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Mitch Trubisky

Veteran expected to open as starter

The early word out of Pittsburgh is that although it's a competition for the starting quarterback job, the expectation is that veteran Mitch Trubisky, rather than rookie Kenny Pickett, will start out atop the depth chart. So some consideration must be given to him in fantasy leagues.

Trubisky flamed out as a starter in Chicago, of course, and Bears fans are painfully aware the team drafted him ahead of Patrick Mahomes back in 2017. (Deshaun Watson, too, although that's talked about a little less these days.) But here in the fantasy football realm, Trubisky was a slightly better performer as a starter than you might remember.

In his first full season as a starter, 2018, Trubisky played well enough (and enough people opted out ahead of him) that he went to the Pro Bowl, plus the team went 11-3 with him in the lineup. A year later, as a full-season starter, he went 8-7. He even went 6-3 in 2020, though that was it for him in Chicago. Seldom has a quarterback with as favorable a career won-loss record (29-21) been thought of as poorly as Trubisky.

Since Trubisky is a runner, he wound up with some usable fantasy production at times, as well. In those three seasons he ran for 809 yards and 6 TDs. That helped him finish as a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2018, on a per-game basis (among all quarterbacks to start at least half the season). Not as good in 2019 or 2020, finishing outside the top 20 both seasons. But the potential is there for him to be a viable starter in 2-QB leagues or serviceable backup. That's something.

Table shows all quarterbacks to start at least half the time in the 2018-2020 seasons, sorted by per-game fantasy production.

QUARTERBACK FANTASY PERFORMANCE, 2018-2020
YearPlayerGGSPassPaTDRunRuTDFFFF/G
2018Patrick Mahomes, K.C.16165097502722496.131.0
2019Lamar Jackson, Balt.151531273612067463.030.9
2020Josh Allen, Buff.16164544374218473.529.6
2020Patrick Mahomes, K.C.15154740383082437.829.2
2020Kyler Murray, Ariz.161639712681911450.528.2
2020Aaron Rodgers, G.B.16164299481493440.327.5
2020Deshaun Watson, Hou.16164823334443437.627.3
2020Russell Wilson, Sea.16164212405132435.927.2
2018Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.1616512934983429.226.8
2018Matt Ryan, Atl.16164924351253428.226.8
2019Jameis Winston, T.B.16165109332501426.526.7
2020Justin Herbert, LAC15154336312345398.226.5
2019Deshaun Watson, Hou.15153852264137389.526.0
2019Matthew Stafford, Det.88249919660207.625.9
2019Dak Prescott, Dall.16164902302773412.825.8
2020Lamar Jackson, Balt.151527572610057386.425.8
2020Tom Brady, T.B.161646334063410.325.6
2018Andrew Luck, Ind.16164593391480405.925.4
2020Ryan Tannehill, Ten.16163819332667398.624.9
2018Deshaun Watson, Hou.16164165265515397.424.8
2018Jared Goff, LAR16164688321082397.224.8
2018Cam Newton, Car.14143395244884342.624.5
2019Patrick Mahomes, K.C.14144031262182341.424.4
2020Kirk Cousins, Min.16164265351561384.924.1
2019Russell Wilson, Sea.16164110313423383.724.0
2019Drew Brees, N.O.1111297927-41262.623.9
2018Drew Brees, N.O.1515399232224356.923.8
2018Jameis Winston, T.B.1192992192811259.723.6
2019Matt Ryan, Atl.15154466261471350.023.3
2018Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.14143223244213325.323.2
2018Aaron Rodgers, G.B.16164442252692367.022.9
2018Carson Wentz, Phil.1111307421930250.422.8
2018Kirk Cousins, Min.16164298301231360.122.5
2019Ryan Tannehill, Ten.12102742221854269.622.5
2019Daniel Jones, NYG13123027242792291.322.4
2020Gardner Minshew, Jac.982259161531201.322.4
2020Matt Ryan, Atl.1616458126922356.322.3
2018Baker Mayfield, Cle.14133725271310311.422.2
2018Philip Rivers, LAC161643083270354.122.1
2018Dak Prescott, Dall.16163885223056352.822.0
2018Russell Wilson, Sea.16163448353760351.922.0
2018Tom Brady, N.E.1616435529352350.921.9
2019Kyler Murray, Ariz.16163722205444350.521.9
2020Carson Wentz, Phil.12122620162765262.621.9
2020Joe Burrow, Cin.10102688131423218.621.9
2020Ben Roethlisberger, Pitt.1515380333110327.321.8
2020Derek Carr, L.V.16164103271403347.221.7
2019Josh Allen, Buff.16163089205109345.521.6
2019Carson Wentz, Phil.16164039272431344.321.5
2018Josh Allen, Buff.12112074106318256.821.4
2020Drew Brees, N.O.1212294224-22254.921.2
2019Andy Dalton, Cin.1313349416734274.621.1
2019Jared Goff, LAR1616463822402335.921.0
2019Aaron Rodgers, G.B.16164002261831334.420.9
2020Jared Goff, LAR1515395220994313.520.9
2018Nick Mullens, S.F.88227713-160166.320.8
2020Cam Newton, N.E.15152657859212309.620.6
2019Gardner Minshew, Jac.14123271213440288.020.6
2019Philip Rivers, LAC1616461523290327.720.5
2019Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mia.15133529202434306.820.5
2020Teddy Bridgewater, Car.15153733152795306.620.4
2020Matthew Stafford, Det.16164084261120323.420.2
2018Andy Dalton, Cin.1111256621990222.220.2
2019Jimmy Garoppolo, S.F.1616397827621323.120.2
2019Tom Brady, N.E.1616405724343322.320.1
2019Kirk Cousins, Min.1515360326631298.519.9
2019Kyle Allen, Car.13123322171062256.719.7
2019Baker Mayfield, Cle.16163827221413313.519.6
2018Eli Manning, NYG1616429921201313.019.6
2018Joe Flacco, Balt.99246512450175.819.5
2020Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.1092055161951194.319.4
2019Sam Darnold, NYJ1313302419622251.419.3
2020Baker Mayfield, Cle.16163563261651308.319.3
2019Derek Carr, Oak.1616405421822306.919.2
2020Philip Rivers, Ind.1616416924-80305.719.1
2020Drew Lock, Den.13132933161603246.719.0
2018Derek Carr, Oak.1616404919471291.318.2
2018Case Keenum, Den.1616389018932287.818.0
2019Jacoby Brissett, Ind.15152942182284269.117.9
2018Sam Darnold, NYJ13132865171381231.117.8
2018Blake Bortles, Jac.13122718133651230.417.7
2018Matthew Stafford, Det.1616377721710280.017.5
2020Nick Mullens, S.F.10824371280172.717.3
2020Daniel Jones, NYG14142943114231241.517.2
2019Mitchell Trubisky, Chi.15153138171932258.217.2
2018Alex Smith, Was.10102180101681171.817.2
2018Ryan Tannehill, Mia.11111979171450188.817.2
2020Tua Tagovailoa, Mia.1091814111093165.616.6
2020Andy Dalton, Dall.1192170141140176.616.1
2018Marcus Mariota, Ten.14132528113572221.215.8
2020Sam Darnold, NYJ1212220892172182.115.2
2019Joe Flacco, Den.8818226200119.114.9
2019Mason Rudolph, Pitt.108176513420144.514.4
2019Case Keenum, Was.108170711121136.613.7
2018Josh Rosen, Ariz.14132278111380173.712.4

None of this is enough to make Trubisky a desirable selection in drafts. "Could be a top-20 quarterback" is a pretty low bar.

But the belief that he'll open as a Week 1 starter is enough to get him at least some mild interest in Superflex leagues, while also removing Pickett from the list of reasonable late-round targets. I suspect Pickett will start games at some point this season, but it sounds like it won't happen right away.

--Andy Richardson

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