2QB Ranks and Thoughts
As someone who spent 25 years in a professional risk management environment, I spent my days trying to figure out what can go wrong with a company. From the yogurt stand with the nozzles that only occasionally get cleaned to the mining company with its equipment left unattended at night, each business had its own character and its own problems. Noise pollution can damage the hearing of employees at a gun range. Excessive marking on a wall at a nursing home can indicate employees being pressured to hasten when transporting fragile patients. And a business on a hill with a lot of traffic can indicate a need for physical security devices like concrete posts to mitigate the risk of a vehicle striking the building.
In a two-quarterback league (dynasty or redraft), one thing you want is a quarterback that can’t go wrong. Reliability and a consistent floor of fantasy points weighs more than the shot at an occasional high scoring week. You are relying on that guy to start each week that he’s not on bye, and if he gets injured, his wide receivers get suspended *coughBigBen*, or the QB gets benched then your fantasy year is in jeopardy. Someone who was drafted early and had a spectacular rookie year like Robert Griffin III is downgraded because he hasn’t shown he can stay healthy. Likewise, someone who has shown they can stay healthy, but is not considered a top quarterback candidate like Mike Glennon is downgraded because he may not be a starter this coming year. Andy Dalton had a great Week 2 and Week 4 last year, but his Week 3 was a disaster. That one down week from him in a one-quarterback league means you probably lost. Reliability and a consistent floor that is higher than the average is key to success in two quarterback leagues.
Below is how I currently view the quarterback position in dynasty and redraft leagues…
|Quarterback||Dynasty Rank||Redraft Rank|
|Robert Griffin III||35||27|
Easily the most promising quarterback in dynasty, most are still waiting on the reliable production to arrive. Injuries to his surrounding cast are the most concerning factors. If the team drafted a true number one wide receiver his redraft ranking would rise. The future is bright for this 27-year old.
The best overall quarterback year-to-year, in my estimation, Rodgers still has many good years in front of him at his prime age of 33. Now, if Jordy Nelson could stay healthy and the Packers could get a reliable running back to take pressure off the quarterback, the sky is the limit.
All this guy does is make plays. Even with the challenge of a second-rate offensive line and the lack of a top wide receiver corps, he uses the combination of his running threat and his throwing ability to keep defenses on their heels. At 28, his prime is still ahead.
In a simplistic way, I think of Mariota as a younger Russell Wilson. He’s mobile and smart, and has the confidence of his coach. Tennessee has a way to go to build a better offense around him. I think it’s only a matter of time until this 23-year-old can show the full range of his ability.
The catalyst for people taking Oakland’s offense seriously, Carr has done nothing but make the rest of his team better. Imagine what this 25-year-old could do with a top wide receiver like Julio Jones or Antonio Brown.
Never the sexiest quarterback, Ryan had a renaissance year in 2016. His fantasy production seems to be overly tied to the health of his wide receivers and running backs. A top-ten option with a full cast, but be sure to fade this 31-year-old in redraft if his supporting players start getting injured in preseason.
It’s almost comedic. Every year I watch the draft hoping the Panthers will give Cam someone with a high catch-to-target percentage. Every year they draft someone who can’t seem to catch a high percentage of the balls thrown to them in college. You can’t doubt Cam’s fantasy potential, from what he can do with his legs to what he can do with a long ball. But the knuckleheads who run the organization hold 27-year-old Cam back from the elite tier.
Speaking of knuckleheads… You might expect to find Winston, 23, higher in my dynasty ranks, but I’ve seen too much in the way of character concerns to make that happen. So far, so good though. Tampa is doing their part to assemble a powerful offense. I think it will only get better as Winston matures.
Ever an unstable option in two-quarterback leagues, 29-year-old Dalton is known for having those disappearing weeks where things just aren’t clicking. Matthew Berry of ESPN never fails to crack me up ranting about Dalton’s unreliability. 80 percent of the time, Dalton is fine. The other 20 percent of the time, you’re relying on your other QB to save you.
I’m a bit higher on Stafford than most. The big knock on Stafford early in his career was his inability to stay healthy (like RGIII). That seems to have become an issue of the past. At the same time his injury history faded away, he lost his number one wide receiver to retirement. Golden Tate is a spectacular player, but he’s not Calvin Johnson. Detroit is looking for its NFL identity going forward. I’d be investing in 29-year-old Stafford in dynasty while things seem quiet there.
Is Dak Prescott as good as he appeared to be in 2016, or was he the result of a top offensive line at work? I tend to think it’s a little of both. Where I have 23-year-old Dak in dynasty leagues, I’m taking offers while the grass is green. If you can get him in redraft, don’t worry, he’ll produce in 2017.
I’m also a bit higher on Wentz than most. From the time Benjamin Allbright’s spreadsheet put him at the top of the class in 2016, I was high on Wentz and down on Goff. The whole offense in Philly seems to be stuck in mediocrity lately, so I’m not so enthused about him in redraft. But the career arc for the 24-year-old is something to look forward to.
You might not think of Manning as an “older” quarterback, but he recently turned 36 and will be 37 before the 2017 season is over. At some point in the late 30s, a quarterback’s dynasty value starts to wane. That said, in redraft I have no fear of overpaying a little for the former Super Bowl winner. With two top receiving options, an ascending receiving tight end (Will Tye) and a top receiving running back in Shane Vereen, there’s no reason not to buy in redraft, and to keep an eye on selling windows in dynasty.
In the prime of his career at 34 years old, Ben has a few good years in front of him and one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Antonio Brown and the hopeful return of Martavis Bryant in 2017. He also has one of the best running backs in the league to take the pressure off. Ben is known for gritting out nagging bumps and bruises and gets himself out of trouble as if he were a much more shifty player than his frame would suggest. I love him in both dynasty and redraft.
One player who has consistently produced even with a questionable cast around him is Rivers. At 35, one could say he’s on the downswing, but his throwing style is one that’s hard to say will deteriorate at the same speed as more traditional arms. Without a high ceiling, he’s also one with a steadier floor. I don’t have a problem with investing in Rivers in either dynasty or redraft, but don’t overpay either.
Consistently producing above average, there’s little to not like about Cousins. I hope that he lands in a good spot in 2017. The reason he’s not higher on this list is Washington’s reluctance to sign him to a long-term contract. Maybe they know something about the 28-year-old that we don’t?
Personally, I don’t see Taylor getting out of Buffalo. They have gone too long without a top-tier quarterback and I think they want him to stick around while they keep looking for one. Once 27-year-old Taylor and a healthy Watkins get a good rhythm and a good coaching staff behind them, they could start taking things to the house more often.
And then there’s Brady. As a Falcons fan, I really hate Brady. He’ll be turning 40 before the 2017 season starts, so his dynasty value is greatly diminished. That said, there was nothing in his play in 2016 that suggests that he’s lost his ability to successfully quarterback in the NFL. Surely the Patriots are looking at their exit strategy options. If my team is competitive in dynasty, I’m not looking to sell yet.
As maligned as Bortles is as an NFL quarterback, for fantasy he’s still a somewhat reliable option in 2QB dynasty. At 24 and with a young receiving corps around him, there’s lots of potential. Will it translate to success at the highest level? I think the Jaguars are one of the teams that has the right pieces in place to succeed if they can put it together as a team.
I think of this tier as the “meh” quarterbacks in dynasty. Tannehill, 28, has a long NFL career ahead of him if he can receive the coaching to help him excel. I think he has it in him. But I’m not spending to acquire him until he shows me he can get to that elite tier.
If this was ten years ago, Brees would be near the top of the list with Wilson and Rodgers. Unfortunately, Brees is 38 years old and the coaching staff seems to be intimating moving on soon. As long as he’s the starter, he’s golden in redraft.
Long not a believer in Jared Goff, it felt like destiny that Jeff Fisher’s Rams would draft him. I have some hope that he will step up now that the regime in Los Angeles has turned over, but it’s slim. Only 22, it would be a shock to me if he keeps the starting job beyond his rookie contract.
I’m a fan of Bradford, believe it or not. I think that if he can take the Stafford course of early-career injuries giving way to reliable production he could keep the starting job in Minnesota. That would open Bridgewater up for trade and create (finally) a sense of home for Bradford. At 29, there’s a good decade of potential open in front of him, if he can remain standing.
Flacco is another “not sexy” quarterback who gets the job done week in and week out. Where I have Flacco, he’s my bye-week filler and injury insurance guy at 32 years old. He’s not someone I rely on for better-than-average production on a weekly basis, and I don’t expect that to change.
There’s talk of trade surrounding 25-year-old Garoppolo this offseason and that tells me all I need to know. Brady will be turning 40 soon. If they had any faith in him at all, they would sign him to a long-term contract rather than trying to get what they can for him now.
Boring, reliable production. He’ll never win you a championship at 32 years old but he will guarantee you a few points if there’s nothing else out there.
One thing that struck me when Bridgewater went down to injury was the reaction of his teammates, nearly distraught with losing him. I think he has a shot to do good things and might be back after an injury to Bradford or trade elsewhere. At only 24, there’s time, and the Vikings didn’t exactly have top talent at wide receiver. I don’t mind using a bench or IR spot for him in dynasty, and if I have bench space to handcuff Bradford in a deep redraft, it’s a no-brainer.
Only 29, Kap has shown he can take a team to the Super Bowl and that he can bring a team together around him. The 49ers definitely need to improve his supporting cast, and I think they will work on doing so. A running threat with a good arm, I think it will be two or three years till we see if he can rebound from a few bad years. Buy while he’s cheap in dynasty and use a late-round pick on him as a QB3 with confidence in redraft.
It’s really only a matter of time until Romo is traded to or picked up by another club this offseason. There’s rumors of a move to Denver, which I think would be a great move for him. I would buy before that trade and sell after it. If he starts for a team in 2017, I would expect him to do as well as he did in Dallas, however, every edge rusher in the NFL will be aiming at his collarbones.
Look, I love smoking Jay. I really do. Where else can you find a quarterback who can put up with Brandon Marshall every day and not just slug it out with him? Strong-armed Cutler is a gunslinger who doesn’t mind taking ill-advised chances. And at 33, he will be making friends in the NFL and with the media for years to come. I play him as a QB3 just for the fun of it.
When Elway didn’t pony up for 26-year-old Osweiler in Denver, I knew he wasn’t going to be worth the contract he got in Houston. I feel Osweiler is a barely-better-than-replacement-level quarterback. You won’t find him on any of my teams other than a bye week filler I really do not want to put into my lineup.
If Siemian keeps the starting job in Denver for another year, he makes this list. Otherwise, he’s probably falling off the charts. The team seems to openly be looking to move on from him. I’m not looking forward to much, if anything from the 25 year old seventh-round pick.
As stated earlier, some quarterbacks seem to lose their mojo as they get closer to that 40-year-old mark. I think Palmer has already lost his at 37 and should have retired this season. Sell, sell, sell.
I’ve been holding on to shares of “the human neck” Glennon in 2QB dynasty for a couple of years now, hoping he gets a shot at a starting gig in 2017. In his limited time starting for Tampa Bay, he had a 59.3 percent completion rate, along with a 30:15 TD-to-INT ratio. That’s easily good enough for a 27-year-old QB3 in my book.
Robert Griffin III
He’s coming back, I tell ya! Boy what a prime example of “can’t make the club in the tub.” I hope 27-year-old Griffin gets it all together soon and takes on this chance with Cleveland like it was his last chance. It might be.
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