We’ve reached the dead zone of the fantasy football year. Rookie drafts are complete and league redrafts won’t begin for a few weeks. While dynasty startup drafts are always a hit, this leads to a bigger workload during the season. Instead, the best ball designs are a great way to pass the time and scratch the imagination itch.
The best ball differs from traditional fantasy football in many ways. However, what remains the same is finding sleepers in the later rounds. Finding value in the later rounds can mean the difference between winning the league and just missing out on making money.
Today I have five sleeper quarterbacks to target outside the top 15 in your best ball drafts.
The Average Draft Position (ADP) used for this article is from Underdog Fantasy.
Justin Fields (QB – CHI): ADP 126.7 | QB16
Fields’ rookie season didn’t go as planned. He shared starter time with Andy Dalton and had a dysfunctional coaching staff on the sidelines. However, he is in a great position to have a recovered second season. Despite the bad situation, Fields ended the past year on a positive note. He scored at least 16.9 fantasy points in four of his last five games, averaging 16.4 fantasy points per competition. Additionally, he scored 18 or more fantasy points against two talented defensemen in the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. The Bears will have plenty of negative gameplay script this season, giving Fields more opportunities to rack up the fantasy points.
Jameis Winston (QB – NO): ADP 154.6 | QB19
After his famous 30-30 season in 2019, Winston fell off the fantasy radar in 2020. However, he started the 2021 season strongly. Winston threw 14 touchdowns against just three interceptions in seven games before a knee injury ended his season. Despite the injury, the Saints re-signed Winston as a starter in the offseason. More importantly, the Saints have drastically improved their offense. They should have a healthy Michael Thomas back after he was absent through injury last year. The Saints also drafted Chris Olave and signed Jarvis Landry, giving Winston arguably the best trio of wide receivers of his career. If he’s ready to go into Week 1, Winston will have the top-5 on his head.
Zach Wilson (QB – NYJ): ADP 171.6 | QB22
As the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson had high expectations as a rookie. However, he struggled and averaged just 11.7 fantasy points per game. While his fantasy production was disappointing, Wilson had a poor supporting cast around him. Elijah Moore and Corey Davis struggled with injuries, making Braxton Berrios the team’s most consistent pass catcher. Thankfully, the Jets have signed a pair of veteran tight ends, CJ Uzomah and Tyler Conklin, on freehand. They then used a top 10 draft pick for Garrett Wilson and an early second-round pick for Breece Hall. With an improved supporting cast, Wilson should have a breakout season.
Jared Goff (QB – DET): ADP 191.5 | QB26
The idea of drawing Goff is far from appealing. However, the veteran quarterback was productive last year despite a limited supporting cast. Last year he was the QB20 on a points-per-game basis, throwing 19 touchdowns in 14 games. Additionally, despite a poor supporting cast, Goff had three weekly Top 8 appearances. Thankfully, the Lions took several steps to help Goff during the offseason. First, they re-signed Josh Reynolds and Caliph Raymond. They then signed DJ Chark and gave Goff a big play wide receiver on the outside. Eventually, the Lions traded mid-draft to secure Jameson Williams. Given the additions, Goff should have a strong enough supporting cast to allow fantasy teams multiple weekly top 12 finishes.
Desmond Ridder (QB – ATL): ADP 215.1 | QB33
While rookie quarterbacks rarely become fantasy stars, Ridder has the potential to pull off the feat. The rookie quarterback was a four-year starter in Cincinnati and the third-most-winning games in college football history. More importantly, he has two elite sports geeks to take on in Kyle Pitts and Drake London. Cordarrelle Patterson will also give him a hybrid weapon in the backfield. Ridder is also a capable runner and could have 350 or more rushing yards if he starts most games. More importantly, the Falcons will be in a negative game script for most of the season. If he can develop a connection with Pitts and London early in the season, Ridder could sneak into the top 12 as a rookie.
Mike Fanelli is a featured author at FantasyPros. For more from Mike see his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.