Fantasy Football Steals – Quarterbacks – 2020
Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson is one of the best in the business and the fantasy football quarterback steal of the draft. He is cool under pressure, a great decision maker and routinely disappears from the pocket as if he’s the reincarnation of Harry Houdini. Every time a defensive rusher thinks he’s got Wilson trapped; he finds a way to wiggle out of trouble and fire a strike. If there is any drawback, it’s that he may hold the ball too long, which often leads to sacks (48 last year). Despite that, he’s got one of the strongest arms in the league and is fearless at his core.
He tied with Patrick Mahomes for 5th best fantasy points per week last season. In this year’s draft you’ll be able to pick Wilson up 2 to 3 rounds later than Mahomes and get the same value. The 2020 season welcomes Phillip Dorset II to the fold, which gives Wilson another deep threat. Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf and Jacob Hollister round out an excellent group of pass catchers. Wilson is in line for another top ten fantasy season.
Don’t forget to check out our other Steals of the Draft!
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
What does Matthew Stafford have to do to get a break? The Lions offseason search for a new offensive coordinator landed in the hands of Darrell Bevell. It wasn’t the splash move Lions fans were hoping for but eight games in, Stafford was on his way to a career year. He was on pace for 5,000 passing yards, 35-40 TD’s and averaging over 20 fantasy points a week. Stafford has a rocket for an arm and is deceptively mobile though by no means a running quarterback. He creates more time with lateral movement and seemed to have a command of the new offense quickly.
Then injuries set in and Stafford was lost for the season with a busted back after eight games. After two shoulder injuries shut down Stafford’s first two years, he’s been an iron-man for the Lions, playing 16 games a season for the last eight years. The eight games played last season had a plethora of positive presents to unwrap including 5 of 8 games with 3 or more TD’s and 4 of 8 with 300+ passing yards. Only one game could be considered a bust. The Lions have weapons in the skill positions with a solid wide receiving core, two pass catching tight ends and an improving running game with Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift. Stafford could easily be a top five fantasy quarterback this season if he makes it through 16 games. He definitely meets the criteria for a fantasy football quarterback steal of the draft.
Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams
The Goff led offense at first glance looked to take a huge step back in 2019, but from a ranking perspective we need to pump the brakes a little. Much focus was given to the Todd Gurley injury last season and what his productivity would be. From a total yardage angle, the offense was in the range of the previous two seasons when they looked unstoppable. They ranked 7th in overall yardage, 4th in passing yards and not surprisingly in the bottom third in rushing.
The Rams are a pass first offense as they threw the ball more than 60% of the time. Goff has a smooth fluid release but from series to series you never what you’re going to get. Will you get the Goff who misses receivers by five to eight yards? Or the guy who play-actions left, rolls right with three days throw, and puts one on the numbers 25 yards downs the field.
In a pass first offense, the biggest regression of Goff’s play last season was converting movement of the ball to TD’s. After two seasons of 28 and 32 TD’s passing respectively, Goff managed just 22 passing TD’s in 2109. His interceptions total unfortunately rocketed to a career high 16. Ultimately at seasons end, Goff ranked 21st in fantasy points per week. The off-season changes for the Rams included the release of Todd Gurley and trade of Brandin Cooks, but the Rams have the guys on the roster to fill the gaps.
At the wide-out position, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods were both 1,000-yard receivers last season. The biggest challenge with Goff is the inconsistency week to week. While he ranged from 15-25 fantasy points in most weeks, the handful of weeks with less than 6 fantasy point are fantasy killers. Goff will be available when backup quarterbacks start coming off the board in the middle rounds. He’s a good quarterback to stash on your bench in case your starter gets injured.
Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As much as it pains me to say, the case for a Tom Brady statistical revival in Tampa Bay is getting stronger. Last season showed the first chink in Brady’s armor in two decades. His arm strength looked weak as he missed easy throws. Sure, he was the victim of missed routes and dropped balls, but Brady had his share of bone-headed pass attempts. Toss in some of his worst totals in completion percentage, yards per attempt and TD’s passes and the chatter about his age was deafening.
Now Sir Tom finds himself in sunny South Florida with arguably the best compliment of weapons he’s ever had. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are as good a wide receiver tandem as there is in football. Rob Gronkowski and OJ Howard could be the best tight end combo as well. Ronald Jones II is emerging as a solid running back and I labeled him a sleeper before the Brady move. What’s a rebuild without a cherry on top? The Bucs drafted Tristian Wirfs in the first round to likely protect the right side of the offensive line. Let’s also not forget how well Kurt Warner did under Bruce Arians in Arizona a few years ago. If there is a run to made for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this is it and Brady may crack into fantasy’s top ten this season and a fantasy football quarterback steal of the draft.