When to draft a QB

Quarterback is the most important position on a NFL team.

However quarterback is not the most coveted position in fantasy football.

Most fantasy football leagues require you to start one quarterback.

While your fantasy football quarterback should not be one of your top picks, not having an adequate quarterback on your roster can sink your chance at winning your championship!

Resist the temptation

Draft day will entice you with a ripe pool of superstar and high quality quarterbacks available to be drafted in nearly all rounds.

However, on your quest to a fantasy championship, you must make like Odysseus and resist the “Siren-like” urge to draft a big name quarterback too early, thus steering your team into destruction!

Resist the urge to take a quarterback early in the draft!

Drafting a quarterback late is a textbook strategy in fantasy football and has served me well in filling out a complete roster.

I will give you 4 breakout quarterbacks who you can target late in your 2019 fantasy football draft.

Drafting one of these quarterbacks will allow you to fill out a complete roster while still giving you “league winning” potential at the quarterback position.

Warren Sharp’s Analysis

Throughout the article I will refer to Warren Sharp’s appearance on VSiN’s “A Number’s Game” with Gill Alexander when referencing a team’s strength of schedule against passing defenses.

You can listen to a clip of Warren’s analysis from “A Number’s Game” below.

4. Cam Newton

Average Draft Round: 8th

PreSnapPicks Ranked: QB#7

Buy Low

The last thing we saw was Cam grimacing in pain and missing even his easy completions as the the Panther’s season slipped away.

This past offseason Cam underwent his second arm surgery in the past three years.

Newton is currently being drafted as the 7th quarterback off the board.

Have we forgotten the fantasy football beast Cam Newton can be when fully healthy?

Cam Newton was fantasy football’s MVP in 2015.

In the last fully healthy season Newton played, (2017) he finished as QB #2.

There is risk with drafting Cam, but he offers a perfect buy low scenario by drafting him in the 8th or 9th round.

IF Cam’s arm remains healthy, there is no reason to believe he will not have a solid fantasy season as he faces the 2nd easiest passing defense schedule.

Newton’s arm looks to be at full strength in Panther’s training camp 2019

3. Kirk Cousins

Average Draft Round: 14th

PreSnapPicks Ranked: QB#16

Bargain Price

If you go to Fantasypros.com and run a 10 team standard settings mock draft, Kirk Cousins will go undrafted.

You can build your entire roster before taking a potential top 10 quarterback with the last pick in your draft.

While I don’t believe Cousins posses the talent to allow for a top 5 finish.

I will explain how he is an excellent option to draft if you want to build a deep roster before selecting your quarterback.

Passing defense schedule

The Minnesota Vikings will face the 4th easiest passing defense schedule in 2019.

The Vikings offense is ripe with talent and an easy defensive schedule leads me to believe a top #15 finish is the floor for Cousins.

Surrounding talent

  • Adam Thielen WR #15
  • Stefon Diggs WR #16
  • Dalvin Cook RB #12
  • Kyle Rudolph TE #17

Every player on the Vikings offense is high quality at their position and Cousins will be the beneficiary of the surrounding talent.

However, a major concern is how well an immobile Cousin will distribute the ball behind a Pro Football Focus rated #25 offensive line in 2019.

Cousins led the league in batted balls at the line of scrimmage in 2018 with 17 and was sacked 40 times.

If Cousins is going to thrive, it will be dependent upon the offensive lines ability to protect him.

Year 2 in Minnesota

Kirk Cousin’s posted a career high in touchdowns (30) and a career low in interceptions (10) while amassing almost 4,300 yards passing in his first year in Minnesota.

This landed Cousins as fantasy football quarterback #13 averaging 17.6 points per game.

Sounds like a great year, right?

The Vikings offense was actually the disappointing part of 2018 for the Minnesota Vikings.

Football Outsiders ranked Minnesota’s offense #18 overall posting -1.3% defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA).

Viking’s New Play Callers

The Vikings enter 2019 with a new offensive coordinator in Kevin Stefanski.

Stefanski does not excite me as this will be his first offensive coordinator job.

The new hire that makes me believe in a successful offensive season for Cousins is Gary Kubiak.

Gary Kubiak

Kubiak was hired to be the Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor.

Gary will bring a Super Bowl pedigree as he won Super Bowls as both a player and a head coach.

As an offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos from 1995-2005, Kubiak consistently posted top 10 offenses.

Kubiak ran a balanced offense as they were atop the league in both rushing and passing statistics.

In Kubiak’s 10 year tenure as the Broncos offensive coordinator, he finished top 10 in rushing 10 times and top 10 in passing 6 times.

Play Action

A balanced offense is a Kubiak trademark as play action and bootlegs are a staple in his playbook.

Kubiak was ahead of his time in the 90’s and early 2000’s as team are beginning to implement play action and misdirection more often in today’s NFL.

Analytics are unveiling the efficiency of play action no matter the down or previous play calls.

“All warfare is based on deception.” 

― Sun tzu, The Art of War

Play action is football’s best offensive deception tactic.

I have a feeling Sun tzu would be a fan of analytics and a fan of Gary Kubiak.

Undervalued Cousins

Cousins proved in a down year for the Vikings offense with an often injured running back in Dalvin Cook, he can post quarterback #13 numbers.

Cook will be at full strength in 2019 and offensive guru Gary Kubiak will help orchestrate the talented offense against a weak passing defense schedule.

I believe drafting Kirk Cousins with the last pick in your draft will return a top #10 quarterback to solidify your roster.

2. Jameis Winston

Average Draft Round : 11th

PreSnapPicks Ranked: QB#11

Easy Passing Defense Schedule

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the 5th easiest passing defense schedule in 2019.

Jameis Winston averages 22 touchdowns a season and posted a career high of 28 touchdowns in the last full season he played in 2017.

25 touchdowns was the minimum for a top 9 finish at fantasy quarterback in 2018.

With Winston facing a weak passing defensive schedule in 2019, I believe it’s safe to assume his floor will be 25 touchdowns with a ceiling as high as 35 touchdowns.

Winston’s Contract Year

Winston is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020.

Jameis is playing to prove he is worth a long-term contract this upcoming off season.

Buccaneers Backup QB Situation

“FitzMagic”

The 2018 season was a roller-coaster for Winston as he started the season on a 3 game suspension.

Winston watched as Ryan Fitzpatrick torched the league and lead fantasy football in scoring through the first 3 weeks of the season.

Despite Fitzpatrick’s hot start, Winston returned to start Week 4 and played in almost every game the rest of the season.

The problem is Fitzpatrick played in 4 games and started 3 games in the span of Week 8 through Week 11.

Winston= feast or famine

Jamies Winston is a big play/high risk quarterback.

However risk and reward are inversely correlated.

While Winston has thrown 88 touchdowns in his career, Winston averages throwing an interception every 1.5 touchdowns.

Having a volatile player like Winston and an adequate backup in Fitzpatrick was a recipe for disaster in 2018.

Having a good backup quarterback is not always the best formula

If the backup is too good, the fans and coaches will be calling to the bullpen at the first indication of the starter performing poorly.

This was the case for the Winston/Fitzpatrick situation in 2018.

Ryan Fitzpatrick has proven in his 14 year career that he can be a competent quarterback and his competence loomed in Dirk Koetter’s mind after every Winston turnover.

However Fitzpatrick signed with the Miami Dolphins this past off season.

We should no longer see a Buccaneers quarterback controversy in 2019.

Blaine Gabbert

Blaine Gabbert is the backup quarterback to Winston in 2019.

In case you have not watched Gabbert play… he is bad.

Gabbert has only thrown one more touchdown than interception in his journeymen career.

There is no doubt Winston is better than Gabbert and I believe the Buccaneers will stick it out with Winston even on his worst days.

Bruce Arians

Bruce Arians and Jameis Winston are a match made in fantasy football heaven.

How do you not want to draft a fantasy quarterback in a system where the play-caller’s motto is “No Risk it, No Biscuit.”

Arians is know for his aggressive vertical passing attack.

We will see wide receivers creating one on one leverage against free safeties down the field and running backs running vertical routes against linebackers.

Winston is the type of downfield attacking quarterback who will thrive in the Arians’ offense which tries to exploit mismatches deep down the field.

Arians’ philosophy is evident as his starting quarterbacks have consistently been at the top of the league in depth of target.

The beauty in this marriage of quarterback and play-caller is Winston has been a top 5 depth of target quarterback every year of his NFL career.

Offensive Weapons

Winston is surrounded by offensive talent!

The fantasy football public is drafting Winston’s weapons in the following rounds.

  • Mike Evans- 2nd Round
  • Chris Godwin- 5th Round
  • OJ Howard- 5th Round

Why aren’t we more excited to draft Jameis Winston!?!

Who will be distributing the ball to these highly drafted fantasy targets?

Winston trending up

  1. Faces the 5th easiest passing defense schedule
  2. Playing in a “contract year”
  3. No threat to be benched
  4. Bruce Arians vertical attack
  5. Surrounded by offensive talent

All signs point to a big year for Jameis!

Hope on the Winston train in the 10th or 11th round before he’s gone!

1. Kyler Murray

Click here to read “#1 Breakout quarterback: 2019 fantasy football, Kyler Murray” to find out why Kyler Murray has the potential to help you win your fantasy football championship!