Fantasy Football Overrated – QB – 2020
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
I must admit I bought into the Baker Mayfield madness coming into his second season as the Browns starter. The addition Odell Beckham Jr put me over the top. After losing 6 of their first 8 games, the shine was gone. In the first half of the season, Mayfield totaled 7 TD’s and 12 INT’s. In fantasy terms, 12 INT’s washes out 4 TD’s (12 x 2 / 6). There aren’t enough passing yards to make up for that many lost points. Mayfield has horrible pocket awareness, beginning his scramble immediately instead of allowing the blocking scheme to take place.
Too many times he rolls right into the defensive end who is being handled effectively. Mayfield can escape pressure but simply goes the wrong way too much. Accuracy is also a challenge for the young gunslinger with one of the worst completion percentages in the league at 59.4%. Several passes had wide receivers looking around for the “other” target as the pass sailed 10 yards by.
Generally, I’m an optimist and like to give everyone a clean slate, benefit of the doubt, with a look to the future attitude, you know, all that junk. The skill positions for the Browns are a stacked cupboard with Landry, Beckham Jr, Chubb, Hunt and recently acquired Austin Hooper. Signing free agent Jack Conklin and drafting Jedrick Wills Jr with the 10th pick overall should help shore up the offensive line. The weak link is Mayfield and now that Case Keenum was signed to a generous 3-year $18 million deal, the leash is short and the potential for a mid-season switch is 50/50.
Don’t forget to check out our other Fantasy Football Overrated Players!
Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
If someone told you at the beginning of the year that Ryan Tannehill was a better fantasy choice than Aaron Rodgers, you’d have said they were nuts. Rodgers finished outside the top ten in fantasy points per week, slotting 14th best at the quarterback spot last season. That puts him in the category of Matt Ryan, Kyler Murray and Carson Wentz.
The new offense struggled a bit out of the gate, but his years of experience and premier decision-making ability stabilized the operation quickly. He is still very mobile at 36 years old and seems to have forever to throw the ball. He can drop a 50-yard bomb off his back foot with little effort which confirms the arm strength is still there.
So how can the one-time fantasy lottery pick be hardly worth a starting position coming into this season. Looking at last year’s game log there are only 6 games with 15 or more fantasy points. For a quarterback to get to 15 fantasy points, that’s 225 passing yards and 1 TD and that’s not going to cut it. The pass happy NFL has 15-point fantasy games growing on trees at the quarterback position. The wide receiver crew is questionable at best even with Davante Adams as the #1. Adams has battled injuries and played through many of them. There is literally no one yet who can pick up the slack when he is double and tripled teamed.
The reason Rodgers roams around the backfield for so long, besides the excellent protection, is that he can’t find a secondary option to throw the ball to. Adams was targeted 127 and when the second most targeted player was his running back, you know there are some gaps in wide receiver room. Rodgers hasn’t thrown more than 30 TD’s in three years and it’s time snag a younger, mobile QB to pad the weekly fantasy stats.
Teddy Bridgewater – Carolina Panthers
The Panthers gave a 3-year $63 million contract to a game manager when what they need is a miracle worker. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as happy as anyone that Bridgewater is back on the field, especially with the history of injuries. His courage and determination to rehab back to playing condition is unmatched. Drew Brees getting injured was the best thing to happen to him (ironic that he benefits from an injury for once). He had a six-game audition and nailed it, kind of. Yes, New Orleans rattled off five wins in his five starts, setting up the Saints for another playoff run. Statistically however, I’m not motivated to start him on my fantasy team.
Bridgewater is only 27 years old and even with a reconstructed knee, still seems to have good mobility. He wisely protects himself whenever he is chased out of the pocket. His New Orleans stint, though successful in the win column, wasn’t overwhelming from a fantasy perspective. If a quarterback is not in the top twelve then he isn’t good enough to start. Bridgewater wasn’t in the top twelve except for one week. In the five starts (weeks 3-7), Bridgewater was ranked 18th, 26th, 4th, 17th and 13th in fantasy points among quarterbacks. The 4th ranked game was a shootout with Tampa Bay. Anything less than 300 yards and 3 TD’s against that pass defense was a failure.
New Orleans is loaded with skill position players including Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook and a laundry list of situational players who get the job done. Christian McCaffrey is the sole focus of this offense, both in the running and passing game. It’s just not enough to vault Bridgewater into fantasy starter consideration. I’ll be rooting for him but won’t be selecting him for my fantasy team.
Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
What more can you say about the reigning super bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes? His great arm strength looks effortless as he hits receivers on the numbers. The top five receivers on Kansas City all had yards per catch averages of 12.7 or higher. The play action utilized by the Reid offense is almost unfair and come on, Mahomes still uses the hidden ball trick!
Statistically speaking, Mahomes didn’t quite live up to the lofty expectations after a phenomenal 2018 season. Mahomes got off to a rapid start with 10 TD’s in his first three games but cooled a bit before a gruesome kneecap injury. How he missed just two games I’ll never understand. He finished the last 7 games with only 3 multi-touchdown games. Over the course of the season Mahomes averaged a respectable 20.5 fantasy points a game.
Overrated for a quarterback of Mahomes caliber is almost criminal but this is based on draft position. If you’re thinking he’s a first or second round fantasy pick, then you should reconsider. Lamar Jackson is the only quarterback of 1st round quality. He’s a quarterback that’ll score more fantasy points with his legs than most running backs. Even though Mahomes has great mobility, he’s not really a running quarterback. If you’re looking at average fantasy points, several quarterbacks were within one, plus or minus of Mahomes. You can easily wait until the 5th to find a quarterback who will get you just as many weekly points as Mahomes (barring another 50 TD season of course).