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Dynasty Stock Watch for 2018 – Quarterbacks (Part 1)


If you do not believe quarterback is the most important position in football, look no further than the 2018 NFL draft for evidence to convince you otherwise.

Four of the first 10 picks were quarterbacks, and fantasy football owners were watching with sharper eyes than coupon clippers use to check over the Sunday newspaper. One quick way to go from cellar-dweller to a playoff team in the NFL is to acquire a franchise quarterback, and the same holds true for dynasty fantasy football.

Here are two quarterbacks whose fantasy stock in dynasty leagues is rising this offseason, and two quarterbacks whose fantasy stock in dynasty leagues is falling:

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Dynasty Stock Rising

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

2017 Stats:  4,093 passing yards, 27 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions

Cousins averaged 4,392 passing yards, 27 touchdown tosses and 12 interceptions over the past three years with the Washington Redskins, and he did that with underwhelming wide receivers (Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant) and the most injury-prone tight end in the league (Jordan Reed). He also had to endure with a leaky offensive line and a rushing attack that finished 20th, 21st and 28th in rushing yardage during this recent three-season span. This is why he signed a record-breaking contract with Minnesota in the offseason.

Get ready for Cousins to throw 30 touchdown passes for the first time in his career with the Vikings. Having the ultra-talented twosome of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs as his wide receivers and dependable veteran Kyle Rudolph as his tight end is an enormous improvement over who he was throwing to last season in Washington. Having a healthy Dalvin Cook in the backfield will give him another offensive weapon to work with and will not allow defenses to key on Minnesota’s passing attack. Cousins is entering his prime and is poised for the best years of his career thanks to the new supporting cast he will have surrounding him.

Mitch Trubisky, Chicago Bears

2017 Stats:  2,193 passing yards, seven touchdown passes, seven interceptions

Trubisky had to sit on the sidelines for the first half of the 2017 season while Mike Glennon proved he was the biggest free-agent bust of the year. He also was stuck with one of the most uninspiring sets of receivers in NFL history. So forgive him for posting pedestrian stats during his rookie campaign and giving fantasy owners as much help as one sponge is when you are drying out a flooded basement.

Chicago upgraded its receiving corps this offseason by bringing in wideouts Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and tight end Trey Burton. This trio will be a big boost to Trubisky’s fantasy value, and God forbid if former first-rounder Kevin White can actually stay healthy for a dozen games! Remember how great Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz and Los Angeles’ Jared Goff were in their second seasons last year?  Trubisky could follow suit this year and be fantasy franchise cornerstone in dynasty leagues.

 

Dynasty Stock Falling

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys

2017 Stats:  3,324 passing yards, 22 touchdown passes, 13 interceptions

Prescott did not improve stat-wise or fantasy-wise in his sophomore NFL season. He had fewer total touchdowns and combined yards while throwing three times as many interceptions. But if fantasy owners are worried that Prescott’s value has plateaued already at age 24, they might be in for an even ruder awakening this upcoming season.

Dez Bryant will be on another team. Jason Witten will be in a broadcast booth. Terrance Williams might be suspended after being arrested recently for DUI. If you think Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin and a three-headed TE-by-committee are going to be enough to make up for Bryant and Witten’s lost production, you might be a Cowboys fan. Prescott will be hard-pressed to duplicate his past numbers and will probably be handing off to Ezekiel Elliott more than ever before.

Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland Browns

2017 Stats:  2,799 passing yards, 14 touchdown passes, four interceptions

Normally a trade works wonders for a player’s fantasy value, and that will be the case for Taylor – in the short term. Instead of throwing to the constantly injured Kelvin Benjamin, Jordan Matthews and Charles Clay like he was in Buffalo last season, Taylor gets Josh Gordon, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku as his top three targets in Cleveland. So in standard fantasy leagues Taylor could be a nice find in 2018 as it would not be shocking for him to set career-highs across the board, provided he stays as the starter for all or at least most of the season.

But everything is not going to be unicorns and rainbows for Taylor and his dynasty owners. Cleveland did not draft Baker Mayfield first overall in this year’s NFL draft just so he hold a clipboard and berate opponents from the bench. Taylor is the short-term solution for Cleveland’s longtime quarterback woes, but Mayfield is the long-term solution, meaning Taylor’s worth in dynasty leagues has been tackled.

 

More 2018 Dynasty League Strategy