Dynasty

More Speculative Dynasty Stashes 2015: Quarterbacks

sambradford

Earlier this season I wrote a series about speculative stashes for next season. Now that the season is over (for dynasty purposes), I thought I’d revisit that series. Up first, Quarterbacks.

The Coming Quarterback Apocalypse

The QB position in dynasty is interesting. While you can definitely win without a premiere signal caller, it’s harder to “stream” the position than it is in redraft. So you want to have some stable options there. If your roster is hurting at the position, you may want to start thinking about what to do. If you have the draft capital, of course you could invest in a 2015 rookie signal caller and hope they start soon and are productive. You could also try to acquire a QB1 via trade. Or, you could look to acquire one of these QBs.

I know, I know, it’s slim pickings. None of these QBs are exciting. But they are likely available at a reasonable cost. They’re listed in my order of preference but don’t read too much into that. A lot depends on the status of your team (win now vs. rebuilding), the other QBs on your roster, your draft picks, and offseason developments in the NFL.

Sam Bradford

He’s under contract in St. Louis, but could be cut for a substantial cap savings. Bradford’s had two season-ending injuries and is likely not a significant part of anyone’s roster. Remember when Matt Stafford had 2 season ending injuries and was “injury prone”? Since then he’s finished with these fantasy QB rankings: 5, 10, 4, 15. I’m not saying Bradford is as good as Stafford.1 But at one time that was a legitimate question, and his RotoViz comps include Stafford. Bradford’s been a favorite QB sleeper here on several different occasions.

Bradford’s 2015 prospects are actually pretty good if you think about it. Either he’ll stay in St. Louis in which case he’s the slam-dunk starter, or he finds his way to a QB-needy team and becomes their starter. There are so many teams in need of a QB that I just don’t see him signing on to hold a clipboard just yet. Arizona, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, Jets, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, and Washington all have some sort of question at the position. Given the lack of quality options in free agency, I think a healthy Bradford is almost certainly a starter next year.

Alex Smith

Nobody likes Smith. But over the past two seasons he’s averaging about 18.5 points/game. He’s locked in as Kansas City’s starter. Travis Kelce and Albert Wilson will presumably be better too. You could do a whole lot worse.

Ryan Fitzpatrick

Nobody likes him either. But HE WENT TO HARVARD. Okay that’s not a reason. But in his last four seasons he’s averaged 18.6, 19.9, 18.2, and 19.3 points/game. He’s got one year left in Houston. He’s easily cut though and need to win a job wherever he goes – including staying in Houston. The price is likely right to acquire him, and there’s a good chance he’s a starter somewhere.

Nick Foles

He may not be the Eagles’ starter next season. But he might be. He’s still under contract. Yes, Chip Kelly could do something crazy and somehow draft Marcus Mariota or another rookie QB. But even then, if Sanchez departs, Foles has the advantage of experience and would be a good bet to begin the season as a starter. Five of his eight starts this season produced 20+ points, and another produced 19.7. Even in a “disappointing” season he was a viable QB1 for fantasy purposes. He’s also young enough that the potential for a long-term career as a starting QB is still there.

Mark Sanchez

Remember that “lack of quality options in free agency” thing I just said? Here are  the 2015 free agent QBs from Over the Cap:

Capture

Is there a good chance Sanchez starts somewhere next season? Probably. He’s not a great QB, but he did put up five 20+ point performances in 9 appearances this season. I’m sure he’ll always be maddening. But if you’re stuck with some combination of Geno Smith, Mike Glennon, and the like, he’s an upgrade. It also seems that either Foles or a re-signed Sanchez are likely to be the Eagles’ QB to start next season.

Zach Mettenberger

He didn’t play in many games this season and ended up on injured reserve, which might be what makes him cheap enough to acquire. He posted three 20+ point performances in six starts this season, and presumably with a high draft pick Tennessee could give him some additional help on offense. He was also drafted by the current regime which helps his case to return as a strong candidate to start next season. Fellow rookies Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, and Teddy Bridgewater had enough success this season I think that their owners wouldn’t be willing to part with them cheaply. If for some reason they are, then Bridgewater is the clear leader there.

Johnny Manziel

It doesn’t seem like that long ago when RotoViz dubbed him possibly one of the best prospects ever at his position. But when you can’t beat Brian Hoyer for a starting gig, play poorly when you get a chance, and have a continuing string of nagging off field questions, the shine comes off a prospect pretty quickly. It doesn’t help that Cleveland’s best offensive player, Josh Gordon, is seemingly still having trouble keeping his head in the game. Manziel is definitely risky.

But he’s just as talented as he was when drafted. You could likely get him for a fraction of his ADP last season, in which case much of the risk has been mitigated. I tend to think he’s a long shot to succeed. But that’s a hunch. Numerically speaking, he’s still got a great collegiate resume and a high draft pedigree. I’d spend a little to acquire his potential upside.

E.J. Manuel

He didn’t play particularly well this season before being benched for Kyle Orton. And a new coach could look in a different direction. But if Orton stays retired this time, and with no first round pick, the Bills are probably left with Manuel or a retread off the free agency list. He did average over 18 points/game as a rookie, without Sammy Watkins. 

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  1. Or even that Stafford is good.  (back)
By James Todd | @spidr2ybanana | Archive

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