By MV August 23rd 2015
Finding a top 10 fantasy Quarterback in the scrap heap could be the best feeling ever. I remember drafting Jeff Garcia in the 16th round of the 2000 season as probably the 20th QB off the board. Total homer pick. I won the league that year and his 31 TD’s helped. This article will help you find that diamond in the rough and will enable you to feel comfortable waiting on the position. There is help out there.
The overwhelming majority of fantasy leagues are one Quarterback leagues and most of those are 10-12 team leagues. This article is then geared to those leagues, but the evaluation of the subject Quarterbacks does not change for 2 Quarterback leagues and deeper14-16 team leagues.
For the purpose of identifying a sleeper we will use our Average Draft CheatSheet and exclude the top 12 Quarterbacks from consideration. We will list their Average Draft Position (ADP) as based on a PPR 12 Team league setup. We have also included their Average Cheat Sheet position ranking (ACS).
We will tier the sleepers into 2 categories:
1. Sleepers (Great chance to break into the Top 10 QB’s in 2015)
2. Deep-Sleepers (has a chance to be a fantasy starter as a great matchup play)
We can make a case that all four on this list will break into the top 10 this year, but we recommend that these are drafted as backups when you wait on the Quarterback position. It is ideal to pair these guys up with Matthew Stafford – Eli Manning – Tony Romo – Matt Ryan. While Cam Newton, Phillip Rivers, and Teddy Bridgewater will all be fine backups, again, this is a list of QB’s that we are looking to break through as fantasy starters.
Colin Kaepernick – ADP – 11.6 ACS – QB16
A lot went wrong in San Francisco this offseason. The devastating departure of multiple key players on both sides of the ball presents some fantasy opportunity. Basic fantasy knowledge tells us that when the defense gets worse the offense will put up more points. The Niners will be playing from behind more than they have had to in recent history. Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman’s power run offense is gone. Under the supervision of GM Trent Baalke, Jeep Chryst and Jim Tomsula are running an up-tempo offense that better suits Kaepernick’s freak athleticism. Some circles believe that the disconnect from the front office and the coaching staff was Harbaugh’s unwillingness to loosen the reigns on Kaep. Colin worked out this offseason with Kurt Warner and they really zoned in on his delivery and pocket mentality. The addition of Torrey Smith adds a much needed deep threat that will help keep the offense from stacking the box, Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin just never had the ability to stretch the field. This offense will run at least 20% more plays this year. We don’t see Kaep running for more yards than last year (639), but he will have more rushing TD’s than he did last year (1). We see him scoring 3-4 on the ground and he has the upside to do much more.
Sam Bradford – ADP – 11.8 ACS – QB18
Chip Kelly is the Head Coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and we are buying in to his complete madness (See Ryan Matthews – Sleeper Running Back Part 1 of 3). Sam is due to put together a full season. His talent is undeniable and he has the opportunity of a lifetime. Remember what Chip made Michael Vick and Nick Foles look like, well Bradford in this offense could be a top three fantasy Quarterback if he only stays healthy. The run-heavy fast tempo offense could help Bradford stay upright. He has WR corp like he has never seen in Saint Louis a much improved offensive line and the arguably the best Running Back trio in the league. Reports are he has looked great in camp and that the team is “ecstatic” about him. He was lit up twice this weekend in his preseason debut, but managed to leave all put together. Stay healthy Sam, show us what you can do and why you were drafted first overall. We are rooting for you. Still in the late 11th round as a backup QB the upside of a total loss to injury is definitely worth the risk. The Eagles believe they have found the answer to their Quarterback position and we believe we found our answer to why it pays to wait this year on QB.
Carson Palmer – ADP – 13.8 ACS – QB17
Carson Palmer through 6 games was on pace to throw for 4336 yards 30 TD’s and 8 INT’s. He has had some health concerns the last few seasons and that is the reason his ADP is clear into the 13th round. John Brown provides a burst of speed that will help stretch defenses. We love Ellington’s pass catching ability and believe he will be a focal point in this offense. Sure handed Larry Fitzgerald is one of the greatest WR’s of all time. Michael Floyd has so much talent, and after he returns from injury in week 3-4 this team will be dialed in with weapons. Again, this is a matter of health. If Carson stays upright for 16 weeks he will be a great bet to crack the top 10.
Joe Flacco – ADP – 11.9 ACS – QB21
This guy always manages to put together monster games and then goes into the witness protection program for weeks. Joe Flacco is the new beneficiary of Marc Trestman’s offense. The problem here is weapons, where are they? I expect Justin Forsett to be the best recipient of the new offense. Breshad Perriman, whom we have tabbed as a sleeper for the upcoming season is suffering from a sprained PCL. He will likely miss the entire preseason, but at this point looks like he will be back for week one. Steve Smith is 36, but he can still play. Marlon Brown is the #3 Wideout and is worthy of taking a look in deep leagues if Perriman cannot go week one. Maxx Williams is a rookie Tight End and it is rare for a rookie TE to come in and be fantasy relevant. All that said, I will add two words: Josh McCown. Trestman has taken pedestrian Quarterbacks and helped them get better contracts. Joe will find people that want the ball and this offense will pick up steam in season.
Thes two guys are probably going undrafted in some leagues, but are two that have the opportunity to play well. Most leagues these two will go undrafted, but keep an eye on both of them they might be great matchup plays during the season. Two Quarterback Leagues, Deeper leagues and Dynasty leagues these are two that you can grab really late and you will be pleased with the payoff.
Derek Carr – ADP – 16.3 ACS – QB24
Derek Carr’s rookie season was that of which a rookie season should look like. He played well, he made some mistakes, and he got better as the season went on. The additions of Roy Helu, Michael Crabtree, and Amari Cooper make this entire team once again fantasy relevant. The Oakland Raiders are no longer a complete joke. While this offensive line is ranked #26 by our rankings, we see them as improved from 2014. Jack Del Rio is the best Head Coach this team has had since, well, Jon Gruden? Who knows, the point is that he is determined to win games and the organization is backing him and now out of JaMarcus Russell – Days cap hell they have an opportunity to build a real squad. They have named Derek Carr as their franchise Quarterback and they are clearly building around him. A 4000 yard 27 TD season would not be a ridiculous expectation for the sophomore.
Blake Bortles – ADP – 19.7 ACS – QB27
This is a big old dude with a lot of weapons. Blake Bortles is built like Ben Roethlisberger. Blake had an up and down rookie season as well. He worked on his throwing mechanics in the offseason and is primed to come in with a stronger arm. The addition of Julius Thomas as a serious redzone threat will help his TD ratio. Allen Robinson looked great last year as a big burner before leaving with season ending injury. Allen Hurns has reportedly been battling Robinson as the “Go-To #1” all camp. TJ Yeldon comes in as a talented every down back. This is a young group with a lot of talent. We think Blake will carve out a career as a big time Quarterback in this league for many years. This is a sneaky offense with upside everywhere, my bet is that we see major improvement this season rom Blake on his rookie 11 TD 17 INT campaign. We are thinking 25TD’s as his floor.