Bettings
article featured image background
Article preview

Top 5 Sleeper QBs for Fantasy Football in 2024

NFL Fantasy

Authors

Share
Contents
Close

The first waves of NFL free agency have subsided, and teams are starting to shift into draft prep. The NFL draft is just over one month away which puts OTAs and rookie camps just on the horizon.

 

Before you know it, we will be back in the thick of fantasy draft season. Some people are already putting in the work in early best ball drafts trying to capitalize on value this offseason while others won’t start thinking about fantasy football until July. However, it never hurts to start thinking about the 2024 season early.

This article will break down the top quarterback sleepers you will want to target in fantasy drafts in 2024. Keep an eye out for the 2024 busts article to explore the other side of quarterback value Tuesday.

2024 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Quarterback

Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams

It made sense to fade Matthew Stafford heading into the 2023 season. He was coming off a significant neck injury that limited him to just nine games. However, Stafford (and the Rams offense as a whole) bounced back thanks to the emergence of rookie receiver Puka Nacua and an improved offensive line.

Matthew Stafford Los Angeles Rams 2024 Fantasy Football Sleepers Quarterback

It feels likely that Stafford will once again be available at a discount even after posting over 3,900 passing yards with 24 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions in 2023. The Rams return all their key offensive contributors and will hopefully get a healthy season from veteran receiver Cooper Kupp. The Rams also seemed to recognize the importance of keeping Stafford upright, adding veteran guard Jonah Jackson to further fortify their offensive line.

Stafford’s days as a top-10 fantasy quarterback are likely behind him, but his age and injury history will likely push him into the backend QB2 territory in fantasy drafts. In 2023, he finished as the QB14 in fantasy points per game (16.9) among players with at least 10 starts. He should be able to repeat that production and even surpass it, especially if the Rams use the 2024 draft class to add an upgraded WR3 to their offense on Day 2.

Russell Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers

If early best-ball drafts are any indication, fantasy managers are too fixated on Russell Wilson’s benching and ignoring his solid play in 2023. That could be a mistake, especially now that Wilson has found himself as the signal caller in Arthur Smith’s play-action-heavy passing attack.

Wilson finished as the QB12 in fantasy points per game (17.7) in his final season with the Broncos, completing 66.4% of his passes for 3,070 yards and 26 touchdowns with eight interceptions in 15 games. According to FTN’s advanced stats, he was extremely effective as a play-action passer. Wilson had 105 play-action dropbacks in 2023, throwing for 11 touchdowns (second most in the NFL) and just one interception.

Wilson is an ideal match with the Steelers’ new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith. The combination of Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke combined to have 152 play-action dropbacks in 2023. That number ranked second in the NFL behind only the Dallas Cowboys.

Wilson should thrive in his new offensive surroundings but will likely be available at a discount as fantasy managers remember his poor 2022 combined with his contract-related benching in 2023. He should easily outperform his ADP, especially if he remains outside the top 24 drafted quarterbacks next season.

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers

Bryce Young’s rookie season was awful, especially when compared to fellow rookie (and second overall pick) C.J. Stroud. It would be unfair to focus on Young’s shortcomings (pun intended) without considering the context of the team he was on. The 2022 Panthers lacked creative playcalling, fired Frank Reich midseason, lacked any receivers with the ability to separate and had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL However, a lot of those issues have been addressed this offseason.

From a team standpoint, the Panthers have worked hard to upgrade several pieces on their offense. Carolina traded one of the best separators at wide receiver (Diontae Johnson) in a trade. They also upgraded the offensive line, signing one of the top young guards on the market (Robert Hunt) and another solid veteran in former Seahawk Damien Lewis. The team also holds the 33rd overall pick and can add a solid receiver to their pass-catching corps.

Most importantly, the team hired a young, innovative offensive coach to be their next head coach: former Buccaneers’ offensive coordinator Dave Canales. Canales has gotten a lot of credit for reviving the careers of Baker Mayfield and Geno Smith in the last two seasons and will now have an opportunity to work with the 2022 first overall pick.

Young was rightfully considered one of the top college prospects in the 2023 class and that talent has not gone away despite an underwhelming start to his career. A dismal 2023 season will suppress his ADP, which could make him a steal in a better offensive environment with a play-caller who will design an offense that fits his strengths.

https://ftnfantasy.com/pricing

Gardner Minshew, Las Vegas Raiders

Gardner Minshew was forced into action with the Indianapolis Colts last season after rookie Anthony Richardson suffered a season-ending injury. His play was strong enough to keep the Colts in playoff contention until the end of the season, and it earned him a solid contract with the Raiders that should give him a chance to start once again in 2024.

Minshew wound up starting 13 games in Indianapolis in 2023, completing 62.2% of his passes for 3,305 yards and 15 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. While the pure numbers aren’t overly impressive, FTN’s advanced stats showed that Minshew had several favorable efficiency metrics.

Minshew was above average in expected points added (38.3). He was also very accurate on deep passes (85.2% accuracy on passes over 20 yards) and was equally impressive under pressure (90.9%).

Now he finds himself in Las Vegas competing against 2023 Day 3 rookie Aidan O’Connell. If Minshew wins the job, he will be behind an above-average offensive line with weapons like Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and 2023 second-round pick Michael Mayer. Throughout his career, Minshew has repeatedly proven that he can perform well when he is surrounded by adequate weapons.

Minshew will go overlooked in fantasy drafts, but his contract suggests that he will be the starting quarterback for Las Vegas in 2023. He’s a solid target for teams that are looking to employ the late-round QB strategy and should provide an adequate floor as a QB2 or QB3 in superflex leagues at a very discounted price.

J.J. McCarthy, TBD

J.J. McCarthy 2024 Fantasy Football Sleepers Quarterback

There are plenty of skeptics regarding J.J. McCarthy’s body of work at Michigan thanks to the team’s run-heavy approach on their way to a national championship. What has become very clear though is the reality that McCarthy will hear his name within the top-10 picks of the 2024 NFL draft. History shows that even if he requires development before stepping on an NFL field, there is a strong chance that he will start games in his rookie season.

While McCarthy wasn’t tasked with carrying Michigan’s offense with his arms, he showed an exceptional ability to make plays when his number was called. During the 2023 season, McCarthy attempted 67 passes on third downs that required 4-plus yards. He completed 48 of those attempts (71%) for 662 yards and six touchdowns with zero interceptions. McCarthy also silenced the arm strength critics at the combine by throwing the second hardest pass (61mph) in the arm strength test.

Ultimately, McCarthy’s landing spot will heavily dictate his value in fantasy in 2023. Early draft rumors indicate that the two most likely teams to draft him are the Vikings (in a trade-up) or the Giants. If he lands with Minnesota, McCarthy should have no problem supplanting Sam Darnold as the starter. In that situation, he will have Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison (and eventually T.J. Hockenson) at his disposal in the passing attack. Landing with the Giants yields far fewer advantages, but McCarthy would still likely get onto the field at some point in the season.

In either situation, McCarthy would enter 2024 with an excellent chance of starting games with a top-10 pedigree. He will likely go undrafted in most single-quarterback leagues but could provide strong value within the right situation, especially if he’s as quick of a learner as many NFL teams think he is.

Previous 2024 MLB Season Preview: National League Next 2024 Fantasy Football Winners and Losers of Free Agency (So Far)