Fantasy Football Draft 2014: Quarterback Value Picks
Taking a Look at Some of the Undervalued Players at Quarterback
August 27, 2014
So far this week, as the fantasy football draft season begins to wind down toward the inevitable climax that is the beginning of the 2014 NFL campaign, we’re taking a look at some potential breakout pickups on a position-by-position basis.
Today it’s time to check out some value picks at the quarterback slot. Even though most fantasy teams will only have a couple of these guys on your roster, you’ll definitely want to look at how to get the most bang for your buck, especially in your bench guy (who will come in the later rounds). Here are a few QBs who could provide some nice returns on your fantasy investment in this year’s draft; Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears: As we peruse the consensus QB rankings for this year’s draft, it’s a little difficult not to notice Cutler and how far down he is. You’ll usually find him right around the No. 10 slot among quarterbacks, quite far behind such names as Nick Foles, Tony Romo and Matt Ryan.
Now, what exactly are the reasons for having Cutler down as low as he is? Well, the main thing scaring owners off of him has to be his injury history, as he’s had various issues over the last few years with the Bears. He’s also got something of a reputation as a gunslinger, which can lead to exhilarating highs and equally crushing lows in the fantasy game.
Those drawbacks aside, we still like him as a value pickup in your No. 1 QB slot. With another year in the Bears’ now high-flying offense and another season of chemistry with top pair Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery under his belt, Cutler should thrive.
The notoriously hard-nosed NFC North will be a sight to behold this season, with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford tossing aerial assaults every game, and Cutler should have no problem fitting right in alongside them.
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Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets: Further down the QB draft list (way further), you’ll find Geno Smith, the second-year Jets QB who had quite a bit of difficulty in his first NFL season. Things seem to be looking up for him in fantasy, however--so you might want to take a look at him as your bye-week replacement.
Leading the reasons for a possible resurgent season for Smith is the fact that his receiving corps got an upgrade in the form of ex-Bronco Eric Decker. Though the team still lacks a definitive No. 2 option to go alongside him, that’s definitely a start. There’s some talent at the TE position in New York as well, so Smith will have some options.
The running game--which has been a strong point of the Jets all throughout the Rex Ryan era--will be steady once again, with Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell combining to create a formidable ground-and-pound presence. Don’t forget--Smith can make plays with his legs as well, and he’ll rack up the rush yards (and scores) from time to time.
If the Jets have a favorable matchup during your No. 1 QB’s bye week, Smith may just be the ticket.
Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans: A few slots ahead of Smith is where you’ll likely find Locker, who should provide some nice value as a late-round pickup. He was doing pretty well last season when he was healthy, and was showing flashes of brilliance before his foot injury.
So far, Locker has looked pretty darn good in his preseason action. It looks like he’s got some deep-strike chemistry with Nate Washington, and the two should be hooking up frequently this season.
The Titans won’t shock the world this year, but we think a lot of people will be surprised at how they’ve improved. That improvement will include Locker, so he makes a competent bench QB with high-value potential.
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