Late Round Sleepers: Quarterback Edition

Looking for players worth targeting after the 12th round of your fantasy draft?  Then this series of columns will definitely be for you.  We are going to look for players at each position that currently have an ADP greater than 150 (according to Mock Draft Central) who are worth targeting.  Let’s kick things off with the quarterbacks:

Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens
Current ADP = 158.20
I have already covered Flacco as a sleeper (click here to view), so make sure you check that out.  The fact is that, while Ray Rice is going to be the focus of the offense, Flacco has the potential to post big numbers.  As it is he was 12th in yards, 13th in TD and 14th in fewest INT in 2011 with numbers that have been consistent for three years running:

  • Three straight seasons of at least 3,600 yards
  • Three straight seasons of at least 20 touchdowns
  • Three straight seasons of 12 INT or fewer

All it will take is a small step forward for him to perform as a QB1.  With Torrey Smith developing and the appearance of them putting more trust and faith in the passing game, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he reached that level, would it?

While I wouldn’t be looking to draft him as my QB1, his consistency (with potential for more) makes him an ideal QB2 candidate late in your draft.  If he does take that next step forward he could emerge as a viable QB1 in all formats.

Andy Dalton – Cincinnati Bengals
Current ADP = 163.31
Considering that it was his rookie season (and that the lockout cost him a normal training camp in 2011), Dalton made quite an impact throwing for 3,398 yards, 20 TD and 13 INT.  Now that he has a season under his belt and a normal offseason to work with his receivers, you have to think that the future is looking bright.

He and A.J. Green could easily develop into one of the more dynamic QB/WR combinations in the NFL.  Throw in an emerging Jermaine Gresham and the Bengals passing attack should be prepared to take a significant step forward as all three players enter their second or third NFL season.  The longer they stick together, the better they are going to be.

As long as BenJarvus Green-Ellis can keep defenses honest, which he should, this group has the potential to by dynamic.  If Dalton should slip down your draft I wouldn’t hesitate grabbing him as my QB insurance policy.

Matt Flynn – Seattle Seahawks
Current ADP = 207.00
Flynn left Aaron Rodgers shadow to get a starting job in Seattle.  They can try to sell you all they want that it’s a competition, but does anyone really believe that?

Obviously, we need to take his Green Bay numbers with a slight grain of salt.  It’s not that they weren’t real, but he isn’t going to be in the same system or have the same type of weapons at his disposal.  That said, in 132 career attempts he has thrown for 1,015 yards and 9 TD.  In 2011 he went 33-49 for 518 yards, 6 TD and 2 INT.

While the weapons aren’t up to Green Bay’s, he will join an offense with Marshawn Lynch at running back and potential at wide receiver with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate (among others).  Throw in the addition of Kellen Winslow at tight end and the Seahawks offense could take a step forward this year.  Late in drafts Flynn has plenty of upside potential.

Deeper League Target
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins

Current ADP = N/A
With each passing week it looks more and more likely that Tannehill will win the starting job in Miami.  Does that make him worth considering in deeper formats?  Absolutely, though he is not being put in an ideal situation to throw the ball consistently.  You could argue that Miami’s receiving corps is the worst in the NFL, with Reggie Bush being their best option.  In deeper formats he is worth considering, but in shallower formats he’s more of a player to monitor off the waiver wire.

Jake Locker – Tennessee Titans
Current ADP = 204.22
While Locker did not look quite as sharp in the second preseason game, even if he doesn’t open the season as Tennessee’s starter he should get an opportunity in ’12.  He will have weapons at his disposal (though Kenny Britt may miss time with a suspension, it will just be a handful of games) and one of the best running backs to help open things off.  He’s well worth the gamble.

What are your thoughts of these late round targets?  Which would you draft?  Is there anyone else you are looking at in the last few rounds?

Make sure to check out our 2012 fantasy football rankings:

Week 1 Sleeper: Quarterback Jake Locker: Why He Could Post Big Numbers Against New England
Deep League Sleeper: Should LaVon Brazill Be On Your Radar?

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