by Nick Ercolano
March 26, 2019
Dak Prescott - QB, Dallas Cowboys
2018 Fantasy Rank: QB10
Current ADP (per DRAFT): QB17, 121
Dak had an amazing rookie season, followed by two years of completely roller-coaster play. The first half of 2017 he was great and was awful over the second half of 2017 and his 2018 performance was mixed with good games and bad games. But overall, I came away on a great note when looking forward to Dak's 2019 fantasy outlook - much in part due to the addition of Amari Cooper on the outside.
Everything shot up. He finished the season as QB10 overall, but if you look at the second half of the season, the final eight games - Dak was the QB3 in fantasy only behind Mahomes and Big Ben, and that includes that week 17 game he threw 8 passes, if he plays that week 17 game, and puts up 20 fantasy points, he's your QB1 in fantasy over the 2H of the year.
Their line was banged up for a lot of the year and it should be back to full strength in 2019. I mean.. they get Jason Witten back, but who really gives a shit, I guess it gives them a big RZ target which is something they don't have right now. Maybe a few times on the 3-yard line they don't go with a Zeke run and play action to Witten - probably a reach.
So, Dak might not be flashy in your eyes, but he was really good over the 2H of last year. He's had about 300 rushing yards and 6 rush touchdowns in all three seasons so he gives you the rushing floor too. If we're getting anything close to 2H of 2018 Dak, which I expect, you're getting a huge value at QB with Dak.
Matthew Stafford - QB, Detroit Lions
Stafford is an easy bounce-back candidate for me. 2018 was the worst statistical season of Stafford's career as a starter. It was the first time he threw for fewer than 4,250 yards since 2010. Am I surprised? No. That's going to happen when you trade away your number one target, Golden Tate. When your second favorite target plays half the season (Marvin Jones). When your best receiving tight end is Levine Toilolo and LeGarrette Blount is the running back for most of the year.
The Lions have been active in free agency already, mostly on the defensive side of the ball, but they signed Danny Amendola to occupy the slot, which I think was an extremely savvy move. He can post 85-90% of the production for 20% of the price as guys like Adam Humphries and Cole Beasley. The slot is an extremely important role to have somene for a Stafford-led offense. You see how heavily utilized Golden Tate was, then even Bruce Ellington for like 4 games, and when he went down Theo Riddick played in the slot and got a ton of targets. Stafford love throwing the ball to the slot and I think Amendola there is going to be a low-key great add for this offense. They also added Jesse James, former Pittsburgh TE, not sure what the thought behind that was, but he's a good run-blocker, upgrade for Kerryon Johnson I suppose but also a top-10 pass-blocking TE, so I guess that's good. I hope they sign an athlete at the position.
Anyways, going into 2019, what's different than we who were excited about him going into 2018. Golden Tate isn't there, but Amendola is serviceable. You had the semi-breakout from Kenny Golladay operating as the true WR1 and Marvin Jones who is an excellent secondary WR. The Podfather made a great point about this, how Marvin Jones isn't built to be a WR1, but he's an extremely good WR2 on the outside. With Babytron taking most of the top CBs on the outside, Jones will be arguably a top-5 WR2 in the NFL.
The point I always make is that the middle-of-the-pack QBs, such as Stafford are going to be as good as the weapons and team around him when it comes to the offense. He has great outside weapons, now he'll have Kerryon Johnson leading a good running charge, but what's the most importan thing here, and we can't forget is just how excited we were about this offensive line with their Frank Ragnow pick and free agent signings last year. Well guess what, their o-line was good last year, even with the injuries they faced, and they're only going to get better in 2019.
The Lions had the 9th best PBing line per PFF, backed up by their top-12 ranking per FOs. Give me a guy like Stafford with two great outside weapons, a strong 3-down back and a very strong PBing line at a really big value because things broke the wrong way for him last year for the first time in like 8 years.
I like Stafford as a late-round QB.
Sam Darnold - QB, New York Jets
Darnold's rookie year was nothing to ride home about, but that tends to happen, and we get spoiled to the rookie years of guys like Baker Mayfield, etc.
Darnold had the number one QB Rating over the last month of the season. They've added Jamison Crowder and Le'Veon Bell to the weapons group. A couple of pieces to the offensive line, nothing crazy but I like where this offense is headed.
Josh Rosen - will make this list if the Cardinals don't draft Kyler Murray.
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