Fantasy Football Longshots – Quarterbacks – 2020
Dwayne Haskins Jr. – Washington Redskins
The quarterback shuffle is complete in D.C. and Dwayne Haskins Jr is comfortably seated at the starter for 2020. You don’t pick a guy 15th overall, let him play 8 full games in November and December and then just throw in the towel. Haskins Jr is a talented quarterback, raw as can be and needs some guidance (aka discipline) that a new coach like Ron Rivera can provide. You can guarantee there won’t be any more fan selfies before the game is over from now on. Haskins Jr has a quick release, strong arm and when given time to throw hits wide receivers on the numbers and in stride.
With such a small sample size it’s challenging to reach complete conclusions, but the last five games showed improvements in key categories from game to game. The completion percentage, which is a sign of getting comfortable with the offense and where wide receivers are supposed to be, trend up from 44.8, 52.0, 59.3, 67.9 and 80.0 to finish the last five games of the season. His first four games played (some part time), he threw just 2 TD’s and had 5 interceptions but 5 TD’s and just 2 interceptions in the final five games. Optimism must accompany any Dwayne Haskins Jr fantasy evaluation of course, but there are surprises every year. He is a longshot to be a worthy fantasy starter this year, but in keeper leagues, he is worth a roster spot to see how much he improves.
Don’t forget to check out our other Fantasy Football Longshots!
Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals
Burrow had a phenomenal college season that vaulted him to the first pick in the NFL draft. Cincinnati is hoping the hometown guy (close enough) can come in a save a franchise that has been declining for the last four years. Burrow has all the physical tools at 6’4” 221 pounds to stand in the pocket and take a blow before tossing a dime on the money for pay dirt (too much?).
He is poised in a spread offense and has the instincts to shuffle around in pocket to buy a little more time. He very accurate on the run and if need be can turn up field for nice running gain. He isn’t the next coming of Steve Young in the run category but is mobile enough to keep defenses honest.
The skill position cupboards aren’t bare in Cincinnati with Joe Mixon leading the backfield, A.J. Green if healthy returning as a perennial 1,000-yard receiver and rookie Tee Higgins who will look to contribute immediately. Burrow is a longshot to break the top twelve and be a fantasy worthy starter but there are probably some games where a shootout is inevitable, and Joe can flash some of his LSU magic.
Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins stood firm at the 5th overall draft slot and got their quarterback of the future. At least that’s what they hope. Every rookie, especially at the quarterback position is a risky pick. Just look at the Dolphins depth chart with Josh Rosen still taking snaps. Tua Tagovailoa comes in at 6’0” 217 pounds which is far from, this day and age, a prototypical quarterback size.
The consensus evaluation until his hip injury was that he was the best quarterback prospect in the draft. Tagovailoa is extremely accurate and seems to anticipate defensive back movements along with wide receiver adjustments, to drop a ball in the perfect spot as the madness in the secondary evolves. He also demonstrated a very nice touch on the long ball.
After all the pleasantries, I’m not a buyer this year, next year or the year after. He looks extremely slow, often not able to outrun a 300-pound defensive lineman. They only get faster at the NFL level. Imagine linebackers and defensive backs sneaking through the hole and catching a cement footed quarterback after a three-step drop. Was he product of the superior surrounding talent at Alabama?
Henry Rugg III and Jerry Jeudy and Alabama teammates were both first round draft picks and a pair of the best wide receiver prospects in years. Tackle Austin Jackson who was also selected in the 1st round, will help a disastrous offensive line, but it won’t be enough. The path to success for this young prospect will be long and difficult. The season start is a long way’s away, and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick will likely be the day one starter.
Justin Herbert – Los Angeles Chargers
Of the rookie’s quarterbacks slated to start day one, Justin Herbert has the best supporting cast to ease the suffering of what will be a tumultuous first season. Herbert has all the measurements to be successful standing at 6’6” 236-pounds with rocket arm strength. Herbert is very smart and should be able to learn the playbook quickly. The speed of the NFL game to a rookie quarterback is lightning fast and Herbert will need to improve his decision making or he’s going to get pummeled.
The offense has solid veterans surrounding him with Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry. Veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor will be waiting in the wings if Herbert stumbles. Head Coach Anthony Lynn has mentioned a few times he is comfortable with beginning the season with Tyrod Taylor as the starting quarterback. We will have to see how camp unfolds but teams generally don’t draft a quarterback with the 6th pick and let him sit for very long.