Get ready for your season with theScore’s 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.
Waiting on quarterbacks has become the norm for fantasy owners looking to maximize value on draft day, but you still need to hit on the right players for the strategy to be most effective.
Last year in this article, we identified Kirk Cousins and Tyrod Taylor as the most undervalued passers in fantasy drafts. The pair went on to finish as QB5 and QB8, respectively, despite their 10th-round ADPs.
Let’s see if we can repeat that success by identifying this year’s crop of quarterbacks who will outproduce expectations.
Welcome back, Tyrod. It might seem strange to see a player show up on this list for a second straight season, especially given his performance last year, but Taylor is actually going even later in drafts heading into 2017. It’s beyond any rational explanation.
As mentioned above, Taylor was a top-eight fantasy quarterback, even with his No. 1 receiver Sammy Watkins bouncing in and out of the lineup while playing at less than full strength. It’s an impressive feat and should make fantasy owners even more optimistic about Taylor, since Watkins is expected to be healthier this year.
Taylor averaged just under 40 rushing yards per game over the last two campaigns, which is the equivalent of an extra passing touchdown in most leagues. His propensity to run does add a little more injury risk to his portfolio, but he’s appeared in 29 of 32 games during that time, and that includes when the Bills chose to hold him out of Week 17 last season.
So why does Taylor’s ADP have him being drafted as QB17? There will be a period of adjustment as Taylor gets used to his new coaching staff and offensive system, but we’ve seen more than enough from the 28-year-old to warrant selecting him as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
The former No. 1 overall pick, who’s often viewed as a bust, hasn’t been as bad as some people may believe.
Bradford was put in a tough situation by getting traded to the Vikings late last preseason after Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the year. He went on to have a career year (not that his bar was particularly high), completing 71.6 percent of his passes for 3,877 yards and 20 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
Much of that production came after the Vikings promoted Pat Shurmur to offensive coordinator in Week 9, which helped Bradford post the 12th-most fantasy points among quarterbacks over the second half of the season.
His offensive line is still a work in progress, but Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph make up a quality pass-catching corps, and that’s without mentioning the presence of former first-rounder Laquon Treadwell or the addition of rookie Dalvin Cook in the backfield. The Vikings’ schedule should also help Bradford, as Minnesota faces one of the easiest slates for passing attacks.
Bradford is being ranked outside of the top 25 by most analysts, and will almost certainly go undrafted in your league. But his situation should help him finish QB20 or better, with an outside chance at shocking the fantasy world with a low-end QB1 campaign.
Don’t push all your chips to the center of the table on Bradford, but using him as part of a committee could prove to be a wise investment.
The veteran Cardinals quarterback will enter this season as a 37-year-old, but he might as well be 50 considering how he’s being drafted.
Palmer faded badly late in 2015 and got off to a slow start early last year, forcing us to ask whether the sun was setting on his career in the desert and causing many fantasy owners to give up on him.
But there were other factors at play. John Brown’s health and Michael Floyd’s off-field problems derailed both their seasons and forced the Cardinals’ offense to lean completely on David Johnson – that was, until Arizona’s coaching staff realized they needed to scale back their aging passer’s practice reps.
From Week 10 on, Palmer was QB8 in fantasy, throwing for multiple touchdowns in six of the final eight outings. Now head coach Bruce Arians has a better regimen in place to limit his quarterback’s practice work and teammates have praised Palmer’s arm strength in the offseason.
With Brown in better health, Palmer will have a chance to continue his late-season surge from 2016, or even restore his value from two years ago when he was a top-five fantasy quarterback. Don’t be surprised if Palmer vastly outproduces his ADP of QB20.
Deshaun Watson – If the Texans’ first-round pick can beat out pedestrian passer Tom Savage, which is a safe bet, he’ll inherit an offense with plenty of weapons. Even with the injury to Will Fuller, the Texans still boast an abundance of talent at the skill positions. Watson’s biggest hurdle might be staying upright behind an offensive line that’s dropped off considerably. We’ve seen rookie quarterbacks quickly become fantasy relevant, and Watson could be the latest on that list.
Mike Glennon – The former Buccaneers backup is getting a fresh start with the Bears, but no one is talking about him as a potential fantasy option. Perhaps that’s because his own team decided to draft his replacement before he even took the field in Chicago. Regardless, the Bears seem intent on letting Mitchell Trubisky redshirt for a year while Glennon leads the offense. They surprisingly finished in the middle of the pack as a passing offense in 2016, and Glennon should represent an upgrade at the position. With the team likely trailing more often than not, Glennon could emerge as a streaming option.
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