Summer is coming to an end, which means the beginning of the NFL and Fantasy Football. One of the most crucial aspects of compiling a strong lineup week in and week out is properly valuing the quarterback position. When it comes to standard or PPR 12 man leagues, drafting your quarterback in the right round is what can make or break your season. While it may be nice to have one of the big three quarterbacks in your lineup (Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees), these players simply are not worth their output in their given rounds. The latter rounds of your fantasy draft are where you get the best value on the quarterback position. Here’s the breakdown.
When to Draft a Fantasy Football QB?
- Last year, the league average in points per game scored (PPG) was 15.93. Using the same PPG value, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady each averaged roughly 18.5 PPG, while Drew Brees average a mere 16.41 PPG. Drew Brees basically average PPG performance does not justify taking him at his average draft position (ADP) of 37.7, which is an early 4th round pick. Aaron Rodgers had an ADP of 19.8, a late 2nd round pick and Tom Brady typically taken in the early 3rd round with an ADP of 27.4. While these quarterbacks are more than elite on the field, their fantasy performance does not garner the use of a high round pick, but could better be used adding depth to your wide receiver or running back groups.
- In the case of the 3rd and 4th round picks, begin exploring the idea of drafting a top-tier fantasy tight end like Rob Gronkowski, Travis Kelce, or even Zach Ertz.
- The ideal place to draft a quarterback is in the late rounds of your fantasy draft. Instead of trying to take a flier on an oft-injured wide receiver or running back in attempts to find a steal and continue to add depth to your roster, it’s time to start looking for your quarterback. Three of the best four fantasy quarterbacks of last year were drafted in the 12th and 14th rounds. Rookie Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans had an ADP of 161.1, which is a mid-14th round pick. Prior to his season-ending injury, he was averaging an eye-popping 24.12 PPG. For those of you paying attention, that’s nearly 6 points more per game than what Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers averaged, and he could have been drafted over 10 rounds later. Carson Wentz had an ADP of 132.7, an early 12th round pick and also prior to his season-ending injury was averaging 21.67 PPG.
- Then finally, we have Alex Smith, who had an ADP of 160.7, a mid-14th round pick, and averaged 19.68 PPG. Alex Smith started all but one game last year, which may have made him the most valuable fantasy quarterback in the 2017 draft. The other elite fantasy quarterback was Russell Wilson, who’s ADP was 63.5, an early 5th round pick who averaged 21.74 PPG. This output is, in fact, elite and a valuable pick in the 5th round.
- While having the consistency of Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady in your lineup seems ideal, they simply are not worth their pick value. If you are getting anxious about rounds continuing to pass without having a starting quarterback in your lineup, wait till the 5th round and take Russell Wilson. However, if you are trying to build a truly dominant team, be patient and wait till the later rounds to draft your quarterback. You receive far greater value on a late round quarterback compared to an early round quarterback, giving you the chance to add depth to skill positions while the rest of your league wastes their high round picks on household names.
For more information on all things Fantasy Football, check out this ESPN guide.
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