There is not a single Fantasy Football analyst out there that can say or should ever say that they got everything right. Even though you don’t see that happening, you do see plenty of them boasting about all the right calls they made throughout the season. I’m here to flip the switch and let you know where we — yes, I’m including myself in that conversation — got things wrong, and why. Hopefully, it is a bit of a breath of fresh air from all the other site and experts out there.
This will be a series of three articles where I will discuss the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers we got wrong, so be sure to come back in coming week to check out the rest. Today, I will be tackling the quarterbacks.
Just as a point of reference, I will be using the preseason rankings that are on FantasyPros.
Quarterbacks Worse Than We Thought
I’ll start with the guy in the title, Colin Kaepernick. He had a preseason ranking of 12, and it was a fair ranking in my opinion (in case you were wondering, I had him ranked 14th). The dude can straight ball at times and he has the added dimension to his game of being able to run, so it is easy to see why we all got enamored with him entering the Fantasy season.
Then you look at the weapons he has on offense and you wonder how can he not be a top 12 — or even a top 10 — Fantasy quarterback? Well, here is what went wrong.
Honestly, it wasn’t much. He scored just 18 points less this season than he did in 2013. There were just so many more quarterbacks that performed at a higher level, that it made him look that much worse. I think the realization that he just is not a good quarterback is setting in for all of us. We all got fooled he could improve his passing this season, despite a limited skill set. That mixed with the rushing aspect of his game would turn him into a stud. It didn’t happen and owners paid for it, as he finished as the 17th-ranked quarterback.
Matthew Stafford probably burned more owners than Kaepernick did. He was the fourth-ranked quarterback by the analysts this season, yet he finished as the 15th overall QB.
I know I was super excited about him this season, thinking the additions of Golden Tate and Eric Ebron could propel him into the top-three quarterback discussion, for Fantasy purposes at least. Instead, the Lions wound up being a less efficient offense in general this year, running almost 100 less plays in 2014 than in 2013, and averaging less yards per play, too.
A lot of this is on Stafford, since they threw the ball just as much. Of course, an injury to Calvin Johnson didn’t help, but Megatron was injured in 2013, so that isn’t much of an excuse.
Stafford threw for the least amount of yards, 4,257, and second-least number of touchdowns in his career when starting all 16 games. The good news is he threw for less interceptions, too. But when you are drafting a guy as the fourth quarterback, you expect him to throw for around 4,700-5,000 yards with close to 30 touchdowns, instead of not 4,200 and 22, you don’t really care about his low interception total.
Quarterbacks Better Than We Thought
One of the more surprising turnarounds was Eli Manning. Eli was miserable in 2013 throwing for a career-worst 27 interceptions and a career-low 18 touchdowns. He finished 2013 as the 21st-ranked quarterback and that is exactly what his ranking was for 2014.
Immediately, it looked like the experts were right, as he finished with just six points in the first game, throwing two interceptions in the process. Overall, the first five games weren’t terrible, though. However, in Week 6, he lost his top receiver in Victor Cruz. So Eli’s season is over right? Wrong — and big resounding wrong!
To his rescue was Odell Beckham Jr. — the freak that is OBJ. With Cruz gone, Eli was able to score 20-plus points in half of the remaining games (19 in another). He was still inconsistent, which made him hard to use (scored 12 or less in the other games), but you can’t tell me you weren’t shocked to see Eli as a top-10 Fantasy quarterback at the end of season, despite losing his top receiver coming into the season. Next season will be interesting for Eli given Cruz’s return, and he will still have OBJ and Rueben Randle.
For my last quarterback, I want to start off by stating this fact: Five quarterbacks surpassed 300 rushing yards this season. You can probably guess three of them, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton.
The other two are Blake Bortles (maybe not a total surprise if you saw him play college), and Ryan Tannehill. Yes, Tannehill ran some in his first two seasons, but it was still not considered a part of his game like it was in 2014 when he ran for almost 50 yards in four straight games. This, along with his career-high passing numbers, made him a pretty hot pickup in Fantasy during that time. He was scoring 20-plus Fantasy points regularly and I’m not sure if defenses figured things out, but the rushing yards stopped coming and he started to sputter down the stretch. He still finished as the ninth-ranked quarterback in Fantasy, after being ranked 18th, and was a pretty big surprise. His lack of passing downfield is still a huge limitation, so it will be hard to draft him as a QB1 next year, but he will definitely be someone to keep an eye on.
Photo credit: Mark Runyon | Pro Football Schedules
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