5 Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers to Watch: Quarterbacks (2024)

5 Fantasy Football Draft Sleepers to Watch: Quarterbacks (2024)

After a triumphant 2022 season in which he threw for 4,282 yards and 30 touchdowns while completing an NFL-high 69.8 percent of his passes, Geno Smith came back down to earth in 2023. Despite working with the WR trio of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Smith finished as the 25th QB in fantasy scoring last year, averaging 15.3 fantasy points per game.

So … will the real Geno Smith please step up? With Seattle’s deep pass-catching arsenal, a return to the heights of 2022 is certainly possible for Smith. But the 33-year-old Smith has had just one solid NFL season, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could leave his starting position.

Trevor Lawrence (QB-JAC)

Fantasy managers were hoping that Trevor Lawrence would take a big step forward in 2023 after a promising 2022 season. Much of Lawrence’s third NFL season was a disappointment in that regard, but a strong finish raises hopes for 2024. Through the first 10 weeks of the 2023 season, Lawrence is ranked 19th in fantasy points per game among quarterbacks with at least four starts, averaging 235.6 passing yards and 1.0 TD passes per game.

Starting in Week 11, Lawrence was QB7 in fantasy points per game, averaging 270.9 passing yards and 1.7 TD passes per game. The former No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft was able to ramp up his production late in the year despite losing WR Christian Kirk to a core injury that kept him out for the final five games of the season. Lawrence has a fantastic toolkit with abundant arm talent and above-average rushing ability. Consistency is the missing ingredient, and maybe we’ll finally get that from Lawrence in his fourth year in the league.

Jayden Daniels (QB – WAS)

Let’s get this out of the way right away. If Daniels starts every game this season, his rushing equity alone will put him in the top 12 of fantasy quarterbacks. Daniels rushed for 1,134 in his final season at LSU, and now he’s paired with an offensive coordinator who’s well-versed in game planning with a mobile quarterback. Kliff Kingsbury’s offense will feature play-action and deep passing, two of Daniels’ glaring strengths.

At the height of Kyler Murray’s powers under Kliff Kingsbury (2021), he ranked fifth in deep ball rate and 11th in play-action dropback rate. In 2023, Daniels led all collegiate passers in deep passing grade and deep adapted completion rate while also ranking fourth in play-action passing grade. Daniels is the best argument for waiting for a quarterback in your drafts.

JJ McCarthy (QB – MIN)

The Vikings tabbed McCarthy to succeed Kirk Cousins, trading up one spot to select the University of Michigan product with the 10th pick in the draft. McCarthy has a strong arm, good mobility and an impressive track record of success, including a national championship last season and a 61-3 record as a starter since high school.

McCarthy steps into a good situation, with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison at wide receiver and TJ Hockenson at tight end (though Hockenson suffered a serious knee injury late last year). Rookie issues may be inevitable, but McCarthy has a chance to provide QB2 fantasy value as a rookie.