Joe Burrow Fantasy Outlook Includes Surprisingly High Ceiling

Max Staley
Joe Burrow fantasy outlook points to solid fantasy value.
Joe Burrow fantasy outlook points to solid fantasy value. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Joe Burrow has a chance to be special. That's not breaking news to anyone who watched him play at LSU, where the 6-foot-4 quarterback led his team to a National Championship while breaking countless statistical records, earning himself the Heisman Trophy in the process.

He was rewarded by being drafted to the NFL's worst team in 2019, the Cincinnati Bengals. But the Bengals are way more loaded than your typical team picking first overall. Surrounded by top-tier weapons in the skill-position group, Burrow has a real chance to be a QB1 in fantasy this season.

Joe Burrow Fantasy Football Outlook

Burrow is coming off the board with an average draft position (ADP) of QB19. He's a really interesting target at that range, particularly if you're waiting on quarterback this year.

On a per-game basis, the threshold for being considered a QB1 last year was averaging 17.8 points, as that was the average of the 12th-best player at the position. We've seen five rookie quarterbacks reach that mark on a per-game basis, since 2010. Notably, at least one rookie QB has topped this threshold in three of the last four seasons, including last year.

The lone exception was 2018, but even then Baker Mayfield averaged 17.2 PPG, and Lamar Jackson averaged 18.5 across his seven games as a starter.

That's a long way of saying rookie quarterbacks can absolutely be fantasy relevant from day one. And it's even been happening more frequently than ever over the past few seasons.

As mentioned above, though, Burrow is in a much better situation than most rookie quarterbacks tend to be. The offensive line is still a question mark, but aside from that, this is an offense that features: A.J. Green, Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate, John Ross and rookie Tee Higgins. That's an embarrassment of riches.

Zac Taylor also proved to be a pass-heavy coach in his lone year at the helm. As a team, Cincinnati had the sixth-most pass attempts in the league last season.

Of course, we haven't ever seen Joe Burrow play a down at the NFL level yet. And with no preseason and limited practice time, it's a really difficult year to be a rookie quarterback.

But Burrow is arguably the most decorated rookie to enter the league quite some time, as the owner of the best statistical season in NCAA history, and he's coming into a quietly great situation – from a fantasy perspective, at least.

He absolutely has top-10 upside, and he's a fantastic player to target as a back-up or in two-QB leagues. Fantasy owners will definitely want to have other options available in case he struggles to adjust, though.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.