It’s been quite a while since we have had any questions for the mailbag so I’m excited to have a couple to answer.
I’ve wondered if the lack of questions has been because of our method of collecting them using this mailbag form. In the age of instant information perhaps it would be better to take your mailbag questions on Twitter.
From now on, if you would rather not use our mailbag form, feel free to reach out to me – @MattPriceFF on Twitter – and use the hashtag #DLFmailbag. Don’t forget to include league settings in your question! I hope that with this change we’ll see enough volume to turn this into a weekly column.
And now, on to your questions.
1. Which 2018 rookie quarterback do you think is the best stash for next season and beyond?
Jacob in Los Angeles
12 team IDP 0.5 PPR, start 1QB 2RB 2WR 1TE 1RB/WR/TE 1K 2DL 2LB 2DB
All five rookie quarterbacks with the exception of Josh Rosen had stretches of success during their first season in the NFL, although even he flashed the potential that Arizona saw in him during the draft process. The number one overall pick Baker Mayfield had the most success, finishing as QB16 with 240 fantasy points. He really turned it on after Hue Jackson was fired and Freddy Kitchens took over the playcalling duties. Mayfield’s ADP reflects that as the most expensive of 2018 class, coming in at QB7 in January as the 87th overall player off the board in the early eighth round. If you are looking for a starter out of this group then Baker is probably the safest play, but you asked for the best “stash” so let’s move on from both he and Lamar Jackson who isn’t far behind Baker at QB9 and 96th overall.
I think the remaining three are all viable stashes so in that case, I’d just pick my favorite. If you want the cheapest stash, which is what I’d recommend in a one-QB league, then the clear answer is Rosen. He was the worst performing of the rookies and his QB24 (189th overall) price reflects that. There is room for optimism though. Newly hired head coach Kliff Kingsbury was brought in to right the Cardinals offensive attack and that starts with rebuilding it around Rosen. There has been some buzz surrounding Kingsbury’s love of Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, but it does seem unlikely Arizona would spend the first overall pick in the 2019 draft on another QB after trading up in 2018 to select Rosen at tenth overall. Still, there is some risk there.
Josh Allen seems to provide the most upside of these remaining three but perhaps also offers the most risk. His rushing upside and cannon for an arm are well documented at this point so we won’t dwell on that. He performed well for fantasy down the stretch. So well, in fact, that from week 13 through week 17, Allen was the QB1 overall in fantasy football with 119 points over that stretch, besting even Pat Mahomes by two points. Questions still surround Allen however, mostly due to his inaccuracies, decision making, and the offense around him. The Bills do have the third most cap space available this off-season as well as the ninth overall pick to build around the young signal caller, but I get a little bit of that Blake Bortles bad at real football but good for fantasy vibe about Allen. If you want QB1 upside and can stomach the potentially terrible floor then Allen is probably your guy His QB15, 146th overall price, is a bit much for me personally.
Sam Darnold feels like the safest of these three cheaper options. Darnold is currently QB19 and the 163rd player off the board. Like Rosen, Darnold also has a new head coach in Adam Gase who was able to turn Ryan Tannehill into kind of a real NFL quarterback when he wasn’t injured. He even had Brock Osweiler playing well for a few games. There isn’t much surrounding talent, a problem which also plagues Allen and Rosen, but the Jets have a ton of cap space to build up the team around him. They are sitting just behind the Colts with the second most money to spend on free agents and also have the third overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft.
2. Which young stud is more QB-proof, seeing as their QBs are on AARP’s mailing list – JuJu or Michael Thomas? Who are you grabbing in a start-up?
Our first Twitter mailbag question comes to us from Ed who just won back-to-back titles in a league I am the commissioner of.
This is a very tough question and honestly I don’t think can go wrong with either.
As you can see, their ADPs are very close now with Thomas as WR2 (seventh overall) and Smith-Schuster as WR6 (12th overall). If we are considering both receivers in a post-HOF quarterback world once Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees retire, I have slightly more confidence in Thomas remaining an elite asset. This is mostly due to my belief that Sean Payton and Pete Carmichael are superior offensive minds than Mike Tomlin and Randy Fichter. If the quarterback position becomes a weak spot for the Saints, I believe their staff will be able to work around it better than the Steelers will.
While it’s a razor-thin edge, I do give it to Thomas.
That will do it for this week’s mailbag. I look forward to answering more questions throughout the off-season!