What Makes a QB1? Part 1
You’d think with all the expert advice and all the attention given to the most important position in professional sports, it would be easy identifying a top QB performer each week. However, this exercise is much more of a Russian Roulette than an exact science most weeks. There definitely are certain QBs that you can trust and select with confidence a the top of your drafts like Aaron Rodgers. However, the amount of variance from week-to-week might be shocking for fantasy owners who have never thought about streaming the QB position. For instance let’s take a look and revisit Week 1 of 2015…
Here were the top 12 QBs in order of standard scoring: (4 pts. per passing TD)
Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Marcus Mariota, Tony Romo, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger, Nick Foles, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan
Was it clear that there were some glaring omissions such as Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and even Cam Newton? Did you realize that if you had started Nick Foles, Alex Smith, or Marcus Mariota instead of those three you would’ve ended with a better week? It is stupefying and probably downright humbling for those who had to play against these guys in a daily fantasy league or someone taking a dart throw the first week of the season.
To see which QBs stand out among Andy, Mike, and Jason, check out their 2016 QB Rankings.
Check out last year’s top 12 weekly finishers:
Sifting through this rainbowed assortment of data can be a bit overwhelming and dizzying. Let’s highlight a couple statistics to give you a better picture of the hodge-podge of guys that weekly make up a QB1 performance.
-Last season over 40 different QBs had top 12 weeks in standard scoring and the elite pantheon of top 5 finishers had 30 QBs visit the podium. Heck, if you zoom in you’ll find names like Geno Smith, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore and even Johnny Manziel making the list.
-Of the 204 spots you see listed on this board of top 12 performers, 72 of them were held by players who went UNDRAFTED! That’s an astounding 35% of all the QB1s from 2015 were sitting on the waiver wire when Week 1 started. Alliteration aside, here’s some of the big names that were taken on average after Round 15 in 2015 according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com: Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins, Jameis Winston, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Derek Carr to just name a few.
-The team with the fewest QB1 performers was the Rams showing out with Nick Foles in Weeks 1 & 4. That Week 4 was in particular an anomaly as half of the top 12 were undrafted.
-This one is a doozy…Over a 3 week span (from Week 3 to 5), the Cleveland Browns’ Josh McCown was the QB1 and 2nd best fantasy player behind only Devonta Freeman. Yes, that Josh McCown and yes, those Cleveland Browns! He was a beast, averaging 25.8 fantasy points per contest including a monster 457-yard game in Week 5 despite the pitiful passing pass catchers lined up.
-On average, a QB1 performer (the top 12 guy) scored 21.04 standard points. In other words, that was the minimum amount that a QB needed to get in the club. The “worst” performance by a QB1 was Alex Smith in Week 15 with only 16.4 fantasy points while Andy Dalton’s Week 13 performance of 23.9 was highest.
In the next part of this series, we’ll take a look back at 2015 and find out who put up the most QB1 weeks and who averaged out as the top QB performers. The final numbers are great to look at the end of the year but they don’t do justice in showing how well someone performed week-to-week.