1. Sam Darnold, New York Jets
I had to throw at least one quarterback in here.
Sam Darnold — the rookie quarterback out of USC, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2018 draft, and the heralded savior of the New York Jets — was recently announced as New York’s starting quarterback for Week 1. Having just turned 21 years old in June, Darnold will be the youngest quarterback to ever start for a team in Week 1.
Being a rookie and expected to be the future of the franchise, it wasn’t the plan for Darnold to start right out of the gate. Initially, it was to be veteran quarterback Josh McCown reprising his role as the team’s starter, with Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold serving as solid No. 2 and No. 3 options.
But Darnold had a tremendous preseason, and Bridgewater was eventually traded to the New Orleans Saints. With McCown being 39 years old and Darnold proving during the preseason that he’s clearly ready to compete against NFL competition, he was finally chosen to be the starter just before Week 1.
Since he wasn’t expected to start right away, there’s a solid chance that Darnold wasn’t drafted in very many fantasy leagues. Throughout training camp and the preseason, Darnold has shown signs that he could be the next great quarterback in the NFL. Pair that with the fact that the Jets are kicking off the season against the Detroit Lions — a team that isn’t exactly well-known for its defensive play — Darnold could be in position to put up some impressive numbers in his NFL debut.
If you aren’t satisfied with your fantasy team’s quarterback options, and nobody in your league has claimed Darnold yet, there’s a potential steal waiting for you to make the move before Week 1.