The debate rages on- when do I pick my QB? Conventional wisdom, especially in standard one QB starter leagues, is that although it is wonderful to have Brady, Rodgers, Watson or the like it is unnecessary. Maybe even stupid. So if you want to blow a pick on the GOAT in the 5th, Olivia Munn’s ex-boyfriend in the 2nd/3rd, or the guy in Texas that blew his knee out big time in the 3rd at least consider the following “budget” options that could vastly change your teams composition and enhance your team’s championship potential. ADP references are when I wrote this article 8/14/2018. Use this link to reference.
Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (ADP 124)- based on last year’s mediocrity I was surprised that his ADP is even this high but as the 19th rated QB on this listed -NO RESPECT AT ALL. This is a young player that Jon Gruden will find a way to get back to the 2015/2016 level (averaged 30 TDS). Supporting cast is good, not great, with Amari Cooper the obvious target monster. Jordy Nelson will be no doubt on a mission to prove and if healthy a big threat. If not, Martavis Bryant has got to fill the bill at minimum and become the budding star he was before all the Steel Town drama. Jared Cook is an underrated tight who although not a red zone guy, more than capable of moving the chains and occasionally busting a long one. Add to that a running backs with pass catching skills- Martin, Richards, Washington and ,on occasion, Mr. Lynch. All in all- think 25 TDS , 3,800 yards and some entertaining play in possibly the last season in the Black Hole.
Eli Manning, New York Giants (ADP 157)- Phil Simms stepped aside years ago as the best QB in Giants history. All due respect given to the Big Blondie, Eli is a legend and will rebound in 2018. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/M/MannEl00.htm
The big buzz in this neck of the woods (I live in the tri-state area) is that the Giants offense will be among the best in football. Drafting a generational talent like Saquon Barkley will do that I suppose but let’s hold off on the Jimmy Brown/Barry Sanders comparisons!! Getting back to Eli – he’s good, and at this point not great. He can still make the throws and try to name a better triumvirate than Evan Engram, O’Dell Beckham and Sterling Shepard? Common sense may say he’s old, he looks like a corny huckster, and he got benched last year and I CAN DO BETTER. Maybe, maybe not not, but look at the almost freebie cost! At his current 13th round cost (and the ridiculously low #28 ranked QB) sign him up. Most owners like to have a backup- if you’re part of this mindset or just are “scared” I’ll recommend a few other bottom feeders #23 BORTLES, #24 MAYFIELD or #29 DALTON.
SIMILARLY RANKED VETERANS- AND VALID OPTIONS
Phillip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (ADP 106) – really sucks that the Bolts left San Diego but the move to L.A didn’t affect Big Daddy at all. The loss of Hunter Henry hurts for sure but an uptick of production by high draft Mike Williams is expected. All Pro wideout Keenan Allen, speedy Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams fill out a strong receiving corp. Add to that Melvin Gordon’s growing role as a dump off (33,41 and last year 58 catches) and you can see why I see another big year in store for Rivers in 2018. In most drafts I’ll take this guy as one of the last starting QBs taken in Round 9 before some jerk wants to be a hero and grab hims as an insurance policy or to trade the moose.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP 107)- I’ll make this real short. Like Manning and Rivers, Big Ben has a Hall of Fame resume as well as a monstrous supporting receiving staff. If you wait on a QB this is as safe as there is. So safe that I wouldn’t even bother with a backup on draft day. Of course, injury, bye week or an available gem will warrant a pickup eventually.
THE POTENTIAL IS HERE
Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans (ADP 110)- surely in a Redraft league I’d take Carr and the three legends previously recommended but in Dynasty this would be a bold choice. Last year I was in a 16 team league and picked him as the last starting QB taken- AND HE STUNK. In both 2016 and 2017 he played an identical number of games (15) and similar amount of passes (451 & 453) but his TD pass number has cut in half to a lowly 13. Interceptions were up from 9 to 15 and his QB rating was an abysmal 79.3 (career three year mark is a solid 88.6). All in all it would have been a lost season had the Titans not snuck by the Choking Chiefs before the Pats took them out. Glimmer of good play in those two games by Mariota produced four TD passes, one of which he fired off a defender, and on the rejection caught it himself and dove in for the TD. Fantastic- balls to the wall effort.
Definitely does not have tremendous weapons like ODB or Antonio Brown or Keenan Allen but does have what Ben and Eli and Rivers either never had or lost a long time ago- LEGS. Last year. like the year before, he ran for over 330 yards and last year had a career high five rushing TD’s. The addition of Dion Lewis and the growth of Derrick Henry as a receiver will help move the chains and surely pad the stats (yards and TD’s) that we seek. Delanie Walker is and will remain a top five tight end. On the outside the Titans lineup one of fantasy’s most unappreciated players- Rishard Matthews and on the other side last year’s #1 (5th pick in the ENTIRE DRAFT) Corey Davis who in 11 games caught a meager 34 balls and NO TD’s. Horrible really except for the fact that in the season ending loss to New England he posted a solid, 5-63-2TDs. To be fair he was banged up last year so there’s hope. Tajae Sharpe rounds what appears to be a mediocre crew overall.
Lastly, and perhaps the key for Mariota is the hiring of Matt Lefleur as the new Offensive Coordinator. Last year while the OC for the Rams they were the most improved, and one of the most productive offenses in the NFL. Of course, there is no Todd Gurley in Nashville but if you take the best of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis they may be onto something and at least get out of the slow lane and throw 525+ passes. Mariota has the arm, he has the wheels, he has legitimate targets. In closing, a solid BACKUP who could emerge to starter relevance.
SO LONG FOR NOW
Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio Show: Join host Brian Roach, Jr, and Cole Freel live on Sunday August 12th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #132 of Major League Fantasy Baseball Radio. We are a live broadcast that will take callers at 323-870-4395. Press 1 to speak with the host. We will discuss the latest information in the world of fantasy baseball.
Our guest this week is Kevin Bzdek. Kevin is a writer and editor with majorleaguefantasysports.com. His articles publish every Friday morning and his focus is on bullpens.
Major League Fantasy Football Radio Show: Join host Corey D Roberts live August 16th, 2018 from 8-9:30pm EST for episode #89 of Major League Fantasy Football Radio. Call in number is 323-870-4395 press 1 to speak with the host. This week we will take a close look at some possible ADP steals in our drafts this season.
My guest this week is Andy Macuga. He is the former Head Football and Baseball Coach for Borrego Springs H.S. out in the San Diego area. Andy is also a 6 year veteran of Major League Fantasy Sports leagues and a frequent radio guest.