Top 5 fantasy quarterbacks of 2019: Jameis Winston makes a surprise entrance

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If any list shows the incredible parity that the NFL delivers year in and year out, it’s the 2019 top-five fantasy quarterback list. Only one of the signal-callers on this list was in the top five of 2018.

Patrick Mahomes — quarterback-god, finished as the top-scoring passer in 2018 — didn’t even make this list.

The story of 2019’s fantasy quarterback play will probably be remembered mostly for Lamar Jackson (and rightly so), but there were a lot of impressive performances from the passers on this list.

So, without further ado, here are the top five fantasy quarterbacks of the 2019 season:

1) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens — 421.68 fantasy points

I mean, duh. We’ve hammered away at what Lamar Jackson has done this season already (and what he could do next season, too) so I’ll keep this brief.

Lamar’s floor as a rusher is something we haven’t seen since the Michael Vick days. You were pretty much automatically set to receive 10-plus points before he even threw a pass — and he led the league in passing touchdowns with 36. He only had one game this season where he scored under 20 fantasy points. You can’t ask for much more from your QB than that — and he STILL broke the single-season quarterback rushing record with 1,206 yards. His best fantasy game of the season came in the fantasy semifinals when he tore the New York Jets apart to the tune of five passing touchdowns, 212 passing yards, and 86 rushing yards. All in all, it was a magical season, made even more incredible by the fact that most people drafted Jackson late (his ADP was 98.4).

Take a bow, Andy Behrens, who predicted Jackson would finish as the top quarterback in fantasy before the season even started.

2) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys — 348.78 fantasy points

Offensive coordinator Kellen Moore and Dak Prescott turned out to be a match made in fantasy football heaven. Prescott would end up delivering career highs in passing yards (4,902), passing yards per game (306.4), yards per attempt (8.2) and passing touchdowns (30). Prescott was throwing downfield like never before and for a while, he and Amari Cooper were one of the best QB-WR one-two punches in fantasy. Not to mention, Prescott was no slouch running the ball either. His best fantasy performance this season actually came in Week 1 (405 passing yards, 4 TDs); a sign of things to come.

Unfortunately, thanks to a string of some very tough matchups late in the season, Prescott’s ceiling was rarely seen on a week-to-week basis from Week 12 forward. Nonetheless, with an August ADP of 113.4, Prescott delivered an unexpectedly raucous season for his fantasy managers.

2019 Top-5 Series

3) Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers — 335.36 fantasy points

We come to the surprise of this list, Mr. 30-30 himself. Jameis Winston is living proof that sometimes fantasy and reality don’t mirror each other. Winston led the league in passing as the only 5,000-yard quarterback of 2019. He was also second in passing touchdowns with 33, and he added another 250 yards on the ground. Winston was a threat to throw for 3-plus touchdowns and over 400 yards in every game. In fact, his best game of the season in Week 14 came courtesy of a 461-total-yard, 5 total TD-performance.

Unfortunately, he also threw 30 interceptions (he led the league in pick-sixes with 7, four more than the next quarterback) and he saved a four-pick outing for the fantasy championships in Week 16. He also coughed up 12 total fumbles. Suffice it to say, rostering Winston was akin to having a headache that causes you immense pain but also somehow makes you smarter.

Now, imagine what Winston could be if he just slightly reduced his turnovers.

Jameis Winston giveth, Jameis Winston taketh away. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston giveth, Jameis Winston taketh away. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

4) Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks — 333.60 fantasy points

For a while early in the 2019 season, the MVP race was a two-horse one between Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson. Ultimately, Jackson flew ahead of his challenger, but Wilson nonetheless delivered an excellent fantasy season. Wilson was his usual efficient self in 2019, throwing for the second-highest yardage total of his career en route to another triple-digit passer rating (106.3). And, as the complete opposite of Winston, Wilson only threw a measly five interceptions. Only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees threw fewer picks among quarterbacks with at least 10 games started. Wilson was also one of the few quarterbacks to deliver a 40-plus point fantasy outing (Wilson went nuts against New Orleans in Week 3, totaling 457 yards and compiling four total TDs, 2 through the air and 2 on the ground).

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All that said, Wilson fell to fourth place thanks in no small part to some very average performances from Week 10 on. He never hurt your bottom line during this time, but he also rarely delivered a week-winning output late in the season.

5) Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans — 332.48 fantasy points

One of the more underrated stats of Deshaun Watson’s 2019 season is that he reduced his sacks taken from a whopping, league-leading 62 in 2018 to 44 in 2019 (he was still fourth among quarterback sacks taken, but hey, progress is progress). Those salvaged yards helped Watson to deliver his second consecutive top-five fantasy quarterback finish. His best fantasy game of the season Week 5 vs. the Falcons came as a result of 426 passing yards and 5 passing TDs. But on paper, his overall numbers aren’t incredibly eye-opening — he passed for less than 4,000 yards with a 26:12 TD:INT ratio. Yet, like Lamar Jackson, Watson helped his bottom line with his rushing prowess.

Watson rushed for over 400 yards and scored seven times on the ground, averaging five yards a carry for a second consecutive season. He was the fourth-best rushing quarterback behind only Lamar, Josh Allen, and Kyler Murray. It’s that rushing production along with his ceiling as a passer that makes Watson a threat to be the No. 1 QB in any season, as long as he remains healthy.

Which quarterback carried your team this fantasy season? Who let you down? Who are you targeting in 2020? Let us know in the comments below, and hit us up @YahooFantasy!

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