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In his first career start, Buffalo Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman threw five interceptions on 14 pass attempts. He was benched at halftime. In his second start, Peterman completed 50% of his passes1 for a total of 57 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter due to injury. On Sunday Peterman started for the third time in his NFL career. He completed five of 18 passes for 24 yards, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of zero. It was the type of horrible quarterbacking performance that keeps NFL coaches and executives up at night.

Coming off their first playoff appearance in nearly two decades, the Bills were riding a wave of positive momentum into the off-season but how they chose to handle that momentum was, let’s say, curious. The team decided, rather bizarrely, to chase Tyrod Taylor out of town, trashing the quarterback who got them to the playoffs in favor of trading multiple picks to draft the divisive Josh Allen. Whether or not you liked the selection of Allen, the Bills’ decision to take it slow with such a raw prospect was a sound one, especially after the team signed momentary-Browns-savior A.J. McCarron to be its bridge quarterback. And here’s where the wheels come off.

The value of the QB in fantasy football is declining. Highly sought-after players like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady have name recognition but players like Carson Wentz and Kirk Cousins are putting up similar numbers while going for a third of the price. Rodgers, everyone’s dream QB, is expected to put up about one more point per game than Wentz this season and that added production is definitely not worth $20 extra dollars that could instead be used to help you nab a top tier WR or RB.1 And yet, despite that level of performance parity, some people are still dropping serious cash on the quote-unquote top tier QBs. A quick look at last year’s PPGAR reveals the value of “top” QBs compared to other positions, and guess what? It’s not good, you guys. Russell Wilson was the season’s highest ranked QB and he wasn’t even a top ten player by PPGAR.

Even though you’re not going to waste draft capital on a QB, there are still fantasy players who haven’t yet discovered The Read Option2 and some of them are bound to overspend on a QB. But which QB, you ask? We’ve got you covered. These are the five most overvalued QBs heading into the season.

Tom Brady

Seriously? He’s the second most expensive QB right now and he’s going to be 41 when the season starts. I understand that he’s an ageless wonder but even TB12 can’t overcome the wear and tear of nineteen NFL seasons. Fun fact: the Golden Boy’s played so many playoff games that it’s as if he’s played 21 total seasons. That is incredible and terrifying and exhausting and detrimental. No quarterback is worth $25 at the draft, especially not an aging one. Even if he is the GOAT.

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers might be the best quarterback in the NFL and dammit if he’s not everyone’s favorite State Farm spokesperson,3 but he missed the vast majority of last year after breaking his collarbone for the second time. I’m no doctor but that sounds like two times too many. Rodgers is ready to get back under center, but taking a risk on an aging veteran like Rodgers isn’t worth the price you’ll pay if he finds himself on the IR again this year.

Deshaun Watson

When he was on the field, Watson absolutely killed it last year. But he only played in seven games and, right now, he’s the fourth highest drafted QB in fantasy.4 His knee injury looks to be healing up nicely, but with no significant playing time under his belt, he remains at risk of both injury and regression. Drafting him for more than $2 or an eighth round pick is a gamble.

Patrick Mahomes II

Do I even have to put him on this list?5 Of course he’s going to be overrated. I’m not saying he won’t be good next year, it’s just that he definitely will not be good next year. I know it’s still early but he barely set foot on the field last year and somehow he’s going for $2 which ranks him above established names like Matt Stafford, Alex Smith, Matt Ryan and Philip Rivers. Please, everyone, just stop it.

Baker Mayfield

Despite becoming a Brown, the first overall pick may actually have landed in a great situation. He’s got an arsenal of pass catchers that can do amazing things with the ball. He’s inheriting a team that is the embodiment of a dumpster fire, so if he can manage to win even three games he’ll be sanctified. And he’s joining what should be a pass-heavy offense.6 The only problem? Hue Jackson. It’s hard to get behind any Cleveland player with such an atrocious coach at the helm. Mayfield may very well end up being great but that’ll have to wait until Hue Jackson and his 1-31 record with the Browns are long gone.

237 Yds | 4 TDs | 0 INT | 115.8 QB Rating

That’s Nick Foles’ line from last Sunday’s monster performance against the New York Giants. As bad as the Giants are, any game where a QB can put up numbers like that is impressive. And while no one’s ready to hand over the MVP award to Foles after last week, he has earned a hell of a lot more respect than he was afforded over the past few years. (Or weeks.) Going into the championship week for most fantasy football leagues, Foles is – shockingly – a legitimate fantasy asset. His ownership has jumped 24.1% since Sunday’s breakout game.

Before I get into how Deshaun Watson’s injury completely fucked your season, let’s talk about how unfortunate it is that one of football’s top young players is lost for the season. He joins the ranks of Aaron Rodgers, Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt and a whole host of other stars on the long-term injury list. Watson has been lighting it up since he took to the field in the second half of Week 1. He’s putting up ungodly numbers and helped to create the season’s best game in last week’s matchup against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks when he threw for over 400 yards, rushing for 67 more and scoring four times.

One man arms himself with a calculator, the other with his intuition. They enter the cage for a no holds barred bloodbath to answer the age-old question, “Is Tom Brady worth it?”

Tom Brady – New England Patriots
2016: 12 GP | 67.4 Comp % | 3,554 yds | 28 TDs

Alex Schillinger: We get it Tom. You’ve proven that you’re the best quarterback in the game…again. You currently rank in the top four all-time in wins, passing yards, passing touchdowns and a bunch of other stuff. Oh, and to top it all off, you’re married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, and you’ve got your next career all lined up: Hollywood, here comes your next leading man.

But none of that matters now. Not on the gridiron.1 No, what matters here is whether or not Tom Brady is worth the cost he’s going to demand in this year’s fantasy drafts. Right now, his ADP among QBs is 2nd and he’s the 3rd overall player off the board. In auction leagues, he’s going for $22 on average. No way is he, or any other QB for that matter, worth that much.2

Mike Bergsman: The thing is, Brady has so much cache that people are actually going to pay that much for him or draft him in the third or fourth round. People are dumb. Now, while I do think Brady is legitimately the best QB ever, I absolutely would not draft him for that much or that early. That’s not a knock on him as much as it is me just not being a moron.

While we can both agree Brady isn’t that valuable,3 he’s still going to be one of the best fantasy QBs in the league, right? Homeboy just added Brandin Cooks as a deep threat to join the likes of Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman,4 James White, Dion Lewis, Dwayne Allen, and Danny Amendola. Also, he made this. Yeah, that’s a $200 cookbook. George Foreman ain’t got nothin’ on TB12.

Alex: Seriously, $200 for a cookbook gives me just enough cause to not draft this guy regardless of how well he performs on the field. That said, I still wouldn’t draft him, even if he is the world’s greatest QB5 and sold his cookbook for a more reasonable $29.99.

That might sound like crazy talk, but hear me out. Brady nearly always finishes in the top five in fantasy scoring, but he’s only finished in the top 3 in scoring four times in his entire career. Granted, that’s still pretty good, but it’s not $22 good, it’s not even $10 good. And there’s no way he’s going for anything less than that. What about you, would you spend more than $10 on your GOAT?

Mike: To answer your question, no. I would not spend $10 or more on a goat man.

As seen in the groundbreaking – neigh, revolutionary! – statistic introduced here, very seldomly do quarterbacks provide the kind of value that other positions do. I can’t justify spending a large amount of precious draft capital on someone who will only get me a couple of more points per game than a low-tier QB.

I’d rather spend an early pick or a high percentage of my draft dollars on guys who far outperform their peers.

Alex: We’re in complete agreement here. I hate it when that happens. But it’s instructive: no matter how good a QB is, he’s just not worth more than $4, which is exactly where I have Mr. Gisele Bundchen. If I’m snake drafting, I’m taking him well after I’ve found my starting WRs and RBs and maybe even my TE.

Mike: So basically, what both of us are saying is, “Fuck Tom Brady and his four minute 40 time.” Also, Tom Brady is the man and I want his life. Both can be true. However, don’t go overboard spending a significant amount of draft dollars or an early draft pick on any QB, ever. You can get a serviceable QB in later rounds, whereas you will not find a value-producing RB or WR in later rounds. At least, not without a healthy dose of luck.

Alex: I feel like we can’t go out on that note…so here’s more of Tom doing what he does second best.

Trying to defend the Chicago Bears this year is gonna be hard. Not only am I a lifelong Detroit Lions fan and therefore required by official mandate to detest and disparage the Bears with an undying, ever-present passion,1 but over the 2017 off-season, Chicago seems to have proactively dismantled their offensive core and rebuilt it with, well, nothing. So far this off-season they’ve:

  • Lost Pro Bowler Alshon Jeffery to free agency.
  • Signed Markus Wheaton as a replacement for Jeffery, a bit of a step backwards given that Wheaton is coming off a serious shoulder injury and was decidedly not a Pro Bowler prior to it.
  • Lost their all-time leader in completions, yards and touchdowns, quarterback Jay Cutler to retirement.
  • Signed noted lousy quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Mark Sanchez to replace Cutler.
  • Traded away four draft picks to move up one spot to nab Mitchell Trubisky at 2nd overall despite it now being clear that Trubisky would have been there at 3rd overall anyway.

Almost nothing in fantasy hurts worse than being let down by a highly drafted player. In Dead or Alive, we’ll take a look at some of 2016’s most underwhelming performers and try to predict how they’ll fare in the upcoming season. (But if you get burned again, that’s totally on you.)

There may not be a weightier name in all of football than Manning. Archie, the patriarch of the family and former New Orleans Saint, is in the College Football Hall of Fame for his achievements at Ole Miss. His middle son, Peyton, is one of the greatest quarterbacks to have ever played professional football. His oldest son, Cooper, may have been even better had a rare spinal condition not ended his career before it began. And you can bet that from the moment young Eli strapped on his helmet for the first time, he was burdened with living up to the family name.