Yes, the title is a play on words. Yes, I believe that the top fantasy performers at the quarterback position will be young. Does that mean that the seasoned vets won’t perform? Not at all. A handful of older quarterbacks are still performing at a high level. This analysis will break down the players who I believe will be the top 15 fantasy QBs for the 2020 season. Just to refresh your mind, the top 15 QBs of 2019 and their points are as follows:
1.) Lamar Jackson: 415.68 pts.
2.) Dak Prescott: 337.78 pts.
3.) Russell Wilson: 328.60 pts.
4.) Deshaun Watson: 320.98 pts.
5.) Jameis Winston: 305.36 pts.
6.) Josh Allen: 288.56 pts
7.) Patrick Mahomes: 287.04 pts.
8.) Kyler Murray: 285.28 pts.
9.) Aaron Rodgers: 278.38 pts.
10.) Carson Wentz: 275.86 pts.
11.) Matt Ryan: 267.34 pts.
12.) Tom Brady: 263.68 pts.
13.) Jared Goff: 247.52 pts.
14.) Jimmy Garoppolo: 247.32 pts.
15.) Kirk Cousins: 244.42 pts.
Points and list courtesy of http://fantasy.nfl.com.
Gear up for some hot takes, cause this is about to get interesting.
2020 Fantasy Football Rankings: No Country For Old Quarterbacks
In making this list, I analyzed as many factors as I could from each players’ previous season. With that being said, last year is in the past, and this year’s match-ups are what count. At the end, I’ll have my ultimate sleeper who can easily crack the top 10, maybe the top five this year. So without further ado, here are my top 15 regular season fantasy quarterbacks.
15.) Jimmy Garoppolo – San Francisco 49ers
Oh Jimmy G, what to say. Well for starters, he led his team to a Super Bowl birth a year after forgetting that the sideline is a quarterback’s best friend when scrambling. But I digress. His bounce-back season showed what he is capable of when healthy. He nearly eclipsed the 4,000-yard mark passing and threw for 27 TDs against 13 interceptions.
A great situation with an offensive-minded wizard in Kyle Shanahan, if Jimmy can shave off a handful of interceptions, you’re looking at a possible 30 point fantasy swing up from last year. The weapons are there for Garoppolo to exceed 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns if healthy. The NFC West is tough though.
14.) Daniel Jones – New York Giants
You’re scratching your head, I know. Hear me out though. In 12 starts last season he managed to pass for 3,000+ yards with 24 TDs against 12 interceptions. Those aren’t bad numbers for a rookie who was thrust into the fire after two weeks. He held his own. Corey Coleman missed the whole year, Sterling Shepard was out for four of his starts and Evan Engram missed half the season. So that left Golden Tate and Saquon Barkley as the most healthy play-makers throughout the year.
Now you’re also probably thinking, he’s got a new head coach in Joe Judge and a new system to learn under Jason Garrett. It couldn’t have come at a better time. In Jason Garrett’s four years as an offensive coordinator, the Cowboys ranked 4th, 9th, 6th, and 6th respectively in passing yards and 2nd, 4th, 13th, and 7th in touchdown passes. I think Daniel Jones is going to take a big step in year two for the New York Giants.
13.) Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Matty Ice. The guy has thrown for 4,000+ yards for nine seasons straight. So what does that mean? The guy hucks the ball around the yard at a rate of 66% completions over those nine seasons. He did turn the ball over 14 times via interception and was sacked third-most in the league last year at 48, also a career-high.
Let’s think about this though. The Falcons have had back-to-back lackluster seasons. The departure of Austin Hooper is tough but they still have arguably the best receiver in the game in Julio Jones. Calvin Ridley is a stud who was barely outpaced in targets by Hooper, but the additions of Hayden Hurst and Todd Gurley will surely give Matty Ice quality targets to throw to.
12.) Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Since entering the league, Carson Wentz has been one of the bright young quarterbacks of the future. He’s thrown seven interceptions each of the past three seasons and last year he eclipsed 4,000 yards passing for the first time. He protects the football and he has enough mobility to give you a little hope that he might get in the end zone and snag you some extra points.
The only thing that worries me is the depth of Eagles’ skill players. Zach Ertz is his well-known security blanket and go-to target. With Alshon Jeffery recovering from his foot injury, JJ Arcega-Whiteside will need to take a big step to solidify himself as a reliable target. DeSean Jackson is still going to take the top off defenses, so that’s still a plus.
11.) Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints
The last time Drew Brees’ passing yards were below 3,000 yards? He was a San Diego Charger. Coincidentally, in both last year and ’03, he played only 11 games. When the guy is healthy, he is without a doubt one of the best QBs in the league and a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Even in his age 41 season, there is plenty to be excited about. In the past three seasons, he has posted career marks in completion percentage and career lows in interceptions. In layman terms, the football is ending up in the right hands. Need I say more?
He has Michael Thomas as a receptions and yards machine; they added Emmanuel Sanders to stretch the field, Jared Cook is a solid veteran tight end, and oh, by the way, Alvin Kamara out of the backfield is as good as they come. If he’s healthy, expect another year of torching defenses from Brees.
10.) Jared Goff – Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff and the Rams have a lot riding on this season. Since being the number 1 pick in 2016, Goff has grown tremendously as a quarterback. He’s had back to back 4,500+ yard seasons and last year set a career-high for pass attempts in a season with 626. The caveat of last year though was his 16 interceptions to 22 TDs. Not ideal for a franchise quarterback making $100+ million in guaranteed money. But I once again, digress.
Above all, there is a lot to be excited about. Cam Akers is poised to be a good pass-catching back in his rookie year. Cooper Kupp is Mr. Reliable for Goff as he had his first 1,000-yard receiving season last year. Robert Woods is still a top-notch veteran who had back-to-back 1,000+ yard seasons. The duo of Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett gives the team good options at tight end. Also, be on the lookout for rookie WR Van Jefferson to give Goff another weapon on the outside.
9.) Aaron Rodgers – Green Bay Packers
Not much to say about Mr. Cool, Calm, and Collected. He reps a majestic mustache, he’s had back-to-back 4,000+ yard seasons and he’s only twice had double-digit interception seasons. The last time it happened was the 2010 season. His touchdowns have been decent the past two seasons, but a second year in Matt LaFleur’s system could prove for a big spike in production.
Furthermore, no quarterback likes when their team drafts a quarterback in the first round for “the future.” Look for that as possible extra motivation to show he’s still elite going into his 16th season.
8.) Tom Brady – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mr. 199. Touchdown Tommy. The GOAT. The weapons that he has in Florida are arguably the youngest and the best he’s ever had in his career. Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate should make fantasy owners salivate. Brady has eclipsed 4,000+ yards passing the past three years. His interceptions? Well let’s just say in four years he’s thrown 29 and Jameis Winston threw 30. . . last year. Jameis also threw for 5,000+ yards with that many turnovers. So there obviously is something good going on in Bruce Arians offense. The sun is shining in Tampa.Strap in folks. My top 7 fantasy quarterbacks for 2020. Laugh all you want, @ me on twitter if you must. @RealsleeepyG.
7.) Josh Allen – Buffalo Bills
In his first full season as a starter, Allen threw for 3,000+ with 20 TDs and 9 interceptions. He also racked in over 500+ yards rushing with 9 TDs. The off-season acquisition of Stefon Diggs brings the hype up for Allen and the Bills going into 2020. Diggs gives Allen a true number one target to throw to, for a team that really only had two feasible receivers to share the load.
John Brown returns after his first 1,000-yard season since 2015, and Cole Beasley looks to build off a solid first year in Buffalo with the young QB. Also, look for second-year TE Dawson Knox to contribute in a bigger way this year. Buffalo is looking to lift themselves to another playoff appearance that isn’t the Wild Card game, so expect some extra motivation on the offensive side of the ball.
6.) Kyler Murray – Arizona Cardinals
Fans in the desert and fantasy football owners should be excited. The former Heisman winner and first overall pick dazzled in his rookie campaign. He threw for 3,700+ yards and 20 TDs against 12 interceptions while rushing for 500+ yards and 4 TDs. And the weapons around him are going to be even better in 2020. If Julio Jones is 1-A at receiver in the league, DeAndre Hopkins is 1-B.
Nuk, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk are the receivers that get the most notoriety for obvious reasons. But second-year receivers Hakeem Butler, KeeSean Johnson, and Andy Isabella add considerable depth at the position. Add in veteran Kenyan Drake at RB as a good pass-catching back and Maxx Williams at TE to give Murray plenty of targets to throw to in Kliff Kingsbury‘s pass friendly offense.
5.) Dak Prescott – Dallas Cowboys
Dak is vying for that big splash of a contract and 2020 could be the season that he earns it. With new head coach Mike McCarthy aboard, and Kellen Moore returning as offensive coordinator, Prescott is well equipped to put up big numbers again. His first 4,000+ yard passing season last year also came with an early career-high of 30 TD passes. Dak was also gifted with another weapon on the outside.
The Cowboys used their first-round pick of this year’s draft on one of my favorite college receivers in recent memory, CeeDee Lamb. Lamb joins ranks with Amari Cooper (4 of 5 seasons with 1,000+ receiving yards) and Michael Gallup who had the first 1,000-yard season of his young career. Teams have to respect the run with Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield, opening up the passing game. And let’s not forget that Dak gets to throw behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.
4.) Russell Wilson – Seattle Seahawks
Wilson has been one of the most reliable fantasy quarterbacks since entering the league in 2012. The past three seasons he’s thrown for 30+ TDs and last year surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the third time. He also had a career-low for interceptions with 5. Add to the fact that he is mobile and keeps plays alive, he’s a sure bet to give you consistent numbers this year. Though his rushing yardage has been down the past two years compared to his first four, he still will get you those extra points and possibly a touchdown here and there.
D.K. Metcalf had a solid rookie year and fellow WR Tyler Lockett surpassed 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. Free-agent acquisitions Greg Olsen at TE and Phillip Dorsett at WR should give Wilson more depth and options in the passing game.
3.) Lamar Jackson – Baltimore Ravens
So this is where most of the laughs will come. My extended family might not talk to me for the rest of the year and my best friend might not invite me to his family’s Friendsgiving (Sorry King Family). But hear me out. Lamar Jackson is wet and BIG TRUSS is a real thing. This spot has nothing to do with his ability, it has to do with how defenses are going to start playing him. To stop a mobile QB as athletic as Jackson, you have to hit him as many times as possible to make him think twice about keeping the ball on RPO plays (Run-Pass Option).
This is where I think you will see a decline in his production as a runner, the key thing that made him so valuable last year. He accounted for 43 TDs last year all while throwing for 3,000+ yards and rushing for 1,000+ yards. My worry is the hits might add up to him possibly missing some games as well. I could be totally wrong, but that’s why I have him at the #3 spot.
2.) Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
I mean, you’ve got this far, you could have guessed this. And if your face is in your palm, hear me out here as well. In two full seasons, he’s thrown for over 3,800+ yards and 26 TDs. If he brings down his 12 interceptions from last year, the extra points can be beneficial in deeper leagues. His mobility also adds to his value as he had 7 TDs on the ground last year for 400+ rushing yards. Though the loss of DeAndre Hopkins is a big blow to the production of the team, they have added depth.
David Johnson joins a backfield that desperately needed an uptick in production. If he stays healthy, he and Duke Johnson can make for a versatile duo. As for the WR’s, Brandin Cooks, Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, and Randall Cobb all are seasoned vets who will make for great targets for Watson to throw to.
1.) Patrick Mahomes – Kansas City Chiefs
MVP. Superbowl Champion. In only his first two years starting. Though there was a steep drop-off from 2018’s 50 TD passing effort to 26 TDs last year, Mahomes will surely be putting up numbers in 2020. He has a cheetah at WR in Tyreek Hill as well as Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson, and the always reliable Travis Kelce at TE.
The talent alone and the opportunity to defend their Super Bowl title is exciting in the least. But what really intrigues me about Mahomes’ potential to break records this year is the guy calling plays. Eric Bieniemy should be a head coach right now, but instead, he has to prove again why is one of the premier offensive coordinators in the game and worthy of a head coaching opportunity. This is the year that Mahomes and the Chiefs offense can really wow spectators.
Now I did say before I rattled off this list, I’d give you my ultimate sleeper for the season. And for good measure, I’ll also throw in some honorable mentions for players that should have good years, and potentially find their way into the top 15.
Sleeper: Cam Newton – New England Patriots
When Superman is healthy, he is one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the league. It’s like trying to tackle a refrigerator when he runs the ball. Nevertheless, the new scene in New England could prove as a long-term home for the former MVP. He might be top 10 this year, maybe top 5. If he’s still available past 12 rounds, I’d pick him up. Or maybe you’re willing to risk it for him in the middle rounds.
Matthew Stafford – Detroit Lions
Stafford is always putting up numbers with his cannon of an arm. There is a good chance he would have been top 15 fantasy performer last year had he not missed half the season. Detroit is young and talented and Stafford could potentially be a late-round steal.
Derek Carr – Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders have stacked up talent in the past two drafts as well as through free-agent acquisitions. There is no reason why Carr can’t be a top 15 performer this year. He just plays in a tough division.
Drew Lock – Denver Broncos
Lock has probably one of the more live arms in the league, and he plays in Mile High half the season. In five games last year he threw for 1,000+ yards and 7 TDs against 3 interceptions. With added depth at WR from the draft and the arrival of Melvin Gordon, look for Lock to put up numbers this year for Denver.
Baker Mayfield – Cleveland Browns
The Brownies under-performed big time last year and Mayfield’s 21 interceptions didn’t help. But he still threw for 3,800+ yards, 22 TDs, and had 3 rushing TDs. Look for new head coach Kevin Stefanski to help boost Baker’s production and lower his turnover rate. His success with Kirk Cousins last year should give Browns fans and fantasy owners hope.
To Conclude This Analysis
Ultimately, fantasy football comes down to who stays healthy the longest and a variety of other variables. From what I have seen from these quarterbacks in their career, I believe I’ll be right on over half. They may not end up in the position I placed them in, but they’ll be top performers.
Don’t agree with me? Want to tell me I have no clue what I’m talking about? I’m all ears! Feel free to tweet at me, I don’t mind. We’ll revisit this at the end of the year and see if I was right or not.
All stats were sourced via https://www.pro-football-reference.com/.