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Quarterback Stat Sleepers - Adjusted Completion Percentage


There are plenty of factors that go into a fantasy quarterback's success in any given season. While some passers could be said to be more "accurate" than others, completion percentage isn't the most reliable of metrics. This is because it can easily be skewed by the talent around a quarterback, dropped passes, and various other factors.

Instead, analysts should take a look at adjusted completion percentage, a metric that not only credits quarterbacks for wide receiver drops, but also factors out those passes that were batted at the line of scrimmage, thrown away, spiked, and even those that resulted from the quarterback being hit in their throwing motion.

Bearing in mind that accuracy isn't the sole variable that leads to quarterbacks putting up fantasy points, let's take a look at some of the most accurate quarterbacks from 2018 to make predictions for the upcoming season.

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Kirk Cousins (QB, MIN)

79.5% / Ranked 2nd in 2018

Anything but a Super Bowl trophy would have been a disappointing season for Cousins following him signing a three-year, $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings. Despite his team missing the playoffs, Cousins was exceptionally accurate with the second-ranked adjusted completion percentage behind only Drew Brees.

As a fantasy quarterback, Cousins was off to a hot start with 20.5 fantasy points per game through eight regular-season games in 2018, only to fall back down to earth with an average of 14.7 fantasy points per game over the remaining eight.  Telling his fantasy owners that he had the second-highest adjusted completion percentage in the NFL in 2018 probably doesn't mean too much, but a change to the Vikings' offensive philosophy with new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski could allow Cousins to do more of what he was particularly adept at doing in Washington: play-action passing.

 

Derek Carr (QB, OAK)

78.9% / Ranked 3rd in 2018

With a suspect supporting cast around him, Carr finished his first season under head coach Jon Gruden with career bests in completion percentage (including the third-best adjusted completion percentage in the league) and passing yards. At the same time, he also threw for a career-low 19 touchdown passes and was sacked 51 times.

The hope with Carr is that the addition of wideouts Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams can open up the deep passing game while slotting Trent Brown in at tackle can improve his pass protection. In order to improve on his best fantasy season from 2016 where he finished as the QB-9 and avoid repeating as the 28th ranked team in scoring, Carr will need to maintain his accuracy and the Raiders offense will have to take a major leap.

 

Philip Rivers (QB, LAC)

78.2% / Ranked 6th in 2018

Even at age 37, Rivers shows no signs of slowing down entering his 16th NFL season. While Rivers' name isn't always on the top of fantasy owner's radars, he is still one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the league. Among his many highlights in 2018 was a routing of the Arizona Cardinals in which Rivers completed an NFL-record 25 consecutive passes as he finished the year with 32 touchdowns, 4,308 passing yards, and the sixth-best adjusted completion percentage among starting quarterbacks.

All that being said, Rivers isn't without his red flags as a fantasy quarterback. He has only had one top-ten fantasy finish in his last three seasons and doesn't have the same 40-plus touchdown upside as other elite passers. Fortunately, as a player with an average draft position in the back of the ninth round in twelve-team standard scoring formats, fantasy owners are not necessarily overpaying for the fiery Los Angeles Chargers captain. His supporting cast of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and a returning Hunter Henry line him up for his best season yet.

 

Nick Foles (QB, JAX)

78.3% / Ranked 7th in 2018

Foles may have only had 44 career regular-season starts, but the Jacksonville Jaguars went all-in by giving him more than $50 million guaranteed to lead their offense. His signing was but a formality once former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo joined the Jaguars as their new offensive coordinator, as Foles and DeFilippo already collaborated to defeat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

The Jaguars are a team founded on running the football and lockdown defense, meaning limited opportunities for fantasy owners to find value. Foles' game is all about stability with his seventh-best adjusted completion percentage and he shouldn't be expected to lead an air raid any time soon.

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