Dynasty Football Factory

Realistic opportunities for Rookie QBs

I am going to be looking at the opportunities for this year’s rookie Quarterback class and the chances of them getting some game time early and possibly becoming a force in fantasy football for the upcoming season.

1 – Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals

Current position on the depth chart:

Rosen currently sits 2nd on the depth chart behind Sam Bradford.

Expected first start:

Would we be surprised if Bradford got injured in week one? I wouldn’t. So I think there is a strong possibility that Rosen gets his first start in week two against the LA Rams. This would be an absolute baptism of fire being a divisional game and going up against a defensive line consisting of Suh, Donald (assuming he returns by then), Brockers, and Easley.

 Target fantasy score:

The Cardinals have a sneaky tough schedule this year against some good defenses. But I believe in ‘The Rosen One’ and trust his talent. I would expect him to end the year over 3,000 passing yards and over 23 touchdowns, assuming he does get the nod from week two, which would put him around 260 fantasy points on the season.

 

2 – Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Current position on the depth chart:

Mayfield currently sits 2nd on the depth chart behind Tyrod Taylor.

Expected first start:

It’s hard to say with Browns, because 90% of the time, they don’t even know what their plan is. Tyrod Taylor isn’t the kind of Quarterback who is going to throw five picks in a game and get pulled so it will more likely be a coaching decision to start Mayfield as oppose to their hand being forced by bad QB play. The Browns have a tough start to the season against Pittsburgh then on the road to the Saints. It is highly likely they will be 0-2 after that, so there is every chance Mayfield gets the nod in week three against a much weaker team in the New York Jets.

Target fantasy score:

While the Browns are a much-improved roster than last season, they still have a long way to go before they are a force in the AFC North; pair that up with a pretty tough schedule I would expect Mayfield to pass for a lot of yards looking at around 2,800 and throw approximately 15 touchdowns. Those totals would give him something in the neighboorhood of 225 fantasy points.

 


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3 – Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Current position on the depth chart:

Officially, Darnold is listed 3rd on the depth chart behind Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. Realistically, he is currently competing with McCown for the starting job.

Expected first start:

Reports came out this week that Darnold has a good chance of starting week one. So if this is the case, why have I ranked him below Rosen and Mayfield? Simply put, I don’t believe in him. He may have looked okay in college, but that is in the PAC-12 playing against teams like Oregon State and Utah. Couple that with a lack of weapons as last season’s fantasy darling Robby Anderson may still get suspended (or arrested, he is a bit of a live wire), I can’t see Darnold setting the league on fire this season.

Target fantasy score:

Realistically, he is likely to replicate Josh McCown’s 2017 season and end with just short of 3,000 yards with 18 touchdowns, finishing with around 205 fantasy points.

 

4 – Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Current position on the depth chart:

I have literally no idea. At the moment, it is a three-way tie between AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman, and Josh Allen.

Expected first start:

This is another thing that I’m not certain about. Bills Wire reported that Allen isn’t having a great training camp and is looking less and less likely to be the week one starter. As a result, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bills rolled with AJ McCarron to start the year; and if we were to see Allen, it would likely be week twelve, after their bye week.

Target fantasy score:

Assuming I am right and Allen doesn’t get the nod until week twelve, I would expect him to put up around 500 yards and around 5-7 touchdowns. Throw some rushing yards on top of that, and he could end the season around 60 points. If by chance he starts the season, it is probably best to curb your enthusiasm towards Allen and expect him to finish the year around the 200 point mark.

 

5 – Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Current position on the depth chart:

Jackson is currently sat 2nd behind the unbelievably overpaid Joe Flacco.

Expected first start:

This is tough for me because if I were a Ravens fan, I would want to see Jackson sooner rather than later. John Harbaugh clearly has some weird attachment to Flacco, as does the back office when they offered him his hugely inflated contract. As much as I would give Jackson the nod as soon as Flacco has a nightmare game, I don’t think Harbaugh would. I think it is likely we don’t see Lamar Jackson start a game until late in the season when the Ravens are either mathematically eliminated from the playoffs (most likely) or resting players ready for the playoffs (least likely).

Target fantasy score:

If Jackson were to take the starting job early in the season, I would expect him to score around 250 points on the season based on both his passing ability and his ability to use his legs. But I have to base this around how often I think he will play, so I would be surprised if he gets more than 50 fantasy points this season with a couple of solid performances towards the end of the year. Please prove me wrong Baltimore!

 

WILDCARD: Danny Etling, New England Patriots

Current position on the depth chart:

Etling currently sits 3rd on the Patriots depth chart behind Sys-Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer.

Expected first start:

Now, a 7th round QB getting a start in his rookie season sounds ridiculous, but this is the Patriots we are talking about. Tom Brady is never going to be dropped, so let’s rule that one out. But he is 41 years old. So if age finally catches up with him, an opportunity may arise for Etling. Bear in mind, the Patriots back up is Brian Hoyer, who is also over 30 years old and more than capable of picking up injuries himself. Etling only threw two interceptions in his final year at LSU. He is the kind of quarterback that Belichick loves- one that looks after the ball.

Target fantasy score:

I am not going to do a target score for Etling. I will say that if Brady goes down with injury; keep your eyes out for Danny boy.

 

Obviously, none of this is fact and is just my opinions so if you disagree just disapprovingly shake your head, no need to hunt me down looking for blood! If the head shake isn’t enough for you, I can take criticism and would love to hear your opinions in the comments or on Twitter @DFF_JamesH. Thanks for reading!

jhanmore

I work as an In-Play US Sports trader, father to Elijah, Archie and Izzie. Fan of Pittsburgh Steelers. Play the game as DT for Staffordshire Surge (Find them on Twitter @StaffsSurge). FSWA member. Follow me on Twitter @DFF_JamesH

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