Fantasy Football: When to Draft a Quarterback
Over the past several years, the passing game in the NFL has seen a major boost in production. Passing touchdowns in particular have seen a significant spike in the past few seasons. In 2006 the number was at 684 and in just 10 years that number rose to 842. After being above 800 the previous 3 years there was a slight dip in 2016, but the 786 passing touchdowns were still more than any other year before 2013. These statistics show that there is an abundance of solid options at quarterback which is why waiting to draft one may be a successful strategy.
We all know the kind of success Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, and all other top tier quarterbacks had in 2016. What you may not know is that there were a number of other quarterbacks who put up impressive numbers last season. For example, Philip Rivers threw for 4,386 yards and 33 touchdowns and Kirk Cousins continued upon his great year in 2015 with 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. There will also be quarterbacks like Cam Newton, who threw for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions following an MVP season, who will be looking to bounce back from poor years. Likewise, young quarterbacks who played well in 2016 like Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota will look to continue to build off of strong seasons as both threw 25 plus touchdowns and had less than 10 interceptions.
In all, thirteen quarterbacks threw for over 4,000 yards and another set of 13 threw 25 plus touchdowns last season. These statistics prove what is already known, the NFL is a passing league and if you can get similar production out of the position in the later rounds as opposed to the first couple, why would you not want to wait to draft your quarterback? One potential drawback to this strategy would be that if there are only a few good options left and you decide to wait one more round and they are all selected, you may need to draft a quarterback that you deem as not a great starting option. However avoiding the urge of drafting a Brady or a Rodgers could allow you to load up at the other positions. Whether it’s drafting another running back or wide receiver, or getting a top tier tight end, there are other great options to pursue in lieu of drafting a quarterback early.
There are a number of different strategies to take when drafting your team. All of which have their advantages as well as their disadvantages. Although there are potential flaws when deciding to wait a few rounds to draft a quarterback, I believe that the benefit of focusing on other areas first far outweighs the drawback of possibly missing out on one of the many solid options at the position. The value of selecting another great player to possibly have as a flex option or to have in case of injury cannot be overstated. Although the scale may tip back toward a more defensive game at some point, the proof is in the numbers. This upcoming season, the quarterback position is deep and in my opinion, waiting to draft one would be a great decision.
All stats provided by Pro Football Reference.
Colby Gatz covers Fantasy Football for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @bostonfan_15.