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Dynasty Football Rookie Draft Quarterback Breakdown

Now that the NFL draft is over we have the whole picture for rookies and what their Dynasty Football outlook will be. We will go position-by-position breaking down every player drafted and what their dynasty outlook is at their landing spot. The main focus will be PPR Dynasty value, but acknowledgement to Superflex will be considered as well. First up are the Quarterbacks.

Rookie quarterbacks rarely end up as top 12 fantasy quarterbacks, but in Dynasty drafts and particularly Superflex QBs have considerably more value as rookies. Neither Joe Burrow or Jalen Hurts had much value as fantasy rookies, but they finished 7th and 9th this season. The only way you had them on your roster in either Dynasty or Superflex is if you invested in them the year prior. While this rookie class of pass catchers doesn’t have the hype and talent as the previous two seasons, it is still likely that one or two of these guys end up as good starters.

(Note: players will be listed in the order they were drafted)

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers – 1st round (20th overall):

Situation:

Despite signing Mitch Trubisky at the start of free agency and bringing back Mason Rudolph, Pittsburgh was all in on a rookie QB. They heavily scouted every top option, and were expected to draft one in the 1st or 2nd round. Trubisky is still likely the favorite to start the season, and he could play well enough to keep Pickett on the bench as a rookie. Even if that is the case, Pickett figures to take the reins no later than 2023.

The Steelers weren’t a strong fantasy passing team in 2021, as Roethlisberger finished 21st in scoring. He was better in 2020 (14th overall) and 2018 (3rd overall) (Roethlisberger was injured for the majority of 2019).

Potential:

Though Pickett is more of a drop back passer, he has above average mobility, to go along with a solid arm and good instincts. He didn’t breakout until his super Senior season, but when he did he nearly won the Heisman.

He was the best in this class with throwing with anticipation, which is a skill that is underappreciated in draft circles. To be a successful passing QB, it is essential to throw receivers open.

Pickett has drawn comparisons to Kirk Cousins, who consistently finishes in the top 12 in Fantasy. Given the system and weapons around him, and Pickett’s natural skills there is decent upside here. Even without major rushing upside, Pickett should be in the 10-20 range for QB fantasy production. You will probably have to wait till 2023 or 2024 for it to really pay off, but he’s a good Dynasty option.

Where to grab them:

In Superflex I’d expect Pickett to go in the top 5, with potentially as high at 1.02. In regular Dynasty he is late 1st/early 2nd range.

 

Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons – 3rd round (74th overall):

Situation:

Last season the Falcons finished 26 in points and 29th in yards, and that was with veteran Matt Ryan. The team lost Russell Gage their leading wide receiver from a year ago. The Falcons have one of the thinnest offensive rosters, even with using their 1st rounder on Drake London. London will team with last year’s 1st Kyle Pitts as the top two weapons on this team.  Taking over for Ryan is former 2015 2nd overall pick Marcus Mariota. He is familiar with this system, but this is not a job that comes with a lot of security. Either through sheer production, or even just to get an extended later in the season, Ridder has a fair chance to play 6 or more games this season. He won’t have a strong supporting cast, but if he plays well he could earn at least a 1 or 2 year window as the starter. The long term concern is that the Falcons are so bad, that they will pick in the top 5 next season putting them in a prime position to draft a QB.

Potential:

Ridder is a solid floor/moderate ceiling type of QB, with good athleticism and a decent arm. He got better every season at Cincinnati, and can be a Ryan Tannehill type of signal caller. This offensive system fits his skill set and when he gets comfortable in it he could push to be a top 12 type of fantasy QB. Ridder will need to show enough as a rookie to convince the Falcons not to prioritize a QB next offseason. Despite that risk, he’s worth investing in Dynasty late and in SF a bit earlier.

Where to grab them:

Superflex is probably worth an early 2nd rounder, Dynasty should be more mid-3rd round.

 

Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans – 3rd round (86th overall):

Situation:

Unlike some of the other top QB prospects, Willis doesn’t have much of a chance to play as a rookie with Ryan Tannehill under center. Willis should easily supplant Logan Whiteside as the number 2 quarterback on the team. The interesting debate surrounding this situation is what is Tannehill’s future. Tannehill is under contract through 2023, when is contract then voids prior to the 2024 season. So potentially it’s two years before we see Willis under center for Tennessee, but could it be sooner? Tannehill carries a huge $36M+ cap hit in 2023, and if the Titans were to miss the playoffs next season, they could look to try to trade Tannehill next offseason and free up a considerable amount of cap space. That is probably the best hope for Willis to become fantasy relevant.

Potential:

Willis has massive potential given his cannon arm and his rushing ability. His size and lack of anticipation are negatives, but with a little development he can clean his mechanics and see the field better. Though Hurts was more NFL ready, Willis has the upside to be a better fantasy option than Hurts.

Where to grab them:

Willis is still worth a 2nd round selection in Dynasty, and a late 1st in Superflex, just realize there is a risk here.

 

Matt Corral, Carolina Panthers – 3rd round (94th overall):

Situation:

Corral is in a similar situation to Desmond Ridder, as the current depth chart is weak and definitely temporary. Sam Darnold started strong for the Panthers last season, but he got injured and played terribly down the stretch. The Panthers all offseason looked at ways to improve the position, but missed out on the bigger names. Grabbing Corral in the 3rd round is an intriguing long term option for the Panthers.

Though Corral is not as NFL ready as Ridder, there is a reasonable chance he ends up with an extended look at some point this season. If he plays well he could take the Panthers out of the running for a 2023 1st RD QB, and become the long term option. Both short and long term Corral will be surrounded by some dynamic playmakers in Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson. Add in Corral’s rushing ability and he could have some spike weeks in Fantasy.

Potential:

Corral in many ways was the in between QB prospect of Willis and Ridder. Corral can’t quite match, Willis’ arm strength and rushing ability, but he’s close. At the same time while there is a lot of projection to his game, he probably has a safer floor than Willis. He ran a lot of RPO’s in college and the majority of his passing doesn’t translate well to the typical NFL offense. Still if he does take over Matt Rhule has the background and weapons to design a system that he’s comfortable in, while he develops.

Where to grab them:

Given the higher upside and more surrounding talent, I’d put him a bit above Ridder. Late 2nd in Dynasty and Early 2nd in Superflex.

 

Bailey Zappe, New England Patriots – 4th round (137th overall):

Situation:

Zappe has no path to get on the field either this season or for the length of his rookie contract. Assuming the Patriots will pick-up the 5th year option on Mac Jones, Zappe won’t ever have a shot to win the starting job. He also is unlikely to even be the number 2 quarterback as a rookie with Brian Hoyer likely filling that mentor role for another season.

Potential:

Zappe projects as a weak arm game manager type of QB as his ceiling. If he ever has to fill in for Jones he could be adequate and a streamer option, but he’s not someone with any real value in Dynasty or Super Flex.

Where to grab them:

Keep him on the waiver wire, there just isn’t any real hope for a role here.

 

Sam Howell, Washington Commanders – 5th round (144th overall):

Situation:

The Commanders traded for Carson Wentz this offseason and still have Taylor Heinicke on the roster. At best Howell will start his career as the 3rd QB, on a team that is more run focused. Despite the initial situation, Howell still warrants some Dyno/SF consideration. Wentz is signed for three years, but due to the trade Washington can get out of the deal after each season with no dead money. So if Wentz seriously struggles or is injured, Howell could jump up into the QB of the future discussion.

Potential:

Howell profiles as a QB with a nice balance of arm strength and mobility. He doesn’t have an elite ceiling, but he could be a viable fantasy producer if he were to get the starting role.

Where to grab them:

Despite some upside, for Dynasty it is a pass for Howell in the rookie draft. He would be someone you add on the waiver wire late in the season, particularly if Washington is struggling. That way you might have him on your roster for year two early. For Superflex, I’d consider a 4th round pick to try to stash him.



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