There’s absolutely no reason to count out rookie quarterbacks when it comes to fantasy football. When you look at the legendary rookie QB performances over the last 10 years, it becomes clear. Some examples are Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, and Dak Prescott. The examples don’t end there either. Just last year you had Kyler Murray ranked 7th overall in fantasy points among QBs.
When you take into account NFL offensive schemes have become more similar to the college game, making the transition to the NFL easier, you start to realize identifying rookie QB sleepers is both easier and more important than ever. Rookies also have the fresher legs, willing to put up valuable rushing yards to add to their point total.
With all that said, let’s dive into the top 5 rookie quarterbacks for the 2020 NFL season.
5. Jordan Love, GB
Unless you’re in a 2-QB league and want to handcuff Aaron Rodgers for some reason, you shouldn’t have Jordan Love on your draft boards. He’s a young, raw talent behind one of the best quarterbacks to ever see the field. The only chance he plays in his rookie season is if Aaron Rodgers in injured, but he likely wouldn’t light the world on fire even if that were to happen.
Love has tons of upside in the distant future, but I think most scouts are in agreement that he’s not ready to compete right away. We have him in our top 5 rankings due to physical skills, so if he sees the field he can create some points here and there. Don’t put Jordan Love on your draft board in year one.
4. Justin Herbert, LAC
Herbert, like Love, probably isn’t ready to play right away. Tyrod Taylor looks to be the starter day one, but I do expect Herbert to take over as the starter later in the year if the Chargers start falling out of the playoff race. If he does end up starting, you may able to spot start him against some weak defenses, although it won’t be ideal.
Herbert would be throwing to some talented receivers in Keenan Allen, Mike Willians, and Tight End Hunter Henry. However, in a standard league, I’m sure you will find better options. I wouldn’t target Herbert until mid season on the waiver wire, and that’s if you’re desperate. 2-QB leagues might want to keep tabs on him when Tyrod Taylor starts to underperform.
3. Jalen Hurtz, PHI
You might be wondering why Jalen Hurtz is ranked over Justin Herbert, but to me it’s all about upside for THIS season. Let’s say Carson Wentz gets injured for a few games like he tends to—Hurtz has the running ability, coaching, and solid team around him to get points against a bad defense.
Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement in his throwing ability after leaving Alabama. If you’re in a desperate situation in a 2-QB league and Carson Wentz goes down, he could be worth a pickup.
2. Tua Tagovailoa, MIA
Aside from the number one player on this list, Tua Tagovailoa has the best chance to actually play in the most games, in addition to putting up some decent performances. He’s an accurate thrower who’s playing on a Dolphins team that put up some decent air numbers toward the end of the season. They also have a revamped offensive line, and two talented receivers in Devante Parker and Preston Williams.
The only thing to watch is how Fitzpatrick performs to start season. If he performs well and the Dolphins are still in the playoff hunt, there’s no chance they’re benching the starting QB. However, I expect at some point in the season for the Dolphins to falter, and this is where the talented rookie can come in and play a large chunk of the season.
1. Joe Burrow, CIN
The obvious answer to the number one player on this list is none other than the number one overall pick himself, Joe Burrow. He’s the clear-cut starter and has a plethora of wide receivers to throw to. The offensive line may be a question mark, but Burrow is the type of quarterback who can overcome a weak unit up front, especially with lots of offensive weapons to throw to.
Andy Dalton threw for 3,494 yards in 13 games last season, and that was without A.J Green. I think Burrow could put up similar numbers yardage wise, with even more touchdowns than Dalton posted last season (16). And don’t forgot about Burrow’s ability to put up rushing numbers, which is a huge factor when evaluating rookie QBs for fantasy.
I would be targeting Burrow in the later rounds of drafts as a sleeper, especially if you’re someone who’s fine waiting until the late rounds for a QB. If you’re in a 2-QB league, he could be a great flyer as your 2nd or 3rd QB.
What do you think? Are we crazy for putting Jalen Hurtz above Justin Herbert? Do you think Tua Tagovailoa is actually the number one rookie QB? Let us know in the comments below!