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Fantasy Higher or Lower: 2016 Quarterback Edition

July 30, 2016 • Justin Cavegn • Fantasy, Front Page, Lists

Blake Bortles Passing Touchdowns: 30

HIGHER:

Blake Bortles threw for 35 Touchdowns last season, a year after throwing for just 11 in his rookie campaign. With weapons that include Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julius Thomas, Chris Ivory, and T.J. Yeldon, look for the Jaguars to have a ton of red zone opportunities. A lot of fantasy analysts, and NFL analysts for that matter, are predicting a decline in production in year three of Bortles’ career, but I believe he can sustain this sort of production to the tune of about 30-33 TDs.

Jameis Winston Passing Touchdowns: 27

LOWER:

This one is tough, as Winston was able to throw for a respectable 22 touchdowns in 2015 as a rookie, which was good for 16th most in the NFL. I do expect him to progress and become a much better NFL quarterback in his second season, but a five touchdown increase is hard to envision for him. First of all, the Bucs are going to try and be a run-first team with Doug Martin (1,402 rush yards) and Charles Sims in the backfield. And second of all, besides Mike Evans and Charles Sims, I don’t see much more in the passing game that can help Winston get to this total. If Evans gets double-teamed a lot, Winston could be in for a long season. However, he should still be able to improve upon his 22 scores from a season ago.

Cam Newton Passing Yards: 4,000

LOWER:

Cam Newton passed for 3,837 yards in 2015 (16th most in NFL), en route to one of the greatest single-season quarterback performances in NFL history. It also marked the fourth straight season in which Newton has thrown for less than 4,000 passing yards. The only time he did throw for more was in his rookie season where he had 51 whole yards more than 4,000. Simply put, Cam is a running quarterback who relies on his feet just as much as his arm and while he has made great strides as a passer, he will never be a QB who attempts enough passes to hit that 4,000 yard mark consistently. Look for him to once again put up between 3,700-3,900 passing yards.

Drew Brees Passing Yards: 5,000

HIGHER:

Drew Brees had a “down” year in 2015 in which he threw for just 4,870 yards, once again leading the NFL in that category. The average yards through the air Brees has had over the past five years is nothing short of incredible, with 5,127. He was just 130 yards shy of posting his fifth season of 5,000+ in 2015 and surely would have if he hadn’t missed a game due to a shoulder injury. People may be quick to point out Brees’ age and steady decline over the past few seasons, but Brees is still one of the purest passers the league has ever seen and should be able to put up yet another historic season in 2016.

Matt Ryan Total Turnovers: 19

HIGHER:

Matt Ryan is not welcomed with open arms in fantasy football anymore. After being regarded as a top 10 quarterback for the past couple of years, 2015 will probably be the last after throwing for 21 touchdowns and turning the ball over 24 times! Fantasy fans have had enough, and I will be taking the over on this bet as Ryan’s five year turnover average has been just over 19 with 19.2 turnovers per year. The eight fumbles from a year ago should drop a bit but his interception totals should continue to reach the mid-teens.

Russell Wilson Rushing Attempts: 100

LOWER:

Assuming that you don’t live under a very large rock, you’ve probably heard of Wilson’s latter half explosion in 2015, in which he dominated through the air, putting up 34 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Over Wilson’s first four years in the league, his passing yardage totals, attempts, and completions have all risen from year to year. Looking at his rushing numbers, you will see a very efficient runner who has attempted an average of just under 103 rushes per year. However, with his increased passing skills, look for more passing attempts from the former third round pick and less rushing attempts than usual from Wilson. Nevertheless, he should still hover around 85-95 rushes in 2016.

Andrew Luck Rushing Yards: 300

HIGHER:

Yes, this is a rushing prediction for Andrew Luck. Luck has the type of ceiling and upside to accomplish pretty much anything passing-wise, but many undervalue his rushing talent and abilities. Many would never have thought that Andrew Luck, not including last year’s horror show of a season, averages over 300 rushing yards and 4 rushing touchdowns per year over his career. Last season was obviously a down year for Luck, who struggled with several injuries that plagued him for pretty much the entire season. And well, there’s nothing money can’t fix, so after his historic contract signing this offseason, look for Luck to go nuts in the stat sheets (just don’t forget to check his rushing numbers this time). He could finish with 350 yards via the ground in 2016.

Colin Kaepernick Rushing Touchdowns- 1

LOWER:

Colin Kapernick is still relevant? Well, yes and no. Kaepernick is indeed still in the NFL and still on the San Francisco 49ers (the same team he brought to the Super Bowl however many years ago that was). But, Kaepernick is now the presumed backup in San Fran for… Blaine Gabbert. Yes, that same dumpster fire who used to throw picks in Jacksonville. Notice how I used the word presumed, because the depth chart is far from written in stone. Don’t forget that Chip Kelly has come across the country to try and kickstart––and possibly ruin––another storied franchise, and Kaepernick might be the perfect man for the fast-paced, run-heavy job. Looking at the one touchdown prop bet, it doesn’t seem that much, but Kaepernick has found a way to run for exactly one touchdown in each of the last two seasons (and that includes a season in which he played all 16 games). Look for Gabbert, who looked incredibly, slightly above average last season, to take the job and run with it in Cali.

Tony Romo Games Played- 12

HIGHER:

Now is the time to make your Romo jokes…no really, I’ll wait.

Everything out of your system? Okay good, because Romo has honestly been a very good quarterback over his career, putting up quality numbers in almost every one of his professional seasons. He has had his rough patches, even if they may be far rougher than most people’s, but nevertheless, two collarbone injuries in one season does not and should not define a man. Fragile may be a word that comes up when talking about Romo but realistically, he is more of an ironman than you may think. In the 10 seasons in which he has been a starter in the NFL, Romo has played at least 13 games in eight of those seasons, not bad huh? So, there is about an 80% chance that Romo will make it through this amount of games this season, so the numbers make sense here. However, he broke two collarbones when he only has one of those, so numbers don’t exactly make much sense in regard to Tony Romo. He’ll return to form and might just lead them Cowboys to another playoff berth.

 Featured Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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