Fantasy Football: QBs That Can Make a Tier Jump in 2017
What does it mean to make a tier jump? Well to understand what a tier is, check out Fantasy Football: Understanding Tier-Based Drafting. You can access The Fantasy Footballers’ Tiered Rankings in the Ultimate Draft Kit, which is updated all offseason. The objective of this article is finding quarterbacks who will jump a tier thus making them a value in drafts. What do we look for when scouting signal callers to better choose a player at a value in fantasy drafts? For me, it’s talent, opportunity, and the situation that the QB is put in come the start of each season.
You can still find these diamonds in the rough much later in rounds then having to take the top tiered quarterback like Aaron Rodgers or the second tiered options like Tom Brady and Andrew Luck. It sticks to the late-round QB strategy so you’re not having to stream these gun-slingers if you’re not quite comfortable with that tactic. Let’s look at the three that could move up the ranks of tiers this upcoming season.
Carson Wentz – Eagles
Coming into his sophomore season in the league, Carson Wentz has a ton of opportunity ahead of him in 2017, especially with the way the Eagles have gone out of the way to improve the situation around him. Let’s face some facts: in year one, Wentz was fed to the wolves with little to no real help with the offensive weapons he had to use. Even if that’s the case, he still finished with 3,782 passing yards and 16 touchdowns to boast in his rookie campaign. Enter this year where Philadelphia now touts the best offensive line according to Pro Football Focus and features the best right tackle in the league from last year in Lane Johnson. Free agency had to be exciting for Carson as he got to see the WR tandem of both Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith sign on the dotted line and join Jordan Matthews among receivers. This also means Matthews moves to his normal slot position where he thrived in his first year of play.
In recent transactions, the Eagles were able to lock up LeGarrette Blount to be their main bell cow in the backfield and be able to use this top ranked offensive line to his advantage. Now with the pieces in place, the tier jump ultimately falls on Wentz. He has gone to great lengths in the offseason to improve his mechanics. His QB coach John DeFilippo has been on record saying that he just needed to tighten up his movement and reduce the wasted movement while in the pocket. Wentz has said to the media that he’s more confident with his improvement of holding the ball a little higher, and taking the ball back after the snap versus dropping it down. In my eyes, that could be the key to reducing the 14 interceptions he had as well as 9 fumbles in 2016. If Carson can avoid the sophomore slump, he has all the stars aligned to really make that jump towards an elite level.
Marcus Mariota – Titans
Marcus Mariota had one of the strangest fantasy seasons we’ve seen in recent memory last year. In the early part of the season, he was averaging the 2nd lowest fantasy points only behind the bearded Amish cannon, Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then in weeks 5-12, he was second behind only Matt Ryan before going down with a fibula break in that 12th week of the season. Still, even with the pendulum swing, Marcus Mariota showed much better progress in year 2 versus his rookie year. He seemed much more confident in his running and passing abilities in the offense he was playing in and was able to have some success due to the great run game Tennessee has established with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. The Titans were also the top ranked offensive line in 2016 according to PFF and it showed with the way Murray and Henry were able to make the best of the blocking scheme and explode down the field almost at will. Now they have upgraded the wide receiver core they much desperately needed for Mariota to really shine with his arm strength talent.
The Titans selected WR Corey Davis from Western Michigan University 5th overall in this year’s NFL draft and is poised to be the main vertical threat for any opposing teams this offseason. The honey pot got even sweeter when the Jets released veteran wideout Eric Decker, and he signed on with Tennessee just recently. With Tajae Sharpe, a sneaky PPR guy in Rishard Matthews, and rookie Taywan Taylor from Western Kentucky University, this could prove to increase Mariota’s consistency. According to the UDK’s Consistency Charts, Marcus went from 13th among 4-point scoring to 22nd due to playing only 12 games. With a much more balanced offense and more youth and veteran presence added to the team, he could definitely have a shot of cracking the top 12.
Jameis Winston – Buccaneers
My oh my! Tampa Bay looks like a real life Madden Ultimate Team here with its recent facelift in offensive weapons this past offseason. This is terrific news for 3rd-year starter “Famous Jameis” who has his pick of the litter of who he would like to throw it to. Gone are the days of double teaming Mike Evans, especially since this past offseason the Buccaneers were able to finally get their downfield burner that Winston has been hoping for signing DeSean Jackson. Jackson has shown that even as he ages, he gets increasing faster according to metrics from NextGen stats. Add in Reception Perception standout Chris Godwin and 1st round TE O.J. Howard from Alabama, who is a monster of a man and great blocker already, and you have quite the force to be reckoned with. What I love is that Winston already has a rapport with current tight end Cameron Brate, which means we may see some two-tight end sets just as much as we may see three-wideout sets in this offensive scheme. Add in a returning Doug Martin from a suspension to help balance out the offense, and newcomer rookie Jeremy McNichols whose also from Boise State, and we got something lethal brewing behind the line of scrimmage.
Winston improved an additional 6 touchdowns from his rookie year, not a small feat in today’s NFL. This could be the year we really see Winston make the jump up to the higher tier level with the likes of Brees and Brady. Will he get closer to the 5,000-yard marker? We aren’t too far from seeing how it plays out as the new season looms. Consistency-wise he ranked 16th in 2015 and moved up to 13th just this past offseason according to the UDK. The stars are aligned for Winston to crack into the top 10 and I personally think he can be a name you see with multiple 2017 fantasy championship teams. Just make sure you don’t reach too far for him if possible. Currently, Jameis is being drafted at the 9.04 spot according to Fantasy Football Calculator, which is a great spot for a late round QB.
Tiered Rankings and Consistency Charts are just two of the features of the Ultimate Draft Kit. Get yours today and dominate your draft!