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Fantasy Football Ideal Landing Spots: Quarterback

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There are under two weeks until the 2024 NFL Draft. Before we know it, we will be drafting fantasy teams and getting ready to enjoy the 2024 season. However, plenty of formats (namely dynasty and best ball) have been drafting rookies for months.

One of the big challenges in these formats is trying to predict things like draft capital and landing spots. Getting a rookie at a discount before they land in the perfect situation is a massive advantage. Heading into the draft, FTN Fantasy will be going position by position to evaluate the top prospects at the four major positions (QB, RB, WR and TE) and identifying their best landing spots.

The goal of this isn’t just to plug each prospect into the top offenses in the NFL, since most quarterbacks would flourish with a supporting cast like Detroit or Philadelphia. Instead, it will be marrying the top prospect with a team that fits their projected draft capital. Caleb Williams would be awesome in Detroit, but there isn’t a way he will fall past the first three picks.

That said, check out the top quarterback landing spots in the 2024 draft below.

Ideal Landing Spots in the NFL Draft: Quarterback

Caleb Williams, USC

Ideal Fit: Chicago Bears

In fairness, any quarterback in this class would be lucky to land in Chicago with the first overall pick. The Bears have spent the last few seasons building up the offense by making additions to the offensive line and adding playmakers all over the field. Caleb Williams is seemingly a lock to go to the Chicago Bears with the first pick in the NFL draft, so there is no need to overcomplicate the best fit for Williams in the 2024 draft class.

Over the last two seasons, Chicago has added DJ Moore and Keenan Allen at wide receiver, Gerald Everett at tight end and Roschon Johnson and D’Andre Swift in the backfield. The Bears have been active in upgrading their offensive line, drafting right tackle Darnell Wright in 2023 and adding free agents like Nate Davis, Coleman Shelton and Ryan Bates on the interior. They also can continue to add on offense with the ninth overall pick in this draft.

Williams comes into the NFL as arguably the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. During his three seasons in college, he racked up 10,082 passing yards with 93 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. The USC product enters the NFL with a unique blend of creativity, arm strength, passing acumen and athleticism that is typically reserved for the top quarterbacks in the league.

Chicago could use all of those tools in their new offense led by Shane Waldon. Any quarterback would be lucky to enter into a situation with a good offensive coordinator, a solid offensive line and several fantastic pass-catching weapons. The lucky winner in this cycle just gets to be Caleb Williams.

Jayden Daniels, LSU

Ideal Fit: Washington Commanders

Jayden Daniels was electric at LSU in 2023, winning the Heisman award after posting a 72.2% completion percentage with 3,812 passing yards and 40 touchdowns with 14 interceptions while adding 1,134 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. He now enters this draft class as arguably the most gifted athlete at the quarterback position in this class.

When it comes to finding a fit, the best-case scenario likely involves finding an offense that has weapons that can win on the perimeter and an offensive coordinator who utilizes spread passing concepts and understands how to harness a quarterback with rushing prowess. One of the most obvious fits is the Washington Commanders, who hold the second overall pick.

The Commanders feature an offense with a solid WR1 (Terry McLaurin) and a recent first-round pick at wide receiver (Jahan Dotson in 2022). Washington invested in offensive line upgrades this offseason (Tyler Biadasz and Nick Allegretti) as well, but there is still work to be done. More importantly, the Commanders hired Kliff Kingsbury as their offensive coordinator.

Kingsbury’s successes with mobile quarterbacks stretch back to 2012 when he designed an offense that flourished with Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. Since then, he’s coached quarterbacks like Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes in college and Kyler Murray in the NFL. He will need to show some growth from his stagnant offense in Arizona, but he knows about utilizing quarterback athleticism. Murray arguably had his best professional season in Kingsbury’s offense in 2021 when he threw for 3,787 yards and 24 touchdowns while adding 423 rushing yards and five scores as a rusher.

There are some imperfections to Daniels (pressure to sack rate and middle-of-the-field throws), but if there is one coordinator who could truly utilize his skill set in the NFL at the top of the NFL draft, it would be Kliff Kingsbury.

Drake Maye, North Carolina

Ideal Fit: Minnesota Vikings

Drake Maye was firmly in the QB1 conversation after the 2022 college season. During that year, the UNC product completed 66.2% of his passes for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns with seven interceptions. Unfortunately, that team lost a lot of talent at receiver and offensive line, which led to a “down” season in 2023. Of course, a “down” season still consisted of 3,600 passing yards and 24 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Now Maye finds himself competing to be the second quarterback off the board in the 2024 draft.

However, when it comes to the ideal fit for Maye, the team he most likely pairs with will have to move up in the draft to select him, the Minnesota Vikings. Like Chicago, the Vikings could be considered one of the best offenses to land with to begin a career. The team has a solid offensive line to protect the quarterback and features one of the best wide receivers in the NFL (Justin Jefferson), a top tight end (T.J. Hockenson) and a highly regarded 2022 rookie (Jordan Addison). All three players surpassed 900 receiving yards and five touchdowns in 2023 and would serve as an excellent pass-catching corps.

There is also a personal connection between Maye and the Vikings. New offensive coordinator Josh McCown coached Maye in high school and would have a great idea of catering the offense to his strengths.

Dropping Maye into an offense with a strong offensive line and excellent receiving options worked for him in college and would be huge for his professional development. Few teams at the top of the draft can offer a better situation than the Minnesota Vikings.  

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Ideal Fit: Las Vegas Raiders

J.J. McCarthy enters the NFL draft with a national championship under his belt after compiling a 27-1 record as a starter with the University of Michigan. McCarthy has all the tools necessary to serve a top quarterback but will likely need some time to develop after his interesting usage in college. The Wolverines centered their offense around an imposing run game, often using McCarthy’s passing ability as a complementary piece of the offense. McCarthy finished his college career with just 713 passing attempts and 6,226 passing yards. In his two years as a full starter, he compiled a 49-11 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Many reports say McCarthy has done well during the draft process, showing the ability to make all of the throws and winning interviews with his intangibles. However, finding an NFL fit requires searching for a team that can provide many of the qualities of his college experience: a strong run game with a solid offensive line that can give him weapons to attack when needed in the passing game.

Like Maye, the solution to that could very well be the Minnesota Vikings. However, another team near the top of the draft that could easily fit McCarthy’s strengths would be the Las Vegas Raiders.

FTN’s game logs show that the Raiders offense shifted to a run-heavy approach after Week 8 (when Antonio Pierce took over as the interim head coach).

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Before Week 9, the Raiders had just one game with 23 or more rush attempts. In the nine games after, Las Vegas averaged 23.2 rushing attempts. The Raiders passing attack worked off the run game, utilizing play-action passing on 21% of Aidan O’Connell’s dropbacks, according to FTN’s Advanced Stats.

Not only would that style benefit McCarthy, but having weapons like Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers at receiver and 2022 second-round pick Michael Mayer at tight end would provide plenty of weapons when the team needed to lean on the passing attack.

Bo Nix, Oregon

Ideal Fit: Miami Dolphins

After the top four quarterbacks in the NFL draft, you get into two older prospects who are in the conversation for teams on Day 2. One of those prospects is Bo Nix, a fifth-year senior who struggled initially at Auburn before revitalizing his career with two seasons at Oregon. Over the last two years, Nix completed 74.6% of his passes for 8,101 passing yards with 74 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

There are plenty of rumors tying Nix to the Denver Broncos, which makes sense given Sean Payton’s insistence that his quarterbacks play within his system. However, one could argue that the Miami Dolphins would fit Nix’s skillset even better.

During his tenure at Oregon, Nix flourished in a spread offense that utilized screens and run-pass-options (RPOs) that allowed him to utilize his athleticism and make quick decisions based on a quick read of the defense. That offense functions in a very similar way to the Miami Dolphins. According to FTN’s advanced stats, Tua Tagovailoa finished third in the NFL in play-action passing attempts in 2023.

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While all three of those teams have quarterbacks on soon-to-be expiring deals, it seems far more likely that Dak Prescott and Jared Goff will secure extensions with their current teams thanks to their regular season success and playoff experiences. Conversely, Tua has put together two straight seasons where he started strong before faltering down the stretch. In 2023, that falter took the form of an embarrassing 26-7 loss to the Chiefs in the wild card.

Miami enters the last year of Tua’s contract confronting the reality that Tua may be tapped out and will command a massive contract once his rookie deal expires after 2024. The team could easily target Nix in Round 2 of the draft and give him a year to acclimate to the NFL before using him to replace Tua in an explosive, RPO-based offense with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and De’Von Achane.

Of course, the Dolphins have plenty of holes on their roster (especially on the offensive and defensive lines) after making some tough cap decisions during the 2023 season. The team may choose to run it back with Tua one more time so they can build up the team and address the quarterback in 2025.

However, Nix is tailor-made for their offense and could learn behind Tua for a season before taking over next year.

Michael Penix, Washington

Ideal Fit: Seattle Seahawks

Michael Penix is one of the most interesting prospects in this draft. Penix spent his first four collegiate seasons at Indiana University and suffered four consecutive season-ending injuries. He then transferred to the University of Washington to get a fresh start with former Indiana offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer. What followed was two straight seasons with a top-10 Heisman finish (including a second-place finish in 2023) thanks to huge statistical outputs.

In two years with the Huskies, Penix amassed 9,544 passing yards with 67 touchdowns and 19 interceptions. During that time, Penix benefitted from an elite college receiving corps but also flashed ridiculous arm strength and solid decision-making. His 2023 College Football Playoff performance against Texas was one of the most impressive passing showcases of any quarterback this season. Unfortunately, the championship game against Michigan also showed that he struggled with pressure and occasional missed throws.

To find the best fit for Penix, you need an offensive coordinator willing to gamble on his ridiculous arm strength and lack of mobility (despite a sub-4.50 40-yard dash at his pro day). The best fit for Penix won’t be a far trip, with him landing in Seattle to develop behind Geno Smith.

For one, the Seahawks feature a strong wide receiver corps that can win downfield in DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Historically, the Seahawks have utilized a strong running game to set up play-action attempts and deep throws. That playstyle would fit Penix’s ability to stretch the defense with his arm strength and would help neutralize the opposing pass rush.

It also helps that Seattle’s new offensive coordinator (Ryan Grubb) just spent the past two years helping Penix produce at a prolific level in college. Grubb would know exactly how to cater his offense to Penix’s strengths and could utilize the team’s pass-catchers in a way to accentuate his talents.

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