2018 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Jamey Eisenberg's QB sleepers, breakouts and busts

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  • Jamey will be updating his Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts next week, but in case your missed our position-by-position previews, here are his picks for quarterback.   

It's quarterback week for us at CBS Sports, so it's time to look at some updated sleepers, breakouts and busts for the position. And we've already covered several quarterbacks in earlier versions of these topics.

To recap, the sleepers I wrote about already include Matt Ryan, Mitchell Trubisky and Marcus Mariota. The breakouts are Deshaun Watson, Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo. And the busts are Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck and Jared Goff.

Now, my opinion has changed on some of these guys, especially since we discussed Cousins before his move to Minnesota. Luck was also still in limbo with his shoulder injury. On Cousins, I said in February he "will likely be one of the first players removed from this list when we update the column for version 2.0 if he signs with the right team as a free agent. And really, the two teams that could help his Fantasy value will be Minnesota or Denver given the weapons there."

As per Luck, I said in June "I hope I'm wrong on Luck and that he returns better than ever from his shoulder injury." It appears like he's headed in that direction, which is a great thing.

You can read all about the earlier versions of sleepers here, breakouts here and busts here. For quarterback week, here are some new players to focus on as you prepare for your upcoming drafts.

Sleepers

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Philip Rivers LAC • QB • 17
2017 stats
CMP %6,260.0
YDS4,515
TD28
INT10

Rivers may never get the respect he deserves from the Fantasy community, but he usually outperforms his ADP, which should happen again this year. He's being drafted as the No. 20 quarterback off the board in Round 11, but he could once again finish as a top 10 Fantasy quarterback, which has happened the past two years. His lowered ADP could be because of the season-ending injury to Hunter Henry (ACL), but Henry could be replaced with Antonio Gates by the time you're reading this, which should help this offense. And even without Henry, the Chargers still have a quality receiving corps led by Keenan Allen, and that group could be enhanced in a big way if rookie bust Mike Williams rebounds in his sophomore campaign. If you like waiting on a quarterback, Rivers is an excellent target at his current price tag. He should once again deliver standout production.

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Derek Carr OAK • QB • 4
2017 stats
CMP %6,270.0
YDS3,496
TD22
INT13
RUSH YDS66

Carr fell off in 2017 after a standout season in 2016. He was the No. 17 Fantasy quarterback, finishing with just five games with at least 20 Fantasy points compared to nine with 16 points or less. A back injury that cost him a game in Week 5 was problematic, but Carr didn't look like the same quarterback from 2016 when he had nine games with at least 20 Fantasy points before suffering a broken leg in Week 16. This year, Carr gets a new voice in his ear with head coach Jon Gruden, and that should help Carr hopefully reach the 4,000-yard plateau for the first time in his five-year career. He also needs a rebound season from No. 1 receiver Amari Cooper, as well as Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant stepping up as new members of this receiving corps. Carr has an ADP of Round 12 as the No. 26 quarterback off the board. That's stealing if Carr bounces back in 2018.

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Dak Prescott DAL • QB • 4
2017 stats
CMP %6,290.0
YDS3,324
TD22
INT13
RUSH YDS357
RUSH TD6

If Prescott were being drafted as a No. 1 Fantasy quarterback, then he would be a bust candidate. But his ADP is Round 11 as the No. 19 quarterback off the board, and now he falls into this category. He likely won't repeat as the No. 12 Fantasy quarterback, where he finished in 2017, but he can still be productive, even without Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. When Prescott had Ezekiel Elliott on the field last season prior to the back's six-game suspension, Prescott  played at a high level with an average of 24.5 Fantasy points per game. That dropped to 12.8 points per game when Elliott was suspended for six games, and Prescott never recovered over the final two outings of the year against Seattle and Philadelphia, even with Elliott back. Prescott will need help from new targets Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup and likely Blake Jarwin at tight end to help replace Bryant and Witten, but he still has a strong run game and offensive line to support him. He's also a productive rushing quarterback with 639 yards and 12 touchdowns over two years, so that's an added boost to his value. Don't forget about Prescott on Draft Day at his current price because he can still rebound and play well, even with a new look at receiver in Dallas.

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Tyrod Taylor LAC • QB • 5
2017 stats in Buffalo
CMP %6,260.0
YDS2,799
TD14
INT4
RUSH YDS427
RUSH TD4

If Taylor were guaranteed to start at least 10 games, he would likely be ranked as top-20 quarterback for me coming into the year. If you told me it was at least 13 games, then I would have him as a top-15 option. We just don't know at what point the Browns will turn to rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft, and that keeps Taylor as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback coming into the season. But Taylor still has the chance to help Fantasy owners for however many games he plays. The Browns have what could be a standout receiving corps with Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Duke Johnson -- as long as Gordon is on the field for Week 1. And Cleveland offensive coordinator Todd Haley should allow Taylor to throw the ball more than he has before since Haley's teams with the Steelers (2012-2017) averaged 591 pass attempts a year. Taylor has never had more than 436 passes in a season, so the additional attempts should help his production. He also has rushed for 1.575 yards and 14 touchdowns the past three seasons in Buffalo, which is a boost to his value. Taylor's a good late-round flier as a No. 2 quarterback, and the more games he plays, the better off your Fantasy team could be.

Breakouts

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Jameis Winston TB • QB • 3
2017 stats - 13 games
CMP %6,380.0
YDS3,504
TD19
INT11
RUSH YDS135
RUSH TD1

Winston probably qualifies more as a sleeper than a breakout based on his three-game suspension, which has lowered his ADP to Round 12 as the No. 23 quarterback off the board. But his upside puts him at a higher ceiling than most of the quarterbacks he's behind given the way he played last season. He finished as the No. 20 Fantasy quarterback in 2017, but that's not a good indication of the way he performed. He missed three games and was hurt in two others because of a shoulder problem, but he still posted quality stats when he played a full contest. Winston attempted at least 27 passes in 11 games, and he scored at least 20 Fantasy points in six of those outings, including eight with at least 18 points. In those 11 games, he averaged 307 yards per game, which equates to 4,910 yards over a full season. He would have easily led the NFL with that total (Tom Brady was No. 1 with 4,577), and he's still capable of that type of production once his suspension is over. He's someone who can be a difference maker in your league this year, and he's well worth a late-round pick.

Busts

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Carson Wentz PHI • QB • 11
2017 stats - 13 games
CMP %6,020.0
YDS3,296
TD33
INT7
RUSH YDS299

I'm hopeful Wentz will come back at 100 percent from the torn ACL he suffered in December, but there's no guarantee he'll return to the form he showed before getting hurt in Week 14 at the Rams. And if he struggles early in the year, could the Eagles bench him for Nick Foles, who led Philadelphia to the Super Bowl victory against the Patriots? It's not a stretch to see that happen if Wentz shows any signs of struggling with his knee. We also must see just how healthy No. 1 receiver Alshon Jeffery (shoulder) is after having offseason surgery. I'm actually confident in Wentz coming back at full strength, but I don't like his early ADP in Round 5 as the No. 5 quarterback off the board. It's too soon given the health risk, even if you compare him to Deshaun Watson, who is also coming back from a torn ACL. The difference is Watson was hurt at the end of October, giving him almost a two-month advantage on his recovery. We'll see how Wentz does this season in his return from last year's knee injury, but I'm not drafting him if his ADP stays at its current spot — and neither should you.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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