Way Too Early 2019 Fantasy Football QB Sleepers
The Super Bowl is over, and Tom Brady won his sixth ring in nine tries. God is dead, and the 2018 NFL season is officially over. With that in mind, we turn our attention to 2019, starting with Way Too Early editions of sleepers and busts at each position. We start with the most important position on the field with QB sleepers. These three guys are going outside the top-ten in fantasy football drafts, and snatching them up could be the key to your draft… in six months. May this article be the light that guides your way through the long, dark offseason. “ECR” listed below is the “expert consensus ranking” from FantasyPros.com.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland (ECR: QB12)
The #1 overall pick in the 2018 draft initially sat behind Tyrod Taylor, until Tyrod Taylor inevitably Tyrod Taylored everywhere. Those three instances of the name “Tyrod Taylor” are all you should read about him for the 2019 season. It’s the Baker Mayfield Show in Cleveland now, and he’s likely to be discounted headed into 2019 due to the uncertainty surrounding the head coach. However, I believe the Browns didn’t muck up a good thing, and elevating Freddie Kitchens to HC won’t put too much on his plate. While Baker boasted a 5.6% touchdown rate on the season, it was 7.2% with Kitchens. That would have put him as third-highest in the league, just behind Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes. While he cannot keep that touchdown rate up (Mahomes is the only player post-merger with at least 500 pass attempts and a TD rate north of 6.4%), Kitchens should keep this offense rolling in 2018. Baker will likely fall inside the QB10 range when all is said and done, and should be a great return on investment as David Njoku bounces back, Antonio Callaway grows, and they work Duke Johnson back into relevance. While that draft stock doesn’t scream for a spot on the QB sleepers list, he should return top-ten value in 2019.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco (ECR: QB18)
“Handsome” James “Jimmy” “Jimmy G” Garoppolo was stolen from us too soon in 2018. He played only two full games before his knee exploded against the Chiefs, and the overall attractiveness of the league was halved. James is expected to be ready for the beginning of the 2019 season, but given all the QBs who performed incredibly well in 2019, he’s likely to end up as a fantasy team’s second quarterback. He was drafted as a QB1 going into 2019 and isn’t overwhelmingly mobile, so his knee injury shouldn’t do too much to inhibit him. He and the Niners offense fell on their faces as they struggled to replace Jerick McKinnon, who went down in practice just before the season. After his disastrous one TD, three pick performance week one, he had four touchdowns and no picks in the next two games. The Niners, and Shanahan, finally got comfortable under Nick Mullens (who sucks). Jimmy G will be an afterthought in 2019 drafts after getting a lot of hype going into 2018. Exactly the kind of guy you want on a QB sleepers list.
Josh Allen, Buffalo (ECR: QB21)
It’s easy to go “LOL Buffalo good luck with that” (like I did) but the truth of the matter is that Josh Allen was what we hoped Lamar Jackson would be in fantasy football in 2018. The #1 quarterback over the last five weeks of the season used his legs as a cheat code to rack up 377 rushing yards and four touchdowns over the last five games of the season, which are roughly equivalent to Jordan Howard’s last five games (399 yards and four scores). He doesn’t have to be good, he just has to run a lot. Big arm, long legs, a desire to run and scattershot accuracy leading to fantasy football glory isn’t exactly untrodden territory here. We’ve seen Cam Newton pull it off to great success, as well as Colin Kaepernick for a while, as well. Josh Allen did all this with generic garbage surrounding him on offense. Any sort of positive retooling, and look for him to take a step forward in the quarterbacking department in 2019, making him one of the QB sleepers to watch in 2019.