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Fantasy Football: A Plan For Drafting Quarterbacks In 2009

Taylor RummelSenior Analyst IJune 1, 2009

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MAY 03:  Quarterback Kyle Orton #8 has the ball jokingly tipped form his hands by sixth round draft pick rookie quarterback Tom Brandslater #3 during Denver Broncos Minicamp at the Broncos training facility on May 3, 2009 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Hey guys! Hope you all got to read my other article, "Fantasy Football: A Winning Draft Strategy for 2009."  It covers the three first rounds of any fantasy draft. 

Anyway, in this article, I will be highlighting the quarterback position for standard leagues (One QB).

To start, let's list off all of the quarterbacks ranked one through 10 for the upcoming season and their projections (from ESPN.com):

1.  Drew Brees—4,827 yards, 30 TD's, 15 INT's

2.  Tom Brady—4,210 yards, 32 TD's, 11 INT's

3.  Peyton Manning—4,153 yards, 31 TD's, 13 INT's

4.  Kurt Warner—4,150 yards, 29 TD's, 16 INT's

5.  Aaron Rodgers—4,008 yards, 29 TD's, 15 INT's

6.  Phillip Rivers—3,865 yards, 28 TD's, 13 INT's

7.  Tony Romo—4,001 yards, 28 TD's, 19 INT's

8.  Matt Ryan—3,684 yards, 25 TD's, 14 INT's

9.  Matt Schaub—3,645 yards, 26 TD's, 14 INT's

10.  Donovan McNabb—3,749 yards, 22 TD's, 11 INT's

OK, after looking over those stats, it's time to do some math, (everyone's favorite subject, I know). The No. 1 rated QB is Drew Brees. He has a stat line which is a very big outlier from the No. 2 rated QB, Tom Brady, (and really the rest of the top 10), so we'll use Brady's stats for this. His stats are:

4,210 yards, 32 TD's, 11 INT's

The No. 10 QB is Donovan McNabb, whose stats are:

3,749 yards, 22 TD's, 11 INT's

That's a whopping difference of 461 yards. 

Or is it, really? (We are not counting the TD's and INT's since those stats have a higher percentage of being off year to year). 

Let's break this stat down further:

There are 16 games played by each fantasy player each year, (barring any injury or suspension, of course).  461 yards, (46 fantasy points) spread out into 16 games, equals a grand total of 2.875 fantasy points a game. So the "pro" of drafting Tom Brady instead of Donovan McNabb is three fantasy points a game?!  Not worth it to me, and shouldn't be worth it to you.

Here's the list of quarterbacks ranked 11 through 20:

11.  Matt Cassel—3,545 yards, 19 TD's, 13 INT's

12.  Jay Cutler—3,795 yards, 24 TD's, 16 INT's

13.  Ben Roethlisberger—3,341 yards, 19 TD's, 15 INT's

14.  Carson Palmer—3,819 yards, 23 TD's, 19 INT's

15.  Eli Manning—3,280 yards, 21 TD's, 14 INT's

16.  Kyle Orton—3,487 yards, 21 TD's, 17 INT's

17.  David Garrard—3,529 yards, 14 TD's, 11 INT's

18.  Matt Hasselbeck—3,215 yards, 23 TD's, 14 INT's

19.  Trent Edwards—3,295 yards, 18 TD's, 15 INT's

20.  Jake Delhomme—3,247 yards, 16 TD's, 12 INT's

Now, let's play the same game, just with a different name compared to Brady:

Again, Brady's stats:

4,210 yards, 32 TD's, 11 INT's

Now here's Jake Delhomme's stats:

3247 yards, 16 TD's, 12 INT's

The difference is almost 1,000 yards, (100 fantasy points, and again, not including TD's or INT's). The difference in fantasy points per game is now 6.25; a little more relevant now, but still not earth-shattering.

The point is that it's simply not a necessity, nor even a recommendation, to grab a top flight quarterback. There are just too many good players available that will serve your team better at around the same place where the likes of Brady, Manning, and all the other top QB's will get picked. 

The difference from Brady to McNabb is only three fantasy points a game. When that's the case, why not pick McNabb?

The QB's that I, personally, am eyeing this year include: Kyle Orton, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Matt Cassel, and Carson Palmer.

Kyle Orton: Moves to a pass-happy offense under the guidance of Josh McDaniels. Also gains weapons Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal, and Tony Scheffler.

Eli Manning: Is on a winning team, has a great running back behind him to keep defense's honest, and has a young, high-upside receiving corps.

Matt Ryan: My least favorite of everyone on this list, since he will warrant the highest pick most likely, but he has shown that he is NFL-ready and has a super stud WR in Roddy White, and one of the best RB's in the game in Michael Turner.

Matt Cassel: Moves to a Chiefs team without a lot of weapons. Dwayne Bowe stands out and is an up-and-coming receiver, but other than that, not a whole lot of options. 

However the thing he does have working for him is the fact that his team is bad. People will discount him since he is on a bad team, and might in turn make him a nice value in the middle/later rounds.

Carson Palmer: Still has Ochocinco, now has Laverneus Coles. His injury risks are real, but with these talented two WR's, he should be able to enjoy a nice comeback season.

I'm Taylor Rummel, (The Fantasy Football Wonder), and this has been Fantasy Football:  A Plan for Drafting Quarterbacks in 2009.

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