Most of these 2015 fantasy football QB sleepers are well-known names, but more than likely will be referred to as good-value picks. This is because most leagues only start one quarterback, and all the owners know the names of the starting quarterbacks, except on the Texans and Bills of course. My point with these sleepers is to show you that there is more than one way to win a championship, and if any QB’s are on the board at the right spot, then you can start to pave your own way. I target Drew Brees and Russell Wilson in most of my drafts, but I will never reach for them especially if there is amazing talent at RB or WR still on the board. I didn’t put Russell Wilson on this list because I have him ranked as the No. 3 QB in my 2015 rankings and that wouldn’t be much of a sleeper.
As a bonus, each fantasy football sleeper quarterback below will also have suggested quarterback pairings that I carefully selected for leagues that have decent bench spots and allow you to start one quarterback. My criteria for these pairings include: other quarterbacks that I recommend, ones that have good matchups while the primary QB has a Bye or is facing a tough pass defense and lastly might also fit a QBBC (quarterback by committee) strategy. You will do just fine if you completely ignore my QB pairing suggestions; they are simply there to give another dimension to your drafting game and shed some light on some names that you may have never considered before.
Top 7 Fantasy Football Sleeper QBs for 2015
1. Drew Brees
NO | ADP 5.09 | Proj. 300 fpts
Brees is a 5th round pick with 4th round value. Even though he lost Jimmy Graham, he is still an elite QB. Even before the emergence of Graham, we remember Brees being an elite QB (he was a Top 3 fantasy QB in 2010 when Graham had only 31 receptions). If Sean Payton utilizes C.J. Spiller correctly in the passing game and Brandin Cooks continues to improve, then the ceiling on Brees will be raised extremely high. The Saints have a very QB-friendly schedule, 12 out of 16 games are indoors and they shouldn’t see too many bad weather conditions this year.
If you draft Brees, I suggest drafting Stafford, Bridgewater, Bradford or Mariota (in that order) if you’re looking to draft a solid backup. Jay Cutler is also another QB2 that works well with Brees, if for some reason you don’t like the other suggestions but trust Cutler.
2. Matthew Stafford
Det | ADP 8.05 | Proj. 269 fpts
Stafford didn’t have a great 2014 season and that will hurt his rankings and ADP in 2015 drafts. But, did people really forget that his best receiver, Calvin Johnson, broke Jerry Rice’s record for the most passing yards in a season and also broke the Madden curse? I hope some owners didn’t also forget that he was hurt for a significant amount of games last year, and he still got 1,077 yards. My point is that if Calvin Johnson can stay healthy, then Stafford will have a great year. Stafford has had a few good seasons before (Top 4 fantasy QB in 2011, 2013 and Top 10 in 2012), and now that he has a legitimate No. 2 WR in Golden Tate, he is one of the best value picks for your starting fantasy quarterback.
If you draft Stafford as your QB1, then Colin Kaepernick is the perfect backup to pair him with. When the Lions have their Week 9 Bye, the 49ers face Atlanta, and when the Lions have to play in Seattle Week 4, the 49ers face the Packers at home. Colin Kaepernick will also likely be a cheap draft pick for you at ADP 12.06. Jameis Winston is an alternate option for your QB2 if Kap isn’t available.
3. Matt Ryan
Atl | ADP 7.02 | Proj. 278 fpts
If the Falcons can do something about their offensive line and keep them healthy this year, they will be mediocre, and that’s good enough for Matty Ice to be a great value pick for your QB1. He’s in the NFC South, so of course, the defenses he will be facing won’t be too tough. Last year, Matt Ryan’s main issue was inconsistency and a poor offensive line. The Falcons look to improve their offense and help their quarterback with the addition of rookie running back, Tevin Coleman and tight ends Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki.
Matt Ryan is best paired with Teddy Bridgewater, Tom Brady, Jameis Winston or Robert Griffin III (or whomever is the QB in Washington). Let’s be realistic though, nobody is drafting RG3 unless you’re in a 16-man league or deeper.
4. Tom Brady
NE | ADP 8.01 | Proj. 220/284 fpts
This pick really depends on how the flow of your draft is going. Other than Sam Bradford, predicting Brady’s draft position is the toughest. In some leagues, he will be slept on because owners don’t want to take the “risk.” For me, it’s simple, he’s not going to be suspended more than four games, and we expect them to be the first four (the Patriots have a Week 4 Bye).
So, if you do draft Brady make sure you have a good backup, especially during the first five weeks of the regular season. Colin Kaepernick and Sam Bradford make for solid and cheap pairings with Tom Brady. Brady is best paired with Matt Ryan, but Ryan is obviously not considered a backup.
5. Teddy Bridgewater
Min | ADP 11.06 | Proj. 250 fpts
Towards the end of the season, we saw a quarterback that truly belonged in the NFL, and one that will likely be playing in this league for a long time. This young signal caller is a borderline QB1 talent, but just a bit too risky to be your starter in a 12-man league.
He’s a great backup if you drafted Drew Brees or Matt Ryan. If you’re in an extremely deep league, you can pair him up with the next guy on this list, Sam Bradford.
6. Sam Bradford
StL | ADP 10.10 | Proj. 250 fpts
The risk here is that Bradford is injury-prone; there’s not much else to say about him. The Eagles have a high-octane offense and showed that they value him when they traded so much for the former Ram. If he stays healthy for 16 games, Bradford is a lock at a solid QB1, but you’re going to take a chance on him and draft him as a QB2 with loads of potential.
Bradford should be paired with QBs like Tom Brady, Eli Manning, Teddy Bridgewater, Jameis Winston and Tony Romo. If you’re in a 16-man or a dreadful 20-man league, then Bridgewater and Bradford make for an ideal QBBC approach.
7. Jameis Winston
TB | ADP 13.05 | Proj. 232 fpts
Winston is a huge risk and some say he’s being drafting a bit too early. I believe he’s worth the upside, and it’s not like you’re drafting him as you’re starting fantasy quarterback, right? Or at least, I hope you’re not.
Jameis Winston pairs well with Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Eli Manning and Sam Bradford.
Tony Romo, Dal
A great-value pick, but owners in many leagues have caught up quick and know that he’s bound to have a good season. He has one of the easiest schedules for a QB, Dez Bryant is in his prime, DeMarco Murray is gone, the offensive line is amazing and he still has Jason Witten to throw to. In 2015, the Cowboys will face top-scoring offenses like Green Bay, Philadelphia (twice), New England (likely without Brady), New Orleans, Atlanta and Seattle. These type of opponents make for higher scoring games where Romo would need to throw the ball more. There aren’t too many alluring quarterback pairings with Romo, but that shouldn’t stop you from drafting him.
Romo’s first four games are sweet matchups, so if you draft Tom Brady (we expect Brady to miss the first five weeks), then drafting both these guys isn’t a terrible idea. Sam Bradford is another option if you need a backup QB to draft to go along with Romo.
Eli Manning, NYG
He has great targets this year: Victor Cruz (if healthy), Shane Vereen, and of course Odell Beckham Jr. In addition to those three, he also has Rueben Randle (6’ 2”) and Larry Donnell (6’ 6”). Eli also has a decent schedule, but I don’t trust him enough to have him as my QB1 and start him for 15 or more games.
Eli Manning pairs well with Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill, but those early picks that close to each other don’t make much sense. If you drafted Eli as your QB1, I suggest targeting Sam Bradford and/or Jameis Winston as your backup(s).
Marcus Mariota, Ten
Mariota won’t put up a ton of fantasy points this season, and won’t be anywhere close to a QB1. However, I would rather wait until the very end of the draft for a backup like Mariota, then to draft a guy like Flacco or Dalton a couple rounds earlier.
Drew Brees is a great QB1 to pair Mariota with.
I am likely going to wait to draft a QB after owners reach for Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck in the early rounds. There are tons of great value picks at QB throughout the draft, and I need to make sure my needs at RB and WR are taken care of with first tier and second tier players. This concludes the 2015 fantasy football sleepers at the QB position. Make sure you subscribe to the Fantasy Couch newsletter and get your free eBook here, so you won’t miss the rest of my sleeper articles. Make sure to follow me @fantasycouch on Twitter and Instagram as well.