When you are going to pick a quarterback for your fantasy football team this season, odds are Andy Dalton isn’t going to be at the top of the list.
There are guys like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers who will go well before Dalton is ever thought of being taken. However, if you are looking for a nice backup option of possible sleeper for next season Dalton should be on your radar.
KC Joyner of ESPN recently put together a system of determining the strength of a fantasy players’ schedule by examining individual matchups with specific defensive players. It ends up creating a calculation from 0-100 that shows how soft a players schedule is. He also notes that highly favorable players schedules usually end up in the 80’s while unfavorable in the 60’s.
Dalton’s score ended up being an 82, which is tied for third-best among quarterbacks. Joyner also notes that Dalton has three highly favorable matchups through Weeks 12-16, which is playoff and championship weeks for most leagues.
That means that Dalton could be a very nice stash for the end of the season when you need him most. It would be a very ballsy move to start him, but that is the difference between champions and runner ups sometimes.
It is also worth noting that Dalton’s stock is incredibly low after last season. He had a rough start to the season, but he still ended up throwing 25 touchdowns. He ended up scoring the 17th most fantasy points for a quarterback despite having no offensive line and just A.J. Green to throw to.
This year should look like a whole new Dalton under center.
He will still have Green, but Dalton will also have the pleasure of throwing to a healthy John Ross and (hopefully) Tyler Eifert. The Bengals have also made some big changes to the offensive line.
The biggest one both literally and as far as impact is Cordy Glenn at left tackle. The Bengals also drafted Billy Price to man the middle of the defense, and they hired Frank Pollack to take over the coaching duties of the offensive line.
Having a healthy Giovani Bernard to start the season should also impact Dalton a little more. Having an actual receiving threat out of the back field allows those dump off passes to be a little more threatening, and it also draws the defense’s attention.
Overall, this isn’t to suggest you go out and draft Dalton in the second round. Right now, he is being drafted as the 26th overall quarterback, according to fantasypros.com. Although, it is still very early for all of that, but it does give you an idea of how long you can wait to draft him.
He probably won’t even end up being your man option, but it never hurts to have that option to toss him in against some nice matchups at the end of the season.