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DO NOT DRAFT: 2022 Quarterback Busts

Getting the best QB in fantasy football won’t necessarily win you your fantasy leagues, but picking a terrible fantasy QB performer will almost certainly prevent you from winning. Especially if you’re drafting that QB in the earlier rounds of the draft. Before you make that mistake, I wanted to highlight three quarterback busts you should be avoiding when you’re on the clock.

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2022 Quarterback Busts

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys, QB11

Dak is my QB11 on the year, and that might prove to be too high, despite me being lower than the consensus QB7 that he’s currently ranked as. There are a multitude of reasons to expect a decline in performance from the Cowboys’ star. Most importantly, his offensive line is dramatically worse. The Cowboys lost La’el Collins and Connor Williams. Two critical starting pieces that helped the line garner a number one ranking from Pro Football Focus. Further, while they still kept Tyron Smith at left tackle, there’s a reason they drafted another left tackle with their 1st round pick: Smith is aging and not staying healthy. He played only 11 of 17 games in 2021 and only 2 games in 2020. Protecting Dak’s blindside, especially with a declining offensive line, is critical. I’m not sure the Cowboys will be able to do it at the same rate they were able to last year. And an injury to Smith would change everything for this offense. There’s far too much confidence in the Cowboys to continue business as usual.

On top of the offensive line issues, Dak also lost his WR1 in Amari Cooper to the Browns. That means CeeDee Lamb will be the WR1, which was an expected transition when he was drafted by the team, but he’s been thriving as a WR2 in the slot thus far. Who knows what he’ll look like when he consistently has each team’s CB1 guarding him every week. I expect a bit of a learning curve. Michael Gallup will be back, but there’s also a question if he’ll be ready for Week 1, as he’s recovering from injury. A lot of teams got better and added pieces on offense, where it seems like the Cowboys stayed stagnant or got worse. Don’t expect Dak to outperform your expectations this year. In fact, he’s set up to be one of this year’s biggest quarterback busts.

Trey Lance, QB, San Francisco 49ers, QB19

What a strange offseason to be a 49ers QB. I have Lance ranked as my QB19, despite his current QB14 ADP. I know why people are excited about his skill set. He’s mobile and he’s got a big arm. That’s a great combination for a fantasy QB. The problem is, he’s not been able to beat out Jimmy G, who’s a terrible fantasy QB, because he’s a better real-life QB. In fact, Jimmy G was enough of a game manager to bring the 49ers to the 2020 Super Bowl. Despite the fact that all offseason everyone expected the 49ers to move on from Jimmy G, for Lance, they still haven’t pulled the trigger. They haven’t been able to trade Jimmy with his shoulder injury, and they’re not going to cut him.

On top of that, the reports out of OTAs is that Trey Lance has yet to impress. In fact, he’s underwhelmed. If the 49ers can’t trade Jimmy G to a team that has a need for him (like the Seahawks), then there’s a legitimate chance he stays on the roster. And if he stays on the roster, there’s a legitimate chance that the team finds him to be a better option than Trey Lance. If Trey Sermon’s situation last year is any indication, it shows that the 49ers have no problem accepting a sunk cost and starting better players over whoever they’ve had high hopes for. Regardless, even when he played last year, it was his rushing upside that excited people. Not his passing prowess. He played in 6 games last year, with a sub-60% completion percentage, 5 passing TDs, and averaged 11 fantasy points per game. His two highest fantasy performances topped out at 20.1 and 20.4 fantasy points per game. Nothing to call home about, to be honest. Don’t let the hype get to you. Not only is he not worth the draft capital this year, but he may not even start.

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Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears, QB20

I have Justin Fields as my QB20 this year, despite his current ADP of QB17. While it’s not much of a downgrade, I’ve seen a lot of hype of Fields during the offseason as a potential breakout candidate, and I just don’t see it happening. The hype is because in his last four games last season, Fields showed a lot of promise. He averaged just under 22 fantasy points per game, which would make him a top-12 QB, during those four games. He’s got the athleticism to scramble which gives him a nice floor, and he’s also got an incredibly accurate arm. However, there are reasons to be wary. For starters: go ahead and name the Bears WR1… If you guessed Allen Robinson, you’re wrong. He’s gone to greener pastures. The answer is Darnell Mooney! I can hear the indifference in the thoughts of everyone reading this. The 5’11”, 180lb, former 5th round pick has performed admirably over the last couple of years, earning his first 1,000-yard season last year, but if you had to rank the best WR1s in the league, Mooney wouldn’t be in your top half. Fields’  WR2 and WR3 don’t get any better… Byron Pringle (didn’t do much with Pat Mahomes, and Fields is a downgrade) and Velus Jones Jr (3rd round rookie). I know Fields is accurate, but I might like to give my young QB a WR over 6’1″ to throw to. What’s wrong with a big target? On top of all that, Fields ALSO has a new coach, which means a new offense to learn. I’m expecting a slow start for the former Ohio State Buckeye. The Bears just aren’t putting him in a position to succeed. Like Lance, while many are labeling these two potential QB breakouts, I’m expecting them to be mentioned among the quarterback busts when all is said and done.

Got a take on Bradlee’s Quarterback busts? Share it in the comments below and then head on over and check out the rest of our 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit.

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  1. Armando Soto says

    The tall wr/target on the roster doesn’t necessarily have to be a WR, TE Cole Kmet fits the bill as a receiver over 6’1″. He stands to benefit from the being a tall red zone receiving target, with a potential to breakout with a tremendous uptick in targets/volume.

    In spite of PFF’s offensive line rankings, having watched all 17 Dallas Cowboy games, I would strongly disagree that Connor Williams was ever a strong link in the chain, he was a huge undersized liability that defenses consistently attacked and abused for lack of a better term. Not to mention his weekly blatant holding penalty at the most inopportune moment in the 4th quarters of close games that all Cowboy fans knew was coming. His small stature/being underweight for a guard, with a weak base along with what seems like a non existent low center of gravity that hasn’t been a strength of his. I recall beyond the larger, stronger and more agile defensive tackles that he couldn’t block one on one, the leagues best right defensive ends would lick their chops knowing the de/do games and sometimes de/lb games, exploited his lack of recognition when it came to defensive line stunts, knowing how easily they could blow by #52 with a basic twist & speed rush. I’m surprised Prescott survived the season and had as good a statistical season as he did considering how abundantly overrated the line was last year, it legitimately was offensive. Add to the equation Tyron has aged, playing through injuries namely a bad back and he appears to have lost a step and wasn’t the dominant best left tackle in football as he had been for the duration of his career. I didn’t even mention how much of an undersized, liability Center Biadasz which was only overshadowed by Connor Williams being penalty prone. Terence Steele besides perennial all pro Zack Martin, was a bright spot and improved enough to allow Lael Collins to sign with Jacksonville. Dak performed admirably in spite of the constant breakdown of the offensive line at multiple positions which makes it all the more surprising seeing PFF’S offensive line rankings.

    I also understand many are questioning whether Ceedee Lamb can be the teams leading wide receiver/wr1, in spite of #88 leading the team with 79 receptions, 1102 yards, tied for 3rd with Wilson – 6 tds, behind Amari Cooper and Dalton Schultz tied for the team lead with 8 tds each. Many of the NFL best athletes with great coverage skills are slot cornerbacks cause they don’t have the luxury of being able to use the sidelines/out of bounds as an additional defender to assist with covering twitchy athletic “slot” wrs as traditional island cb’s. Many teams also have schemes which have all wrs on the team learn and play all wr positions.
    With how much the entire league has moved to a higher percentage of 00, 01, 02 & 10 personnel (3, 4 & 5 wr sets) some of the best corners have to play in the slot and defend many of the games top wide receivers, as offensive coordinators are also adjusting and motioning many of the top wr’s into the slot or having them lineup in the slot, in attempt to have their best wr face what used to be a teams 3rd best cb. The game has evolved along with defensive coordinators schemes which rarely if at all have the teams cb1 shadowing the offenses wr1, no matter where he lines up in the formation or how great the cb is. There’s also the fact most teams utilize zone coverages more and more as the passing game has taken over the league and teams just not having the patience to run more or have a percentage of running the ball that is a close enough number to have an actual balanced offensive attack.
    Losing Amari isn’t the most ideal trade for Dallas on the field, but the amount of his contract vs his production to make cause there is no denying he is a wr1, but Wilson has had 1 semi productive season in his 4 years in the league. Dallas also added impressive rookie Jalen Tolbert, signed James Washington who in spite of what many would consider a 2nd round bust, has still collectively outperformed Wilson in every statistical receiving category. Washington has played 1 more season of games due to Wilson missing a season due to injury. Collectively I do believe there is a strong possibility towards Lamb/Schultz having even better stats just from additional volume of targets. Also believe Pollard can also produce alot more receptions out the backfield just with more playing time. Dak jas

    Last but not least Trey Lance. How fair is it to compare the 49ers decision to use 6th rounder Elijah Mitchell va 3rd rounder Trey Sermon, and ignore draft capital when the Shanahan’s zone running scheme for years has utilized late round draft picks and undrafted free agent rb’s like Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Arian Foster, Steve Slaton, Clinton Portis, who was a high draft pick and Raheem Mostert, a large variety and mixture of low/high and undrafted free agents. The Shanahan’s have never decided to bench Elway or any other quality starting qb’s or treat the qb position as a revolving door the way they’ve always been able to find rb’s who can adequately perform in spite of their draft status.

    Traditionally a young, highly draft pick quarterback has benefitted immensely from sitting his 1st year and learning how to play qb. The same premise occurred with Parrick Mahomes and I guarantee you very few if any at all predicted the year Mahomes had his 1st year starting, 2nd year in the league, but with as close to certain as I can possibly be, even with how immensely talented Mahomes has turned out to be as the 10th pick of the 1st round, I don’t know of anyone with legit 20/20 hindsight other than maybe Coach Reid who wonders why he couldn’t beat out Alex Smith as a rookie. I truly believe had they started him from day 1, there was a strong chance he would have struggled like many of the great qb’s who have struggled when starting their rookie years. Peyton Manning, Troy Aikman, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck, RGiII and Trevor Lawrence to name a fewwho come to mind.
    Could he have been able to endure a long rookie season full of struggles and still have a 50+ td his 2nd year, 1st year starting? Chances are slim to none in my humble opinion. It has never been done by any rookie qb, having that kind of statistical success year 1. Sitting did allow him to have that type of season year 2, the closest being Marino’s 48 td 2nd year in the league.

    I hate to even suggest the common theme of this piece is all 3 aren’t the traditional pocket quarterbacks, yet they also don’t fit into the category of the athletic run 1st/pass 2nd qb’s. 2 of these 3 qbs even if they don’t produce 50+ or even 40+ passing touchdowns, 30 passing tds and 700+ rushing yards with 6-8 rushing td’s is definitely in range, feasible by no stretch of the imagination. Especially with the new 17 game season, how officials and the league have invested on protecting qb’s, and the elite speed and rushing ability both Lance & Fields have exhibited.

    1. Bradlee Kilgore says

      All great comments and additional commentary. To your last point, the theme is that they all rank lower than consensus on my personal rankings. I think a one dimensional traditional pocket QB is an outdated skillset in the NFL today. Particularly in fantasy football. I have Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson as my QB1 and QB2 for a reason. Jalen Hurts is high in my rankings as well. I’m just simply not impressed with the situations that the three QBs above have been put in. The theme is mainly that their hype doesn’t match my expectations for them.

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