One of the biggest keys to winning at fantasy football is to take risks—well, the best risks, that is.
Riskiness and recklessness are not one in the same. Taking well-educated, well-researched gambles is a great way to land fantasy gems at great values. Meanwhile, making unnecessarily bold moves can paralyze your roster.
To help flesh out some of the more perilous fantasy quarterbacks for 2014, we must first determine what factors most commonly lead to a player falling short of expectations.
We will quantify this “Flop Factor” using the following questions as they pertain to a specific player:
- Does the player have a small sample size of production or lack of experience as a starter?
- Is the player within a new regime different from the one in which he's previously had success?
- Does the player have significant injury, age and/or wear-and-tear concerns?
- Does the player face significant competition at the position?
- Is the player coming off an unexpectedly productive season?
- Did the player’s team lose any personnel integral to his previous level of production?
- Are there any off-field issues that could affect the player’s on-field production?
Players who meet several of these criteria have a greater Flop Factor and come with more inherent draft risk for fantasy owners.
Each player profiled in the following slides is graded as having either a minor, moderate or major Flop Factor, depending on the degree to which he embodies these factors.
Of course, any player can overcome his Flop Factor and go on to post a fantastic fantasy season.
Peyton Manning was a prime flop candidate following his lost 2011 season, facing considerable injury and age concerns, as well as a new regime. Meanwhile, Tom Brady succumbed to his Flop Factor last year, dealing with the loss of vital personnel and off-field team issues (i.e. Aaron Hernandez).
The purpose of Flop Factor analysis is not to advise fantasy owners to avoid these players, but rather to help owners decide which players are worth the gamble come draft day.
So, looking at quarterbacks, which players have the greatest “Flop Factor” for the upcoming fantasy season? Let’s take a look at a few of the most intriguing candidates.