By The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Every year, quarterbacks score more fantasy points than any other position. Every year, many fantasy owners take that to mean they should select a quarterback before any position. Every year, someone tries to make the case that taking a quarterback before anyone else is the right move.
Allow me to debunk those blasphemous opinions.
Yes, Aaron Rodgers was the number one scoring player in fantasy football this year. Care to wager by how much he edged out the next highest scoring player? 9.4 points. Oh, and that was a running back, David Johnson. The next highest scoring quarterback was Drew Brees, at 396.3 points.
The top 12 running backs all scored over 200 points. Those are all starter worthy. More than twice as many quarterbacks did that – 27 to be exact – and only 10 to 12 of them are starting in a league.
That’s what this boils down to. Value. You can find great value at the quarterback position deep into drafts. Matt Ryan is a prime example. He was a 13th round pick in the Skrip Club, and in some of my other drafts, he went undrafted. He finished the season 3rd amongst quarterbacks with 395.0 points. I certainly didn’t see Kirk Cousins repeating his 2015 success and he fell in some of my drafts as a result of similar thinking. He finished 5th. Dak Prescott went undrafted. He finished 6th. I can keep going but you get the point.
Then there were the quarterbacks who we all thought would be among the top quarterbacks in fantasy this season. Cam Newton comes to mind. Many predicted he would remain the best quarterback in fantasy with his ability to add yards via the ground. He struggled behind a suspect offensive line and finished 17th. Russell Wilson was another who many expected to repeat a great 2015 in 2016. He was banged up at the start of the season and didn’t recover on his way to a 15th place finish. Blake Bortles and Eli Manning were two others who failed to live up to their preseason hype.
Unlike with other positions, if you swing and miss at quarterback, there’s more room for error. That logic alone should tell you that it’s okay to wait on the position. Keep that in mind going into your 2017 drafts. The best quarterbacks are likely to be Rodgers and Ryan, and the old guard of Brady and Brees. The latter two keep performing at high levels, but do you want to be the one who takes them in the first four rounds on the year they struggle, a la Peyton Manning in 2015?
In keeper leagues, sometimes it works out in your favor to take a quarterback early, especially if you got great value in high performing keepers. I did with Brees in the third round this year and it propelled me to a 2nd place finish. I look at situations like that as the exception to the rule though.
Here’s your takeaway going into 2017: wait on quarterbacks and load up at running back and wide receiver. That’s just smart drafting.
Below are how the QBs of 2016 finished. Scoring is from weeks 1-16 and scoring is in Club Fantasy format:
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