Scott Engel returns for his ninth season of Fantasy Football coverage on Seahawks.com. Scott is a 20-plus year veteran of the Fantasy industry and an inaugural member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association's Hall of Fame. You can find more of his Fantasy analysis at RotoBaller.com and SportsLine.com. You can listen to Scott on weekend mornings and on demand on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Scott has also won his highly competitive Fantasy Football league with other experts and top players in each of the past three years.
In the first of our series of Fantasy Football positional breakdowns for the 2020 season, we take a comprehensive look at quarterbacks. While QB is widely considered the premier position of significance in real football, it is not quite regarded with a similar level of importance in the Fantasy game. That's because most Fantasy leagues range in size from eight to 14 teams, and many standard league formats require you start only one QB. When you must start at least two RBs and WRs in most leagues, and only require one of 32 potential starting players at QB, there is a lower demand for the position, especially on draft day.
Outside of the consensus top two QBs in Fantasy, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes, the Average Draft Position for players at the position on NFL.com is in the fifth round or later. In some drafts, you can wait until as late as the 10th round to select a respectable QB. But if you target a viable starter once you have filled out all of your starting RB and WR slots, and possibly a flex position, you can land a very good one in the sixth or seventh round.
The approach becomes much different in leagues where you are required to start two QBs or use a "Superflex," which is a flex option that can include a QB. Most Fantasy GMs/coaches use the QB as a Superflex starter because of the better scoring outputs when all positions are weighed equally. In one-QB leagues, the longtime Fantasy custom is to patient on quarterbacks, with one possible exception noted in our 12-Plus Tips For Fantasy Football Success in 2020.
We begin our breakdown with an annual Fantasy standout at the position. Russell Wilson.
Russell Wilson: Always a Top Fantasy Choice at QB
Wilson's superstar status was confirmed again when he was named the No. 2 overall player in the NFL Top 100 for 2020. In Fantasy Football, Wilson has been a highly dependable and often outstanding Fantasy starter since his rookie season of 2012. He is the fourth player off the board at the position according to NFL.com ADPs at 41.1 overall.
With 328.60 Fantasy points last season, Wilson finished third in overall QB scoring. It was the fourth time he placed in the Top 4 at QB and he has finished in the Top 3 in two of the past three seasons. Wilson has never ranked lower than eighth at the position in scoring at the end of the season.
Wilson is incredibly efficient and does not need to rely on high volume to consistently deliver very good Fantasy production. He was third in the NFL in TD passes (31) and sixth in yardage (4,110) while he was just 12th in attempts (516). NFL..com highlighted Wilson as the No. 2 deep passer in the league earlier this year. He has always offered bonus rushing production, as he finished with 342 yards and three TDs last season and he has never totaled less than 250 rushing yards.
The year-to-year reliability and receiving crew Wilson has locks him in among the Top 5 at the position again. Tyler Lockett was also No. 2 on NFL.com's list of the most productive pass-catchers, and DK Metcalf is obviously one of the fastest-rising stars at WR. Phillip Dorsett adds yet another downfield option for Wilson. The TE crew is deep with the addition of proven standout Greg Olsen and returnees Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister.
Wilson is set for another strong season and is a very safe Fantasy choice to help lead your team to a Fantasy title. When he does, show your appreciation by donating to his charity of choice, the Why Not You Foundation. It's always a good move to thank the players that help make Fantasy Football possible for us.
Scouting the QB Position in Fantasy Football
Last season, Lamar Jackson scored 415.68 Fantasy points, which was more than 75 points ahead of the next player at the position. He led the NFL in TD passes with 36 and was sixth in the league in rushing yards with 1,206, 24 behind Chris Carson. That type of RB-like production along with quality passing totals was totally unrivaled in Fantasy Football history. Even if Jackson cannot quite match last year's production no other QB has such a high statistical rushing floor while also being capable of quality passing numbers. His NFL.com ADP of 12.7 is actually quite fair for such a dynamic dual threat. He is the only Fantasy QB who warrants a selection in that range.
Patrick Mahomes threw 50 TD passes two years ago and can surely reach 40 again this year. His ADP of 13.20, though, seems a little lofty when you can get him in the third round in some drafts. If you are going to go after Mahomes early, painting him with Tyreek Hill is the best upside play, It would be smart to draft a RB first, Hill second and Mahomes third in such a scenario.
DeShaun Watson has an ADP of 40.3, yet with DeAndre Hopkins departing he could drop off a bit from his No. 4 overall finish at QB last season. Kyler Murray (41.5) gained the receiving services of Hopkins and should continue to improve in his second pro season. He finished as QB7 as a rookie. Murray's 544 rushing yards were second only to Jackson at QB and he has the potential to finish as a Top 3 Fantasy QB in 2020.
Dak Prescott has an ADP of 54.6, and if you can land him as the fifth QB off the board, that is a good value play. He led the NFL with 4.902 passing yards last year as he finished second only to Jackson in Fantasy Points at QB (337.78). Prescott, who threw 30 TD passes, will see his receiving group improve in riches with the addition of exciting rookie WR CeeDee Lamb. His contract situation has been well-documented and may also serve as an extra motivator that could help ensure he remains in elite territory.
Carson Wentz (64.9) has certainly shown he can be a good Fantasy starter when available. Aaron Rodgers (71.1) may now be better in real life than in the Fantasy world. The Packers went from last in the league in rushing attempts to 13th in 2019 under new head coach Matt LaFleur. They may continue to emphasize the ground game more than they did in Rodgers' best statistical campaigns in past years.
Josh Allen (73.2) finished as QB5 last year as he rushed for 510 yards and led all players at the position with nine rushing scores. He may start to improve as a passer this year, because the Bills have fleshed out his receiving corps more with the addition of Stefon Diggs. Matt Ryan (82.4) remains a viable Top 10 option working with Julio Jones and the emerging Calvin Ridley. Tom Brady (87.4) could deliver a strong bounce-back Fantasy season with the Buccaneers. The WR pair of Chris Godwin of Mike Evans could actually be the best duo Brady has ever worked with in his illustrious career.
Drew Brees (99.4) is a very good value play if you can get him in the neighborhood of the 10th round. He threw 27 TD passes in 11 games last season. Jimmy Garoppolo (125.1) and Kirk Cousins (129.7) are better utilized as Fantasy backups. The 49ers QB may go undrafted in some leagues with more experienced players. Very often, savvy Fantasy GM/coaches will not draft a second QB if the starter is durable and reliable like Wilson or should be an unquestioned Fantasy starter all season (Prescott). They may opt to add a second QB off waivers for one-week bye purposes during the season.
Cam Newton (135.8) may be set for a comeback year as he is hungry to regain his past form. The Patriots will implement a run/pass option offense that suits his abilities. Baker Mayfield (136.3) still has the supporting cast to help him approach expectations. Joe Burrow (141.2) is worth drafting as a Fantasy QB2 because of the promise to quickly develop into a productive pro in his rookie year.
Daniel Jones (142.9) is being selected as a Top 14 QB on some other sites. In his last five games played in 2019, he had 13 TD passes and three 300-yard outings. Matthew Stafford (142.4) should be drafted as a back-end QB1. He supplied 19 TD passes in half of a full schedule last year. Ryan Tannehill (144.8) threw 16 TD passes in his last seven games and rushed for four TDs in 10 starts. Ben Roethlisberger (145.9) is a prime value pick as he is set for an impressive return from an injury-ruined 2019 season.
Scott Engel's Top 15 Fantasy QBs for 2020
- Lamar Jackson
- Patrick Mahomes
- Dak Prescott
- Kyler Murray
- Russell Wilson
- Deshaun Watson
- Josh Allen
- Matt Ryan
- Drew Brees
- Matthew Stafford
- Carson Wentz
- Tom Brady
- Ben Roethlisberger
- Aaron Rodgers
- Cam Newton
For the complete list of QBs and updated player rankings from Scott Engel, plus comprehensive Fantasy Football coverage and tools, get the RotoBaller Season Pass. Enter promo code "Seahawks" at checkout for an additional discount.
A look back at some of the best photos of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson from the 2019 season.