QB1s For Free
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Denny Carter. You can follow him on Twitter @CDCarter13 and read his work on The Fake Football. … Denny is also the author of the How to Think Like a Fantasy Winner series of books and the owner of Draft Day Consultants, Inc.
I’m a sworn enemy of the anecdotal, the unproveable, the analysis anchored in gut feeling, so it pains me to write the following sentence: those with a more cautious, conservative approach to fantasy football fare better in 2QB and superflex formats.
Or so I’ve noticed.
Now excuse me while I scream at myself in the mirror for fifteen minutes.
My default fantasy football setting is to light caution on fire before throwing it into a stiff wind. I strive to recognize when fear is dictating my decision making, and to turn against that fear with what I consider sober analysis of player value.
Obsession with upside is a not-insignificant part of this approach to our silly little game. Every summer, there are untold players available at perfectly reasonable ADPs who have fine and dandy floors, but whose upside would require the imagination of Tolkien. I would never dismiss a player with an inarguably solid fantasy floor – I don’t dismiss any player – but when it comes down to that guy and the player whose upside is clear and present, I cast my lot with the latter.
It’s why, despite building a #brand based on fading the NFL’s elite quarterbacks and tight ends, I agree with Anthony Amico’s argument that Russell Wilson could be well worth his redraft price. I believe, for reasons outlined in Amico’s analysis, that Wilson could go nuclear in 2016 and prove to be a value in every format.
It’s with that in mind that I make a move against the anecdotal evidence that the conservative fantasy footballer is better equipped for 2QB leagues. Below are the quarterbacks – based on fantasy equity score analysis – that could provide a little jet fuel for your lineups in 2016.
Any New York Jets Quarterback
I’ve made the argument that Ryan Fitzpatrick is by no definition a good quarterback, but I’d still sell out to get him in a 2QB league. After all, old Fitzy has a high equity score that puts him firmly in top-10 QB territory.
On a related note, Geno Smith is pretty damn good with positive game script and the Jets are projected by Vegas to win 7.5 games this season – a less than hateful win total. Geno has notched an average of 23.6 fantasy points in Gang Green wins – more than double his fantasy output in New York losses. That 23.6-point pace, as lazy as it is to simply extrapolate, would have made Geno the QB2 in 2015.
Nothing like that has to happen for Geno to become an immense fantasy value in 2016, given that he doesn’t show up in the July 2QB ADP data on this site. New York’s offensive system is inherently quarterback friendly. Just ask Tyler Thigpen, who was fantasy’s second highest scoring quarterback over the final ten weeks of 2008 in the same system.
We’ve seen Geno play one game with Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. He went for 265 passing yards, two scores, and a cool 25 fantasy points. I believe he could be the difference maker this season in 2QB and superflex formats.
This excellent website has become a regular Tyrod (Tygod) Taylor propaganda news network, and I’m fine with it. No one represents the game aspect of fantasy football like an unheralded signal caller who can tack on serious fantasy production with his mobility.
Tygod (TyGOAT) is fantasy football.
Inexplicably going after 19 quarterbacks in re-draft leagues (per Fantasy Football Calculator), Taylor’s high equity score would put him at QB9. (*Editor’s Note: Taylor has a July 2QB ADP of QB18). A little fidgeting with the RotoViz projection machine app and it’s hardly inconceivable that Taylor’s true 2016 upside could be inside the top six or seven quarterbacks. If Buffalo runs the ball a little less and plays with slightly more pace, it could happen, according to the projection machine.
I always look for a fantasy points per drop back mark of 0.60 for mobile passers like Taylor. That’s been the sort of efficiency that delivers consistent fantasy results over the years. Taylor notched a 0.59 points per drop back mark in 2015. He reached 0.63 FFPDP in the first half of the season. In short, he’s proven himself a more-than-viable fantasy producer. Equity score analysis shows that Tygod could be a reliable QB1 for the price of a mid-range QB2.
I suppose this can be interpreted as pushing Blaine Gabbert as well, though I see Kaepernick as the real upside play in the nuclear glow of the 49ers’ coming dumpster fire. The quarterback spot in San Francisco, as we’ve seen on this fine website, is begging to be exploited by keen fantasy gamers.
Kaepernick doesn’t have an equity score because, well, he doesn’t have an ADP on Fantasy Football Calculator (*Editor’s Note: Nor does he have a July 2QB ADP). So let’s make one.
I plugged in Chip Kelly’s pace of play, average scoring margin per play, and pass tendency from his days in Philadelphia, then put in Kaepernick’s career averages. It generated 288 fantasy points, which would’ve been good for QB14 last year, tied with Derek Carr. Give Kap a larger share of the team’s rushing plays (with his career six yards per carry average) and he scores 307 fantasy points, equal to what Matthew Stafford scored in 2015 when he finished as QB9. There’s your upside.
Will Kaepernick start 16 games? Probably not. But like Michael Vick before him, Kap has frighteningly ugly numbers as a passer but could thrive in Kelly’s offense, which, despite recent struggles, has been a fantasy godsend to those who have invested in Kelly’s players over the past three seasons.
Kap’s best 2016 comp, per the RotoViz QB sim score app, is Donovan McNabb in 2004, when the Eagles’ quarterback trailed only Peyton Manning and Daunte Culpepper in fantasy points per game (23.9) while scoring a solid 2.8 fantasy points per contest on the ground. Kaepernick is something close to a free swing for the proverbial fences. Gimme.