Every year we evaluate where players are being drafted and attempt to uncover reasoning why certain players will or will not reach their current market value. I have identified a couple quarterbacks that I expect to take a step back this upcoming season along with two of my favorite value picks in bestball drafts at the position.
Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons
After hitting career lows in many passing categories in 2017, Matt Ryan was one of my top positive regression candidates for last season. He not only improved on those numbers but it swung so far in the other direction that he now makes for a strong negative regression candidate for the upcoming year.
Aside from his 2016 season, he had career highs last season in passing yards, passing TDs and fewest INT’s. Additionally, after not scoring a rushing TD for 5 consecutive seasons he had a career high 3 TDs on the ground. His passing TDs last season were eight more than his long term average of 27.3 (every season he has played 16 games). His passing yards last season totaled 4,924 yards with his long term average being 4,380. The Falcons also hired a new offensive coordinator in Dirk Koetter (who was previously with ATL from 2012-14) so it could take some time to get the offense clicking with new personnel.
Ryan’s current bestball ADP on Draft is 87.6 which means most people are taking him as an early seventh round pick or QB6 overall. The problem with that is that Ryan has only finished better than QB6 twice in his career which were last season and the 2016 season where he hit career highs across the board. Any quarterback throwing the ball to Julio Jones is going to have some big weeks but the numbers suggest that Ryan is not a good value where he is currently being drafted and we should be expecting a step back this season.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
One quarterback that is a screaming value in both season long and bestball drafts is Andy Dalton. He is currently being selected as QB26 on Draft which is mind boggling to me. For starters, he finished 24th in fantasy points among QBs last season and he missed five and a half games.
There are multiple reasons to be excited about Andy Dalton this season and the Bengals offense as a whole. Andy Dalton was on pace for one of his best fantasy seasons last year before getting injured. Now the Bengals brought in Zac Taylor after finally getting rid of longtime head coach Marvin Lewis. Taylor was previously an assistant coach to Sean Mcvay and plans on implementing a similar offense in Cincinnati.
Credit to Andre Snellings at ESPN for noting that in the four games A.J. Green, Andy Dalton and Tyler Eifert all played healthy together, the Bengals averaged 31.5 points per game. With all three of them returning healthy this season along with John Ross, Tyler Boyd and the constant improvement of the run game with Joe Mixon, I could easily see Dalton push for a top 15 fantasy season. You could get him with one of your last picks on Draft most of the time too so I’m all in.
Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz is currently being drafted as the QB8 over the likes of Drew Brees, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston and Jared Goff. Aside from the durability concerns (missed 8 games over the last two seasons), there are other reasons that indicate the public is too high on Wentz.
The numbers suggest that his 2017 season where he finished as a top five fantasy QB was an extreme outlier. For example, last season he was on pace for more passing yards and completions but just a 30.5 TD pace compared to his 40.6 TD pace from 2017. We know that touchdowns are high variance but still not a good look when you are completing more throws and scoring less touchdowns.
Additionally, he added 300 yards rushing during that 2017 season but those rushing attempts dropped by nearly two per game last season. I expect the lack of rushing attempts to continue with his ACL history. I’m also not thrilled with the pass catchers in Philly outside of Zach Ertz when you compare it to some of the other weapons that QBs being drafted after him have at their expense. Wentz fantasy value has been living off that Superbowl season despite the fact that he is closer to QB18 than his current ADP of QB8.
Mitch Trubisky, QB, Chicago Bears
Mitch Trubisky has legitimate top 5 fantasy upside. That’s not a typo and I truly believe it. That is why I plan on making him one of my heaviest targets in bestball this offseason. Trubisky is currently being drafted as the QB19 on Draft despite finishing last season as the QB15 on just 14 games played.
He now has another year under Matt Nagy and they’ve added weapons this offseason in stud rookie David Montgomery and Cordarrelle Patterson. He will also be building on his connection with Allen Robinson, Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel. Don’t forget he has Tarik Cohen as well who is always a threat to take a screen pass to the house. I absolutely love the weapons surrounding Trubisky and he also gives you the rushing upside that most other QBs simply can’t. He added 400 yards on the ground last season and that’s no fluke as he is always been a strong runner dating back to his UNC Chapel Hill days (Go Heels!).
I know that he has shown a low floor at times and he will likely have a couple low scoring games this season but that’s the beauty of bestball that we don’t care. He had five games with at least 40 rushing yards. He had the infamous six touchdown game. Mark my words, this guy has the upside to win you the big tournament on Draft. If he stays healthy, I expect a top 10 fantasy season and his ADP does not reflect anywhere near that.