 12th round.
Will the real Carson Palmer please stand up? Are we going to see 2015 Carson Palmer who threw for career highs in yards and touchdowns and finished as the overall QB5? Or 2016 Carson Palmer who did less with 60 more attempts? I’m going to guess that with the return of a healthy John Brown and the emergence of JJ Nelson, who was the WR11 over the season’s final 5 games, we should expect to see Palmer back in the QB1 ranks. Yes, he and Larry Fitzgerald are getting up there in years but both have shown they still have something in the tank. Not to mention, in David Johnson, he has arguably the best RB in football to keep defenses honest. Palmer is basically free right now, being drafted as the QB20 overall and if you loaded up on RB and WR talent early in your draft, he’s not a bad lottery ticket.
I spent pretty much all of 2016 insulting Blake Bortles in my Team Defense articles so it was tough to eat crow and add him to this list. But when you take into consideration that he turned his garbage-time heroics into an overall QB10 finish, it’s hard to leave him off a list about late round QB value. You read that right, Bortles was a QB1 last year and is currently going in the 14th round of most drafts. I know what you’re afraid of. When you have to look all of your friends in the eyes and say “I guess I’ll take Blake Bortles.” Their grins and mockery will soon fade when you tell them that Bortles had as many QB1 finishes as Cam Newton and Jameis Winston last year (5) and that you got him 6 rounds after those guys. Is it going to be fun waiting until the 4th quarter for all of your fantasy points? No. Is he going to let you down some weeks? Yes. Am I doing a poor job selling him? Certainly. But the long and short of it is this, Bortles only had one game last year where he didn’t finish as at least a QB2. Only 5 other QBs can say the same and they’ll all cost you more than a 14th round pick.
Shameless plug here: With all due respect to Matt Harmon, I have got say that Consistency Charts are my favorite part of the UDK this year. When looking for late round guys like these, it’s great to see on a weekly basis how often they are performing at the same level as their early round counterparts. I will always tell you to save draft capital and wait on a QB and with guys like these available, you can feel a lot better doing it.