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2022 Fantasy Football Player Profiles: Quarterbacks 21-40

Bryan ranks the remaining 20 fantasy QBs in the back half of the NFL.

Bryan ranks the remaining 20 fantasy QBs in the back half of the NFL.

Last week, we looked at the top 20 quarterbacks for the upcoming 2022 fantasy football season. Now, we’ll turn our attention to the next 20, an intriguing mix of talent and opportunity that probably won’t be expected to start for your team on day one. However, in a sport as crazy as football, you never know who will break out into the next superstar signal-caller. While looking for high-quality backups, or potential starters in non-standard redraft league formats, keep these 20 names in mind before your draft:

Matt Ryan, Indianapolis Colts

Ryan left a clearly rebuilding Falcons squad in an offseason trade, becoming yet another veteran quarterback for the Colts. Given his age of 37, expect more of the same screen-heavy play style, just with a better team around him. However, the Colts still possess one of the league’s best offensive lines, so there should be more time to target Michael Pittman downfield. If Ryan does find himself under pressure, Nyheim Hines gives him a safety valve similar to Cordarrelle Patterson did last year. Don’t expect a performance from his heyday, but Matty Ice is still a capable starter in the league. 

Jared Goff, Detroit Lions

Goff has always been a bit of a fantasy disappointment prior to his year of irrelevance as the Lions’ starter. Could he surprise managers for once? Yes, but don’t count on it. Still, it’s hard not to like the talent that Detroit has assembled on offense; D’Andre Swift, T.J. Hockenson, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams are all special talents. Up front, the offensive line was recently ranked as the third-best in the NFL by PFF. Ultimately, it will be up to Goff, who has seen his average yards per attempt decrease each season since 2018. Ideally, new offensive coordinator Ben Johnson should be able to open up the passing game in 2022, but the team’s depth at running back and offensive line may lead to a more conservative style of play.

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Davis Mills, Houston Texans

Bad teams can often drag down decent quarterbacks. That wasn’t the case for Davis Mills, as the rookie third-round pick was the QB10 over his final five games of the regular season. Houston’s receiving corps is shallow outside of Brandin Cooks, but they did make upgrades at running back and offensive line. Don’t expect the Texans to win many games, but that’s part of what makes Mills a solid option late in drafts; he can compile garbage-time yardage that adds points in a hurry. A young gunslinger that will be given plenty of chances to pass the ball could be someone worth taking a chance on, but he shouldn’t be taken until the very last rounds of standard leagues.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants

It may be a surprise to see Jones ranked as a starter in 2-QB 12-team leagues, but it’s no secret we’re high on Danny Dimes. Despite his QB27 ADP, there’s far more to like in Jones than most of his similarly ranked peers. For starters, he has one of the league’s better play-callers in Brian Daboll, along with a decent group of targets and an improved offensive line. Prior to suffering a concussion in Week 5 last year, Jones was QB8; while that’s a high bar to maintain for an entire season, inside the top 16 is far more achievable than most would believe. With his rare rushing ability and a roster that has nowhere to go but up, Jones should be getting far more consideration as a backup option in standard leagues.

Zach Wilson, New York Jets

If we were basing this off of reliability, chances are Wilson might rank even lower on the list. However, it seems as though the general public has forgotten just how bad the offense around him was last year. That won’t be the case in 2022; New York signed guard Laken Tomlinson and two new tight ends in free agency while adding receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall in the draft. The additions should make life easier on the second-year quarterback, and it’s worth noting that he was the consensus number two pick in the draft for a reason. Wilson is a buy-low right now, but don’t forget how talented he can be when given the chance.

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Mac Jones, New England Patriots

It’s been an offseason of promise for Mac Jones, who has gotten in “great shape” over the summer. He threw for 23 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards as a rookie, so it’s clear that the talented Patriots quarterback has room to grow. However, there is some cause for concern. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is gone, and the trio of Bill Bellichick, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge will be tasked with replacing his play-calling duties. That’s a scary thought for Jones’ progression and combined with a still-lackluster group of weapons, it’s enough to keep him on the lower end of fantasy backups.

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

The Saints had the third-fewest pass attempts by any team in 2021, but their conservative brand of offense may have helped Jameis Winston; he was the QB14 in average points per game. New Orleans may be without Alvin Kamara at running back to start the season, but that might lead to more passing attempts. Even if that isn’t the case, Winston will be able to throw to an improved receiving core of Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry, which should lead to more big plays.

Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh Steelers

Had the Steelers opted not to draft Kenny Pickett, there would be a real argument for Trubisky to crack the top 25 on this list. While he hasn’t really shined at any point in his career, Mitch has always possessed rushing ability (5.3 rushing yards per attempt). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Trubisky (literally) run away with the starting gig in Pittsburgh, but you have to think the team will turn to Pickett eventually barring a string of wins to start the season. This is a conservative placement, but it’s hard to use any kind of draft capital on a guy who isn’t guaranteed to suit up in September. 

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Jacoby Brissett, Cleveland Browns

Similarly to many other quarterbacks in this tier, there’s simply so much uncertainty around Brissett’s situation, let alone if he’s actually any good or not. To address the first question: we don’t know. The NFL’s investigation into Deshaun Watson might take the entire summer to sort out, and until then rostering any Brown will come with some risk. As for the second question? Brissett has always been a game manager with a bit of running ability over his six-year career and nothing more. In Cleveland’s run-heavy scheme, don’t expect anything different. 

Carson Wentz, Washington Commanders

The intrigue of Carson Wentz in fantasy football has all but faded, even with this offseason’s trade to Washington. The new Commanders quarterback enters an offensive environment that is, more or less, a lateral move compared to the players around him in Indianapolis. Ron Rivera figures to go run-heavy with Antonio Gibson and Brian Robinson Jr., but Wentz will have some solid targets in Terry McLaurin Jr. and Jahan Dotson. It’s still not enough to make him a desirable asset in fantasy, but he could be a decent matchup play at various points during the regular season.

Drew Lock, Seattle Seahawks

Lock went from Teddy Bridgewater’s backup to Russell Wilson’s replacement over the span of 12 months, making him slightly fantasy relevant in standard leagues. That doesn’t mean he should be drafted, or even considered off waivers when a starter has a bye. Simply put, Lock hasn’t done anything in his career to suggest a break-out is looming, and it would be a surprise to see him put it all together during what might be a trainwreck of a season in Seattle. 

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Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons

While Atlanta does have some intriguing pass-catchers in Kyle Pitts and Drake London, don’t expect Marcus Mariota to be airing out the football this season (181.6 career passing yards per game). That shouldn’t rule out the potential for a decent fantasy season, as Mariota is still one of the best running quarterbacks in the league, and Cordarelle Patterson, a solid safety valve, should help on emergency dump-offs. However, the roster’s overall lack of talent will ultimately be a hindrance, and the defense will leave opposing offenses on the field for chunks of time. Mariota is unlikely to be on the fantasy radar in 10-12 team leagues this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers

The Baker Mayfield trade makes Jimmy G’s next landing spot more difficult to predict. With Carolina out of the picture, the list of suitors for an expensive quarterback has gotten even shorter. The two likeliest remaining teams are the Texans and Seahawks, but they’ll likely want to see how Davis Mills and Drew Lock perform to start the season. When he plays, Garoppolo is a solid, albeit unspectacular, QB2 (last season’s QB17). He could be worth the stash in 2-QB and deeper leagues, but it will likely require plenty of patience.

Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh Steelers

The rookie first-rounder from nearby Pitt was a popular selection amongst the Steel City faithful, but it’s not likely he opens the season as the starter. With newly-signed free agent Mitch Trubisky in town, it’s likely that Mike Tomlin will opt to open the season with the veteran leading the offense. Could Pickett start later in the season? It’s possible, if not likely. When he does, Pittsburgh’s offensive scheme and pass-catching options could make him a viable fantasy QB2. That’s not enough to justify drafting him in standard leagues, but he’s someone to keep an eye on should he take over for the Steelers.

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Desmond Ridder, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons didn’t draft Ridder for no reason in the third round of this year’s draft. He could easily take over midseason for Marcus Mariota, if not win the starting job in training camp, although it doesn’t seem likely. Unfortunately for the former Cincinnati star, he’ll take over a roster bereft of much talent as a rookie, a recipe for disaster in most cases. Unless he’s named the starter by head coach Arthur Smith, Ridder can be largely ignored as a legitimate fantasy asset this season.

Sam Darnold, Carolina Panthers

Poor Sam Darnold. It seems that nothing has gone right for the former #3 overall selection in the draft. While there was some hope to start the season last year in Carolina (QB5 through Week 4), things quickly fizzled out once Christian McCaffery went down with an injury (QB32 rest of season). The trade for Baker Mayfield means Sam won’t have the opportunity to redeem himself barring an injury or poor performance from the new Panthers starter. However, if he does find himself in the lineup again, playing with CMC could make Darnold fantasy-relevant once again.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints

Now that former head coach/number-one fan Sean Payton is gone, expect to see more of Taysom Hill at tight end rather than receiver. Jameis Winston is the clear starter in New Orleans, and it appears that another injury is the only thing that could put Hill back behind center. Should that happen, Hill’s rushing ability gives him potential low-end QB1/high-end QB2 value, but until then he’s irrelevant.

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Tyler Huntley, Baltimore Ravens

When Lamar Jackson was injured last season, Tyler Huntley filled in admirably. The Ravens’ offense functioned largely the same, with plenty of opportunities for their mobile backup to run (42 rushing yards per game in 2021). Should Lamar go down again, Huntley would have to be considered as a potential starter in 12-team leagues depending on the matchup, as his blazing speed may be second only to the man above him on the depth chart. Any improvements as a passer (three TD: four INT) would be icing on the cake.

Tyrod Taylor, New York Giants

This list is partially based on opportunity, and it isn’t hard to envision a scenario where Brian Daboll turns to a former Pro-Bowler should Daniel Jones struggle or suffer another injury. Taylor has been one of the league’s better backups for a while now, and the multi-year deal he signed with New York in the offseason implies that the Giants trust him enough to lead the offense if necessary. With a career average of over 25 rushing yards per game, this veteran can fill in for managers in desperate need of a signal-caller. 

Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns

When he does play, Watson is an elite fantasy quarterback; from 2019 to 2020, he ranked as the overall QB5. The issue is that the Browns’ new quarterback might not see the field at all in 2022 due to numerous allegations of sexual assault. Still, even if he isn’t playing in September and October, there is still a chance Watson suits up at some point this season. While he may sit on your bench for months, Watson, if he is playing at all, is worth a gamble for his incredibly high upside. However, his legal situation and looming suspension from the NFL will need to be monitored throughout the summer. 

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