Aug 13, 2013

Fantasy Football Rankings: The Quarterback

The rankings below are based off a hybrid league of sorts with a standard point system, in addition to half a point per reception (PPR), with a snake draft format .  This is what your ideal fantasy league should look like in 2013, and even if you disagree I'm writing this blog so I can choose what league settings we'll be using.  In recap:

Passing TD = 4
Rushing TD = 6
Receiving TD = 6
Passing Yard = .04
Rushing Yard = .1
Receiving Yard = .1
Reception = .5
Fumble = -2
Interception = -2

The Quarterback:

However you hold your draft (auction, snake, random pull out of a hat) the draft will end with at least six owners more then happy with their quarterback situation heading into week 1.  There can even be a case made that all 12 owners, everyone manager in the league will get the QB target of their choice.  This is a concept that has never been equaled in fantasy history.  While not as traditionally top-heavy as RB, there has never been a parallel year where you snatch up your QB of desire in round 13.  Simply said, there has never been a year like this.

The Rankings:

1. Drew Brees
2. Aaron Rodgers
3. Cam Newton
4. Peyton Manning
5. Matthew Stafford
6. Matt Ryan
7. Tom Brady
8. Tony Romo
9. Andrew Luck
10. Robert Griffin III
11. Russell Wilson
12. Eli Manning

13. Ben Roethlisberger
14. Andy Dalton
15. Sam Bradford
16. Michael Vick
17. Colin Kaepernick
18. Jay Cutler
19. E.J. Manuel
20. Matt Schaub
21. Jake Locker
22. Phillip Rivers
23. Josh Freeman
24. Joe Flacco

25. Ryan Tannehill
26. Alex Smith
27. Carson Palmer
28. Brandon Weeden
29. Matt Flynn
30. Kevin Kolb
31. Geno Smith
32. Chad Henne
33. Christian Ponder
34. Nick Foles
35. Terrelle Pryor
36. Shaun Hill

37. Kirk Cousins
38. Kyle Orton
39. Mark Sanchez
40. Blaine Gabbert
41. Ryan Mallett
42. Tyrod Taylor
43. Ryan Fitzpatrick
44. Brock Osweiler
45. Graham Harrell
46. Chase Daniel
47. Matt Cassel
48. Matt Moore
49. Dominique Davis
50. Seneca Wallace

Who's Number One?
After I stole the name of this section from one of the worst all-time ESPN shows (and that's saying something) I realized that the upper echelon of fantasy greatness is essentially like any modern debate that takes place on First Take.  Whatever the correct answer is it doesn't matter, all that matters is the debate is taking place.

With so much depth and quality players atop the QB rankings, it's more difficult than ever to decide who really is the cream of the crop.  Brees, Rodgers, Newton and Peyton all make strong cases, with Stafford, Brady, Ryan, Romo, RGIII, and Luck as dark horses as the leagues best.  If there are 10 guys with very strong shots at being the best at their position then why be the person who blinks first?


I won't blink first.  There will be zero leagues that I participate in where any QB comes off draft shelves and onto my roster before pick 60.  Seriously, this position is so fucking deep, mainly due to Commish Goodell turing the league into two-hand touch.  Quarterbacks get 6 seconds in the pocket routinely, receivers can cross in the middle without the threat of James Harrison decapitating them & everyone on the roster can catch, from the elite WRs to third string TEs, everyone on the field has the ability to catch a ball for a first down.

Starting Eli Manning week in and week out is not going to be the reason you don't win your fantasy league.  The reason you fall out of the playoffs is because Jonathan Stewart didn't get you enough points Week 8 or Greg Jennings put up a goose egg Week 11 when you needed it.  There is going to be a solid QB plug and play on the waiver wire ever week.  There aren't going to be any RB or WR plug and plays laying around during bye weeks or on a Saturday.  You need to draft value every round, and there will be more QB value in Round 13 then Round 2.


My ranking of Colin Kaepernick means two things: 

#1. I will not be drafting the San Fran QB this year 
#2. Neither should you

As we just discussed, quarterback is a position of mass depth.  We now understand that paying a premier price in the high rounds where there is still strong value sitting in late rounds is a bad move.  Now we learn how drafting the player with the most amount of variance isn't exactly a good idea either.  Everyone knows the phrase "the NFL is a copy-cat league" and it seems fairly obvious to me that the QB option offense caught the league by surprise and running as a whole should decrease with a full offseason for DEs to prep for it.  Mix that in with the fact Kaepernick and Terrelle Pryor had the same amount of 20 point games and this is a dude I want to stay far away from.  

Is it possible this ranking could come back and bite me in the ass with Kaepernick being a top QB at the end of the year?  Yes.  My rankings of Mike Vick, Jay Cutler, and Sam Bradford can all bite me in the ass too, and one of them will.  As is what happens every year, some high variance QB hits the jackpot and plays his way towards fantasy stardom while the other four bust out.  In a quarterback class that is this deep and this good, I'd rather pay for proven above average talent then a QB who can land anywhere on the spectrum.

The Floor:
Again, in order to beat it into your head "There is no reason to reach for a QB".  Every year at least one ball thrower comes out of the woodwork to post a top 12 season.  Last year we had Russell Wilson and Josh Freeman finish the year inside the top 12 despite both largely going undrafted on draft day. 

If you are the owner who takes Roethlisberger in Round 13 and he falls off a cliff, you can also be the guy who adds 2013 Russell Wilson to his roster.  There are going to be at least 8 owners in your league who feel having a backup QB is wasted roster space, so when someone shows up off the waiver wire out of nowhere, you'll only be competing with a maximum of four owners for their services.  Truth be told, even if your QB flops or gets injured, someone will be available to make the sting hurt less, which is something you can't say if Alfred Morris goes belly-up.

Don't draft a QB til the late rounds.  Just don't do it.

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