With NFL training camps scheduled to kick off this week in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, fantasy football players across the country are gathering for their annual summer drafts. It’s time to start digging into which players you should be targeting in order to dominate your league this fall.
First, the quarterbacks.
Best bet: Lamar Jackson, Ravens
This should come as no surprise. Jackson is the most exciting player in the NFL, regardless of position, and the same can be said for fantasy football. His ability to lead your team as both a passer (he led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes in 2019) and as a runner (his 1,206 rushing yards shattered the single-season quarterback rushing record) is unrivaled. And that includes players like Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey.
Jackson is the rare quarterback who should be considered with the first overall pick in your league this year. Sure, the depth of the position usually makes fantasy players shy away from taking a quarterback that early, but Jackson is an exception. You’re getting a quarterback and running back baked into one player.
Sleeper: Daniel Jones, Giants
Jones was impressive as a rookie last year when he threw for 3,027 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while adding another 279 yards rushing and two touchdowns on the ground. His fumbles were a problem, but he should have those cleaned up in his sophomore campaign.
Remember: Jones didn’t play with a full-strength Barkley in 2019. With the league’s best runner back to 100% health, the passing game will be even more potent in New York. Jones will be the beneficiary of short dump-offs that Barkley takes to the house.
Kyler Murray is the most talked-about second-year quarterback this summer, but it’s Jones who could post a better stat line by the time the season comes to an end.
Rookie to watch: Justin Herbert, Chargers
Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa will get most of the attention among the first-year quarterbacks, but Herbert should assume the starting job in Los Angeles by midseason and will have a really attractive group of pass-catchers to throw to including Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and Austin Ekeler.
Herbert’s big-league arm can make all the throws and will put his playmakers in a good position to succeed. He’ll go through some obvious rookie growing pains, but once the game begins to slow down for him, he has a chance to be a box-score darling.
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