5 QBs That Will Kill Your Fantasy Football Team
Ah, the QB. They date the cheerleaders, they do the music videos, they host SNL. They're like Zack Morrises of their teams, leaving lineman to take on the unenviable roles of the 300 pound versions of Screech.
The blessing and curse of QBs is simple: you get a winner and you're in the driver seat. You pick a loser and you've got the same chances of finding the playoffs that the Marlins have of ever selling out their stadium.
So come with us won't you as we get real mathy in your grill, trying to find the 5 QBs you have to avoid, lest you want to end up the Raiders of your league.
I want to like Russell Wilson. From all accounts, he's an amiable fellow and his backstory is solid: competent college performer, didn't fit the mold, drafted low, makes as much money as the least talented Kardashian. He had a great rookie season and has tons of hype going into 2013.
I can't do it though. The numbers simply aren't there, nor as his receivers. Despite all of the talk about his skills, his NEP ranked him just #17 amongst active QBs in 2012, and if that's not bad enough, Percy Harvin won't be around and there's some serious questions beyond him on the depth chart.
He's being drafted in the 7-9 range for QBs, which is entirely too high - at least by a round or two - and when you draft that high and reach for a player who doesn't return value, it really damages your team. Use those picks to tap into on the ridiculous WR depth - TY Hilton leaps to mind - or go with RBs that have an outside chance of becoming the defacto starter or are ace backups/handcuffs. There are much better value-based options at QB both earlier and later.
What we think: #11 QB
As an aside, let me take a moment to dig into what NEP is. NEP stands for Net Efficiency Passing, and it's our internal statistic that replaces QB rating because let's face it, QB rating is terrible. Instead of simply counting up numbers, we're measuring the impact a player on his team's ability to score points and win games. The better the NEP, the more impact a player had on his team's chances of winning.
Another member of the vaunted 2012 rookie class, Andrew Luck is the most prototypical QB of the bunch and is probably the most likely to have a long, successful career. He's not right for your fantasy team however and there's a simple explanation why.
I mean, seriously. No other QB in the top 20 has a running situation even remotely close to how bad Luck has it, and the most incomprehensible thing about it is that Bradshaw is someone they actually went out and got! Why? Do people make reservations of Burger King?
Digging into the numbers a little bit, we see that Andrew Luck's top statistic comparables include Jason Campbell, Jay Cutler, and two different versions of Donovan McNabb - not exactly a fantasy murderer's row. He's given this somewhat unattractive set as a result of his very average NEP; his NEP of 57.81 ranked him just #15 in the league last year, well behind equally question options Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
The upside here is that both Hilton and Reggie Wayne are fantastic receivers, but at an ADP in the 70s, Luck is being drafted in the 6th round when he shows value in the 9th. Much like Wilson, he's a good, young player but not worth the hype - at least as it comes to fantasy - and you're better off shoring up depth on your roster than reaching for him.
What we think: #12 QB
An awful lot of people accuse us of being Ravens haters, simply because a decent majority of our full-time staff are yinzers. Well, let me tell you something chief, it's not just humans who hate him - the computers hate him too! In fact, peep this excerpt from why Joe Flacco's contract is the worst ones in history:
He was never a legit fantasy QB, so let me pull a Kanye and stop you right there. He's not worth his contract, he's missing the veteran route-running glue of Anquan Boldin and his underrated TE Dennis Pitta, he had one of the luckiest, flukiest playoff stretches in recent memory from any sport, and if you draft him to be anything other than your fantasy clipboard holder, you're in for a world of hurt.
What we think: #18 QB
Canine transgressions aside, the metrics don't point to Michael Vick becoming fantasy relevant ever again: after all, his closest statistical comparable is Alex Smith. To make matters worse, it's not even late-career-maybe-he's-not bad Alex Smith, it's 2006 oh-crap-what-have-we-done Alex Smith.
LeSean McCoy is as legit as they come - and in fact, we have him #3 overall, much higher than most - but Jeremy Maclin being out doesn't help and 2009 DeSean Jackson isn't walking through the door. With his Methusaleh-esque age, one tough hit will make Mike watch the games on a hospital TV, and let me also remind you that this is a QB who was outplayed by Nick "Arena League" Foles most of last year. Take him as a deep flier with some admitted upside but that's about it.
What we think: #20 QB
A lot of people are touting Ryan Tannehill as a deep sleeper, pointing to the addition of Mike Wallace and the emergence of Lamar Miller of a credible run threat as pillars of this belief. Let me summarize my response to them in one word.
This one is so ridiculous, I almost don't even want to dig into the math on it. Let's start with Mike Wallace. We can all agree that he's best as a deep threat, except that Tannehill connects on just 33% of his deep passes (15+ yards), one of the worst figures in the league. Oh, also, he's a locker room cancer who tries only when he wants to and when things are going well, which they certainly haven't been as of late in Miami. Sounds like a recipe for success to me!
And then there's our man Lamar Miller: he's unproven and boasts a worse run efficiency metric than his backup, Daniel Thomas. If Tannehill strugged last year with the much more effective Reggie Bush in the backfield - not to mention Bush's infinitely more prodigious skills in the passing game - how well do you think a slower, less efficient, less seasoned Miller will do? Yeah. Don't even draft him. Not as a flier, not as a sleeper. He's below replacement level. He's not a sleeper, he's dead on arrival.
What we think: #25 QB