• Matt Nein

Dynasty QB Buy Lows

Twitter: @mnein9



Congratulations to all of you who won a fantasy football championship this season! Between COVID and an insane number of injuries this season, winning a title this season will surely feel better than ever before.


Most dynasty leagues don’t have trade deadlines but if you are in one that does, trades should be opening back up soon and there is no better time to capitalize on players than right now. While other managers are exhausted from a season of research, start/sit decisions, and watching game after game, some might be looking for a break. Take advantage of this opportunity and start to prep for a back-to-back title run in 2022.


The 2022 offseason is sure to be one of the craziest in recent memory. With more than a dozen teams in the QB market, we could see a shift at the position across the league like never before. A weaker draft class at QB than from previous classes could make teams pause and reconsider drafting a QB and rather try to sign or trade for one instead. Here are some QBs that you should be trading for that could be starters in 2022.

 

Jordan Love


The former 26th overall pick from the 2020 draft has seen very little playing time over his first two NFL seasons. The Packers presumably drafted Aaron Rodgers replacement in Love, however many are left unconvinced that Love has what it takes to be a legitimate NFL starter.


In Love’s single start this season, against the Chiefs, he went 19/34 for 190 yards with one TD and one INT. He also added 5 carries for 23 yards on the ground. This performance left a sour taste in a lot of managers' mouths causing many of those with preconceived notions about Love’s ability to be a starter to feel vindicated. However, the tape would suggest he’s just inexperienced and not actually bad. Former NFL QB, JT O’Sullivan, has a YouTube channel called The QB School where he breaks down tape from QB performances. I highly recommend watching this to understand the full context of Love’s first career start.

One thing we do know about Jordan Love is that he is going to start one day, and it could be as soon as 2022. With Aaron Rodgers likely to leave after the season via trade or even retire, the Packers will put the plan they had in place two years ago in motion. This past summer it was revealed that the front office’s plan for Love was to sit him for two years behind Rodgers and move forward with Love as the starter in 2022. Of all the QBs on this list, Love should be the number one target. My evaluation of him as well as my colleague @FFBallAllDay, has always been one of two possibilities. Love will either be on a similar level to that of Patrick Mahomes, or he won’t even be in the league in two years. There is a tremendous amount of risk and uncertainty that comes with Love but if he hits you have yourself a dynasty QB1 for the next decade-plus. For what his potential upside is, he is 100% worth acquiring in my opinion. Winning fantasy titles isn’t easy and sometimes you have to roll the dice.

 

Tyler Huntley


Tyler Huntley is legit. The tape, the numbers, and the defenses he’s performed against have been nothing short of magnificent. In his three starts this season, Huntley went 101/146 (69% completion) for 901 yards with three TDs and two INTs. He also rushed for 212 yards on 32 attempts with two rushing TDs. Not only that, his on-target percentage was 78.1%, which over the course of a season would have been top-10 in the league.


Teams will most certainly call and ask about the former UDFA from Utah but whether the Ravens would be willing to part with him is yet to be determined. He is the perfect backup for Lamar Jackson and is in a system that favors his skill set tremendously. I would say the chances of him getting moved are 50/50 right now. To add another wrinkle to the situation, he will be a restricted free agent this offseason meaning: “Any player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team offers him a one-year contract at the league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams.” So as a minimum he will be a Raven for one more season if they chose to not trade him but in 2023, he could be the starter elsewhere at the age of 24/25.


Over the last two years I have been working on a QB model to help predict the success, or at least point me in the right direction, of QBs entering the NFL. The model takes into account all kinds of different metrics like QBR, total career yardage, completion %, career starts, TDs, INT rate, conference, draft capital, film, and much much more. Huntley's predraft score was in the upper echelon of QBs. He had roughly the same predraft score as Justin Herbert. (His post daft score knocked him down to 6th in the 2020 class right behind Jordan Love due to him being a UDFA.) This indicates to me that he has the potential/ability to succeed in the NFL if given the opportunity but since he went undrafted the chances he ever does get that opportunity are slim to none. Well, low and behold, he is getting the opportunity and he looks to be like a very good NFL starter that the league simply missed on.


Huntley has proven himself on the football field and is a no-brainer weekly QB1 when called upon. If the Ravens end up keeping him, he is 100% worth holding onto and now would be the perfect time to try and trade for him. Reasonably low cost with all the upside in the world.

 

Mitchell Trubisky


This past season, Trubisky took a similar approach to that of Jameis Winston a year ago. Take a backup job behind an elite QB with a similar skill set and learn. Trubisky has been sitting and watching Josh Allen all year long and getting coached up by Brain Daboll (an expected head coaching candidate this offseason). I have personally never thought Trubisky was as bad as what we saw in Chicago. All the coaching blunders and player personnel misusage that we have heard about this season in regards to Justin Fields were the exact same things that Trubisky had to endure. I’m not here to say that he is a top-tier QB, but I do believe he is better than what we have seen.


Over the offseason, I can recall two different teams offering him a starting job and turning down both in favor of learning behind Allen for a season. At the trade deadline, the Saints and Washington Football Team were dangerously close to getting a deal done for him. There are NFL teams that still think highly of him and there’s a very good chance that he is a starter somewhere in 2022. I personally believe that he will be the starter in Washington. There is also a rumor floating out there that Brain Daboll was the one who convinced Trubisky to come to Buffalo and when Daboll likely takes a head coaching job later this year he plans to take Trubisky with him. Regardless of whether that is true or not, teams still like Trubisky, and entering the 2022 season he will only be 27 years old. He’s worth the 4th/5th round pick it costs to acquire him right now, even if he doesn’t turn out to be any better than what he was in Chicago. As we know, in 2QB and SF leagues the QB position rules all and if you can get him for next to nothing and then flip him for a 3rd or possibly a 2nd, why wouldn’t you want to do that? Maybe he turns out to be pretty decent and a viable starter for your team. The potential reward outweighs the cost, no matter how you break it down.

 

Gardner Minshew


Fantasy Twitter's self-proclaimed savior. Look, I like Minshew. There seems to be this preconceived notion out there that I don’t like him and that’s just not true. He is easy to root for, I love his game, and he just wants to ball. You can see the passion and pride he plays with, and I absolutely love that about him. However, the discussion about him replacing Jalen Hurts was always comical to me. That being said…


There is almost a certainty that Minshew is traded this offseason and becomes a starter in the NFL again. If you don’t remember his rookie year, he kept pace with Kyler Murray while playing two fewer games.

(Photo Credit: Pro Football Reference)


His sophomore year was a wild and weird season. He played okay in week 1 then started to trend downward. He then sustained a hand injury which cause him to miss time to Mike Glennon and Jake Luton. Minshew came back later in the year to finish out the season. He was then traded to Philadelphia to backup Jalen Hurts and started one game where he ripped the Jets apart.


Earlier this week a report came out suggesting that Jalen Hurts has cemented himself as the Eagles franchise QB and owner Jeffery Lurie doesn’t want any more controversy at the QB position. Thus, suggesting that the QB factory in Philadelphia is shutting down. In addition to that, the Panthers have already shown interest in potentially acquiring Minshew. I would expect other teams like Pittsburgh, Denver (if they don’t land Wilson, Rodgers, or Watson), and maybe New Orleans to also show interest. Darkhorse teams like Cleveland or Minnesota could also enter the mix. The Eagles acquired Minshew for a 6th round pick and will almost certainly make a profit off their investment, regardless of the outcome. Minshew finished as the QB22 his rookie season and I think wherever he goes this offseason, similar and maybe slightly higher expectations should be had. Minshew might cost a little more to acquire than Huntley or Trubisky but again, he will more than likely be a starter once again that you can either hold or flip for profit. I personally traded for Minshew the week of the Jets game and I gave up Khalil Herbert and Dwyane Haskins (2QB league).

 

Honorable Mentions:


Jacob Eason – There is some weird alternate universe out there where Eason is the Seahawks starter in 2022. The Russell Wilson trade rumors will be in high gear over the next few months and the expectation is that he will be gone. Pete Carroll liked Eason in the draft process two years ago and if Wilson does end up getting traded, and considering how weak this QB class is, Seattle might opt to push back drafting a QB till 2023 and let a bridge QB play in 2022. Think Tavaris Jackson, RIP. There are zero reasons to trade for Eason but if he is sitting on the waiver wire, I think he’s in consideration of an end-of-bench spot until we know for sure what Seattle’s plans are. I personally think Wilson returns to Seattle and Pete Carroll is fired.


These next two QBs I wrote about in a previous piece regarding TAXI squad stashes.


Sam Ehlinger - One of the reasons I thought Jalen Hurts would take the job away from Carson Wentz was because of the massive question mark surrounding Wentz regarding his health. No, I don’t think Elingher will take this job away from Wentz, but he should be on your taxi squad for the same reason… Wentz’s health. We saw it already to start this year, Wentz had two ankle sprains and a foot injury. Wentz also isn’t vaccinated from COVID which when you add all this together it makes him a very unreliable QB on a week-to-week basis. For me, Ehlinger graded out as a career backup, but he does have decent rushing upside. With the volatility of Wentz’s health, we may see him start many games throughout his career.


Felipe Franks - Yes, yes, yes, I am aware Franks was a UDFA and the hit rate is almost nonexistent for players like him. That being said, he has the tools and he’s behind an aging Matt Ryan. While the chances that he is ever relevant are very minuscule, he profiles as your typical high-end QB, and his head coach is very good at developing QBs. Shoot your shot. You have nothing to lose if he’s on your taxi squad.