I label my players to fade as “fades” versus “busts,” because a bust connotes an awful season on the field. But, if a player is healthy and has some chance to see meaningful playing time, he has fantasy value. Does that mean I’ll draft that player? It all depends on where they go in the draft I am in at that moment. Average draft position is our best tool for predicting where a player will be drafted. When selecting sleepers and busts and breakouts and the like, we must do it within the ADP landscape.
Fading top quarterbacks has always been my base strategy, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes on my team. The strategy is based on positional scarcity and value based drafting versus disliking individual quarterbacks. So, a player I want to fade will be based on many factors but in the end it comes down to value.
Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers is still a good quarterback and with the right weapons and offensive strategy he could be a strong fantasy player. Unfortunately, the Packers made no strong moves this offseason to upgrade his receivers, while adding a rookie running back in the draft. This isn’t the same offense and team that helped Rodgers become a perennial No. 1 fantasy quarterbacks.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
Update August 27: Allen says he wants to run less in 2020. He ranked third among quarterbacks in rushing yards (510) last season and lead all signal callers in touchdown runs (10). Allen’s dual threat abilities have been a big part of his fantasy football upside, so cutting down on his rushing could cause a steep decline if he doesn’t improve his accuracy.
Update Aug 18: Cole Beasley says Allen has been more ambitious with his passing attempts at practice. He’ll be expected to throw the ball more with Diggs on board, but that opens the door for more interceptions. Allen might be trying to squeeze the ball in tighter windows, but that doesn’t mean his accuracy has improved significantly.
Allen is a polarizing player, as some pundits love him and some hate him. I’m very much in the middle, as he’s shown both great upside and downside. His rushing ability keeps his floor strong but his passing numbers are mostly bad. The addition of Stefon Diggs should help, but Allen’s trouble with reading defenses and accuracy isn’t something that is easy to fix. If you can get Allen later than his ADP, I’m on board, but I think we’re too high on him as a fantasy football community this season.
Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Update Aug 18: While there have been rumors about Hopkins considering a holdout circulating, the wideout denied those claims on Monday. That bodes well for Murray, who has put on some weight over the offseason.
I love Murray and think he’s on the verge of a breakout, but I’m just not willing to pay for the breakout until it happens. The addition of DeAndre Hopkins is huge for Murray’s development, but going off as the fourth quarterback in ADP is too rich for my blood. That’s where I might project him finishing, but not where I want to pay for his services just yet.
Patrick Mahomes/Lamar Jackson
Update September 4: Jackson has returned from his groin injury and says he’s back at 100 percent, per reporter Jamison Hensley. It appears like he’ll be at full strength ahead of Week 1 and should be able to take advantage of all his physical tools.
Update August 27: Jackson missed a couple days of practice because of a groin injury, but it doesn’t appear to be a serious issue and he is returning to practice.
As the top fantasy quarterbacks in the league, Mahomes and Jackson will be the first two quarterbacks selected in drafts, but unless they drop precipitously in drafts, I won’t roster either. Early in drafts, we are looking for solid, high-upside running backs or wide receivers, as the pool of viable backs and receivers is small due to us needing around 3-4 starters at each position. Can you win your league by drafting a quarterback in the first round? Of course. You can win your league by drafting a kicker in the first round if the rest of your picks fall your way, but when building the best overall lineup, I will wait on QB.