2018 NFL Draft Fantasy Reaction: Rookie quarterback outlooks for seasonal, dynasty leagues

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In 1983, six quarterbacks were drafted in the first round. Three -- John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino -- went on to become heroes to their franchises and Hall of Famers.

The 2018 quarterback draft class doesn't figure to be as good.

In 1999, five quarterbacks were taken in the first round. None are Hall of Famers, three saw their careers last no more than five seasons and only one (Donovan McNabb) is considered anything close to a franchise hero.

The 2018 quarterback draft class doesn't figure to be as bad.

As five new quarterbacks learned of their new homes, the world demands the most important question to be answered: How will these guys help us win Fantasy Football league championships?

Answers below ...

2018 Seasonal Rankings Dynasty/Long-term Rankings
1. Baker Mayfield, CLE 1. Baker Mayfield, CLE
2. Josh Rosen, ARI 2. Lamar Jackson, BAL
3. Sam Darnold, NYJ 3. Josh Rosen, ARI
4. Josh Allen, BUF 4. Sam Darnold, NYJ
5. Lamar Jackson, BAL 5. Josh Allen, BUF

Baker Mayfield to the Browns

Stat to know: Mayfield dropped 43 passing and five rushing touchdowns last year -- and 131 scores through the air and 21 on the ground in four college seasons (three with Oklahoma, one with Texas Tech).

Stat to know II: Mayfield never had more than nine interceptions in a season and never had worse than a 64.1 completion percentage.

Dumb list that will annoy Browns fans: The Cleveland quarterbacks since 1999 who compiled at least a 64 percent completion rate in a season are Cody Kessler, Thaddeus Lewis, Charlie Frye and Kelly Holcomb.

Mayfield isn't a breath of fresh air. He's a hurricane of clean, optimistic oxygen into the Browns' collective nostrils. Dropping him into an offense surrounded by a strong cast including Josh Gordon, Duke Johnson and Jarvis should yield some nice numbers.

Unfortunately, it will also yield nice numbers for Tyrod Taylor, who has already been named the starter. Taylor's been known to miss games, so when that happens Mayfield will play. But we're probably looking at 2019 as when we can reliably expect Mayfield to be regular starter for our teams.

Seasonal leagues: Don't draft him
Dynasty start-ups/Keeper leagues: Middle- to late-round pick
Rookie drafts: Top 15 pick

Sam Darnold to the Jets

Stat to know: Darnold threw 57 touchdowns and ran for seven more in 27 games.

Stat to know II: Darnold threw for over 300 yards in eight of 14 games in 2017, including the Pac-12 title game and the Cotton Bowl against Ohio State.

Sorry Jets fans it can't all be good: Darnold threw 22 interceptions and had 21 fumbles in those 27 games.

Gang Green is among the worst spots for a rookie quarterback to land. The receiving corps' best guy is Robbie Anderson, who could be suspended to start the year. The next-best receiver? Could be Quincy Enunwa, who didn't play in 2017 because of a neck injury. Pro Football Focus ranked the Jets' pass blocking seventh-worst last season, which isn't good for a passer who didn't always thrive when a pass rush came down upon him.

This sure ain't Southern California.

Fortunately, Darnold has time on his side. The Jets are almost certain to let Josh McCown begin the year as their starter. They also signed Teddy Bridgewater as a potential backup. So the road to the field for Darnold is paved with old, rebuilt quarterbacks. This is a good thing -- by the time the Jets turn to Darnold on a regular basis, the O-line, receiving corps and coaching staff should help him turn in some good numbers.

Seasonal leagues: Don't draft him
Dynasty start-ups/Keeper leagues: Late-round pick
Rookie drafts: Late second-round pick

Josh Allen to the Bills

Stat to know: Allen threw 44 touchdowns and ran for 12 scores in 25 games.

Measurements to know: Allen is 6-foot-5, 237 pounds with gigantic 10 and 1/8-inch hands.

The bad news: Allen averaged 200.6 pass yards and 29.1 rush yards in his 25 starts. He also completed 56.1 percent of his passes.

This is a disaster. Any rookie quarterback ticketed to the Bills might not have to sit long, but Buffalo's O-line lost three quality starters this offseason and have a receiving corps headlined by Kelvin Benjamin and Charles Clay. Allen was under siege in his time with Wyoming and won't get help from his big boys up front anytime soon.

And it's a matter of when, not if, Allen plays. Remember, this is the same coaching staff that was impatient last season when they benched Taylor for Nathan Peterman. Are they going to be more patient now with A.J. McCarron?!

If Allen's going to develop into a quality starter, he needs a lot of time to perfect his mechanics and master reading defenses. New offensive coordinator Brian Daboll deserves some credit after leading the Crimson Tide last year, but a certified quarterback guru he is not. It's entirely plausible that Allen never breaks through as a great player, much less a great Fantasy option.

Seasonal leagues: Don't draft him
Dynasty start-ups/Keeper leagues: Late-round pick
Rookie drafts: Late second/early third-round pick

Not done with this yet: This is also bad news for LeSean McCoy. What do you think defenses will key in on when Allen's under center? Shutting down Zay Jones?! Please. McCoy is on the wrong side of 30 and about to get pounded by eight-in-the-box defenses unless Allen, or McCarron, suddenly turn into Jim Kelly. It could be a looooooong season in Buffalo.

Josh Rosen to the Cardinals

Stats to know: Rosen averaged 311.4 passing yards per game over three seasons at UCLA, throwing 59 touchdowns and adding six more scores. He completed over 60 percent of his passes. He can sling it.

Injuries to know: Rosen tore the rotator cuff in his right shoulder in 2016 and had two concussions in 2017. He also had to quit playing tennis because of a scapula injury.

Comparison to make you cringe: He has the arm and body of Jay Cutler ... and maybe the attitude, too.

Rosen is very talented, and if injuries weren't a thing he probably would have been the first or second pick in this draft. But now he ends up in a precarious spot in Arizona where he will likely back up injury-prone quarterback Sam Bradford. Both will play behind an offensive line that would consider a "work-in-progress" assessment as a generous compliment.

Don't even get started on the Cardinals receivers. Rosen can toss a beautiful deep ball, but Arizona has no one established to go and get it. Larry Fitzgerald might not be with Rosen by the time he's a full-time starter.

It feels like Rosen will need a lot of pieces in place before he can put up good Fantasy numbers -- and that's if he's not broken into pieces first.

Seasonal leagues: Don't draft him
Dynasty start-ups/Keeper leagues: Late-round pick
Rookie drafts: Late second-round pick

Lamar Jackson to the Ravens

Stats to know: Jackson was the first player in the history of NCAA football with consecutive seasons with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards.

Let's further quantify that: Jackson was a machine in his last two seasons at Louisville, racking up 277.0 pass yards, 122.0 rush yards and 3.7 total touchdowns per game.

But he's not perfect: Jackson never completed 60 percent of his passes in any of his seasons at Louisville, leaving with a career 57.0 completion rate.

Jackson and the Ravens should be a match made in heaven, even if it takes a year or two to finally blossom. Baltimore isn't in a rush to push Joe Flacco off the field but they clearly have a plan in place for when that time comes. Hint: It's probably 2019 when the Ravens can move on from Flacco without having to owe him anything more on his contract.

So Fantasy owners have to play the waiting game with Jackson, who ran a diverse offense at Louisville that included plenty of option and zone-read stuff but also had lots of pro style in it. Jackson is a lean-bodied quarterback with a smooth delivery and incredible speed when he runs. Like most quarterbacks, he's not as accurate when the pass rush is breathing down his neck but there are times when he's cool as a cucumber in the pocket or running with purpose out of it, and that's when he's most dangerous.

The Fantasy Football game relies on stats. Jackson will give them to you. It won't happen so long as Flacco is on the field, but the time will come. The Ravens could add some serious receiving threats in the next year and really give Jackson a nice group to throw to. Don't be surprised if he's the second-best Fantasy quarterback of this draft class behind Mayfield.

Seasonal leagues: Don't draft him
Dynasty start-ups/Keeper leagues: Middle- to late-round pick
Rookie drafts: Second-round pick

Senior Fantasy Writer

Dave Richard has spent nearly his entire career covering the National Football League. Beginning with NFL.com at the boom of the Internet, Richard was that site's first Fantasy Football writer before transitioning... Full Bio

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