Above the Board – Daniel Jones

In any form of fantasy football we want to draft the best players, which goes without saying. When picking we often look to choose players we feel can beat their average draft position (ADP). This provides us value with our picks. This is even more true in redraft and best ball leagues as we are only concerned about his year’s performance.

The consensus is that any player who beats their ADP is a good pick if we choose them at or after that draft position. The thing is, players who are close in ADP often have very similar scoring results. When looking to make a big impact we need to not look to just beat out ADP by a little bit but blow it out of the water.

Drafting a player who significantly outperforms their ADP can go a long way in building a championship roster. This requires us to do our research, buck the trend, and be bold in our decisions. This will be the first installment in my Above the Board series where we look at players that have potential to vastly outperform the collective expectations of the fantasy football community.

Daniel Jones, QBNew York Giants
ADP157.9 – QB21

Jones is a player many have left for dead. His performances have left a lot to be desired and his flashes of talent during his rookie season have burnt out. The Giants chose not to pick up his fifth year option. So why would he be chosen for Above the Board?

Two reasons: Brian Daboll and Jones’ untapped athleticism.

Daboll has shown the ability to tailor an offense to team strengths, but it goes deeper than that. The evolution of his offense also occurred because of a deeper understanding of how defenses play and exploiting expectations and tendencies.

Daboll took a weakness of Josh Allen’s: passing and accuracy, and flipped it on its head by putting him in situations that gave him a distinct advantage because defenses were dialing up run defenses.

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

The big change, passing on first downs. It seems simple and it is, but teams are far more likely in the NFL to run on first down.

Daboll added a second wrinkle to the passing game, an increased usage in play action. These changes put defenses on their heels. The results gave Allen more time and easier passing lanes.

For his part Allen’s running prowess allowed him to take advantage of defenses that were spread out or started focusing on pass defense.

I am not going to say that Jones possesses the same running ability as Allen. But Jones is a much better athlete than most give him credit for. His speed is vastly underrated.

Allen greatly improved his passing during his time with Daboll, but it was his rushing that elevated his floor. Jones should increase his rushing this year as he gets the green light from Daboll to do so. In fantasy football, quarterbacks who rush are a cheat code.

Jones isn’t the quickest QB. He ran a 4.82 second 40 yard dash at the combine. However, he is very fast. On his 80 yard run in 2020, he was recorded at 21.23 mph. That’s faster than any QB since 2018. In 2020, besides having the fastest recorded speed overall for a QB, he had four of the top eight fastest recorded speeds.

Mediocre passers like Jalen Hurts and a young Lamar Jackson finished top 12 because of their rushing prowess. Jones has a realistic chance to flirt with a top 12 performance this year with his new found freedom in this offense.

Above the Board - Daniel Jones
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The most rushing yards Jones has in a season was 423 in 2020. He played in 14 games that year. The most rushing touchdowns in a season he has had is 2.

Josh Allen averaged 105.5 rushing attempts, 581 yards rushing and 7.75 rushing touchdowns per year with Daboll as his offensive coordinator. This includes his rookie year where he played in 12 games.

Jones, if healthy, should be able to put up similar yardage totals, especially in a 17-game season and should see an uptick of at least a couple rushing touchdowns this year over his career high.

In the passing department Allen saw his attempts increase each year with Daboll as his coach. In the three years he operated as a full time starter he averaged 559 passing attempts, 359 completions, 4013 yards passing, 31 passing touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

Allen’s worst year as a full time starter he had 461 attempts, 271 completions, 3089 yards passing, 20 passing touchdowns, and 9 interceptions.

Jones’ best year was in 12 games as a rookie where he had 459 passing attempts, 284 completions, 3027 yards passing, 24 passing touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

If Jones stays healthy his passing and rushing statistics for the season should be the best of his career. Reasonable numbers would be:

Pass AttemptsPass CompletionsPass YardsPass TDsInterceptionsRush AttemptsRush YardsRush TDs

This would be good for 308 points on the season in a standard scoring QB league. With this output in 2021 Jones would have finished as QB10 overall.

This is not meant to be a definitive declaration that Jones will finish as a top 12 quarterback. This is meant to show that Daniel has a legitimate chance to vastly outperform his ADP and finish above the board. He is worth drafting this year because of the ceiling he has.

Additional Information

Are you planning on drafting Jones late this year? Let us know in the comment box below!

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