Fantasy football is a crap shoot. There is no if, and, or buts about it. Winners always get lucky somehow whether that be tricking another owner into giving up their prized position, picking up a stud on the waiver wire, or drafting someone who turns out to be a stud. Lets look at the quarterbacks picked late that could potentially propel your team.
Andy Dalton, Bengals / Marcus Mariota, Titans / Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
Its hard to pick a sleeper for quarterbacks because you are either good or not but sometimes guys slide through the cracks. Last year one of the top scoring quarterbacks (Matt Ryan) wasn’t even drafted in some leagues even though he has been a solid player in the NFL for quite some time now.
The mentioned players (Dalton, Mariota, Winston) are all experienced to a degree but don’t quite have the seasoning of a Ryan.
Dalton lead the pack of my sleeper QB’s with 6 seasons under his belt. Yet, Dalton has been inconsistent at times during his career. He played like an MVP in 2015 until he got hurt and then in 2016 he played like an average quarterback. The reason for optimism regarding Dalton is due to the addition of weapons. In 2016 Dalton had just lost Marvin Jones and Mohammed Sanu while A.J. Green, Tyler Eifert, and Giovanni Bernard were hurt. This season, those guys are back healthy and they added Joe Mixon and speedster John Ross in the draft while Tyler Boyd added another training camp under his belt.
The Bengals offense could be phenomenal but it all depends if the offensive line holds up. The Bengals line has been considered one of the best around the league in the past few years but last year they took a step back AND they lost their two best lineman Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler. Dalton is a wildcard but if his line holds he could be one of the top scorers this year.
Mariota and Winston have a similar case. Both going into their third year with even more weapons than the year before.
Mariota and the Titans added Eric Decker and rookie Corey Davis while Winston’s Bucs added DeSean Jackson and Alabama tight end O.J. Howard. But Mariota has a better offensive line and better run game. It’s a curse and a blessing for his fantasy stock.
Yes the former Oregon Duck has more time in the pocket and a more believable play action but it also means the Titans are going to want to run the ball with DeMarco Murray and second year beast Derrick Henry so Mariota may not pass as for as many touchdowns as Winston.
Winston WILL get more opportunities to throw the ball. Famous Jameis was 11th in passing attempt while Mariota was 24th and with less of a running game with a suspension to Doug Martin, expect Winston to chuck it up even more to Mike Evans but just remember, more passes equals more chances for turnovers.
Winston and Mariota are both going to improve in their third year and are way less of a wild card than Dalton so I would definitely take a look at them in the 10th round on while Dalton deserves more of a look in the 14th or as a waiver add.