Fantasy Football: There's No Way Tyrod Taylor Should Be This Cheap
If I'm at the grocery store and see Cookie Crisp (the GOAT cereal) on sale, I'm going to buy some. Let's be honest: I was probably going to buy Cookie Crisp anyway, but once I see it's on sale, the only thing I'm concerned with is how much I can get in my cart.
Cereal is something I need, and I love pouncing on a good deal. Well, in fantasy football, a quarterback is something all of us need, and right now, the market is offering us a smashing discount.
What if I told you (in a 30 for 30 voice) that a guy who finished as the QB8 in 2015 and QB7 in 2016 -- in terms of points per game -- was currently going as QB18, per average draft position (ADP) data at Fantasy Football Calculator?
We'd be loading up our shopping cart with all the shares.
The photo and title pretty much ruin any suspense here -- Tyrod Taylor is the unnamed quarterback, and his current value makes very little sense.
So What's Going On?
The Buffalo Bills don't enjoy having Tyrod as their quarterback, and that's undoubtedly hurt his fantasy football value. For much of the offseason, it seemed like the organization was going to move on from him, but the two ultimately agreed on a restructured deal to keep him around.
Here's the thing about that -- Tyrod has been pretty good in both real life and fantasy.
Per our signature Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which you can read more about in our glossary, Taylor ranked 19th in Passing NEP per drop back in 2016 among the 39 passers with at least 100 drop backs.
Branching out to other advanced metrics, just to provide a full picture, Taylor ranked seventh by ESPN's Total Quarterback Rating (QBR), and Pro Football Reference's QBR had him ninth. He also finished tied for 17th in adjusted yards per pass attempt.
Taylor isn't elite, but he's not bad.
Now that his contract fiasco is settled, the drama is over, right? Wrong. As recently as last month the team wouldn't commit to him as the starter for 2017.
This is where I inform you that T.J. Yates, Cardale Jones and rookie fifth-rounder Nate Peterman are the three other quarterbacks on the roster. Barring injury, it's difficult to imagine Tyrod sitting the bench.
The Price Is Wrong
Focusing strictly on fantasy output, let's compare him to a pair of other quarterbacks who are entering their third season under center, just to show how far off we are here in regards to Taylor's value.
|Quarterback||2015 Overall||2015 PPG||2016 Overall||2016 PPG||2017 ADP|
Taylor, Winston and Mariota all got their first chance to start in 2015. For Winston and Mariota, it was their rookie seasons, and for Taylor, it was the first time a team entrusted him with the lead job.
In terms of fake football, Taylor has clearly outperformed both of the top picks from the 2015 Draft, but his value lags behind.
This isn't a perfect apples-to-apples comparison. Mariota and Winston have fared pretty well these past two campaigns without any previous experience. While Taylor only had 35 pass attempts to his name prior to 2015, he did have the benefit of sitting and learning for four seasons.
The purpose of comparing the production and current cost of these three is to highlight how weird Taylor's ADP is, and it's weirder than Ashley S. from Chris Soules' season of the Bachelor.
Fantasy football isn't a question of who you want as your franchise quarterback over the next decade. It's a matter of which signal-caller should you target based on cost and expected production. If the acquisition cost was the same for each, Taylor should be the guy. So when you factor in how much cheaper he is -- Taylor is currently going in the middle of the 12th round, more than three full rounds later than Mariota (9.03) and Winston (8.11) -- it becomes a no-brainer.
Ready to Run
In fantasy, the value of a quarterback with running ability can't be overstated, and it's precisely why Taylor has been such a nice fantasy football commodity.
When looking at a table of last year's 10 best fantasy quarterbacks by points per game, Taylor's passing numbers stick out like a sore thumb (because they're bad; not because I bolded them).
|QB Rank||Player||Passing Yards Per Game||Passing Touchdowns||PPG|
Obviously, his numbers through the air pale in comparison to the game's top passers, but he makes up for it on the ground. Over the past two seasons, Taylor has averaged 39.6 rushing yards per game -- basically four free fantasy points per outing, or a free passing touchdown in most formats -- while scoring an average of 5 rushing touchdowns per season.
As we can see from Taylor's year-end fantasy numbers, his style works just fine. His week-to-week numbers check out, too.
Taylor had eight QB1 (top-12) weeks last season. That tied him for the seventh-most among quarterbacks, and it was more than Russell Wilson (7), Winston (6) and Cam Newton (5) had -- all of whom are going inside the top 12 quarterbacks this year. Reminder: Tyrod is currently QB18. Again, it makes no sense.
If Buffalo starts changing their tune on Taylor -- and they already are -- his ADP will climb as doubts about his starting role begin to fade away. There's no telling exactly what his value will be during peak draft season, but based on the way the fantasy community has handled TyGod in the past, it's unlikely to climb too much.
Despite his QB8 finish in 2015, drafters were a little hesitant on Taylor last season, making him QB13, per 2016 ADP data.
It seems like Taylor is someone people -- fantasy footballers and the Bills -- struggle to get behind. All we care about, though, is the numbers -- Taylor has proven over the past two years that he's a solid fantasy quarterback, and our metrics have him tabbed as QB12 for this season.
The case is so crystal clear, we haven't even had to talk about how top target Sammy Watkins was banged up last year or that the Bills added wideout Zay Jones, a very intriguing rookie, in the draft. His supporting cast should be better, and Taylor has shown he can produce good numbers even if the whole thing goes to hell.
While there are other appealing late-round passers this year, Taylor is a screaming value right now who offers you a great weekly floor at a bargain bin price.