Show Navigation
Show Menu

J.J. McCarthy Dynasty Value

By Shane Hallam | Updated on Fri, 05 Apr 2024 . 10:44 AM EDT
J.J. McCarthy dynasty value could depend heavily on how early he goes in the NFL Draft. His Draft Sharks Model Score points to upside.



McCarthy enters the draft after an undefeated junior season that was capped with a National Championship. This came on the heels of a sophomore season in which Michigan also ran the table before losing to TCU in the playoffs.

McCarthy’s teammates voted him team MVP in 2023, and the conference named him QB of the year.

Still, evaluations on McCarthy range from severely underrated to way overrated. He continues being labeled a game manager due to the strong Michigan offensive line and rushing attack. The lack of passing volume makes him difficult to evaluate.

Let’s take a look at McCarthy’s history and see how he projects to the NFL …


J.J. McCarthy Dynasty Values

Dynasty 1-qb DMVP Dynasty Superflex DMVP
Non-PPR 13.9 Non-PPR 30.9
PPR 20.8 PPR 37.9
TE Premium 24.8 TE Premium 37.2

To see J.J. McCarthy's value for your exact league setup, visit our Dynasty Draft War Room.

Let Value Drive Your Drafting & Trading

Our Dynasty Draft War Room assigns dynamic player values based on your league’s specific settings.

These DMVP values range from 100 to 0. 

The most valuable player in your league gets a 100; 0 goes to the worst rostered player.

Use these values to compare players at the same position and across positions for help with draft, trade, and add/drop decisions.

Our Trade Value Charts use the same system to compare players across positions -- as well as future rookie-draft picks and even startup picks.

Whether you play superflex or 1-QB, PPR or otherwise, you can find a chart to fit your format. 

Did we mention tight end premium trade value charts?



J.J. McCarthy Draft Profile

Position: QB
Height: 6'2 5/8
Weight: 219
Draft Age: 21.25
NFL Draft Pick: TBD

Draft Sharks Model Score: 8.14
Analytics Score: 0.70
Film Score: 0.58
Production Score: 0.68

J.J. McCarthy Combine Results

Wingspan Arm Length HAnd Size 40-yard Dash 10-yard split
75 7/8  31 5/8 9 - -
Bench Press Vertical Broad Jump 3-cone drill 20-yard shuttle
- - - 6.82 4.23

Percentiles vs Combine QBs since 1999, per MockDraftable


J.J. McCarthy College Stats

2021 (MICH) 11 34 59 57.6% 516 5 2 27 124 2
2022 (MICH) 14 208 322 64.6% 2,719 22 5 70 306 5
2023 (MICH) 15 240 332 72.3% 2,991 22 4 64 202 3

Winning Started in High School

As a high school sophomore, McCarthy led Nazareth Academy in Illinois to an HSA Class 7A state championship. The team would return to the championship in McCarthy’s junior season, but lose there.

COVID canceled high school football in 2020, so McCarthy transferred to powerhouse IMG Academy in Florida. He led that team to an 8-0 record and consensus high school football national championship.

McCarthy started receiving scholarship offers in eighth grade and was a composite five-star recruit. McCarthy chose Michigan after being spurned by his favorite team, Ohio State.

McCarthy Takes Over as Michigan Soph

As a freshman, McCarthy played in rushing packages and backed up starter Cade McNamara. When McNamara struggled in the Orange Bowl, McCarthy replaced him.

The two then competed for the job heading into 2022. McCarthy would win the competition after Week 2 and started the rest of his games at Michigan.

McCarthy averaged just 16.1 completions over those final 12 starts of 2022, reaching 20 in a game just twice. He ranked 37th in Pro Football Focus passing grade among 77 QBs with 350+ dropbacks.

McCarthy Just Keeps Winning

Michigan continued to lean run in 2023, but McCarthy did get to throw a bit more.

He delivered 20+ completions five times and ranked 10th out of 72 QBs with 350+ dropbacks in PFF passing grade.

After going 34-2 as a high school starter, McCarthy went 28-1 in college.

Is He Only a Game Manager?

The biggest knock on McCarthy’s profile is that he simply managed games while the RBs and O-line did most of the work.

In eight games against ranked opponents in 2023, McCarthy averaged:

  • 15 completions
  • 23 attempts
  • 183 yards
  • 1 TD

Blame part of that on the Wolverines blowing out opponents to the point that McCarthy could often sit out most of the fourth quarter. And he certainly didn’t need to throw much when playing second halves. Ten of Michigan’s 15 victories came by 24+ points.

But now we have to figure out whether McCarthy was a good game manager on a great team … or actually has intriguing fantasy upside …


The Draft War Room is your fantasy football cheat sheet for dynasty rookie drafts. Sync your league today to see how J.J. McCarthy and the rest of the rookies rank in your league.


J.J. McCarthy Highlights

Games watched: Penn State (2022), Ohio State (2022), TCU (2022), Bowling Green (2023), Rutgers (2023), Minnesota (2023), Michigan State (2023), Penn State (2023), Ohio State (2023), Iowa (2023), Alabama (2023), Washington (2023)

McCarthy’s highlight reel features NFL throw after NFL throw. The arm, athleticism, and awareness look deceivingly All-Pro.

But, does the full body of McCarthy’s work hold up?

McCarthy Displays Pocket Presence

McCarthy’s ability to navigate the pocket when pressured makes it easy to project him into an NFL offense.

In the clip below, McCarthy recognizes the stunt as he steps forward in the pocket and has an edge rusher coming directly at him. Most college (and even pro) QBs likely take a sack or check down there.

But McCarthy reads the pressure and moves to his right while continuing to climb the pocket. His eyes stay downfield to read the safety cheating up, allowing for an NFL-type TD throw.

J.J. McCarthy throws a TD pass on the move. That mobility will add dynasty value in fantasy football.

Per PFF, McCarthy was pressured on more than 30% of his passes this past season, a surprising stat considering the OL talent in front of him. The consistent presence of mind to avoid pressure and make a play will be a great fit for teams rebuilding up front and needing a smart QB to recognize and avoid sacks.

McCarthy also a Plus Scrambler

An underrated trait in mobile QBs is their ability to see WR routes developing while also sensing when there is open space to run for a first down.

McCarthy’s awareness makes him dangerous with his legs. He boasts enough speed and athleticism to gain yards in chunks.

The awareness, pre-snap recognition, and athleticism combine for a scrambling QB who could add fantasy value with his legs.

Passing Technique Strong to All Levels

McCarthy throws deep well when he has time in the pocket. In the clip below, McCarthy shows off his arm with a 50-yard pass that is right on the mark.

Even on deep passes, the technique of McCarthy’s foot and arm are impeccable. He bounces a bit on his feet, but ultimately steps with his back foot into a hard front foot plant. This allows him to really use that stance to power his arm.

McCarthy’s technique is drawing rave reviews from NFL teams and a major reason league evaluators are more enamored.

Consistent, quick technique is becoming more rare in football, but McCarthy epitomizes it.

McCarthy Can Throw on the Run

With his athleticism, throwing on the run is a key tenet to McCarthy’s game. 

Michigan often scripted sprint-out passes for McCarthy to get out of the pocket and hit a shallow WR.

Even when throwing on the run because a play breaks down, McCarthy keep his eyes downfield and throws an accurate ball.

Eyes, Feet Work Together

McCarthy presents average NFL arm strength both on the run and from the pocket. But he gets solid zip on the ball.

He often arcs deep throws too much, which leads to throws being behind the WR. The ball placement in the clip above is good, but it does flutter to arrive a bit behind the WR.

Arm strength is certainly not a weakness, but McCarthy’s doesn’t compare to that of Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.

Decision-Making Could Use Work

The biggest question mark for McCarthy is decision-making.

The Michigan offense primarily asked McCarthy to wait for the first read to get open and hit that guy. With defenses accounting for the run, it is typically an easy single-cover read.

When the first read is covered or the play breaks down, McCarthy can turn to a gunslinger mentality and can press too hard. This usually creates inaccurate passes or turnovers.

Must Avoid Bad INTs

In the clip below, McCarthy sprints right. His first read comes open in the flat, but McCarthy switches to the second-level read for some reason. 

As the pressure closes in and receivers run out of field, McCarthy attempts to fit the ball behind Alabama S Caleb Downs and into a difficult window. 

The result: a near INT. That’s McCarthy’s biggest issue.

J.J. McCarthy's inconsistent decision-making -- producing an INT here -- could limit his early dynasty value by delaying his starting opportunity.

He does not have the experience to instinctually process such decisions appropriately.

That can be fixed, but it would be best for him to get more practice and film experience before being tossed to the NFL wolves.


Dynasty Value Conclusion

McCarthy has the tools to be a very successful NFL and fantasy QB. If he gets the necessary experience to process at an NFL level, the upside is similar to Justin Herbert coming out of college.

Short term, it will be wise for a team to give McCarthy time to learn. That may not bode well for his fantasy points as a rookie.

There is a chance for McCarthy to be a dynasty QB1 in a few years with good weapons and blocking. But, he also could go the way of Daniel Jones and never put it together. 

We have him as a low-end QB2 in our dynasty QB rankings for now, on par with Bryce Young and Will Levis.

(See where dynasty superflex ADP places McCarthy.)


J.J. McCarthy Team Fit: Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings would be an ideal landing spot. McCarthy would find high-level weapons in Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson – as well as an offense to fit his talents.

HC Kevin O’Connell takes aspects from Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan to create play-action passes off success in a wide-zone rushing scheme. The approach is similar to Michigan’s offense, though with much more passing volume to date. 

Being a former NFL QB himself, O’Connell knows how to set QBs up for success and allow the pass-catchers to do the heavy lifting. McCarthy certainly can manage the game, and with time, he could get himself to Kirk Cousins’ level (plus some rushing production).

The Falcons will use a similar offense and may also be interested in McCarthy.


Ready to go from a perennial rebuilder to a yearly contender?

Think you've got what it takes? Prove it. Subscribe to Draft Sharks and show the fantasy world you're not here to play games – you're here to win.

Don't be a spectator; be a champion.

Hit that subscribe button or step aside for those hungry for victory. 

Not convinced? Explore the suite of dynasty tools that will serve as your exclusive analytics department. 

Draft Sharks: Your unfair advantage.

How To Win Your Dynasty League

Learn the three main strategy points to become a winning dynasty manager:

Your Personal Dynasty Analytics Department... We dig deeper for you.

We have the tools to help you manage your team like a real NFL GM. Coaches like Belichick, McVay, and Reid all have an entire analytics team at their disposal -- from Draft Night and through the offseason. Now you do too!

With tools that:

  1. Customize and sync to your league scoring. Plug-and-Play functionality.
  2. Auto-adjust during your draft(s) based on positional scarcity, player availability, and individual team needs.
  3. Look to the future with 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-yr projections.
  4. Contain detailed breakdowns for trade analysis, start-sit decisions, and waiver wire management.

We’ve built a whole suite of Dynasty Tools to help you draft, trade, and research like a champion. You're the manager. We're here to help.

Explore Your New Dynasty Tools »
Get Instant Access to the Draft War Room & Much More Why Wouldn't You Invest $6 To Win Your League?
Compare Plans »

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play