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All We Learned in 2018: Quarterbacks

The quarterback position is a mental contradiction for most on draft day. After all, the quarterback scores the most points in a game where scoring points is the object of winning it. During a draft, a run on quarterbacks can test the nerve of some, but it is the brave that wait it out and are ultimately rewarded. This is only part of what we learned about quarterbacks in 2018 Fantasy Football.

What they don’t tell you in Fantasy Football grade school is that VALUE is the name of the game. Stockpiling valuable assets and creating depth at premium positions is how any team builds for the playoffs.

Depth at the running back and wide receiver is so crucial because those positions require multiple lineup slots. The quarterback, in most cases, requires one. It goes without question that in formats with multiple quarterback spots the incentive to draft a top-tier QB is even greater. 

Let’s dive into the quarterback position and find out if anything (or anyone) has changed how we should view the position.

All We Learned: Quarterbacks

The Patrick Mahomes Effect

Patrick Mahomes scored 443.1 points in .5 PPR leagues. He was every bit a Fantasy MVP as he was the real-life Most Valuable Player for his team. It was not just the unreal season Mahomes had, but where you drafted him that made him special. According to Fantasy Football Calculator, you grabbed the best Fantasy player in 2018 at the end of the 10th round.

I can tell you to wait in drafts for a quarterback – but you get that logic by now -whether you apply it or not. No, there won’t be another Patrick Mahomes in 2019, but there will be plenty of quarterbacks available in the 10th round with Top 5 upside.

The beauty of waiting until late to draft a QB is that taking upside over the safe pick makes a lot of sense. In 2018 the QB7 (Aaron Rodgers) and the QB14 (Philip Rivers) were only separated by 15.5 points. Rodgers cost a third-round pick on average. River’s ADP was the last pick of the ninth round.

A third round pick for Aaron Rodgers in 2018 should have resulted in a Top 3 finish. Anything else is a bust. So, finishing as the seventh best quarterback in Fantasy was actually disappointing.

This season Mahomes will likely be a second-round pick. At that point, he will just about have to repeat his legendary 2018 campaign. I think he has a chance. but the odds are not there even though I think he will have another great season.

This season will be unique. Matt Ryan, The QB3 in 2018, will be drafted after the ninth round. This season the upside QB will be available in the 12th round or later. If he does not hit, that’s OK. There are others on the waiver wire.

Patrick Mahomes did not teach us we have to get it right if we wait on a QB in Fantasy drafts, he taught us what can happen if we do.

Running Quarterbacks Present Value 

If we are staying on the topic of late-round quarterbacks, there were three quarterbacks outside of the Top 15 that rushed for more than 400 yards. Mitch Trubisky (421), Josh Allen (631), and Lamar Jackson (697) will all be drafted in double-digit rounds. 

There can be arguments made for each player as a QB1 in 2019. All three did not play 16-game slates in 2018 and project to play full seasons in 2019 as long as they stay healthy.

If Jackson plays 16 games, he will likely surpass 1,000 yards rushing. He had double-digit rushing attempts in seven starts, including two 20-plus carry games. We have not seen rush attempts by a quarterback like this since Michael Vick. 

Mitch Tribusky was a QB1 in six of 14 games played last season. In five of those games he was QB6 or better. In year two of Matt Nagy’s offense Trubisky should take a leap forward. His end of year finish (QB15) will deter most, but his value and upside are clear. 

Josh Allen went from a joke in the Fantasy community to Fantasy superstar in a very short time frame. He was a QB1 in Weeks 12-15 and the QB3 overall in the four-week span.

In Allen’s rookie season there were growing pains and his accuracy is a concern. But, Allen is known for his big arm which creates big plays. The big-play is what Allen showed he could make all year. He had rushes of 20-plus yards eight times spread out among four games. Oh, the big arm? 30 of his 168 completions went for 20 yards or more in 2018. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Allen led the league in Average Intended Air Yards with 11 yards per attempt. 

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