The word sleeper is no longer a term that I use when it comes to fantasy football. There is no such thing as a sleeper like we used to hear about in the fantasy football world. Everyone has all the information they could ever need at their fingertips, so there is no longer information that we can keep from each other. That is why I have decided to use the term, “Fantasy Gem” instead. A Fantasy Gem to me is a player who is being undervalued and could exceed their given ADP( Average Draft Position). My goal is to go outside of the top 100 players in the current rankings. The key to finding a Fantasy Gem is finding a player that is being drafted at their believed ability, and outperforms that to at least a tier above. This article is purely for those who start 1 Quarterback and use the regular settings. The Quarterback position is one of the easier to do when talking about outside the top 100. If were looking at rankings right now at the 100th selection, only 9 quarterbacks have been taken. That leaves a lot to work with, but the easy answer is not what I am looking for. Waiting on quarterbacks lets you fill your team with solid depth at every other position. For those looking to wait on Quarterbacks until the 10th round or later, this is the article for you. The following Quarterbacks may not be the most attractive picks, but could very well help you win your league:
Philip Rivers- QB Los Angeles Chargers
Rivers keeps surprising people year after year. He has never been an Aaron Rodgers, but he also has never been a failure. Rivers is the example of consistency. Over the last three seasons, Rivers has finished as the QB8-2017, QB14-2016, QB12-2015. Last year was one of his best yet, and nothing has really changed since. As we all know the Chargers have lost both of their tight ends. Hunter Henry to injury and Antonio Gates was released. I do believe Antonio Gates will be resigned or they will make a acquisition to secure someone to fill that role. No matter, Rivers value didn’t change much for me. He still has his star Wide Receiver in Keenan Allen, and his workhorse running back in Melvin Gordon. Those two pieces alone keep his value afloat. The player that we haven’t seen much of yet is Mike Williams, WR. Coming out of college, everyone expected big things from him. But his rookie year was plagued by injuries and he was never able to overcome them. If healthy, I believe Mike Williams will fill that hole left by the lackluster tight end depth. Tyrell Williams, Austin Ekeler, and Travis Benjamin all add depth, and give Rivers more solid targets at the RB and WR positions. But back to Rivers, he is currently coming off the board as the 13th QB( ADP 108). At that value in a 10 man league, you would have chosen 9 players by that time. Having a solid lineup and then adding a QB1 caliber that late is great value. Rivers should be able to be an every week starter. Depending on the matchup, you could always select one more quarterback later in the draft as security. But I don’t think it will be necessary. The Chargers are an up and coming team, and their defense is one of the best in the league. They will create a lot of turnovers, letting Rivers and the offense control the clock on offense. Rivers has a solid opportunity to outperform his ADP, and should fall into the top 10-12 without any issue.
Alex Smith- QB Washington Redskins
Alex Smith was the biggest QB gem last year. Smith for the most part went undrafted in 2017 fantasy football drafts. Everyone thought it was the end of the road for him, since the Chiefs selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round of last year's NFL draft. Alex Smith begged to differ. He was on fire, and finished as the QB 4. That by itself is crazy, and i'm sure he won people a bunch of games as a waiver wire steal. Smith is no longer a member of the Chiefs, he is now the starting QB for the Washington Redskins. Some may see that as a downgrade, but I believe its an upgrade. His time was over in Kansas City, and he knew it. He played lights out and it really helped his trade value. The Redskins want him, and that's why I think he will continue to be successful. He is in a good system, with a good coach and a nice surrounding cast. Washington as a whole is a solid team overall. Their offensive line is back and healthy, they have Jordan Reed back to open up the field, and they drafted a possible star in rookie RB Derrius Guice. Alex Smith has plenty of weapons this year. His targets should fall upon two young wide receivers who have bright futures this year. Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson are two great value wide receivers. Alex Smith loves his slot receiver and I expect him and Crowder to have a great relationship. To help his case, the redskins have the second easiest schedule for quarterbacks this year. Smith is currently the QB18(ADP 124) off the board. Even if you have a wait and see approach to him, at his current ADP Smith can not hurt your teams value. You draft key positions, and then would take a flier on Smith and another late round QB. This would give you the ability to play the matchups, until you see how he performs with his new team. Smith in the 12th round or so is a definite value. He is being drafted as a QB2, and he has shown that he could be a QB1 week in and week out.
Blake Bortles- QB Jacksonville Jaguars
Whether you like it or not Bortles is a solid streaming quarterback. Over the last three seasons Bortles finished QB as the Qb 13- 2017, Qb 9- 2016, and QB 4-2015. Constantly disrespected in the fantasy football world, Bortles has the clear ability to be a solid addition to your fantasy team. There are so many factors that make Bortles an solid fantasy asset. First of all the Jaguars have the easiest schedule for quarterbacks in fantasy this year. They have not lost anything on the offensive side of the ball that they did not have last year. Allen Robinson’s departure won’t hurt his value, if he stayed it would have helped but that doesn’t matter. The Jaguar defense is one of the best, if not the best in the league. Keeping the Jaguars consistently in the game, and that will give Bortles more and more chances to succeed. Lastly as many like to say, you gotta follow the money. Bortles was finally paid, and he can finally see that he is wanted by the organization he plays for. All the more reason for him to continue growing with the Jaguars, and continue playing quality football like he was at the end of the past season. Bortles is currently being taken off the board at ADP 149(QB 21). The crazy thing is you could get him as one of your last two picks and have a quality QB with very little risk to your team. Bortles should have no problem outperforming his ADP. He should continue to flourish for fantasy and will be a solid streaming QB for this upcoming season.
Eli Manning- QB New York Giants
Of all the QB’s on decline, nobody had better offseason acquisitions than Eli Manning. Originally thought to be drafting their QB of the future, the Giants ended up taking the star running back they need in Saquon Barkley. They also drafted Will Hernandez, OG to fortify their line. Hernandez and the free agency add of Nate Solder, OT will help protect Eli in this upcoming season. Let alone that all of Eli’s targets will be back healthy this year. Eli is set up to succeed. Odell Beckham Jr , Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, and Sterling Shepard all together will make Eli’s job lot easier. Currently Eli is the 23rd QB( ADP 164) being taken off the board. Which makes his price pretty much free. He is a solid streaming QB and should put up some of his best numbers in recent years.
Tyrod Taylor- QB Cleveland Browns
Tyrod doesn’t get any love. No matter where he goes, he is disrespected and undervalued. A new team, and new coach, a new Tyrod? The whole QB situation in Cleveland is a conundrum. They sent a 3rd round pick for Tyrod, and then used the first pick of the first round on Baker Mayfield. Obviously Baker is the long term answer, but I believe that this job is Tyrod’ s to start this year and to hold as long as he can .Tyrod has always been a fantasy relevant QB. It is not his arm that creates his value, but his legs. The same reason that Cam Newton has added value is the same reason why I like Tyrod. The ability to score on the ground and gain 6 points per touchdown versus 4 for passing is a big edge. If Tyrod was still on Buffalo, I don’t think he’d be in this article. But Tyrod being in Cleveland is perfect for fantasy. He has so many targets, it is hard to know who will be getting the ball most, Josh Gordon, Duke Johnson, Jarvis Landry, Carlos Hyde, and David Njoku lead the list of offensive weapons for him to utilize. Tyrod is currently being taken as the QB 27( ADP 191). He is not a attractive pick. But when the time comes that you need a bye week fill in or stream QB’s, Tyrod is your guy. He will outperform his ADP, and will turn some heads helping the Browns get out of the basement of the NFL.
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