Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers / Malik Willis, QB, Tennessee Titans
Quarterback is a position that’s deep if you’re talking about one-QB leagues. Two-QB leagues and super flex leagues are another story. It’s one thing to have two QBs on your roster but only needing to start one, versus needing to start two QBs on a weekly basis.
Of course you want to race to get two QBs that can throw 30 touchdowns each, but you’ll need a third QB for bye weeks, maybe even a fourth QB for part of the season. Perhaps you’re in a new dynasty league? These are the best situations to draft either Pickett or Willis. Both will likely start the season on the bench and be ready if Mitch Trubisky or Ryan Tannehill respectively get hurt, or struggle.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and Titans head coach Mike Vrabel will never concede a season and “rebuild.” They’ll put forward the guy who can best help them win. Now, Trubisky and Tannehill deserve the chance to secure the starting gigs of their respective teams, but if they start out 2-3 or 1-4, and the offense is sputtering, they’re getting the hook. Pickett was very accurate and threw dimes; Willis’ dual threat made him difficult to defend. Both were highly effective when they were on the field.
Lastly, why these two and not Desmond Ridder? Pickett has all the weapons around him to be a very successful quarterback out the gate. The same could be said about Willis, but his mobility adds rushing yards unlike any other rookie QB. And frankly, Atlanta is in a hard rebuild and Marcus Mariota has been waiting since 2019 to start again. The Falcons would probably have to go winless by the midpoint of the season before we see Ridder and they would have more problems than just quarterback.
Davis Mills, QB, Houston Texans
After you kick the tires on the Carson Wentz, Matt Ryan, and Baker Mayfield, the options for a third quarterback runs thin. I’m avoiding Zach Wilson, steering clear or the Seattle QB situation and how long of a leash do Mitchell Trubisky and Marcus Mariota have? That’s why I like Texans QB Davis Mills as a deep sleeper. There’s a lot of youth on this team, whether it’s in the backfield, at receiver, and all over the defense. Mills is not looking over his shoulder and he has the faith of his coaches because when they traded Deshaun Watson to Cleveland, Mayfield was not part of that trade.
Looking back at his rookie year, Mills played 11 games and completed 67 percent of his passes. He also had four top-10 finishes. His other starts might have been lackluster, but he was a rookie. You hope it only goes up from here. TE Brevin Jordan could take the next step and the Texans just signed O.J. Howard. The team got snakebitten with John Metchie’s health, but using 2021 as a vault, Mills will turn heads on some Sundays. The trick is knowing which ones.