Production, and consistent production at that, is the key to the
game at a position that turned in the top 12 players in fantasy
points per game in 2021. Thatís right, twelve QBís scored
higher than Cooper Kupp and more than Derrick Henry or Jonathan Taylor. What does that mean? It means, just like in the NFL, you
canít whiff on your QB. If you jump too early on the wrong
guy, it can ruin your draft. But if you find the late round value
it can completely transform your roster.
Last week we took a look at the
fantasy tight end group in terms of value as it relates to their
ADP for the 2022 draft season. This week, here are the QBs I expect
to outperform their ADPs and which I expect to fall short.
The Case for Brady Being Undervalued: Brady
has averaged over 26.0 fantasy points per game over the last two
seasons, ranking 10th among QBís in 2020 and 2nd in 2021.
The Case Against Brady Being Undervalued:Rob
Gronkowski is retired and top possession receiver Chris
Godwin could miss the beginning of the season. The loss of
center Ryan Jensen is a bigger deal than most people realize.
The Verdict: Iím not sure what else Brady has
to do to gain the respect of fantasy owners and draftniks. In
addition to ranking 2nd in fantasy points per game in 2021, he
led the league in attempts, completions, yards, and passing TDís.
He has averaged at least 20.0 fantasy points per game every year
since 2014 and finished top 10 among QBís in five of those seasons.
He loses Gronk and likely a good chunk of Godwin. But the Bucs
still have Mike
Evans, theyíve added Russell
Gage and Julio
Jones to the roster, and have a whole stable of reliable wide
receivers in Scotty
Johnson, and Cyril
Fournette is also back. He ranked 3rd among RBís in 2021 in
targets and receptions, and was 4th in receiving yards. Brady
has plenty of weapons at his disposal, and the departure of Bruce
Arians only tightens Bradyís grip on the controls of this offense,
which means more short and intermediate passes that work as an
extension of the run game.
If thereís a concern, itís the loss of starting center Ryan Jensen.
The Buccaneersí pivot is aggressive and attacks interior defenders,
giving Brady the clean pocket he needs to step up and execute
his passing attack. If Tampaís o-line canít keep defenders away
from Bradyís legs it will hurt his production, but not enough
to make him QB12, which is where heís being taken these days.
The Case for Lawrence Being Undervalued: Lawrence
got 600 pass attempts and passed for over 3,600 yards as a rookie
in one of the most dysfunctional offenses and team environments
in recent memory.
The Case Against Lawrence Being Undervalued:
The former Clemson star had a league-worst 12 TD and 17 INT in
The Verdict: It looked really bad at times last season. Thereís
no denying that. And maybe more concerning is that things seemed
to get worse for Lawrence as the season went on. But youíve
probably all heard the coachís mantra about players making
their biggest jump as a pro from year one to year two. Lawrence
is too gifted to not make that jump this year. He got an awful
lot of playing time and experience last year, and heís now
being guided by Doug Pederson, who has had his share of success
with QBís, both as a coordinator and a head coach.
The Jaguars have also done the right thing around their QB. WRís
Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, Laquon Treadwell, and Jamal Agnew
all return. They added Zay Jones and the underrated Christian Kirk who has the potential to be a gamebreaker out of the slot,
and the healthy return of Travis Etienne to pair with James Robinson
in the backfield gives this offense a different dynamic and another
playmaker. They also bolstered Lawrenceís offensive line,
drafting a new starting center in Luke Fortner, who should help
keep Lawrence clean.
He's being drafted as QB22. He may not be ready to grab fantasy
starter status, but I think this season will see him finish much
higher on the list than where heís slotting in now.
The Case for Goff Being Undervalued: Over the
last five games of 2021, Goff completed 72% of his passes, threw
11 TDís and just two INTís, and had a 107.1 passer rating.
The Case Against Goff Being Undervalued: Goff
averaged less than 20.0 fantasy points per game for the first
time in his career in 2021.
The Verdict: Rams HC Sean McVay turned Goff into a whipping boy
two years ago in LA, and that has carried on through his first
year in Detroit. But for those who care to hear the other side
of the argument, Goff may have actually played himself into a
long-term job with the Lions. He proved to be efficient, completing
a career-best 67.2% of his passes and producing a 91.5 passer
rating in 2021, and while his season average of 6.6 yards per
attempt was not particularly good, he averaged 8.72 over the five-game
stretch mentioned above.
This is definitively a run-first attack under hard-nosed HC Dan
Campbell, but Goff actually improved when Campbell took over play
calling duties late in the season. Adding veteran free agent D.J.
Chark and 1st round pick Jameson
Williams to Josh
Reynolds and Amon-Ra
St. Brown in the receiver room is a plus, and TE T.J.
Hockenson is an emerging pass catcher in his own right. Also
lost in the Lionsí losing season is the fact that RB DíAndre
Swift ranked in the top 5 among RBís in targets a year ago.
This is an emerging offense on a team turning the corner, with
a quarterback who has played in a Super Bowl. Donít be surprised
to see Goff slide into the top half of the leagueís QB standings
The Case for Murray Being Overvalued: Murray
has never passed for 4,000 yards in a season and has averaged
11 INTís per season over the first three years of his career.
Heíll be without Hopkins for the first six games of 2022.
The Case Against Murray Being Overvalued: Despite
missing two games due to injury, Murray posted career highs in
completion percentage (69%), passing yards per game (270.9), and
passing yards per attempt (7.9) in 2021 and ranked 5th among NFL
QBís with 25.5 fantasy points per game.
The Verdict: In an age when fantasy owners seem to care as much,
or more about quarterback rushing stats than passing stats, itís
worth noting that Murray had seven games of at least 300 total
yards in 2021. However, only three of them came after Week 4.
In the ten regular season games that followed that season-opening
four-game hot streak, Murray rushed for at least 50 yards just
three times, but had five games where he ran for less than 25
yards, including three games in single digits, and had just six
yards in the playoff game against the Rams.
Yes, he had an ankle injury, and kudos for trying to play through
it. But, news flash, NFL defenders are getting bigger, stronger,
and faster every year, and what I see on film is that opposing
DCís have figured out how to limit Murrayís ground
Yes, he lost his top receiver. But heís going to be without
that same receiver for the first six games this year. Over the
last five games of 2021, without WR1 DeAndre Hopkins, he threw
just 5 TDs and averaged less than 6.0 yards per attempt and rushed
for at least 50 yards just once in that span. And for everyone
who wants to tell me about Marquise Brown, save it! Iíve
had Lamar Jackson as my quarterback the last two seasons. Marquise Brown is no DeAndre Hopkins. I like Rondale Moore, but Christian Kirk is gone, A.J. Green is 100 years old (not really Ė
heís 34), and Zach Ertz didnít really find his legs
in this offense the second half of last season. Iím not
seeing a stellar group of skill players here.
Murray be dynamic and can not only make plays with his legs but
extend them in the passing game. But heís also likely to
try to do too much and make costly mistakes. Remember, heís
been a double-digit INT passer every year of his career. Given
the chance to draft him as their starter most owners are going
to pull the trigger. I get it. I just have him more in the range
of 10-15 on my board, not QB7.
The Case for Lance Being Overvalued: Since his
breakout redshirt freshman season in 2019 at North Dakota State,
Lance has started exactly three games. Three. And he wasnít particularly
good in any of them.
The Case Against Lance Being Overvalued: You
canít find an NFL scout anywhere that isnít in love with Lanceís
skill set. Big, with a strong and accurate arm, and elite running
ability, he is the prototypical dual threat quarterback that every
NFL team is looking for.
The Verdict: Everything weíre being sold on
Lance is based on two things, ability and potential. It has nothing
to do with production because, well, he hasnít played. In the
one game he played in 2020 against an FCS opponent, he was average.
In two starts as a rookie last year, same story. Against a borderline
playoff team in the Cardinals, he barely completed 50% of his
passes, for less than 200 yards and a 6.6-yard average, with zero
touchdowns and an interception. Later, against a bad Texans team,
he was a little better with a 70% completion rate on 249 yards
and two touchdowns and an interception. He averaged less than
4.0 yards per rush in that game.
Will Lance flash? Iím sure he will. Heís what they
call a tool-sy player Ė fast, athletic, big, strong, and
accurate. Heíll make plays. But heís essentially a
rookie and will also struggle. I donít care how well he
runs around. People need to slow their roll. Thereís no
way Lance is a borderline QB1 out of the box.
The Case for Hurts Being Overvalued: The Eagles
were one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL in 2021, passing
on less than 45% of their offensive snaps. When Hurts does throw,
heís not terribly accurate, especially on downfield throws, and
not very productive, passing for just 3,100 yards and just 209
yards per game.
The Case Against Hurts Being Overvalued: Hurts
led all NFL QBís in attempts and rushing yards in 2021 with 784
yards on 139 carries and scoring ten times to give him 26 combined
TDís. He ranked 10th among NFL QBís with 24.0 fantasy points per
The Verdict: Hurtsí unquestioned ability as a runner helped
lead the Eagles to the playoffs a season ago and certainly boosted
his somewhat pedestrian fantasy value in the middle of the season.
But the mobile quarterbacks who bring consistent fantasy value
are ďdual threatĒ QBís. Think of guys like Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, and Russell Wilson. Hurts isnít in that group because he falls short
as a passer. In 2021, eight of his 15 games featured a completion
percentage below 60%, and he averaged less than 7.0 yards per
attempt in seven games. Running ability is a plus, but you canít
be one dimensional.
Many will point to the Eaglesí ďimprovedĒ receiving
corps for the coming season. I donít see it. It remains
largely the same. DeVonta Smith is still a work in progress, Quez Watkins, Zach Pascal, Jalen Reagor, and Greg Ward will flash from
time to time, but none provide consistent production. A.J. Brown
is a talented, big-bodied possession receiver, but has struggled
with injuries the past couple years, and another run-heavy offense
in the Titans just essentially gave his job to a rookie. I wonder
why that is? Maybe they didnít see the value.
Hurts raised his game in 2021, but he is playing with a supporting
cast that has TE Dallas Goedert as possibly their most consistent
receiving threat, in an offense that prefers to run the ball.
Some think that will change this season. I donít. Not until
Hurts can show that heís raised that part of his game.