Overvalued Draft Targets: QB (Fantasy Football)

by Jordan McNamara | Featured Writer
Feb 8, 2018

Josh Allen is talented, but there are reasons to be cautious about him

The NFL Draft is less than three months away, and clear value opportunities are beginning to present themselves. The following are three overvalued quarterbacks.

Get a free $3 Best Ball entry into a 2018 DRAFT contest with your first deposit >>

Josh Allen (Wyoming)
During Allen’s college career at Wyoming, he averaged 7.8 yards per attempt (Y/A), a touchdown rate (TD%) of 6.51%, and a touchdown to interception ratio of 1.95 (TD/Att.). Allen’s best attribute TD%, which puts him above average for a top half of the Round 1 quarterback. Allen’s Y/A is an above average Round 2 pick, while his abysmal TD/INT ratio is a below average Day Three projection.

Among quarterbacks drafted since 2000, Allen’s metrics put him in the top 30% of TD%., but in the bottom 40% of TD/INT ratio, while his Y/A is just above average (53%).  Allen’s profile points to a quarterback capable of scoring touchdowns, but at high risk, with accuracy problems that cap a genuinely efficient yardage gaining offense.

In looking for comparisons, I selected quarterbacks who fit either 10 percent higher or lower than each of Allen’s marks. The results were Chris Simms and Jesse Palmer, picks 97 and 125 respectively. Simms started 16 games in his NFL career before leaving the league in his late 20s, while Palmer’s most notable success came on The Bachelor.

Allen is likely a better physical talent than he has performed statistically in college. His projected draft position as a Day One pick is a good proxy for that talent, but his comparable Round 1 prospects should cause caution.

Below is a list of Round 1 picks with a TD/INT ratio in the bottom 40% of the model. The pocket passers with success include Carson Palmer, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, and Jay Cutler.

However, there are cautionary tales in terms of misses, with early career washouts like Jake Locker, Christian Palmer, E.J. Manuel, Kyle Boller, and Patrick Ramsey.

The list includes no Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, and only Palmer, Stafford and Ryan improved their TD/INT ratio as professionals. On average, the quarterbacks on the list saw their TD/INT ratio drop by .22.

In other words, you should not expect a quarterback like Josh Allen to see a significant boost in production when the competition gets more difficult. This is especially true for Allen because he would be only the second quarterback from non-power five conferences in the group, after Patrick Ramsey who went to Tulane.

Allen is in the conversation of the top QB in the draft, a position that is not warranted by his college statistics. His supporters will point to his arm strength, but his tape shows consistent struggles with accuracy and ball placement. He will be a project in the NFL and is no better than the fourth rookie quarterback in dynasty drafts.

Luke Falk (Washington State)
Luke Falk had a prolific college production throwing for 14,481 yards and 119 touchdowns in 42 career games. Falk finished with a 68.3 completion percentage, a top 4% finish since 2000. But when you look deeper, Falk has a lot of red flags.

Falk only threw for 7.05 Y/A in college, a bottom 20% result. Combined with his high completion rates, this profile points to a dump off specialist without much threat of a big play.

Falk finished with TD% of 5.79%, which is right at 50% of the model, while his 3.05 TD/INT ratio is in the top 20% of the model. Falk’s numbers Y/A in the Day Three threshold while his TD% is a Round 2, and his TD/INT ratio is an early Round 1 threshold figure.

Sifting the data for 10 percent above and below his Y/A, TD%, and TD/INT ratio returns one comparable prospect: Jacoby Brissett. Brissett was a third-round pick at 91 overall and has flashed at times as a starter, which gives Falk some hope. Yet, Brissett is a better athlete and adds a running element to an offense that Falk cannot.

Falk is in a general conversation with players like Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson as the next tier after Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen. Falk enters the NFL coming from Mike Leach’s Air Raid system, which will be a concern for his transition. He is a bigger name than talent, and profiles as a developmental Day Three pick.

Falk is a low upside QB if he gets a starting job, so he is a player to avoid in one quarterback formats. In superflex or two-quarterback leagues, Falk is no better than a depth option in Round 3 or 4 rookie drafts.

J.T. Barrett (Ohio State)
J.T. Barrett was a star at Ohio State, but he does not profile well in the NFL. Barrett had good metric production, with TD% of 8.6% (top 3%), TD/INT ratio of 3.47 (top 11%), and 7.79 Y/A (top 49%). Those numbers qualify as top half of Round 1, first overall, and Round 2 respectively.

His closest comparable players within 10 percent of each stat are Russell Wilson and D.J. Shockley. Wilson was a Day Two pick who quickly became a fantasy star in the NFL, while Shockley never made much impact.

Barrett’s name will likely circulate in metric circles as a sleeper pre-NFL Draft, but his tape is not NFL quality. Barrett too frequently locks on one receiver and cannot progress through his reads.

These struggles are symptomatic of a quarterback that does not process the game quickly, a bad trait for a quarterback transitioning to the NFL. This was demonstrated when Barrett was snubbed from the Senior Bowl and instead played in the Shrine Game.

If Barrett is drafted he will join only Vince Young, Colin Kaepernick, and Pat White as the only quarterbacks drafted in the NFL with more than 3,000 yards rushing in college. Young and Kaepernick both had fantasy success while White quickly flamed out of the NFL.

A best-case scenario would have Barrett settle in as an NFL backup with rushing upside in spot starts. Barrett’s profile does not warrant a pick in the top eight of the position.

Jordan McNamara is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Jordan, check out his archive and follow him @McNamaraDynasty.

What's your take? Leave a comment

Fantasy Games
DRAFT photo
Get a FREE $3 Best Ball entry with your 1st deposit
FanDuel photo
Play for your share of $1m+
for FREE with first deposit
CBS Sports photo
Serious Fantasy Football
Get our Mobile App!

Enter your phone number below, and we'll text you a link to download the app.

1Le'Veon Bell (PIT)RB
2Todd Gurley (LAR)RB
3Antonio Brown (PIT)WR
4David Johnson (ARI)RB
5Ezekiel Elliott (DAL)RB
6DeAndre Hopkins (HOU)WR
7Odell Beckham Jr. (NYG)WR
8Leonard Fournette (JAC)RB
9Michael Thomas (NO)WR
10Kareem Hunt (KC)RB
 View All Rankings 
11Alvin Kamara (NO)RB
12Julio Jones (ATL)WR
13Melvin Gordon (LAC)RB
14Mike Evans (TB)WR
15A.J. Green (CIN)WR
16Dalvin Cook (MIN)RB
17LeSean McCoy (BUF)RB
18Devonta Freeman (ATL)RB
19Keenan Allen (LAC)WR
20Davante Adams (GB)WR
21Mark Ingram (NO)RB
22Jordan Howard (CHI)RB
23Brandin Cooks (NE)WR
24Tyreek Hill (KC)WR
25Derrick Henry (TEN)RB
26Rob Gronkowski (NE)TE
27Adam Thielen (MIN)WR
28Doug Baldwin (SEA)WR
29Christian McCaffrey (CAR)RB
30Carlos Hyde (SF)RB
1Mike Trout (LAA)CF
2Jose Altuve (HOU)2B
3Nolan Arenado (COL)3B
4Trea Turner (WSH)SS
5Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)1B
6Charlie Blackmon (COL)CF
7Bryce Harper (WSH)RF
8Mookie Betts (BOS)RF
9Clayton Kershaw (LAD)SP
10Giancarlo Stanton (NYY)RF
 View All Rankings 
11Kris Bryant (CHC)3B,RF
12Max Scherzer (WSH)SP
13Carlos Correa (HOU)SS
14Joey Votto (CIN)1B
15Corey Kluber (CLE)SP
16Chris Sale (BOS)SP
17Manny Machado (BAL)3B
18Freddie Freeman (ATL)1B,3B
19Anthony Rizzo (CHC)1B,2B
20Aaron Judge (NYY)RF
21Francisco Lindor (CLE)SS
22Jose Ramirez (CLE)2B,3B
23George Springer (HOU)CF,RF
24Cody Bellinger (LAD)1B,LF
25Josh Donaldson (TOR)3B
26Gary Sanchez (NYY)C
27Stephen Strasburg (WSH)SP
28J.D. Martinez (BOS)RF
29Jose Abreu (CWS)1B
30Madison Bumgarner (SF)SP
1Kevin Durant (GSW)SF,PF
2Giannis Antetokounmpo (MIL)SF,PF
3James Harden (HOU)PG,SG
4Stephen Curry (GSW)PG,SG
5Russell Westbrook (OKC)PG
6Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)C
7Anthony Davis (NOR)PF,C
8Kawhi Leonard (SAS)SG,SF
9LeBron James (CLE)SF,PF
10Nikola Jokic (DEN)PF,C
 View All Rankings 
11John Wall (WAS)PG
12Chris Paul (HOU)PG
13Damian Lillard (POR)PG
14Jimmy Butler (MIN)SG,SF
15Rudy Gobert (UTH)C
16Kyrie Irving (BOS)PG,SG
17Hassan Whiteside (MIA)C,PF
18Myles Turner (IND)PF,C
19Paul George (OKC)SG,SF
20Kyle Lowry (TOR)PG
21Draymond Green (GSW)SF,PF
22Kemba Walker (CHA)PG
23CJ McCollum (POR)PG,SG
24Bradley Beal (WAS)SG
25Klay Thompson (GSW)SG,SF
26Marc Gasol (MEM)C
27Kevin Love (CLE)PF,C
28Paul Millsap (DEN)PF,C
29Joel Embiid (PHI)PF,C
30Eric Bledsoe (MIL)PG,SG