Fantasy football draft season is upon us, and the key to nailing your fantasy draft is finding late round sleepers who will return great value for you. Below you will find five quarterbacks going outside the top-twelve at the position per FantasyPros.com’s current ADP. These are going as backups in a traditional ten-team, one-quarterback league, and should be available in the double-digit rounds in a ten-team draft.
Philip Rivers, San Diego, QB14 (106 overall)
Despite the loss of rookie Mike Williams, Rivers has too many weapons around him to fail. He’ll need to rebound from his career-high (and league-leading) 21 interceptions last season. Even with a terrible line, Melvin Gordon running for a million touchdowns and the negative points for his interceptions, he was still the #8 quarterback in 2016. He’s only in a better situation this season.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit, QB15 (107 overall)
Since Jim Bob Cooter became the offensive coordinator for the Lions, Stafford has played on a 4,300-yard, 28-touchdown, nine-interception season-long pace. If you chuck out the games he didn’t have a dislocated finger, then that goes to 4,282 yards, 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions. That’s roughly the figures put up in 2016 by Andrew Luck (in 15 games), but with four fewer touchdowns. I’m not saying Stafford is better than Andrew Luck, but Matt Stafford is going outside the top 100 on average and is actually expected to play week one.
Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo, QB16 (124 overall)
Obviously, the loss of Sammy Watkins gives me pause with Tyrod Taylor, but Taylor finished as the #9 overall quarterback in Yahoo! scoring last season, and he did that with Sammy Watkins missing half the season. While Taylor threw for twenty fewer yards without Watkins, he rushed for 21 more yards per game and given that rushing yards are 2.5x passing yards, his base yardage figures stayed consistent. His fantasy points were buoyed by six rushing touchdowns last year, but given the additions of Jordan Matthews, Zay Jones, and Anquan Boldin replacing Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin and half a year of Sammy Watkins, his seventeen passing touchdowns will increase, more than offsetting the loss of rushing TDs.
Andy Dalton, Cincinnati, QB18 (147 overall)
Dalton is the poor man’s Philip Rivers, given a questionable offensive line, recent success and a myriad of weapons at his disposal. While Dalton was the QB20 last season, it’s easy to cross your eyes and see a world where he’s top-ten. He has a top-five wide receiver, a top-five pass-catching tight end and literally the fastest measured NFL man ever at his disposal. Toss in one of the most dynamic rookies to catch passes, and visions of Andy Dalton’s 2015 19.3 fantasy points per game (base line) dance in your head. And he’s basically undrafted in ten-team leagues.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia, QB19 (139 overall)
Wentz started off his NFL career on a roll, throwing for 1,007 yards with a 7:1 TD:INT ratio in his first four games. He was on pace to be a backend fantasy QB1, before he lost Right Tackle Lane Johnson for ten games due to suspension. In those ten games, Wentz had six touchdowns and twelve interceptions, and was an absolute mess. He regained his positive TD:INT ratio in the last two games upon Johnson’s return. Wentz did well with a fully functional offensive line. He now has Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith at his disposal, with Nelson Agholor taking over for Jordan Matthews in a massively overhauled receiving corps.