While rookie quarterbacks are rarely valued in re-draft fantasy leagues, in dynasty fantasy leagues they’re valued just as much as the real NFL. In 2012, we were spoiled with, not one but, two franchise quarterbacks entering the league in Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. 2013 doesn’t afford the same quality at the top but does have a few options further down the list.
- EJ Manuel (BUF) – The first quarterback taken off the board in the 2013 draft, Manuel was a surprise pick for Buffalo. For fantasy purposes, he shows the most promise for an early return. He has a superior runner in CJ Spiller and quality receiving target in Stevie Johnson. At worst, Manuel has the second easiest path to starting. Kevin Kolb currently sits atop the Bills depth chart but him and Manuel recently split snaps at mini-camp. Additionally, Kolb has yet to start more than 9 times in a season due to injuries and general ineffectiveness. If Manual, who has two inches and 20 pounds on Kolb, shows any promise in training camp, Buffalo will start him early. He didn’t get drafted to sit. His dynasty prospects are a little murkier only because of the many unknowns. Buffalo has had a complete regime change from the top down that should buy Manual time to develop. Only time will tell if first-year general manager Doug Whaley and first year coach Doug Marrone can provide a strong environment
- Geno Smith (NYJ) – Smith was largely perceived to be the first quarterback taken in the draft but fell to the Jets in the second round. Smith definitely put up the numbers of a first round pick at West Virginia but was still not as accurate as scouts had hoped. While it certainly wouldn’t take much to unseat Mark Sanchez, the fact is Smith has done nothing to give the Jets any reason to even consider starting Smith. Furthermore, Smith’s development doesn’t appear to be a priority of the Jets coaching staff. Last year, Mike Shananhan purposely blended the pro playbook with RG3’s college playbook in an effort to east the transition. The Jets have no such plans. Yikes. Smith certainly doesn’t warrant a high pick in dynasty leagues.
- Matt Barkley (PHI) – No prospect fell further from before the 2012 season than Barkley. Originally thought to go first overall before opening 2012, Barkley fell to the fourth round and Philadelphia. Once there, he immediately was penciled in behind Mike Vick and Nick Foles. It’s not hard to realize Vick (33) won’t be an Eagle much longer (possibly sooner rather than later) but Nick Foles still looms. Just 24, Foles still has three years left on his rookie contract and is giving Vick a run for his money on the starting job. Still, there’s something to be said for being picked by the new coach and Barkley has impressed in OTA’s. Barkley probably won’t contribute this year but is worth a stash in dynasty leagues, especially taxi squads.
- Tyler Wilson (OAK) – One of the likelier rookies to see playing time early is Wilson. Early reports out of Oakland mini-camp have Wilson impressing. Of course, he’ll need to keep that up in live action but it shouldn’t be difficult to force his way in the conversation. With Terrell Pryor unimpressive so far and Matt Flynn getting balls batted down in non-contact drills, it’s not inconceivable that Wilson gets started early. Long-term, however, his chances of sticking around in Oakland aren’t great. Unless Dennis Allen can improve on his 4-12 debut, and there have been no personnel changes to suggest otherwise, the Raiders will be bad again. The badder they are, the higher in the draft they’ll go and increase their chances of drafting a franchise quarterback (hello Teddy Bridgewater). Truly, the only person that can help Tyler Wilson’s dynasty value is Tyler Wilson. He’d be another taxi squad candidate with a decent chance to start this year.
- Mike Glennon (TB) – Perhaps the most intriguing prospect of this year’s class, Glennon could create a perfect storm for himself to take over in Tampa. At 6′ 7″ with a huge arm, Glennon has the physical tools to be a starter with NFL Matchup’s Greg Cosell even comparing Glennon to Matt Ryan as a prospect. He can make the throws and will be given the opportunity to make an impression in pre-season. It all falls on incumbent Josh Freeman to stick around after his rookie contract expires this year. Freeman has been uneven with seasons of 25 and 27 touchdowns but also seasons of 17, 18, and 22 interceptions, sometimes in the same year. Freeman will need a great year to warrant an extension. The bottom line is Tampa has the weapons to make either quarterback successful. It would be worth a mid-level pick to invest in Glennon.