Drew Brees broke Dan Marino’s passing record, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford also hit the 5k mark and Cam Newton broke Peyton Manning’s rookie passing yardage record as well as Steve Grogan’s rushing TD record (Steve Grogan? Really?). We are living in a new age and NFL quarterbacks are our overlords which makes it harder to sort out the best fantasy quarterbacks. We do know that there are a lot of good ones out there to choose from (when they aren’t whipping us) so let’s see how we did in choosing.
Michael Vick: The No. 1 drafted quarterback did not live up to his billing. His 2010 season was the stuff of fantasy football mythology. He didn’t play in 4 games and still led all quarterbacks in standard fantasy scoring. Oddly enough his extrapolated point total of 400 in 2010 wouldn’t have beaten Aaron Rodgers extrapolated point total of 410 for this season. So even though Vick’s 2010 seems other worldly, in fantasy terms it wasn’t. If he had played every game this season he still would have finished 8th overall. Of course he was playing hurt quite often but unfortunately his age, frame and running style are starting to stack against him and I wonder how many pain free games he has left in him. His upside next season is still huge, as is the risk.
Check out the Running Back ADP vs. Realty column.
Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers has been the most consistent fantasy quarterback for the last 4 years averaging 4,259 yards, 32 passing TDs and 4 rushing TDs a season. And this was his best year to date. I’m not a proponent of drafting a quarterback in the first round but his consistency is worth a bit of a reach.
Tom Brady: Talk about consistency, Brady was drafted as the third best fantasy quarterback and finished as the third best fantasy quarterback. If not for his 2008 injury he’d be battling Rodgers for the top fantasy QB honors over the last 4 years. He’s back.
Drew Brees: And here is the third corner of the triangle of QB consistency. Brees, Brady and Rodgers aren’t going to let their fantasy owners down. He fell in ADP a bit after finishing as the 6th best fantasy QB in 2009. He then went on to reward his fantasy owners with a huge season helped by Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham. They’ll be back and so will he.
Philip Rivers: This was supposed to be Rivers season to make the step up to elite fantasy QBism but instead he decided to throw a bandwagon load of interceptions and not so many TDs. His 7 TDs to 10 interceptions ratio in the first half of the season killed a lot of fantasy teams. He finally turned things around in the second half throwing 20 TDs to 10 interceptions and finished as the 9th overall fantasy QB which may not have led your team back from the precipice but it’s a good sign for next season.
Cam Newton: Mr. Newton was one of the last QBs drafted or he was not drafted at all and he finished in a tie with Tom Brady as the third best fantasy QB in the league. His season was a well documented success filled with rookie and even non-rookie records as you well know, but what happens next season? He’ll still be the goal line back and he’s already shown that he has great pocket presence and a rocket arm which amazingly can be improved upon. I’m firmly implanted on the Cam bandwagon.
Matthew Stafford: In his first uninjured season of his NFL career he goes and throws for 5,038 yards. That’s not too shabby. He of course threw more passes than anyone else in the league but was also 5th in completion percentage, so it’s not like he was just chucking and ducking. After two seasons that ended in injury it was understandable that his ADP was 11but as long as he’s averaging 41 pass attempts a game and has Calvin Johnson on his team he’ll be a top five guy from here on out.
Tim Tebow: With a full season Tebow’s numbers would put him as the 10th best fantasy QB overall. And that is most likely where I would rank him for next season. If he can become a consistent passer he moves up the charts with a bullet so 10th is pretty much his baseline right now.
Peyton Manning: As ADP was being formed we were trying to form an opinion on when Manning might play again. For those of us who took a risk on him we had to spot start whoever played the Patriots. The speculation on if and where he’ll play will be in full force all offseason so I’ll leave it for others to do that.
Eli Manning: He was the 13th QB taken off the board after finishing 10th in fantasy scoring in 2010. This season he was only 67 yards off that elusive 5k mark! Well, maybe not as elusive anymore, but it’s still pretty good. The Eli bandwagon has been a slow starter but he finished 6th overall this season and it’s about time to start believing in his elite status. Or at least not let him fall to an ADP of 13 again next season.
Tony Romo: I waited for Romo in most of my leagues and it was in no way a home run pick but he did average the 6th most fantasy points per game which isn’t going to kill your fake team. He’s consistently averaged good fantasy numbers when he’s not hurt. With the QB crop at high yield I could easily see myself owning Mr. Romo on quite a few teams next season as he slips down to make room for Cam and Matt.
Mark Sanchez: He finished as the 10th best fantasy quarterback which is just a little mind boggling. His abilities to not get injured and rush for 6 touchdowns were the two biggest factors. Once I extrapolated the injured QBs numbers he fell to 13th overall. If we could rely on 6 rushing TDs from him we could probably easily keep him in this 10-15 range but that’s about it. His upside is severely limited by his tremendous downside.
Matt Ryan: With the addition of Julio Jones many were looking for Ryan to take a step forward but instead he took a step sideways. Last season he finished 8th overall and this season he also finished 8th and his ADP was 8th and he was the 8th of 12 children born on the 8th of August and starred in 8 is enough. Well, some of that is true. He did finish with 7 multi-TD passing games this season and 6 of those came in the last 9 games. I like how he finished the season and if it wasn’t such a tough crowd at QB I’d be on the Ryan express. But it will be difficult for him to break into that elite bunch. Eight is a nice round number.