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Even though the running back position was the deepest in the 2018 NFL draft class, the quarterbacks controlled the headlines. This draft featured several quarterbacks that could potentially change the direction of their new franchise. That also means there are several quarterbacks that could offer excellent value to your fantasy football team.

Part one of my Rookie Rankings Series will detail both redraft and dynasty rankings for this year’s QB class. Which QB will be able to offer the most value in 2018 and which QB has the highest ceiling over the next several years?

To go with the rankings, I offer a write up on a majority of the players and why you should or should not be looking to target them in your draft.

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QB Rookie Rankings

Redraft Dynasty
QB1 Josh Rosen ARI  QB1 Baker Mayfield CLE
QB2 Sam Darnold NYJ  QB2 Lamar Jackson BAL
QB3 Baker Mayfield CLE  QB3 Josh Rosen ARI
QB4 Josh Allen BUF  QB4 Mason Rudolph PIT
QB5 Mason Rudolph PIT  QB5 Sam Darnold NYJ
QB6 Lamar Jackson BAL  QB6 Kyle Lauletta NYG
QB7 Kyle Lauletta NYG  QB7 Josh Allen BUF
QB8 Tanner Lee JAX  QB8 Luke Falk TEN
QB9 Logan Woodside CIN  QB9 Tanner Lee JAX
QB10 Luke Falk TEN  QB10 Danny Etling NE
QB11 Danny Etling NE  QB11 Logan Woodside CIN
QB12 Alex Mcgough SEA  QB12 Mike White DAL
QB13 Mike White DAL  QB13 Alex Mcgough SEA
QB14 Quinton Flowers CIN  QB14 Quinton Flowers CIN
QB15 Nic Schimonek LAC  QB15 Nic Schimonek LAC
QB16 Dalton Sturm DAL  QB16 Dalton Sturm DAL
QB17 Jeremiah Briscoe PHI  QB17 Jeremiah Briscoe PHI
QB18 Branden Silvers PHI  QB18 Branden Silvers PHI
QB19 Tim Boyle GB  QB19 Tim Boyle GB
QB20 Peter Pujals MIN  QB20 Peter Pujals MIN
QB21 Chad Kanoff ARI  QB21 Chad Kanoff ARI
QB22 Jack Henegan SF  QB22 Jack Henegan SF
QB23 Troy Williams SEA  QB23 Troy Williams SEA
QB24 Kurt Benkert ATL  QB24 Kurt Benkert ATL
QB25 Kyle Allen CAR  QB25 Kyle Allen CAR
QB26 Austin Allen TB  QB26 Austin Allen TB

 

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns (RD3, DY1)

The QB1 in this class gets a favorable rating in both redraft and dynasty. Hue Jackson has already said Tyrod Taylor will be the starting QB this season and I expect the Browns to hold true to that. Mayfield will sit for the entire 2018 season, barring an injury to Taylor. The only reason I have him at three is due to a possible injury concern with Taylor. He runs the ball an awful lot and could be prone to a big hit. If Taylor has to miss any time, there is a chance Mayfield could step in, play well and never look back.

In dynasty leagues, give me Mayfield over the rest of the QB class any day. Mayfield is going to be playing in a great offense for the next several years that will know how to utilize his talents. I don’t expect Mayfield to turn into Russell Wilson, but he could offer the same ability to escape the pocket and make plays with his feet. Starting in 2019, you will see the combo of Mayfield and Nick Chubb, toss in David Njoku, newly drafted Antonio Callaway and the possibility of retaining Duke Johnson and Josh Gordon. This is an offense that will absolutely overwhelm teams. You have to take the QB leading that team.

Josh Rosen, Arizona Cardinals (RD1, DY3)

In a few years when we look back on this draft, Rosen will be considered one of the biggest steals. How he fell all the way to Arizona, who decided to move up to secure him, is beyond me. This kid was considered to be the most NFL-ready of all the QBs in this class. This is why he is the QB1 in redraft leagues. He will have the opportunity to start over Sam Bradford in Week 1. As we all know, even if Bradford is starting Week 1, it may be short-lived. The best part is Rosen has all the tools to help him succeed this year with a strong running game, including a back that can offer protection with dump off throws. He also gets to play with a future Hall of Fame receiver who is probably in his last season.

For the same reasons I love Rosen in redraft formats, he drops a couple spots in dynasty rankings. David Johnson has had injury issues dating back to college and, as I mentioned already, Larry Fitzgerald could be done at the end of the season. There is no telling where the offense could be in a year or two. The Cardinals were able to add rookie WR Chistian Kirk in the draft which will help fill that void soon.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets (RD2, DY5)

I am not buying into Darnold as much as other owners. He does have a great chance to start in 2018 though. More than likely he will be the second or third string to start the season, but Josh McCown is no lock to remain starter even after having a terrific 2017. Darnold could easily beat out McCown and Teddy Bridgwater by the end of the season. Even if Darnold doesn’t beat them out, the pressure to see the QB of the future sooner than later could get the job for him.

I have the same concern for both rankings: what weapons will Darnold have? Robby Anderson is facing some potential legal issues after more trouble this off-season and Qunicy Enunwa is coming off neck surgery. They also have Jermaine Kearse on the roster still and newly acquired Terrelle Pryor. There is no guarantee Darnold will have a ton of weapons anytime soon though. I’m not sure about you, but nothing screams supporting cast about this group.

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens (RD6, DY2)

Jackson has arguably the most upside of any player in this draft outside of Saquon Barkley. His ability to beat you through the air and on the ground could make him the next great dual-threat QB of the NFL. With that being said, Jackson will not make an impact anytime soon. He’s only at six and not further down because of his potential ceiling if he makes it on the field. If Flacco misses any time, Jackson could offer some great value as a replacement.

The reason he doesn’t jump Mayfield as the QB1 in dynasty is because Mayfield will have much better weapons around him when he takes over. I don’t think we see Jackson as the starting QB full time for at least three seasons, and then he may take over. What will the Ravens look like in three years though? The receivers are on the older side and the best weapons they drafted this year were tight ends. I highly encourage you to buy into Jackson whenever you get a chance, but just be prepared to wait a couple of years at best.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (RD4, DY7)

I will never understand what the Bills were thinking by taking Allen. I just don’t see anything in the kid that screams NFL superstar or even starter. As much as I loved the Rosen pick, this one was the complete opposite. He is higher in redraft because the Bills will be scrambling to move him along potentially leading to playing time this year. He would have some help with one of the game best running backs, but I would be scared to see him under center in 2018.

For dynasty purposes, I want nothing to do with him. I don’t want him as a late-round pick, I don’t want him as a throw-in for a trade and I don’t want him off waivers. Teams were fascinated with his huge arm during the draft process and the Bills bought in. That is all Allen can offer though. He has far too many deficiencies to start in the NFL right now and if Buffalo rushes him, he will never have the chance to work on those. The whole thing may spiral out of control.

Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh Steelers (RD5, DY4)

This may be a surprise for some of you, but I have said for weeks now that I thought Rudolph had the potential to be a very good NFL QB, and boy did he find his way to a team that will allow that. Ben Rothlisberger has teetered on the brink of retirement for a couple of years now. He is nearing the end and Rudolph could reap the benefits of a terrific offense that is left behind. In redraft, Rothlisberger has been known to miss a few games here and there for various ailments. The Steelers have never had a viable backup until now either. If anything happens to Rothlisberger in season, Rudolph will get a shot.

I really like Rudolph in dynasty though. If Rothlisberger decides to step away as early as 2019, Rudolph inherits an offense with Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, former college teammate James Washington and possibly Le’Veon Bell if they can get a deal done. If that were to happen, Rudolph would be moved even higher. This ranks right up there with Baker Mayfield in terms of landing spot.

Kyle Lauletta, New York Giants (RD7, DY6)

This is going to end up being a sneaky good pick for the Giants when Eli Manning decides to walk away or the Giants move on from him. Lauletta will probably need at least a couple of years to prepare for a starting role, but he is the future of the Giants at the position. I am not buying him in redraft. Even if Manning were to go down, Davis Webb would step in to start. That is okay though, because I don’t think Webb has what it takes to secure the starting job anyway. As soon as Lauletta is ready to go, he will jump in.

Lauletta is a small-school guy and has no pressure on him. He wasn’t a top pick asked to change the franchise around. He was a mid-round pick that gets to go to New York, sit for a couple of years and learn from one of the better QBs of our time. Lauletta will just need to sit back and focus on getting better. As long as he continues to progress, he will be the next starter of the New York Giants. Better yet? He may be able to hand off to Barkley and throw to Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram.

 

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