Quarterbacks have become the most important position in fantasy football in recent seasons. Their ability to rack up multiple touchdowns per game has caused their value to go through the roof, and as a result, fantasy owners tend to jump on the big name options.
However, occasionally a quarterback takes us by surprise and puts together a top-five season. Last year’s surprise fantasy quarterback was Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton.
Dalton had a career season across the board in 2013. The Red Riffle threw a career-high 4,293 yards and to go along with a jaw-dropping 33 touchdowns. He finished with 11 multi-touchdown performances and ended the year as a top-five quarterback in every format.
Dalton suddenly has an amazing set of weapons to utilize. Wideout A.J. Green is among the best in the business, while Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu emerged as reliable options last season. The team also has tight ends Jermaine Gresham and 2014 first round pick Tyler Eifert to go along with dual-threat running back Giovani Bernard. Suddenly, Dalton has all the makings to consistently be a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
Dalton ended the season on a down note in 2013. In the final two games, AD threw just three touchdowns compared to six interceptions. He finished the year with a career-high 20 interceptions, including six games in which he threw three picks or more.
Dalton was very sloppy with the ball last year, as he had staggering turnover numbers. It is well documented that Dalton struggles throwing the ball downfield, and despite his impressive touchdown totals, his below-average arm will always keep his interception totals in the teens.
Additionally, Cincinnati let Offensive Coordinator Jay Gruden go this off-season, which is concerning because the quarterback had a career season under his tutelage. The reins will now be passed on to Hue Jackson and there is bound to be somewhat of a learning curve.
Dalton won’t be worth reaching for this fantasy season, as he likely won’t mirror his 2013 numbers, but AD can still be a serviceable fantasy option. He will be worth looking for after the top-seven or so quarterbacks come off the board this summer.
Bye Week: 4
Projected Round: 9
Auction Value: $9