Fantasy Draft Kit

Presented By

There's no such thing as a QB bust in fantasy football

Imagine if you will, a fantasy football world with no busts. What a wonderful concept.

Well friends, you might not know it, but you're living in that world right now ... at least when it comes to the quarterback position.

The reason for this "bustless" position is the fact that the NFL has become a passing league, both due to rules changes and parallel offensive philosophies that have swung toward the pass attack. It's obvious to see if you look at the numbers. Of the all-time, top-10 single-season leaders in pass attempts, one (Drew Bledsoe, 1994) wasn't reached in the last six seasons. Of the all-time, top 10 single-season passing yardage leaders, just two (Dan Marino - 1984, Brees - 2008) haven't been achieved in the last five years. What about touchdown passes, you ask? Well, six of the top 10 all-time have come within the last decade.

Think about it. Which signal-callers can you predict a season so bad that you could label them "busts" based on their average draft position? Cam Newton? Alright, but aren't we expecting some sort of regression after a magical 2015 campaign that saw him score almost 390 fantasy points? He'd need to score fewer than 300 points to be considered a disappointment and even 290 points would keep him in the top 10 at the position.

What about Aaron Rodgers? Well, he's coming off the worst fantasy season of his career ... and he still finished seventh in points among all players. Was he a bust? I'd argue against that. As for his 2016 prospects, I haven't seen anyone offer a prognostication that points to Rodgers experiencing a decline in production. That's because it's not going to happen! I could also throw out Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, but predicting either one of them to be busts would take a massive leap of faith. After all, Brees has been in the top 10 in points for what seems like forever, and Wilson has never been worse than seventh at the position in his career.

Oh, and neither is likely to cost you more than a fifth- or sixth-round selection.

Let's move on to Andrew Luck, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger. Some might argue that Luck was a bust last season, but does a statistical decline due to injuries make a player a bust? Injuries happen, it's the NFL. When Luck was on the field, he averaged 18.7 fantasy points per game. Project that over a full campaign, and he finishes two points behind Rodgers. And with an average draft position of Round 6 on NFL.com, Luck has a much better chance to be a draft bargain than a bust. Think about it. Would you take Luck at his worst (around 300 points) in the sixth round?

Sign me up!

Now on to Brady, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. His ADP on both MyFantasyLeague.com and Fantasy Football Calculator have him coming off the board in the seventh and eighth rounds. Heck, I can argue that he's a bargain in that case. I mean, the dude averaged over 21 fantasy points a game last season and he now has better weapons in the pass attack. Plus, you're getting him outside of the top 60 (even the top 70)! Also keep in mind that even in his worst fantasy campaign (2013) in the last five seasons, Brady still averaged 16 fantasy points per game. Of course, his No. 3 wideout that year was a rookie in Aaron Dobson and he didn't have a second tight end like Martellus Bennett.

In Arizona, Palmer has become quite the fantasy superstar under coach Bruce Arians. In fact, he's averaged 18.7 points in his last 22 games at the helm of his offense. With an average draft position that has him coming off the board in the eighth or ninth round, Palmer is going to be a value far before he will a bust. Even if his numbers decline somewhat, you landed him outside the top 70 (in most cases). In that scenario, how much of a bust could he become?

If there is one outlier here, it's Ben Roethlisberger.

That's due in large part to his average draft position on NFL.com, which has him coming off the board in the fifth round. That's just too soon for a quarterback who is missing his second-best option in the pass attack (Martavis Bryant) for the season and his best running back (Le'Veon Bell) for four games (pending appeal). Big Ben could also be without Ladarius Green, whose status came into question in recent weeks due to headaches associated with past concussions. If he's costing you a seventh-round pick, which is the case on MyFantasyLeague and Fantasy Football Calculator, well, then Roethlisberger would have to stink up the Steel City to be considered a true bust.

Past these eight quarterbacks, there is nothing but a sea of potential fantasy football bargains.

Eli Manning has finished in the top 10 in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons, and his ADP ranges from the ninth to 11th rounds. Kirk Cousins and Matthew Stafford, who also finished in the top 10 last season, come off the board (on average) no sooner than Round 12. I've even been in mocks where Stafford wasn't even drafted. Philip Rivers, fantasy's No. 12 quarterback in 2015, has an average draft position that ranges from Round 10-12. And then there's Blake Bortles, who ranked fourth in fantasy points last season. The earliest I have seen him come off the board is Round 8, but his average draft position on NFL.com is Round 10.

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to argue that a player is a "bust" when I drafted him outside of the top 70 overall picks.

Then there's the likes of Tyrod Taylor, Andy Dalton, Jameis Winston, Derek Carr, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Marcus Mariota, all of whom are labeled as either sleepers or potential draft bargains. With average draft positions that start in Round 12 for all of these quarterbacks, there is no risk and all reward. So what if Taylor (for example) fails to meet expectations if you picked him in the 15th round? At that point there are no "bad" picks, right? If a player doesn't meet expectations, you cut him without even a second thought.

So when it comes time to have your fantasy football drafts, sit back, relax and wait on a quarterback. There's little risk and a good chance you'll find a whole lot of reward at the position.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Gamepass_vert_web_r

See all the Action

Replay every game all season.