Fantasy Football Overvalued – Quarterbacks – 2020
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
After three seasons, Deshaun Watson has made his mark on Houston Texans football. Watson plays an exciting brand of quarterback using excellent escape ability along with great speed for a quarterback, to dazzle all those in attendance. He has a cannon for an arm with a very quick release. Watson finished the season with 82 rushing attempts though most were of the run for your life nature.
The offensive line has improved since 2018 but still has work to do to protect Watson. He was surprisingly sacked 44 times last season. In comparison, Tom Brady was sacked only 27 times. It’s fair enough to say you can tilt the numbers anyway you like. Watson extends plays with his legs whereas Brady accepts the play is over and tosses the ball 10 yards into the bench, but a sack is still a sack.
Watson’s passing game is frightfully inconsistent for the fantasy world. Last season he only had 5 games with 3 or more passing TD’s and 7 games with 1 or less passing TD’s. 11th in passing yards per game and tied for 8th in passing TD’s means Watson had top ten fantasy value. His ability to run, and not just for yards but scores, is his true value. His 7 rushing TD’s matched Chris Carson and Josh Jacobs.
There are three questions coming into this season. The obvious impact of the loss of DeAndre Hopkins, the likelihood of maintaining or exceeding the rushing production and his ability to stay healthy. With Hopkins gone, the Texans have banked on Will Fuller to be their #1 WR, who’s had his own challenges with staying healthy. Fuller should have some great games but he’s no replacement for Hopkins. Watson’s fantasy value will ultimately be decided on rushing output and it’s not something to count on this season.
Don’t forget to check out our other Overvalued Players!
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
Cousins has been peppered with underachievement labels his entire career and the odds of shaking that characterization will get even harder this season. Adam Thielen is supposedly the team’s number one receiver but that only helps if he is on the field. The Vikings traded away last year’s leading receiver Stefon Diggs for an abundance of picks. It’s a shame that a guy like Cousins who is willing to stick in the pocket, take a hit and still make a great throw, isn’t getting the talent around him to succeed. Cousins also has a nice touch on 20+ yard passes but now we’re wondering who the target will be.
The Vikings are a run dominated team and the trend will continue this season. Even more so with Dalvin Cook reaching running back elite status and the very capable Alexander Mattison backing him up. The Vikings split between the run and pass at a 50/50 ratio last season. Cousins had the lowest passing yards and second lowest passing TD’s in five years. Maybe the 162 fewer pass attempts from the previous season had something to do with it? That’s computes to 10 fewer passes a game. What used to be his only deep threat will be catching 50-yard bombs from Josh Allen in Buffalo. Justin Jefferson will likely start opposite Adam Thielen, but it won’t be enough to save Cousins fantasy season.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz managed a borderline top 12 fantasy performance despite having skill position players riddled with injuries. When the team leaders in receptions are two tight ends and a running back you know you’re in trouble. Desean Jackson suited up for three games but only produced in game one, the game where he was likely on everyone’s bench.
Alshon Jeffery managed to suit up for 10 games but didn’t top 500 receiving yards. Nelson Agholor who has never been more than a bye week replacement, was on the field for just 11 games. The lone bright spot was the emergence of Dallas Goedert who almost doubled his rookie season output, often at the expense of Zach Ertz.
Despite all the injury challenges, Wentz had career highs in completions and passing yards. 27 passing TD’s was good enough for a 5th ranking overall and at first glance, he seemed to manage turnovers with only 7 interceptions. Wentz had ball security problem however, losing 9 fumbles. This alone knocked him out of the top ten which tells you how balanced fantasy quarterback rankings 4 thru 12 are. The question coming into 2020 is the wide receiving core and it doesn’t look good. Jeffery and Jackson are still the headliners and may not make it to mid-season. Agholor is now a Las Vegas Raider and Jalen Reager is just a rookie.
The Eagles will continue to rely on a very short passing game with Ertz and Miles Sanders taking the lead. When drafting a quarterback, we are looking at the signs that he has a chance to exceed expectations. After Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback pool is relatively even. Of those we need to find the guys with the highest ceilings. The ceiling for Carson Wentz is much lower than most of the other top twelve quarterbacks.
Nick Foles – Chicago Bears
The Chicago Bears Super Bowl window is closing and closing fast. If we look at points per game allowed, the Chicago Bears defense was in the top five last season despite an anemic offense. The previous season they ranked best in the league in points allowed. The move to acquire Foles is a clear sign the Bears know the time is now, though I’m not convinced Nick Foles will save the day after the dreadful Mitchell Trubisky experiment.
With a small sample size from last season’s film study, Foles arm strength is poor, and he will rely heavily on the short passing game. Foles doesn’t appear afraid to go deep but more times than not the ball ends up bouncing on the turf 10 yards off target. Foles is a game manager but that alone is upgrade over Mitchell Trubisky. This is good for the Bears as a team but doesn’t do jack for us in the fantasy world.
Foles is at best a journeyman backup quarterback who had one phenomenal Super Bowl run in 2017. If you look at the game log for 2017 and the 10 games he played (including 3 playoff games), the statistical results were less than overwhelming. Over that span only three games stand out in fantasy terms, the rest were part time starts with little to no fantasy value.
His follow-ups to the run have been total busts, including the season ending shoulder injury with Jacksonville last year. The Jaguars signed Foles to a 4-year, $88 million contract and the Bears restructured to 3 years, $24 million, and for what? A three-game run in 2017? Foles has no business being on your fantasy roster this season.