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Blake Bortles and Other QBs Who Will Regress in 2016
Three quarterbacks including Blake Bortles seem to set up to underwhelm fantasy football owners this season. Im not saying these guys will be useless this season but at current price they wont return the value those drafting expect. Lets take a look at the concerns surrounding each player and a few guys going after each quarterback that I would rather draft.
Blake Bortles | ADP 7.05 | 8th QB
2015 was the year of Blake Bortles and the Jaguars passing game. His number took jumps across the board including attempts, completions and yards. His touchdown total jumped from 11 to 35 which went a long way in helping him finish as the 3rd best quarterback in fantasy football behind Cam Newton and Tom Brady.
There are a few issues with expecting Bortles to produce at a similar level in 2016. He had 19 touchdowns a season ago inside the 10 yard line, tied with Carson Palmer for most in the league. This from a guy who had 11 total passing touchdowns the season prior. The Jaguars brought in Chris Ivory this offseason to help the run game in the red zone. He saw 85% of the work inside the 5 and 75% inside the 10 for the Jets a season ago. Expect more running and less passing inside the 10 from Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are expected to be a better team this season especially on the defensive side of the ball. This should help to limit the amount of attempts for Bortles and hurt his fantasy potential. In the 4th quarters alone, he had 193 attempts for 1,442 yards and 14 touchdowns. If the Jags defense improves and they lean more on Ivory those numbers should drop by a reasonable margin.
Derek Carr | 9.06 | 12th QB
Derek Carr’s 2015 season really was a tale of two halves. His production was very impressive in Weeks two through ten averaging 25.5 fantasy points per game. That stretch accounted for 204.7 of 341.2 points last season. Over that stretch Carr faced five of the 16 worst defenses. Starting in Week 10 Carr was the QB22 and over Weeks 13-17 aka the fantasy playoffs Carr was QB20.
Carr is really tempting with targets like Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, Clive Walford and more. But Latavius Murray is there and should get plenty of work. Bill Musgrave as a play caller has leaned more towards the run game during his time in the NFL. As Silver and Black Pride at SB Nation pointed out he did have Adrian Peterson and Fred Taylor during his time as OC. The Raiders win total was set at 8 and the over has been pounded down to -150 showing many expect a strong season from the Raiders. If their defense continues to improve especially with the talent they brought in there should be less of a need for Carr to throw the ball.
If Carr’s attempts come down it would put him in the high teens and low 20’s among quarterbacks. I currently have him ranked at QB21 and that feels pretty fair.
Tyrod Taylor | 11.12 | 18th QB
Tyrod Taylor grabbed the starting role a season ago and ran with it. He threw for over 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 14 games. These numbers may not jump of the page to some fantasy owners but his athleticism allows Taylor to be an impact guy for fantasy football. Based on four points per passing touchdowns, Taylor averaged 19.3 fantasy points per game a season ago. That total tied him with Carson Palmer for 7th among quarterbacks.
So why they concern with Taylor? Much of the concern centers around Sammy Watkins who had 1,047 yards and 9 touchdowns. Those totals made up for 1/3rd of his passing yards and almost half of his touchdowns. The Jones fracture in Watkins foot is something that will likely limit him in the preseason and put him behind even if he starts Week 1. I took a look at the injury and other players that have had the same injury.
Outside of Watkins what do the Bills have in terms of pass catchers? Its pretty bleak with Robert Woods, Marquise Goodwin who combined for 52 catches for 617 yards and three touchdowns. Charles Clay is there to help. In 2013, his best season as a pro he caught 69 balls for 759 yards and six touchdowns. Clay needed 103 targets to garner that production. Buffalo is a team that leans on the run game. They had the second most attempts and most yards on the ground. They are a run heavy offense that throws when they have to. They had 465 pass attempts a season ago, good for 31st in NFL. The top 15 teams were all over 600 attempts for reference. With a limited Sammy Watkins in 2016 it’s hard to envision the passing game being as efficient with their attempts.
While Taylor’s current shows owners understand the risk I have seen some analysts mention him as a draft day target expecting another strong season. I won’t be targeting Taylor at his current ADP.