In fantasy football, a quarterback is not the prize catch of your draft. The RB’s are. While a good RB can carry you to the post season, you need a great QB to do the same. Yet, the QB position on your roster is just as vital. In this, our second positional look in our Fantasy Football Preview, we ask the question, To QB, or not to QB.
Imagine you are in round 1 of your draft. As normal, the RB’s fly off the board early, but after the 4th back is gone, the question becomes, should I take a Marion Barber type, or should I go with Tom Brady or Peyton Manning? While Manning is the ugly stepsister this year, Brady has his questions as well. Manning has ruled the first round roost in past year with mid 1st round selections, now Brady is that 5 and 6 slot draftee (think your going to get Moss and Brady? Think again, Moss is being taken within 1 or two picks of Brady now). While Manning is still a first round talent, he is nearer the bottom of round 1 these days…just before Dallas Cowboy Tony Romo who at least has his name on that girls butt.
So when should you draft a QB? Outside of those 3, Brady, Manning, and Romo, the drop off is significant when you weigh your decision against 2nd tier RB’s. Face it, in most leagues you start 1 QB and 2 RB’s. Even though you probably drafted RB in round 1, shoring up both RB spots with a round 2 selection is still the smart way to go. Consider that after all 12 teams have taken 2 RB’s, 24 starters are off the board, and of those 24, perhaps a dozen are actually significant contributors. QB’s on the other hand, are almost a dime a dozen. If every team took 1 QB early, you still have 12 more that fit closely into the bottom half of the drafted 12 and 10 more questionable starters left to be drafted.
Asking yourself what the difference is between say, Drew Brees and Derek Anderson, is almost as easy as asking yourself the difference between Anderson and Hasselbeck, or Eli Manning. In 3 drafts this year alone, the Super Bowl QB was drafted outside of round 5. While his production may be a few TD’s less than Brees, the RB you could get with that Brees pick will be significantly better than what the RB you will get at the Eli spot in round 5…or later.
But what do others say about their stud QB’s? For that answer, let’s take a quick trip around some of the other Fan-Sided Network sites and see how their QB’s stack up.
Dave – RiggosRag – Jason Campbell:
The big question mark is Jason Campbell, our young and clearly maturing QB. Going back to college, he is now in his 6 system in 7 years. That’s enough to confuse Bill Walsh. The good news is that Campbell has said that this system is similar to the one he used his senior year in college, by far his most successful statistical year. Look for Campbell to start slow, but come on as the season progresses. He’ll make an excellent fantasy backup (or starter in leagues that have two QB slots or a flex position), and if things fall into place for the team, he maybe worthy of starter status by the end of the year. I expect him to break into the 3000 yard club, but his TD to INT ratio will look bad until the second half.
Jason Campbell has little fantasy value unless, as Dave said, you are in a deep league or end up in a pinch with a bye week. Campbell has been largely inconsistent and with a new HC in Washington and new offensive coaches, the likelihood of Campbell making a fantasy impact outside of a one week fill are slim. There should be better choices available. For the future, Campbell may in fact be maturing so it is something to watch but not to the extent of drafting him late for keeper leagues as some did in his rookie season.
LTBD - late rounds in deeper leagues
Ian – InsidetheIggles – Donovan McNabb
Donovan McNabb’s fantasy value has taken a major hit over the past few years. Knee and groin injuries have caused Donovan to miss 15 games over the past 3 seasons. These injuries are a major reason for McNabb’s overall lack of consistency in 2007. Donovan finished the season with 19 touchdowns, but 11 of those came in 3 games. In all eleven other games McNabb played in, he had 1 or fewer touchdowns. McNabb did throw for 816 yards, and 5 touchdowns in his final 3 starts, and finally looked to be fully recovered from the knee repair. McNabb still has the talent to be a number 1 fantasy option, but right now he is considered a very high risk high reward type of guy. If you go for that risk, make sure to have a solid backup option in case the injury bug were to bite again.
I couldn’t agree more with this assessment. McNabb is hit or miss. He used to easily be a late 2nd or 3rd round selection but in 3 drafts this season, he has slid to late 5 or later. Probably not entirely a fair drafting spot, but based on what Ian said, it’s not surprising. McNabb can still throw the ball and as long he can toss the rock to Brian Westbrook, you will get a few touchdowns. McNabb should rebound a bit this season since he is 100 percent healthy for the first time in 2 years. Is that enough to take a high draft flier on him? Not likely, but getting McNabb late 5 or 6th could be a steal.
LTBD – Round 5
DJ - LombariAve – Aaron Rodgers
Gone is gunslinger Brett Favre who could guarantee you yards, touchdowns, and interceptions. The lack of Favre’s presence is going to make many have second thoughts about drafting Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and James Jones, but they will still produce well for the WR position. However, I don’t expect production out of the quarterback position to drop to much with Aaron Rodgers taking over. He knows the system, he knows the wide receivers, he basically knows
Aaron Rodgers threw for 280 yards last year and one touchdown. He did that against Dallas. In one game. In fact, he did that in one half of a game in relief of an injured Brett Favre. Which brings up the question of Brett Favre. Rumors persist that Favre wants back in to the league, he is not being welcomed with open arms by Green Bay. So, if you are planning on drafting Rodgers be aware of the Brett Favre saga, if Favre returns, Rodgers is almost useless once again.
LTBD – Round 11 (should climb once TC starts)
John White – CatCrave - Jake Delhomme
What can be said about Jake Delhomme here that hasn’t already
been said? Yes, his elbow was hurt. Yes, he had Tommy John surgery.
Yes, he’s recovering – well. All reports have Jake throwing passes
with more zip on them than he did prior to the injury which is a very
encouraging sign. The question, of course, is whether or not Jake can
stay healthy. If Jordan Gross works out at left tackle, and I think
he will, then the blind side will be better protected than last season
and Jake could remain healthy. I don’t expect Jake to start fewer
than 12 games with at least 2800 yards and 22 TD’s. It’s a weak
schedule for Carolina this season.
Jake Delhomme is an interesting prospect this year. As John stated, if healthy, he could do very well, but the question is can he.
LTBD - rounds 7-9
Bob - BearGogglesOn – Rex Grossman
If you find yourself completely screwed and in need of a quarterback it looks like Rex Grossman will be the starting quarterback for another season. However, if you find yourself in that position you may have already lost your league before the first kickoff.
I think that pretty much sums up Rex Grossman.
LTBD – won’t be unless it is a very deep league
Steve – DawgPoundDaily – Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson proved himself to be one of the best quarterbacks in the AFC, at least in the first half of the 2007 season. With his inconsistent play down the stretch, Anderson becomes more of a gamble than a sure thing. Nevertheless, he should be able to put up big numbers in this offense, and Brady Quinn looming in the shadows should keep him on his toes. If not, it would not seem far-fetched for Quinn to make a seamless transition into the offense given the time he has had to learn the system.
And there is your biggest question of this year QB class. Can DA repeat his performance from last year. Anderson is a lock to be a late 2nd or 3rd round fantasy pick. If he slips to round 4 take him. The Browns are surging toward the playoffs and most of that weight will rest on Anderson. While all QB’s are a gamble, Anderson could be one of the biggest in terms of repeat production. For now, he is worth that risk.
LTBD – Round 3
Round 1: Brady, Manning, Romo
Round 2: None
Round 3: Derek Anderson
Round 4: Brees, Palmer,
Round 5: Eli Manning, McNabb, Garrard, Hasselbeck