Stop me if you've heard this one: You should wait on drafting a...
I feel like I don't even need to finish that sentence. While it's not a hard and fast rule, the idea of waiting on a quarterback has become as entrenched in fantasy football drafting circles as spending your last couple of picks on kickers and defense.
So doesn't it seem sort of redundant to talk about which late-round quarterbacks offer the best value? Uh...no. Okay, maybe a little. But would we fully cop to that in the hopes that you'd scroll down further to read the list? Okay, maybe a little. Look, I should probably stop talking and just get to the substance before I give away too many trade secrets here. Like how the In-N-Out special sauce is really just...
Get this one while it lasts, folks. Supplies are extremely limited.
The hype train on Winston left the station the moment the team signed DeSean Jackson and has only picked up steam through the offseason. But there's a reason for that. Winston has been flirting with the top 10 at his position for the past couple of seasons -- and that's with essentially one real weapon in the passing game.
The problem is that more and more people are starting to come around to this way of thinking, which will make it increasingly more difficult to nab Winston in the later rounds.
Did you really think I would write a piece about late-round quarterbacks and not include Tygod? It's like you don't even know me anymore. Frankly, I'm a little hurt. Yet as a professional, I'll soldier on and continue this column.
In two seasons as a starter, Taylor has been a picture of consistency with nearly identical season-long fantasy totals in back-to-back years (270.6 in 2015, 270.9 in 2016). He's done it with his best receiver -- Sammy Watkins -- having missed 11 of a possible 32 games in that stretch. It certainly helps that Taylor has also amassed the most rushing yards among quarterbacks in the past two seasons and was second in rushing scores behind Cam Newton.
The hope this season (as has been the case for each of the past two campaigns) is that Watkins can remain healthy and that rookie receiver Zay Jones can fill the void left by Robert Woods. Taylor's ability to create with his legs should keep him at a pretty consistent weekly floor with the potential to post the occasional big week.
Now that Tony Romo is no longer an NFL quarterback, Stafford takes over the center space in the game of Late Round Quarterback Squares. Despite fantasy managers generally viewing him like the last slice of cheese pizza, he's consistently delivered by finishing in the top 10 at his position four of the past six seasons.
Here's the thing ... cheese pizza is pretty good. And it gets the job done. It's not likely to garner a lot of attention in a carnivores' conference but the person who stumbles upon it will end up with a pretty satisfying snack without a lot of fuss.
But enough about pizza. Over the past six seasons, Stafford has averaged more than 600 pass attempts per season. That number has come down slightly with Jim Bob Cooter taking over the offense and changing the focus of the passing game. It's put a bit of a damper on Stafford's yardage totals. Gone are the days when he would routinely hit 4,500-plus with a chance for 5,000. What has improved is Stafford's overall efficiency. The completion percentage is up, the interceptions are down and the touchdown totals remain strong enough to rank him among the top tier of fantasy QBs.
Much like Stafford, Rivers has been a darling of the late-round fantasy quarterback crowd. Unlike Stafford, Rivers hasn't had a healthy cast of characters to consistently count on.
Kudos to the veteran that he was able to scratch out a top 15 finish last season despite losing his top receiver within the first two quarters of the season while playing through a slew of injuries to key players around him.
Alas, it hasn't stopped Rivers from consistently being a top 15 fantasy quarterback over the past several years. Here's to hoping Keenan Allen and company can stay upright around him. Oh ... and cutting down on the number of interceptions would certainly help (he led the league with 21 picks last year).
The ceiling on Dalton's weekly fantasy production has never been particularly high but the floor hasn't been particularly low, either. That's due in large part to Dalton protecting the football much better than he did earlier in his career. After throwing picks on more than three percent of his throws in his first four seasons, he chopped that ratio in half in the past two years.
Getting A.J. Green back on the field is a big plus. Hopefully, the Bengals can get a full healthy season from Tyler Eifert (we're not totally holding our breath on that one) and some additional help from either Tyler Boyd or rookies John Ross and Joe Mixon. For years, Dalton has been a fantasy football punchline. It's past time to stop laughing.
I can already hear the snickers. But hear (read?) me out on this. Bradford walked into the Vikings offense shortly before the start of the regular season and handled himself pretty well in a brand new scheme, setting a career-high in passing yards while just missing career-best numbers in touchdown passes and interceptions.
Keep in mind he did all of this (1) behind a shoddy offensive line (2) without much of a running game and (3) his best receiver -- Stefon Diggs -- being asked to take on an expanded and unfamiliar role.
This season, Bradford will have the luxury of working with Pat Shurmur once again. Shurmur took over after Norv Turner quit last season and he and Bradford have history from their time together in both Philadelphia and St. Louis. While that pairing doesn't guarantee success, it certainly offers a comfort level that can lead to improved numbers.
Then there are the weapons. Diggs hopefully won't need to be a do-everything player with the emergence of Adam Thielen. The additions of Michael Floyd and rookie Dalvin Cook should add some firepower to the attack. Chances are, Bradford will still be on the board at the end of your draft and as far as rotational fantasy quarterbacks go ... you could do worse.
Yeah, I said it.
Most people will look at drafting any 49ers players and run away as though they were being asked to sit through the director's cut of "Batman vs. Superman". But the times, they are a-changing in Santa Clara. Kyle Shanahan brings his creative offensive attack to the Bay Area after an ultra-successful season with the Falcons.
The obvious downside for Hoyer is his inability to stay healthy for any extended period. He's never played more than 14 games in a season despite falling backward into a number of starting opportunities. If you're taking a dart throw at him this year (and let's be honest, drafting Brian Hoyer is a dart throw), just be aware that he might not be available to you for long stretches.
*Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com and a man who now truly believes that it's not the heat, it's the humidity. Please pray for him and his pet rabbit, Bambi, as they try to hide from the sweltering Los Angeles heat in an apartment that has just one window A/C unit. Send him your tales of summer discomfort on Twitter @MarcasG. And if you read all of that, congrats. Follow him on Instagram and Snapchat (marcasg9). *