Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams looked like a match made in heaven last season and it ended with the quarterback hoisting a Lombardi Trophy. Stafford also finished as the No. 5 QB in fantasy football leagues, but he set a lofty bar to live up to in his second go around with the Rams.
With that being the case, it's no surprise to see Stafford sneak in at the end of QB1 range in fantasy football rankings this year. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 12th quarterback off the board and as an eighth-round selection.
Matthew Stafford Fantasy Football Outlook
An upgrade in offensive weapons worked wonders for Matthew Stafford's fantasy value in 2021. The presence of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Higbee helped Stafford post a career-high mark in passing touchdowns (41). It also provided fantasy managers with a clear look at the 34-year-old's ceiling. Stafford finished as the No. 5 QB, but ranked down at No. 11 when it came to fantasy points per game (20.4). That's because of his lack of rushing upside and dependency on TDs.
Stafford finished the 2021 season with a minuscule 43 rushing yards and 0 rushing touchdowns. That was by far the worst performance on the ground out of any QB1. Even Tom Brady fell into the end zone twice at 45 years of age. It's worth noting that Stafford hasn't scored a rushing touchdown since 2016. It may not seem like a noteworthy thing to point out, but those points can be the difference in weekly matchups. Stafford also led the NFL with 17 interceptions despite only logging the eighth-most passing attempts (601) and lost five fumbles in the backfield.
Yes, Stafford is surrounded by playmakers capable of taking any pass to the house and has an offensive-minded head coach in Sean McVay. All that does is give him a high floor, though. Stafford should have no trouble being a high-end QB2 or even a low-end QB1. Expecting him to finish among the top five QBs again seems like a major stretch, though, especially considering his latest injury.
Matthew Stafford Injury Update
It's important to mention that Matthew Stafford is not 100% healthy heading into the preseason. Reports out of training camp explain how the Rams are taking a cautious approach with their star's throwing elbow issue. Stafford received an inflammatory injection earlier in the offseason.
The veteran signal-caller will not be throwing for at least several practices as the injury has turned into a tendon issue. It will also need management moving forward and no timetable has been set up for a full recovery. Stafford's status prior to Week 1 is suddenly something to keep an eye on.
Matthew Stafford Projections
Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect Stafford to reach the same level of success he did in 2021. He's second to lead the NFL in passing yards (+800) after finishing third in that statistical category last year with 4,886 yards through the air. Stafford's also third to lead the NFL in passing touchdowns (+700). That's a feat he has yet to accomplish in his career, although he checked in just behind Brady in 2021 with 41 touchdowns. When taking Stafford's career averages into account (274.7 passing yards per game, 1.8 touchdowns per game), his floor lines up to be that of a 4,600-yard, 30-touchdown season as long as he plays in all 17 games.
Is Matthew Stafford a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
When it comes down to it, is Stafford someone to target in the middle rounds? Yes, but he's not someone worth reaching for. Stafford's the No. 11 quarterback in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings and is a great option for managers willing to wait for a QB.
Pairing Stafford with a high-upside QB2 option like Justin Fields or Trey Lance may be the best way to go here. Not only does it give you a safe weekly option in Stafford, but it also provides potential for a breakout campaign. Sitting Stafford in his tougher matchups would be a smart move.
If you've drafted Stafford this year, make sure to check out the best Matthew Stafford fantasy football team names for your squad.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. 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.