I love Mark Sanchez. That’s right, LOVE. And no, it isn’t his his awesome hair that has me checking him out. It’s his very affordable price. … And probability of success that have me looking to add Sanchez in 2QB leagues.
When Sanchez was signed by Denver back in March, the assumption was he would be the backup entering 2016. Brock Osweiler had just signed with the Texans, but there was a bevy of free agent quarterbacks available, as well as some intriguing trade targets. But now, over a month later, the Broncos still haven’t added another signal caller and the only real evidence that they might was speculation by Mark Dominik (currently of ESPN) that the team will trade for Colin Kaepernick on draft day.
I think Kaepernick to Broncos done.Hinges on SF drafting QB. Reason-u never let player visit w/club w/out trade/contract already figured out
— Mark Dominik (@MarkdominikESPN) April 14, 2016
That means the 49ers will not be able to draft either at pick number seven. So, either you believe the 49ers are willing to draft Paxton Lynch that high, a massive reach in my opinion, or selecting a quarterback later in the draft (please Dak Prescott) is reason enough for them to pull the trigger on a deal with Denver. Color me skeptical. It is fairly likely Sanchez will start at quarterback for Denver on opening day (with only Trevor Siemian or a rookie behind him). This is a team that produced the QB21 last season using a combination of Osweiler and Peyton Manning.
Is Mark Sanchez an Upgrade?
The QB21 is definitely fantasy viable on its own for 2QB purposes, but I think Sanchez could be even better than the Osweiler/Manning hybrid. The reason? He’s better than both of those players.
Looking at the RotoViz Career Graphs App, we can compare the play of Sanchez to the two former Broncos. His combined adjusted yards per attempt (AYA) over the last two seasons is 6.8. That isn’t great, but it’s just as good as Osweiler’s was last season, and far superior to Manning’s awful 5.03 number from 2015. Sanchez has also completed a higher percentage of his passes and thrown for more touchdowns, despite attempting fewer passes.
Considering the Denver guys were throwing to Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, I’m not even sure if it’s debatable that Sanchez is a quarterback upgrade in Denver.
Speaking of Thomas and Sanders, they are another excellent reason to consider Sanchez. The pair finished as WR9 and WR18 last season in PPR leagues. Fantasy players are currently drafting them at WR16 and WR33, respectively, in MFL10s, while Sanchez is going undrafted among 29 quarterbacks.
This would indicate the public believes Sanchez will make those WRs worse, when really the implication should be the opposite. Those players are going to make Sanchez better and, ultimately, it is incredibly unlikely he won’t be viable in 2QB formats as the starter.
Pass Attempts and Defense
Another reason people will avoid Sanchez is their belief that the Broncos will not pass much in 2016. This may surprise you, but the Broncos threw the 13th most passes last season, with 606 attempts. That was with an all-time great defense in a 12-win season.
Since Denver won the Super Bowl, they lost a couple of key pieces on defense. Defensive end Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan have both moved on and I don’t think it is likely the Broncos repeat their defensive dominance from a year ago (though I still expect them to be very good). That means Sanchez could attempt even more passes than the 606 Denver had in 2015.
Sanchez is exactly the kind of quarterback you should target in your 2QB leagues. Armed with a pair of elite targets and a flurry of pass attempts, Sanchez could be in line for a very strong season. If you acquire him now, the price is probably so low that even if Denver ends up with Kaepernick, you won’t lose much. If they don’t, you get yet another dirt cheap starter, which is incredibly valuable in 2QB formats.