Will Matthew Stafford be an MVP Candidate?
By: Teddy Ricketson
There are obvious differences between redraft leagues and dynasty leagues, but one overarching “stat” that is discussed a lot in dynasty is the age of the players. Now, everyone can have different strategies in dynasty whether you are all-in on winning now or if you are building for a future dynasty, but in either case, there is going to be some value with QBs that are “over the hill” playing in their age-30 season or later. Here are three QBs that I believe will defeat Father Time long enough to give your team a boost:
- Matthew Stafford- Los Angeles Rams
The biggest trade of the “offseason” so far saw Matthew Stafford head to sunny Los Angeles in a blockbuster trade between the Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Rams. We all knew that Stafford was one of the toughest guys in the NFL, and for the first time in a long time, he is going to have a supporting cast on both sides of the ball that will alleviate pressure on him.
This season, throwing to the likes of Marvin Jones Jr, Mohammed Sanu, and Danny Amendola for his receiving corps, Stafford finished as QB15. He completed 64.2% of his passes for 4,084 yards, 26 TDs, and 10 INTs. On the Rams, Stafford will have two top-25 fantasy WRs in Robert Woods (WR12) and Cooper Kupp (WR26). He does get a downgrade at TE going from TJ Hockenson (TE5) down to Tyler Higbee (TE17), but this Rams offense had Josh Reynolds as their third WR option finish as WR61, 10 spots higher than the Lions second WR last season.
Stafford is going to have more chances to succeed and hopefully not play from behind as often with the Rams defense getting him the ball back. The Lions defense gave up the most points in the league last season, and the Rams gave up the fewest and the Rams had twice as many INTs as the Lions did. There is hype around Stafford on a new team, so give it a few months for it to die down, but I do think you can get him cheaply and he is poised for a QB1 season.
2. Ryan Tannehill- Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill had the same number of rushing TDs as Lamar Jackson last season. Obviously he didn’t have nearly the yardage on the ground, but Tannehill is coming off of a season where he set career highs in passing and rushing TDs. The question mark for Tannehill is how deep his supporting cast will be this season as both Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith are Free Agents, but he we know he will have the RB3 in PPR scoring Derrick Henry and the WR14 AJ Brown out there to help him try and stay hot.
Tannehill finished as the QB7 on the season with 3819 yards, 33 TDs passing, seven INTs, and he added 266 yards and seven rushing TDs on the ground. His best game of the season came in Week 15 against the Lions as he went 21/27 for 273 yards, three TDs, 0 INTS, and three rushes for 21 yards and two touchdowns for a total of 37.02 fantasy points. He finished as the QB9 (min. nine games started) in a points per game basis so while the Tennessee Titans still have some pending free agents, use his turning 33 right before the season as leverage for a QB that still has solid years to give your squad.
3. Kirk Cousins- Minnesota Vikings
Say what you will, Kirk Cousins is really, really good at handing the ball of the fantasy’s RB2 Dalvin Cook. All jokes aside, Cousins finished the season as a QB1 finishing 11th with 306.2 fantasy points. Cousins is surrounded by talent so despite the criticisms he is given, he is still going to be a viable QB option if you were someone who was hoping that Cam Newton to the Patriots was going to be a thing. In superflex leagues, two-QB leagues, or in desperate dynasty roster situations, give me Cousins.
Cousins completed 67.6% of his passes for 4,265 yards, 35 TDs, and 13 INTs. In QBs with at least 500 passing attempts, he was second to Deshaun Watson in average completion distance at 8.1 yards meaning when he is completing passes, it is further down the field and for a guy that completed 349 passes, that is a good indicator for potential success.
As discussed with the other two QBs on this list, Cousins has about a good as a supporting cast as any. Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen finished as the WR6 and WR10 respectively, and then there’s ole RB3 Cook in the backfield too. Kyle Rudolph is fantasy irrelevant, but Irv Smith Jr. showed flashes of promise as a young tight end in the game. There are trade rumors swirling around Cousins, but if he stays put, I like him to finish as a QB1 this upcoming season and you can easily make a case to whoever has him in your league to get him cheaply.
Honorable Mention: Derek Carr (Las Vegas Raiders)- Carr turns 30 next month so technically does qualify for the age stipulation, but even with finishing as the QB13 this season, I believe he doesn’t make the jump high enough to be worth pursuing, but if you have assets to spare he wouldn’t be a bad target.