Rest assured someone at some point during each of your drafts
will utter some variation of the words ďvalue pick.Ē
But what exactly is a value pick? What is value? Value is a relative
term that changes based on public perception. When I consider
value, Iím looking for a positive return on my investment.
Just because a player has an a fourth round ADP and is still sitting
there in the sixth round does not make him good value. At the
same time, taking a player a round or two above his ADP is not
necessarily bad value. Again, everything is relative.
My goal in every pick I make is to take a player I believe will
perform at a level above where I drafted him. Last season, Lamar Jackson had a ninth round ADP. This year, he has a second round
ADP. Jackson gave owners one hell of a positive return on investment.
On the flip side, Baker Mayfield had a sixth round ADP. This year,
he has an 12th round ADP. Thatís the type of pick we all
hope to avoid.
Letís take a look at which QBs I expect to outperform their ADPs
and which I expect to fail.
The case for Ryan being undervalued: He is as
reliable as they come and is on one of the leagueís most pass
The case against Ryan being undervalued: The
best QBs in fantasy all have rushing upside that Ryan does not.
Verdict: In six of the past eight seasons, Matt
Ryan has attempted more than 600 passes, consistently amongst
the league leaders in pass attempts. The Falcons are typically
near the top in pass-to-run ratio (they were first and third the
past two seasons). Ryanís WR1 is Julio
Jones and the Falcons play in a dome. The quarterback has
been with the Falcons for 12 years and has no concerns about playing
in poor weather or having to learn a new scheme.
The Falconsí defense is terrible, which keeps the offense
throwing. Their running game canít possibly be worse than
it was last year with Ito Smith, Brian Hill, and Qadree Ollison,
but Todd Gurley might not be able to play football at a high level
anymore. He was noticeably slower last season and his arthritic
knee condition appears to have sapped all of his explosiveness
leading to a pass-heavy offense once again.
Ryan was the overall QB10 last season at 19.06 FPts/G. However,
in 2018, he was the overall QB3 at 21.71 FPts/G. 2017 was a disaster.
He was the overall QB2 in 2016 at 21.2 FPts/G. If you subscribe
to the ďevery other yearĒ theory for, this is the
year Ryan posts a top five finish. If you donít care about
arbitrary patterns with no basis in logic or reason, you can look
to Ryanís ability, weapons, and volume as a reason he is
poised for a massive season.
He was average or better in a number of efficiency metrics, but
36th in red zone completion percentage. That number is bound to
regress. He was 17th in red zone completion percentage in 2017.
Ryan was third in red zone pass attempts last season (ninth in
2018). If the completion percentage aligns with the attempts,
Ryan will throw more touchdowns which results in more fantasy
points. Target Matt Ryan in the late single digit rounds.
The case for Stafford being undervalued: His
eight games last season was pacing as the overall QB4.
The case against Stafford being undervalued:
His 2018 season was spectacularly bad so perhaps 2019 was an aberration.
Verdict: Stafford is my late-round QB target in every league
this year. Prior to 2018, he was good, but not great for fantasy
purposes. Then, in 2018, the wheels completely fell off (3777-21-11;
71-0) and he was barely even a QB2.
Stafford has been in the league 12 years, but is still just 32
years old. Last season was the first in which he missed a single
game since 2010. Heís has never attempted fewer than 555
passes in a season and averaged 21.45 FPts/G before getting hurt
last year, just 0.68 FPts/G fewer than the overall QB2, Deshaun Watson.
Stafford has continuity between last season and this season,
which is more important than ever. Heís running the same
offense and throwing to the same receivers in Kenny Golladay,
Marvin Jones, and Danny Amendola. Stafford is currently being
drafted at his floor but his ceiling is exactly what he was on
pace for last year Ė a top five finish.
The case for Murray being overvalued: His draft
price bakes in expected improvement providing little room for
The case against Murray being overvalued: Heís
coming off one the greatest rookie QB seasons of all time and
now has DeAndre
Verdict: This is going to be very weird because there are a plethora
of reasons why Kyler Murray could absolutely explode this year.
I love Murray and think heís going to be a mainstay as a
top fantasy option for years to come. Murray is a dual threat
in an offense that loves to throw - the perfect fantasy setup.
I actually believe Murray has a decent shot at a Lamar Jackson
like season. If anyone is going to do it this year, itís
Murray. I would love for him to be my QB this season. There is
a 99% chance he improves in his second year, finishing significantly
higher than QB11 while eclipsing the 20 FPts/G barrier.
So if Iím all in on Murray, why is he overvalued? Because of
cost. Jackson worked in 2019 because he cost a ninth round pick.
worked in 2018 because he cost a 10th round pick. Murray is currently
the third QB off the board. He is going to have a break out year,
but youíre paying for it in advance. In order to take Murray,
you will have to pass on players like D.J.
Chark, DK Metcalf,
McLaurinÖ the list goes on. A breakout WR or RB is more valuable
than a breakout QB in the fifth round, unless you get that 2019
Lamar Jackson or 2018 Patrick Mahomes season.
For Murray to be worth his ADP, he needs to be a true difference
maker at the position. He is going to be great, but even a great
season may put him at no more than a point or two per game better
than the back end QB1s. While I believe he has the true elite
season in him, the chances it happens arenít high enough
for me to be willing to pay for it in advance. He simply costs
The case for Rodgers being overvalued: Heís
36 years old and has a weak receiving corps.
The case against Rodgers being overvalued: Heís
still one of the most talented QBs of all time and maybe, just
maybe, thereís a renaissance season left in the tank.
Verdict: Thereís really no reason to be bullish on Rodgers
in the year 2020. He is surviving purely on name value at this
point. There was a time when he was the undisputed best quarterback
in both the NFL and fantasy. That was a long time ago.
Itís hard to justify spending a mid-round pick on Rodgers given
the opportunity cost is too high. Youíre passing up on wide receivers
and running backs with actual upside to select a 36-year-old quarterback
with one desirable pass-catcher. There was a time when Rodgers
could make the receiver, but heís also always had multiple quality
pass catchers. Between Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, Randall
Cobb, James Jones, and Davante
Adams, Rodgers typically had at least two receivers he could
trust. In 2020, he has Davante Adams. Thatís it. Allen
Lazard is the clear WR2, but heís more of a rotational WR3
playing above his skill level. Behind Lazard, thereís no longer
(who isnít very good anyway). Will it be Jake
Kumerow? Marquez Valdes-Scantling? Equanimeous
St. Brown? Does it matter?
Rodgers is also coming off a season where he finished as the QB14
(10 games played to qualify). Although Rodgers was the QB4 in
2018, itís important to give that finish some context ó he was
just 0.58 FPts/G better than the QB8.
He led the league in money throws last season, and he protected
the ball well, but heís a far cry from the elite passer
he once was. Rodgersí 68.7% true completion percentage was
just 17th in the league, and his 72% clean pocket completion percentage
was 21st in the league. His weak receiving corps somehow managed
to lead the NFL in target separation as a group. His guys got
open; he just couldnít hit them.
Thereís just no advantage to be had in drafting Rodgers.
He doesnít give you an edge at the position. As such, thereís
no reason to pass up on WR or RB depth to take him when you can
wait a few rounds and take someone as good or better.