2015 Fantasy Football: Quarterback Primer

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Sleepers

1.) There are a lot of good QBs: If you play in a 2-QB league or in a league with 16+ teams, then disregard the following verbiage. If like most people you play in a standard 10-12 team, 1-QB league than there are anywhere from 12-18 solid fantasy QBs. Last year the difference between the 4th best QB (Peyton Manning) and the 12th (Phillip Rivers) was only 3.6 points per game. In 2013 it was just 2.1 fantasy points per game. If you are going to pass on the top three QBs, the difference between the 4th QB and the 12th QB has averaged out to 2.6 points per game over the last three years. If you want to argue that the top two QB are worth the high draft slot/dollars, the difference between the top 2 and and 10-12th QBs has been an average of roughly 6 points per game over the last three seasons. Is six points per week worth missing out on a first round RB/WR?

Quarterback Busts

2.) Opportunity Cost: You can find a good QB in the mid-to-late rounds of your draft (<$10 in auctions), but the top RB/WRs will be gone by the end of round two. I listed the relatively slim difference between the top four options and the next eight guys at the QB position. You only need 1 QB and every year there are 10-15 QBs that have fairly similar stats. The running back position is the opposite. Not only is it top heavy with an average difference of 8.8 points per game between the #2 and #12 RB over the last three years, but you also need at least two of them.

So if you pass on a RB in the first or second round in favor of a QB then you are missing out on a limited commodity. In each of the last two seasons there have been exactly 12 RBs with over 200 fantasy points, so if you use one of your top picks on a QB, then you most likely are going to miss out on a 2nd quality RB. By the 3rd round it’s a crap shoot. For example some common 3rd round RB picks in 2014 were Toby Gerhart, Doug Martin, Reggie Bush, and Ryan Matthews.

If you want a solid RB2, you either have to wait on a QB or get lucky with a rookie (Jeremy Hill), a back-up (Justin Forsett, C.J. Anderson), or a handcuff that gets the chance to play due to injury in the next few rounds. Is drafting a stud QB like Rodgers or Manning instead of a solid option like Rivers or Roethlisberger worth having a dud like Gerhart as your RB2?