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How 2020 QB changes will affect the fantasy football landscape

We go over how quarterback changes could affect the fantasy football impact of players in 2020.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers works out during training camp at AdventHealth Training Center on August 13, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Quite a few teams have made notable quarterback changes this offseason. Some teams appear likely to improve while others could struggle with a new face under center. New personnel will affect the fantasy football production of each team in the 2020 season. We’ll go over some of the more notable moves to keep an eye on below.

Carolina Panthers

Old QB: Cam Newton/Kyle Allen
New QB: Teddy Bridgewater

Newton played the first two weeks before a foot injury resulted in him missing the rest of the season. Allen replaced him for most of 2019, with Will Grier also getting some work. While Allen had some standout performances, his accuracy was a problem at times. Bridgewater completed 67.9 percent of his passes last year in New Orleans. While Bridgewater won’t have a big name receiver like Michael Thomas to throw to, his experience should help D.J. Moore, Curtis Samuel, and Robby Anderson thrive. It’ll be difficult for Christian McCaffrey to match the historical stats he put up last year, but Bridgewater played with Alvin Kamara in New Orleans. McCaffrey should remain the most sought after fantasy running back in all formats.

Cincinnati Bengals

Old QB: Andy Dalton
New QB: Joe Burrow

Dalton’s production plummeted throughout the Bengals’ horrendous 2-14 season in 2019. He struggled without star receiver A.J. Green and was even replaced by Ryan Finley for a few games. Green will be back in 2020 and can pair with Tyler Boyd out wide. Having a premier target should make it easier for Burrow to thrive. His mobility can make the Bengals more creative and make them one of the more prolific passing offenses in the NFL.

Chicago Bears

QB battle: Mitchell Trubisky vs. Nick Foles

Trubisky regressed in his third pro season with the Bears. Despite Trubisky’s inconsistency as a passer, Allen Robinson was able to put together one of his best seasons to date. Anthony Miller could become a quality WR2 in time and Chicago made an attempt to improve at tight end by signing Jimmy Graham in free agency. Foles is far from being an elite quarterback, but he can make the simple throws and should help passing numbers improve across the board if he’s the Week 1 starter. This job won’t be handed to Foles, but his contract and the decision to trade a fourth round pick for him makes it seem like he’s the frontrunner.

Indianapolis Colts

Old QB: Jacoby Brissett
New QB: Philip Rivers

Brissett was thrown into the fire when Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired in 2019, and he didn’t perform very well as a starter. He ranked 19th in DYAR and 16th in DVOA, but was 27th in passing yards with 2,972 and 26th with 18 passing touchdowns. The lingering injuries of T.Y. Hilton made a significant impact on the success of the Colts, but it was clear early on that Brissett wasn’t suited to lead a top-flight offense. Rivers has thrown for more than 4,000 yards for seven straight seasons and should be able to do more with an Indianapolis team that’s added depth at wide receiver and in the backfield through the draft. He and Hilton could be a dynamic duo if both players are healthy, and players like Michael Pittman and Parris Campbell could also benefit from having the veteran under center.

Los Angeles Chargers

Old QB: Philip Rivers
New QB: Tyrod Taylor or Justin Herbert

The Chargers won’t have Rivers under center for the first time since 2006. His touchdown pass total plummeted in 2019 while his interception total skyrocketed. There’s a ton of desirable fantasy football targets still with Los Angeles though, and Rivers’ replacement could help them retain their value. Keenan Allen was a top 10 PPR wideout for the second time in the last three seasons in 2019 while Austin Ekeler emerged as a premier pass-catching back. Hunter Henry could be on the brink of becoming one of the best tight end options in the league. Tyrod Taylor has never been an elite passer, so it’s unlikely that he’ll elevate the play of the Chargers’ best pass catchers. However, incoming rookie Justin Herbert has tantalizing arm strength that could help the Chargers stretch the field. Ekeler likely has the best chance to have a career year given the uncertainty under center and the departure of Melvin Gordon.

New England Patriots

Old QB: Tom Brady
New QB: Cam Newton or Jarrett Stidham

It looks like we’ll finally get to see if Tom Brady is just a system quarterback. The GOAT has left New England to join the Buccaneers and two quarterbacks have a realistic shot at becoming his successor. Bill Belichick has praised Cam Newton’s athleticism in the past and could get creative with him and his physical tools, but the receiving corps is still below average. The Patriots don’t have any stars out wide, and Newton took a Panthers team without a top 20 pass catcher to the Super Bowl in 2015. A balanced attack that makes use of Sony Michel and James White in the backfield could help make the best of Newton’s gifts should he continue to struggle throwing the ball. Nobody has seen enough of Jarrett Stidham to know what he brings to the table at this point,

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Old QB: Jameis Winston
New QB: Tom Brady

Tampa Bay was the only team in the NFL last year with two top 10 fantasy wideouts on the same team. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin were the focal points of a vertical offense led by Jameis Winston. Don’t expect the Buccaneers to tone it down in 2020. Adding Rob Gronkowski could hurt the stats of Evans and Godwin some, but that doesn’t mean all three can’t be viable options. You should be higher on tom Brady than you were last year, but lower on Evans and Godwin because of the talent around them.