Patrick Mahomes and Other Undervalued QBs

Patrick Mahomes

Coming into the 2018 NFL season there three offenses that are garnering a ton of attention. They are packed full of skill-position players that are skyrocketing up draft boards. However, the players that will be in charge of getting the playmakers the ball are not getting the same kind of love.

While it is very possible for a QB — think prime Drew Brees — to be fantasy relevant and not have multiple weapons that fantasy owners are fighting to get in their lineups, it is nearly impossible to have an offense packed full of fantasy relevant skill-position guys with a ‘meh’ QB.

These QBs are all going outside the top 15 at the position, per Fantasy Football Calculator ADP, and have a great chance at finishing inside the top 10 come season’s end.

Here’s who you should you be targeting in upcoming drafts:

Patrick Mahomes | Kansas City Chiefs

My 2018 optimism around the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is seemingly gaining more steam by the day. There is so much talent and potential in this offense that it will be hard for him to falter.

He will be surrounded by established fantasy studs in Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Kareem Hunt. All three players are among the elite at their positions, with Kelce being a top 2-3 option, Hunt firmly in the top 10 RBs, and Hill just outside the top 10 at WR. This doesn’t even factor in free-agent addition Sammy Watkins, who will provide plenty of downfield pop and open up the underneath area for the names above.

Mahomes also has the ability to be dynamic with his legs both in and out of the pocket. He is a QB that can utilize his legs when necessary but keeps his focus down the field, much like Russell Wilson does in Seattle. Adding that rush ability helps provide a safer floor and potential upside on a weekly basis.

Per Fantasy Football Calculator, Mahomes is coming off the board as QB16 in the middle of the 11th round in 12-team leagues. This is tremendous value for a QB who should finish in the top 12 at the position and has the ability to land in the top 5.

Now, there is some cause for pause. This will be Mahomes’ first season under center, although he got his feet wet against the Broncos late last year. When you have dynamic playmakers and a strong rush attack, the pressure on a young QB is mitigated.

The other concern is with Matt Nagy now in Chicago and the Walrus back to calling plays, there could be some issues in 2018. The Chiefs offense scored 4 more points per game over the final 6 games with Nagy calling plays. Hopefully a full offseason knowing Mahomes will be under center helped Reid and company develop a plan for this season.

The beautiful part of taking a shot on Mahomes is the depth at QB this year. There are so many potential options if Mahomes falters that the potential reward outweighs any risk. That said, if you have concern about Mahomes and his 2018 outlook, avoiding his weapons at their current ADP would be a good idea.

Mitch Trubisky | Chicago Bears

Mitch Trubisky enters 2018 with a tremendous opportunity to be incredibly productive. The Chicago Bears gave their offense a massive overhaul this offseason, bringing in both Allen Robinson and Trey Burton in free agency. They also spent a second-round pick on Anthony Miller. The aforementioned Matt Nagy was also brought in to see what he can cook up with the well stocked pantry. Don’t forget that Jordan Howard and fantasy twitter darling Tarik Cohen will be in tow as well.

Trubisky had his bumps and bruises in his rookie season, throwing to a mess of Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Dontrelle Inman, and more. His new core will be a sizable upgrade this season.

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There is some concern about how big of a stride Trubisky can make from year one to year two. He was cautious with the ball, avoided the deep ball at times and was limited in John Fox’s ancient offensive scheme.

It will be important for Trubisky to open it up and take shots deeper down the field this season — something Nagy should not only encourage, but demand with legitimate downfield threats in Robinson, Miller and Burton.

Nagy had the Chiefs rolling like a well-oiled machine in 2017 and should have the same positive effect on the 2018 Bears. Trubisky should smash his QB24 and 14th-round price tag this season.

Marcus Mariota | Tennessee Titans

I’m starting to feel a bit like a broken record here, but Mariota enters 2018 with many of the same things that make Mahomes and Trubisky so intriguing. He will enter 2018 with a fully healthy Corey Davis, who is set to break out. The Titans also have Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews, who provide stability to this offense. Tennessee also added Dion Lewis, who should add a dynamic element both on the ground and via the pass.

The most important upgrade for the Titans offense is in the coaching staff, which saw a complete overhaul this offseason. Out is Mike Mularkey and his “Exotic Smashmouth” and in comes Mike Vrabel and, more importantly, Matt LaFleur, who was pivotal in the explosion of the Falcons and Rams offenses over the past few seasons. The Rams offense led the league in points a season ago under LaFleur.

2017 was a train wreck of a season for Mariota. He had 15 interceptions and only 13 touchdowns. It was a major step back from from his 2016 season, when he had 26 TDs and only 9 INTs. Even if he gets some positive regression for both TDs and INTs, that should get him back to the top-12 production we saw in 2016.

Take your shots with these QBs and their potential upside. With the depth at the position, if they don’t hit, you can stream your way to fantasy success.

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