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Biggest Breakouts of 2018 - Quarterbacks

The 2018 fantasy football season was one of the highest scoring in recent memory at the quarterback position. There were three players to score over 400 fantasy points (Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, and Ben Roethlisberger), the most since the 2011 season.

One of the biggest surprises was the influx of new blood towards the top of the year-end rankings. Some old stalwarts such as Tom Brady and Cam Newton slid down the board as we saw younger talents show their worth as credible fantasy options.

Let's take a look at some of the breakout quarterbacks that will be popular names come draft time of the 2019 season.

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Preseason ADP - QB16

You can't have a breakout discussion without the marvel of the 2018 season that was Patrick Mahomes. He was the class of the field, as he eclipsed 50 touchdowns and finished as the overall QB1 with 482.05 FP.

Going late in many drafts, owners that pulled the trigger on Mahomes were rewarded with a statistical output that should have propelled them into title contention. Mahomes turned what was a very conservative passing attack with Alex Smith into one of the more dangerous offenses in the league. His average depth of target (9.46) and league-leading seven touchdowns of 40 or more yards was a testament to just how much of a big play threat he can be.

Looking ahead towards the 2019 season, Mahomes will undoubtedly be the top quarterback selected off the board. Depending on your league, there may be that owner that calls his name at the end of the first round. But more than likely Mahomes' draft stock will hover somewhere in the mid-to-late second round.

Coming off such a monstrous season, could I justify taking a quarterback that early? You have to think there will be a regression here for Mahomes which will make the decision for me to wait on a QB even easier.


Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Preseason ADP - QB27

The youth movement continues as we find last year's #1 pick making this list. It was a rocky road to begin his tenure as the starting QB for the Cleveland Browns. He struggled with consistency and poor playcalling on offense but once the change was made to Freddie Kitchens, things took off.

From Week 12 on, Mayfield finished as a top-five QB in fantasy and likely helped owners make a playoff run. His 14 touchdowns over that span led all other QBs and helped him to finish as QB17, easily returning the value on his ADP.

With Kitchens now promoted to the head coach position, we may be seeing another leap forward in Mayfield's progression. The Browns offense is one playmaker away from being one of the top offenses in the league. Putting Mayfield into the discussion as a viable QB1 in re-draft for the 2019 season.

When it comes to dynasty formats, Mayfield should be a hot commodity. If you will be doing a startup draft, I would select him over other veteran players such as Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, or even Russell Wilson.


Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Preseason ADP - QB35

Josh Allen's rookie season was a tale of two halves. From the start of the season to Week 6, Allen was no more than waiver wire fodder as he was struggling to find his way as a starting QB. He then got injured, missed a month of action, and when he returned, it was as though a lightbulb had gone off for the young QB.

From Week 12 on, he was the top-scoring QB down the stretch. Now, of course, much of that was in large part due to his rushing success (476 yards and five scores). He is still progressing as a passer on the NFL level, but his 51.9% completion rate will need vast improvement if he wants to see prolonged success in the league.

Odds are that the Bills will look to add pieces around Allen to help him, much like the Rams have done with Jared Goff. But Allen has a ways to go in the accuracy department to meet that level and be a true dual-threat option.

Going forward, Allen has much more interest to me as a dynasty QB than a player I would target in re-draft for the 2019 season. The potential is there long-term; if you put together a solid dynasty squad around him, you just may have the makings of a tough out for years to come.

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