Today we’re going to look at several top fantasy quarterbacks who I don’t think are going to justify their current average draft position (ADP). Keep in mind that I don’t necessarily dislike any of these guys – my stance is simply that you can get better value elsewhere in your draft. The 2014 fantasy football mock draft season is still young, but enough overall trends have emerged that we can begin to speculate on overall player value. All references to ADP are provided via 12-team results from FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
Yeah. I know. I’m completely crazy. An idiot, even. But hear me out. Manning is currently sporting an ADP of 1.10, meaning he’s being taken in the first round of every 12-team draft. Now, this is a guy that’s coming off a 55 TD season, which is the most dominant season we’ve ever seen from a QB. Nobody has ever done that before, which also means that nobody has ever done it twice before. The year before Manning still had a great year, but threw for only 37 TD’s. If we look back into the history books at the only other guy to ever come close to Manning’s 55, we find Tom Brady with 50. Want to guess how many he threw the next year? Well, its 0 since he sustained a season-ending injury in the first game. But if we follow his stats after that, we’re looking at a range of 28-39 TD’s per year, which is a more normal distribution. I’m expecting Manning to regress toward his career mean, which is still damn good, but not worthy of a first round pick. Keep in mind also that by taking Manning in round 1, you’re passing up the elite RB / WR talent that lives there in favor of a 38 year old at fantasy’s most replaceable position.
He’s surgical. He’s great looking. He’s lucky to be married to a supermodel. And he’s overrated. Brady finished up 2013 as the 14th highest scoring fantasy QB, and finished behind such elite names as Josh McCown, Alex Smith, and Sam Bradford in points per game. You can blame some of it on Rob Gronkowski being injured yet again, and perhaps a bit more on inexperienced WR play, but the fact of the matter is, Brady is 37 and his WRs still are nothing to write home about. Pint sized Amendola and Edelman could be hurt literally on any play, and we’ve all seen the Kenbrell Thompkins show derail more than once. Gronk still isn’t 100% for camp, and once he’s back there’s no guarantee he stays that way. I think it will be another ho-hum year for Brady – the Pats will still be a playoff team, but he just doesn’t have the stud horses he used to at WR and TE. Let someone else gamble on a bounceback from Brady.
I don’t really have anything against Wilson, but I do think that the Super Bowl Champion bias is going to lead to him being over-drafted. For all the hype about Wilson’s running prowess, he only ran for 539 yards and a single TD last season. When you combine that with his having only attempted 416 total passes (Seattle is very much a run-first team) and the Seahawk defense being able to lock teams down early, it seems almost a miracle that he got to 275 fantasy points last year. They simply just don’t need him to do all that much. Wilson is currently sporting an ADP of 10.07, but for a similar price I’d rather have Cutler, Rivers, and Kaepernick and their higher upsides.
Over the last three years, Newton’s rushing TD’s have decreased every year, his rushing yards have decreased every year, and his passing yards have decreased every year. Sort of looks like some kind of trend to me. So when Carolina decided to spend their offseason losing Steve Smith and grabbing up the likes of Jerricho Cotchery to be their #1 wideout who has any experience, I have to downgrade my expectations of Cam for 2014. Carolina did draft Kelvin Benjamin as their WR of the future, but rookie WR’s often have a very difficult time adjusting to the speed and physicality of the NFL game. Greg Olsen is still around to catch balls, but he can be fairly easily marginalized by a competent defense, and regardless he’s not the Jimmy Graham type that can take the top off a defense with consistency. And at this point, I don’t think anyone is really confident in the ever-present (and ever-injured) DeAngelo Williams / Jonathan Stewart duo.
Cleveland went all in on Johnny Football during the draft, and there are undoubtedly some owners out there who are itching to pick him up as a late round bargain QB option. I’m here to tell you that I think this isn’t the right kind of risk to take. Manziel isn’t the starting QB now, and will have to beat out a just-extended Brian Hoyer for the job. If he can do that, he’s working without Josh Gordon, which leaves his next best wideout Miles Austin. Andrew Hawkins and Nate Burleson are the other names of note here – none of which scare a defense in the slightest. The Browns are working with West / Tate at RB, and probably their best offensive weapon is Jordan Cameron, who faded mightily in 2013 after a blistering start. If Manziel eventually gets onto the field, the offense will look like a ground-and-pound, ball control type offense. The Browns simply don’t have the personnel to do much else at this point. Leave the Manziel hype train for someone else.