While examining Joe Burrow’s rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals, Pro Football Focus projects him as a top-10 fantasy quarterback.
There are plenty of outlets who think Joe Burrow can hit the ground running with the Cincinnati Bengals. Just last week, NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks detailed all of the reasons the LSU product could quickly turn things around in the Queen City.
Perhaps the most bullish prediction yet comes from Pro Football Focus, who has projected Burrow as the tenth best fantasy quarterback in 2020. In all, they estimate he’ll throw for 3,734 yards, 23 touchdowns, and rush for 303 yards.
On the surface, that seems like a tall task. Could the cigar-smoking Heisman trophy winner pull it off?
Weapons galore for Burrow
If Burrow is going to accomplish such a large task, he’s going to need all the help he can get from the weapons that surround him. For starters, each will need to remain healthy for the majority of the season.
In addition, he’ll need to be afforded the opportunity to build chemistry with his new teammates. There’s no telling exactly when they’ll be able to get on the field together, given the current circumstances. If he’s able to get a full pre-season under his belt, this projection seems much more likely.
Even in a worst-case scenario for the offseason, the weapons at Burrow’s disposal are numerous. He’s got a superstar wide receiver in A.J. Green, who is now fully healthy. Tyler Boyd is one of the best slot receivers in the entire league. Tee Higgins has the attributes to be an instant impact rookie. John Ross is the fastest man in the NFL and has a skill set that matches nicely with Burrow. That’s before even getting to Joe Mixon, who can help ease the pressure as one of the best young running backs in the game.
At first glance, projecting this stat line for Burrow seems ambitious. However, when looking at how other number one overall picks have performed in their first seasons as starters, it actually seems conservative.
Kyler Murray threw for 3,722 yards and 20 touchdowns just last year, good for the 7th best fantasy quarterback ranking, according to Fantasy Pros.
In his first full season starting, Jared Goff secured 3,804 yards through the air with 28 touchdowns to match, netting him the 12th spot on the fantasy quarterback rankings list.
Jameis Winston hit the 4,000 passing yard mark and found the endzone 22 times, which earned him a ranking of 13.
Some say Burrow is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. The now-retired gunslinger put up the best rookie campaign of those mentioned with 4,373 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and the 9th overall quarterback position.
This projection seems perfectly in-line for Joe Burrow. Now it’s just a waiting game to see if he can actually do it on the field.