Over the years, the dominant strategy in fantasy football leagues has been to devalue the quarterback. Fantasy football best balls is a completely different beast. Let’s take a look at some QBs to target in early fantasy football best ball drafts.
There’s no debate over who the best quarterback in fantasy football is — Josh Allen. Even for the best ball, it is a high price to take a quarterback in third round. Even so, telling you Allen is elite doesn’t help you. Which quarterbacks should fantasy managers target in their top ball leagues, if any, that are later in drafts?
Lamar Jackson | Baltimore Ravens, QB4 (60 overall)
I’m not one to take a quarterback early in seasonal leagues, but I may make an exception this season. I’m all in on Lamar Jackson having an absolutely monstrous season. In best ball, he’s an even more appealing target in the fourth or fifth round.
Jackson is leaving a “down”Year where he “only” Averaged 21.1 fantasy point per game. He did this even though the Ravens were unable to run their preferred style offense since the team was always trailing.
The Ravens suffered a flurry of injuries to their running backs, defense and offensive line. Everything that allows their offense to be a dominant, run-oriented attack failed. This team should be much healthier this season.
Marquise Brown was traded by the Ravens, but he was not replaced. This tells me that the Ravens intend to return to their running ways. Normally, that’s bad for quarterbacks, but Jackson is the best rushing quarterback since Michael Vick. He is only three years away from an MVP season, where he had the second-best fantasy season in history. It is possible to have a 25+ ppg season.
Green Bay Packers QB11 (91 overall).| Green Bay Packers, QB11 (91 overall)
I’m certainly not targeting Aaron Rodgers as my QB in seasonal leagues, but I like him a lot in fantasy football best ball formats. What’s most appealing about Rodgers in best ball is the stacking potential.
Rodgers will still be able to throw for over 250 yards and a few touchdowns even though he lost Davante Adams to the Packers. Fantasy best ball drafts are very affordable for Christian Watson and Allen Lazard. You can get the former in the 11th or 12th round and the latter a couple of rounds later (I’m accounting for an expected rise in ADP).
Fantasy managers should have no trouble putting Rodgers, Lazard and Watson on a roster in their best ball drafts. This will give your team a huge weekly upside, as Watson and Lazard will have great weeks throughout the season. We may not get able to predict when they will be, but in best ball, we don’t care. Rodgers is an ideal fantasy football best ball target at quarterback because he can be stacked with Packers players.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings, QB13 (105 overall)
The NFL’s Captain is one of most disrespected fantasy and real-life quarterbacks. Produce is all the man does. Cousins averaged at least 18 points per game every season since 2015, with the exception of one (2019). The past two seasons, he’s finished as a low QB1.
Cousins will not consistently produce high-end QB1 week after week. But in best ball, we don’t need him to. You can draft Cousins as your QB2 or QB3 (if you draft three quarterbacks) and get a guy who had eight games of over 20 fantasy points last season.
You can easily plan a Vikings draft if you draft Justin Jefferson in round 1. Adam Thielen, who is in the sixth round, is someone you should draft. You can add Irv Smith Jr. to the 11th or 12th rounds.
Cousins has shown the ability to produce enough spike weeks to allow you to enter your best ball line-up multiple times throughout the season. He’s an ideal later-round QB target.
Zach Wilson, New York Jets QB24 (158 total)
I know. Hear me. I’m not suggesting Zach Wilson suddenly becomes a good fantasy or real-life quarterback. The verdict is still out on this. But in best ball, we’re taking shots on upside, especially in the later rounds. Wilson is a good choice if you’re looking for a quarterback.
Let me start by acknowledging the very real possibility Wilson just isn’t any good and completely falls flat on his face. It can happen. But what if the Jets actually do what they say? They’ve surrounded Wilson with an embarrassment of riches: Elijah Moore, Garrett Wilson, Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, Breece Hall, Michael Carter, and two competent receiving tight ends in C.J. Uzomah Conklin.
Say what you want about the Jets as a franchise, but they’ve done everything they can to set up Wilson to succeed. They even bolstered the offensive line.
Wilson finished in the top six fantasy scoring players last season with two games. He had 22 fantasy points for Week 13 and 23.2 fantasypoints for Week 16. You don’t win best ball leagues by being conservative. Wilson is nearly free in best-ball drafts. You have many stacking options. He’s a sneaky late-round QB target.
Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers QB35 (256 in total)
Now, here’s a quarterback that is completely free in best ball drafts. Most people expect Mitch Trubisky to start Week 1. Therefore, why draft Kenny Pickett when he might not be the starter?
First, there’s no guarantee Trubisky actually starts in Week 1. Pickett was taken by the Steelers in round 20. He was 54 slots ahead Desmond Ridder who was the next quarterback to be drafted. It’s fair to say Pickett is the most pro-ready QB in this class. Second, even if Trubisky does start, there’s a very real chance Pickett takes over at some point, possibly in September or October.
Pickett will have plenty of talent if he is made the starter. Diontae Johnson is one of the most gifted route runners in the league — a top-12 wide receiver in the NFL. Chase Claypool is a huge downfield threat. George Pickens is like Claypool, but better. Pat Freiermuth is a reliable pair of hands and an excellent end-zone target. Najee Harris is also a skilled runner who can receive back.
Pickett isn’t going to light the world on fire as a rookie, but he could pop for a couple of multi-touchdown games once he takes over. If you wait extra long on QB, Pickett is a better-than-you-think gamble at the very end of fantasy football best ball drafts.