One place where it's easy to find sleepers for the 2020 Fantasy Football season is at quarterback. No matter what your definition of the term is, quarterback is positively overflowing with options, from late-round guys with big upside to players who are generally being undervalued by the Fantasy community. This is a passing league, and increasingly, a running quarterback's league, so there are more opportunities for quarterbacks to produce than there are spots on your Fantasy lineup.
As part of our QB preview week, we've already taken a look at the state of the position, a comprehensive breakdown of the position, top late-round targets, and updated tiers and strategies, and now we're looking for sleepers, breakouts, and busts, focusing on sleepers here.
You'll find Jamey Eisenberg, Dave Richard, Heath Cummings, and Ben Gretch's top QB sleepers below, but before we get there, how about a few of my own who they left out?
- Baker Mayfield: We're not that far removed from Mayfield being everyone's favorite breakout pick a year ago, and all of the things we liked about him then are still there — if anything, they're even more prominent. The Browns beefed up their passing game weapons with Austin Hooper, and he'll have Kareem Hunt for the full season. The Browns were a disaster last year, but if that was more Freddie Kitchens' fault than anything else, Mayfield could be a huge value here.
- Joe Burrow: Do I really need to make the case for the guy who just put up the most productive season in NCAA history in the SEC? Rookie quarterbacks often struggle to make a Fantasy impact, but Burrow is landing in an unusually good spot, with a bevy of passing game weapons and a great running back. It shouldn't surprise anyone if he hits the ground running and emerges as a Fantasy starter.
- Tua Tagovailoa: I think Tagovailoa was an even better QB prospect than Burrow coming out, and would have deserved to be the No. 1 pick if not for the hip injury. He's been cleared to practice and has a chance to earn the starting job in Miami, another surprisingly soft landing spot for a young QB, with DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki forming the core of a talented group of receivers with downfield skills. Tagovailoa could take the league by storm.
PIT Pittsburgh • #7
Age: 38 • Experience: 17 yrs.
Roethlisberger only appeared in two games last season because of an elbow injury, but he seems to be ready to go in his comeback effort after posting a video of him working out in May. He's 38, and any significant injury at his age is difficult to recover from. But the last time we saw him in a full season in 2018 he was the No. 3 Fantasy quarterback with 5,129 passing yards, 34 touchdowns and 16 interceptions, along with three rushing scores. Granted, that was when Antonio Brown was still on the Steelers, but I'm excited for this receiving corps with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson and James Washington leading the way, as well as newcomers in Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron. Could Roethlisberger finish as a top-three Fantasy quarterback again? Probably not. But a top-10 finish for guy you're probably drafting in Round 10 or later is doable, and I'm buying plenty of stock in Roethlisberger this year.
Jared Goff QB
LAR L.A. Rams • #16
Age: 25 • Experience: 5 yrs.
Goff went from the No. 6 quarterback in 2018 to the No. 15 quarterback last year. So what changed? His offensive line regressed, and the Rams struggled to run the ball. He also had Brandin Cooks miss time due to injury, and all of those issues could be a concern again, especially with Todd Gurley and Cooks no longer on the roster. But if you take out four horrific games for Goff last season against some of the top defenses in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Baltimore, where he combined for 12 Fantasy points, he wasn't awful the rest of the year. In those other 12 outings, Goff averaged 22.3 Fantasy points per game, including 23 points at San Francisco in Week 16. I'm hopeful for Cam Akers and potentially Darrell Henderson to be quality replacements for Gurley, but the Rams passing attack might have to carry this offense. Goff offers plenty of rebound potential at a reduced price after Round 10.
Drew Lock QB
DEN Denver • #3
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
Lock would have had better numbers if his 2019 receiving corps was better. He's got a strong arm and a gunslinger's mentality, perfect for the upgraded unit he'll have in 2020. He also has the benefit of a mostly favorable schedule early in the year, plus Pat Shurmur's offenses tend to favor quarterbacks. Lock's a great Superflex league target.
CAR Carolina • #5
Age: 27 • Experience: 7 yrs.
The offense new playcaller Joe Brady ran at LSU involved a lot of quick throws from the snap. Accuracy and decision making were more important than arm strength. It fits Bridgewater's skill set perfectly, and with the Panthers deep-ish receiving corps combined with the likelihood that they'll be playing from behind most weeks, Bridgewater's passing volume could carry him to some decent finishes.
JAC Jacksonville • #15
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
There was plenty of concern at the beginning of the year that Jacksonville might try to replace Minshew, or at least give him some competition. Maybe that explains why Minshew was being drafted outside of the top 24 quarterbacks in March. But it makes absolutely no sense in July. Minshew was within a point of Kyler Murray on a per-game basis, and his situation looks quite a bit better than it did in 2019. His new offensive coordinator is Jay Gruden, who led Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins to three consecutive top six Fantasy finishes. The Jaguars also added Laviska Shenault, Tyler Eifert and Chris Thompson in the past few months. While none of them are superstars, they should all be upgrades for Minshew. He's an excellent No. 2 quarterback with legitimate top-eight upside due to the volume we expect.
Every time Newton has played 16 games he's been a top-five quarterback, and he was No. 12 in just 14 games as recently as 2018. If he's fully healthy he'll quickly dispatch Jarrett Stidham and be a borderline top-12 option. If Josh McDaniels uses Newton as the red-zone rusher he's been in the past, there's no reason to think Newton can't be top five again.
We'll see where Newton's ADP settles in, but it hasn't risen enough yet. One of the best examples of the value of locked-in quarterback rushing stats, Newton started his career with at least 350 rushing yards and four rushing scores in each of his first eight seasons before 2019, which is a big reason he's been a top-six quarterback in all formats in each of his five career 16-game seasons.
Tyrod Taylor QB
LAC L.A. Chargers • #5
Age: 31 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Taylor seems like a very good bet to start Week 1 given the way the team views him as a leader in the clubhouse and the lack of ramp up time for Justin Herbert. And in what figures to be the most unpredictable season in NFL history, the uncertainty of how long Taylor might keep that job seems less notable. What you'll get when he's in is plenty of rushing value, the best weapons of his career, and a soft early-season schedule.