Fantasy Football: Cam Newton and 2016 QB Sleepers!

The Fantasy Football season is right around the corner and now that I’ve returned from my summer tennis teaching gig it’s time to begin getting to your Fantasy Football questions. If you would like to see your question answered in this space hit me up at

Dear Phil,

Would you draft Cam Newton in the first round and if not what is your plan for the 2016 Draft?

Thanks for the question.

Newton had a fantastic 2015 campaign. His 2015 Average Draft Position (ADP) of 16.5 had him in most cases late first or second round. Compare that to where his contemporaries such as Aaron Rodgers (24.3), Russell Wilson (34.2) and Andrew Luck (44.7) were drafted and we see that in most cases the QB wasn’t taken in the first round but in later rounds. I think there is a very good reason for this.

Flashback to 2006; five NFL QB’s threw for over 4000 yards that season whereas in 2015 we saw 12 QB’s reach the 4000+ yard plateau. That means in the average 10-12 team league there are enough QB’s for each owner to obtain a quality arm capable of 4000 yards this season as well as an additional 5 arms that threw for at least 3800 yards in 2015.

I said all that to say this; in a passing dominate league such as the NFL there’s really no point in drafting ANY QB until at least the 4th or 5th round. Sure there will be owners taking Newton, Rodgers or Wilson earlier than that but so what? There still will be plenty of time to get a quality arm capable of consistent numbers and in some cases superb scores any given Sunday.

My plan is really simple; I’m going to spend the first five rounds drafting the best wide receivers and running backs that are available and go from there. For me it doesn’t make any sense doing anything else. Receivers with the highest projected targets and backs with the highest projected snap counts are on my target list.

Dear Phil,

Are you eyeing any sleepers at the QB position and if so who do you like?

Thanks for the question.

Since you now know my strategy of course I have my eye on a couple of sleepers.

The Bills Tyrod Taylor (118 ADP) is someone I am really interested in. He finished 2nd last season in rushing points by a QB and even though he struggled with a nagging injury Taylor was a top five QB during the first four weeks of the season and a top ten QB the last half of the season averaging 7 yards per attempt landed him in the top five amongst his peers.  The Bills have committed to Taylor by giving him a 6 year 90 million dollar deal this summer. His current ADP of 130 makes him an ideal late round sleeper and one you should strongly consider.

The Raiders Derek Carr (111 ADP) is another QB I’ll have my eye on during the late rounds. Last season Carr passed for nearly 4000 yards (3987) and with a vastly improved offensive line and the growing relationship with Wide Receiver Amari Cooper Carr could quite possibly be the late rounds steal of the draft and one worth keeping an eye on in the later rounds.

The Giants Eli Manning is always underrated and usually winds up amongst the top 10 QB’s in the game. Manning hasn’t missed a start in the last 11 seasons making him arguably the most durable QB of the 2016 Draft AND as an added bonus he has Odell Beckham to throw to.  Last season Manning threw for over 4400 yards and finished the 2015 season in the top 10. With an ADP of 95 Manning is going to be there in the later rounds and if he is I may just snatch him up.

Good luck with your Fantasy Football Draft!

Fantasy Phil

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