August 2021
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Posts Tagged ‘QB’

Yesterday, I noted that you can expect 8-9 of the top 12 QBs to be between the ages of 25-30 and entering his 2nd – 8th year of play. The market (ADP) says there are 9 this year: Rodgers, Romo, Rivers, Schaub, Cutler, Kolb, Ryan, Flacco and Eli Manning.

I’m working on a system that gets away from trying to nail precise projections and moving toward a system that seeks to reduce overall risk while incorporating the principle of expected performance. One way to do that in fantasy is to identify and then minimize risk factors- especially for the first few picks of your draft as you work to build the core of your team.

I start with the previous year’s offense and then determine whether that offense stayed the same, got better, or got worse/unpredictable. Same and ‘got better’ are safer than worse/unpredictable. Pittsburgh, Philly and Arizona were top 12 passing offenses last year- they become unpredictable for a variety of reasons, and thus I wouldn’t want to invest a high pick in their QBs.

Based on opportunity/expected performance, as well as the age and experience ‘sweet-spot’, here are your safest bets, ranked by expected performance assuming teams threw the exact same number of times:

1)      Philip Rivers, SD, (ADP 41)

2)      Aaron Rodgers, GB (10)

3)      Tony Romo, DAL (37)

4)      Eli Manning, NYG (90)

5)      Matt Schaub, HOU (43)

6)      Matt Ryan, ATL (80)

7)      Joe Flacco, BAL (87)

8)      Carson Palmer, CIN (108)

9)      Alex Smith, SF (209)

Now, if you want to take a chance, I’d take it on these guys, in order:

1)      Drew Brees, NO (13)

2)      Peyton Manning, IND (21)

3)      Tom Brady, NE (35)

The interesting thing here is we are focusing on how to spend those high picks (rounds 1 – 6); yet there are a couple of guys here you can get past the sixth round. Certainly, Palmer and Smith become interesting options for backups if you can nab one of the other guys, especially as a way to hedge your bet if you take a risk early.

Favre, if he comes back, certainly could crack the top 12 again. But he’s a huge risk both in terms of age and experience. Teams learned that they could stop that potent offense by hitting Favre often and hard. And keep in mind that these rankings are based on equalized value- assuming these teams are throwing the ball the same number of times. With Mad Martz in Chicago, there a decent chance Cutler edges out Smith on this list simply because they’ll throw the ball more.

I’m also ignoring teams who have had recent success passing the ball but something big changed- Arizona lost Warner and Boldin; Philly lost McNabb; Steelers lose Big Ben for at least 4 weeks and perhaps 6, as well as the departure of Santonio Holmes; Minnesota lives and dies by Favre’s whim and health along with Harvin’s migraines.

The thing to remember is- these 12 guys have a much better chance than average to end the season in the top 12.

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Welcome to We’ll begin the foray into real fantasy football drafting analysis by setting the baseline for QB ADP.

First- a quick primer on ‘ADP’ and what it really represents. ADP is an acronym for ‘average draft position’. Any statistician will tell you that ADP is statistically invalid, since ranks should not be averaged- they would argue that you use a median value. No matter- they do work in this context since we get an idea of the market valuation of a given NFL Player from his ADP position.

ADP sets the market; let’s take a look at the top 24 QB, as listed at today:

Rank Player Pos Team Age Yrs Exp Avg ADP
1 Aaron Rodgers QB GB 26 5 10.13
2 Drew Brees QB NO 31 9 12.83
3 Peyton Manning QB IND 34 12 21.07
4 Tom Brady QB NE 33 9 35.32
5 Tony Romo QB DAL 30 6 37.11
6 Philip Rivers QB SD 28 6 40.78
7 Matt Schaub QB HOU 29 6 43.23
8 Jay Cutler QB CHI 27 4 69.04
9 Kevin Kolb QB PHI 25 3 73.67
10 Matt Ryan QB ATL 25 2 79.57
11 Joe Flacco QB BAL 25 2 87.35
12 Eli Manning QB NYG 29 6 90.01
13 Brett Favre QB MIN 40 19 102.67
14 Donovan McNabb QB WAS 34 11 104.4
15 Carson Palmer QB CIN 30 7 108.12
16 Ben Roethlisberger QB PIT 28 6 116.84
17 Matthew Stafford QB DET 22 1 120.71
18 Chad Henne QB MIA 25 2 128.29
19 Vince Young QB TEN 27 4 170.45
20 Matt Cassel QB KC 28 5 202.47
21 Alex Smith QB SF 26 5 208.73
22 Mark Sanchez QB NYJ 23 1 215.32
23 Matt Leinart QB ARI 27 4 230.43
24 Sam Bradford QB STL 22 R 232.62

From my experience, I’ve found that it is exceedingly rare for a QB younger than 24 to finish in the top 12, and no rookies at all have done it in the past dozen years or so. Further, you want to try to get an QB aged between 25-30 and entering between his 2nd and 8th year. Why? Annually, you can expect to see between 8-9 of the top 12 QBs in this group. Would you rather try to find one of those guys, or try to pick the 3 or 4 guys that fall out of that group?

With this in mind, let’s examine the current market to see if they fit the profile. Rodgers, Romo, Rivers, Schaub, Cutler, Kolb, Ryan, Flacco and Eli Manning all fit the bill- that’s 9. The other three- Brees, Peyton Manning & Brady sound about right. The market fits what I’d expect- but how do we know if those are really the right guys to spend a high pick on? We’ll examine that in the next post.

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