Scott Engel returns to Seahawks.com for his eighth season of Fantasy Football coverage. An inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s Hall of Fame, he is in his 23rd year as a Fantasy analyst and professional. You can now find more of his work and rankings on RotoBaller.com and hear him every Saturday night and Sunday morning on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio.
Quarterback is widely regarded as maybe the most important position in the NFL. Some may like to debate that point, but there is no question that it is not easy for a team to find a franchise QB. Once an organization lands that solid or outstanding player at the position, fortunes can change dramatically. Seahawks fans know this to be true. Russell Wilson immediately boosted the Seahawks’ outlook when he was drafted in 2012. The franchise then ensured he would be a major key to future winning campaigns when they signed him to a contract extension this offseason.
But QB is not anywhere near as crucial a position in Fantasy Football. That’s primarily because your average Fantasy league has 10 to 12 teams, whereas in the NFL you have 32 ballclubs looking to either keep the position stable or try to find the right fit. In the typical Fantasy Football league, you usually start one QB, while you have to start at least two running backs and two wide receivers, plus one RB/WR/TE flex. Many leagues are now requiring that you start three WRs. So when you only have to draft one QB and the other positions are drying up quicker, you should wait to take your starting QB.
I usually recommend waiting until the sixth round or so to start considering the QBs. Make sure you have your starting RB and WR spots filled out. If you have already grabbed an elite TE, you may want to wait until at least the seventh round. Of course, if you play in a two-QB league, this approach obviously does not apply. In that case, I would make certain that I grab two passers in the first six rounds.
Here’s some key players to consider as we scout the QB position for your drafts:
The Chief: Patrick Mahomes’ 417.08 points on NFL.com last year were 62.12 ahead of Matt Ryan at No. 2. His current NFL.com ADP is 15.81 overall. As tempting as it is to pick Mahomes early, you miss out on the top RBs and WRs when you select him at that point. If you insist on going for him earlier, I would not even think about it until at least the third round. And you better make some savvy bargain choices later on at RB and WR.
Feast with the Falcon: As indicated, Ryan was second last year with 354.96 points, yet he is the eighth QB off the board in NFL.com drafts with a 61.27 ADP. He can be just as productive this year with second-year WR Calvin Ridley possibly breaking through. Ryan is proof you can wait until the seventh round and still land a top Fantasy QB. He’s being underrated heading into the 2019 season.
Bright Brown: Cleveland had a very successful offseason, most notably adding Odell Beckham Jr. That acquisition has boosted Fantasy expectations for Baker Mayfield. The second year QB is the fifth QB being taken at a 49.90 ADP. Mayfield does have upside for sure, but it may be safer to take a more proven passer at the position a bit later on.
Solid Seahawk: Russell Wilson has been a Top 10 Fantasy QB in every season of his career. Even with the Seahawks rolling out the best running game in the league last year, he finished ninth at QB on NFL.com. He has more than earned the annual respect of the Fantasy community, as he is the seventh QB being taken at 61.27. No matter what style of offense the Seahawks have exhibited during his career, he has always delivered quality Fantasy production. I have invested in Wilson already, taking him in the eighth round in the high stakes Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). Smart drafters know they can lay back and grab a Ryan or Wilson after the sixth round.
Steal the Steeler: Maybe the best value selection at QB this season is Ben Roethlisberger. He finished third at the position with 341.86 points last season, yet he is the 13th QB off the board in NFL.com drafts at 117.77. Getting Roethlisberger in the 12th round is close to robbery. He is coming off maybe his best season ever, and the low ADP is an overreaction to not having Antonio Brown anymore. Roethlisberger has played with other very notable WR1 types before and performed well after their departures.
Quick Success in the Cards?: Kyler Murray is a dynamic talent who is being rated in the Top 10 by some Fantasy analysts. NFL.com drafters are a bit more skeptical, as the rookie has an ADP of 117.77. There is no doubt that Murray is a promising dual threat, but there could be some inconsistent Fantasy production during his first pro season. Still, he is well worth the gamble as a 12th rounder and will go earlier in some drafts.
Phil-ing The Spot: In each of the past six seasons, Philip Rivers has never thrown for less than 28 TD passes or 4,286 yards. In four of those six campaigns, he finished with 30-plus TD passes and 13 or less interceptions. Yet Rivers always lasts way too long in Fantasy drafts. This season his ADP is 119.1. His Average Draft Position is more confirmation of the fact that waiting for a starting Fantasy QB can turn out just fine.
Deep Plays: Mitchell Trubisky (143.00) could take a significant step forward in his second season under Matt Nagy. … Kirk Cousins is too undervalued at 144.89. … Derek Carr (147.41) now has the best supporting cast of his career. … Sam Darnold (149.55) is looking sharp in the preseason, has an improved playmaking crew and is definitely worth the late QB2 flier.
Here are my Top 12 Fantasy QBs. You can find the rest of my QB rankings at RotoBaller.com.
- Patrick Mahomes
- Matt Ryan
- DeShaun Watson
- Aaron Rodgers
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Russell Wilson
- Baker Mayfield
- Andrew Luck
- Philip Rivers
- Carson Wentz
- Drew Brees
- Kyler Murray
Seahawks Fantasy Mailbag
Want to be part of our new Mailbag feature where I answer your Fantasy Football questions every week right here? Simply fill out this form with your question about any players, situations or formats. I will answer questions about players from any teams in seasonal, keeper and dynasty leagues.
Tyler Harvey of Reno asks: I’m in a keeper league where you have to surrender the pick where you chose the person last year. I can keep two. I have George Kittle (16th round value) JuJu Smith-Schuster (fourth) Mahomes (15th) and Mike Evans (third). It’s a full PPR league.
Engel: Kittle is the easy choice. He is the second best TE in Fantasy Football and the value there is outstanding. Mahomes is indeed very tempting at such a tremendous value. But if you toss Smith-Schuster or Evans back into the player pool, they will be drafted earlier than the rounds you are keeping them in. Since Smith-Schuster is a good value at a fourth rounder and a round later than Evans, keep him. And keep in mind QB is deep as we have outlined in this article.
Erik Loughneed of Port Orchard asks: Assuming that Tyler Lockett and Jaron Brown are already off the board, which of Seattle’s rookie receivers do you see having the best Fantasy season?
Engel: Brown is not currently being drafted in most leagues, but you should put him on your Watch List as a potential waiver claim during the regular season. DK Metcalf is a size/speed dynamo who should make his presence felt and he has the potential to at least be a Fantasy WR4 this season. Gary Jennings is a very interesting dynasty league prospect who could have a bright Fantasy future.
For more from Scott Engel, get the RotoBaller.com 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Kit, which includes his rankings and regular weekly columns. Enter code “Seahawks” at checkout for a discount.