AFC Mid-Season QB1 Review

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Every week I have the privilege and daunting task of writing the QB1 Primer article here at TFFB. I wanted to give fantasy owners a “zoomed out” view of the first half of the season as we move into trading deadlines and roster moves which could help bring you one step closer to a #FootClanTitle. You can also jump to the NFC breakdown.

The QB numbers through Week 8 do not paint for us a perfect picture. Looking at a fantasy points leaderboard doesn’t show week-to-week consistency but rather raw points. It doesn’t take into account who has been on a bye week thus far nor does it accurately show when someone had a major bust week like Andrew Luck had in Week 2 against the Broncos when he finished as QB29 that week. Even taking the average of fantasy points scored is a bit short-sided.

This summer I spent time diving into “What Makes a QB1?” after digesting all of the numbers. Let’s take an in-depth look how 8 weeks of 2016 has turned out in terms of getting an overhead view of each QB’s performances from the AFC:
(Note: Green represents a top 12 finish, White 13-19, and Red 20-35)

To see which QBs stand out among Andy, Mike, and Jason, check out their QB Rankings.

The chart clearly delineates the upper tier QBs with mostly great to neutral performances for most of their season. As you go down the chart, it’s clear there is a greater variation in week-to-week QB finishes for some of the other QBs. Let’s take out a couple of nuggets from this data that pops out.

-Thus far Tom Brady checks in as the QB1 in terms of starts that resulted in a top 12 fantasy finish. Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, and Andy Dalton also have reached the QB1 pantheon 5 times this season.

-In terms of a divisional breakdown, the AFC North leads with 13 QB1 performances while the AFC South has only produced 11 thanks in large part to the huge dump Brock Osweiler has left on the field in 2016. The Texans are the only team to have failed to produce a top 12 scoring QB in any week thus far.

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-In Week 2, all 4 AFC East QBs earned the division a clean sweep of QB1 spots. Although it’s pretty clear Jimmy Garoppolo, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, and Tyrod Taylor will most likely not be found on many championship rosters by years end.

-The Browns are the only team to have 3 QBs (Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan, and Josh McCown) sport a QB1 week and they did it three weeks in a row! It’s even crazier when you consider that none of those gunslingers were the starter entering into Week 1 when Robert Griffin III was appointed resident savior in Cleveland.

-Week 3 was brutal in the AFC as the conference claimed only 4 of the 12 spots. Trevor Siemian, of all people, ended up as the QB1 with 4 TDs against the Bengals although not one fantasy expert had him better than a low-end QB2.

-The surprise QB1 performer based on the first 8 weeks has been Tyrod Taylor. After his Week 1 stink bomb, “T-Mobile” has been a top 15 QB every week in 4 point per passing leagues. He was a late-round sleeper of mine this offseason when I wrote “The Case for Tyrod Taylor“. His ceiling hasn’t been super high but he has maintained consistent production with his legs despite averaging less than 200 yards passing per game.

-Marcus Mariota, after starting the year with an average of QB23 in the first 4 weeks, turned it on to the tune of 4 QB1 spots in a row. His bye week isn’t until Week 13 so he could certainly rack up a few more.

We will follow up with the NFC Breakdown.


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