The Phinest Of The Late-Round: Quarterbacks

Which late-round Quarterback is on your list?

Redraft season is right around the corner! August is the start of Redraft season, the best fantasy football format there is. Why? Because you get to start the creation of your team from scratch. But as we approach Redraft’s fantasy draft season, we have to put you on to some names you should be looking to add to your fantasy teams this season. We already know the big-named guys like Derrick Henry and Patrick Mahomes are going to be on everyone’s list to grab but one issue I had when I started fantasy football way back when was where to go after the big-named guys were all drafted.

Not knowing what guys to target as the draft goes on can put your team and your fantasy season in peril from the start. So knowing what guys to target are just as important as knowing what prime-time fantasy players to draft or what kind of strategy to use. In this article, we’ll start from the top-down and I’ll let you check out some of the guys I think you should be looking at. For those that are just getting into fantasy football and reading this, “late-round” refers to players that are around the double digits rounds (round 10 or later) that are still likely to be available to select from. I should probably do a “terms and fantasy slang” article for the Phinest site.

Late-Round Quarterback Targets

Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals

Burrow was on pace to have a crazy stat in passing attempts last season before going down with a knee injury in Week 10 against the Washington “No Names”. Injuries tend to spoke fantasy managers to stay away from them as they try to recover. Burrow, however, could be one of the Quarterbacks that have the chance to exceed expectations for fantasy this year. To start, Burrow has one of the best, young wide receiving corps on paper with Tyler Boyd, 2nd-year receiver Tee Higgins, and arguably the best wide receiver taken out of the 2021 NFL Draft with Ja’Marr Chase.

Factoring in that tough division in the AFC North, as well as some possible game script issues as the Bengals, will likely have to throw from behind to stay in games and coming into the 2021 season with the issues on both sides of the ball, the passing volume should be one of the stronger points of Joe Burrow’s game this season. Last season, Joe Burrow was on pace to throw 646 pass attempts at 40.4 passes a game. Burrow’s draft value has been falling as of late which may land him inside the 10th round or later.

Current ADP – 9.04

Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns

I know this might not be a great name for some but you have to get where I’m coming from. With another year to immerse himself in Kevin Stefanski’s system as well as a new contract hanging in the balance, expect to see a bit more passing from Mayfield this season as he needs to prove to the Browns brass that he is the bonafide franchise guy moving forward. Mayfield will have to show that he can not only grasp the offense but show that he has taken his passing game to the next level.

After a rough 2019 season, Baker Mayfield bounced back in 2020 by reducing the number of interceptions thrown going from 21 to just eight. Not only that, but Mayfield increased his passer rating (95.9), completion percentage (62.8), and touchdowns (26). Mayfield also gets back O’dell Beckham Jr and has several weapons in the Browns offense at this disposal. Another plus? When Stefanski took over as the offensive coordinator in Minnesota, Kirk Cousins had one of the best passing seasons of his career, ending the season with a 107.4 passer rate. That was the highest of his career to this point.

Current ADP – 12.03

Carson Wentz – Indianapolis Colts

Many have soured on Wentz after he flamed out in 2020 with the Philadelphia Eagles and had one of the worst years of his young career. But all hope isn’t lost. Wentz reunites with former Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich. Reich was also one of the reasons why Wentz was able to have a stellar 2017 season before the Eagles decided not to bring back the Superbowl-winning OC. We got to see just how Quarterbacks with actual passing ability thrive in his system. Phillip Rivers was on his last legs when he arrived in Indy. With the Colts, he jumped back to form and was more efficient than his final year in LA with the Chargers.

Now Wentz comes into a much better spot with the Colts from top to bottom. From the offensive line, the run game, and better passing weapons (not to mention a solid defense behind him) Carson Wentz has a chance to be even better than his former self.

Current ADP – 13.01

Jameis Winston – New Orleans Saints

This one feels like it should happen but no one knows with Sean Payton. If Winston does have a chance to win the starting job in New Orleans, he could be the steal of the fantasy draft. Although Winston hasn’t started since his final season with the Bucs, the Saints have more than enough for Winston to do damage this season with Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Not to mention that Winston has a much better arm than his training camp opponent Taysom Hill.

Winston’s last season as a starter had him leading the league in passing yards as well as throwing 33 touchdowns (as well as 30 interceptions). But in a system like the Saints offense, Winston should be able to step in a fulfill the role left by Drew Brees. It’s just a matter of who will win the job during training camp. Winston is worth monitoring as we get closer to the start of the season.

Current ADP – 14.05

Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings

Cousins is another unassuming name on this list but maybe we should start putting some respect on Cousins’s name. In his last three seasons, Cousins finished each season with 25 or more touchdowns. Not to mention finishing as the QB 11 in fantasy for 2020. Cousins has some nice weapons on the offense too like Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson to name a few too. Kirk Cousins may not be a name that many people are purposely targeting in a one QB league but if your strategy is to wait on the Quarterback position, he should be on your list.

Cousins averaged 19.1 fantasy points per game in 2020, ranking 13th among Quarterbacks, and tossed a career-high 35 touchdown in the same season. Cousins can get it done and while he might not be a sexy name, with a well-built fantasy team, Cousins should be able to get the job done for you.

Current ADP – 13.04

Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons

Last but certainly not least is Falcons QB, Matt Ryan. A lot of people will sleep on Ryan after the trade that sent Julio Jones to the Tennessee Titans but don’t let that scare you off. Calvin Ridley will assume the number one wide receiver role and see a ton of work and Kyle Pitts looks to be heavily involved in the passing attack as well after being selected 4th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Matt Ryan still looks to have plenty left in the tank after finishing his 10th season with 4,000+ passing yards.

Ryan managed to finish inside the Top 15 among Quarterbacks last season (QB 12) while averaging 17.1 fantasy points per game in 2020. With a similar situation to Bengals’ Joe Burrow being on a team with a weak defense, the Falcons may need to once again pass a ton to stay in games especially inside the division. In 2020, Ryan averaged 39.1 pass attempts a game ranking 5th among Quarterbacks and right behind Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

Current ADP – 11.01

Cam Newton – New England Patriots

Here’s the thing with Cam Newton this season. Newton has stated that he’s healthy this offseason and he’s ready to go. The Patriots went out and spent a bunch of money in free agency to fix the offense and it looks like they made the moves to better fit Cam Newton’s style of play. The one thing that may hover over him this season is the drafting of Mac Jones. While Cam knows that Mac is likely the future, Cam can’t afford to slip up this season if he plans to continue his career in the NFL as a starter. There still may be some opportunities for him to be just that even after this season.

With Newton, his rushing ability is still going strong. Newton rushed for 12 touchdowns in 2020. The question has always been his passing and accuracy. Newton had a poor season in 2020 as he managed to throw just over 2,600 yards and finished as the QB 16 while averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game. While I do like Cam Newton as a possible sleeper this season, if targeting Newton is your move, I would make sure to have a stable QB 1 upfront.

Current ADP – Beyond 15th

Honorable Mention

Trevor Lawerence/Justin Fields- Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears

These are two of my favorite targets even in one QB Redraft leagues. I’m particularly favoring Fields as his potential inside the Bears offense once he gets the start should be high. Both rookie Quarterbacks have the upside to lead their respective offenses to new heights after moving on from the prior guys. If I had to select one, it would likely be Justin Fields. Recent reports out of Jaguars camp is that Head Coach Urban Meyer and the Jaguars coaching staff are looking to showcase the run game behind James Robinson and rookie Travis Etienne. That may put Lawrence in more of an efficiency pattern as opposed to Field’s volume and combined with his mobility. Both can be drafted in the late rounds as stashes that can sit behind either an early Top 12 QB or a late-round guy with upside on this list waiting to pop.

Current ADP – Trevor Lawerence – 10.12, Justin FIelds – 13.12

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