Quarterback Value (QBV): Ranking QBs 1-32 (Week 4 Edition)
Every week we will be ranking the quarterbacks of each team from one to 32. This is not a fantasy analysis, as matchups will severely alter those rankings. This is plainly an in-depth analysis of the top signal-callers in the game. More or less, it's a QB valuing system.
The point of this analysis is to try and isolate the value of each quarterback. We try to take into account every different factor that can affect a quarterback's performance (i.e. receiving corps, defense, running game), as well as other factors that influence that quarterback's makeup (i.e. durability, potential, experience, clutchness).
As a result, we have come up with a QBV system using statistical data on a weekly basis to conjure up a ranking of all starting quarterbacks.
What Is QBV?
QBV is a statistical measurement that tries to measure the inherent value of each signal-caller.
We use nine different measurements to create QBV (a 10th is in the works for next week). A perfect score is 57.4257. Anything in the 40s is very good. High 30s is still above average, and mid-to-low 30s is average and so on.
The nine measurements are:
Last Week's Performance (LWP)
Since this is the first week that this algorithm has been used, it will severely be altered by LWP. As the season progresses, this impact will decrease yet remain a factor in the calculations.
Age and Experience (AGE)
Most notably playoff experience and experience in meaningful games in November through December.
The inverse of AGE, POT gives further value to the young quarterbacks and shows that they still have some growing to do. POT definitely factors into each quarterback's value.
The most important measurement. This measures how well each QB plays under pressure in the fourth quarter and how well they survive 3rd-and-long. Being clutch is the epitome of being a QB, and we wanted these "clutch" QBs to be heavily rewarded. Sorry Romo.
QBs can be very effective, but if they don't play, they don't have value. As a result, those QBs who are consistently on the field should be more valuable. Sorry Vick.
Past-Year Return (PYR)
As great as three weeks of football is, we cannot discount the fact that last year Peyton Manning didn't play, Mark Sanchez was terrible and Aaron Rodgers was god-like—it needed to be factored in.
Quality of Opponent (QoO)
Working against LWP, QoO needs to account for whether or not the quarterback played against the Colts or the 49ers. In order to isolate each quarterback's value, this is very important.
Quality of the running game (RG)
A solid running game is a QB's best friend. If you have Arian Foster/Ben Tate or Ray Rice, each defence will focus on stopping them. They won't do so regarding Stevan Ridley, so as a result, it needs to be factored in.
Overall Team Competency (TC)
Having Megatron can really bump up your stats, and having Braylon Edwards can really kill your stats. Moreover, having a defense that allows 28 points in the first half alters your game plan, so in the hope of isolating each QB we need to factor in the quality of their team.
NOTE: For some categories (e.g. DUR or PYR), rookie QBs will get a default ranking of 7/10.
32. Blaine Gabbert (QBV: 30.2571)
Sorry Blaine, no one is confused as to why you are the 32nd best starting quarterback. You had some success in the preseason and looked like you made some progress, but last week was same old Blaine.
What are the Jaguars going to do with you?
31. Ryan Tannehill (QBV: 31.7966)
Miami's Ryan Tannehill had a tough go against the strong Jets defense.
Although he connected with Davone Bess on a couple plays, he didn't take advantage of a weak Jets pass rush (0 sacks).
He also needs to improve his 2012 QB rating of 58.2.
30. Matt Cassel (QBV: 32.4007)
Matt Cassel "led" the Chiefs to a come-from-behind win over the Saints this past week. So why is he ranked 30th?
Well, when your running back nets you 288 total yards, your defense scores a touchdown and you had to settle for six field goals, I'd say the quarterback was pretty mediocre.
Like Carson Palmer, Cassel doesn't score well in any category in the QBV system. A 30-year-old quarterback like Cassel doesn't evoke many jersey sales, I am sure.
29. Alex Smith (QBV: 32.6751)
Now before everyone comes on here ripping the QBV system, you must remember it takes into account all other factors.
The fact that the 49ers (receivers, running backs, defense, special teams) are so good actually works against Smith in this study. Moreover, Smith playing a poor game against an average-at-best defence (minus Jared Allen) severely hampers his QBV this week.
In fact, Smith is one of only a few quarterbacks who received a negative sum on the LWP/QoO bracket, whereas others had as high as a six-point increase. This is not to say he couldn't jump up many spots in the upcoming weeks if he plays well.
Also, the first week of this study does magnify the LWP scale as it is based solely on one week.
Remember, this isn't indicative of how good the 49ers are—quite the contrary.
28. Brandon Weeden (QBV: 33.0395)
It seems this guy only plays well on the road. In two home starts, Brandon Weeden has a 35.4 QB rating and a 114.9 rating in his one road game.
Weeden needs consistency, and yet his team isn't the most skilled. Any team that asks a rookie quarterback for nearly 40 passes over his first three career starts is asking too much.
In regards to QBV, the Cleveland Browns' ineptness to do anything right actually gives him a slight boost over the likes of Alex Smith this week.
In other words, if Weeden played for the 49ers, would he be a much worse QB than Smith or vice versa? Could Smith do better than Weeden in Cleveland?
We hope to use this quantitative analysis to help structure the argument.
27. Jake Locker (QBV: 33.0650)
I was surprised when Locker posted such a low number on the QBV scale. However, the guy sitting in the 22nd spot only has a .33 lead on Locker.
From what I see about Locker, he looks as if he is really making strides in this early season, especially after taking down a "strong" Detroit team last week.
Locker threw for 378 yards and two scores. The best thing for Tennessee Titans fans is that after throwing the ball 42 times, Locker didn't throw a pick.
I have a feeling that these Titans are ready to turn it on and that Locker's play will energize CJ2K (RB Chris Johnson).
Just a hunch.
26. Carson Palmer (QBV: 33.2237)
Maybe our team is a little tough on good old Carson, but he lands in the lower tier of QBs.
Palmer doesn't necessarily score well along most measurements, however he did play very well against the Steelers, and perhaps that can push up some of his other measurements if he continues this trend.
25. Sam Bradford (QBV: 33.2239)
Bradford had a very tough day against the vaunted Chicago defense. However, prior to that game, Bradford had posted two straight games of 105-plus QB ratings.
Perhaps we can give him a pass on this game. I am very interested to see how Bradford finishes the year under Jeff "my mom thinks you are a babe" Fisher's tutelage.
As I said in Locker's slide, there is a large group of quarterbacks hovering around the 33 mark in QBV, so one good game could shoot him up the ranks.
24. Ryan Fitzpatrick (QBV: 33.2479)
Look at that face! Fitzmagic is a gamer, not a highly touted prospect (hence being a seventh-round pick).
Fitzpatrick has posted two straight solid games, but the real test comes this week against the New England Patriots.
Fitzpatrick is an average scorer on the QBV scale, as his intangibles are the hardest thing to measure. He might need a few more games where he is the star (and not No. 1 fantasy player C.J. Spiller) in order for his worth to increase.
Let's see you do it this week against Brady and Co.
23. Josh Freeman (QBV: 33.3234)
No, Josh, you aren't on fire. Are you blowing on your hand because it's cold? That's understandable, get well soon. Sincerely, QBV.
Freeman has had a tough go the last two weeks, completing only 25 of his 56 attempts. That being said, both the Dallas secondary and the Giants D-line are very good.
It seems Schiano wants to keep Freeman from running, as he has only 14 yards rushing compared to an average of over 300 the past two seasons.
Freeman is still young and will continue to develop as well as get further acclimated to Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin.
He will rebound.
22. Mark Sanchez (QBV: 33.3927)
Mark Sanchez, like Joe Flacco, scores well on the QBV, largely due to young age and great playoff experience. Sanchez, still only 25, has the potential to grow into a much better quarterback. Moreover, he has the durability to give him a big boost in the rankings.
Sanchez has been up and down this season. Watching the Jets can be very frustrating, and I don't understand why they have yet to involve Stephen Hill like they did in the opener (I understand he has been targeted, but give him some quick outs to start!).
I have a feeling that with the loss of Revis, Sanchez will be dropping on this list...
Question: How would Mark Sanchez do leading the 49ers attack? And how would Alex Smith do leading the Jets?
21. Kevin Kolb (QBV: 33.6125)
I have to admit, I'm not a fan of Kevin Kolb; but it is hard to discount what he has done this season.
He currently sports a 108.6 QB rating, zero interceptions, four passing touchdown and one rushing, and has beat one of the best AFC and one of the best NFC teams this season—as well as his former Eagles.
On top of it all, Kolb doesn't have a great running game (granted he does have Mr. Fitzgerald), so he has had to pass his way to victory.
Kudos, Mr. Kolb.
20. Michael Vick (QBV: 33.7860)
Michael Vick loves to tease people it seems. He is also a turnover machine right now.
That being said, I am always afraid to bet against him, as he could put up 30-plus points easily. Although I dislike what the Eagles offense is trying to do with him, should Vick throw for 300 yards a game and average over 40 passes a game? I didn't think so either.
Anyway, this spot seems appropriate for Vick at this point.
19. Jay Cutler (QBV: 34.3787)
Probably the least-liked quarterback in the league, the Chicago Bears' Jay Cutler has been doing himself zero favors with his mouth and his arm.
How does WR Brandon Marshall average 3.5 catches over the last two games after netting nine in the first?
Cutler also needs to complete more than 14 passes per contest (49 over the three games).
So why is he in the teens? Because he is Jay Cutler, and he told me to.
18. Christian Ponder (QBV: 35.3097)
It could be argued that Alex Smith and Christian Ponder swapped places since last week's QBV. Ponder played exceptionally well against the best defense in the NFL in the 49ers, throwing for two scores and running for one, all the while not turning the ball over.
As I stated last week, I was curious to see how Ponder did here after encountering two see-through defenses in the first two weeks (JAC, IND), and he passed with flying colours.
His QB rating sits at 104.9 on the year. After seeing what Locker did to the Detroit Lions, who is to say Ponder couldn't do the same?
17. Philip Rivers (QBV: 35.4189)
Like Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers is one of those underappreciated quarterbacks who has always led his team since the departure of LT (LaDainian Tomlinson).
Rivers had a down year last season, but prior to that he had a 92/33 TD/INT over the previous three seasons.
Rivers also has an impressive consecutive-games streak, as he has started every game for the Chargers since 2006. (Watch out Favre!)
As far as quarterbacks go, you can do much worse than Philip Rivers.
16. Matt Schaub (QBV: 35.5087)
Looks as if Schaub put himself to sleep in this photo, as he has so much flair!
Schaub is a consistent quarterback who has yet to have any real success in the playoffs. Moreover, he is the beneficiary of an outstanding ground game and one of the best receivers over the past decade.
I would not call being ranked 17th a slight on Schaub at this point in his career. I mean, truth be told, if there was a quarterback draft to start a new league, Schaub would probably go around No. 17 at this point in his career.
15. Tony Romo (QBV: 35.6256)
Tony Romo. What to say...
He has good taste in women?
14. Andy Dalton (QBV: 35.6475)
Andy Dalton: the young quarterback no one talks about.
Sure, he does have arguably the best young receiver in the league in A.J. Green, but Dalton still has produced since day one.
He has thrown three touchdowns in his last two games, with a QB rating around 130 in each of them.
Oftentimes people need to look at the year of birth of these quarterbacks and not think that all QBs drafted in the same year are the same age. Dalton is 25 and has years to go to continue to improve with Green.
13. Russell Wilson (QBV: 35.7299)
As Bill Simmons' lover boy, Wilson is slowly winning the hearts of many, although the Seahawks seem to be the villains for stealing that win on Monday night against Green Bay.
It can be argued, though, from the point of view of those Wilson purists, that it was Wilson who brought the original NFL referees back to work. Had he not made that throw, the bad call on the touchdown would never have happened, and perhaps the refs wouldn't have signed on so quickly. Just sayin'.
He is that powerful.
12. Joe Flacco (QBV: 36.3336)
As previously mentioned in the Sanchez slide, Joe Flacco benefits from having a decent trifecta of scores in the first category bracket. He is young and very experienced in the playoffs, still has some potential to improve and is durable.
As a result, Flacco will always have a decent spot in QBV. Couple that with his great two-minute drill in the fourth to win over the Patriots, and Flacco has a nice spot in these rankings.
Can he keep this up? Many are split on Flacco and how good he can really be. Guess we will have to wait and see on a weekly basis.
UPDATE: Flacco did not play particularly well against the Browns, but that score will be affected in next week's QBV.
11. Peyton Manning (QBV: 37.1568)
Peyton Manning is the best quarterback I have seen during my lifetime.
However, it is evident that his neck injury has slowed him down a bit.
He is still a feared QB and will make an outstanding coach if he chooses to go down that route. I expect him to do something similar to John Elway.
He is still a fantastic quarterback.
10. Robert Griffin III (QBV: 37.221)
RGIII is not QBV's best friend to date. After a mediocre game last week, RGIII's fanfare has subsequently dropped with two straight losses.
I expect RGIII to put up big numbers against the Bucs in Tampa, and he will easily move up these rankings.
How many wins will the Redskins finish with this season? Your guess is as good as mine.
9. Andrew Luck (QBV: 37.8719)
Andrew Luck already knows how to lead his team back from behind in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for Luck, unless he leaves the clock at zeroes, his defense will probably relinquish the lead—as was the case against Jacksonville last week.
With 45 seconds to go, Cecil Shorts caught the ball and ran for an 80-yard TD, ruining Luck's second consecutive fourth-quarter comeback.
Regardless, with the weapons at Luck's disposal and his average offensive line, Luck has done very well in my books.
Luck will continue to improve and, along with RGIII, has the highest POT grade in QBV.
8. Matthew Stafford (QBV: 38.1404)
Matthew Stafford has not looked like himself over the first three weeks of the season. He has sailed some passes over his receivers heads and has not been as accurate as normal.
That being said, you can't put last week's loss on Stafford. When your offense scores 41 points, you should win. Stafford does need to, however, capitalize on more easy scores to his big-play receivers.
His QB rating is a dismal 83.5, and he needs to improve. Upon improvement, Stafford should climb the QBV list.
7. Cam Newton (QBV: 38.7201)
Cam Newton had an historical rookie season, but like Stafford hasn't played particularly well so far this year.
Newton scores very well along most metrics on the QBV scale, and with a solid game can climb the ranks.
The 23-year-old is probably having an early-season wake-up call. It must be hard for a top recruit like Newton to come into the NFL and have that much success and remain humble and hungry.
After an abysmal performance on national television, I feel as if Newton will be ready to come on strong for the rest of the season.
6. Matt Ryan (QBV: 40.1443)
The first QB with a score in the 40s, Ryan is playing very well to start the year, and the Falcons look unstoppable.
With a 114 QB rating and an undefeated team who averages 30-plus per contest, the Falcons are for real and so is Ryan.
I think QBV did the right job and kept him outside the top five, however. As great as he has played, which of the top five quarterbacks would you not want to have instead of Ryan?
Always keep that in mind since that is the epitome of value.
5. Ben Roethlisberger (QBV: 42.3576)
Roethlisberger is the definition of why statistics can be misleading. If you put his numbers up against the likes of Stafford or Newton or Drew Brees, he looks very average by comparison.
Yet, somehow, he is the one with two rings. Roethlisberger wins games. Sure, he's had the Steelers defense to work with, but don't call him Trent Dilfer.
Is there a better quarterback on third down? That would be an excellent argu...discussion to have.
4. Eli Manning (QBV: 43.4176)
Like Roethlisberger, Eli Manning never has great statistics throughout each season. Yet also like Big Ben, Manning has two rings.
Manning is a smart quarterback, and it doesn't matter if it's Ramses Barden, Victor Cruz, Amari Toomer or Sinorice Moss, as Manning can get production from any of his receivers (and tight ends for that matter!).
Manning has always been somewhat undervalued and in the shadow of the great Peyton, but this year he definitely has more value than his older brother.
3. Drew Brees (QBV: 44.7813)
Even though the Saints are 0-3, Brees has still played well. One of the most consistent and feared quarterbacks in the league, Brees can still dominate any game.
Brees' value is very high in QBV. When you couple his consistent success with his intangibles, experience and overall quality of his performance, there aren't many quarterbacks who stack up better (actually, only two are better this week).
What would have happened had he went to Miami? I continually remind my friends who bleed 'Phins about this dark day.
2. Aaron Rodgers (QBV: 46.3169)
Everyone feels for the Packers after that tough loss. The Packers have had a very demanding schedule to start the season, playing three of the top defenses (SF, CHI, SEA).
That being said, something has looked off with Rodgers this season compared to last. He hasn't had that relaxed affirmative demeanor that was so apparent last season.
Perhaps after shredding the paper-thin Saints defense, the angry Rodgers will start his ascension to the top spot in QBV.
Or maybe he needs a discount double check.
1. Tom Brady (QBV: 48.0625)
After putting up 30 points against the Ravens D, Brady somersaults into first place in the QBV.
He still hasn't been perfect, but Brady is so integral to his team's success that his backup couldn't pull off a Matt Flynn.
Brady and Bill Belichick are essentially one person. They are so very in tune, and Brady is the most valuable QB after Week 4 of the NFL season.
Thanks for reading and leave your comments below, diehard fans!
Get at me on Twitter @the__ste (double underscore) for fantasy advice, fantasy articles, MLB Playoffs news and discussion, as well as anything else I find awesome.
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