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AFC West QB Analysis: Is Patrick Mahomes the Fantasy Football QB1?

Lou takes a look at the fantasy profiles of all four AFC West quarterbacks heading into 2022.

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 04: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass during the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 4, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

This division is loaded with talent at the QB position. Patrick Mahomes is elite, Justin Herbert can be, Russell Wilson is looking to bounce back and Jimmy Garoppolo is looking for a fresh start. They will all be fantasy relevant and can be had at different spots throughout the draft.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes is the best QB in fantasy football, not only because he is the most skilled and can be the highest scorer every season, but more so because he is so consistent and there is no threat of him being a bust, excluding injury of course. He should be the first quarterback drafted in your league and a top five pick in 2-QB or Superflex formats, and will likely be drafted at some point in Round 2 or early Round 3 in a 1-QB league. There were questions about how we would fare in 2022 without Tyreek Hill, and he answered those questions by leading the NFL in passing yards, yards per attempt, passing TDs and yards per game. He also won the MVP award and the Super Bowl. Mahomes has thrown for at least 4,000 yards in five straight seasons and you can expect him to throw for 35 TDs on the low end and 50+ on the high end. You might see him go first overall in your league if passing TDs are worth six points.

Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Herbert wasn’t bad last season, but he definitely underperformed and was over-drafted. This year though, you should expect a bounce-back performance, and here is why. Both Keenan Allen and Mike Williams battled injuries last season, and chances are they won’t be as injured this season; even if they are, Josh Palmer has another year of experience under his belt and the Chargers drafted Quentin Johnston in the first round this offseason, further bolstering their WR depth. Herbert also has a new offensive coordinator, former Cowboys coordinator Kellen Moore, who had tremendous success with a Cowboys offense that was built similarly to the Chargers’. Herbert’s TD rate dropped last season as did his pass yards per attempt, but expect both to get back to career norms or even surpass them this year.

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Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos 

Was there a more disappointing team or QB in 2022 than Wilson and the Broncos? The Broncos went all in to acquire Wilson, only to take a step back and see him have the worst season of his distinguished career. The Broncos added two solid offensive linemen this offseason, so that should help, but the biggest factor for Wilson and his ability to bounce back has to be the addition of head coach Sean Payton. Payton is a Hall-of-Fame-caliber coach and has been an offensive genius as a coordinator and coach for nearly two decades. The return of Javonte Williams and the health of WRs Courtland Sutton and  Jerry Jeudy should also help Wilson be much better in 2023.

Jimmy Garoppolo, Las Vegas Raiders

Garoppolo is looking for a fresh start this season in Las Vegas. The problem is that he has always been more of a game manager throughout his career, and that was with an amazingly talented offense in San Francisco. He has also only played a full season once in his career and he has proven to be unreliable in fantasy because of it. He shouldn’t even be considered in a 1-QB league, but in a Superflex or 2-QB league, he is useful. Because of Davante Adams being his number-one WR, there is a decent floor for him week-to-week.

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