Is Andy Dalton is the real deal? Fantasy Football Implications

Andy Dalton’s hair is not the only thing on fire, his game is pretty on point too. Dalton is currently the top scoring fantasy player, beating out notable names like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Andrew Luck. Dalton went undrafted in many leagues, and is currently still unowned in 18% of leagues, and remaining benched in 46% of leagues. Veteran QB’s like Matthew Stafford, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees aren’t playing up to snuff, and the new recruits, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota aren’t consistent fantasy producers. It would seem like Andy Dalton would be rising in the ranks of fantasy quarterbacks. So what is stopping managers from playing Dalton on a weekly basis?

I think it’s just name recognition. Fantasy players are more likely to play a big name like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees over someone like Andy Dalton. Even though Dalton has been putting up some serious numbers, the media doesn’t paint him as an elite quarterback. In spite of that Dalton is making some serious headway into building an MVP resume.  Only two other quarterbacks in NFL history have started 5-0 with at least 1,500 pass yards and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of at least five. Those signal-callers were Aaron Rodgers in 2011, and Peyton Manning in 2013. Both went on to win MVP honors in those respective seasons.

Through his last five games, Dalton has 11 touchdowns, 1,518 passing yards, and a 67.5-percent completion percentage. He’s also gained 55 yards rushing and rushed for two touchdowns. He’s surrounded by talent, and has the support of his team his coaching staff, and his fans. If you’re not betting on Dalton, you should be.

 

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Ryan Mallett Named Houston Texans Starting Quarterback

While the Texans coaching staff are staying mum on any concrete decisions, many media outlets are reporting that Ryan Mallett has been named the Houston Texans starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers.

Brian Hoyer was named the starter week one after a close preseason battle between the two. Mallett was pretty outspoken about how he felt about the decision. Mallett vented his frustration at a media conference, saying “’I’m disappointed. I don’t agree with it, but it’s for the best of the team, so I’m just going to wait till my turn gets called, and I mean at some point, it’s going to happen this year”. I guess he was right, though his opportunity has come quicker than even he imagined.

Hoyer failed to impress week one against the Kansas City Chiefs. He fumbled once, threw for 236 yards, had one touchdown, and one interception. Under his leadership the team managed only ten points in almost four quarters. Mallett was subbed in late in the fourth quarter where he managed to pass for 98 yards, including one touchdown. With him at the helm, the Texans were able to score twice, and almost rally back to beat the chiefs. It wasn’t just Mallet that looked good. With Mallett under center, primary receiver DeAndre Hopkins was finally able to shine, and the offense was finally able to get into a groove.

So what does this mean for the Texans? And what does it mean for fantasy players? I think that in both cases the answer is the same. Every player should see a boost in production with Mallett holding the reins, both on the field and in fantasy scoring. While I wouldn’t rush out just yet to claim Mallett off the waiver wire, I’m excited to see what he can bring to the Texans offense, and with the Houston Texans rushing game stalled due to the loss of running back Arian Foster, there should be plenty of passing action.  I listed wide receiver Nate Washington as one of my targets for the week two waiver wire, and I’m sticking by my guns. I think both Hopkins and Washington should see double digit points against the Carolina Panthers defense.

2015 Quarterback Rankings

When drafting quarterbacks in fantasy football, you want to go early or go last. This years quarterback depth is ridiculous. Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck are easily the two standouts. Rodgers simply gets the job done every year, and Luck is a young strong armed QB surrounded by talent. But even if you choose to wait on drafting a quarterback, there is still a lot of talent left on the line. Players marked by $$$ are some players that I predict will outperform their average draft position.

Two players I am targeting in later rounds are Tony Romo and Jay Cutler. Dez Bryant has been outspoken all season. To me he seems hungry. There has never been a wide receiver score 16+ touchdowns in back to back seasons. I think that Dez has a shot at breaking that record this season. Not to mention, the loss of their bell cow running back leads me to believe they’ll be airing the ball out more this season. Jay Cutler should benefit from new offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Gase is coming from Denver where he worked with Peyton Manning during some of his most productive seasons. The loss of Kevin White shouldn’t impact Cutler too greatly. He still has Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett as targets. These are two of my top guys that should give you quite the bang for your buck.

1. Aaron Rodgers GB 14. Matthew Stafford
2. Andrew Luck IND 15. Sam Bradford PHI
3. Ben Roethlisberger PIT $$$ 16. Teddy Bridgewater MIN $$$
4. Peyton Manning DEN 17. Jay Cutler CHI $$$
5. Russell Wilson SEA 18. Carson Palmer ARI
6. Drew Brees NO 19. Joe Flacco BAL $$$
7. Ryan Tannehill MIA 20. Jameis Winston TB
8. Matt Ryan ATL 21. Alex Smith KC
9. Cam Newton CAR 22. Marcus Mariota TEN
10. Tony Romo DAL $$$ 23. Nick Foles STL $$$
11. Philip Rivers SD 24. Andy Dalton CIN
12. Tom Brady NE 25. Robert Griffin III WAS
13. Colin Kaepernick SF

*Rankings are based on standard scoring.