The NFL offseason did not disappoint with a number of moves that saw familiar faces end up in new places. As the most important position in the league, a change at quarterback has the potential to uplift the offense as a whole. With a number of franchises set on winning now the NFL heads into the 2022 season with more than a few new quarterback names starting for Week 1.
We’re break down the biggest quarterback changes of the offseason so far and looking ahead to how they will affect your fantasy rosters.
Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos (from Seattle Seahawks)
The Broncos have long suffered from lacking a franchise quarterback since Peyton Manning’s retirement but they filled that void by trading for Wilson. Though Wilson threw for a career-low 3,113 passing yards last season it was undoubtedly a factor of injuries and fading roster construction. Now he joins Denver with the likes of Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton. Wilson made both DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett premier fantasy receiver options, which should make them both draft targets for fantasy owners.
Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts (from Atlanta Falcons)
The Colts ranked 26th in passing yards per game last season with an average of 197.7. Inconsistent play from Carson Wentz resulted in Indianapolis trading him away and handing the starting job over to Ryan after a trade with the Falcons. Jonathan Taylor will continue to remain the focal point of the offense, but Michael Pittman Jr. could form a nice duo with Ryan under center. Ryan averaged 7.1 yards per attempt last season, indicating he’s looking to stretch the field. Aside from Taylor, fantasy owners should be keen on adding Pittman Jr. to their rosters with potential fantasy upside as the season continues on.
Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders (from Indianapolis Colts)
Washington finished 21st in passing yards per game last season and that was with a rotating carousel of starters under center. In trading for Wentz, the Commanders have a solidified starter at the quarterback position. Terry Mclaurin and Curtis Samuel should get their fair share of targets with Wentz averaging 6.9 yards per attempt last season despite his inconsistent play week-to-week. Having an established quarterback under center makes Washington a worthwhile roster to scour should fantasy owners hope to build receiver depth.
Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons (from Las Vegas Raiders)
Mariota gives the Falcons some added athleticism in the pocket and showed he still has more to offer during his stint as the Raiders' backup. Atlanta will notably be without their top wideout Calvin Ridley due to suspension and saw Russell Gage depart in free agency. This only adds more opportunities for tight end Kyle Pitts in year two. Mariota has a career average of 7.5 yards per attempt so he hasn’t been shy to look downfield. As long as he builds chemistry with his tight end then fantasy owners should zero in on targeting Pitts to for their tight end slots in fantasy drafts.
Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans)
When Watson suits up for Cleveland remains to be seen but when that day comes he’ll have a talented roster around him. His athleticism in the pocket should help extend plays and provide big play opportunities for the newly added Amari Cooper. Cooper easily becomes Watson’s best target since Deandre Hopkins and if a respectable passing game comes to fruition then that should help take the load off the running game. It will be tougher for defenses to easily stack the box against Cleveland’s backfield duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.