Best Case Scenario - QB Edition
This is the first of three articles I will write finding the best fit for the top skill position prospects. While rookie quarterbacks generally aren’t on the fantasy radar, a perfect fit can result in fantasy gold. Derek Carr found his perfect fit in 2014 and eclipsed 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. While this isn’t the deep quarterback class we saw last year, there are still some guys that can impact fantasy leagues for years to come.
Jameis Winston, Florida State
Perfect fit: Buccaneers
Not only is this the best place for Jameis Winston to land, it’s beginning to look like a lock that it will happen on April 30th. While the Buccaneers can use some offensive line help, their skill position players are solid. Former first-round pick Mike Evans posted a PFF rating of +10.2 which was second among rookie wide receivers trailing only Odell Beckham Jr. Evans also posted a 9.06 yards per attempt number which is impressive considering who was throwing him the ball.
Evans along with veteran Vincent Jackson and fellow second year player Austin Seferian-Jenkins to give Winston weapons both inside and outside. The Buccaneers are also hoping for an improved running game with a healthy Doug Martin and Charles Sims.
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Perfect fit: Titans
I actually don’t anticipate the Titans drafting Marcus Mariota at pick two, but it wouldn’t be the worst landing spot. His only competition for the job would be second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger. The Titans also already have some pieces in place that would help a young quarterback.
Tennessee invested first round picks in 2013 and 2014 on the offensive line with Chance Warmak and Taylor Lewan. They signed Harry Douglas to team up with Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright, and drafted running back Bishop Sankey in the second round last year to give the team some realistic threats. You can argue they don’t have a true No. 1 receiver, but they do have a viable weapon in TE Delanie Walker. Walker posted a career high 890 yards on 100 targets, making him one of the more efficient tight ends of 2014.
With Mariota’s ability to run he could be a fantasy sleeper in deep leagues if the Titans draft him.
Bryce Petty, Baylor
Perfect fit: Bills
There have been whispers about Bryce Petty sneaking into the first round, but this remains a long shot. An interesting fit just may be Buffalo. The Bills have a roster full of quarterbacks that have had minimal success in the NFL. I’m sure Bills fans are hoping former first-round-pick EJ Manuel is that guy, but he hasn’t shown it yet. If the Bills decide to add Petty he would likely sit behind Cassel for a year and then take over in 2016.
Regardless of who plays quarterback the Bills are loaded at the skill positions. Running back Lesean McCoy, Receivers Sammie Watkins, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods, and Charles Clay are as good as a nucleus as there is in the NFL on paper. Petty would be lucky to land with the Bills in Round 2.
Brett Hundley, UCLA
Perfect fit: Saints
I remember the buzz surrounding Brett Hundley in 2014 as a potential Top 10 pick. His name was right there with Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and Teddy Bridgewater. Hundley decided to stay in school and it was the right choice. Once scouts started to dissect the Hundley tape they saw major flaws in his game. With that in mind I chose the Saints as a landing spot. Drew Brees has at least one more year as a starter and who better for Hundley to learn from? In this scenario, Hundley would be a draft and stash player in dynasty leagues and offers almost zero fantasy value as a rookie.
Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Perfect fit: Chargers
Garrett Grayson is in a similar position as Hundley. He isn’t NFL ready and would benefit going to a team that has a veteran already in place. Grayson would offer no threat to Philip Rivers’ starting position and would get a chance to learn behind him. That is something important to remember for you dynasty league guys. Grayson would take over a pretty solid offense that figures to add more young talent in this year’s draft.
If the Chargers take a quarterback in the first four rounds that player is worth a draft and stash in dynasty leagues. Grayson needs to go to the right situation to be relevant. If a team like the Vikings draft him to be a backup he could be stuck on the bench for years before sniffing the playing field (See: Brock Osweiler).
Sean Mannion, Oregon State
Perfect fit: Cowboys
I’m very intrigued by Sean Mannion. I chose the Cowboys for Mannion because he wouldn’t have to start for a couple of years. If a team with an aging starter (like the Cowboys) drafts Mannion, he’ll be worth a late flyer in deep roster dynasty leagues. I can see a team falling in love with his potential and taking a chance on him in the third, or maybe even the second round.