A popular theory for 2014 redraft leagues this season is to wait on drafting a quarterback as your starter. Here are a few reasons why your fantasy rosters can absolutely afford to wait for that quarterback on fantasy football draft day 2014.
Late Round Fantasy Quarterback Starters
Defensively, the Dallas Cowboys are in big trouble for the 2014 season. Their defense was poor as it is and then they lost Sean Lee, arguably their best defensive player, for the entire season. They also lost Orlando Scandrick, one of the teams top cornerbacks, for the first 4 games due to a P.E.D suspension. When you combine the poor defense with the talent which Dallas sports on offense, then it would be safe to assume the Cowboys should be in plenty of shootout ball games this season. Romo has his doubters but his fantasy stats continue to impress as he has a career 64.6 completion percentage, has thrown 26+ TDs in 6 of his last 7 seasons, his Quarterback rating has never been lower than 91.4 for a season and he has an elite fantasy wide receiver in Dez Bryant. While all of your buddies are taking that quarterback early, feel free to sit back, relax, and draft Romo whose current ADP places him at the 13th quarterback off the board.
Possibly one of the biggest surprises at quarterback last season Philip Rivers, stands to be one of the best values again for the 2014 season. His current ADP falls as the 14th quarterback taken overall, yet he ranked 5th in completions, 5th in passing yards, 4th in passing TDs, 4th in 20+ yard passing plays, and a league high 69.5% completion percentage for starting QBs. Obviously, Rivers gets no respect. In 2014 he will still have a deep backfield with Ryan Mathews, Danny Woodhead, and Donald Brown, a standout receiver in Keenan Allen, and two very athletic tight ends in Antonio Gates and Ladarius Green. Rivers should easily be a top-10 quarterback again this season and will outplay his ADP if it stays around where it is now.
Cutler has come under much scrutiny over the past few seasons with his injuries coming at the most inopportune times. This comes even with the Bears scoring the 2nd most points in the NFL last season. Cutler approaches 2014 with some of the best weapons of any NFL team with Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jeffery as his supporting cast and Cutler has signed long term for the Bears assuring his opportunities for years to come. Cutler is currently slotted as the 12th quarterback overall according to ADP and has potential under Marc Trestman to once again conduct a top-3 scoring offense.
Big Ben has been a very underrated quarterback over his career but with his injury concerns from having played only 2 full seasons over his 10-year career fantasy footballers have a legitimate concern drafting Roethlisberger as a No.1 quarterback. Ben has thrown for 4,000 yards or more and 26+ TDs in 3 of his last 5 seasons and has thrown a TD pass in every regular season game he has played in for the last 2 seasons as well. He lost Emmanuel Sanders (67/740/6) but has Markus Wheaton in his second season and 4th round pick Martavius Bryant to fill that void. If Roethlisberger plays all 16 games he could be in line for over 4,000 yards and 25+ TDs and if his ADP stands where it is currently, 17th quarterback overall, he will have a very useful fantasy season.
Premium Fantasy Backup Quarterbacks
Football fans often disrespect the “Red Rocket” Andy Dalton although he has taken Cincinnati to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons. In 2013 Dalton threw for 3 or more TDs in a game 6 times, including a 5 TD performance in a week 8 win over the Jets, and he threw for 275+ yards in 9 games as well. Andy has a more exciting and pass friendly backfield for 2014 and he has all of his main targets, A.J. Green, Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, back for the 2014 season. Dalton should replicate a similar season to 2013 where he threw for nearly 4,300 yards and 33 TDs. Providing owners great draft day value as his ADP allows you to take him as the 16th quarterback overall.
With one more year on Bradford’s contract, it is do or die in 2014 for the Rams oft injured quarterback. Having a running back in Zac Stacy who has proved he can be a successful back will be a major asset to Bradford who had a hot start to his 2013 season throwing 14 TDs to 4 INTs in his 7 games before injury. Had Bradford kept up his pace last season he would have finished with over 30 TDs and more than 4,000 passing yards. Bradford’s back is against the wall this season and will be counting on Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook and others to help him have his most productive fantasy season as a pro. If Bradford can throw for 3,500 yards and 28 TDs, as he had been on pace for last season, he will easily outplay his ADP as the 25th quarterback taken overall.
If you are looking for the second half of a platoon quarterback system then Palmer is your guy. Aside from improving the backfield allowing a more pass-catching back in Andre Ellington, Carson Palmer has the All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and a blossoming star wide receiver in Michael Floyd to aid his efforts. Palmer in his first season with Arizona threw for his highest completion percentage in the last 7 seasons as well as throwing for the most yards in his career. Carson should be set up for at least a few games where he can succeed as he gets to play out-of-division opponents San Diego, Washington, Oakland, Dallas, Detroit and Atlanta who all struggled to stop the pass in 2013. Carson is currently falling to the 20th QB taken overall and would make a fine platoon guy or a great starter for several bye weeks.
As the quarterback being taken 20th of all quarterbacks, Tannehill really intrigues me. They added pieces to the offense in the off-season to try and help keep the sack numbers down with Braden Albert and Knowshon Moreno. Moreno had won the Job last season based on his pass-blocking abilities and could allow Tannehill the extra time he needs to let loose the deep ball. Tannehill threw a passing score in 14 of his 16 games last season and has started all 32 games of his career. With improving numbers across the board over his first two seasons, Tannehill should continue to improve and be a worthy back up and quarterback by committee player.