What I look for when targeting my potential QB is a QB that can be an elite Top 5 performer without demanding a pick in the first four rounds. I really like to get my top two WRs and RBs before drafting a QB. When it comes to drafting QBs this season, there are three different strategies you could use.
The first strategy is to take one of the Top 2 QBs, Cam Newton (ADP 22) or Aaron Rodgers (ADP 28), likely in the 3rd round. You will miss out on a high end No. 2 RB or WR such as LeSean McCoy (ADP 26) or Brandin Cooks (ADP 27) if you chose to use this strategy.
The second strategy, which has become the most common, is to wait as long as you can to draft a QB due to the depth at the position. Then draft one of the higher end QB2, and use them as a platoon (a combination of Tony Romo (No. 11 QB) and Philip Rivers (No. 12 QB) would be a good example). You could get lucky, and get great value if one of the No.7-No.10 QBs (Blake Bortles, Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Carson Palmer) slip through the cracks. You can also get unlucky if you wait too long, and up with Derek Carr as your QB1.
The final strategy, which is the one I advocate for this season, is to target the No.3-No.6 ranked QBs (Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck, and Drew Brees) in rounds 5 or 6. Wilson and Luck are starting to get drafted a little early for my liking with ADPs of 40 and 43. Roethlisberger (ADP 52) and Brees (ADP 54) are falling right in the 5-6 round area.
In the several early drafts I’ve been in thus far, I’ve drafted Wilson or Roethlisberger as my QB in most of them. Wilson’s ADP has been steadily moving upward though, placing him as more of a fourth round pick going forward. I have Big Ben ranked as my No. 4 QB, slightly ahead of Luck. This makes Ben Roethlisberger my favorite Must Draft Quarterback.
Must Draft Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (ADP 52)
The Steelers have the best offense in the NFL. They have the best WR in the league (Antonio Brown) and the best all-around RB in the league (Le’Veon Bell), though he’ll likely be suspended for up to four games. They have the league’s second best offensive line, and they have a Top 5 QB with two Super Bowl wins at the helm.
In 11 starts last season, Roethlisberger had five games with over 30 Fantasy points. He threw for at least 334 yards in 8-of-11 games. Had he started all 16 games, he would’ve passed for well over 5,000 yards. His TD-to-INT rate wasn’t great with 21 TDs and 16 INTs. In 2014, Roethlisberger started all 16 games, and finished with 32 TDs, nine INTs, and just 50 yards shy of 5,000 yards.
Roethlisberger played through injury most of last season, and wasn’t really at his best. He enters this season fully healthy, 15 pounds lighter, and primed for the best season of his career. The main concern people have with Roethlisberger are his secondary receiving options after Antonio Brown. With Martavis Bryant suspended for the season, Sammie Coates, Markus Wheaton, and TE Ladaruis Green will be the primary secondary receiving options.
I like this group of pass catchers more than most. Wheaton is nothing special, but he’s a solid receiver who has made some big plays. He should at least match his totals last year of 749 yards and five TDs. He could also improve on them quite a bit. Coates and Green are very interesting to me. Both are extremely special athletes, and either/or both of them could have huge seasons.
Coates was a third round pick of the Steelers in last year’s draft. He lit up the combine with a 4.4 40 yard dash and a 41′ vertical at 212 pounds. Coates was a big play machine at Auburn. He averaged 21 yards per catch in his college career, including a record setting performance in the 2014 Iron Bowl against Alabama.
Coates had a terrible rookie season. Due to injury and poor conditioning, he received almost no playing time. He came into camp this season in great shape, and so far has been the talk of Steelers training camp. He’s fully capable of replacing Martavis Bryant.
Green is also a physical freak. He runs a 4.5 40 at 6’6″, 240 pounds. Through no fault of his own, Green wasn’t a big factor in his four seasons in San Diego. He was stuck behind one of the best TEs ever in Antonio Gates. Green will get plenty of opportunities to shine this season in Pittsburgh.
If these three guys can average about 800 yards each, and Antonio Brown goes for 1,800 yards again, you’re looking at 4,200 passing yards right there. Throw in all the receiving yards from the RBs and other receivers, and Roethlisberger could have a legitimate chance to break Peyton Manning’s 5,477 yard single season record.
There is a small injury risk with Roethlisberger, but I believe if Big Ben stays healthy, he has as good of a chance as anyone not named Cam Newton to be the No. 1 scoring Fantasy QB.
Honorable Mentions – Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (ADP 54) and Eli Manning, New York Giants (ADP 99)
Must Draft Quarterback No. 2
Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (ADP 118)
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