• Tim Eidens

Late Round QB's to Target

Updated: Feb 1

Every year there are quarterbacks that have a lot of late round upside. Last year, according to fantasydata those players were Jameis Winston, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray including the number two scoring quarterback, Dak Prescott. All four were electric with the ball in their own way and finished the year as a QB1 after being drafted outside the top 12 quarterbacks in terms of ADP.

This year I am focusing on a few late round quarterback targets with that same potential QB1 upside. One as high of a ceiling as QB5. These quarterbacks are both being drafted outside of the positions top 12.

Matthew Stafford, QB DET

Matthew Stafford is currently being drafted as the QB15. Stafford has only finished outside of the top 12 at the position three times out of eight seasons where Stafford played a complete season. Stafford was on pace to have over 5,000 yards last season until he went down with his back injury. Stafford gained some new weapons in the offseason, D’Andre Swift, Quintez Cephus, and Geronimo Allison to go along with an already very talented core group of players including Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr, TJ Hockenson and Kerryon Johnson. Look for Stafford to push to 5,000 yards and compete for the best quarterback this season . While Golladay is establishing himself as one of the elite wide receivers in the NFL and surrounded with the talent just mentioned, there is very little chance that Stafford finishes outside of the top 12 at the position assuming he remains healthy.

Photo Credit: Prideofdetroit.com

Stafford's injury in 2019 was concerning since he had fractured bones in his back. The injury held Stafford out of the final eight games of the regular season which ended his streak of 136 consecutive starts. This streak was the second longest active streak before it came to an end last season. Stafford played through a handful of games with the injury in 2019 and still managed to put up some solid numbers (2499/19/5). In 2018, Stafford was dealing with some back issues as well, but he played all 16 games and finished the season as the QB20, which was his lowest finish since 2010. Some positive news coming from the injury came just two months ago, when Stafford's wife, Kelly, made a post on Instagram claiming her husband has fully healed from his back injury. With the injury fully healed, expect Stafford to be back to 100% slinging the ball all over the field to his many different weapons.

Stafford doesn't get the credit he deserves for how productive he has been in his career. People often see Stafford's name and think "injury prone", however Stafford has been in the league for 11 years now and has only had three seasons where he hasn't played a whole season. Stafford played eight consecutive seasons without missing a game from 2011-2018. Stafford has the upside of QB5 and floor of QB12.

Stafford is at his low point in ADP right now, so grab him while you can in the late rounds of 1QB leagues. If you're in a league (Superflex or 1QB) and are in contention for the championship this season, go out and buy Stafford before it’s too late.

Jared Goff, QB LAR

Jared Goff might have lost a couple valuable pass catchers after 2019 with the recent trade of Brandin Cooks to the Houston Texans and the Rams cutting Todd Gurley, but they arguably replaced those assets in the draft. Goff's supporting cast for the 2020 season will include Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Josh Reynolds, and the following rookies; Cam Akers and Van Jefferson. This group is very skilled and tends to run a lot of 12 personnel on offense (two tight ends) and they have the tight ends to stretch the field. Goff had an average start to the season last year but had some dud games. Through the first 11 weeks of 2019, Goff had four games where he had less than 12 fantasy points which was probably not enough to help you win your weekly matchup. During this stretch, Higbee had not emerged on the scene yet and Woods was tackled six times inside the 10 yard line. Goff couldn’t catch a break when it came to finding the endzone. Even though Goff had a rough start during the last 5 games when Higbee and Woods stepped up, Goff averaged 21.98 points per game.

Higbee was a late surge last season coming in the final five games averaging 21.44 PPR points per game. Higbee finished the season as the TE8 after averaging 6.62 PPG in his first 10 games. According to Michael Fabiano, the Rams only ran 12 personnel 14% of the time in the first 12 weeks of the season. Once Everett went down with his injury, the Rams 12 personnel went from 14% to 34% for the final five weeks of the regular season, which is when Higbee started his breakout. Higbee also signed a big contract during the season and if they continue to run 12 personnel which it seems like they will, Higbee will have a monster season thus leading to a much better season for Goff.

Photo Credit: Draftkings.com

Kupp and Woods have been great weapons to the Rams offense for the past two seasons, where Kupp had a team high of 10 touchdowns in 2019 finishing as the WR4 in PPR formats. He had six touchdowns through the first eight games of 2018 before he caught the injury bug and tore his ACL, ending his season. Woods had a very good season as well finishing the season as the WR14 in 2019 despite only having two touchdowns. If you were to add only three more touchdowns to his total from 2019 that would put him as the WR9. Woods is due for positive regression in the touchdown category and with the vacated targets of Cooks the opportunity presents itself. The down year of Jared Goff will allow him to naturally slip in drafts this season while all signs point to a bounce back year. With a current ADP of QB20 I expect Goff to be a late round pick with QB1 potential.

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