Posts Tagged ‘2011 QB Rankings’

The Big Board: QBs

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Updated 6/19/11

SOS: 2011 projected strength of schedule (change from 2010)…so 4 (-3) would indicate a generally favorable schedule, but one that is tougher than the previous year. QBs use pass SOS.

2010: Per game fantasy points average from 2010

2-yr Avg: Straight two-year per game average

Falling in love with Ryan Fitzpatrick all over again

One of the big winners coming out of the NFL Draft was Ryan Fitzpatrick. The fact that the Bills didn’t take a QB with any of their nine draft picks was a vote of confidence for their current starter. Had Buffalo picked a QB in the first round or two, he may have begun the season as the starter, but chances are that he would have been benched as soon as the losses started piling up. That would have made Fitzpatrick a risky pick in fantasy drafts.

Fast forward a few days and he’s suddenly looking like a great value pick once your draft gets into the middle rounds (10th-12th). According to the #Draftmaster ADP over at Pro Football Focus, Fitzpatrick is currently the 20th QB off the board in the middle of the 12th round. I suspect that his ADP will rise to the 10th or 11th rounds given the Bills’ draft, as he could pass David Garrard, Matt Cassel and Mark Sanchez, creeping up into the QB17 range. That’s where I have him in my initial QB rankings for 2011.

Let’s take a look at Fitzpatrick’s per game numbers as compared to those three QBs, because I bet there are still some nonbelievers out there:

As you can see, Fitzpatrick compares pretty favorably to the aforementioned three QBs in almost every category. On a per game basis, he scored the second-most fantasy points in this group. (Keep in mind that I did remove Garrard’s Week 6 game against the Titans, when he was knocked out in the second quarter. I also removed Mark Sanchez’s Week 17 game against the Bills, where he started but left the game without attempting a pass.)

Considering the Jaguars drafted Blaine Gabbert in the first round, and have been toying with replacing Garrard for some time now, it certainly appears that he may have a short leash heading into 2011. If the Jaguars start losing, I’d expect they’d plug Gabbert in to get him some experience heading into 2012. Garrard’s strength of schedule looks to be about 5% tougher this season, while Fitzpatrick’s projects to be 4% easier. For what it’s worth, Matt Cassel’s schedule looks 7.6% tougher while Sanchez’s projects to be 3.9% easier.

To me, Ryan Fitzpatrick is a no-brainer when picking from this group, which is why I have him ranked #17. The Bills have a tendency to fall behind in games, so assuming he plays a full season, I could easily see him finish in the QB12 to QB14 range. I actually think he should be placed a tier higher, with Matthew Stafford, Jay Cutler, Sam Bradford and Joe Flacco. Let’s take a look at how his numbers compare to those players:

Note that I used Matthew Stafford’s last eight games, which includes six games from the 2009 season, and excluded his Week 1 game against the Bears in which he was injured.

Again, Fitzpatrick compares favorably to the other players in this group. He has the second-highest fantasy points per game average, the most rushing yards and is right there with the leaders in passing yards and touchdowns. In fact, given his running ability, it’s a little surprising that he didn’t run for a TD or two last season — I’d expect that to change in 2011. The only characteristic that these other four players have that Fitzpatrick doesn’t is a first-round arm. It is highly unlikely that Stafford, Flacco, Cutler or Bradford (all drafted in the first round) are going to get benched at any time this season, but Fitzpatrick, a seventh-round pick, no doubt has a shorter leash.

(For what it’s worth, Stafford, Flacco, Cutler and Bradford all have similar (within 1.7%) schedules as 2010, while Fitzy’s projects to improve by 4%.)

Bottom line: I love Fitzpatrick as the second QB taken in a committee-approach, possibly with one of the aforementioned players. He’s a great value once the rounds hit double-digits, and with no other viable QB to threaten his job, we can draft him with confidence that if he’s healthy, he’s probably the starter in Buffalo.

The Bills didn’t do anything to improve their receivers in the draft, but with the up-and-coming Stevie Johnson anchoring one side, Lee Evans on the other, Roscoe Parrish and David Nelson over the middle, and C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson out of the backfield, Fitzpatrick should have plenty of weapons to utilize. The Bills’ offense isn’t good enough to press the Patriots or Jets for the division crown, but they’re certainly good enough to put up points in garbage time, and that’s all you need in fantasy football.

Post-Draft 2011 QB Rankings

With the NFL Draft behind us, it’s a good time to start thinking about the 2011 rankings. I’ll start with the quarterback position. Below you’ll find a table with my Top 35 fantasy QBs along with their current team (if they have one), their 2011 strength of schedule, their 2010 points per game output adjusted for the 2011 SOS (i.e. if their 2010 performance was translated to their 2011 SOS) and their straight two-year average (schedule bias not removed). Keep in mind these aren’t actual projections, just additional info and the order that I’d draft these players given what we know now. Things will change as some of these free agents (hopefully) find homes for the season.

— I think Mike Vick has a good chance to outscore Aaron Rodgers on a per game basis, but he also is the favorite to miss more games in 2011 given his playing style. He takes a lot of hits, while I think Rodgers learned his lesson about putting his head down when he missed a couple of games with a concussion in 2010.

— Tom Brady’s schedule is quite a bit better this season and I see no reason why he would start to decline given the nature of his offense and the quality of his receiving corps. He could use a playmaker out wide, but he has plenty of weapons to utilize over the middle and he’s one of the best at taking what the defense gives him.

— Ben Rothlisberger is underrated again. He was QB4 in adjusted PPG for 2010 and his schedule looks easier in 2011. Plus, he has a great fantasy playoff schedule.

— I put Big Ben and Peyton Manning in the same tier as Tony Romo, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees. I put Romo ahead of Rivers due to his favorable schedule. His SOS projects to be about 5% easier in 2011 (though he didn’t even play a majority of the season) while Rivers’ looks to be almost 6% tougher.

— The next tier runs from QB9 to QB17 and is a great example of why QBBC could be very successful again in 2011. I might grab Big Ben in the 5th or 6th (his current ADP is 5.8), but if there is another good value available at RB, WR or even TE, I may pass on Roethlisberger and go QBBC in rounds 8-12 instead. There are nine QBs in this tier and I’d be happy to have two or three to use in a committee. Eli Manning seems like a good value in the middle of the 7th.

— Ryan Fitzpatrick is currently going in the 12th round, but that’s going to rise into the 9th-10th range (I think) now that Buffalo passed on a QB in the draft. That vote of confidence for Fitzy, coupled with a much improved schedule, could vault him into the Top 12 by season’s end.

— Right now, indications are that Tim Tebow has the inside track to be the Bronco’s starting QB, though we need to keep in mind that Josh McDaniels is no longer running the offense in Denver. John Fox is far more conservative, so we need to take Tebow’s fine fantasy performances late last year with a grain of salt. Also, keep in mind that his adjusted numbers include those games where he only appeared in the Broncos’ goal line offense. He averaged 27.8 points per game in his three starts last season.

— I’m not sure what to make of the next 10 or so guys. There will be a lot of shakeup here as free agency hopefully commences and some of these players find new homes. Kevin Kolb could move up a few spots if he’s given a starting job somewhere, though he wasn’t impressive when he started for the Eagles in 2010. I’d have more confidence in Marc Bulger and Carson Palmer, who have proven they can start in the NFL. Matt Cassel’s schedule is a lot (7.6%) tougher in 2011, so he could take a step back from his respectable 2010 numbers.

— The only rookie (besides Cam Newton) on the list is Christian Ponder, because he seems the most likely to be the starter on opening day. The same can’t be said for Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker and Colin Kaepernick, who are each likely dealing with veterans they will have to usurp.



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