Best-Value Konami Code Quarterbacks in Fantasy Football for 2020

by Steve Smith · Draft Strategy

Until further notice, rostering a mobile quarterback is a clear advantage in fantasy football. Depending on league scoring, Konami Code QBs can produce the same fantasy points on the ground for half of the yardage gained through the air. Those rushing yards provide a nice floor. Lamar Jackson is the king of the Konami QBs. He ran for 1,206 yards in 2019, placing him No. 6 overall in NFL rushing. Averaging a whopping 80.9 rushing yards per game, he is the premier cheat code in fantasy leagues. On a per game basis, only seven running backs outrushed Jackson in 2019. Due to his MVP season, acquiring him in single QB fantasy leagues will now cost a second-round pick. In Superflex and 2QB formats, it’s usually a top 5 pick at least.

With so many viable fantasy QBs to choose from, paying this steep price is nearly as difficult as remembering the gaming console cheat code. Luckily, there is always an alternative. Instead, use PlayerProfiler’s advanced stats and metrics to help identify quarterbacks with similar rushing upside, but at a fraction of the cost.

Cam Newton

After signing a one-year deal with the New England Patriots in early July, Cam Newton’s ADP took a sharp turn upwards. Luckily, it has steadied in recent days and has settled around the 11th round (FFPC ADP 124.02, QB16). Newton’s injury history is well documented. A foot injury limited him to two games in 2019 and he battled through shoulder issues for much of 2018. However, history has shown that a healthy Cam is a force to be reckoned with. Superman finished as a top 4 fantasy QB in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2017. Between 2011 and 2018, he rushed for at least 359 yards and has a career average of 7.5 rushing attempts per game. Even a less than 100-percent Newton ran for 488 (No. 4 among qualified quarterbacks) yards in 2018 and provided a nice floor of 34.9 rushing yards per game.

Cam Newton Rushing Production: 2011-2018

Newton has been humbled and is now motivated. He proclaims himself a full-go, and says he wants respect. Recent reports suggest that the Patriots QB battle isn’t close and the job is Newton’s to lose. If the former No. 1 overall pick can put his injury woes behind him and focus on football, he is a screaming value in 2020. Take advantage of the injury discount, Newton is the Late Round QB to target who can finish as a QB1 – Podfather Offseason Hot Take #5.

Gardner Minshew

With Nick Foles traded away to the Chicago Bears and no other starting competition in Jacksonville, Gardner Minshew has been handed the reigns to the 2020 Jaguars offense. That’s positive news for fantasy gamers looking for a bargain since Minshew’s current FFPC ADP of 145.4 (QB22) puts him in the 13th round. In his rookie season, he threw for 3,271 (No. 20) yards and 21 (No. 19) touchdowns, while logging 67 (No. 6) carries for 344 (No. 5) yards. When plays break down, The Jock Strap King has not been afraid to pick up yards with his legs.

Check out Gardner Minshew’s 2020 Projection on PlayerProfiler’s “World Famous” Draft Kit:

Based on PlayerProfiler’s rushing opportunity metrics for 2019, Minshew ranked No. 5 in both rushing yards per game (24.5) and carries per game (4.8). He outrushed the likes of Russell Wilson and Daniel Jones. A weakened defense and improved offensive weapons in Jacksonville also point to more passing volume. In addition to his underrated scrambling ability, a top-5 Deep Ball Completion Percentage suggests that Minshew is also capable of piling up yards through the air. The sophomore QB is a buy in all formats at his price.

Tyrod Taylor

With an FFPC ADP of 189.48 (QB29),  Tyrod Taylor is going late for a quarterback with his rushing ability. With a 4.51 (99th-percentile) 40-yard dash, 128.8 (98th-percentile) Burst Score, and 10.87 (98th-percentile) Agility Score, T-Mobile has impressive athleticism. In his three seasons as a starter in Buffalo, Taylor ran for a total of 568, 580, and 427 yards. He averaged 6.4 rushing attempts per game and 4.6 rushing touchdowns from 2015-2017. For fantasy, Taylor was QB16 or better with the Bills, including a QB8 finish in 2016.

With limited offseason reps and no preseason games, it’s likely that Taylor’s veteran experience wins him the starting job. Early indications out of Chargers camp suggest that Taylor will be the day one starter. In standard single QB leagues, he will most likely go undrafted and be widely available on the waiver wire. In two-QB, Superflex, and Best Ball formats, he can provide value at QB29, especially with a solid supporting cast in Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Hunter Henry. The question remains how long he can start and whether the Bills or Browns-version of Tyrod be under center. At his current price, it’s worth finding out given the upside. It may be wise to have a reliable starting option locked in, or to at least have Justin Herbert on the waiver wire speed dial.