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If you take a look at expert leagues and mocks, it’s evident that the prevailing strategy is waiting on the QB position, especially in 1QB leagues. Our own Bobby Sylvester and Mike Tagliere have talked about players that they’re fine waiting on until the final rounds of drafts in order to fill up on skill-position players early.
Still, there are some QBs that provide value relative to where they are being drafted, or average draft position (ADP). On the flip side, there are others that could be draft landmines given their bust potential given their current ADP. Today, we’ll take a look at the latter, examining quarterbacks to avoid at their current ADP.
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Which QB are you least likely to draft at their current ADP?
Patrick Mahomes (KC): ADP QB1, No. 23 Overall
Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was a big beneficiary of WR Tyreek Hill being told that he will not be suspended for his conduct off the field this offseason. That is going to continue his upticking ADP, as he now as an ADP of 23 overall. I would not be surprised if that number is higher than 20 by the time many people are drafting in August. Mahomes is probably going to have a terrific season, but people have to be realistic about what his fantasy numbers are going to be this year. Take a look at Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. He has had monster seasons, he has led the league in fantasy points four times, and he has finished second three more times. Despite that, he has scored more than 380 fantasy points only twice, and he has never led the league in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has finished first in fantasy points twice, second three times, and third twice. He has scored over 380 fantasy points one time. I think Mahomes is going to be in the MVP discussion, he is a young player on a fantastic team, and he is entering his third season. His low salary allows KC to surround him with a ton of talent, and he seems to have the work ethic and drive to improve. However, quarterback is the deepest position in fantasy football, fantasy owners usually play only one of them per week, and great ones are available after the eighth round. It makes no sense to invest a pick in Mahomes at that draft spot. At that draft slot, he is going to need to score 380 or more fantasy points for that to even have a chance to pay off, because if he is below that, he is probably going to be bunched with a number of other quarterbacks that were taken eight to 10 rounds later. Fantasy football success is not only based on what statistics a player puts up but what round that player is selected. It is going to be near impossible for Mahomes to live up to that draft pick. I am just not willing to bet on him repeating his historic 2018 season, which is almost what he would need to do to justify that selection.
– Derek Lofland (@DerekLofland)
This is probably going to be the consensus. Patrick Mahomes is clearly the QB1 and the news that Tyreek Hill won’t be suspended further solidifies his status as the best QB in fantasy. I certainly would love to have Mahomes on my fantasy team. I am just never spending a top-36 pick on a QB, and Mahomes typically goes around the middle of the third round at the latest. The opportunity cost of sacrificing a WR like A.J. Green or Stefon Diggs or an RB like Leonard Fournette or Derrick Henry to take a QB, even if he is the best, is never worth it. For Mahomes to justify a second- or third-round selection, he not only has to be the QB1, but he has to outperform the QB2 by a significant margin. If Mahomes is going to outscore the QB2 by six fantasy points per game like he did last season, then he will be worth the selection. I’m just not willing to gamble a top-36 pick that Mahomes is, in fact, the greatest fantasy QB of all time.
– Jason Katz (@jasonkatz13)
A lot has already been said about Mahomes but this price is simply ridiculous. I’ve seen Mahomes go in the first round in numerous drafts, and that’s a silly price to pay for any QB. You can land a guy like Cam Newton later in your draft and be just fine. There’s simply no way that Mahomes and duplicate his 50-TD season, and you’re surely paying for that at this price tag.
– Joel Bartilotta (@Bartilottajoel)
Quarterbacks 1-9 in ADP
Barring an unforeseen tumble down draft boards, I won’t be touching any of the nine highest-ranked quarterbacks. That’s not because they aren’t great players or are due to fall off a cliff this season. It’s because QB is the deepest position in fantasy with little separating the tiers of production. Matt Ryan finished as QB2 last year while averaging 22.2 points per game. Mitchel Trubisky finished as QB15 with an average of 18.8. That 3.4-point differential is drastically smaller than the gap between RB2 and RB15 (9.7) in PPR. I’d rather load up with depth at the volatile skill positions and take my chances with Carson Wentz (QB10), Jared Goff (QB12), or Philip Rivers (QB14), all of whom could reasonably finish among the top 10 at the position (I’d even be comfortable riding with Jameis Winston and Kirk Cousins in certain situations). With quality QB depth reaching well into the 12th round, I can’t justify sacrificing a valuable flex pick for a high-ranked passer.
– Brandon Katz (@great_katzby)
Quarterbacks 3-9 in ADP
Many in the industry are saying Patrick Mahomes, simply because there is no way he repeats last year and is due for regression. I still think he throws anywhere from 40-45 TDs and still project him to be the number one QB in fantasy for 2019. The only other QB that will challenge him for the number one spot is Andrew Luck. Based on who is available with your pick, these are the only two quarterbacks I would draft based on the consensus rankings. With the position being so deep, I am most likely not going to take a quarterback ranked in the 3-9 range. I would rather stockpile skilled positions and take a starting QB in tier 3 (QB10-17). There’s such a small gap in point differential from QB3-QB17. For example, Aaron Rodgers, who is ranked third, is projected 19.46 points per game, while Kirk Cousins, who is 17th, is projected 17.16, or a difference of just 2.3 points per week. Instead of drafting Matt Ryan, Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson and others in that 3-9 range, wait a few rounds and take Jameis Winson, Dak Prescott, Mitch Trubisky, or Kirk Cousins.
– Brad Camara (@beerad30)
Baker Mayfield (CLE): ADP QB5, No. 64 Overall
If you’re drafting a quarterback in the fifth round, he sure as hell better be a proven commodity. As a rookie, Baker Mayfield posted more than 14.1 points in a mere 50 percent of his games while never scoring more than 25.9. Mayfield’s appeal is understandable, but his ADP is illogical. Cleveland’s talented defense and above-average running game could limit his upside. Even if Mayfield does have a breakout season and finishes inside the top five, you would be paying a steep price at a deep position. The whole point of predicting a breakout is getting said player at a discount. Drafting Mayfield at his ceiling without taking into account his floor is foolish.
– Elisha Twerski (@ElishaTwerski)
Mahomes was considered for this until I thought about the different type of formats there are in fantasy football. In leagues that have the option of starting 2 QBs or 6-point passing TD scoring, Mahomes would be a great add at his ADP. But someone that I am pumping the breaks on in the majority of fantasy formats this year is Baker Mayfield. Baker is currently going at an ADP of 64 and positional rank of QB5. I personally think he has the tools to be a top-five QB in the league, but if we look at the history of the QB position in fantasy and just his small sample size of games, we can find better or similar value later in drafts. Since 2014, there have been two or more QBs that had an ADP of 90 and positional rank of QB10 or higher that cracked the top five in fantasy points every year. The top three QBs last year had ADPs of 100 or higher (Mahomes ADP:118 and QB15; Ryan ADP: 108 and QB13; Roethlisberger ADP: 114 and QB14). This year, Baker is currently projected to finish better than two of those guys (Ryan and Roethlisberger). Can Baker finish a top-five QB this year? With the firepower he has on offense — absolutely. But this shows that you can find a QB later in drafts and get the production you are looking for while also drafting other positional needs. I would rather take a chance on one of the guys projected at the end of drafts that could give similar production.
– Kevin O’Connor (@22koconnor)
Russell Wilson (SEA): ADP QB8, No. 79 Overall
Wilson is a tremendous quarterback, but there’s no reason to take him at his current ADP given the volume concerns. Only the Ravens ran more than the Seahawks last year, leading to just 427 pass attempts after amassing 553 in 2017. No longer needing to scramble behind an improved offensive line, he also failed to record a single rushing touchdown in a career-low 67 rushing attempts. Wilson needed an unsustainable 8.2% TD rate — he has a career 6.2% clip — just to finish as the QB9. Now he’s going as the QB8 despite losing Doug Baldwin. At this point, drafters might as well wait another 50 picks for Dak Prescott in single-quarterback formats.
– Andrew Gould (@andrewgould4)
I’m a big Russell Wilson fan, but 79th overall and the ninth QB off the board at the position is far too pricey for a QB that will struggle to reach 450 attempts this season. Despite not having huge volume, Wilson has put up 34+ TDs in three of this last four seasons, but his 427 attempts in 2018 jumps off the page for negative regression candidate. Wilson ranked 20th among QBs in attempts last season, which was dead last among QBs that played all 16 games. In fact, Wilson had 78 fewer attempts than the next highest QB with 16 games. I still think Wilson will be a solid spot starter, but he’s not worth his current draft-day price.
– Kyle August (kyleFFfellas)
Drew Brees (NO): ADP QB7, No. 78 Overall
One of the best fantasy — and real-life — quarterbacks over the course of more than a decade, Drew Brees is set to enter his age-40 season coming off the heels of a near-4,000 yard year that featured the highest completion percentage of his career (74.4%). The Saints’ offense was as potent as ever last year, with Brees spreading the ball all over the field to weapons like Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. Brees was still as solid a fantasy option as ever for most of the season and, according to PlayerProfiler.com, was top-five in the league in completion percentage under pressure, deep ball completion percentage, red zone completion percentage, play-action completion percentage and just about every measurable accuracy statistic. As the season wore on, though, Brees began to fade a bit. From Week 12 through Week 16 (he sat out Week 17), Brees was the 22nd ranked fantasy QB — behind Jeff Driskel, Case Keenum, Eli Manning, and others. His 12.9 points per game down the stretch were especially impactful to his fantasy owners, many of whom were in the midst of playoff runs. During this quarter-season stretch, Brees AY/A was an abysmal 5.88 — compared to 10.18 in the previous 11 weeks. Extrapolated over the course of a full season, his 5.88 mark would rank second to last in the league among qualified quarterbacks. He’s not going to completely drop off from fantasy relevance, but with his showing at the end of last year, it may be wise to look beyond Brees (QB7) and toward Cam Newton (QB9) or Carson Wentz (QB10).
– Brian Rzeppa (@brianrzeppa)
Jared Goff (LAR): ADP QB12, No. 98 Overall
The Rams had one of the most powerful offenses in the league last year, but you won’t find me drafting Jared Goff anywhere this season. Goff is currently being taken as the QB12 which you would think means he is a low-risk value pick, but with the type of value we are seeing at the QB position these days, I’m just not a buyer at this point. He finished outside the top-12 nine times last season. He was also one of the worst QBs in the league under pressure, completing only 31.3% of his passes in those situations. Goff had beat out his ADP in each of the last two seasons, but that was much easier to do when he was being drafted as the QB27 (2017) and QB16 (2018). Now with him being drafted as a back-end QB1, he is basically being bought at face value with not much room for error. You can get similar production much later in drafts from guys like Dak Prescott (ADP QB17, 3YA rank of 8.7), Kirk Cousins (ADP QB21, 3YA rank 8.0), and even Matthew Stafford who finished as the QB7 two of the last three years as a late-round steal if the Lions’ offense rebounds. Goff is your classic game-managing system QB whose value can be replicated later in drafts.
– John Ferguson (@FantasyFerguson)
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