The quarterback position is a lot tougher to tell readers to avoid certain players. There are 20-25 quarterbacks who have value to a fantasy roster every season. According to ESPN scoring, QB7-QB12 were only separated by 18 points for the season. That’s slightly more than one point per week if you count the playoffs. If you are a participant in two quarterback leagues or deeper leagues, the difference in scoring for QB16-QB21 was just over 5 points for the season.
With bye weeks, in most leagues with 14 or more teams, it’s necessary to draft a back up quarterback especially if you’re one of the last owners to pick a quarterback which is a pretty common strategy. That strategy, by the way, is one that I fully support. This makes a lot of quarterbacks viable options as a QB2 when you factor in bye weeks and tough defensive foes on the schedule. Another factor is that early July ADP seems to align with my thinking on individuals at the quarterback position. All I can do is tell you who I see myself avoiding this season and you can take it for what it’s worth.
Ben Roethlisberger has had an illustrious career in the NFL that is probably hall of fame worthy. He throws to the Mike Trout of fantasy football receivers and lines up in front of one of the best three running backs in football. You add in the top performing rookie wide receiver from last year in Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster and it looks like Ben is living a life of luxury in Pittsburgh. Well, it’s Pittsburgh, so at least from a football sense, it seems nice.
So why not Roethlisberger? Zach has pointed out on the podcast that Roethlisberger doesn’t perform well on the road. His statement stuck out to me so I dove deeper into what he was talking about. Roethlisberger only threw 12 of his 28 touchdowns on the road last year which seems pretty normal but his only 300 yard passing game on the road last season was against Detroit. It’s not all roses at home either. He threw his infamous five interception game at home against the Jaguars last year. Ben is entering his age 36 season and each year we wonder how much longer he wants to play based on his off-handed comments to the media. Roethlisberger is being drafted as the 11th quarterback off of the board which is a QB1 in most leagues. I’d rather be targeting Andrew Luck or Philip Rivers who are being drafted behind him.
Que the boos and hisses. Look, I love Jimmy GQ as much as anyone as a real life quarterback. I think he’s going to do great things in San Francisco and win a lot of games. I genuinely can’t wait to misspell his name for years to come. I still might end up with him on a fantasy roster or two in shallower leagues just so I can really root for him. Can we please pump the brakes on his fantasy value though? I get it, new toys are sexy. Let’s just remember he’s only started 6 games for the 49ers.
I love Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon as mid-round selections, but this isn’t a wide receiver corps that is going to be putting the fear of God into opposing defenses. Something else to pay attention to is Garoppolo’s struggles throwing the ball downfield. According to Warren Sharp, Jimmy had a 0:3 TD/Int ratio on deep balls and that ranked 39th out of 40 qualifying quarterbacks with at least 30 attempts. In three of the first seven games the 49ers are going to play the Vikings, Chargers, and the Rams. That is a tough slate. He’s likely going to struggle against these stout passing defenses and if he ends up struggling on the road against the Chiefs and/or the Packers, owners are likely to be in a panic. The schedule gets a lot easier in the second half creating a waiver wire or buy low opportunity. I’d rather draft Jared Goff or Alex Smith who are being drafted behind him.
What a difference a year makes. Prescott threw 10 more interceptions last season than he did in 2016 and was sacked twice per game on average. To make things even worse, the Cowboys didn’t really do anything to benefit Prescott when they lost Jason Witten and Dez Bryant. Allen Hurns, Tavon Austin and Michael Gallup? Okay..
The Cowboys face the 5th toughest schedule as far as opposing passing defenses go. Prescott is missing 33 red zone targets from last season with Cole Beasley being the most heavily red zone targeted returning receiver (7). This is Ezekiel Elliot’s offense. Running the offense through him is clearly the only option that is feasible. Dak Prescott is currently the 18th quarterback being taken according to ADP and I still feel like that’s too high. He’s just not somebody that I am going to roster because I don’t see the upside. I really like the upside of Mitch Trubisky under a new Bears coaching regime and he is currently being drafted behind Prescott.
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