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Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterbacks

Baker Mayfield

As the offseason is coming to a close, fantasy football drafts will start to begin. Going into every draft it is good to highlight a few sleepers that could be grabbed late that could potentially carry a fantasy team if that player reaches their full potential.

The quarterback position is so deep that it could be waited upon, even though a quarterback can put up a quarter of a team’s points every week. The first quarterback selected will likely go somewhere in the third round. This year it’ll be Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. After that quarterbacks will come off the board throughout.

However every year there are one or two quarterbacks selected in the later rounds that end up becoming high-end QB1s. Last year Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and Jameis Winston outplayed where they were selected in fantasy drafts last year. Here is a list of quarterbacks this year who can do the same.

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford

Matthew Stafford was on pace to have a career year before he got hurt last season.(Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

ESPN: #14
FantasyPros: #12
Yahoo! Sports: #10 #13

It is surprising to see Matthew Stafford ranked so low coming into next season. It is likely because he is coming off an injury and isn’t mobile like some of the younger quarterbacks. However last season throughout 8 games Stafford was the sixth-ranked fantasy quarterback with 171.56 which is over 21 points per game.

Under new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, Stafford was on pace to throw for 4,998 yards, 38 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions.  That is almost double the passing yards and touchdowns as he had the previous season and one less interception. Compared to the rest of the league Stafford would have finished a close second in the league in passing yards and would have led the league in touchdown passes. That would have made him the third-highest scoring fantasy quarterback last season between Dak Prescott and Jameis Winston.

This type of production might not be a fluke either considering the Detroit Lions are in a similar state as they were last season. Their defense will be average at best so Stafford will likely have to play comeback late in games again. Also, the Lions have the same weapons returning next season. Their younger weapons Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson will be one year older and better.

Amongst experts, Stafford is ranked as a low-end QB1-average QB2. He averages around between the 12th and 13th ranked quarterback. But he could likely finish the season among the top eight quarterbacks at least or better.

Baker Mayfield

Baker Mayfield
Can Baker Mayfield bounce back in 2020? (Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
ESPN: #16
FantasyPros: #15
Yahoo! Sports: #18 #16

The second former first overall pick to make this list is Baker Mayfield. The quarterback who received the most hype coming into the season was Mayfield. Also, the quarterback who disappointed the most last season was Mayfield. There were those who had Mayfield ranked as the fourth-best fantasy quarterback coming into last season and he finished 19th.

Last year Mayfield regressed from his rookie season and only threw 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Those 21 interceptions were good for second in the league and his 22 touchdowns were sixteenth in the league. He had 10 games with one touchdown or less and also had five games with two or more interceptions.

Mayfield was held in such high regard because of the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and Kareem Hunt to the offense. Instead, their values diminished as well. After the season Mayfield partially received the blame for how poor the Browns offense was last season. Most of the blame was placed on first-year head coach Freddie Kitchens and the fact that the Browns were lacking at the offensive tackle positions. Now Kitchens was fired, the Browns signed Jack Conklin and drafted Jedrick Wills so last year’s excuses are gone.

This year is crucial for Mayfield’s career going forward. In year three, all the pieces are there for Mayfield to succeed. The Browns have a plethora of weapons including OBJ, Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku, and Austin Hooper. He will also be playing in new head coach Kevin Stefankski’s offense who made Kirk Cousins a fantasy-relevant quarterback last season. Mayfield is more talented than Cousins and has better weapons on offense than Cousins had last season.

Most people view Mayfield as a low-end QB-streamer quarterback. He averages between the 16th and 17th ranked quarterback. But if Mayfield reaches his true potential and becomes the quarterback that many thought he would be last season he could be a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2020.

Drew Lock

Drew Lock
Drew Lock has been given a few new weapons for this season. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
ESPN: #22
FantasyPros: #25
Yahoo! Sports: #25 #23

The most obvious sleeper heading into 2020 is Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock. After falling to the Broncos in the second round Lock only got to start five games after being put on injured reserve earlier in the year because of a thumb injury. Drew Lock scored 71 fantasy points during the short period he played which averages out to 14.20 points per game which is below average.

Though his fantasy numbers weren’t outstanding, his real stats were for a rookie on a below-average offense. Lock threw 7 touchdowns and only three interceptions last season. His best game came Week 14 against the Houston Texans where he threw for 309 yards and 3 touchdowns. Besides beating the Texans Lock defeated the Chargers, Lions, and Raiders. The only team that defeated Lock lost to was the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Last year the Broncos’ best offensive weapons were Courtland Sutton, Philip Lindsay, and first-round pick Noah Fant. But now the Broncos added Melvin Gordon and drafted Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler with their first two draft picks. They also added Graham Glasgow and drafted Lloyd Cushenberry III to boost the interior of their offensive line. Former New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is also been named the Broncos Offensive Coordinator. The last time he was a team’s offensive coordinator, his offense almost carried Case Keenum to a Super Bowl. Lock has all the weapons to succeed next season or just take a couple of steps forward in his development as a quarterback.

According to well-respected fantasy analysts, Lock is barely rosterable in 10-12 player league formats. At his average between rank 23rd and 24th, he is a streaming quarterback during a good matchup at best. If Lock takes full advantage of his new weapons and the Broncos are a successful team next season, he can possibly sneak into QB1 territory next season and possibly even become a weekly starter next season.

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