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Fantasy Draft Values 2016: Quarterbacks

QB Fantasy Football Value 2016

Analyzing data three months before a season kicks off may seem a tad early, but in the fantasy football world, there is no such thing as too early. Whether it’s DFS, dynasty leagues, and even redraft leagues, winning in fantasy football has become a year-long endeavor.

Since there is little or no offseason for a large portion of fantasy fanatics, we’ve been busy watching film, researching and collecting data for the 2016 NFL season. Among the many features we have been working on are our season-long stat projections for more than 300 players that will be constantly updated all summer.

Along with my work with all those numbers, I’ve already completed a few dozen drafts in order to see the consensus around the industry. All that drafting has given me a good idea of how most people are approaching their teams this year, and how savvy drafters can seek value picks throughout their drafts.

Of course we all know quarterback is the deepest position in fantasy football and the prominence of the “wait on QB approach has caused the position’s ADP to tumble. While some people are obviously attacking the premier signal-callers early, the true value, as expected, is in the mid-to-late rounds. Knowing when to pounce on these players that we like to outproduce their draft position is integral to getting that elite QB production at a discounted price.

So using average draft position (ADP) data for 12-team redraft leagues provided from our good friends at MyFantasyleague.com and comparing it with the Gridiron Experts 2016 quarterback rankings, I’ve managed to identify quarterbacks that I feel are quality value picks, and the kind of players that you’ll want to target to help you win your league in 2016.

Top Value Picks

Player ADP Rank GX Rank Value
Tyrod Taylor 13.08 QB22 QB14 21.85
Eli Manning 11.05 QB15 QB8 12.52
Tom Brady 9.03 QB11 QB5 10.39
Philip Rivers 11.01 QB13 QB7 9.32
Matt Stafford 12.02 QB16 QB15 2.59

The value number indicates how many picks above current ADP that Gridiron Experts would target the player

Tyrod TaylorIn his first season as a starter, Taylor finished as the QB18 in Greg Roman’s run-first scheme. And running is what Taylor did well. Despite being limited to 14 games, Taylor led all quarterbacks with 40.57 rushing yards per game, and finished second in the NFL with 5.5 yards per tote. Those rushing yards boosted Taylor’s fantasy value considerably, and should remain in play as Roman’s schemes are predicated by a mobile quarterback who can utilize the threat of using his legs to open up play-action opportunities downfield.

Taylor also was solid as a passer, throwing for 20 touchdowns while only throwing six interceptions. Even if it seemed that Rex Ryan and company may or may not necessarily be sold on Taylor as the long-term answer, fantasy leaguers should be sold on Taylor’s dirt-cheap 13th round price tag.

Taylor should continue to boost his production with his rushing output- a factor that should never be underestimated in fantasy football. That makes him a superb option as a streaming quarterback, or as a strong QB2 in your draft. I have Taylor outplaying his late ADP by nearly two full rounds, making him my favorite value pick among quarterbacks.

Eli Manning

Eli Manning –  Nobody seems to give Eli Manning much respect, yet he’s coming off of consecutive top-8 fantasy seasons with over 4,400 passing yards and 30+ touchdowns, and his former offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo is now his head coach. Manning should be primed for another season of big production and is regularly available near the end of fantasy drafts.

The Giants utilize a committee approach to their backfield, so their offense will continue to feature McAdoo’s short-passing game. The club also added some intriguing offensive weapons in the 2016 NFL draft by selecting WR Sterling Shepard (2nd), RB Paul Perkins (5th), and TE Jerell Adams (6th), and should finally see the return of a healthy WR Victor Cruz.

Manning also gets six games against the defensive-challenged NFC East opponents, including the Cowboys and Eagles in the fantasy playoffs. As long as he can keep his turnovers under control, Manning should have a third consecutive top-10 fantasy season, and is one of my favorite draft values among any position.

Tom BradyPeople are laying off on Brady- with good reason. The talk of that four-game suspension has resurfaced, and Brady’s appeal and battle to not miss the season’s opening month is ongoing. Obviously an affirmation of the suspension would drop Brady’s value significantly.

But as it stands, there’s a chance Brady will play 16 games and his deflated ADP make him an outstanding value pick in or after Round 9. An angry duo of Brady and Bill Belichick is quite capable of running roughshod over the league and taking out their frustrations on opposing secondaries with alarming numbers.

The Patriots also boosted the talent around their aging signal-caller. An offseason trade for TE Martellus Bennett gives the club an established pass catching option to pair with Rob Gronkowski and will assure the team sees many mismatches when running ‘12’ sets. New England also signed underrated WRs Hulk Chris Hogan and Nate Washington and drafted Malcolm Mitchell to boost the weapons around Brady.

Even if he sits out the season’s first four contests, Brady is going to be a QB1 for the remainder of the season, and if he plays the entire slate of 16 games, he will likely finish another season as a top-5 fantasy QB, and that’s hard to find after Round 9.

Philip Rivers
You may also like: Jody Smith’s 5 Most Undervalued Fantasy Quarterbacks

Philip RiversIt doesn’t make sense to me that Rivers is being drafted after a dozen other fantasy quarterbacks this year. Here’s how Rivers has finished each of the 10 seasons that he’s been an NFL starter: QB10, QB9, QB6, QB18, QB7, QB4, QB9, QB5, QB15, and QB10.

That’s eight seasons of top-10 production, all while averaging 30 touchdown passes and 4,344 passing yards since 2008. Rivers also has started all 16 games in 10 straight pro seasons, making him an extremely durable and productive plug-n-play fantasy QB.

I love the idea of loading up on RB, WR and TE talent for the draft’s first 10 rounds, then targeting a combination of Rivers and Eli Manning as a pair of elite fantasy signal-callers that look like easy top-10 options that can be had at the tail end of fantasy drafts.

Matt StaffordOnce Jim Bob Cooter took over play-calling for Detroit, the Lions offense, and particularly Stafford, took off. After Detroit’s Week 9 bye, Stafford produced 20 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Stafford exceeded 20 fantasy point in each of the team’s final eight games, making him a championship-winning option down the stretch in 2015.

The retirement of Calvin Johnson is likely what is causing Stafford’s ADP value to remain far below what his output from last year warrants. The club did sign Marvin Jones as Megatron’s replacement, and all indications are that Jones has wowed the team in OTA’s with crisp route-running.

With a full offseason to implement a new offense heavily-featuring short passes to both wideouts and running backs, Stafford looks like a good bet to exceed his current 12th round price tag.

Other Solid Values

Drew Brees – Slowly declining, but still a favorite to be a top-6 option once again, and a strong value after the 7th round.

Tony Romo – One of the top late-round options in all of fantasy football this year. Averaged 4,159 yards and 31.5 touchdowns per year from 2011-2014.

Matt Ryan – Ryan regressed in his first season under Kyle Shanahan, but the Falcons have some intriguing offensive weapons and his stock is low enough that I’m betting on a decent return on investment.

Joe Flacco – Back healthy and the Ravens have some interesting supporting weapons for Flacco, who has the chance to be a surprisingly good option under Mark Trestman, whose offenses annually finish in the top half of passing attempts.

See where we rank all our quarterbacks for 2016 here

 

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About the author

Jody Smith

Senior Writer Gridiron Experts. 2012 FantasyPros Most Accurate Fantasy Expert. Member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. 26-year fantasy football veteran. Featured on NFL.com, Fantasypros, Football Diehards annual magazine, local AM sports radio, podcasts everywhere and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. Once scored 4 touchdowns in a single game for Polk High School.

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