You may often hear not to take a quarterback until later in the draft, as the late round quarterbacks strategy has become a popular way of drafting over the years. This requires you to look at some late round quarterbacks that you might not be totally on board with because they don’t hold the name recognition or safety as some of the top names. Looking at ADP and auction values, the position is fairly deep despite a lot of turnover at the position of late.
Looking at Football Calculator’s ADP for 12-team PPR, I want to give some honorable mentions to names that I like just before I make the cutoff for who is considered a top late round quarterback. Ryan Tannehill, Matthew Stafford, Joe Burrow, and Tom Brady are players I love for their offenses and their ADP. However, sometimes a lingering RB or WR could take priority and leave you for another option.
Late Round Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
ADP: 11h Round / 122.1
Auction Value: $2
While the numbers without Julio Jones are not great for Matt Ryan, he still has a talented enough receiving core led by Calvin Ridley and joined by newly drafted Kyle Pitts. Arthur Smith is also coming into town, who just previously lifted the Tennessee Titans to above-average offensive seasons for the first time in a while.
Atlanta’s offense is going to have to rely on the passing game to contend in games as their defense is going to give up plenty of points. Ryan is someone you can count on for volume, and he ranked first in pass attempts last season (626).
He finished 12th in scoring in 2020 and 11th in 2019. This was following his stellar 2018 season, but I wouldn’t expect that production again.
The floor is there for Ryan to finish as a top-15 quarterback with his volume and playmakers. While the general public has started to push Ryan out of the fantasy picture, he is still a viable arm.
Trevor Lawrence – Jacksonville Jaguars
ADP: 11th Round / 129.2
Auction Value: $2
Sticking around the 11th-round range, Trevor Lawrence has minimal buzz compared to what I expected for this draft season. We have seen rookie quarterbacks succeed in fantasy right off the bat, and Lawrence should be in the same boat. He has a solid set of receiving options around him, a below-average defense to keep this team throwing, and also some rushing upside.
Lawrence is one of the top prospects we have seen in a while at the position, and while the physical talent is there, there is a high IQ to also back it up. I have my doubts about Urban Meyer truly optimizing this group, but that shouldn’t hinder Lawrence.
Getting eight games against Houston, Tennessee, Seattle, Arizona, Atlanta, and the New York Jets is a solid schedule for the rookie quarterback. The rest are middling pass defenses outside of the Rams, Dolphins, Patriots.
This is someone who has over/under player props set at 25.5 touchdowns and 4,200 yards and is also the preseason favorite to win the NFL Rookie of the Year award. Keep an eye on Lawrence later on.
Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins
ADP: 13th Round / 154.5
Auction Value: $1
As we get closer to the start of the season, the Dolphins’ passing offense has grown on me. There is a lot of value here, starting with Tua. He also has a pretty deep set of weapons at his disposal. DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki are a pretty stout group of versatile pass-catchers for this offense.
Tua has already looked far more comfortable as he is further removed from injury and also has more experience under him. Tua should bring a bit of a rushing floor each week with better health, even though he shouldn’t be labeled as a rushing quarterback.
Looking at his 2020, he had an up and down season but struggled against defenses you’d expect most rookies to struggle against. He has a couple of tough matchups early on in the year and then things really open up for this team.
Pass volume will be the biggest question mark for Tua’s weekly upside, but going this late he is certainly someone to monitor.
Kirk Cousins – Minnesota Vikings
ADP: 13th Round / 153.9
Auction Value: $2
While Kirk Cousins’ time in Minnesota might be running out, he still finds himself under center with a stellar WR duo and plenty of weapons around him. They also added one of the top offensive linemen from this class to the roster, which will surely help what was a struggling line last season.
Cousins will never have the elite volume to give him a big ceiling, but he remains efficient in his production and has plenty to work with. Cousins has finished 11th, 16th, and 13th in quarterback scoring since joining Minnesota.
He opens with an excellent start to the year in terms of facing weaker pass defenses with Cincinnati, Arizona, Cleveland, Detroit, Carolina, and Dallas. Things flip in the second half, so I’d be looking to have a plan to change.
The downsides here are that Cousins has no rushing potential, but then again, nobody really does this late, and also, the passing volume is capped. However, Cousins had nine QB1 finishes in 2020. The weekly upside will be there.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Washington Football Team
ADP: 13th Round / 155.3
Auction Value: $1
It has been a long time since a Washington quarterback has had fantasy potential. The overall offense has made large strides over the last few seasons and continued to add pieces in the offseason. The core of Antonio Gibson, Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Logan Thomas is a good one for Fitzpatrick to work his magic with.
Fitzpatrick is certainly a journeyman and has not had a full fantasy season in a while as he has played mentor in Miami and then was in and out in Tampa Bay. When starting, Fitzpatrick was a popular streaming option. His schedule entices me this year and starting with the division. He gets six games against bottom-12 pass defenses from 2020.
Given the amount of love I am giving to the Washington Football Team, it would be silly not to have Fitzpatrick being a strong QB2 most weeks with the potential to be a QB1. Playing Philadelphia and Dallas only from Weeks 14-17 is money for a quarterback down the stretch. Keep this in mind for other Washington players.
Ben Roethlisberger – Pittsburgh Steelers
ADP: 14th Round / 159.0
Auction Value: $1
Ben Roethlisberger is extremely undervalued if you are projecting the receiving core as top-30 wide receivers in 2021. You might be lower on the Steelers across the board, but in most places, the disparity between the love for the receivers and Roethlisberger is not something I understand.
The Steelers threw a ton last season, which made up for Roethlisberger’s lack of downfield throws. Roethlisberger finished 14th in scoring last season and had 33 touchdowns. His lack of rushing numbers will always keep him in a lesser range compared to others, but 33 passing touchdowns is not something to forget about.
Before the injury-plagued 2019 season, Roethlisberger has finished as QB1. He can certainly land in the 12-15 range for scoring this season if he can remain healthy. This is just far too deep of value for a quarterback who can top 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a healthy season.