Well, last Friday I delivered an ultimatum - you could funnel actually interesting ideas to me, or I would hold you hostage with pre-season, pre-draft, pre-free agency, pre-CBA rankings of fantasy football players. As the 72 hour deadline has now passed, let the still-too-early list production begin.
Full Disclaimer: The two sites I will be using for this series are cbssports.com and espn.com. All of my leagues reside between these two leagues, and they are two of the best kept sites as far as updates and fluff off-season material.
For the purposes of this experiment, we will assume CBS standard scoring (because the WCG league is on cbssports) and 12 team leagues (because 10 team leagues are too easy).
With that in mind, the chart below will show you the Quarterback's name, suggested draft round by site (if any) and my ranking on that player.
|#1||Aaron Rodgers (1st)||Michael Vick (1st)||Aaron Rodgers (1st)||Aaron Rodgers (1st)|
|#2||Michael Vick (1st)||Aaron Rodgers (1st)||Drew Brees (2nd)||Michael Vick (2nd)|
|#3||Drew Brees (2nd)||Peyton Manning (2nd)||Peyton Manning (2nd)||Drew Brees (2nd)|
|#4||Tom Brady (2nd)||Drew Brees (2nd)||Tom Brady (3rd)||Peyton Manning (2nd)|
|#5||Peyton Manning (2nd)||Tom Brady (2nd)||Phillip Rivers (3rd)||Tom Brady (3rd)|
|#6||Phillip Rivers (3rd)||Phillip Rivers (2nd)||Michael Vick (4th)||Phillip Rivers (3rd)|
|#7||Tony Romo (4th)||Tony Romo (3rd)||Matt Schaub (4th)||Tony Romo (5th)|
|#8||Matt Schaub (4th)||Matt Schaub (3rd)||Eli Manning (5th)||Matt Schaub (5th)|
|#9||Ben Roethlisberger (5th)||Matt Ryan (3rd)||Ben Roethlisberger (6th)||Ben Roeth. (5th)|
|#10||Josh Freeman (6th)||Ben Roethlisberger (4th)||Tony Romo (6th)||Matt Ryan (6th)|
|#11||Matt Ryan (7th)||Josh Freeman (5th)||Matt Ryan (7th)||Eli Manning (6th)|
|#12||Eli Manning (7th)||Eli Manning (5th)||Matt Cassel (7th)||Josh Freeman (7th)|
Personally, I think CBS overvalues QBs (as you can see above) but that aside, the lists from the two sites match 11 of my top 12 (the only difference being Matt Cassel on my list, as opposed to Josh Freeman).
Typically, I see quarterbacks like Matt Schaub and Phillip Rivers still on the board going into the mid-3rd/4th+ round in fantasy drafts, and they are both 4,000 yard, 25 TD quarterbacks. That is the same ballpark as Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and now Aaron Rodgers and I am willing to bet the point differential between Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers at the end of 2011 is closer than that between a 1st round RB and a 4th round RB. (If you REALLY want to hear about point differentials as a measurement tool, we can go there later). After that, you will still get good shots at guys like Eli Manning and Tony Romo as well (also both likely to hit 4,000 yards or close to it).
Backups: When I target backups I pay attention to a couple of things: Who they play my starter's bye week, and what their ceiling is. Since we don't know who your starter is, let me give you my "hot list" of backups based primarily on what I believe will be solid #2 production with a ton of upside. Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Orton, Joe Flacco, Josh Freeman, Matt Stafford
Orton proved that he can be very fantasy relevant the last two years, but he is habitually under-rated. Everyone fears Cutler, but he is coming off of back to back 3000+ yard, 25+ TD seasons...meaning a few hundred more yards (and a few hundred less sacks...) and he is in the same ballpark as guys going in the first 4 rounds. Flacco has been steady and may just have his "lights on" season finally. Stafford needs to stay healthy but his play has been decent enough for a #2 QB already...Freeman and Fitzpatrick need a second season to make me a believer, but I am ready to take that leap for the backup role.
Final Thoughts: Don't break the bank for a QB unless it is the right player at the right spot. There are going to be at least 6 guys throwing for over 4000 yards this year, and you don't need to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick to get them. The total point differential between the #1 and #6 QB in 2010 was 2 points per game...something top tier RBs can get you over the next tier easily...and RBs are our next topic.
Up Next: Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, D/ST....with the potential of an IDP master list.