Top 5 QB Values for 2016
I can’t recall a time when the quarterback position had the type of depth it has this 2016 season. With that being said, there are plenty of QBs to choose from in the later rounds of your fantasy football drafts. Quantity is obviously not the issue here. I am going to give you five quarterbacks that you can target in the later rounds or even pick up off waivers that can produce the quality fantasy points you need to contribute to a winning season. It may also leave you wondering why anyone drafts a quarterback before the 6th Round.
Eli Manning, New York Giants
Eli Manning can be a frustrating quarterback at times, but the truth is he has been a fantasy points machine in the last couple of seasons. In both the 2014 and 2015 seasons he passed for over 4,000 yards and 30 or more touchdowns. These are the type of numbers from the quarterback position that can easily support the rest of your fantasy team and lead you into the fantasy playoffs.
Manning is the driver in a very pass happy offense, attempting over 600 passes in each of the last two seasons. Why wouldn’t you throw the ball that much when you have a top 2 or 3 (depending on where you rank him) wide receiver in Odell Beckham Jr.? Eli Manning also has a new shiny toy this season, rookie wideout, Sterling Shepard. There has been a lot of hype over this Oklahoma star and I can’t blame anyone since he will be lining up opposite of OBJ and should see a ton of single coverage that will turn him into a target monster. Adding to Manning’s weapons list, he also has a talented pass catching back in Shane Vereen to dump the ball off to when he gets in trouble on 3rd downs.
I do not expect the New York Giants quarterback to take a step back in passing attempts this season which makes him such a value grab in fantasy drafts. In 2015, Manning had 358 fantasy points in Yahoo! standard leagues which earned him a spot as the 8th best fantasy QB last season. Right now, Manning is the 9th QB drafted, 73rd overall pick which means you can get him at the beginning of the 6th Round in 12 team formats, but quite honestly, I’ve seen him go later.
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
Sure, Blake Bortles struggled in his rookie season in 2014, but not everyone shows their full potential out of the gate. His 2015 sophomore year told a completely different story. Last season, Bortles showed us who he can be and most likely, who he is, when he threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns. He’s got a deadly combo of wideouts in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns who equated for more than half of Bortles’ passing yards. In addition to the two Allens, Bortles has a tight end on the roster that has shown to be a top tight end in the league. Of course, I am talking about Julius Thomas. Thomas was off to a bad start in his first year with the Jaguars last season when he broke his hand in a preseason game that put him out until Week 5. This took valuable time away from Bortles and Thomas to build up their on-field chemistry and it showed as Thomas had himself a lackluster year. This year, however, is a different story. Thomas is healthy and some are even calling for him to have double digit touchdowns this season. If Blake Bortles throws double digit touchdowns to his 3 main targets then that is a recipe for another successful NFL season at the helm.
The Jacksonville Jaguars do not have a good rushing attack and as a result, this team will rely on the arm of Bortles and the talent of their tight end and wide receiver group. Last season, Bortles racked up 386 fantasy points, good for 4th best QB in fantasy points in 2015, and is currently being drafted as the 10th QB, 75th player overall. This means you can get him at a great value in the 6th Round and as I said about Eli Manning, I’ve seen Bortles go much later in drafts, making him even more of a value pick.
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins
I talked up Kirk Cousins quite a bit while making a case for tight end, Jordan Reed, in “Why Reed is a Better Value Than Gronk in 2016“. Cousins began last season as a decent quarterback option but nothing to write home about. Something clicked with him in the second half of the season as he quickly became a fantasy football staple in all leagues. It may have taken him half the season to figure things out and get in a groove, but once he did he was putting up some great fantasy numbers. Cousins threw 19 touchdowns in his final 8 games of the season. He threw 3 of those touchdowns in his last regular season game when he played limited time, leaving early before the first half was over. Cousins, in 5 of the last 8 games, threw for at least 300 yards.
Kirk Cousins has himself some weapons on this Washington Redskins offense. He has the deep ball threat and speed of DeSean Jackson. Jordan Reed, who in my opinion, will be the top fantasy tight end in 2016, will be on the receiving end of Cousins’ passes, bulking up his quarterback’s stats. Cousins also has a talented pass catching running back in Chris Thompson who should see more production this season after showing he can be a reliable, third down option to dump off to when Cousins gets in trouble. Matt Jones averaged 23 receiving yards per game last season as well and isn’t afraid to catch the ball when his number is called on. Cousins does a great job spreading the ball around and he will have no shortage of options in 2016.
Last season, Kirk Cousins finished with a total of 351 fantasy points in Yahoo! which placed him as the number 10 QB in 2015. Cousins is currently being drafted as the QB14, 112 overall in drafts. You should be able to draft Cousins in the 9th Round or later. Anytime you can get a top ten fantasy quarterback in the latter half of your draft, you are sitting pretty and look like a fantasy football genius once the season unfolds. Fill up on your wide receivers and running backs and wait to draft Cousins at an amazing value later.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions
In each of the last 5 seasons, Matthew Stafford has thrown over 4,250 yards. His lowest attempts per year happened to be last year with 592. The 4 seasons prior to 2015, Stafford did not have less than 600 attempts per season, including an insane 727 attempts in 2012. With attempts comes, yards and with yards comes fantasy points. Last year, he threw for 4,262 yards on 592 attempts and 32 touchdowns. I understand that going forward, Stafford will no longer have the great, Calvin Johnson to throw to but I believe he has a real chance to spread the ball around to a bunch of talent on the 2016 Detroit Lions.
Stafford’s main targets for 2016 include Golden Tate, a wide receiver who has established great chemistry with Stafford the last two seasons catching over 2,000 yards and scoring 10 total touchdowns in those seasons combined. Tate also hauled in 90 receptions in 2015 and 99 the year before. Matt Stafford may have a new favorite target with the addition of wideout, Marvin Jones in 2016. Marvin Jones has quickly clicked with Stafford this offseason and should see a fair share if not the “Lion’s” share of targets. The Detroit Lions have also added consistent, veteran wide receiver, Anquan Boldin to the roster this year. Stafford will not have a shortage of weapons including one of his favorite targets, running back, Theo Reddick. Reddick had 80 receptions, 697 yards and 3 receiving touchdowns last season. Those numbers are nuts for a running back who comes in mainly on third downs!
Last year, Matthew Stafford accumulated 354 fantasy points, landing as the 9th best fantasy quarterback in 2015. You can get Stafford in 11th Round as he is being drafted as the 18th QB and 132 overall. This year, Stafford has more of a collective talent pool to throw to than he has had in a long time and should make for an exciting season. You can expect Stafford to throw the ball a ton as he always does and grab him at such a great value pick in the very late rounds.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, New York Jets
Finally, on the list is a guy who to my surprise, has been going undrafted in most fantasy drafts. Ryan Fitzpatrick has one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL in Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Last season, Fitzpatrick threw for just under 4,000 yards and 31 touchdowns. Unbelievably, 26 of those touchdowns were caught by Marshall (14) and Decker (12). These two wideouts are back in 2016 and they both pushed very hard to make sure the New York Jets brought back their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Last year set the tone for Fitzpatrick and the type of numbers you can expect from him in 2016. He played all 16 games and threw for multiple touchdowns in 12 of those games. Ryan Fitzpatrick earned himself 347 fantasy points in 2015 and ranked as the 11th best fantasy quarterback. Fitzpatrick is currently drafting as the 24th QB and the 173rd overall player. You will be able to draft him in the 14th Round or even pick him up post draft.
As I mentioned in my opening statement, the quarterback position has such depth this year. That doesn’t mean you should pass up the opportunity to draft one of these five quarterbacks in the later rounds of your fantasy draft. Quarterbacks still provide you with more points than the rest of the positions so do not ignore the true value of a solid fantasy QB. Good luck in your drafts and your fantasy football season!