Don't draft this man. Wait...what?
A confession: I’m often overcome with the urge to draft a quarterback far too early, even though I’m well aware of the consequences. To err, it’s still human.
But as I wistfully recall a time in August when fantasy futures seemed so bright and hopeful, I also remember that I’m not alone. There’s a support group for early-round QB drafters, and we meet on Tuesdays. Punch and pie.
This is a subject we’ve discussed previously while looking back at the average draft positions from this past summer, and if they’ve translated into good value. And when we did that, we recalled that while Arian Foster was most commonly the first overall pick this year, Aaron Rodgers came off the board first in far too many leagues. That happened in two of my three leagues, and ESPN fantasy analyst Matthew Berry not only advocated for taking Rodgers first overall, but he also said that Tom Brady should come off the board right behind him.
You’ll look at the current overall point standings, and see no problem with taking one of the top arms early. As we sit here a day prior to the start of Week 15, nine of the top ten fantasy scorers are quarterbacks in leagues that use standard scoring, with Adrian Peterson the only exception. So whatever, right?
No. Look at where some of those quarterbacks were drafted. Robert Griffin III was a mid-round pick, and he’s fantasy football’s leading scorer. Andrew Luck is 10th and he went much later (often around the ninth round), but more importantly, the gap in points between, say, Andy Dalton (213) and Aaron Rodgers (245) over 13 games isn’t nearly enough to justify Rodgers’ lofty first-round status, while Dalton was often still available 11 rounds later.
That’s why you need to shake your early-round quarterback addiction next year. To help in that effort, I brought JJ Zachariason aboard for this week’s Five Questions. He’s sort of fantasy’s Zen master of late-round quarterbacking since he, you know, wrote a book on the strategy, and has a blog called The Late Round Quarterback. Yeah, he seems like the man to speak with on these matters.
Before talking quarterbacks, though, we dealt with a few pressing and immediate matters as semi-final week nears.
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