The time has finally arrived, my friends. Nobody is sure what kind of season there is in store for us, given the COVID-19 pandemic and variables it’s presented, but the fact of the matter is the NFL is pushing forward and there will be televisied professional football games in our living rooms soon.
Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been spending the offseason trying to be safe, socially distant and minding your own business, while hanging on to literally every single blurb and headline that came out of an NFL front office, beat reporter, training camp headline, whatever. Given the current state of sports (read: the world), we’ve never been thirstier.
If you’re also like me, heading into the week of August 31st, you’ve got your famed “home league” drafts lined up. I’ve done the same three, 12-man leagues for quite sometime now. No matter what the buy-in is, or the prize at the end, these are leagues that mean the most for a lot of folks given the year-long bragging rights that come with it. Or, maybe you find yourself ponying up for some FFPC-type events and drafts — whatever boat you find yourselves in, I’ve got some player rankings and thoughts for you.
Today, we’re starting off at the top, and looking at quarterback. Since I guess I had way more to write about in this intro than I initially thought, we’ll keep the rest of the article brief and to the point, and you guys can enter my mentions on the Bird and tell me just how bad these are (and, realistically, for as many of you that are still preparing to draft heading into September, many of you are also done and waiting for the games to begin; a lot of this will be of little-to-no use for y’all in that latter category).
Tier 1: Straightforward. The best of the best. I’ve got Patty Mahomes taking the QB1 crown again this year. You can’t go wrong with either player, him or Lamar Jackson, and both players should be off the board as early as the third or fourth round in non-superflex, season-long leagues. We’re talking the absolute pinnacle of the position at the moment; no need to debate about it.
Tier 2: More quarterbacks that I’m comfortable “reaching” for in non-superflex leagues. I’m good with Dak Prescott and Kyler Murray in the round six or seven range; the latter two players in the round seven or eight range. Prescott has a chance to pace the league given the retooled wide receiver room alone, now complete with standout rookie CeeDee Lamb on the roster. We know about the addition in Arizona for Murray too, bringing DeAndre Hopkins over from Houston. The Red Birds have a tendency to split them out and let the ball fly more than most squads — the fantasy points will follow (we also know Murray has more than enough ability on the ground and outside of the pocket, just to keep the floor nice and padded).
The question or concern with Russell Wilson is always the coaching staff’s inability to fully unleash him. With true alpha in wide receiver D.K. Metcalf onboard, and the consistent Tyler Lockett still in the mix, the time is as good as ever.
Tier 3: A pair of “my guys” in Cam Newton and Carson Wentz for this year. I’ve got Newton inside the top-10, as my QB8, and I’m very excited to be (well) ahead on him ADP-wise. The weapon’s don’t necessarily standout in New England, but I’m 100% buying into 1) the coaching staff and ability to game-plan around him; parlay that into 2) a healthy Newton, we’re told, in addition to 3) the enormous chip-on-his-should narrative? The stars have all aligned for a monster season once more.
Tiers 5 thru 7: Limited commentary here, other than a couple thoughts on the last two players who I’d consider “my guys” this season.
Anyone that has been following me for a little while knows how generally pessimistic I am about anything Raiders-related, really. Derek Carr in 2020 will be a recent exception (help me). How could you not like him, especially for where he’s going in drafts? Returns his league-best offensive line (should be a top-3 unit again), returns then-rookie phenom Josh Jacobs out of the backfield, another season linked up with the same coaching staff and offensive personnel like ascending breakout tight end Darren Waller — not to mention all the pass-catching additions via the draft, including speedster and 12th overall pick, Henry Ruggs. If not now, when?
I also am buying into the Teddy Bridgewater-fit in Carolina given the skill-set and weapons he has at his disposal. Strong case outlined by Matt Kelley, lovingly known as Fantasy Mansion:
"bridgewater throws with touch and anticipation, hitting targets in stride, allowing them to go seamlessly from pass catching to running. this is quite new for the talented young players and should result in higher yards after catch."
accurate qb + yac monsters = fantasy points https://t.co/KRM2z9g7Nx
— the podfather (@Fantasy_Mansion) August 24, 2020