Top Sleeper Quarterbacks for 2020 Fantasy Football
This year, the quarterback position looks to be more top heavy than ever in fantasy football. But if you miss out on those top-tier options, don't panic and reach for a lesser player, because there's plenty of value to be had this year.
With that in mind, here are four of the best quarterback sleepers to target in fantasy drafts this season.
All average draft position (ADP) data is courtesy of FantasyPros' ADP rankings.
4. Gardner Minshew, Jacksonville Jaguars (ADP: QB28)
The Duel sang Gardner Minshew's praises all year long in 2019, and more often than not, we were right. Running quarterbacks are like a cheat code for fantasy purposes, and Minshew's ability as a scrambler doesn't get talked about enough. He averaged a solid 24.6 rushing yards per game last season, and he finished with the league's second-most rushing yards off scrambles (350), trailing only Lamar Jackson (430). But he's not just a one-trick pony. Minshew also received the league's third-highest grade on throws 20-plus yards downfield from Pro Football Focus. All of that quietly translated to fantasy success. In his first stint as a Jaguars' starter, Minshew was fantasy's QB12 from Weeks 1-9. During his second go-around (Weeks 14-17), he also finished as QB12. That's right, Minshew was a viable, albeit low-end, starting fantasy quarterback as a rookie last season. At his current ADP of QB28, Minshew is a must-draft option in deeper or two-QB leagues, but he was absolutely productive enough in 2019 to warrant a look in standard formats as well.
3. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (ADP: QB24)
We just laid out a pretty comprehensive statistical case for Minshew. Suffice it to say, we can't in good faith do the same for Drew Lock, who averaged 204.0 passing yards per game and finished as fantasy's QB24 across his five starts as a rookie in 2019. But few passers, if any, got more help than Lock did this offseason. The Denver Broncos brought in an insane amount of talent to their skill-position group, adding studs like Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Melvin Gordon to play with Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant and Phillip Lindsay. Essentially, Denver went from one of the least talented offenses in football to boasting arguably a top-five skill position group. That's obviously great for Lock. At his current ADP, Lock is best viewed as a lottery ticket. He's certainly not a safe bet, but coupling the potential for a second-year leap with the infusion of talent Denver brought in this offseason makes Lock a compelling flier.
2. Cam Newton, New England Patriots (ADP: QB21)
There's not much to say about Cam Newton. If he's healthy, he's going to be a top-tier option. Throwing out his injury-riddled 2019 campaign, Newton has been a top-four fantasy QB in five of his eight NFL seasons. And you don't have to go back too far to find his last elite stretch. Before a shoulder injury muddled his 2018 campaign, Newton was fantasy's QB4 during the first eight games of that year. Now entering his first season with the New England Patriots, there are some legitimate concerns about the team's skill-position group, but that never slowed Superman down in Carolina. If Newton plays 16 games, history says he'll be a viable QB1 with legitimate top-five upside at the position. Considering his current ADP (QB21), that's absolutely a risk worth taking.
1. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (ADP: QB13)
Matthew Stafford was flat-out ridiculous last season. And yet, no one really talked about it because an injury forced him to miss the final eight games of the year. Here's a simple way to quantify his impact: with Stafford, the Detroit Lions were 3-4-1. Without him, they were 0-8. Simply put, Stafford was elite. His 9.1 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) was the second-best mark in the league. Had he finished out the year with that average, it would've been higher than three of the last five NFL MVP award winners. He did that while sporting an NFL-best 10.6 average depth of target (aDOT), and cutting his interception rate to 1.7 percent, tying his career best. In other words, Stafford was able to play the most aggressive and efficient football of his career without risking turnovers. That translated to Stafford being fantasy's QB4 on a per-game basis in 2019, and yet he's currently not even being drafted as a starter. You won't find many bargains better than that.
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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.