The essence of dynasty rankings are to project where we believe certain players will fall within the next few seasons and try to gauge potential movement. … Generally, the quarterback position could be viewed as the most static position. It’s likely the position with the fewest large deviations, thus one we may be able to more accurately project in forthcoming seasons.
It’s rare to find a drastic fluctuation among quarterback value with only 32 teams. However, that’s exactly what we saw in 2016.
Thanks to our friends at Dynasty League Football, we are able to have access to archived past ADP data. Comparing January 2017’s ADP to data from August 2016, we’ve seen a massive shakeup in dynasty value following the course of just one season.
Which quarterbacks had the largest changes in value? Let’s find out.
Dak Prescott, QB7 (+27)
Taking the biggest jump among all quarterbacks, rookie Dak Prescott emerged as a fantastic fantasy option after taking over for an injured Tony Romo. From Weeks 1-16, Prescott finished with 10 weeks as a top-12 quarterback. Only Matt Ryan had more (11).
A fourth-round rookie, Prescott may have been overlooked in some dynasty rookie drafts, but he quickly became one of the hottest waiver-wire additions of the summer. Projected to be the Cowboys’ third-string quarterback behind Romo and Kellen Moore, Prescott surpassed even the most lofty expectations, finishing his rookie campaign with 3,667 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. Adding another 282 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, Prescott finished 2016 as the overall QB6 and averaged 17.9 fantasy points per game.
The 23-year old signal caller quickly proved his merit in this league, playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the league. Prescott is a strong dynasty asset to buy and hold onto in 2QB and Superflex leagues.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB20 (+13)
The most puzzling riser in dynasty ADP to me was Jimmy Garoppolo, who climbed 13 spots after starting the team’s first two games before getting injured. Garoppolo threw for four touchdowns and completed 71.2 percent of his passes in those two contests. The small sample makes it difficult to justify his meteoric rise, but perhaps we’re in the middle of a changing of the guards at the quarterback position with several prominent names in their age-35 season or later. There is a lot to like about Garoppolo in the Patriots organization, but there’s just a bit too much uncertainty here to place him in the top-20 over quarterbacks like Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, and Alex Smith, in my opinion. I think he’s a great sell this offseason that could return a handsome reward.
Matt Ryan, QB8 (+12)
After several erratic seasons from 2012-2015, finishing as the QB7, QB15, QB7, and QB19, Matt Ryan had a career year in 2016, finishing as the overall fantasy QB2. He posted career bests in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, and yards per attempt. He displayed both a high ceiling and high floor on a week-to-week basis. Only Aaron Rodgers had more top-six finishes (nine to Ryan’s seven) and Ryan finished as a top-24 quarterback in 15-of-16 weeks. It really was a spectacular turnaround for a quarterback many assumed had a limited ceiling and diminishing value:
Entering the 2016 season, Ryan wasn’t viewed much more highly than a mid-range QB2. After posting career bests across the board, and his OC likely leaving for a head coaching gig in San Francisco, now may be the time to sell Ryan, given the annual volatility he has displayed over his career.
Blake Bortles, QB17 (-11)
Blake Bortles saw one of the largest dips in value over the course of the 2016 season. Once viewed as an up-and-coming quarterback, Bortles saw a significant decline in 2016, leaving major question marks heading into the offseason. Regression was to be expected after Bortles threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns in 2015, but it was the cringe-worthy decision making that often led to Bortles owners shaking their heads. However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel for Bortles owners to cling on to. Bortles improved on both his interception rate (2.6 percent) and sack percentage (5.2 percent) — both career bests. Jacksonville retained OC Nathaniel Hackett, who has served as both Bortles’ quarterback coach and offensive coordinator over the past two seasons. The hope here is Hackett continues to refine Bortles’ throwing motion and move him back into the QB1 conversation. After an 11-spot drop in quarterback ADP, it’s probably best to hold onto Bortles given his diminished value instead of selling low.
Carson Wentz, QB14 (+10)
Another third-stringer thrust into the starting role, Carson Wentz experienced a trial-by-fire rookie season in Philadelphia. The second-overall pick finished the year with 3,782 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions. He had only two weeks with top-12 quarterback finishes, as he often struggled with consistency and relied on a strong rushing attack to finish drives. Despite this being his first season, Wentz finished fifth in pass attempts (607), as Doug Pederson wanted to put the young rookie in as many different situations as possible to help study over the offseason. Only Andrew Luck had more passing attempts as a rookie (627) than Wentz did in NFL history. We often prioritize efficiency over volume for quarterbacks and Wentz was a perfect case study for that line of reasoning. After throwing multiple touchdowns in just four games through Week 16, there’s still a lot of potential improvement for Wentz to improve and climb these rankings again next year.