I can’t believe the start of the NFL season is only a few days away. With everything going on in the world, the football season is quickly sneaking upon us. Limited training camps and no preseason games can make it difficult to prepare yourself for this years’ draft. But, don’t worry, we here at Gridiron Experts are here to help give you a leg up on your competition. I will be going over all the players I plan on targeting and staying away from at each position. These will be players I believe to be undervalued (or overvalued) at their current ADP, as well as a few players I see as possible league winners. All ADPs are based on 12-team PPR leagues from fantasyfootballcalculator.com. And be sure to check out our staff’s Fantasy Football Rankings here!
I’m not one to spend a high draft pick on a QB. Sure, there will be teams out there that draft Mahomes or Jackson early and make it to the championship. But, the evidence is there that if you draft a QB in the first couple rounds, it puts you at a disadvantage somewhere else on your roster. If one of them happens to slip into the late 3rd/early 4th, it would be very tempting to pull the trigger. However, the position is extremely deep this year and I prefer to hold off on QB until the middle rounds anyways. Let’s take a look at who I plan on targeting, and avoiding, at the QB position.
Average Draft Position: ADP 58
gain, I don’t advise drafting a QB early on in your drafts and this may still be a little too early for some people. But, if Dak is still hanging around in the 6th round and I’m not in love with anyone else on the board then I have no problem selecting him there as my QB1. He finished last season with 4,902 passing yards, 30:11 TD-INT, and tacked on 277 rushing yards with 3 rush TDs, leading to a QB2 finish. Dallas already had one of, if not, the most talented offenses in the NFL, and now they add rookie WR CeeDee Lamb to their WR corps. Dak is also very durable as he has not missed a game since entering the league in 2016. Oh and don’t forget he is playing to get paid this year. Everything seems to be lining up for Dak to produce another monster season.
Average Draft Position: 100
Allen is currently being drafted as QB11, coming off the board in the 9th round. Not a lot of love for the guy who ended 2019 as QB6. Yes, Allen is inaccurate, quite possibly the least accurate of all the starters, but it isn’t very helpful when your receivers have the highest drop percentage (7.4%) in the NFL. Hopefully, that is an area they can improve on in 2020. The Bills also went out and added a playmaker this offseason in Stefon Diggs, giving Allen a true WR1. If he can improve on passing accuracy and you add in his rushing ability (1,141 rush yards and 17 rush TDs over the last two seasons), I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say that he has a chance to finish as a top 6 QB again. I’m more than willing to take the risk on a guy with such immense upside.
Average Draft Position: 105
Wentz is a guy I have found myself drafting quite a bit lately and is probably the QB I like the most at this time of the draft. Let’s not forget that he finished last season with Greg Ward as his WR1 and still managed to throw for over 4,000 yards. The Eagles did a good job of adding WR depth through the draft, including spending a 1st rounder on Jalen Reagor. Reagor was a standout WR at TCU and is a guy the Eagles expect to be a big part of their offense going forward. They also get back the oft-injured, Desean Jackson. I don’t expect the Eagles to get a full 16 games out of Jackson, but he should be available for more than the one game he played in last year. Just having him out on the field (along with the other quick rookie WRs) opens things up for his two stud TEs and 2nd year RB Miles Sanders. If Wentz plays the full season, another MVP caliber performance could be in store.
Average Draft Position: 112
Stafford’s ADP has gradually been on the rise this summer, but he is still a guy that is being overlooked. He has been an elite QB for the better part of his career and has failed to surpass 4,257 yards just once in a season when he played all 16 games. Stafford was at it again last year with a solid first half before succumbing to a season-ending injury. In the first half of 2019, he posted 2,499 passing yards with 19 TDs to just 5 INTs and a 64.3% completion percentage. Assuming he was able to keep up that production had he been available for the entire season, that would have been good for 4,998 yards, 38 TDs, and 10 INTs. Assuming Detroit gets a healthy Stafford for a full 16 games in 2020, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be out there chucking the rock like usual. I expect the Lions to be playing from behind in most games so he should flirt with 4,500 passing yards again this year.
Average Draft Position: 139
I’m not quite ready to give up on Baker just yet. After all the hype around the Browns, he (along with the team) had a very disappointing season. Mayfield did come out this summer and talk about his struggles and self-doubt. I think this humbled the kid and made him realize how hard he will have to work if he wants to be one of the best as he was in high school and college. Mayfield’s offensive line was a big contributor to his struggles last season as well. However, the Browns did a nice job of revamping the O-line through free agency and the draft. They also went out and signed TE Austin Hooper giving him yet another weapon to throw to. Cleveland did him a favor in finally getting rid of Freddie Kitchens and bringing in new HC Kevin Stefanski. While he may not throw as much under Stefanski, I think that could help Mayfield limit his mistakes. I’m willing to take a shot on the former #1 overall pick.
Average Draft Position: 140
Can the reigning Heisman Trophy winner be the next Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson? I’d be a little surprised to see him post the stat lines they produce in his rookie season, but I am very interested in the #1 overall pick. The kid is a stud and should have a very long and productive NFL career. Even if AJ Green can’t manage to stay healthy (he already tweaked his hamstring last week but was back at practice 8/26), Burrow still has a very solid supporting cast. Tyler Boyd is coming off back to back 1,000-yard seasons and Auden Tate has been impressing coaches early on in training camp. They also have the speedy John Ross and added Tee Higgins in the 2nd round of the draft. Having Joe Mixon in the backfield will only relieve the rookie of some pressure as well. While his O-line is a bit of a concern, I still think he presents great value in the 12th round or later.
Average Draft Position: 148
For those of you looking for a safe late-round QB, Goff is your guy. While he’s not a sexy pick, you’re getting someone is going to throw the ball a lot (he led the league last year with 626 pass attempts). The Rams offense did lose two playmakers this offseason in Gurley and Cooks, but they drafted RB Cam Akers who should step right into Gurley’s role. I don’t expect the loss of Cooks to make a huge impact and they did a nice job of replacing him by drafting Van Jefferson in the 2nd round. The rookie WR has been turning heads in training camp so he is someone to keep an eye on. The biggest question mark for Goff is his offensive line. They were one of the worst last year after being one of the best in 2018. If they can improve on their 2019 performance, it will go a long way for Goff’s fantasy output. I’m also expecting Goff to surpass his 22 passing TDs from last year, his career season-low since becoming a starter in 2017. He provides us with a high floor and is someone who can sneak into the QB1 tier by season’s end.
Average Draft Position: ADP
In just 11 games last season, Tannehill went 201-286 for 2,742 pass yards with 22:6 TD-INT ratio and tacked on 43-185-4 on the ground. He finished the season as QB21, but he was QB3 (23.01 FPPG) from Weeks 7-16 when he took over as the starter. In that stretch, he finished QB13 or worse only twice and turned in five top 6 performances. Tannehill led the league in passer rating (117.5), yards gained per pass attempt (9.6), and adjusted net yards per pass attempt (8.52). He was also the highest-graded QB in the red zone last season according to Pro Football Focus. With the Titans being a run-first offense, I view him more as a high-end QB2 and a guy you can plug and play in beatable matchups.
Average Draft Position: 160
Jimmy G is currently the 22nd QB coming off the board after finishing last season as QB14. I think the recency bias has gone a little too far after his poor playoff performance. I understand the Niners want to run the ball, and they will, but Kyle Shanahan still wants to throw the ball. His QBs tend to find their way towards the top of the league in passing. Garoppolo’s receiving corps did take a hit losing Sanders in the offseason, but they quickly replaced him in the 1st round selecting WR Brandon Aiyuk. I am a little worried about Deebo Samuel’s foot injury, but the reports are that he put in his most intense workout yesterday (8/26) so that is a good sign. One way or another, I’m investing in Kyle Shanahan’s scheme and players, especially at this discounted price.
Average Draft Position: 86
I know, I know, but I’m staying away from the GOAT. Yes, he has questionably the most talented supporting cast in his career. But, it’s his first year ever without Bill Belichick and in a new offense. He’s also had limited time to create a rapport with his new teammates and won’t get any preseason reps in due to COVID. While I think he can still produce solid numbers, I’m expecting a slow start and just can’t get behind that high price tag.
Average Draft Position: 149
I’m sorry but I can’t get on board with “Minshew Mania”. I love the person, but not the player. I think he’s hilarious and his latest Twitter Stunt may be the reason behind his recent rise in ADP as he is currently being taken as QB20. I went back and watched all of Minshew’s games from 2019 and other than making some Houdini like moves to keep plays alive, he just did not impress me. I’m interested to see how he works with new OC, Jay Gruden, who has had success with young QBs (Dalton & Cousins). Gruden runs the West Coast Offense which should benefit Minshew. However, I am not sure how much of an impact it will have in Year 1 and will need to see his ADP fall significantly before buying in.
Average Draft Position: 161
Old Man Rivers’ time has finally come to an end as a reliable fantasy starter. While he is an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett and he found himself in a great landing spot, I don’t have much interest in rostering him. His receivers are intriguing but still have question marks – T.Y. Hilton has been elite but has missed 8 games over the last two seasons, the next two up on the depth chart are Parris Campbell and rookie Michael Pittman. Both are interesting young WRs but have not yet proven themselves at the NFL level. His TEs, Doyle, and Burton, are ok but don’t really move the needle. The Colts also have one of the best O-lines in the league and will look to pound the rock with their three-headed backfield. There are a few other QBs that I prefer in this range with more upside than Rivers.