The older crop of players like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger are fading faster than an old Peyton Manning noodle armed duck pass. These guys are still serviceable in fantasy games but there’s the new bunch we need to discuss.
Looking to the 2019 Fantasy season, there are many appealing quarterbacks to be stoked about. The NFL has an abundance of what I label, “Generation F” players. Generation F(antasy) players are the young guns that are expected to be the new faces of fantasy football for years to come.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 31, 2019
2018 saw a new batch of emerging youngsters in fantasy that should excite every fantasy player. Quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen, Patrick Mahomes, Jimmy Garoppolo, Jared Goff, Mitch Trubisky, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson are poised to take over as the next generation of fantasy superstars.
We have seen the impact that Mahomes, Garoppolo, Goff, Trubisky, Wentz and Watson provided in 2018 albeit Jimmy G missed all of the season after week 3 due to a torn ACL and Wentz missed the first two games of 2018 after recovering from a torn ACL suffered in late 2017. Mahomes was the number one scoring quarterback in fantasy, Goff was a top six scorer and Trubisky was a top fifteen scorer.
Mahomes will be hotly debated this summer as he will undoubtedly be the number one quarterback in your rankings, but the question will be how high should he go in your draft? After throwing for 5,097 yards with 50 touchdowns throwing to studs Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce, he’s a no brainer for 2019.
Jared Goff stepped up his game drastically in 2018 in Sean McVay’s high uptempo offense. Goff led the offense to a dreadful showing in the Super Bowl but he delivered during the fantasy season, throwing for 4,688 yards with 34 total touchdowns. He has a talented number of weapons at his helm(Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp, Josh Reynolds, Todd Gurley) and will look to bounce back from the disappointing Super Bowl loss.
Mitch Trubisky thrived in new coach Matt Nagy’s high powered offense in 2018. With the addition of skilled wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Trey Burton, Trubisky pushed his game to another level compared to his meek rookie year. With his ability to run out of the pocket and make plays with his feet, he was able to rush for 421 yards with three rushing touchdowns along with 3,223 through the air while adding 24 passing touchdowns.
I foresee Trubisky to up his game even more in 2019 in year 2 with offensive guru Nagy. Carson Wentz had an up and down 2018. Returning to the starting lineup in week 3, he struggled trying to find his rhythm in his second year. He still was able to put up solid numbers with 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns. Hopefully a full offseason healthy and with the addition of Golden Tate (If he resigns) to go with Alshon Jeffery and Zach Ertz, C Dub can be a top ten scoring quarterback.
Deshaun Watson was on his way to fantasy legend during his rookie campaign of 2017 before suffering a dreaded torn ACL. Watson was scoring Madden type numbers that season in Houston but came back to Earth in 2018. He threw for 4,165 yards with 26 touchdowns along with 551 rushing yards and another five touchdowns on the ground. Having the best receiver in the game to throw to makes him a fantasy star. Deandre Hopkins catches virtually everything thrown his way so this combo is what makes Watson special. If Watson can improve on his accuracy, look out!
The emergence of rookie wide receiver Kevin Coutee was good for Watson as was the addition of Demaryius Thomas, although he did not play much after joining the Texans due to a torn Achilles and he is expected to be released. Speedy receiver Will Fuller is expected to make a full recovery after a shortened season due to a torn ACL and will be another weapon at Watson’s disposal. Expect Watson to be drafted as a top 10-12 quarterback this year with the potential to finish as a top 6 passer.
Jimmy Garoppolo is the leagues highest paid quarterback and is expected to take the next big leap in 2019. With only a sample size of what we have seen as the starter in San Francisco, I’m predicting he will be a top 10 Fantasy quarterback this season. He has weapons in Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis, George Kittle and the return of running back, Jerrick McKinnon, who missed all of 2018 with an ACL tear. San Francisco is also the top candidate to land stud wide receiver Antonio Brown. This offense should produce major results even if they don’t trade for AB.
On the rise
The 2018 quarterback draft class was one that was full of talented young men. We witnessed five rookie starters that will be fantasy studs for the foreseeable future. Cleveland Browns’ Baker Mayfield was by far the best rookie of the class. When starter Tyrod Taylor became injured in week 3 before halftime, Mayfield took over and never looked back. Mayfield threw for 3,725 yards while adding 27 touchdowns, breaking the record set by fantasy studs Peyton Manning (1998) and Russel Wilson (2012).
With a plethora of young receivers like Jarvis Landry and Antonio Callaway and running backs Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson and newly signed Kareem Hunt, Mayfield will be a terrific option in 2019 as his offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens is now the head coach. Mayfield was very vocal about keeping Kitchens on the staff as his relationship is what fueled Mayfield’s blossoming. Mayfield has potential to finish as a top ten option in 2019.
Josh Allen was a surprisingly solid rookie as nobody imagined that he would have Mike Vick type of numbers as a runner. Allen rushed for an incredible 631 yards and scored eight touchdowns on the ground, leading all at the position. Allen didn’t have great numbers as a passer (2,074 yards; 10 touchdowns) but the rushing numbers were a very nice addition to compensate.
Allen missed four games due to an elbow injury but finished solid toward the end of 2018. Buffalo needs to add help at the receiver position in order to help Allen become more fantasy relevant. You can expect to see his rushing numbers to be among the best in the league moving forward. Allen also has arguably the strongest arm in the NFL and can be an asset in leagues that award bonuses for deep touchdowns.
Sam Darnold was hit and miss last year as the New York Jets starting quarterback. The rookie from USC wasn’t a great option in fantasy in 2018 due to a foot injury, bad coaching and inexperience. He finished with 2,865 yards with 17 touchdowns. In 2019, Darnold comes in fresh with a new coach and play caller in ex Miami Dolphins coach, Adam Gase.
Darnold is expected to improve vastly and with the second most money to spend in free agency, look for the Jets to add weapons for Darnold. Reports are that the Jets front office will look to add stellar running back Le’Veon Bell, which if that happens, will surely open things up for Darnold. Plan for Darnold to be a high end number two/low end number one option this upcoming season.
Lamar Jackson wasn’t fully expected to start in 2018 as Joe Flacco was the veteran starter in Baltimore, but things changed quickly in B Town after Flacco went down with a hip injury. Enter the Louisville product Jackson. Jackson wasn’t a great passer(1,201 yards; 6 touchdowns) but relied heavily on his feet, rushing for 695 yards and scoring five touchdowns.
Coach Harbaugh had no choice but to stick with LJ as he lead the way for Baltimore winning the AFC North title and earning a playoff home game. Heading into 2019, Jackson has been crowned the starter after the Ravens traded Flacco to Denver. Hopefully Jackson can improve on his passing game and be a starting option in fantasy although his rushing will help balance the scoring. He doesn’t have the greatest weapons but with the emergence of running back Gus Edwards, they were a dynamic force on the ground. If Jackson can polish up his passing deficiencies, I expect him to finish as a top 12-15 quarterback in 2019.
The final rookie we are looking forward to seeing in 2019 is Arizona quarterback, Josh Rosen. Rosen was unfortunately in the worst offense in the league in 2018 and had disappointing numbers (2,278 yards; 11 touchdowns). Outside of Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson, playmakers were scarce. Arizona fired coach Steve Wilks and hired college coach, Kliff Klingsbury.
Klingsbury has had tremendous success calling plays in the college game, averaging 550 yards and 42 points per game. He’s coached quarterbacks Case Keenum, Baker Mayfield (at Texas Tech before he transferred to Oklahoma) and Patrick Mahomes, all shattering collegiate offensive records. I’m expecting a big turnaround with offensive guru Kingsbury leading Rosen’s development. Rosen is probably not starter ready until we see this offense in action. Rosen should be a low risk/high reward option in drafts this summer as a high end number two quarterback.
Kyler Murray ease of movement/coordination pic.twitter.com/TYgPJIAfpO
— Quarterback Film Room (@QBFilmRoom) February 17, 2019
What can we expect from the 2019 class? Potential quarterbacks with fantasy appeal will be determined in April’s draft. Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray has made it known that he is determined to play in the NFL and not the MLB and will attend the Combine. Murray is expected to be a top quarterback selected in April if he decides to join the NFL.
Other top quarterbacks are Drew Lock (Missouri), Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Ryan Finley (North Carolina State), Daniel Jones (Duke), Will Grier (West Virginia), and Tyree Jackson (Buffalo). Depending on where they’re drafted and the situations, a few of these can potentially be fantasy stars in 2019. I can see Jacksonville, Miami, Washington and New York Giants as possible landing spots for these young slingers.
I can also see them landing with teams with aging quarterbacks like Detroit, Pittsburgh, LA Chargers, and New Orleans. The fantasy landscape will see more change as we progress into the offseason. You should be extremely excited about these young guns on your fantasy squad.
Two quarterback leagues are becoming more popular as traditional one quarterback fantasy leagues are slowly dying off. Pairing a stud like Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson with a Generation F talent like a Mahomes or Goff will pay off tremendously in a two quarterback league. So get fired up for 2019 as the new youth movement will help lead you to a fantasy title!