Fantasy Football Quarterback Preview: QB’s to Avoid
Ryan Hallam takes a look at the quarterback position heading into the upcoming fantasy football season and breaks down players to avoid drafting.
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Industry professionals will continue to tell you to wait on quarterbacks when drafting each and every year. And while that strategy has gained traction in most leagues, quarterback is still the position that scores you the most points in fantasy football. With that in mind, while quarterback is a pretty deep position, you don’t want to miss when picking your fantasy team’s signal caller. There are many factors that come into play when deciding who to pick, whether it be how early you have to draft a guy, how good the weapons he has on his team, or the general trajectory of their career. Below are the quarterbacks that you should likely avoid in your 2020 fantasy football drafts.
Lamar Jackson , Baltimore Ravens
What? The record breaking MVP? This one has nothing to do with production, or a huge expected decline this season. Jackson is amazing, and likely will terrorize opposing defenses again in 2020. However, as of now his average draft position is in the second round and that is too rich to take a quarterback. I don’t expect a huge loss in production of his running, but I do wonder that he can repeat his 36 passing touchdowns from 2019 again. Mark Andrews is a very reliable tight end, but Marquise Brown was inconsistent in his rookie season and he only has “superstar” Willie Snead as his second receiver. Baltimore is hoping for more consistency from Brown and a big improvement from Miles Boykin , however, Jackson’s weapons are less than ideal. He certainly was incredible last season, but defenses have an entire season of tape to try to corral him some, and his ADP is just too rich to trust him.
Deshaun Watson , Houston Texans
This is another guy that I love for his talent. However, when the team traded away DeAndre Hopkins , it became hard to trust Watson. He does get you extra points with his legs which is a plus, but his weapons are really questionable. The trade for Brandin Cooks certainly helped some, but the guy has a history of concussions to the point where the Rams kept him off the field for multiple weeks and barely used him even when he was cleared to play. Will Fuller can’t stay healthy, and Kenny Stills has proven that he isn’t an impact receiver. He has three tight ends, but none of them are really anything to get excited about. Watson is an incredibly talented quarterback, but at some point he needs someone reliable to throw to. He has three receivers that are all basically the same guy. They are big play threats who have often been injured. His new running back, David Johnson , is getting close to 30 and has been significantly injured in two of the last three seasons, including a wrist injury. His offensive line, unless they draft someone, is porous at best and he is often running for his life. Unless the Texans do more to help in the skill positions, Watson needs to be avoided this season.
Aaron Rodgers , Green Bay Packers
He will walk into the Hall of Fame on a red carpet, but there is no doubt that Rodgers’ production is on the decline. He hasn’t thrown 30 touchdowns since 2016, and if you watch him you can see that he isn’t the same guy he used to be. It isn’t all his fault, the Packers have given him one good receiver in Davante Adams , and that’s about it. It certainly isn’t going to get any better this season considering their big free agent acquisition was Devin Funchess . Rodgers also holds on to the ball too long, and his mobility isn’t what it used to be. If it wasn’t for two great pass catchers out of the backfield, Rodgers would be in trouble. If Green Bay isn’t going to furnish him with great receivers, they at least need to beef up the offensive line, which they also haven’t done. Rodgers did throw 26 touchdowns last season, but 12 of those came in three great games he had, meaning he had just 14 scores in the other 13 games which is maddening if you he was on your fantasy team. Rodgers has all of the name recognition, but he won’t be lighting up the scoreboard for you on Sundays in 2020.
Tom Brady , Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It is going to take a while getting used to writing Tampa next to Brady’s name, however, the change in scenery isn’t going to help much. He does have great weapons in Tampa with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin , but if you watched Brady especially towards the end of last season, you would see that his arm strength wasn’t nearly what it used to be. It isn’t his fault, the guy is 43 years old. Not many players in the history of the sport have been able to play for as long as he has, especially at that elite level. But when he lost a game to the Dolphins in New England to secure a first round bye, and then a playoff game at home to the Titans, I started to throw dirt on Tom Brady ’s fantasy grave. Brady supporters claim it was because he had no weapons around him. Outside of the couple of years he had Randy Moss, you tell me who the big names Brady played with in his career. Julian Edelman was nothing before he came to New England, Brady made him better. The time of Brady making players better is over. He will likely throw 22-24 touchdowns, but he has zero mobility so there will not be extra points for running the ball, and he should not be used as your starting fantasy quarterback which, based on his ADP is where he is falling now. Father Time gets everyone eventually, and it appears that he is finally making the call on Brady.
Kirk Cousins , Minnesota Vikings
This one is more for you two quarterback and superflex players. Cousins stats look pretty decent from 2019, but if you look closely at them, or even watch him play, you would know that it was far from an impressive season. He did have 26 touchdowns, but like Aaron Rodgers above, 14 of them came in four games, leaving 12 touchdowns for the other 12 games. You want consistency from your fantasy quarterback, not a few great games and eight games with one or zero passing touchdowns. The Vikings also traded away Stefon Diggs and “replaced” him by bringing in Tajae Sharpe from the Titans. If you don’t know Sharpe it is because he has 92 catches in three seasons, not exactly a good replacement for a perennial 1,000 yard receiver in Diggs. The Vikings are hoping for a surge in production from Bisi Johnson as well, but you have to figure the Vikings pass game is going to suffer from these moves. This offense completely revolves around Dalvin Cook and the running game, and you shouldn’t be the least bit surprised if you see Cousins pass stats drop in 2020, and even as a second quarterback he isn’t a great option.
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Bucs WR Scotty Miller (hip) was left off the final injury report ahead of Week 3 against the Broncos.
Miller will be the No. 3 receiver, albeit a distant one, for the Bucs moving forward with Chris Godwin cleared following an early-season concussion. Even with Justin Watson (shoulder) ruled out for Week 3, Miller can't be trusted in fantasy lineups for the foreseeable future.
Added Yesterday 8:27 pm (EST)
Malcolm Brown (finger) was left off the final injury report ahead of Week 3.
Brown left late in Week 2 with a pinky injury that needed surgical repair early this week. It's a common procedure in the NFL, one that has a very quick turnaround. Brown was able to practice in full each of the last two days and shouldn't be too limited in Week 3's contest in Buffalo. Brown was out-dueled by Darrell Henderson in Week 2, but the veteran was the starter in each of the first two games and is more trusted in pass protection. Neither Brown nor Henderson offer any floor given McVay's hot hand approach, but the Rams' league-high neutral run rate (62%) gives them flex consideration if in a pinch. Cam Akers (ribs) has been ruled out.
Added Yesterday 7:58 pm (EST)
C. Awuzie - DB
Cowboys CB Chidobe Awuzie (hamstring) is out for Week 3 against the Seahawks.
Awuzie started at left cornerback for Dallas in each of the first two weeks and was expected to cover D.K. Metcalf for portions of this Sunday's contest. The Cowboys will turn to a backup instead, and they were already being challenged in the secondary at full healthy. With Seattle cooking, Metcalf and Tyler Lockett belong inside the top-15 of weekly fantasy rankings.
Added Yesterday 7:40 pm (EST)
Tyrod Taylor (lung) is out for Week 3 against the Panthers.
Justin Herbert will fill in for Taylor, who may have watched his starting job get taken from him last week while in a hospital bed for no fault of his own. The Chargers medical staff accidentally punctured his lung while giving him a pain injection an hour before Week 2. Taylor could be ready to return for Week 4, but if Herbert plays as well as he did last week, we'd assume the Chargers stick with their first-round rookie despite coach Anthony Lynn's soft spot for the bridge quarterback.
Added Yesterday 7:24 pm (EST)
Darren Waller (knee) is questionable for Week 3 against the Patriots after returning to Friday's practice and getting in a limited session.
Waller will be good to go in New England, but it is unclear what percent he will be at physically after soaking up a ridiculous 16 targets against the Saints on Monday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick sung Waller's praises this week, a not-so-subtle indication he will be a focal point of the defensive game plan. At seemingly less than 100 percent going up against a defensive maestro, Waller probably belongs more in the TE5-6 range than TE3-4.
Added Yesterday 6:11 pm (EST)
Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (concussion) remains in the league's concussion protocol.
Saturday's practice report will be key for Watkins. Coach Andy Reid recently said the 27-year-old's injury is "more neck now than the other part," suggesting Watkins could still sit Monday night even if he's cleared from the league's protocol. Mecole Hardman, who recorded a 22-yard catch and three targets once Watkins exited in Week 2, would rotate with Demarcus Robinson if given the nod.
Added Yesterday 5:23 pm (EST)
Added Yesterday 5:23 pm (EST)
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said WR Jerry Jeudy will be a game time decision for Week 3 against the Bucs.
Jeudy was listed as questionable. He was targeted seven times last week against the Steelers. If he's inactive this Sunday, rookie KJ Hamler -- who made his debut last week -- becomes a sneaky fantasy play. The speedy wideout could default into volume in what's likely to be a pass heavy Denver offense. Hamler got seven targets while playing 62 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Week 2.
Added Yesterday 4:55 pm (EST)
Added Yesterday 4:55 pm (EST)
Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) is out for Week 3 against the Packers.
Thomas will miss another game. Tre'Quan Smith, last week's most targeted Saints receiver, will be the No. 1 wideout against Green Bay on Sunday night. With Thomas out, Jared Cook could also see more involvement in the team's declining passing attack.
Added Yesterday 4:51 pm (EST)
Added Yesterday 4:51 pm (EST)