Fantasy Football

2020 Rookie Assessments

Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa

I have to learn how to pronounce this dude’s name correctly, but I think I’ve got it, Too-uhh Tag-o-vah-lo-waah. Anyway, he can’t take hits in the NFL like he did on a few occasions in college. That’ll end his career quickly. Lucky for him, he has a lot of positive things that make him special, beside his legs.

He’s got a great arm, vision, decision making capabilities, pocket awareness, and then add to that his running. His running style is more like Barry Sanders in his maneuverability, and illusiveness, as opposed to a Cam Newton style of running QB that uses power over slickness, which puts the most important person on the team at higher risk of injury. Tua usually protects himself because the way he runs makes it seem like he thinks everyone has cooties, and there’s NO WAY you’re touching him. Not to say Tua isn’t strong, and can’t run over people. He is very strong. In fact, I think he’s going to infuriate defenses because they’re going to struggle getting him down, even when they think they’ve got him.

When he gets the nod for the start, he’s going to be a force, but it benefits him to be sitting behind the extremely experienced veteran, Ryan Fitzpatrick, who’s been on half the teams in the league. Tua has no pressure to start producing on day one because of his return from injury, and having a successful Ryan Fitzpatrick ahead of him. When that changes, and it’s Tua’s turn, I expect Lamar Jackson type numbers in rushing, and better than Lamar in passing, and throwing touchdown numbers.

So, as a late round backup, stash or as an early waiver/free agency QB pickup in redraft leagues, I like it a lot. He is a league winner, and I’m calling it now. I thought it would be Kyler Murray this season, and it has a higher probability of happening, but Tua may be a QB on a lot of fantasy football champion teams. If Tua gets to play, he’s going to wow everyone. I love this guy. You should too. He should be flagged so you can keep an eye on him. He’s one of my favorite sneaky beginning/mid season fantasy assets that has a high ceiling. I can see him starting the 3rd or 4th game, unless Ryan Fitzpatrick lights it up from game one, and keeps doing it consistently or Tua isn’t ready for one reason or another. I wouldn’t put my money on Pickspatrick accomplishing that, but Tua may need more time. Although, he states he feels 100% after his hip surgery. I lean on the side that they’ll wait for Ryan Fitzpatrick to lose his first or second game, and then they’ll unleash the beast.

Joe Burrow

Joe Burrow has a lot to live up to being the first overall pick in 2020’s Draft. He’s accurate, and decisive. If I can describe him in one word, it would be precise. He keeps his eyes downfield, and he can move enough to avoid tackles. I would suggest he keeps to evasive movements in the pocket, instead of running the ball downfield. Leave that to your extremely talented running back, Joe Mixon. With AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and now Tee Higgins too, he has a ton of explosive talent to make the plays for him. So, he doesn’t need to leave the pocket. Just do what you do best, and throw the ball exactly where it needs to go, make good decisions, and win games.

The offensive line is the biggest concern, but at least you know Burrow will get the ball out quickly. From a redraft fantasy perspective, they may be playing from behind a lot, which gives the offense more fantasy value. So, I could see him being a really decent pick at the end of drafts as a backup, or even a flyer, especially if the schedule is conducive to a shootout in the first game, from a streaming QB perspective. The only downside is you’re not going to get a lot of rushing points, and I suspect not many rushing TD’s…not that he’s not capable, but he’s so precise, that they shouldn’t need to risk his body like that. The question is, how will the coaching staff put together this offense. Let’s see how they’ll use him once the preseason comes around.

Justin Herbert

Tyrod Taylor is going to be an obstacle for Justin Herbert. Tyrod is only 30 years old, and if it weren’t for a bad injury, and a first round QB draft pick, Baker Mayfield, itching to start…oh wait, it’s an identical situation, but odds are, if Tyrod just buttons up his run game a little, and avoids hits when he runs, then he is a legitimate competitor for Herbert this season.

That said, Herbert is surprisingly effective with his legs. The word about him is his big arm, but I found that in watching him what stood out was his the quickness of his decision making process, and his game-speed. He’s sort of an unassuming runner because of his arm strength. If that makes sense. The only negative, beside the competition, which I expect him to win, at least, eventually, is that in college, his receivers always seemed to be open, and his o-line gave him a lot of time, in most instances. How much of that affects how we perceived his skills? I guess we’ll see in training camp and preseason.

Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts has great decision making skills; Between his progressions, and choosing to run the ball or not, Hurts is definitely not afraid to get hurt, and has a nose for the end-zone. Great legs, and not from a running perspective, but more from the angle that he can maneuver through the pocket with a wiggle to make people miss. He has great control of his body. I expect him to come into play this season because he has the skills to contribute outside of Wentz being sidelined.

Jordan Love

Jordan Love has a fantastic arm. He can toss the ball far, and accurately. Tossing the ball long is kind of his thing. Also, he seems able to move well in the pocket, but it’s not his primary weapon. His main weapon is his deep pass. While he is really good at many things, and good enough to play immediately, he has a few key areas to focus on, that will make him elite when he does get the nod. Most importantly, if he improves his skills in the short game, he’ll be a superstar. His college career made going long too easy, but that won’t be as easy in the NFL, and he’ll need a few more tricks to get in the Aaron Rogers category. Lastly, I think he can improve his throwing velocity. It seems like his throws don’t have a lot of torque on them. I can’t see drafting him in redraft leagues, unless Rogers gets hurt, and not before that.

Jake Fromm

Going to the bills isn’t the best landing spot for Jake Fromm from the perspective that he’s behind a really good starter in Josh Allen. If Allen is sidelined, Fromm could come in clutch. Keep him on the radar.

Jacob Eason

It probably goes without saying that Philip Rivers is the starter, but Jacob Eason is going to benefit tremendously from Rivers’ experience. Don’t sleep on Eason. He has as good an arm as any of the draft picks from the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, if not better than some of those. Running isn’t his thing, at all. He will barely move in the pocket, and usually likes his first read, which can make him predictable, especially in the NFL. Eason is worlds better than James Morgan, who the Jets took three spots later in the same draft.

Jake Luton

Jake Luton can give this QB room a run for its money. Gardner Minshew, and Joshua Dobbs are his only obstacles. He has a lot of potential, but I’m not sure he’ll be given the opportunity if Minshew does well. Jake Luton has great pocket awareness, and he throws with precision. Hard to tell how good he is because his offensive line gave him all the time in the world.

Also, anyone else notice how many Quarterbacks with the first name starting with the letter ‘J’ have been drafted this season?

Cole McDonald

Deep ball seems to be Cole McDonald’s favorite move, and he’s good at it. It suits him. I am going to love to see him in the preseason. He could backup the often injured Ryan Tanehill, which means he could make an appearance in 2020.

Nate Stanley

Behind Kirk Cousins there’s a group of potential, but nothing that we’ll know until they’re tested in the NFL. I think we’ll get to see them in the preseason, but which ones, and will Nate Stanley get any play, even with an injury? It would take a lot. Otherwise, Stanley looks decent for such a late draft pick. He’s more than a competent passer, and he seems to be able to get the ball into the hands of his receivers. He’ll go through his progressions and do the right thing with the ball.

Tommy Stevens

Tommy Stevens seems to be very similar to Taysom Hill. The question is, what made the Sean Payton draft another guy with a similar skillset as what they already have. Answer I think of is that the Saints want to groom that style of play. I like the idea of having more than one capable QB on a team that can do other things well too, like in Tommy’s case, he tends to look to run more than pass, but he has a good enough arm to make it happen that way too.

Ben DiNucci

It’s going to be tough to see any relevance from Ben DiNucci this season because he is now behind Dak Prescott and Andy Dalton. That said, he was drafted late and there’s not much expected from him. Watching his film, he looks decent enough, but he excels with his legs. He can move. He’s quick, and unafraid, but is that enough. I think the see raw talent that can be developed. Hey, you never know who will turn out to be a stud. These guys are still young, and they can become more than they were drafted to be, and they can be one of the top picks and disappoint the world, cough cou-Mitchell Trubisky – gh cough.

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