There is no such thing as a hidden gem at the quarterback position. These big names are headliners, even if they fall into the middle rounds of fantasy football drafts.
Every fantasy analyst in the world advises you to wait on picking your quarterback, so any number of viable starters can fall to you in a reasonable round. Even Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson is being picked as a fantasy backup in a standard 12-team league, according to FantasyPros.com's average draft position. Wilson is just 14th there.
There is great value in the middle-round quarterbacks, which is why so many tell you to draft a slew of running backs and wide receivers before your starting quarterback.
Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
This has been an awful preseason for the 49ers offense. Kaepernick was once the darling future star for fantasy owners. Now, he is a low-end option at the top-heavy quarterback position. Bleacher Report ranks him as a backup at No. 13.
After calling Kaepernick a potential bust a year ago at his draft position—and watching him rank just 18th in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks in 2013, per FFToday.com—we think this is precisely the right time to buy in. The love affair has subsided, but it hasn't run its course.
The 49ers are going to be more reliant on Kaepernick's talents this year, especially with veteran running back Frank Gore now the advanced age of 31. Gore just won't have the juice to carry the 49ers offense anymore, and rookie Carlos Hyde is going to require some learning curve.
Kaepernick has the first full season of being an NFL starter under his belt. Fantasy has stopped overrating his run-pass ability. The value is going to come back to us now. He is prepared to jump into fantasy stardom just when we have begun to look away.
A completely healthy Michael Crabtree is going to change the game for Kaepernick, along with the steadiness of Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. The field-stretching ability of Stevie Johnson should help, too. It should be reminded Kaepernick came on last year when a less-than-100 percent Crabtree returned from the Achilles surgery that might have knocked other players out for the season.
This should be Kaepernick's year, even if it looks like the hype might have passed him by.
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Jay Gruden turned Andy Dalton into a 4,000-yard, 33-touchdown quarterback. Gruden is now calling the shots here.
Sure, RG3 has had a poor preseason like Kaepernick, but as The Washington Post's Liz Clarke reported, any quarterback controversy is overblown. If RG3 falls in drafts, look. An offense with Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, burgeoning star Jordan Reed, Andre Roberts, Alfred Morris and Gruden pushing the buttons promises to be dynamic for fantasy owners.
We cannot be sure how the also-ran quarterbacks are going come off the board in your league, but if the Kirk Cousins-starting talk helps RG3 slip into Round 8, look out.
Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
Exit Golden Tate. Enter Percy Harvin...hopefully for something more than one reception. Harvin for Tate is a trade any fantasy owner would take, but they still are not drafting Wilson as a starter.
Wilson has thrown for 26 touchdowns in each of his first two seasons in the NFL. Year three can be even better. With an aging Marshawn Lynch less likely to be able to hold up for 300 carries, Wilson can assume even more of the load. He is a great value for those waiting on their starting quarterback.
Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins
Speaking of third-year starting quarterbacks, Tannehill is well-positioned to break through for fantasy owners in two-quarterback leagues. The Dolphins have revamped their offensive line, so this should be Tannehill's best year yet. A season of 25 touchdowns and 4,000 yards is possible after the top 20 quarterbacks are off the board in drafts.