Fantasy football draft strategy: Dos and Don'ts of taking risks on quarterbacks

Jonathan Daniel

Alex Strouf takes a look at the fantasy football quarterbacks who will be available in the late rounds and who you should take a chance on.

In every fantasy football league there's at least one risk-taker, and that might be you. You like to wait until after the eighth round to draft a quarterback. It seems like a move no one would want to pull, but let's be honest, the NFL is a passing league, meaning there are numerous quarterbacks that are options to start on your fantasy team. If you're one of those players, I'm going to give you five logical options to pick in a late round.

Andy Dalton - QB - Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton will be, if he isn't already, an elite, top-10 quarterback. The debate could go either way, but let's face the facts, Dalton is throwing to the second-best wide receiver in the NFL, A.J. Green. When you look at the combination between Dalton and Green, neither of them would be where they are without the other. Other targets Dalton has include Mohamed Sanu and Andrew Hawkins, who is currently battling an injury suffered in training camp. This Hard Knock isn't a starter in every league, but he would make a nice one in yours.

Michael Vick - QB - Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick has not even won the starting job in Philadelphia yet, so this is a real gamble. Having Vick start on your team isn't a horrible idea, because he is one of the few truly dynamic quarterbacks who likes to run the ball on a consistent basis. The risky play style does seem to get quarterbacks injured, and that includes Vick. The rushing touchdown is a plus in fantasy football, and that is what Vick brings to the table for the Eagles, and that's why Nick Foles will be labeled "backup quarterback" going into the regular season.

Matt Schaub - QB - Houston Texans

Matt Schaub is usually the man I draft as my backup each year, at least for the last two, and he's impressed me to the point where I say to myself, "Should I start Matt Schaub over Aaron Rodgers?" Schaub has very limited weapons, and maybe that's why he is so under the radar. Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels are the two effective weapons who have been there for most of Schaub's stint in Houston. When it comes to targets, Schaub makes it work, helping the Texans become one of the best teams in the NFL. I would let Matt Schaub start on my team; you would too.

Christian Ponder - QB - Minnesota Vikings

"I forgot to draft a quarterback!" says the player in your league who has absolutely no idea what they're doing when it comes to fantasy football. Christian Ponder has been with the Vikings for the past two seasons, launching them to a surprising playoff run last season. Tight end Kyle Rudolph was Ponder's favorite target last season, when he became an "out of nowhere" superstar. Now with the addition of Greg Jennings, Ponder may be feeling lucky, and so will you if you draft him with your final pick.

Joe Flacco - QB - Baltimore Ravens

You knew his name was coming. Flacco was the Super Bowl MVP and the hype of, "Is Joe Flacco elite?" has not quieted down. This season will be the perfect example of that question because the majority of Flacco's targets were headed in the direction of two receivers who will be missing in action this season for the Ravens: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and tight end Dennis Pitta, who is out for the season with a right hip injury.

I believe Joe Flacco will still be able to perform like a great quarterback, even without Boldin and Pitta. Torrey Smith is in the perfect position to have an amazing year as well. Flacco is a great pick.


Carson Palmer - QB - Arizona Cardinals

The former Raiders quarterback was not at his former superstar level during his time in Oakland, but is Arizona a different story? Although Carson Palmer is going to be throwing to one of the most acrobatic players in the league in Larry Fitzgerald, I wouldn't take the risk to have Palmer on or anywhere near my squad, even in a worst-case scenario.

Matthew Stafford - QB - Detroit Lions

It may seem idiotic to even have Stafford in the conversation of this section because his number one receiver, Calvin Johnson, is the best in the league. Although he set the record for attempts in a season last year, there were only four games where he didn't throw a completion to the wrong team, with a total of 17 interceptions. Just so you have an idea, Robert Griffin III threw five interceptions all season, and Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady all threw only eight. Yes, Drew Brees threw 19, but that was along with his 43 touchdown passes, while Stafford only had 20. Ending the discussion, Stafford is a solid backup, but not one I would want on my team with the touchdown-to-interception ratio he had last season.

So, moral of the story my friends is, don't be "that guy." Draft a quarterback, early, unless you're feeling lucky (which usually never works.)

Alex Strouf is a sports fanatic that covers fantasy football for SB Nation and covers the Oklahoma City Thunder for Welcome To Loud City. He does a podcast on iTunes called Two Perspectives. Want more? Follow him on Twitter HERE.

More from SB Nation:

Fantasy War Room

2013 fantasy football QB rankings

2013 fantasy football RB rankings

2013 fantasy football WR rankings

2013 fantasy football TE rankings

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