5 Quarterback Steals for 2014 – Quarterback Ranking Values

 

quarterbacks steals for 2014 - based on quarterback rankings

Andy Dalton is one of several QBs who should not be overlooked this season

 

5 Quarterback Steals for 2014

Life is unfair. If you haven’t caught onto that, you are probably new to fantasy football. It’s one of the reasons why we love, and at times hate, the game. The random and most obscure things will affect games, and will affect our opinions of players. We start to think of a player as an inaccurate passer or a bad teammate, both of which may have very little to do with whether they are a good fantasy quarterback. All that we should really be caring about is whether this QB does just enough to get the fantasy points. It doesn’t matter how pretty it looks. We just want to have the dollar-bargain quarterback steal for this season.

What I like to do is write about the quarterbacks that are being given the cold shoulder according to their current ADP. Salvatore Stefanile (@2QBFFB) and @curacaobleu did a great job compiling the latest average draft position of the top 37 quarterbacks in redraft leagues. I am very grateful for their hard work, and highly recommend you follow both of them. With these latest ADPs, I then compare the numbers to all 37 quarterbacks’ points per game from last year who played significant time. The ones that come up with too much of a drop are represented here on this list, with some factoring into my own quarterback rankings for 2014 as well.

So here are the 5 quarterback steals that are currently out there in your league. If you have any questions or comments, you can message me @BergerTwoQBs or my partner-in-crime @LakeTwoQBs. You can also listen to our weekly podcast for more analysis and stats about this years’ draft. And now on to the 2014 QB steals!

Andy Dalton (ADP – QB16. Estimated value: QB11)

Dalton is beginning to replace Romo as the most maligned quarterback in the NFL, and I would agree that Dalton is not elite. But part of fantasy is knowing when a player is in an ideal situation, and Dalton has exactly that. In between a decent offensive line, an incredible WR1, and an improving run game – Dalton’s numbers last year were not a fluke. He finished as QB5, but the criticism for the way he scores his points has many wondering if he is even a decent QB2 option. He is that, and more.

Dalton has been criticized for his accuracy, consistency, and clutch ability. He completed 61.9% of his passes last year, only having one game that was truly terrible. Cam Newton, Matthew Stafford, and Colin Kaepernick each had 2-3. Dalton’s numbers will stay hovering around a low-end QB1 to high-end QB2. Dalton also threw for the 3rd most touchdowns in the NFL last year, only behind Brees and Manning. The Bengals have not made any significant efforts to replace Dalton this year, having drafted AJ McCarron in the 5th round who is not ready to lead an NFL team. Not this year anyway.

Sure, I expect some regression from last year’s performance, but not much. Dalton’s job is safe for this year, his team is young and talented, and he is a great value for the discerning owner.

Carson Palmer (ADP – QB25. Estimated value: QB19)

Carson Palmer suffers in similar ways to Andy Dalton, though not to as extreme a level. Palmer’s fantasy numbers have often come at the end of games, during junk time. But he’s still throwing to Larry Fitzgerald and now the up-and-coming Michael Floyd. Given another year with the team he may improve from last year, but others with higher potential will bump him to QB19 for me.

Carson’s weakness has been interceptions for a while, and those are likely to continue. Last year he had 22, but in most formats that is easily covered by him being one of only 9 quarterbacks who threw for 4,000 yards or more. Andrew Luck, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson all failed to do that. Carson is a great example of an unsexy quarterback who will quietly lead your 2QB or Superflex team to the playoffs. Just don’t start him against Seattle.

Matt Schaub (ADP – QB35. Estimated value: QB25)

Most of us know that Schaub set the record for most consecutive pick-6 plays in NFL history last year. The entire season was humiliating to the Texans, and Schaub became the scapegoat. But now he is on a new team and away from receiving stud Andre Johnson. On top of these woes, the Raiders drafted rookie Derek Carr in the 2nd round. Another quarterback battle in Oakland begins.

However, in this case, the Raiders brought in both Schaub and Carr this season. Carr may very well be the future for the Raiders, but most scouts do not believe that he is quite ready to assume the lead role for an NFL team. Schaub is experienced and overall has been a safe quarterback to start for years. The majority of the signs from Oakland are that this year is Schaub’s until proven otherwise. And with Schaub’s price being extremely low, why not take value at other positions and wait for Schaub to be your dollar bargain this year?

Geno Smith (ADP – QB38. Estimated value: QB26)

Expectations for rookie quarterbacks have gotten out of hand the past several years. First Sam Bradford, then Cam Newton, and most recently the onslaught of Luck/RG3/Wilson/Kaepernick. Both Geno Smith and EJ Manuel are suffering from having the misfortune of being in the draft class the year after. They let a lot of people down, most of whom had unrealistic expectations. Geno had 8 good games and 8 terrible ones, but let’s look at who the Jets were last year. They barely had an acceptable WR2 on their team. Their team focused on defense and the run, and Geno was left scurrying around trying to find safety more often than not.

But this off season has changed many things for the Jets. Many fantasy owners believe that Vick is going to start, which has resulted in Geno’s abysmal ADP. But everything that the Jets are saying is leaning towards Geno, and it appears that Rex Ryan is wanting to provide the young QB every opportunity to win the starting job. Rex doesn’t want to deal with Vick’s injuries, and Geno is likely to get the nod to start the season. But even better for Geno, he has more talent around him than last year.

I am a big believer in the value that Chris Johnson brings to the Jets, and to Geno. He’s not the CJ2K anymore, but he still has great hands and an above-average burst of speed. He will do what Powell and Ivory could not do for Geno last year: distract defenses. The Jets also brought in Eric Decker, who while not an elite wide receiver, is the best one that the Jets have had in a while. And last, the Jets drafted 3 wide receivers and a tight end. The talent on Jets offense has significantly improved.

It may take time for this team to establish themselves, but Geno is a solid QB3 option who has QB2 upside.

EJ Manuel (ADP – QB27. Estimated value: QB22)

EJ Manuel’s season was up in the air until the last second, with no one knowing if he would even start until injuries to his competition shoved Manuel into the spotlight. With little offseason time to prep, Manuel wasn’t quite ready to lead a team the way the Bills would need him to. With Stevie Johnson and CJ Spiller banged up most of the season, Manuel was left with almost no one to throw to. Yet he still put up his first 3 weeks with solid QB performances for fantasy owners. His injury in Week 5 finished off his rookie season in many critics’ eyes, though he did return to have two productive fantasy games against the Falcons and Jaguars.

Manuel’s weakness is the lack of currently elite receiving talent. This was why the Bills grabbed Sammy Watkins with the 4th overall pick in the draft this year. Robert Woods is continuing to develop as a young receiver, and the addition of Mike Williams holds some decent PPR potential. And let’s not forget CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson are going to be invaluable to EJ’s fantasy value.

While injury risk in a QB3 often makes me nervous, I think the running upside and receiving core give Manuel an edge on many of the other quarterback options in this tier.

Worthy of Consideration

Alex Smith (ADP – QB20. Estimated value: QB17)
Drew Brees (ADP – QB4. Estimated value: QB2)

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