RWi Draft Intelligence Tool: Fantasy QBs

Two Year Fantasy QB Study
Byron Lambert,

Fantasy football is quarterback-centric these days. The landscape has shifted away from the running back in favor of the QB. Passing statistics are through the roof. Much higher than they were just a few seasons ago. The fantasy production is prolific.

This analysis is a breakdown of the top QB’s cumulative performance over the last two years. We are measuring their relative production and how their fantasy points are distributed. This gives us insight into each players upside and level of consistency. Use this information as a baseline and apply your own expectations for this year. Create your own vision for each of these men. Peyton Manning and Cam Newton didn’t fit the mold for obvious reasons, but they will be addressed in this evaluation.

*Editor’s Note: Fantasy QB scoring varies from league to league. Scoring set forth here is based on the system for which RosterWatch grades its QBs in the expert rankings competition at, which is on the “conservative side” when awarding QB points: 4 points per passing TD, 1 point for 30 yards passing, -2 points for interceptions, and no total yardage bonuses allotted.

This analysis serves as a relative measure, however. If your league awards 5 or 6 points per passing TD, and/or more QB-heavy yardage scoring, it only makes the difference between tiers of quarterback greater in a relative sense. The graphs below are still ordered correctly as “points” are just a relative measure of concrete production.

Aaron Rodgers
The best of the best. His production is incredible and he isn’t much of an injury risk. Can easily be the 1st pick in the draft.

Mike Vick
Production eerily similar to Aaron Rodgers. He is twice as prone to sub-10 point games than the other elite passers. Expect him to miss about 25% of the season. 3-4 missed games can break a season. It’s critical you have a good back-up.

Drew Brees
Incredibly reliable with big upside. A top 5-10 pick. The suspension of Sean Payton creates very minor concerns. I could see a few more turnovers than usual this year.

Matt Stafford
The shoulder injuries the first two years are scary. He finally played all 16 games last year and his numbers were elite. I only see better things for Stafford. Having Megatron is like having Jerry Rice. Rightfully so, Stafford relies on him a lot. If Johnson went down you would be a bit concerned. Stafford is a gunslinging yardage monster by nature which will always support his fantasy value.

Tom Brady
Definitely elite, but slightly less impressive than you might think. He is very reliable and has played all 32 games over the last two seasons. The Patriots added stud WR Brandon Lloyd in the offseason. Captain America is set for another monster year.

Tony Romo
Consistently a very effective and underrated fantasy QB. There are some questions about the offense and he is a bit of an injury liability. Romo needs Dez Bryant to step up, in order to leap to elite QB status. That may be a lot to ask. While he has been the next best thing to the elite guys, his current ADP suggests you can get similar talent a bit later in the draft.

Philip Rivers
A reliable option in a Norv Turner offense that will always throw the ball, a lot. On one hand, he is short on receivers this year. On the other, you have to imagine he will improve on last year’s pitiful interception numbers. Although last year seemed like a down year, his numbers were very similar to 2010. Over the last two seasons he has averaged an impressive and consistent 4,667 yd and 29TD. Historically monster numbers. A good draft value if you can stand all of his frowny faces like somebody just stole his toys.

Eli Manning
Took a big step up in yardage last year. His TDs stayed about the same, and he always throws a bunch of picks. He is currently overvalued in drafts. Elmo won’t be on my team.

Matt Ryan
He finally cracked the 4,000 yard mark last year and he is starting to look like a 30 TD guy the last few seasons. Many expect him to take a big step up this year, primarily due to the emergence of Julio Jones. I don’t see Ryan as a gunslinger so I temper those expectations. Don’t over-draft him, but if he falls to the right spot, he will make for a nice QB with some upside.

Big Ben
A respectable points average that puts him in the Matt Ryan/Eli Manning category over the last two years. He also has some nice weapons, but is a little too boom or bust. If he scored his points average every week I would be happier. You can win a championship with him, I’ve done it.

Matt Schaub
Not a great option. He’s shown flashes in the past. Unreliable. It has turned into an Arian Foster offense in Houston.

Josh Freeman
Unspectacular with minimal upside. He does have one statistic that is exceptional. Freeman is extremely reliable scoring 10+ points 87% of the time. He does get Vincent Jackson this year which should open things up. Keep in mind though, the new coaching staff is going to be run-heavy. The ultimate backup QB.

Ryan Fitzpatrick
Chan Gailey runs a wide open passing offense. You hope it doesn’t come to this. Would be a better backup.

Joe Flacco
He plays every game. That’s the only good thing I have to say. I won’t touch him.

Matt Cassel
Leads an offense that could be very explosive. Cassel has demonstrated nice upside. Unfortunately, he has also been pretty unreliable. If you get him late and he plays well, you might be able to trade your starter.

Jay Cutler
Has been very unreliable and has shown little upside in Chicago. With the change at offensive coordinator and the arrival of Brandon Marshall, some prognosticators predict a huge rebound. I say be moderate with your expectations and buyer beware. If he you need a QB and he falls far enough, pull the trigger. Cutler would be a great backup pick late. He might provide your roster with some trade options as the season progresses. Cutler’s a guy I would target if I was a Vick owner and I got the right draft value.

Peyton Manning
Well, he’s Peyton Manning. He is going to throw it a lot. The year-off and the transition to Denver may result in inconsistency. It wouldn’t be surprising to see less completions and more interceptions than we are used to. He is still a very solid fantasy option.

Cam Newton
The Prototype. He is just as filthy as it gets. I wonder if he came to us from the same planet as Megatron. Or maybe one even more distant. So exciting to own. Newton has a high floor and a ceiling way up in the stratosphere. A sophomore slump still makes him way better than most. He belongs firmly entrenched in the first round.

Leave a Reply