Welcome to my end of season fantasy review. I’ve taken some time since the end of the regular season to dig into the top-25 fantasy players by position to understand why they finished as high as they did, what we can learn for 2020 and any advice for use in the off-season in your dynasty leagues. I’ve also had a look into those players we drafted in the top-25 by position, but who under-performed for your fantasy team and whether there’s anything we can learn from those players for next season. This recap is as much for me as it is for you dear readers and will help to jog my memory come draft time in 2020.
First up are the quarterbacks and looking at the fantasy output at the position overall, it was a down year on 2018 in terms of total fantasy points (-4%), driven by a 4% reduction in passing yards and a 7% reduction in passing touchdowns (667 vs 721). Despite the incredible and record-breaking rushing season from likely MVP Lamar Jackson, quarterback rushing yards were down by 3%, though there was a strong 19% uptick in rushing touchdowns (80 vs 67).
Jackson finished as the runaway QB1 in fantasy, finishing with 415.7 fantasy points as he led the league with 36 touchdown passes and broke the quarterback rushing record with 1206 rushing yards and further 7 rushing touchdowns.
1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens — 2019 ADP: QB14
In general, we all missed on Jackson as a fantasy starter in drafts in 2019. I was high on him but only had him as my QB8 going into the season so didn’t see what was truly possible. The record-breaking rushing floor was supplanted by an arm that led the league in passing touchdowns. A true fantasy phenom who’s stock will never be higher. Look for Jackson to be the QB1 in 2020 and his draft price is going to be crazy high.
2. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys — 2019 ADP: QB17
Massively over-performed compared to his ADP. Dak was my QB15 and I missed on what being in a contract year can do for a quarterback. He beat his previous yardage mark by over 1000 yards (4902) and the 30 touchdowns was also a career high. He’ll be in a new offense in 2020, whether that’s in Dallas or not, but should still mean he rises to a top-10 ADP next season.
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks — 2019 ADP: QB9
Another exceptional fantasy season from Russell Wilson, despite playing in a team that ran the ball the third most times. With DK Metcalf coming on and his continued connection with Tyler Lockett, Russ is a top-5 pick in 2020.
4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans — 2019 ADP: QB2
Watson was drafted as the QB2 in fantasy and finished as the QB2 in points per game. Well worth the pick you gave up for him and will be for years to come.
5. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 2019 ADP: QB12
Insane year from Jameis. He became the 8th player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards but then also made history with his 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions. You pay your money and take your chances with Jameis. I owned him in one league and started him just once. Trust will always be the major issue here, as well where he lands next season.
6. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills — 2019 ADP: QB21
Like Lamar Jackson, I was high on Allen because of his rushing floor but also like Jackson, I wasn’t high enough as I had him as my QB10. Led all quarterbacks with 9 rushing touchdowns, and third in rushing yards with 510. If he can continue to progress as a passer, then Allen can easily push into being a top-5 fantasy quarterback.
7. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs — 2019 ADP: QB1
I’m tempted to put this as an underachievement, even if you ignore the 2 games missed with the dislocated kneecap that had fantasy owners holding their collective breaths. He still finished as the QB7 and QB5 in points per game but you didn’t get what drafted him to be after his 2018 season.
8. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals — 2019 ADP: QB15
Another one we collectively missed. Murray had a pretty spectacular rookie season when you stand back from it, adding over 500 rushing yards to 3722 through the air. He won’t be drafted as a backup quarterback on your fantasy roster in his second year.
9. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers — 2019 ADP: QB3
A fairly typical year from Rodgers who led the league in fewest interceptions but didn’t really hit the heights in terms of yards or touchdowns that was expected from his first fully healthy season in the last few years.
10. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles — 2019 ADP: QB7
Given everything that happened around him, 2019 was a pretty successful season for Wentz. Hell, he even finished the season which is something he hadn’t done since his rookie season in 2016. Fumbling issues are a worry, but he’s a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2020.
11. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons — 2019 ADP: QB5
An underwhelming year for Ryan where the stars seemed to be aligning for him before the season and then a whole lot of meh. Solid if unspectacular and likely to fall in drafts next year. A buy low candidate in the offseason.
12. Tom Brady, New England Patriots — 2019 ADP: QB13
You got what you drafted with Tom Brady this season. The fantasy community acknowledged that he wasn’t the same player as in previous years, but if you started Brady he didn’t hurt you this year.
13. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams — 2019 ADP: QB8
A Super Bowl hangover for Goff. The 5 single digit games including 3 in the heart of the fantasy playoff push in Weeks 10-12 were not good for your fantasy team. He recovered over the final 4 weeks (13-16) with 19.8 PPG so should continue to be drafted as a borderline fantasy starter in 2020.
14. Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers — 2019 ADP: QB20
The 49ers were the breakout team of 2019 and though he wasn’t the star, Garoppolo led the offense efficiently. 3 near 30 point games showed the potential but was too inconsistent to be an every week starter in a run-heavy offense.
15. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings — 2019 ADP: QB18
The enigma that is Kirk Cousins. Performed slightly ahead of his ADP but was never consistent enough to be a starter in fantasy. A poor end to the season would have likely cost you in the playoffs too.
16. Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders — 2019 ADP: QB23
Over-performed his ADP but got off to a slow start. Major questions about where he ends up next season but will never likely be a fantasy starter.
17. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami Dolphins — 2019 ADP: QB33
Beat out Josh Rosen not once, but twice and had a pretty handy season. Not someone you may have started every week but if you had the foresight to spot start him at the end of the season then you were money. Averaged a sensational 22.9 PPG over Weeks 12-16.
18. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers — 2019 ADP: QB16
Ugly season from Rivers who only broke 20 points 3 times. In what feels like his last season as a Charger, his fantasy relevant days feels like they are well behind him.
19. Gardner Minshew II, Jacksonville Jaguars — 2019 ADP: N/A
An injury to Nick Foles brought Minshew Mania to life, but before the season he wasn’t on anyone’s fantasy radar. The Jaguars are at a crossroads with Foles and Minshew would be a borderline fantasy starter if he got the starting job.
20. Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns — 2019 ADP: QB4
*Scream emoji* Where did it all go wrong Baker? From not clicking with Odell to having a 22/21 TD/INT ratio, it was a nightmare second season for the 2018 number 1 pick. With a third new offense on the way in 2020, will they be able to unlock the year one potential?
21. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints — 2019 ADP: QB6
Depends how you spin this. Brees missed 6 games with a thumb injury but finished as the QB7 in points per game. If you had a serviceable backup then it was a hit. If not then a miss. Once the contract situation is sorted out then we’ll know what to make of him in 2020 but Brees can still be a top fantasy starter.
22. Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans — 2019 ADP: N/A
Where did this come from? Tannehill averaged 21.8 PPG after he replaced Marcus Mariota as the starter and led the Titans to the playoffs. Anyone who streamed Tannehill was feeling themselves through the second half of the season. With a likely extension coming, Tannehill will be a consideration as a top 12 QB if he stays in Tennessee.
23. Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis Colts — 2019 ADP: QB27
Was fantasy irrelevant before the season started and ended up that way. It’s highly likely the starting QB for Indy isn’t yet on the roster which means Brissett may be back looking for backup work in 2020.
24. Daniel Jones, New York Giants — 2019 ADP: QB32
An encouraging rookie season. A couple of standout performances including a rookie record 350 yards and 5 TDs in Week 16. 11 fumbles is a massive concern and should factor into your drafting for 2020.
25. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals — 2019 ADP: QB28
Finished on a high in what was most likely his final game in Cincinnati. Where next for Dalton?
Top 25 Quarterback Draft Busts
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers – 2019 ADP: QB10
With Cam playing in just 2 games this season, there feels like there’s unfinished business in Carolina, especially as Kyle Allen hardly set the world on fire as the starter. It’s all up in the air with a new coach on the way in and Cam will be a tough evaluation for 2020.
Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions – 2019 ADP: QB22
Stafford was having his best fantasy season in years before a back injury ended his season. He finished 4th in points per game in his 8 starts and will be a borderline starter in 2020.