The Case Against Tyrod Taylor
I see myself as an open-minded guy, but I cannot for the life of me, understand any hype over the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills. Tyrod Taylor, a man that has played 14 games as a starting quarterback in the NFL, just landed a 6 year, $92M contract with the Buffalo Bills. I asked myself, “What did this quarterback do to earn such a contract”. After some digging, I do not see the value with Taylor in the NFL just yet, and more importantly, I do not see the appeal of drafting him in Fantasy Football. Like, at all. Unless you are in some deep, 2 QB league or something.
No, this is not referring to some Rex Ryan fetish, I am talking about his mobility here. I am not sure if this is a kudos to Taylor or if it attributes to his inability to find an open receiver quick enough, but he did have the second highest rushing attempts (104) and yards (568) to only Cam Newton (132, 636) in 2015. The problem with Taylor scrambling too much is that it increases his odds of injury. Tyrod Taylor is listed at 6’1″ 215 lbs and we all know athletes numbers are inflated so he is a smaller guy and absorbing a bunch of hits in the open field cannot be good for him. He already missed 2 consecutive games last season following an ankle injury that occurred in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. This was the type of game where Tyrod had to carry the team and the result was that he would miss Weeks 6 and 7, which brings into question his durability. Just to make a comparison, Cam Newton, who lead the league for quarterbacks in rushing in 2015 is 6’5″, 245 lbs a much bigger guy than Taylor and there is still worry from the Carolina Panthers about Cam rushing too much. If you believe Tyrod Taylor can get it done with his feet, he only had 4 rushing touchdowns last season. That is less than Cam Newton (10), Jameis Winston (6) and Kirk Cousins (5). At the end of the day, the bad will inevitably outway the good when it comes to Taylor running too much with the ball.
It should be apparent the reason Tyrod Taylor ran the ball so much last season was to make up for what he couldn’t accomplish with his arm. Taylor ranked 24th amongst quarterbacks in completed passes with 242. That was out of 380 attempts, good for the 17th ranked quarterback in completion percentage with 63.7%. He ranked 23rd amongst quarterback in passing yards with 3035. To his credit, Taylor did only have 6 interceptions last season, however, it is safe to assume that number will increase with the expected increase of his pass attempts in 2016. Next, we can talk about touchdowns. He threw 20 TDs in 2015 which is very appropriate since he ranked 20th in that category. I’m going to continue to throw some more stats at you here, because you know what they say, “Numbers don’t lie.” In 9 of 14 games for Taylor in 2015, he had less than 20 completions and in 5 of those games he had less than 15 completions. These are not the kind of numbers you look for in a quarterback that you draft and expect to lead you to a fantasy football championship. His highest completion game was in a losing effort in Week 4 against the New York Giants with 28 completions on 42 attempts for a completion percentage of 66.7%. The Buffalo Bills lost that game 24-10. He averaged 4.32 completions per quarter in 2015. Would you draft a quarterback knowing that he would complete less than 5 passes a quarter for you? What about if that same quarterback only attempted 6.79 passes per quarter? If your answer to those questions is yes, then I don’t think you are looking for a quarterback.
If Tyrod Taylor goes down due to injury or does not perform to the expectations of the Buffalo Bills, they do not have far to look to replace Taylor’s production. Last season, E.J. Manuel matched Taylor’s season high in both attempts (42) and completions (28) in Week 6. In Week 7 Manuel had another 42 attempts and 24 completions. In the two games, Tyrod Taylor was out, Manuel had 52 completions on 84 attempts (61.9%). He had 561 passing yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added 64 yards on the ground and a rushing TD. This was just in two games, I can’t imagine what Manuel would have been able to do if given more time to click with the offense. I’m not saying that E.J. Manuel is a better quarterback, I am saying that the Bills will consider this information if their $92M man, Tyrod Taylor struggles.
There is a reason Tyrod Taylor’s ADP is the 18th quarterback and quite honestly, he is ahead of some QBs I believe will have better seasons than him such as Ryan Fitzpatrick, Marcus Mariota, Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill. Even Brock Osweiler who’s ADP is the 23rd QB will likely have a better season than Tyrod. If Taylor isn’t taken until the 139th overall pick, then he isn’t even being drafted in most 10-team leagues. I could have written another paragraph on the wide receivers that Tyrod will be throwing to but I will just say that he has no one of great value besides a menace in Sammy Watkins as his number 1 target. Earlier this month, The Case Against Sammy Watkins was posted, and that should give you even more pause on drafting Tyrod Taylor. My advice, avoid all of this “TyGod” praise and completely avoid a guy that attempted under 30 passes in 9 out of 14 games and had less than 20 attempts in 4 of those games.