Two months ago I previewed this years fantasy football season with 8 lessons to guide your 2015 draft and season. In some instances these lessons have proven to be prophetic, in other instances, not so much, leading to fates like that of my yahoo squad, “Merlin the Happy Pig.” So for your midseason report, I’ll look back at my predictions, and look forward to the conclusion of the ’15 season, and decision’s for ’16 and going forward.
Lesson 1: The Zero QB Theorem
The theory basically goes like this. There is no positional scarcity at QB for 1 QB leagues (2 QB leagues are another thing entirely) and there is not a huge difference on a median week to week basis per game between a top 5 QB you took in the first 3 or 4 rounds and a waiver wire QB you pick up to stream (basically the difference between Ben Roth/Drew Brees last year and Ryan Fitzpatrick was 4 ppg). Take a look at the QB’s people wasted picks in rounds 1-6 on this year, and where they rank PPG, and take a look at your QB’s picked outside of the top 10 and first 8 rounds and how they rank.
2015 QB Rankings
ADP/ Positional Ranking: / Player: / Positional Ranking Today:
12th (1st): Luck-5th
23rd (2nd): Rodgers-4th
36th (3rd): E. Manning-30th
51st (4th): Brees-15th
61st (5th): Ben Roth-12th
65th (6th): Wilson-19th
77th (7th): Ryan-20th
79th (8th): Romo-Incomplete
88th (9th): Brady-1st
90th (10th): Tannehill-11th
95th (11th): Newton-8th
96th (12th): Stafford-17th
As you can see only 3 of the QB’s in the consensus top 10 are actually ranked inside the top 10 halfway through the fantasy season, and only 2 of the top dozen are actually currently ranked ahead of their draft day positional rankings.
Who actually is in the top 10?
1.Brady – Available in the 8th/9th round turn (the 10th-12th QB off the board) before the court decision freed him from the ridiculous 4 game suspension, and typically at the 6/7 turn afterwards. A steal of epic proportions for people who drafted him (I’m kicking myself for only getting him on 7 of 20 teams).
2. Dalton – The 22nd QB off the board on average, typically picked around the 13th/14th round turn, but often available as a waiver wire pick up. I drafted him on 3 teams, and picked him up as a waiver wire QB on another 5 teams before week 1 while tweaking rosters, not because I’m clairvoyant or a genius, but simply because of the weapons around him, and his 2013 season when all the weapons around him were healthy.
3. Rivers – The 14th/15th QB off the board, typically drafted between the 11th-12th round, he’s exploded early on, and could be even better if Gates, Allen, and Stevie Johnson could stay healthy and Melvin Gordon could get on track (another guy I warned you away from in august).
4. Rodgers – A tribute to the 2nd ranked QB that without his #1, and #3 WR’s, and his #2 hobbled, and his top 3 ranked RB all either out entirely or playing very hurt, he could still play this well and a reminder that if you want to reach for a QB too early in a draft, Rodgers is probably the right target.
5. Luck – Despite playing pretty awful, sheer volume alone has Luck playing like a fifth and 6th round pick rather than the 10th or 11th rounder he’s seemed like.
6. Tyrod Taylor – Available as an undrafted free agent, typically the 28th QB off the board if he was somehow drafted. A few daily fantasy sites propped him based on his running skills from back in Va Tech and competent enough passing skills but nobody saw his first three weeks coming where he was largely playing borderline fantasy MVP football. Since then injuries to every single playmaker on offense not named Charles Clay or Robert Woods including Taylor himself have derailed his run.
7. Newton – 11th QB off the board, typically selected in the 9th round, I have no idea how he’s doing it. He has no WR’s who would start as a #1, #2 or #3 for any team in the NFL, and his OL is at best middling. He’s basically got himself, Jonathan Stewart an Greg Olsen, and a “Good Luck” message on every page of his play book rather than plays. No idea how he’s done it. I took the under on Panther’s wins this year and thought it was a lock considering the issues with the offense.
8. Palmer – 19th QB off the board typically, usually snapped up between the 11th and 13th round, sometimes available as a FA in 10 team leagues (grabbed him and Dalton in a league for a friend after Eli and Bridgewater wet the bed in week 1). Many liked Palmer’s upside considering the #’s he’s put up when healthy for Arians offense, but many more feared the inevitable injury. However, through 7 weeks he’s been a top 10 stud.
9. Bortles – 27th QB off the board, and so typically a FA Waiver Wire pick up unless you were in a dynasty, 2 QB, or very deep roster league. Drafted for the weapons around him and only in deeper leagues, Bortles has continued to look hapless tossing interceptions left right and center, but again, sheer volume is your friend in Jacksonville and on the right week, he’s given you 200+ yards, and multiple TD’s to go with the inevitable turnovers.
10. Tannehill – Has climbed up to 10th after stinking up the joint in September, and typically being selected in the 9th or 10th round. What a wonder firing an incompetent Head Coach can do for you. Suddenly with a blocking TE running the show, and Philbin kicked to the curb, Tannehill, Miller, and Landry have all seen their stock skyrocket (I even managed to land him and Maclin in a deal for Eli and Forsett after week 2, took a while, but it’s looking good now).
Take a look at your current top 10 fantasy QB’s, and then consider the Zero QB theorem that promotes the idea on waiting very late for QB’s or outright streaming them, while prioritizing collecting RB’s and WR’s. Seven of the top 10 were ranked 10th overall or worst according to ADP, and fully half of the top 10 were available in the 11th round or later and ranked between 15th (Rivers), and 28th (Tyrod Taylor) overall at their position according to ADP in August. Think long and hard about that when drafting next Summer. WAIT ON QB.