NFL New Faces: QB

Several teams will be starting this season with a new guy under center. Whether they got there via trade, free agency, or draft, a learning curve can be expected. Many teams are faced with decisions that could be crucial early in the season. As fans, it sometimes becomes so easy to criticize, but I sure wouldn’t want to be in the GM’s and coaches’ shoes this time of year.

The Arizona Cardinals signed Sam Bradford while also drafting Josh Rosen. If you go back to a blog I wrote earlier this year, I picked Rosen to be the top QB coming out this season. I’m sure everyone in Arizona knows that Bradford is there to hold the fort down until Rosen is ready to take over. From a fantasy aspect, I think Bradford would be a decent backup, but also wise to get Rosen on your bench for future use, especially in a keeper league.

Lamar Jackson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco is their guy, and he has some pretty good weapons this year. Word is that the Ravens will be using Jackson in multiple roles on offense. Smart move, as he is undoubtedly a premier athlete.

The Buffalo Bills signed AJ McCarron this offseason. McCarron proved to be a good backup in Cincinnati, but time will tell if that translates to success as a starter. They drafted Josh Allen to be the future at QB. Allen has good size and a strong arm. His accuracy needs work though. Hopefully AJ can carry them until Allen is ready. I’d hold off on both of them in fantasy, at least until they prove something.

Cleveland has been the place where QBs go to die. It honestly looks as though they’re turning it around now. They traded for Tyrod Taylor and then drafted Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Taylor is a great athlete but has been inconsistent as an effective QB. The Browns and their fans are hoping Mayfield is the eventual answer in Cleveland. Mayfield would be a fantasy risk, but roll the dice if dare.

Case Keenum signed with Denver this offseason. I’ve been high on him since he was in college. Last year he seemingly fulfilled his potential. I believe Denver has a solid QB with a reliable backup in Paxton Lynch. Keenum knows how to win and will provide some good fantasy numbers.

Patrick Mahomes is ready to take over in Kansas City. The Chiefs felt strongly enough in his ability to let Alex Smith head to Washington. Mahomes has a strong arm and has proven to be a very mobile QB. I love Mahomes in fantasy. He has reliable weapons and will run with the ball too.

Kirk Cousins to Minnesota is a huge get for the Vikings. I think, as far as QBs go, this is the biggest move from a fantasy standpoint, and maybe as far as play on the field goes too. The Vikings offense should be high scoring and fun to watch. If Dalvin Cook comes back 100%, watch out.

Sam Darnold will start the season, presumably, on the Jets’ bench. I feel this guy has a huge career ahead of him. Don’t be surprised if he’s under center within the first 4 weeks of the season. He’s a worthy late round fantasy grab which could prove valuable in keeper leagues.

There is no QB change in Tampa, but with Winston suspended a few games, Ryan Fitzpatrick will surely start the first few games of the season. As far as fantasy goes, he’s only valuable if you lose a QB early in the season and need to grab someone to put up points for a couple weeks.

Washington coveted Alex Smith this offseason. They willingly parted with Kirk Cousins in order to sign him. I think Cousins is a better QB, but feel that Smith fits the offensive scheme better in Washington. Smith plays smart, rarely turns the ball over. He puts up decent fantasy numbers, but if he’s your QB1, you might be in trouble.

It’s almost here, guys. I love the excitement building up to football season. The games, the fantasy, the smack talk; it’s a beautiful thing. Draft wisely and good luck.

 

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