In MFL10s, quarterbacks fall far into drafts. You can get a top guy much later than your average work league, but that just makes my value guys fall even further and can give you a strong base of wide receivers and running backs before you even think about a quarterback.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants, ADP QB 14, Overall 138 Manning is always a little underrated due to his propensity to be horrible. That's actually a common theme with these quarterbacks I'm targeting. When some people think of Eli Manning, they think of interceptions. And it wasn't too long ago that interceptions were all he could throw. In 2013 he threw just 18 touchdowns compared to 27 picks. That's awful and horrible, and thankfully I don't have a thesaurus handy to go on. And Eli had other big interception years on his resume, with 20 in 2007 and 25 in 2010. So the overall experience of watching him play did have a lot of interception trauma involved to go along with two Super Bowl wins.
But in 2014, Ben McAdoo became the offensive coordinator for the Giants after a successful stint with the Packers. What McAdoo did was up the pace and give Manning more and easier pass attempts. In 2014 and 2015, Manning went over 600 attempts for the first time in his career and also had his best and third-best completion percentage to go along with his second- and third-most yards and first-and third-most touchdown passes. And his 14 interceptions in each of the last two seasons tied his second-fewest, which is not an easy feat when you throw the ball more than you ever have. Of course, the amazing rookie and sophomore seasons from Odell Beckham Jr. did in no way hurt Manning's numbers, and thankfully, Beckham is now in his third season and doesn't look like he'll slow down anytime soon.
Manning finished last season as the 10th-best fantasy quarterback and the same the year before. If he were to finish 10th again, he would still be a value play this year, but I think there is room for improvement as he's now in his third season in McAdoo's offense and McAdoo is also in his third season of running an offense. Any way you slice it, there are enough pass attempts for Manning that it will be tough for him to not have fantasy value this year.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions, ADP QB 16, Overall 150 Stafford is not the quarterback we hoped he was after throwing for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2011, but he's also not as bad as he was the three and a half years afterward, and hopefully, a man named Jim Bob Cooter has led Stafford out of the dark. Last season started off horribly for Stafford. Even with a four-touchdown game against Chicago in Week 6 couldn't make his numbers through the first eight weeks look good. In those eight games, he threw 13 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, and during the bye week, offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi was let go and Cooter became the coordinator.
That change coincided with an amazing run by Stafford as he threw 19 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the second half of the season and completed 70 percent of his passes. Playing Denver, Seattle and Arizona's defense in the first half of the season helped skew those bad numbers, but there was no doubt that Stafford felt more comfortable in Cooter's offense and had his best stretch of football as a pro. He ended up as the ninth-best fantasy quarterback on the season after hitting the waiver wires early.
Now, Stafford'll be without Calvin Johnson, which is going to scare off some people, but Stafford had a couple of his best games in the second half of the season when Johnson was used merely as a decoy. Johnson's replacement Marvin Jones is, of course, not Megatron, but he is a good receiver who will pair nicely with Golden Tate. Add in two good receiving running backs and a tight end who continue to improve, and I see Stafford putting together a consistent 2016.
Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys, ADP QB 17, Overall 151
Romo is often underrated due to so many people hating his face, but when healthy, he has always put up good fantasy numbers. In his last four seasons in which he played a full 16 games, he has finished as the second-, fifth-, seventh- and eighth-best fantasy quarterback. Romo's collarbone injuries last season are probably depressing his ADP, but the 17th quarterback taken is just too far for me. I don't expect a run at the Top-5, but Top-10 is within his reach, which, if you can pair him with one of these other quarterbacks, should give you a streaming quarterback who can come close to that Top-5. His supporting cast isn't great, but Dez Bryant is a cheat code when near the goal line and really everywhere on the field, and he'll be back and healthy as well this season. Romo is good at football and appears to be getting better. In his 2014 season, he finished with his highest completion percentage, yards per attempt and QBR rating, while throwing for his second-most touchdowns and second-fewest interceptions. Romo just turned 36, which puts him still in his prime for quarterbacks, and he gets a nice schedule this season.
Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills, ADP QB 20, Overall 156
Taylor was the fifth-best fantasy quarterback last season on a per-attempt basis. Of course, that is in part due to his lack of attempts in a run-first offense, but he showed he could do it with the seventh-best QBR and passer rating last season, the fifth-most yards per attempt and the second-most rushing yards by a quarterback. Taylor also just got going with a strong connection to Sammy Watkins in the second half of the season. If Watkins had been healthier in the first half of the season, Taylor could have broken out even more.
Interestingly, the Bills aren't sold on Taylor yet, but even if they pick a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft, he will be a developmental player, especially with Goff and Wentz going Nos. 1 and 2, teams are going to reach for quarterbacks who are career backups at best. Taylor could easily play this season without an extension to his contract, which would make every game one in which he's trying to earn a payday. I don't mind that.
The biggest concern for Taylor is how his running ability puts him in harm's way. There's no doubt he's a risk to miss games, but that running ability gives his fantasy points a big boost each week and puts his upside squarely in the Top-10. I wouldn't want him as my only quarterback, but pairing him with someone like Eli Manning, who never misses a game, would make for a nice two-headed quarterback on your fantasy team.