Quarterback Bargain Hunting-Wilson, Newton, and Goff
Quarterback bargain hunting season is officially upon us. Sure, Patrick Mahomes is the shiny new fantasy toy, but if you do not feel like paying the king’s ransom to draft him in the third round, you can draft some pretty consistent quarterbacks in the mid to late rounds. According to ADP data from Fantasy Football Calculator, three quarterbacks are being drafted as the 10th, 11th, and 12th quarterbacks that can just as easily bring you home a fantasy title in 2019.
Russell Wilson was also the QB1 just as recently as 2017. We will break each quarterback down individually and see what we may be able to expect from them in 2019. Let us get started.
As mentioned above, Wilson was the QB1 just 2 short seasons ago. The former Wisconsin Badger has only finished outside the top-10 once in his remarkable seven-year career. That was in 2016 when the consistent quarterback finished as the QB14. Other than that outlier, Wilson has 2 QB3, a QB8 and two QB9 finishes.
Wilson relies on his legs to make plays. The anomaly that was 2016 can be mostly attributed to his lack of prowess in the running game. The mobile quarterback finished with a career-low 259 yards rushing and just one touchdown that season. To give you an idea of just how good he can be on the ground, 2014 saw him scamper for 849 yards and six touchdowns.
2018 marked the first year that Wilson did not have a rushing touchdown. It was a record low for attempts as well with just 67. Despite the drop in rushing production, Wilson still managed a QB9 finish. Here is a look at Wilson’s career rushing stats as well as his finishes (courtesy of FFStatistics).
Wilson is currently being drafted as the QB10 in redraft leagues. If he can regain his rushing form of years past, he could easily finish as a top-5 quarterback in fantasy for 2019. One last note, there have been zero missed games throughout his career. Wilson has played all 16 games each of his seven years in the league. If you are not comfortable investing draft capital on a quarterback early, this is certainly a safe target in all formats.
The biggest reason for Cam Newton’s drop in ADP can almost certainly be attributed to the shoulder injury suffered last season. If healthy, the controversial quarterback could pay off big time on your investment on him as the QB11 drafted. Similar to Wilson, Newton has had some nice finishes over the years. Interestingly enough, after three straight years finishing as a top-5 quarterback to start his career, Cam has been up and down every year since.
Also similar to Wilson is Newton’s reliance on his legs. The “hidden” points we get from rushing quarterbacks make them interesting targets for fantasy purposes. As was the case with the Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback, the Auburn Tiger grad had a career-low for rushing touchdowns last year with four. It was also the second-worst year in terms of yards, with just 488. Newton has been a rushing touchdown machine with 58 in his eight-year career (7.25/year). Below are the career rushing stats and ranks for Newton’s career.
You can see that Cam does not rely on passing touchdowns as much as other quarterbacks to score his points. In fact, in 2017, he finished as the QB2 with just 22 passing touchdowns. That was good for only 13th in the league for touchdowns. Andy Dalton and Derek Carr finished with more passing touchdowns, yet finished as the QB17 and QB22 respectively.
As mentioned above, health will be the biggest factor in determining Cam Newton’s 2019 value. The shoulder injury may make him turn to his rushing abilities more than it did last season. If we follow the every other year pattern, then we have to conclude that it is a “good” year coming our way. Do not be afraid to gamble on the high upside quarterback at QB11.
We have our first “non-rushing” quarterback of the group in Jared Goff. The soon to be fourth-year starter did set a career-high in rushing attempts in 2018 with 43. The California Bear grad also managed to rush for 108 yards and two touchdowns. This helped propel Goff to a QB7 finish in 2018. After the comedy that was the Jeff Fisher experiment with Goff, he has gone on to consecutive QB1 finishes (QB11 in 2017). The offense that Sean McVay runs seems to be a perfect match for Goff’s skillset. There have been improvements in fantasy ranks in each of the three years in the league.
The injury to Cooper Kupp stung a little bit as it cost Goff almost three full points per game on average after Kupp’s departure. Had it not been for the spectacular season from Patrick Mahomes, Goff was on his way to being the QB1 before the ACL injury to Kupp derailed that train.
With the high potent offense they run out in Los Angeles, Goff may be the best quarterback bargain of the group. It is a bit surprising how short-term our memory is in fantasy. One year removed from being the QB7 overall, he is being drafted as the QB12. Keep in mind, the Los Angeles Rams added Darrell Henderson in the draft to give them yet another weapon on offense. Add this to the weapons already in place, and this is likely the best set of skill players in the league.
These factors all combine to make it seem that this is the quarterback bargain you want to shop for the most in drafts. For some strange reason, the ADP has actually dropped over the past month. This screams buy!
There is a lot of value to be had in redraft leagues at the quarterback position. If there are skill players available on your board that you fancy, then, by all means, draft them instead of paying the high cost of the Mahomes or Andrew Lucks of the world. The three quarterbacks covered can easily finish as top-5 quarterbacks in 2019, and you can go quarterback bargain hunting to get them. Good luck!