Patrick Mahomes in 2018. Lamar Jackson in 2019. Aside from the fact that these two won the last two MVP awards and posted the two best fantasy seasons for any quarterback in the history of the NFL, they also have another thing in common: both were drafted outside the top twelve at their position in their respective years. The “Wait-on-QB” approach has been gaining popularity every year and that has only been enhanced by Mahomes and Lamar in recent years. Can another second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones, follow in their footsteps?
Daniel Jones Fantasy Football Preview for 2020
A Look Back at 2019
Daniel Jones was selected with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft out of Duke University. The pick was met with much dismay from Giants fans and analysts alike, but the organization viewed him as Eli Manning’s successor.
After a couple of mediocre starts to the year for Eli, the Giants decided to move full steam ahead into the Danny Dimes era and named him the starter ahead of a Week 3 matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jones instantly rewarded the Giants for by throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns while tacking on another 28 yards and two scores on the ground in a comeback victory while being named NFC Offensive Player of the Week. This game was good for 34.2 fantasy points and saw Jones finish as the QB2 overall for the week in the first start of his career.
The rest of Jones’ rookie season was a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. The highs were extremely high and put him in elite company.
QBs with 4 or more games as the overall QB1/QB2 this season:
— Ryan McDowell (@RyanMc23) January 3, 2020
Yes, that’s the same Lamar Jackson that just set the record for most fantasy points per game by a quarterback in 2019. As good as this all sounds, the bad was just as low. Outside of those four monster games, Jones had six games finishing as the QB19 or worse on the year. He also led the entire NFL in fumbles (18) despite only starting 12 games.
Add it all up and Jones put together a nice rookie campaign. He was the QB16 in terms of points per game with 16.54. Compared to all the rookies in NFL history, Jones’ 16.54 points per game ranked 12th all-time among all quarterbacks that played in at least 12 games their rookie season.
Looking towards 2020, Jones will be looking for a more consistent sophomore season. As previously mentioned, the upside for Jones is as high as basically anyone in the NFL.
QBs with more 30+ fantasy point performances than Daniel Jones this season:
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 29, 2019
The scary part about these numbers is that Jones was able to accomplish all of this without ever having his full complement of weapons healthy at the same time. Entering 2020, Jones will have Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, and Golden Tate all healthy to start the year.
The main thing that’s going to allow Jones to make a leap in his sophomore season is ball security. As I said before, Jones led the NFL in fumbles despite only playing 12 games. He also threw 12 interceptions in those games as well. The interceptions aren’t so much the problem as the fumbles are and mostly because they count against you twice as much in standard fantasy scoring. That being said, fumbles aren’t necessarily a sticky, predictive stat year over year so I believe it’s an issue he can correct.
In terms of what makes Jones so attractive as a fantasy option is his willingness to throw the ball down the field to his great playmakers and his fearlessness in doing so. He truly has a gunslinger’s mentality and likes to push the ball downfield.
Daniel Jones was ranked the 10th best QB under pressure by https://t.co/E6vL9LT89Q's Nick Shook.
Against the Bucs, Jones went 14-of-19 for 243 yards (133.1 passer rating) when under pressure.
— David Solow (@GiantsAlliance) July 20, 2020
In addition to this, Jones also brings a sneaky rushing ability that raises his fantasy floor and ceiling. Last season, he finished seventh in rushing yards among all quarterbacks despite only starting 12 games. While nobody is mistaking him for Lamar Jackson, Danny Dimes has the rushing ability to be near the top five at the position again for rushing yards in 2020.
Daniel Jones ADP
Jones is currently going as the 124th player overall off the board as the QB14 according to Fantasypros. That’s the same range as guys like Zack Moss, Mecole Hardman, and T.J. Hockenson. Some quarterbacks going around that point are Ben Roethlisberger and Baker Mayfield.
Jones current ADP seems fair although I have him a bit higher in my personal rankings at QB12
🚨2020 QB Rankings 🚨
Who's too high? Who's too low? Who shouldn't be on the list and who missed that should be? Lemme know where I got it right or wrong below⬇️@MyFantasyLeague @ScottFish24 @RyanMc23#FantasyFootball#Fantasy#Football#NFL#NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/ZbpBwY5aFE
— Rob Norton (@norton0723) June 22, 2020
In fantasy drafts, after the top six quarterbacks are off the board, it’s best to wait as long as possible at the position while loading up elsewhere. Danny Dimes has been one of my favorite targets when doing so. The biggest worry with Jones is his brutal opening month schedule. If you are doing a best-ball draft, I love pairing him with another late-round guy with a great opening schedule, Gardner Minshew. In redraft, I would suggest either Minshew or Tyrod Taylor to bridge the gap. Whatever the format, Jones has the right combination of rushing ability, weapons, and gunslinger’s mentality to make the leap into fantasy superstardom in 2020.
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