From Heisman 1-2 to 1-2 punch line! Jameis Winston & Marcus Mariota

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Are Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota still waiting to break out or are they just waiting to be replaced?


Jameis Winston was taken by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the first pick of the 2015 National Football League Draft. This was followed by fellow quarterback Marcus Mariota in a Heisman 1-2.

Winston won the 2013 Heisman Trophy for being the top U.S. collegiate player, and Mariota, taken by the Tennessee Titans with the second pick, was the 2014 winner, marking the first and only time Heisman recipients went 1-2 in the NFL Draft.

The pair were meant to be franchise saviors but have been anything but. Optimism and fan adoration was at an all-time high when their names were announced by Roger Goodall.

I wouldn’t go as far as labeling them busts but the pair have been very disappointing. Injuries, inaccuracy, and turnovers have led to serious question marks about the pair’s future with the franchises they were once meant to save.

Two Former Heisman winners, first ever 1-2 selection reunite at joint practice

The two have been compared their whole careers

Career Stats


Jameis Winston has been in a quarterback competition with Ryan Fitzpatrick the past two seasons. The good thing for Winston is that Fitzpatrick is now with the Dolphins. Through Fitzpatrick, a shoulder injury in 2017 and last season’s suspension (for violating the league’s personal conduct policy) Winston has only played in 56 games.

He has a career completion rate of 61.6%, career touchdown to interception ratio of 88:58, a remarkably high 38 fumbles and a career passer rating of 87.8.

With his legs, Winston has added 794 yards, averaging 198.5 yards per season and has a total of 9 career rushing touchdowns (although 6 of those came in his rookie season).

Winston’s production has been a combination of both of the above


Similarly, Mariota has also played in 56 Games. After failing to play a full 16 game season in his 4 year career, an injury prone label has been associated with Mariota.

Mariota possesses a career completion percentage of 63.2%, he averages 7.5 yards a throw, his career touchdown to intercept ration is 69:42. Mariota has a similarly high 30 career fumbles. Mariota’s career passing rating is slightly higher than Winston’s at 89.4.

Mariota has added 1,270 yards with his legs, averaging 317.5 yards per season and has 11 rushing touchdowns for his career.


Fantasy Finishes

Jameis Winston

Winston was QB20 last season on a points per game basis (16.6 PPG).

Winston, in 2017, managed 12 games to finish as QB23. On a PPG basis, he was slightly improved at QB20 (14.8PPG). Winston, in his sophomore season in 2016, played in 15 games to finish as QB15. On a PPG basis, he was QB18 (16.4 PPG).

Winston’s best finish came in his rookie season, finishing as QB14. On a PPG basis, despite this being his best fantasy finish, he was only QB19 (17.3 PPG)

Winston hasn’t been winning many games for his team or fantasy owners

Marcus Mariota

Unless the unit you are measuring success by is your ability  to catch your own passes for a touchdown, Mariota hasn’t been successful. He simply hasn’t hit the mark in Tennessee.

If Mariota continues the path he has followed his whole career, Ryan Tannehilll will eventually be given the chance to prove he can lead the Titans franchise in 2019 and beyond.

Despite his capabilities with his legs, Mariota’s fantasy finishes have not been pretty, barring his sophomore season. In 2018, he missed 4 games and finished as QB 22. Delve deeper and it becomes dire, on a PPG basis, he was QB 37 (12.5). Behind quarterbacks such as Nick Mullens (14.9 PPG), C.J. Beathard (15.0 PPG), Blake Bortles (14.1 PPG) and Jack Johnson even managed to surpass Mariota at 15.8 PPG.

In 2017 Mariota finished as QB18, again playing only 14 games. On a PPG basis, he was QB24 (14.1 PPG).

In his sophomore season Mariota had his best fantasy finish. He ended up playing in 15 games and ended as the QB9. On a PPG basis, though, he was QB13 (17.4 PPG). This placed Mariota just outside of a QB1 finish on a PPG basis.

Mariota managed a mere 12 games in his rookie campaign and finished as QB21. His ranking improved on a PPG basis, he was QB17 (17.5 PPG).

Mariota and Winston’s fantasy production has been on a downward spiral their whole careers. If either of the pair, Mariota especially, goes undrafted in 1QB redraft leagues, it would not be surprising at all.

If you measure success this way, Mariota is winning

Sights like these above have become common.


Fantasy Pros has Winston ranked as QB13. Ahead of Lamar Jackson (14), Mitch Trubisky (15) and Jimmy Garoppolo (16.) The case could easily be made that any of those QB’s should be ranked ahead of Winston.

For Mariota, his dynasty position is dire. Currently ranked at QB25. Interestingly QB23 is 37-year-old Phillip Rivers and at QB24 is the evergreen 42-year-old Tom Brady.

Mariota is ahead of Washington’s Dwayne Haskins (QB26) and Derek Carr (QB27). I would most definitely rather be a Haskins owner over Mariota in dynasty straight up. 9 times out of 10 I would also be preferring Carr over Mariota.

Sometime friend and sometime rival, Ryan Fitzpatrick is excited to see Winston this season

Give me this man (Haskins) over Mariota in dynasty formats

Future Outlook & Final Thoughts

I’m a believer that Winston will have his best fantasy finish in 2019. He seems to have grown from his immaturity, that have led to suspensions and character concerns. Furthermore, Fitzmagic has departed to the beaches of Miami.

Additionally, he has a new offensive-minded coach in Bruce Arians. In 2015, with Arians as his head coach, Carson Palmer, at 35 year of age, finished as QB5. Winston has his best chance in 2019 to finish inside the top 12 quarterbacks in fantasy.

Mariota, on the other hand, plagued by injuries and with a similarly capable but limited quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, has some competition for the first time in his career.

I don’t think Mariota will play a full season. Injuries or struggles are sure to come into play and Tannehill will get a shot. Personally, I would be avoiding Mariota like the plague in 1QB leagues, he should be undrafted.

More worrisome for Mariota is the 2020 QB draft class. Oregon’s Justin Herbert, Georgia’s Jake Fromm and of course Tua Tagovailoa, from Alabama, all look to be threats to Marcus Mariota’s job if he continues to underwhelm.

Mariota better hope he performs this season, so the Titans are not in a realistic draft position to acquire one of these highly sought-after and talented quarterbacks.

Watch out Winston and more so Mariota, these men are coming

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