Last week we determined the best fits for the potential free agent wide receivers in 2017. However, there is expected to be plenty of quarterback movement as well. Below we have listed the quarterbacks that could be on the move, in addition to their optimal destination.
Jimmy Garoppolo, Patriots
Best Fit: Chicago Bears
Jimmy Garoppolo would be a nice fit for a Bears offense that has more talent than one might think. In limited action in 2016 Garoppolo was extremely efficient, posting a +25.5 Production Premium, while averaging 7.9 yards per attempt. Yes, we know the Patriots can coax success out of anyone. However, Garoppolo, unlike Matt Cassell, actually started games for his college team, breaking out when he was just shy of 20 years old (74th-percentile).
With the Bears, Garoppolo would be playing in front an offensive line that ranked 9th in the league in pass blocking efficiency. This could help maximize the value of Cameron Meredith, who posted a +14.6 (No. 21) Production Premium in 2016. An effective Garoppolo would also contribute to Jordan Howard seeing more scoring opportunities in 2017.
Tyrod Taylor, Bills
Best Fit: Denver Broncos
Tyrod Taylor, who is likely to be cut by Buffalo, would be an excellent fit on the Denver Broncos. Taylor showed in 2016 while lacking elite upside, he could be plenty productive even without an elite receiving corps. Taylor’s +22.8 (No. 2) Production Premium in 2015 and +5.5 (No. 12) Production Premium in 2016 is playable in any format, and no quarterback has rushed for more yards over the past two seasons.Taylor would be joining an offense with two established receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas, in addition to the return of offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who was able to coax production out of Tim freakin’ Tebow. McCoy could install a similar offense with Taylor, utilizing play-action bootlegs to mask Denver’s mediocre offensive line. This would help open up the running game for Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson.
Tony Romo, Cowboys
Best Fit: Kansas City Chiefs
Last, but certainly not least, we have Tony Romo, and everyone is dying to know where he’ll end up. Multiple landing spots make sense, but landing in Kansas City would turn the Chiefs into a fantasy gold mine. Yes, Alex Smith has been decent, but averaging 3.3 air yards per attempt caps his fantasy receivers’ value. Kansas City is loaded at every other position, as the defense has enough playmakers to be considered Super Bowl worthy. The only thing missing is a quarterback who can take advantage of the Chiefs’ offensive threats.
If Romo lands in Kansas City, Jeremy Maclin, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce would see significant bumps in value. Also, the threat of a quarterback who can throw downfield would help open up the ground game for Spencer Ware.
Colin Kaepernick, 49ers
Best Fit: San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick’s career with the 49ers could very well be over, but the fact remains he is still under contract with the 49ers, and him staying put is probably in the best interest of both parties. Regardless of what happens, I believe Kaepernick would optimize both his value and the value of the players around him by staying in San Francisco.
It’s no secret as to how terrible the roster is, and there will be plenty of garbage time situations in 2017. This will provide Colin Kaepernick with more opportunities to score fantasy points than he would see anywhere else. His mobility would continue to benefit Carlos Hyde as well, who has made a living running the read-option in both college and the NFL. Also, San Francisco is bound to field a better receiving corps than they did in 2016. If super-sleeper Eric Rogers emerges, you may finally be able to find fantasy value in San Francisco’s passing game.
Brian Hoyer, Free Agent
Best Fit: Buffalo Bills
Brian Hoyer is about as unexciting as it gets in fantasy football, although he has been able to help fantasy options such as Josh Gordon and DeAndre Hopkins produce over the course of his career, and has been a streamable asset with multiple NFL teams. In 2016, Hoyer posted a 67-percent (No. 7) completion percentage and a 98.0 (No. 13) Passer Rating, and threw for at least 300 yards in all 4 games that he was able to start and finish. Hoyer also posted a +4.9 (No. 15) Production Premium in 2015, displaying the ability to score fantasy points without relying on garbage time situations.
While Hoyer would be a step down from Tyrod Taylor in Buffalo, he would at least provide stability at the position. Hoyer could also increase the fantasy opportunity for LeSean McCoy and Sammy Watkins, as he is much less likely than Taylor to tuck the ball and run.
Jay Cutler, Bears
Best Fit: New York Jets
It’s unclear if there is a true fit for Jay Cutler at this point, although the Jets make some sense. It is clear Cutler will never realize his full potential, but if the Jets don’t release Brandon Marshall or Eric Decker, he could at least keep them fantasy relevant. Remember in 2015, Ryan Fitzpatrick made magic with those receivers, and lets be honest, it was foolish think Fitzpatrick had all of a sudden morphed into a Top-10 fantasy quarterback.
Jay Cutler is more talented than Fitzpatrick, and would at least give those receivers chances to make plays, even if it means forcing them the ball through double coverage. Familiar faces including Marshall and Matt Forte also could help with the locker room dynamic.
Mike Glennon, Free Agent
Best Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars
Mike Glennon is an interesting prospect, as he has produced at the NFL level despite some ugly situations. In his most recent extended action in 2014, Glennon averaged 18.1 Fantasy Points Per Game on a bad Buccaneers team. This was with Mike Evans as a rookie being the teams only offensive threat. Glennon has shown the ability to take advantage of receivers with upper-percentile Catch Radii such as Evans and Vincent Jackson, who posted a Top-15 fantasy season at wide receiver in 2013 with Glennon at the helm.
If Mike Glennon lands in Jacksonville, he would be surrounded by plenty of weapons, and could help light a fire under Blake Bortles. In the event Glennon replaces Bortles, receivers like Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee stand to benefit.
A.J. McCarron, Bengals
Best Fit: Cleveland Browns
A.J. McCarron is another signal-caller who could help a quarterback needy team in 2017, as he showed in 2015 that he could provide stability to an offense. Between national championship games at Alabama and the playoffs against Pittsburgh, McCarron has plenty of big-game experience. In 2015, in relief of the injured Andy Dalton, McCarron posted a 97.1 Passer Rating along with a 66.4-percent completion percentage and an 81-percent red zone completion percentage. Most importantly, he was able to utilize his best playmaker, as A.J. Green averaged 15.6 fantasy points per game with McCarron at quarterback. Green also scored a touchdown in 5 of the 6 games McCarron started.
If A.J. McCarron lands in Cleveland, he would be reunited with ex-offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. This could provide stability for Corey Coleman and Terrelle Pryor, provided Pryor remains with Cleveland.