Not every fantasy owner can have Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees as his quarterback. Some fantasy owners elect to address other positions like running back or wide receiver before reaching for a quarterback early on.
There are more than a few ways to draft in fantasy football, despite what some of the experts in the industry say. Some experts believe you have to grab an elite quarterback early on if you have the opportunity.
For fantasy owners who prefer to draft quarterbacks later on, here are three late-round QBs worth more than you think.
The Buffalo Bills quarterback is frequently criticized for his large contract and high number of interceptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the streakiest players in fantasy football, but when he's hot, his productivity is worth noticing. Last year, Fitzpatrick had five games with a quarterback rating over 90. In those games, he threw 12 touchdowns and four interceptions.
The Bills are one of the few offenses in the NFL that routinely throws out of spread formations. Fitzpatrick should be counted on to throw it often. He is a capable No. 2 fantasy quarterback in deeper leagues. Fitzpatrick should be expected to throw between 20-25 touchdowns again this year.
Any fantasy owner drafting Matt Cassel has to completely forget about last year. Cassel missed six games and had his worst year as an NFL starter in 2011. He is healthy heading into this season, and should be counted on to regain his 2010 form.
The biggest reason why Cassel should be expected to have a bounce back year is his new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Daboll was able to get the most out of a talent-depleted Miami Dolphins offense last year as their offensive coordinator. Reggie Bush rushed for over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career, and quarterback Matt Moore threw 16 touchdown passes.
Daboll is working with much more talent in Kansas City now. Running back Jamaal Charles returns after missing almost all of last season. Cassel is in a great position to regain his productive form, and he can be had in the later rounds of most fantasy drafts.
Robert Griffin III
Rookie quarterbacks are usually avoided in fantasy drafts, and that seems to be the case with Robert Griffin this year. RG3 will have his ups and downs, but he should be expected to round into a solid fantasy contributor by the last few weeks of the season. Most fantasy playoffs take place around then anyway, so if owners can afford to be patient with RG3, he could pay huge dividends for playoff-bound fantasy teams.
The Redskins have better weapons than most realize. Washington's wide receivers Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss and Leonard Hankerson could end up being the most underrated group of receivers in the NFL this year. Garcon in particular could be primed for a huge year, as he will be Griffin's go-to target on deep balls.
RG3 shouldn't be drafted as any team's No. 1 quarterback. However, he could end up producing like a No. 1 quarterback. RG3 will be one of the riskiest picks in fantasy, but for where fantasy owners will be able to draft him, he's worth the risk.