Deciding what to do at the quarterback position for your dynasty team can be a tough decision sometimes. This is especially the case when you don’t roster an elite QB like Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, or Kyler Murray. The quarterbacks I’m going to talk about have been very up and down to begin their careers, and many people may be wondering what to do with them. Today, I’ll be talking about Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Tua Tagovailoa. Tua had a poor rookie season, Darnold has been awful to start his career, and while Baker had a better 2020 season, he still needs to improve on. So let’s see which quarterback I want to buy, sell, and hold for dynasty.
Buy Tua Tagovailoa
You may be thinking, “Why on earth would I buy him when he was awful last season?” While it’s true that Tua had a very rollercoaster season, he did show flashes of what he can be. There were also multiple factors working against Tua last season.
First, he was working himself back from that devastating injury, which is surprising he came back at all. Secondly, the world and NFL were dealing with COVID-19, so rookies didn’t get a full offseason nor preseason games to get acclimated to the NFL. These offseason programs and games are crucial for rookies because they get used to the speed of NFL games and the players. Lastly, the team was in a weird position with him and Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins deployed a two-QB system for most of the season, which made it very difficult for Tua to get familiar with the game plan and his teammates.
On the bright side, Tua is now the full-time starter with Ryan Fitzpatrick signing with the Washington Football Team. He will also get an entire offseason to improve and get healthy. Plus, they brought in some weapons to bolster the offensive side of the ball. They signed Will Fuller, who is coming off his career-best season in 2020, and they drafted Jaylen Waddle out of Alabama, who was dynamic and electric with the ball in his hands. They also have solid receivers in DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki. I understand he wasn’t elite in his rookie season, but they surrounded him with talent on both sides of the ball, and he’s a great buy-low target.
Sell Baker Mayfield
This may seem an odd choice, being as Mayfield has produced the best season out of any of these quarterbacks. He bounced back after a disastrous 2019 season where he had thrown 22 touchdowns to 21 interceptions. Mayfield completed 62.8% of his passes for 3,563 yards and 26 touchdowns to only eight interceptions. He looked way more comfortable on the field in the Kevin Stefanski offense. He’s certainly taken a step forward in his development and was actually a streamable quarterback last season.
On the other hand, I’m just not sold on him being an elite talent. He has flaws that hold him back, and the offense he’s in hides a lot of them. The Browns have two elite running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt and are one of the more run-heavy teams in the NFL. He’s not a mobile quarterback either, which the game is gravitating to more quarterbacks who can scramble. Mayfield’s career-high in rushing yards in a season is only 165, so this forces him to put up good efficiency numbers and touchdowns. He has indeed produced the best season out of any of these quarterbacks, so you will most likely get more out of him if you trade him. The return may not be anything to write home about, but it could help your fantasy team.
Hold Sam Darnold
Now this decision might be questionable to some out there. I get it. Darnold hasn’t looked good at all to start his career. He’s only completed 59.8% of his passes, has thrown for a below pedestrian 213.1 yards per game, and has 45 touchdowns to 39 interceptions for his career. Those numbers are very, very bad. The Jets are not a very well-run organization, though. They didn’t put the talent, offensive line, or coaching staff around Darnold to give him a fair shot. While he hasn’t looked elite, he has flashed in a handful of games during his career. Don’t give up on him just yet, and I’m about to tell you why.
There is room for optimism when talking about the future outlook for Darnold. First, he is finally broken free from the Adam Gase deathtrap. You’ve seen Devante Parker, Jarvis Landry, Robby Anderson, etc., all have career years without Adam Gase. Sam Darnold will be added to this list this coming season. Next, he gets a significant weapons upgrade on the Panthers now. He has the best overall running back in the NFL, a young star WR in D.J. Moore, and gets to reunite with former teammate Robby Anderson. The Panthers also drafted LSU WR Terrance Marshall in the 2020 draft, giving him more than enough weapons to succeed.
All of these reasons are something to look forward to this upcoming season and beyond when looking at Sam Darnolds’ outlook. While he may not be one of the upper echelon quarterbacks, he is extremely cheap right now, and he has the upside to have his best season to date.
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