Quarterback is the most important NFL position because without a decent one it's very hard to win consistently. A team's QB impacts the value of all the team's offensive players. A lower than average QB will generally result in a downgrade of WR ranking and can lead to an uptick for RB or TE depending on QB skills and scheme. This week ASL's Daniel Brown looks at three teams situations where the starting quarterback isn’t currently locked and analyzes ramifications and potential winners.
The Browns are well known for having a long list of starting quarterbacks over the past 20 years and that search continues this year as they have 3 potential starting quarterbacks: Brock Osweiler (famously traded from the Houston Texans for a bucket of sand and a hoagie roll); DeShone Kizer (drafted this year and expected to take over the reins at some point) and Cody Kessler (knows the system and should have inside track on starting job).
For fantasy prospects the most likely beneficiary of this scenario is: Isaiah Crowell.
Analysis: There has been a lot of talk this offseason about the progression of Osweiler and it seems the coaching staff like what they see … or do they. There is speculation that they are trying to boost his trade value knowing they aren’t likely to carry 4 quarterbacks and with Kessler, Kizer and Kevin Hogan on the roster as well it is most likely that whoever doesn’t win the starting role is potential trade bait or cut outright as the 53 man roster is trimmed down. If Osweiler starts it probably means a slight boost for the wide receivers on the team – namely Corey Coleman or maybe Rashard Higgins. The reality is that the Browns look a little like a fantasy wasteland this year with the likely exception of Crowell … but expect a stacked box most of the year so temper expectations.
New York Jets
The Jets don’t appear to have a lot of talent on their roster after moving their bigger name players (releasing!) – Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, as well as moving on from David Harris on defense. These roster moves probably open the door for some of the younger wide receivers and also an opportunity for former bust Austin Seferian-Jenkins to bounce back. Currently the Jets have journeyman Josh McCown, Bryce Petty (started some games last year … beaten up and eventually injured due to both poor offensive line play and holding the ball too long), as well as Christian Hackenberg.
For fantasy prospects the most likely beneficiary of this scenario is: Bilal Powell and Charone Peake or ArDarius Stewart (whoever wins the starting job).
Analysis: The likely scenario for the Jets is that they do something similar to what they have been doing the last couple of years which is to start the veteran and if he struggles turn it over to the youth. Expect McCown to win this battle and start the season, but also expect to see a good amount of Bryce Petty during the season whether due to injury to McCown (likely) or poor play (potentially). With McCown as starter that should give the wide receivers a boost for fantasy purposes as he has shown he can find the open man and is willing to pass. He doesn’t have the downfield strength that Petty has, however he should be more accurate which is a good thing for wide receivers – especially in a PPR league. If Petty ends up playing considerable minutes then expect the running backs to get a good amount of work whether in the form of running or check down passes. The most likely beneficiary will be Bilal Powell who showed good skill and chemistry last season especially over the last 4 games of the season where he worked essentially as the starter.
The 49ers moved on from Colin Kaepernick last season and first year GM John Lynch had a pretty good offseason improving the roster in many areas including the defense which was heavily depleted over the last couple of years. Currently they have Brian Hoyer (journeyman), Matt Barkley and rookie CJ Beathard on the roster. They did sign Pierre Garcon this offseason and Marquise Goodwin, and while Garcon is not a spring chicken at 30, he still has plenty to offer and should be in for a high number of targets in SF. Goodwin has speed and can threaten the defense downfield, he is a good player to look at when considering TD heavy leagues.
For fantasy prospects the most likely beneficiary of this scenario is: Pierre Garcon.
Analysis: Hoyer will probably win this battle, and that would be a good thing for the offense in SF. He has shown flashes of his potential in his previous stops, however he doesn’t seem to have the tangibles to be an elite QB in the league from a fantasy (or real world) perspective. He should be able to deliver the ball to his receivers and as a result this situation won’t likely rely as heavily on the running game as many other quarterback situations that are not looking ideal for fantasy purposes. Barkley hasn’t shown much in this league and we expect him to be the back up only as long as it takes CJ Beathard to learn the offense and show his potential which could happen during this season. Whether he is the quarterback of the future or not will remain to be seen, but he is intriguing in deeper dynasty leagues once the “hotter” names have gone off the board.
Daniel Brown is a sports fanatic. Growing up in Australia, he followed English Premier League soccer, NFL, NBA and many other sports. Since relocating to the US over 12 years ago, Daniel has been heavily involved in fantasy football including Dynasty Leagues, Re-draft and Daily Fantasy. The NFL Draft and Fantasy Football are his passion and devotion. You can follow Daniel on Twitter @brownsnake76 for sports comments and general musings, or hit him up with your fantasy questions! When not talking, writing or researching fantasy sports, he comes up with t-shirt designs, check out some offerings here