If you are one of those fantasy owners who prefer to draft their quarterback late, 2018 may be the year to really reach for a player. The quarterback position seems to be rather loaded this year, so waiting till the double digit rounds to draft one might be a very rewarding strategy.
Now quarterback sleepers are not normally discussed, but look at what Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz did last year. Watson wasn't drafted, and Wentz was going in the 11th round in 2017 drafts.
We've already gone over some QBs that are currently undervalued, but we can take it a step further by looking at some guys who may be going undrafted in some leagues.
Patrick Mahomes Kansas City
We will start with a quarterback that is highest on the draft board, but isn't really talked about as a solid option this year. Patrick Mahomes takes over a dangerous Kansas City offense after only playing one game his rookie season. In that game, Mahomes completed 22 of 35 attempts for 284 yards and one interception. He did lead the Chiefs to a win in Denver, which is pretty impressive for any quarterback to do. Mahomes also rushed seven times for 10 yards, which might not sound like much, but does mean he isn't afraid to scramble.
Kansas City added Sammy Watkins this offseason, so the Chiefs now have a great 1-2 WR combo with Watkins and Tyreek Hill. RB Kareem Hunt and TE Travis Kelce round out the offense, giving Mahomes plenty of targets. He has a big arm, and we will see him use it plenty.
If Alex Smith can have huge offensive numbers, Patrick Mahomes easily can too. He is being drafted in the 11th round as the 16th overall QB.
Eli Manning New York Giants
Eli Manning was recently discussed as an undervalued quarterback, but it is safe to say at this point that he is a sleeper as well. Manning has had plenty of solid fantasy seasons in the past, but thanks to injuries in 2017, he now sits as the 20th QB off draft boards.
Unless you are taking two quarterbacks, Manning is probably going undrafted in most leagues.
Manning has already shown that he can produce, throwing for over 4000 yards or over 30 touchdowns in previous seasons. He has a healthy OBJ and Sterling Shepard, a breakout TE Evan Engram, and exciting newcomer RB Saquon Barkley. Barkley should be a beast for both Manning and the run game in New York.
Look for Manning to have a bounce-back season, and I wouldn't be surprised if he exceeded some of his career highs.
Tyrod Taylor Cleveland Browns
After years of throwing in rookie quarterbacks and hoping one of them sticks, the Cleveland Browns seem to have finally changed course and went with a veteran QB. Tyrod Taylor played three seasons with the Buffalo Bills, but never really had any solid WR options (except Sammy Watkins, who was often hurt). Taylor often relied on his feet, rushing for around 500 yards and five touchdowns on average per season.
Now Taylor has a star studded cast around him in Cleveland, as hard as that is to believe. Josh Gordon is extremely talented, Jarvis Landry is a PPR machine, and even rookie Antonio Callaway showed promise in the pre-season. RB Carlos Hyde should add some backfield talent, especially receiving-wise.
Taylor will also scramble often, which is good for fantasy owners. A running QB is usually a big point scorer in fantasy. Tyrod is being drafted in the fourteenth round, good for 23rd QB off the board. If Tyrod can hold onto the job in Cleveland, he could put up huge numbers.
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston is another QB we talked about in the undervalued quarterback article, and being drafted in the 14th round as the 26th QB officially gives Winston the sleeper status.
Winston is serving a three game suspension, but that isn't a good enough excuse to not draft him at all. Winston had an off year in 2017, but once he returned from injuries, he exploded in the second half of the season. Winston often threw for multiple touchdowns and over 300 yards a game in that stretch.
Winston has his ever solid WR Mike Evans, but now has an exciting new target in Chris Godwin, who dazzled fans late last year. Once Winston returns from his suspension, he could quickly become a high demand waiver wire pickup. The Bucs are also terrible on defense, so he should be throwing a lot to keep up.
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns
You may be thinking to yourself, How could he possibly put two Cleveland QBs on this list?, but Baker Mayfield is my pick of out of the rookies to actually return sleeper value. He is currently being drafted late in the 14th round (probably as a sleeper) as the 28th QB off the board.
First off, Tyrod Taylor has to struggle enough (or just lose games) that the Browns' coaching staff tries to switch things up. As we all know, the Browns love starting rookie QBs, so this is not really a stretch to see Mayfield starting at some point.
After that, sky's the limit. Mayfield was the first overall pick, and showed his skills in the first preseason game, throwing for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 11 completions (20 attempts). He has already been impressive, but with this performance Taylor has to really worry about being replaced.
Just as was mentioned in Taylor's case, the Browns have tons of talent on the offense, so Mayfield would have a field day if he does happen to start. He may not be draftable currently, but if he does take the field, he could be a solid waiver wire sleeper.
Filed under: Sleepers