Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers, Undervalued (2024) (2024)

Fantasy Football Quarterback Sleepers, Undervalued (2024) (1)

We're now in May, and the dust has settled from the free-agency period and the 2024 NFL Draft. We now know what every team will look like (for the most part), and fantasy managers are looking to prepare themselves for their respective leagues' drafts.

Finding an undervalued QB can do wonders for your squad. Last year, fantasy managers who decided to strengthen other areas of their squad and draft a QB1 like Jordan Love -- who was being drafted as the QB23 -- were greatly rewarded, and many of them won their leagues. The same goes for Brock Purdy and Baker Mayfield, who had QB22 and QB32 ADPs, respectively. Both QBs exceeded expectations and went on to finish in the top 10.

With that being said, let's look at some undervalued QBs who can be this year's Love/Purdy/Mayfield. The three QBs listed in my "Early Best Ball Sleepers" article (Mayfield, Will Levis, and Kyler Murray) will not be featured. All ADPs are from Underdog's Best Ball ADP rankings.

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Sam Darnold, Minnesota Vikings

Based on Darnold's ADP (QB35), you'd assume he's the Vikings' QB2 behind J.J. McCarthy. While many Vikes fans would love to see their 10th overall pick start as soon as possible over Darnold, recent reports suggest this may not be the case. Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah recently stated that McCarthy "will be required to hit specific benchmarks in his development" before he can start games.

In addition, Vikings reporter Alec Lewis of The Athletic said Minnesota "wants to treat [McCarthy] like a big-league baseball team treats a top prospect." So, we should expect to see Darnold start for the first few weeks, and if he succeeds, he can keep the starting gig for the rest of the campaign. The key word here is "if he succeeds," but there are reasons to be optimistic.

J.J. McCarthy "will be required to hit specific benchmarks in his development" before he can start, according to Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah🤔

How many games will McCarthy start in his first NFL season?#SKOL #NFLTwitter

— RotoBaller NFL (@RotoBallerNFL) April 28, 2024

The last time that Darnold was a starter for an extended period was near the end of the 2022 season when he almost led the Panthers to the division title even though the team traded away Christian McCaffrey earlier in the season. Minnesota has an explosive offense that made Joshua Dobbs look like a Comeback Player of the Year candidate for two weeks despite the absence of Justin Jefferson.

And when Jefferson returned, he helped Nick Mullens finish as the QB10 from Week 15 to Week 18. Yes, he's a famous draft bust, but it's apparent that Darnold is more talented than Dobbs and Mullens. With a healthy Jefferson alongside Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson, Darnold can shock the world and prevent McCarthy from seeing the field as a rookie while producing at a high level.

Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

Unlike McCarthy's situation in Minnesota, the Broncos are expected to start Bo Nix early and give him chances to develop. The Broncos currently have Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham as the other QBs on their roster, and it's almost a given that Nix will beat them for the starting job.

Nix won't have many superstars to work with like his other fellow rookie first-round QBs, and it could be argued that only Drake Maye has a worse supporting cast than Nix among this group. However, he still has some nice pieces like Courtland Sutton and the explosive Marvin Mims Jr., who is poised for a breakout year.

Bo Nix ➡️ Troy Franklin

— DNVR Broncos (@DNVR_Broncos) May 11, 2024

Of course, Nix lacks the athleticism or the super-strong arm that other appealing prospects have. However, his play style suits Broncos HC Sean Payton perfectly. We all know that Payton is a "quarterback whisperer" and he definitely saw something great in Nix when he took him. Ever since he got picked, Payton has been gushing about him nonstop and it's obvious that he's excited to work with him.

Yes, his incredible accuracy in college was due to a large percentage of his passes coming from behind the line of scrimmage, but that won't matter much with Payton at the helm. His ADP is currently the QB33, but even if he does an average job, he can outperform his draft stock.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

I talked about Young in a previous article, and I advocated for him and said he could still fulfill his enormous potential despite his disappointing rookie season.

That article was published before the draft, and now that the draft is behind us, we can be even more optimistic. We've seen many QBs struggle in their first year after being drafted first overall due to being in terrible situations, only to quickly turn things around as soon as the team gets better and they adjust to NFL life.

The Panthers are quietly crushing this offseason with some sneaky-good moves, starting with Coach Canales.

🤝Diontae Johnson
🍖beefing up the O Line
🐓Xavier Legette
🐮Jonathon Brooks

Is this the spark Bryce Young needs to elevate his game?

— Fantasy Football Dudes (@TFFDudes) May 6, 2024

Just look at Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence had a terrible rookie year that saw him finish as the overall QB22 behind 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger and 36-year-old Matt Ryan. Lawrence then bounced back in a big way as a sophom*ore, finishing as the overall QB8.

Young finished as the QB23 last year and his ADP is currently the QB28, below Derek Carr and projected Steelers backup Justin Fields. I don't think it's wild to suggest Young will outperform his ADP now that he has Diontae Johnson, Xavier Legette, and hidden gem Ja'Tavion Sanders to throw to alongside Adam Thielen.

Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets

After four QB1 finishes and four QB2 finishes, how much more does Aaron Rodgers have left in the tank? He was ready to take the NFL world by storm once again last year in his first season as a New York Jet, but he tore his Achilles just four snaps into his tenure and now he's being underrated by the media and fantasy managers.

Yes, an Achilles injury is pretty serious and Rodgers is very old, but Kirk Cousins, also an old quarterback coming off of an Achilles injury, is being picked ahead of him. Rodgers is the QB21, while Cousins is the QB17.

.@AaronRodgers12 to @Slideweezy in stride 🤧

— New York Jets (@nyjets) May 10, 2024

Let's go back to the Achilles injury. Just a few years ago, an Achilles tear would spell the end of a player's prime and sometimes even their career. Since Kevin Durant's successful recovery, Achilles injuries have become less scary. This is especially true for a pocket QB (at this stage) like Rodgers, who can rack up fantasy points without needing to scramble.

The Jets have bolstered their offensive line to protect Rodgers even more, and they've also added some new weapons such as the injury-prone, but talented Mike Williams. With a full recovery, a better roster than last year, and more motivation than ever, Rodgers can easily be a top-10 fantasy QB in 2024. Tom Brady finished as the QB3 at the age of 44, so Rodgers achieving a top-10 finish at the age of 41 is not impossible.

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