QBs-Plentiful as Ever

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The quarterback position has never been deeper.  There are at least ten QBs that I would consider as sure-fire starters this year.  I’ve never drafted a quarterback early in my drafts, and that will certainly hold true for this season.  In standard scoring leagues, passing TDs are worth 4 points, so quarterbacks are slightly less valuable than elite wide receivers or running backs.  However, if you happen to participate in leagues where passing TDs are worth a full 6 points, and both of my leagues are, QBs are infinitely more valuable.  6 point scoring leagues are ones where I could justify taking Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers in the first or second round.  They are probably the safest picks in the draft, although they are one fluke hit away from going down a la Tom Brady a few years ago.  In 10-12 team leagues, you can easily grab your starter in the later portions of the draft, unless you are aiming for one of the truly elite signal callers.  In many mocks that I’ve done, I’ve picked either Matthew Stafford or Matt Ryan in rounds 8 or 9, and I was one of the last ones to select a QB.  You can stock up on RBs and WRs early in the draft and wait for a QB to slide to you.

Tom Brady has seen his value take a fairly big hit with his decimated receiving corps.  Gronkowski is likely to miss at least the first week, and Danny Amendola is one hit away from busting into pieces it seems.  However, the Pats offense has been firing on all cylinders so far this preseason, so it’s tough to tell how this will work out.  I think he will end up being top 5 at the end of the year, but he might be available for a discount in many drafts.  I will be keeping a very close eye on him as my drafts approach.  The read-option QBs also seem primed for big seasons.  Cam Newton has already proven to be a fantasy star, and Russell Wilson was one of the top rated QBs over the second half of last season.  I think the big wild card is Kaepernick, as he has so much untapped potential, but also could be the one who underperforms the most.  He only has a handful of starts under his belt, so it will be interesting to see if he continues last year’s torrid pace.  If he can improve as a passer and still be such an effective runner, he could easily finish in the top 3, and possibly even beat out either Brees or Rodgers.  I also think people are sleeping on Wilson, as I have landed him in mocks after round 10 somehow.  He was an elite fantasy option last year once Pete Carroll let him loose with the full playbook.  Detractors may say that the loss of Percy Harvin diminishes his value, but he didn’t have Harvin last year at all and was a top QB.

If you thought there were differing opinions on Brady’s value, RG3 is even more difficult to get a read on.  All reports indicate that he is on track to start in week 1.  I expect him to have a solid fantasy season, but his rushing totals are sure to decrease in order to keep him healthy.  He is another candidate to finish in the top 3-4 at the position as long as he stays healthy.  I can see him winning a lot of leagues for owners who are able to land him at a discount.  And while I am on the topic of health risks/upside, Michael Vick could end up surprising a lot of people this year.  He has been named the Eagles starter, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise, and Chip Kelly’s offense appears to suit his talents perfectly.  If he stays healthy, and we all know that is one huge if for Vick, he could flash signs of his outstanding 2010 campaign where he single-handedly won my keeper league for me.

For those of you who want a safe option, look no further than Matt Ryan.  With the usual caveat of barring injury, he is a lock for 30+ TDs and double digit scoring every week.  I’ve seen his ranking decrease recently, and I’m not sure why.  He may not be a “sexy” name like Peyton Manning, but it’s fairly likely that he has identical stats, except you can get him 3-4 rounds later.  I ranked Stafford higher than most because I think last year was an outlier and he will bounce back in a big way.  He was a top-tier QB going into last season and can now be drafted at an extreme discount.  He is another QB that can be boom or bust.

It all depends on personal preference when drafting a QB, but in years like 2013, my advice is to wait, wait, and wait some more.  The difference between drafting Brees in round 2 and Romo in round 11 could be like 3 points a week and that will usually not matter.  You may even strike gold with someone like Michael Vick much later in the draft.  I’d love to hear your thoughts/strategies when drafting a QB.  The next position overview will be wide receivers.

 

For standard 4 point per passing TD leagues, below are my top 20 rankings:

  1.  Drew Brees
  2. Aaron Rodgers
  3. Cam Newton
  4. Peyton Manning
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Tom Brady
  7. Matthew Stafford
  8. Matt Ryan
  9. Russell Wilson
  10. Robert Griffin III
  11. Tony Romo
  12. Andrew Luck
  13. Michael Vick
  14. Eli Manning
  15. Ben Roethlisberger
  16. Joe Flacco
  17. Andy Dalton
  18. Carson Palmer
  19. Alex Smith
  20. Jay Cutler

About Ryan Lewis

I've been participating in fantasy sports for almost a decade. I first started off doing only fantasy football and baseball, but soon grew to love fantasy basketball and hockey as well. For fantasy football, I've participated in a variety of leagues, such as standard, PPR, and auction over the years. In the past 5 years, I've even branched out to fantasy golf and fantasy NASCAR. I've been a die-hard San Francisco 49ers fan for 23 years, which has had many ups and downs.

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