You think we just pack it in and close up shop when the fantasy football season ends? Hell freakin’ no. I’ll still be right here crankin’ out pieces every single week. And again… my sincere thanks for reading throughout the entire year! 

This week we start with a BANG – big quarterback names on the market this offseason. Here are my top 15 unrestricted free-agent quarterbacks relative to fantasy value: 

(FYI, I’m using Spotrac’s free agent tracker here.)

1. Lamar Jackson: It’s been near-impossible to keep him healthy the past couple of seasons, but his two-way attack certainly makes him more valuable than Tom Brady in fantasy. IRL, I recently ranked Brady one spot ahead of Lamar, but we know fantasy is an entirely different animal. We also have to consider the following possibility: Has Lamar simply been dragging out his injury status to protect himself before he hits the open market? If so, he should go right back to being a fantasy monster next season. 

2. Daniel Jones: He’s been one of the most improved players in the NFL this season, and we have to credit both “Danny Dimes” and his fiery head coach Brian Daboll. Like Lamar but on a lesser scale, Jones also offers the run-pass versatility at the fantasy quarterback position. Personally, I expect him to be back in New York with the same great head coach and better offensive weapons around him. 

3. Tom Brady: He’s still the No. 11 overall QB in fantasy this year, you know? On his way to 46 years old or not, TB12 can still toss the rock around with authority. A couple of weeks ago, he roasted the Carolina Panthers to the tune of 432 yards and four touchdowns (one rushing) without committing a single turnover. Based on Tua’s unfortunate battles with concussions, the Brady-to-Miami rumors certainly make some logical sense to me. 

4. Geno Smith: He was actually sixth in fantasy this past season – extremely impressive, indeed – but we also know his production is a bit out of left field. Geno was one of my absolute favorite stories of the season, but is his production at this level truly sustainable? 

5. Jimmy Garoppolo: You could probably sell me on ranking him slightly ahead of Geno as we move forward — depending on landing spots — but can Jimmy G ever actually stay healthy? 

6. Mike White: Could the Jets potentially bring him back as their starting quarterback next season? I suppose it’s a reasonable possibility. As we work our way down the list, we’ll be getting closer to guys that definitely won’t be starting. Just the sheer possibility for White gets him into my No. 6 spot here. 

7. Sam Darnold: This kid always finds a way to get organizations to rethink him, right? Two seasons ago, we probably could have assumed the Panthers were done with him. After a shocking 3-0 start to the season, Darnold and the team both spiraled out of control into oblivion. But he’s sneaking his way back in this year! If Matt Corral isn’t quite ready to start next season, I could see a scenario where Darnold and Corral form Carolina’s temporary 1-2 punch. Unfortunately for Darnold and his agent, he finished this season with an absolute clunker of a performance on the road at the division-rival Saints

8. Gardner Minshew: Thirty-two teams in the NFL… is the Moustache Man one of the top 32 quarterbacks in the league? You could certainly make the argument that he is, which means he could potentially end up in a spot where he’s battling for playing time. It probably won’t be an offense we’ll wanna touch in fantasy, but the opportunity could arise in both two-QB and Superflex leagues. 

9. Tyler Huntley: Two seasons ago, he played well in the injury absence of Lamar Jackson, but this season was an entirely different story. Huntley looked out of sorts, hurting his stock as he hits the open market. Still, for fantasy, he can be dangerous as a scrambling QB, so he still makes my top 10 available here. 

10. Baker Mayfield: Talk about a roller coaster of a year, right? Cleveland wanted him out of town to make room for the Deshaun Watson-Jacoby Brissett QB combination, and well, things weren’t so pretty in Carolina either. After falling out of favor with the Panthers, Baker “rehabilitated his image” (to quote The Social Network) by playing surprisingly well in the midst of the Rams’ epic fall from Super Bowl glory. Now it’s sort of like… who is this guy, really? 

11. Andy Dalton: I think he gives an NFL team a slightly better chance to win than both Huntley and Mayfield right now, but we’re only talkin’ fantasy in this piece. At 35 years of age, I don’t see “The Red Rifle” getting a chance to start out the gate next season. He’s experienced and boasts a rapid-fire release time, but middling teams are more likely to take a chance on untapped youth. 

12. Jacoby Brissett: Again, if we’re talkin’ IRL, I could plausibly argue for Brissett as high as No. 6 on this list, just outside of the “obvious” guys: Lamar, Dimes, TB12, Geno and Jimmy G. But I think NFL teams ultimately view Brissett as a strong backup right now. Like Dalton, it’ll take injuries for him to crack Superflex fantasy lineups in 2023. 

13. Taylor Heinicke: He’s very popular with the fans and people who root for underdogs, but Heinicke is sloppy with the ball and sometimes overmatched by top-half defenses. Of course, we have to like his grit and moxie, but I don’t think he’s technically sound enough to move the fantasy needle. 

14. Cooper Rush: I absolutely loved what he did in the injury absence of Dak Prescott earlier this year. Still, he’s a long way off from getting a starting opportunity from anybody in this league. 

15. Jarrett Stidham: Maybe Josh McDaniels pumped a little life into this kid’s stock down the stretch here! Yeah, not really. I’ve never thought much of Stidham, but at least he lit up the vaunted Niners’ D for a one-time-only sort of performance a couple of weeks ago. 

Thanks again for reading, and I’ll see ya right back here next week! 

John Frascella is a published sports author who has been covering the NFL for 19 years. Follow him on Twitter @LegendSports7 for all things fantasy football, basketball and baseball. 

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packers2018
packers2018
2 months ago

Good read. I’ll check in each week.