Sunday, May 26, 2013

2013 Quarterback Overview

While last year had a plethora of quarterbacks going in the first two rounds, this upcoming season should be vastly different. The league has become extremely pass happy and non-committee running backs are a dime a dozen. In large part, the running back position has the steepest drop-off after the elites and is hands down the shallowest of any position. And this past year, 23 quarterbacks scored more than 200 points (in 6 point per passing touchdown leagues), the most ever to do so. It is ridiculously deep at the quarterback position this year.

The quarterback position is so deep that I would be reluctant to take a quarterback in the first twenty picks! Although I can guarantee that someone will take Aaron Rodgers in the first round, it shouldn't happen. To give you an idea of what can happen, Matt Ryan has been going as late as the ninth round in the mock drafts. So please, fellow fantasy footballers, WAIT! Be patient. Let the draft come to you. Don't start a quarterback run. And if there is one, WAIT! Just because Cam Newton is available in the fourth round does not mean he's the best pick available given the scarcity of running backs. On the other hand, if there is a running back run, you better snatch one up otherwise you might be looking at a tandem of Chris Ivory and Reggie Bush. Yuck.

And to those in my league (which I won) last year who started taking backups in the 8th round. WAIT. Please. Freaking. Wait. Last year, by the time people were taking unnecessary backups, I was taking my starter, Robert Griffin III. Obviously in hindsight it was a great pick. But at the time, it was a scrambling, never-racking pick. And while last year there was a risk to wait that long, this year you can be making bank by waiting that long.

Let me re-iterate: This is the year to wait. If you don't get Aaron Rodgers, so what? Get Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, even Colin Kaepernick after the fifth round. Tony Romo is the 12th ranked quarterback in ESPN and my rankings. In a 10 team league that means he is a backup! Wait. Heck, in a twelve team league I bet you can get Matt Stafford as your backup if want to be "that guy".

Here's another thing. You hardly need a backup quarterback unless you draft Griffin (the ACL concerns). With guys like Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Andy Dalton, Michael Vick, etc all outside the top 12, you don't need to waste a roster spot when you can just pick one up later. Let me just sternly say: If you draft either Rodgers, Brady, Brees, or Manning and then proceed to draft a backup QB, you are most certainly wasting a roster spot.

So finally, WAIT. WAIT on a quarterback likes it's your girlfriend trying on every dress imaginable. You know she'll find the right one eventually, even if it takes three hours.

Do some mock drafts to see where your favorite quarterbacks are going. Suppose you like Russell Wilson higher than most. Don't rush to take him. Do a mock draft and see if you can get him in the sixth or seventh round. Or maybe you like Matt Stafford to bounce back or maybe you're just fine with any of the QB's from the five to twelve range. Then try mock drafts and push it to see how long you can wait on a number one quarterback. And if you are in a "standard" 4 point per passing touchdown league, really, really wait. If it is a 6 point per any touchdown league, still wait (but perhaps not quite as long).

And alas. Here are my consistency rankings based on last year's stats. You can find two seasons ago here. Keep in mind the percentage on the right is for percentage of "Great" games. So for instance, Rodgers was great in 9 out of 16 or 56.25% of his games last season. But it's important to note that he was still a worthy start in 75% of his games (add the 3 "Start" games to the 9 "Great" or better games).

Freak Stud Great Start Dud
Player (last year's rank) 35 25 20 15 <15Inj/Sit% Great
Rodgers (2) 4 5 0 3 4 056.25
Brees (1) 6 4 2 3 1 0 75.00
P. Manning (4) 0 10 2 2 2 0 75.00
Brady (3) 4     2     6     3     1     0     75.00
Ryan (5) 2 5 3 2 4 0     62.50
Newton (6)  2 3 4 2 5 0 56.25
Griffin III (7) 3 4 1 4 3 1 53.33
Wilson (9)* 1 5          2          2          6         0             50.00       
Romo (8) 1 4 3 4 4 0     50.00
Stafford (11) 1 2 4 5 4 0 43.75
Kaepernick (25) 0 1 3 3 1 8 50.00
Luck (10) 1 3         2          7         3         0            37.50      
E. Manning (14) 1 4 1 3 7 0     37.50
Roethlisberger (16) 1 2 3 5 2 3 46.15
Vick (27) 0 1 1 5 3 6 20.00
Flacco (15) 1           1          5          2         7        0            43.75      
Rivers (20) 0 3 1 7 5     0     25.00
Dalton (12) 0 7 0 2 7 0 43.75
Bradford (18) 0 2 2 4 8 0 25.00
Freeman (13) 1 3 3 3 6 043.75
Palmer (19) 1 0 5 5 4 1 40.00
Cutler (23) 0 1 4 2 8 133.33
Tannehill (24) 0 1 3 3 9 0 25.00
Smith (29) 0 2 2 0 5 744.44
Tebow (CFL) It's Tee Bow Time in Can ada?
All stats here based on 1 point per 25 passing yards, 1 point per 10 rushing yards, and 6 points per touchdown.

*Five of Wilson's six duds came in the first seven games. He finished the year with just one dud in his last nine games.

So here are some main takeaways from last year's stats (also in comparison to two years ago). And here are last year's rankings for you to compare.
  • Aaron Rodgers "Great" percentage is a far cry from last year's perfect percentage. But even with the lowest percentage among the top five, he finished in the top 3 for the fifth year in a row.
  • Over the past two years, Drew Brees has been the most consistent quarterback. And now Sean Payton is coming back. Sheesh.
  • How right was I about Eli Manning? Very right. Expect more inconsistent play from him. For the past two years, he has had the most duds among the top 15 quarterbacks. He's not worthy of a starting spot in any league with 12 or fewer owners.
  • Of my top ten, Peyton Manning was the only one who did not register a freak game. I expect that to change this year with the best receiving corps in football. Sorry to my Packers fans out there.
  • There were 30 freak games this past season in comparison to just 18 last year. Can I emphasize what a passing league this has become? And just how deep the quarterback pool is this year.
  • Andy Dalton tied for fourth in games with 25 or more points. He was also tied for fourth in games with 15 or less points.
  • While Luck does not have a high percentage of great games, he was startable in 13 of 16 games.
Now. With all this in mind, get it! Be patient. Have fun. And stock up on running backs and wide receivers while your opponents take quarterbacks way too early.

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