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Three Quarterbacks Who Will Bounce Back to Top Tier Status in 2016

Everyone has been there at some point in a fantasy draft. You take the plunge and draft a quarterback a little early, thinking you've locked up the position for the entire season. Then you come to find out that you got the 2014 version of Cam Newton or 2015 Andrew Luck.

In this article we are going to take a look at three quarterbacks who underperformed in 2015, but are due for a bounce back campaign in 2016.

Editor's Note: Purchase a full season NFL Premium Pass (including Draft Kit + DFS Premium), and also get MLB Premium + DFS for free through October. Premium DFS lineup picks, expert lineups, tools and more - seven days a week. You can see screenshots of our NFL Premium and MLB Premium and DFS tools. What are you waiting for?

 

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

Luck was one of the biggest fantasy disappointments last season. The young signal caller was unanimously the first quarterback off the board in 2015 and had an ADP in the late first round. Part of Luck's issues in 2015 stems from him playing in just seven games before succumbing to shoulder and kidney injuries which held him out for the remainder of the season. Even before the injuries, Luck had been struggling to show the 2014 form which allowed him to become the top-scoring fantasy quarterback. Luck threw for 15 touchdowns in his seven games in 2015, but also did not take care of the ball, throwing 12 interceptions.

With all of this being said, there's reason to be excited about Luck's chances to return to greatness this season. He has a full complement of excellent weapons at his disposal. This includes T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Phillip Dorsett, and Dwayne Allen. Hilton is always a threat to go the distance any time he touches the ball and should be happy to see Luck back behind center this season. Moncrief was well on his way to a breakout last season before Luck went down and is a darkhorse candidate to put up WR1 numbers this season and outperform Hilton.

Dorsett, the team's first-round pick in 2015, is expected to see the field more as the Colts are going to run more three-receiver sets. Allen will finally get a chance to take on a full workload at tight end after Coby Fleener left for New Orleans in the offseason. All in all, if you were someone who took Luck in the first or second round last year, you should be thrilled to get him at a discount this season as he's generally going in the fourth round of drafts. There's no reason that Luck can't post the season this year that everyone expected in 2015 and in the process return to being an elite fantasy quarterback.

 

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers

Rodgers has been one of fantasy's most consistent producers at the quarterback position since taking over the job full-time in 2008. Last year, the veteran was the second quarterback off the board and his owner likely spent a second-round pick to acquire his services. Rodgers went on to finish seventh in fantasy points among quarterbacks last season. Not terrible numbers, but a far cry from what fantasy players expect they are going to get from Mr. Discount Doublecheck.

Rodgers' 31 passing touchdowns last year was his least since the 2009 season (outside of 2013 when he played in only nine games). Many of Green Bay's struggles can be traced back to the loss of field-stretcher and All-Pro wide receiver Jordy Nelson in the preseason. The Packers offense looked markedly different without Nelson, with Randall Cobb struggling as the team's number one receiver and Davante Adams failing to capitalize on the potential that made him a second-round draft pick in 2014. Perhaps overshadowed by the loss of Nelson, however, was the mountain of injuries suffered along the team's offensive line. The team entered the playoffs with just one of five starters active and healthy.

With Nelson and the offensive line fully healthy, things are looking up for Rodgers in 2016. Nelson being back should allow the offense to return to the elite production we have gotten used to seeing over the years. The team also added tight end Jared Cook, who has teased fantasy owners with his potential without ever putting it all together in past years. While it is hard to bank on Cook being productive this season, he is playing with the best quarterback of his NFL career. Rodgers is currently coming off the board as QB2 in the third round of fantasy drafts and has a legitimate shot at reclaiming his crown as the top fantasy quarterback this season.

 

Robert Griffin III, Cleveland Browns

Griffin has nowhere to go but up as he spent the entire 2015 season on Washington's bench, watching his former backup Kirk Cousins run the show out there. In Cleveland, RGIII has a second chance to prove that his amazing 2012 rookie season wasn't a fluke. In 2012, Griffin racked up 3,200 passing yards and 20 passing touchdowns while adding 815 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

While those rushing numbers are likely to be unattainable for Griffin to repeat, he does have an outside chance to finish the year as a low-end QB1 or high-end QB2. It's reasonable to believe that Griffin will be able to improve on the passing numbers he posted in his rookie year as he will be playing with much better weapons than he had surrounding him in 2012. Once Josh Gordon comes off his suspension in Week 5, the Browns will have Gordon, Corey Coleman, and Terrelle Pryor as their top three receivers. All three are capable of creating mismatches all over the field.

Add in a dominant red zone force such as Gary Barnidge and elusive pass-catching back Duke Johnson, and Griffin could put up big numbers this season. One final factor that is cause for optimism for Griffin is new Browns head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson has enjoyed a good deal of success coaching offense in the NFL and can expected to put Griffin in the best possible situation to succeed. With Griffin coming off the board around the 14th round in fantasy drafts, he's worth targeting if you like to wait on quarterbacks.

 


Check out RotoBaller's famous fantasy football draft sleepers and waiver wire pickups list, updated regularly!




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