One of my top strategies to help people win their fantasy football leagues is to be patient and wait to draft their quarterback. Instead of taking Deshaun Watson in Round 4, I would prefer to wait six or seven rounds later to snag another quarterback who might end up being almost as good as Watson. This strategy paid off for me back in 2018 when I took Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes in the 11th round of every draft I did that season. And while I can’t guarantee you that I am going to find you another Mahomes (as if that exists), it's my job to find some late-round quarterbacks who could separate you from your competition.
Below are five quarterback sleepers to take later in drafts:
Daniel Jones, NYG
I feel that I am not going to be the only person to come draft day who thinks Jones will be a super sleeper. The Giants have a brutal opening schedule in the first three weeks as they face the Steelers, Bears, and 49ers in succession. Once Jones gets passed those tough defenses, he should see a lot of NFC East teams where the games could become high scoring. Jones emerged nicely as a rookie, showing a good pocket presence, and he even ran for 279 yards. With a healthy Saquon Barkley and Evan Engram back in the lineup, the Giants could be one of the sneakier offensive teams if Joe Judge and Jason Garrett can let them shine.
Drew Lock, DEN
Lock sat on the Broncos’ bench last year until Week 13, but when he finally got a chance to play, he showed a tremendous amount of upside, which has a lot of fantasy football experts drooling coming into 2020. He’s got the size and mobility that a team wants at quarterback, and more importantly, he now has some terrific weapons. The Broncos already had WR Courtland Sutton and TE Noah Fant, but in this year's draft, they added Alabama stud WR Jerry Jeudy and Penn State WR K. J. Hamler, who could provide instant numbers. The Broncos also brought in Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur to mentor Lock. Shurmur was a disappointment as the Giants Head Coach, but as an OC, he has been successful with the likes of Donovan McNabb, Nick Foles, and Case Keenum. Is Lock a sure thing? No. But if you decide to wait until the late rounds to draft your quarterback, he has a great chance for 3500+ passing yards and 23-25 TDs.
Teddy Bridgewater, CAR
Bridgewater has the reputation of being a quarterback who can "drive the bus" but not necessarily provide excellent statistics. This is not meant to be a jab at him; it is a fantasy term for a player who plays well and wins games but does not do enough to help his fantasy owner win a championship. I think this changes for Bridgewater in 2020. He has found a home in Carolina with a young Head Coach (Matt Rhule) and Offensive Coordinator (Joe Brady) who believe in him and will let him run their offense. Even more importantly, Bridgewater has some of the finest offensive weapons in the game. If you believe (as I do) that Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, Robby Anderson, and Ian Thomas will all have successful fantasy seasons, then it only goes to prove that Bridgewater should have excellent offensive numbers as well. Take a chance on Teddy B, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Dwayne Haskins, WAS
My argument for Haskins has more to do with the mental than the physical. Can you imagine having a boss who told you that he didn’t want to hire you? That was Haskins last year with former Head Coach Jay Gruden. Then after Gruden got fired, interim Head Coach Bill Callahan told the world that he wanted Washington to be a run-first offense. How does that help Haskins' confidence? In 2020, Washington has brought in Ron Rivera as head coach, and he will do everything he can to help Haskins succeed. Let’s not forget that Haskins was a dynamic player in college and has the physical tools necessary to play at the NFL level. If he can take a step up this season, he might be a surprisingly sneaky late-round pick.
Gardner Minshew III, JAX
Fantasy players often think of players on bad teams as players to avoid. Normally I would agree with that argument—except when it comes to quarterbacks. The Jaguars are going to be bad this season, especially their defense, which has lost a ton of talented players. What does a bad defense do for fantasy owners? Everything! Imagine the Jaguars are down 24-7 at halftime—what does this mean for the second half—garbage time production! Minshew should be the king of garbage time in 2020, having to throw often in every second half of every game that the Jaguars play. Could this lead to a bevy of interceptions? Yes, but it also could lead to a lot of fantasy production. Let’s not forget that Minshew played very well as a replacement for Nick Foles, throwing for over 3200 yards with 21 TDs and running for and additional 344 yards. Your opponents might snicker when you say Minshew's name at your draft, but you will know that in a full 16 games, he might throw for close to 4000 yards with 25 TDs and have another 300-400 yards rushing.