Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers: Late Round Value


In today’s NFL, there is no position more impactful than the quarterback. You need a premium quarterback in order to compete at the highest level. PatriotsTom Brady. PackersAaron Rodgers. SteelersBen Roethlisberger. SeahawksRussell Wilson. GiantsEli Manning (sorta). The teams that consistently compete for championships have consistently great signal callers. That’s not a coincidence.

However, in fantasy football, you can get away with mediocre talent if you play your cards right. In the NFL Players’ Top 100 list, there were eight quarterbacks ranked among the top 25 players. Conversely, not a single signal caller lands among the top 25 of the FantasyPros Experts’ Consensus Fantasy Football Rankings. Smart fantasy players know that there is an abundance of talented quarterbacks these days. In most leagues where you only have to start one, you can get by with a “non-elite” guy or even by streaming one.

Not only can you get by, but you just may find that diamond in the rough who ends up producing as a top-flight fantasy quarterback. Tyrod Taylor, Kirk Cousins, Dak Prescott, and Matthew Stafford all finished the season as top-nine fantasy quarterbacks and they were all drafted after the ninth round.

With that being said, let’s take a look at four quarterback sleepers who have the potential to finish as QB1s. For a more general overview of the quarterback position, check out our 2017 Quarterback Preview.

2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans, QB13

Currently being drafted as the QB13, Super Mariota is the most undervalued fantasy quarterback. FantasyPros ECR has him ranked as the QB7, ahead of studs such as Cam Newton, Derek Carr, and Ben Roethlisberger. That six spot difference is by far the biggest among quarterbacks. This shows that the public has not yet caught the Mariota bandwagon, but here’s your opportunity to hop on before it gets crowded.

Mariota hits almost all of the indicators for fantasy quarterback success.

  • As the former number two overall pick, he has the draft pedigree. And at 24 years old, he still has tons of room to improve.
  • He proved he can get it done. In 2016, over an eight-game stretch, he was the best quarterback in fantasy football. During that time, he averaged 24.2 fantasy points per game which would have led the league.
  • He has a great supporting cast that’s only getting better. His offensive line was just ranked by ProFootballFocus as the fourth best going into 2017. He has a dominant run game to take pressure off him and draw the focus of the defense. The Titans just added two big-time playmakers in Corey Davis and Eric Decker to a pass-catching corps that already included Delanie Walker, Tajae Sharpe, and Rishard Matthews.

The one thing he doesn’t have going for him is volume. However, he is ultra efficient with the opportunities he does get. In 2016, he was fifth in the NFL in fantasy points per dropback.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals, QB17

Perennially mocked as the prime meridian of NFL quarterbacking by the Around the NFL crew, Dalton has actually been a solid, if not spectacular fantasy quarterback. He finished as a top seven fantasy quarterback in two of the last four years, including a number four finish in 2013. Not coincidentally, those are the years that his supporting cast has been strongest.

This year, the weapons around him are as good as they’ve ever been. A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are two of the top players at their position. John Ross adds a dynamic speed element, and Tyler Boyd should settle in nicely in the slot. Joe Mixon will also take pressure off of Dalton in the run game while also contributing as a pass catcher.

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills, QB18

It’s been two years into the T-Mobile experience, but people still aren’t convinced. Taylor has finished among the top ten in fantasy points per game in both his years in Buffalo, yet his ADP is at a meager 18. There’s certainly risk in taking a player as volatile week-to-week as Taylor, but his booms are worth his busts.

In 2016, Taylor finished 8th at his position — and that was without a healthy Sammy Watkins. Watkins returns to full health and has something to prove since his option was declined. Taylor is a completely different player with Watkins on the field, averaging more than three fantasy points per game more with Watkins as compared to without.

In addition, the hiring of Sean McDermott as head coach of the Buffalo Bills should maintain, if not bolster, Taylor’s value as a runner. McDermott comes from the Carolina Panthers and has seen first hand just how devastating Cam Newton can be to opposing defenses. Taylor isn’t the same kind of physical runner, but has been just as effective on the ground. The Bills will employ the same zone blocking concepts, and continue to let Taylor wreak havoc as a rusher — lifting both his floor and his ceiling.

Update After Sammy Watkins Trade and Jordan Matthews Acquisition

The loss of Sammy Watkins forces me to downgrade Tyrod Taylor slightly. While Jordan Matthews is talented, he doesn’t make the same big time plays. Tyrod is still a great value at his ADP, but he doesn’t have the same ceiling as before.

Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals, QB21

Looking at the numbers, Palmer took a huge step back in 2016, but maybe not as big of a step as people seem to think. Only a year removed from a QB5 finish, Palmer was a borderline QB1 over the last nine games of the season when he averaged 17.3 fantasy points per game. He also threw multiple touchdowns in seven of those nine games.

The first instinct is to assume that as a 37-year-old quarterback, he simply hit a wall. However, a huge reason for his lack of production was his supporting cast. John Brown struggled with multiple debilitating injuries last year while Michael Floyd struggled with everything.

This year, Brown looks to be completely healthy and should deliver a bounce-back season. He and J.J. Nelson should provide the vertical threat that was missing from Arizona’s passing attack last year while Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson continue to make life easy for Palmer underneath and over the middle.

2017 Fantasy Football Position Previews
QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

For more F6P preseason coverage please visit our 2017 Draft Kit section.

About Kevin Huo

Kevin is a fantasy football writer for Fantasy Six Pack. He considers every angle - whether statistical or theoretical - when weighing his options and isn't afraid to be a contrarian. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMHuo

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