Fantasy Football 2017: Quarterbacks Ready to Breakout

These quarterbacks you can take in the later rounds have top 10 QB potential.

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When to draft a quarterback on your fantasy football roster is one of the toughest choices to make every year. It almost always depends on how much depth there is at the quarterback position, and it feels like 2017 is one of the deepest years for quarterbacks in recent memory. That undoubtedly has to do with how much teams are throwing the ball these days, but it’s also due to several young quarterbacks making a name for themselves of late. This is a list of those quarterbacks who have already shown the potential, but will put it all together and have top 10 quarterback potential in 2017.

Carson Wentz — Philadelphia Eagles
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Carson Wentz came out of the gates hot in his rookie season. He had three games with a QB rating of over 100 in his first four starts. He hit a bit of a rookie wall and didn’t go over that mark for the rest of the season, but he still showed promise and is in a QB-friendly offense with Doug Pederson.

Of the players on this list, Wentz is the least likely to reach that top 10 potential. A lot of it depends on how well his offensive line protects him and if they run the ball effectively. He looked good early in the season with his offensive line in tact, but Lane Johnson’s 10-game suspension proved to be a crucial loss for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wentz also struggled with accuracy on deep balls in 2016, a lot of which had to do with poor footwork. He looked impressive early on but regressed when teams started putting more pressure on him. Pederson should be able to improve on his footwork; combine that with added weapons in Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith (huge deep threat), Wentz has every opportunity to improve his stats in 2017.

 

Dak Prescott — Dallas Cowboys
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With Ezekiel Elliott likely serving all or some of his suspension, the Dallas Cowboys will look to Dak Prescott to keep the offense rolling. Based on his performance last year, he looks ready to accept that challenge.

Prescott had one of the most impressive rookie seasons by a quarterback ever. Yes, they had the league’s top rusher and one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in the league, and yes, they did not ask Prescott to win games by himself, but none of that makes his stats any less impressive. He finished with 3,667 yards, 23 touchdowns, four interceptions, a 104.9 QB rating and 81.5 Total QBR, both rating behind only NFL MVP Matt Ryan and Super Bowl LI MVP Tom Brady.

The Cowboys won’t completely abandon the run, but they will more than likely rely on Prescott to get them in the end zone while Elliott is serving his suspension.

Marcus Mariota — Tennessee Titans
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Like the Cowboys, the Tennessee Titans have a run-heavy offense (fourth in total rushes in 2016) and don’t ask Marcus Mariota to do too much. That could change in 2017.

Mike Mularkey‘s offense uses lots of extra protection and a deep route tree. Getting another weapon like Eric Decker will go a long way in maximizing this offense’s potential. Only Jameis Winston and Cam Newton threw the ball past five yards more than Mariota did in 2016.

While his yardage from last season (3,426) leaves a lot to be desired, Mariota is still only entering his third season in the league, and second with Mularkey as his head coach. Trust is a major factor with young quarterbacks, and Mariota gave Mularkey a lot more reasons to trust him in 2016.

Jameis Winston — Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a hot item these days. Not only are they the subject of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but they are a popular pick by NFL experts to make some noise in the playoffs this season. A lot of that has to do with the development of Jameis Winston and the investment the Bucs made in the offseason to surround him with weapons.

While Winston hasn’t shown the accuracy and poise as much as Prescott and Mariota, he is in an offense that loves to throw the deep ball and should have more space with the additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard. With windows opening up for Dirk Koetter‘s offense, it will lead to better numbers for Winston.

The Bucs will rely on Winston to take them to the playoffs promised land this year, and it will likely result in a fantastic fantasy season for their young leader.