Fantasy Football QB sleepers to target in 2020. The Counselor lays out 7 solid quarterback backups you can look at later in your draft.
Welcome to the show, everybody. Joseph Robert at Fantasy Football Counselor. Today we’re talking about fantasy football sleepers 2020. Seven QB sleepers that are solid. Yes, solid seven QB sleepers for you right here right now. I’m excited because I like talking to sleepers. I love talking the underdog because typically in fantasy football, the underdog, the sleeper, the guy you get in later rounds is your league winner. This year I tell you, when we’re talking the overview and landscape of quarterbacks, you can definitely wait on a quarterback. Now, I talk about everything in my 16-round draft solution on my approach with quarterbacks, but one thing I will tell you is that I do like to anchor myself with a solid quarterback and then get a solid backup quarterback, which in this case it’s going to be the seven QB sleepers I can give you here because everybody’s sleeping on them and these guys could be solid starters.
Some of them could easily finish in the top five or top 10 potential and they’re being slept on. Another thing I want to discuss here. I want you guys to understand my mindset in the fantasy football draft strategy mindset when you are drafting any player for that matter, is that the mainstream consensus that can, and I’m going to keep preaching this because I want everybody to understand this and I don’t care if I sound like a broken record or if I sound repetitive. I need to hammer this home because the thinking of fantasy football analysis is very old school. We’ve got to adapt. We’ve got to change. Now everything is changing, guys. Everything needs to come forward. 2020 has been one of those years where there have been some positive changes. It’s been tough, but it’s moving us in the right direction whether it be quality or whatever it is in life. We’re moving towards positive change. The fantasy landscape has to change as well. The big problem is the consensus rankings and also the recency bias. What happens is if a player gets hurt, if a player is off one year, they really fall in that ADP, but these guys are great players. They just had either one bad year or they were hurt or they’re banged up or whatever the situation is, or they just didn’t finish near the top. I’ll give you a couple of examples. We’ll talk about that. That’s where I deep dive in here and think outside the box. I’m not just thinking outside the box to be different. I’m thinking outside the box because it actually makes sense. When I speak, everything I say is backed up with stats and actual factual information and it all makes sense. You’re going to see exactly what I’m talking about. All right. So let’s talk about the seven solid quarterback sleepers. I’m going to rip through these guys because I’ve already done the homework for you. I’m going to talk about some stats here, but I’ve done the homework, guys. Understand. Take this all in, process it and consider these guys as a backup.
Another rule of thumb for quarterbacks. If you’re in a two-quarterback league, get three quarterbacks. If you’re a one-quarterback league, get two quarterbacks. Always get two quarterbacks in a one-quarterback league. Not only to cover your bye week but to cover injury, and of course, lack of performance. Nobody talks about this stuff, guys. I’m all about being practical and help you guys get the competitive edge. This is going to really help you guys when you are looking at quarterbacks.
1. Ben Rothlisberger
The first quarterback sleeper right here right now is big Ben Roethlisberger. Let’s talk about him. Back in 2018, he had an amazing year. He was third in fantasy points. Number one attempts with 675 and number one in passing us with 5,129, helping both JuJu and Antonio Brown finish within the top 10 amongst wide receivers, giving Antonio Brown 168 targets, giving JuJu 166 targets I believe. Helped them both, really fed them the ball, outstanding. The guy’s a veteran. He knows what he’s doing and he’s going to help you guys for fantasy. Not to mention guys, this guy throws the ball a lot. Like I said, number one attempts back in 2018, 675. I like a guy that throws the ball. I like a lot of volume. Now, the consensus is sleeping on, they’ve got them ranked 16th. Again, a lot of people are in 10-person leagues or 12-person leagues so they only get one quarterback. So this guy is sometimes coming undrafted, right? So when you are looking at this guy, understand this guy could be a starter, could be solid. I’ve never really liked big Ben as a fantasy quarterback throughout the years. Again, having a pinnacle year in 2018, declining in 2019 due to injury. Coming back in 2020, he’s probably going to want to finish strong and he’s definitely got the weapons. Dontae Johnson. They just drafted Chase Claypool. They’ve got JuJu Smith-Schuster. They’ve got some weapons there. They’re going to utilize him. He’s going to play. I’m hoping that he’s back to form. I heard he’s getting back into shape. I’m excited about him. He probably wants to win another Super Bowl before he retires. So big Ben a quarterback sleeper, you’d get as a backup with some massive upside.
2. Ryan Tannehill
Number two here. I said seven solid quarterback sleepers that you get as backups. Do not get these guys as starters. Although I will tell you, as I said before, these guys can be starters. Next guy, I absolutely love this guy. You draft him as a backup, he could definitely be starting for you by week two or three. The guy I’m talking about is Ryan Tannehill. Now, he finished 22nd amongst quarterbacks last year, but that’s not a good way to gauge him because he didn’t really get started playing until in and around week eight. If you go back, I encourage you to pull up his log of games and his fantasy production. This guy, his lowest game was like 14 points. It was like 13 and change in regards to points, 13.8, or something like that. I don’t have his stats, it’s all the memory right here because I did some notes here, but I don’t want to deep dive. You know what? Let’s just deep dive in there. Let’s just pull them up here. Ryan Tannehill, I’m going to tell you his pinnacle game. Let’s just dive into it because I want to tell you how excited I am about Ryan Tannehill. This is a guy that I never liked. He was in Miami. Although he made Landry a good wide receiver in Miami, I don’t know. He just didn’t really shine there, but he’s got a good old line in Tennessee. He’s got, Derrick Henry. He’s got a lot of wi-. He’s got AJ Brown as an elite receiver. He’s in the groove there with the Tennessee Titans, so he’s got a ton of upside. I will tell you that stat, 13.78 was his low week in week 13 as his worst game. He still managed to get two touchdowns that week. Week 13 versus Indy. His best week was 32.36 points. That was in week 12 versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he didn’t get going until in and around week eight. That’s when he got going a little bit. Actually, week seven. I’m going to give him that. Week seven he had a good game, he had 19.18 points. So if you look at all his points, he was averaging around 20 points per game I would say. Give or take, could be less, could be more. Now if you project that out, how’d he play the first six games, this guy I did the math. He would’ve finished with over 330 plus fantasy points, putting him in the top three to four amongst quarterbacks. I think Dak Prescott was in there around 337. I’ll pull it up here. Dak Prescott had 337. Ryan Tannehill had 224. You take the six games of 20 points a game he’s right up there. He’s a top-five quarterback. So the upside is there, the ceiling is there and this guy is Mr. Consistent. He’s a fantasy football QB sleeper you get as a backup. Trust me. You’ll be happy as a backup. He could start for you.
3. Phillip Rivers
Next guy here. Now this guy I’m not really high on, never really been a fan of him, but the guy I’m talking about is Philip Rivers. Listen, this guy’s got a chip on his shoulder. He wants to win a Super Bowl. He’s been criticized. He’s been ridiculed. Just never been ultra-elite and I think he’s got something to prove. He’s getting a little older, again, he wants to win that Super Bowl. He’s on the Colts now, he’s got a good old line. They’ve added Jonathan Taylor. They’ve got some receivers there with Michael Pittman. They’ve got TY Hilton there. They’ve got Parris Campbell. They’ve got some targets there for him. I think he’s an exciting backup. By the way, Tannehill is sitting 18th, going back 18th on the rankings right now. It could be a top-five finisher. Philip Rivers is sitting 22nd, guys, right now amongst quarterbacks in rankings. Again, finished in 2017, he was eighth. Eighth. He finished eighth amongst quarterbacks in 2018. 2018 he finished 11th and 2019 he finished 18th amongst quarterbacks. Again, back to that recency bias thing. Because in 2019 he finished 18th, the people are not riding him. They’re like, “Okay, recency bias, new team. It’s going to be different.” But again, a backup QB sleeper you can get for super cheap. You’re going to love it. Philip Rivers, a big-time sleeper. Again, the ceiling is high there with the Colts.
4. Gardner Minshew
Coming to number four. This is no particular order. I do like Ryan Tannehill a little bit more than some of these guys, but the guy I’m talking about here is Gardner Minshew. Now, I wasn’t really high on this guy, but then I looked at the stats and I looked at what separated him from a guy like Kyler Murray. Kyler Murray actually finished eighth. I’m giving you guys an analogy here or an example to compare them to something. Kyler Murray who everyone’s high on, who everyone’s calling the next Lamar Jackson, which I don’t think so, he actually ended up finishing eighth with 285 fantasy points. Gardner Minshew quietly finished 19th amongst quarterbacks, but here’s the deal. He played two fewer games than Kyler Murray. Those two games, let’s assume he had 15 points those games. He had 230 points. Add another 30 points, that puts him in and around 260 points, 20 points less than Kyler Murray. Stick with me on this one. He finished 19th, Kyler finished eighth. Stick with me. Kyler Murray actually had 285 points, but check this out. Kyler had four rushing touchdowns. Minshew didn’t. So the only thing separating Gardner Minshew and Kyler really in regards to fantasy production back in 2019 is four rushing touchdowns and the fact that Gardner Minshew played two fewer games. Even give Gardner Minshew those two extra games, he could have probably been almost up to par with Kyla Murray last year.
Now you’re saying, “Well, Kyler Murray was a rookie. He didn’t really play. He didn’t really get into stride and now he’s got Deandre Hopkins, this and that.” Well, guess what? Gardner Minshew is still a young guy as well so it doesn’t really matter. And again, the ceiling is high for Minshew who’s also a rookie going into his second season. At the end of the day, man, I’m not saying that Gardner Minshew is better than Kyler Murray. I still think Kyler Murray’s ceiling is a lot higher than Minshew’s, but here’s the deal. What I’m saying is, the point I’m trying to make here is that you can get Gardner Minshew as a backup on your team with that upside. I’m not trying to sell you Gardner Minshew draft, Gardener Minshew fifth round. No, no, no, no, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that he’d be a solid backup that you can get that’s got that ceiling that could be on par with a Kyler Murray. You don’t get to pay for anything. He’s going undrafted pretty much in a lot of drafts. Again, currently sitting 24th on the consensus ranking. So his ADP, again, going undrafted. Especially in a 12-person league, most don’t draft two quarterbacks. Minshew’s a good backup.
All right. Three more quarterbacks. I’m not going to rip too much into these guys in regards to statistics. I dove into the other guys statistically, I’m going to give you guys an overview because a lot of these guys haven’t played, but I will tell you that the ceiling is high as backups to your guy. I talk about this in the 16-round draft solution. If this is making sense to you, which I know it is because I’m really diving in here, nobody talks like this, nobody dives in like this and gives you the practical advice. The thing is, get the 16-round solution because everything is going to be there for you on a silver platter. I live and breathe this, so why not get advice from someone who lives and breathes this? It’s going to be an unfair advantage over the competition. Everyone’s saying, “Well Joe, I really want you to be at the draft with me.” 16 rounds are literally the closest thing I could do to be there because I give you all my optimal players how I would draft. I give you a mock draft in there. Every round drafting the players I like. Get the 16 round, guys. You guys are going to love it. Thefantasyfootballcounselor.com.
5. Daniel Jones
All right. So that’s four with Minshew. Number five, the next guy, Daniel Jones. Listen, I like this guy currently sitting right now 14th on the consensus ranking so people are kind of aware of him. The nice thing I like about him is that they improved the old line. They got three old linemen and that’s going to help them a little bit. He played 13 games. In those 13 games, he had 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions. It’s not the most exciting thing, but the thing with Daniel Jones that’s appealing, again, is the old line help. The fact that he played 13 games last year, he still finished 24th. I think the ceiling is there. I think he’s going to throw the ball a lot more. We know that Barclay’s going to be the centerpiece of the Giants offense, but Daniel Jones is going to get some work. 24 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, 3,000 yards last year. A backup quarterback, guys, with some ceiling that improved the old line. Second-year in the league. He’s going to be more comfortable. He’s going to throw more. His receivers are ultra-elite, but he’s got some receivers that are going to get the work done. He’s got Evan Ingram there. He’s got some weapons. Darius Slayton could take a definite step up this year. I like the upside here again with Daniel Jones. Also going back to Minshew, I want to make a note here. What I like about Minshew, and I didn’t compare with Kyler Murray, is that he had 21 touchdowns, six interceptions, Kyler Murray had 20 touchdowns, 12 interceptions. So Kyler threw more interceptions and had fewer touchdowns by one, and Minshew played two fewer games. Keep that in mind as well. With Daniel Jones, again, a similar situation where he’s young, getting into a groove, has some upside. He’s got some young receivers with Slayton and with Minshew having [shark 00:14:24] taking a step up this year. I’m excited. The ceiling could be high for these guys, and they’ve both got great running backs in front of them, which is great. Fournette, great running back, and Saquon Barkley for these quarterbacks.
6. Drew Lock
Two other quarterbacks, we won’t spend too much time in, but again as backups. This guy I absolutely love, the ceiling is high. I’m considering getting him as a backup in my league, is Drew Lock. I love this guy. Love the upside, love the talent. I’ve been watching a lot of tape on him in college. Great release, great pocket presence, good accuracy, and a ton of weapons there in Denver. They’ve got this guy locked and loaded for this year. I’m telling you guys, this is a high ceiling guy with a lot of risks because you don’t know what to expect and that uncertainty gives you a high ceiling and a lot of upside. With that comes a lot of risks, but again as a backup quarterback, they’ve got Courtland Sutton. They drafted arguably the best runner out of the 2020 NFL draft in Jerry Jeudy. They’ve got Hamler. They’ve got Noah Fant. They’ve got Melvin Gordon catching the ball on the backfield. All good signs for Drew Lock having an awesome season. Love the upside. Drew Lock, a fantasy football QB sleeper you get for super late as a backup.
Finally, now I want to give an honorable mention here before we get to the last guy. Matt Stafford. I understand he’s a backup, but I still think people are going to draft him as a QB one so I don’t really want to consider him a big-time sleeper like these guys. These guys are more like, you can get them a little bit later. Stafford, people are going to be drafting him as a QB one, right? Probably in the eighth round. So yes, he’s a sleeper. I still think people are sleeping on Stafford, but not big enough a sleeper as some of these guys.
7. Jarrett Stidham
The last guy here is Jarett Stidham. listen. I don’t know what to expect with this guy. He’s got, N’Keal Harry. He’s got Edelman, he’s got some options there. They drafted too tight ends. We don’t know the ceiling of those guys. I mean, you never know. A lot of people are promoting Stidham as the future of the Patriots. He is off everybody’s radar. Nobody’s talking about this guy. This guy you can get as your QB three in a two-quarterback league, or a super flex league, whatever it is. You want a quarterback with a high ceiling, you don’t know what to expect, Jarett Stidham. This guy’s got to make a statement. He’s got a big role to fill with Tom Brady. I understand he’s got a monkey on his shoulder, chip on his shoulder, whatever the terminology is. He’s going to play with the sense that, “I’ve got to fill the shoes of Tom Brady.” That chip on his shoulder may propel him forward to be like, “Hey man, I got this. I’ve got to make this happen.” Jarett Stidham is a guy that you can get pretty much undrafted, super free at the end of the draft, as a backup quarterback with the highest ceiling. I consider him a deep fantasy football QB sleeper.
There it is, guys. Seven solid quarterback sleepers for you. Consider to get them. I keep saying this, as a backup. You’re going to absolutely thank me. You’re going to love it. These guys are proven, most of them anyway, and they’re going to put up some points.
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– The Counselor
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