After his great postseason, can you consider Joe Flacco to be a top-tier fantasy QB and where would you draft him next season?
Flacco's not a fantasy elite yet
I give Flacco all the credit in the world for his postseason success, and maybe he's now earned "elite" status in the world of real football. But in fantasy land, he's still just a No. 2 option and matchup-based starter. Over the last two seasons, Flacco has finished no better than 14th in fantasy points at his spot. He's been especially hard to trust on the road, too, and even home against tough opponents come with no real statistical guarantee. Furthermore, the quarterback position is about as deep as it's ever been - at least as long as I can remember. I can think of at least 12 signal-callers off the top of my head that I'd rather have than Flacco. So, kudos to you Joe on your Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. But I still don't think you're going to lead fantasy football leaguers to a title in 2013.
Flacco's good, not great
Before last season began, I bought into the idea that Joe Flacco was going to make the leap to the next level of quarterbacks. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. While he had a phenomenal four-week run through the postseason, Flacco was simply an average QB during the regular season. Moreover, his numbers in 2012 were right in line with his averages throughout his career. This season's run to a championship will undoubtedly inflate his draft value in some leagues next season. But in my mind, Flacco will continue to be a No. 2 quarterback option who's best left on the board until the tenth round or later.
Still a fantasy No. 2
Joe Flacco has earned his place among the top quarterbacks in the NFL with an impressive Super Bowl run, but his place among the fantasy elite isn't there. At least not yet. As impressive as Flacco was during his postseason run, he was pretty good during the fantasy postseason, too, with seven touchdown passes and just two interceptions from Week 14-Week 16. The good news for the fantasy enthusiast is nobody noticed and Flacco will continue to be a punchline in fantasy circles. And that's cool. You can wait until the later rounds and then select Flacco as your QB2 and have a pretty reliable backup.
Comfortable with him as a solid backup
Ah, the difference between reality and fantasy. Reality? Joe Flacco has become a top five NFL QB. Fantasy? He's still not a number one. He's a high-end number two and a matchup-based starter. Flacco is someone who is in that 13-18 range of QB rankings along with Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Andy Dalton, Ben Roethlisberger and Josh Freeman. Flacco played very well on the road in the playoffs against good teams (which is what he hasn't done in the regular season), and the offense relied on him throwing the football, so maybe that's a springboard for him. If he's my backup, I'm happy, because I won't have to scrape the bottom of the barrel or play Free Agent Free For All if something happens to my starter. But I'd be really uneasy if I had to rely on him every week right off the bat. So let's put Flacco at a soft 13 or 14 overall at the position for the moment and see how the off-season plays out for everyone.