POINT – Brandon C. Williams
Look, everyone can’t have the smoking hot woman/man that passes every eye test on top of having hidden gifts about them that makes you about as weak-kneed as Apollo Creed after his first round with Ivan Drago. So why compromise yourself and your Fantasy football team by trying to add a smoking hot quarterback this late in the season?
Entering this week, there are 27 quarterbacks who have accounted for at least 100 Fantasy points in Yahoo leagues. When you consider that recently entrenched QBs like Houston’s Case Keenum and Tampa Bay’s Mike Glennon are rapidly approaching the mark, there is no agonizing need to upgrade to a Peyton Manning (the only QB over the 200-point plateau), Drew Brees or Tony Romo, who rank second and third, respectively.
Diversity is a good thing, folks, and the position provides such as the Fantasy postseason begins. In this Fantasy Year of the Quarterback, Part Deux, everyone wins. That is, unless, you’re an Aaron Rodgers owner who ignored the position and assumed you could “get by” with a slag like Christian Ponder or Carson Palmer. Now that your Rolls Royce is in the shop for the next four to six weeks, Rodgers owners still have no need to panic, as the position will present viable options. You can still find a Keenum, Glennon or even a returning E.J. Manuel that will give you respectable Fantasy numbers without crippling your postseason chances.
The second half of the NFL season will translate into intriguing production from unlikely sources at the position, which is why trading for a supposed big gun does nothing for you in the long term. Nick Foles won’t throw seven TD passes, yet he has shown he can be productive in Philly. As long as Keenum can find Andre Johnson or as long as Glennon is throwing 45 times a game, even the bottom of the barrel is going to render some adequate numbers.
Christina Hendricks or Channing Tatum (see, I’m catering to the ladies in Fantasy football) isn’t knocking on your door anytime soon, so give up hope. Just because that dream won’t be realized doesn’t mean the pickings are bare. In fact, if you look at your Fantasy team, I’d bet you’d feel better if you just embraced the QB in your starting lineup.
COUNTERPOINT – Chris Mitchell
The elite QB market is pretty slim depending on your definition of elite, but there is a clear separation between the mediocre, the very good and the elite. In Standard scoring leagues here are the top five scorers:
P Manning 215 pts
Drew Brees 182 pts
Tony Romo 166 pts (hasn’t had a bye week yet)
Matt Stafford 162 pts
Phillip Rivers 152 pts
A good argument can be made that there are only two elite quarterbacks and a lesser argument that there is only one, the king himself, Peyton Manning. Let’s look at the next tier of quarterbacks so we can compare the elite to the very good and then even further to the pretty good.
Cam Newton 150 pts
Andrew Luck 150 pts
Russell Wilson 146 pts (hasn’t had a bye week yet)
Andy Dalton 144 pts (hasn’t had a bye week yet)
Matt Ryan 133 pts
Robert Griffin III 117 pts
B Roethlisberger 114 pts
Tony Romo, Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton haven’t had their bye weeks yet, so their totals have the advantage of an extra game. Through eight weeks, Peyton Manning is averaging just under 27 points per week and Drew Brees is averaging just under 23 points per week. Tony Romo through nine weeks is averaging just over 18 points per week while Andy Dalton is averaging 16 points per week. When it comes to must-win games, whether to make your Fantasy playoffs or to win them, you have to look at what you can consistently expect from your signal caller. Tony Romo, the third-ranked quarterback in standard scoring leagues, averages almost nine fewer points per week than Peyton Manning and almost five points per week less than Drew Brees. Andy Dalton, the ninth ranked quarterback, averages eleven and nine fewer points per week respectively and he has been wildly inconsistent. If you own a Top 5 QB like Romo or Stafford, then I can see how you feel pretty good about standing pat with what you have. But what if you have Russell Wilson, who averages 205 passing yards per game and whose rushing yardage per game is wildly inconsistent? Or Andy Dalton, who doesn’t run at all and whose performance across the board is inconsistent from week to week? These numbers show that you need to upgrade the production and improve your consistency at quarterback.
This is what trading is all about. Whether you’re filling needs or upgrading a position, the cost is always what matters. The elements of a perfect trade are to trade from depth and to get the best player. Upgrading at QB is the type of trade that fits both of these cardinal rules. Quarterback and wide receiver are both deep positions. There are a lot of good quarterbacks. That’s why they don’t get drafted in the early rounds. This mindset plays perfectly when you want to upgrade at the trade deadline. Offer a QB, like Cam Newton or Andrew Luck, with a wide receiver, like Antonio Brown or Vincent Jackson, for Peyton Manning and some lesser WR or TE to even out the deal, and there you go. That’s a fair offer. It’s an offer that will appeal to a team that has Ben Roethlisberger or RGIII. It’s a win-win for both sides. You get an elite, reliable QB for the playoffs, who has the potential to go Fantasy berzerk and score you 30-40-plus points in any given week, and the other owner gets an upgrade at two positions as well. That kind of week wins leagues if they are timed right. That kind of week overcomes inconsistency or poor performances in must win weeks. That potential is an important part of why upgrading at QB makes sense. Crazy things happen in Fantasy football. We all know this. Do what you can to minimize the risk of it happening to you. Upgrading at QB is the best way to do it.
THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD
Your Fantasy draft is where you build a deep, balanced team that gets you through a long, injury prone season. The trade deadline is where you use that depth. It is where you leverage those sleepers and shrewd waiver wire claims to upgrade to the best starting lineup possible. QBs lead in scoring every single week. The elite QBs like Brees and Manning provide upside potential for huge weeks, and when you’re in a must-win situation that potential is incredibly valuable. If your players have a tough match up, or a player is banged up and playing at less than 100 percent, or one of your WRs or RBs has an off week for whatever reason, then a big scoring week from your QB can save your bacon. They can pick you up. That is why you want the best and most consistent starting lineup you can muster. Upgrading at QB is what the trade deadline is for. Upgrade, it will be worth your while.
Week 10 is here and hopefully Brandon and I helped you out. It’s more likely I did than Brandon, but at this point Brandon knows that. Tune in to our Fantasy Football Podcast “THE NFL UNDER REVIEW” and “The RotoExperts.com Fantasy Football Show” on BlogTalkRadio.com and the RotoRadio Fantasy Sports Network.