When playing in daily fantasy contests with massive fields, cheating the quarterback will deliver multiple wins over an 18-week season. But, at the same time, these lower-priced players will also fail at a high rate. When throwing your dart at the backend of the quarterback pool, the goal is to look at these check marks:
· Will their offense be forced to throw?
· Do they have viable low-value hookups?
· Is their defense good enough not to allow a ball control game by the opposing quarterback?
· Is there any chance the quarterback selected will get hooked in the game?
· Does their offense have a strong enough run game to slow down the clock? If so, this would be a reason to fade.
· Will the quarterback help his floor by running the ball?
One or more bottom-tier quarterbacks will post a winning score for the daily games each week. Their success and lower salary allow a team builder to take fewer risks at running back and wide receiver.
Mitchell Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers (DraftKings – $5,000/FanDuel – $6,400)
Trubisky looks only to be a placeholder to most of the fantasy market until Kenny Pickett kicks the door down. In 2018, Trubisky helped three lucky people win a million dollars at DraftKings by delivering impact games (407/6, 414/3, and 373/4) with a low salary. The Steelers have three intriguing wide receivers (Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and George Pickens) plus a high-volume pass-catching back (Najee Harris) and a more than serviceable option at tight end (Pat Freiermuth). If Joe Burrow solves Pittsburgh's defense, their offense would be forced to throw. Last season, Cincinnati played better than expected defending quarterback (19th – 20.47 FPPG). Game flow points to Trubisky being a viable low-value play at quarterback in Week 1.
Joe Flacco, New York Jets (DraftKings – $4,800/FanDuel – $6,200)
I'm going with the premise that Flacco starts in Week 1. If Zack Wilson suits up, he becomes a potentially better option while also having a low salary at DraftKings ($5,100). This matchup does have downside risk as Baltimore will run the ball a lot, leading to New York not opening up the playbook if the game stays close. The Jets bring three talented wide receivers (Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, and Garrett Wilson) to the table, and I expect running back Breece Hall to improve their passing game out of the backfield. The Ravens typically have a physical, attacking defense, but they fell to 28th in the league defending quarterbacks (22.29 FPPG – 4,976/31 while allowing 8.01 yards per pass attempt) in 2021. Baltimore has veteran cornerbacks who will give up big plays if their pass rush doesn't get to the quarterback. One of the Jets' receiving options may hit on a long score, creating a low-value hookup situation.
Jared Goff, Detroit Lions (DraftKings - $5,400/FanDuel - $6,800)
Goff will be found in the free-agent pool in most season-long drafts. His receiver corps grades much better than the fantasy world is giving him credit for and he has an excellent season (4,796/34) on his NFL resume in 2018. I love the upside and ceiling of Amon-Ra St. Brown and D'Andre Swift is a top-tier pass-catching back. Plus, T.J. Hockenson gets drafted as a top-eight tight end. When at his best in 2019 (73/1,008/8), DJ Chark played well for a below-par offense in Jacksonville. Philadelphia CB Darius Slay will slow down one wideout, forcing Goff to move the ball with his backs, tight end, and slot receiver. This game should be played at a fast pace and the Lions' side of the fantasy equation may be disrespected in the daily formats. Goff will play his way onto many fantasy teams after a big game on opening day.