The AFC North is one of the toughest divisions in the NFL. All the teams are super competitive and have an opportunity to make a real post season run. As fantasy players we care more about what they will do in the regular season for our fantasy football teams. In this article we will go through each starting quarterback in the AFC North and rank them from the lowest fantasy football finisher to the highest fantasy football finisher.
4. Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton has been a fantasy football streamer at the QB position for most of his time in the NFL. I don’t see him becoming an every week starter in 2019. In Dalton’s 11 games in 2019 he completed 226 of 365 for 2,566 yards, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and in 6 point passing touchdown leagues averaged 19.7 per game. In his 11 games he finished as a QB 1-6, 0% of the time, QB 7-12, 36.36% of the time, QB 13-24, 36.36% of the time, and Dalton finished outside the top 25, 27.27% of the time. In the last 3 seasons (43 games) Dalton has finished as a QB 1-6, 11.63% of the time and a top 12 QB only 39.53% of the time. That means he finished outside the top 12 QB’s 60.47% of the time. Andy Dalton has a track record for hurting your fantasy lineup more then helping it. Granted in the past he has had to play under Marvin Lewis and that awful offense, but I really don’t see things getting much better for him in 2019. Zac Taylor is an unproven coach coming from the Rams. He is going to implement an offense like the Rams, and it could be deadly but after first round offensive linemen Jonah Williams was lost for the year it looks like Dalton will be playing behind another bad O-line. Something Goff hasn’t had to do in L.A.
3. Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson is a young electrifying player who many people doubt his throwing abilities. I don’t see him becoming much better of a pocket passer in 2019, rather I see him being more of a running quarterback with low passing touchdowns and a lot of turnovers. When Lamar Jackson took over in week 11, he finished as the 13th QB that week. He had only one top 5 week and that was week 17 against Cleveland. Jackson completed 99 of his 170 attempts for 1201 yards, 6 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions. Jackson scored a lot of his points on the ground, Jackson ran 147 times for 695 yards, and 5 scores with 10 fumbles. Jackson in 2019 only averaged 10.6 fantasy points per game in 6 point per passing touchdown leagues. He finished as a top 12 QB only 25% of the time. He will have a nice rushing floor this season. So nice he could finish with close to 1000 yards on the ground. His downside will be his lack of passing ability. Lamar Jackson’s touchdown rate was 3.5% which would’ve been good for 25th in the league. Jackson averaged 7.1 yards per pass attempt and did not go down the field often in 2018. This is a trend I don’t see ending in 2019.
2. Ben Roethlisberger
Big Ben Roethlisberger had him self a year in 2018! He completed 452 of his 675 passing attempts for 5,129 yards, 34 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and 3 sneaky rushing touchdowns. Roethlisberger finished as the number three fantasy football quarterback in 2019 averaging 25.6 fantasy points per game in 6 point per touchdown scoring. Like stated above Roethlisberger finished as the number three QB in 2018. He led the league with attempts and completions something he won’t do again in 2019. He finished as a QB 1-6, 31.25% of the time and as a QB 1-12, 62.5% of the time. This was the first time he played 16 games since 2014 and if he can do that again in 2019, he could have a good year. Big Ben is only getting older the likely hood of a big hit knocking him out of the game or for an entire season continues to grow. I think he will drop in both attempts and completions in 2019 with Antonio Brown gone and younger wide receivers stepping up. There are a lot of question marks on this offense. Not one other player besides Roethlisberger is a proven fantasy asset year in and year out. Juju is not proven yet. He could have a big year, but he has never been the one on the team. This is a team that is trying to become more balanced by using James Conner more in the running game. Roethlisberger is being drafted at the 11.07 and is the 17th QB off the board. If you can get him here, I think you will be happy with him, just don’t expect what you got in 2018.
- Baker Mayfield
As you were reading this you probably assumed Baker was going to be number 1 and if that’s you, congrats! In the AFC North Baker Mayfield is the best fantasy football quarterback right now and will be for a very long time. In Baker Mayfield’s 14 games he completed 310 of his 486 pass attempts, for 3,725 yards, and broke the rookie touchdown record with 27 touchdowns. He threw 14 interceptions and averaged 21 fantasy points per game in 6 point per passing touchdown leagues. He ranked number 1 in positive passing stat compared to the other rookie QB’s in 2018. He finished as the number 2 QB in the division, but he attempted 30 more passes the Ben Roethlisberger completed. That should show how unreal Roethlisberger’s season was last year and just how good Baker could be with a full season under his belt, and a better wide receiving corp. In 2018 Baker Mayfield finished as a QB 1-6, 21.43% of the time and he finished as a QB 13-24, 64.29% of the time. That figure should scare you initially, but I’ll tell you right now that this is a number that won’t be repeated in 2019. Adding possibly the best WR in the league in OBJ to this offense will make it even more dynamic than in 2018. Baker had a chance to realistically throw for 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2019. The only question left to answer is will you be happy with that stat line based on where you have to draft him. Baker Mayfield is going as the 5th QB off the board at the 6.08. The 5th QB in 2018 was Deshaun Watson who completed 345 of 505 attempts for 4,165 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 9 interceptions. Watson also rushed for 5 touchdowns and 551 yards, averaging 24 points per game last year. Baker would have to average 3 more points per game in order to hit this. I think with OBJ and Freddy Kitchens as head coach this is something he can do and if you are going to take a QB in the middle rounds he is one of the safest and has the ability to finish at number 1 is everything goes his way.