The road to title town is full of potholes. How many wheel-displacing hazards one avoids ultimately determines success. Below we list candidates, drafted often inside the top-60 overall, who we believe drive off a cliff in 2017. To ensure full accountability, we also included our biggest hits/misses from 2016. Monday’s topic: QBs.
Matt Ryan, Atl (85.7 ADP, QB6)
In his second year with Kyle Shanahan, things clicked for Ryan and he posted a career-high 38TDs. But the year prior, when the offense was new to him, he struggled woefully. While new OC Steve Sarkisian is a quarterbacks specialist this is a transitional season for Ryan. Save 2016 he has never – over eight separate campaigns – passed for more than 32 scores. And that 32 TD effort was a one-time deal that occurred way back in 2012. If you didn’t invest in Ryan last year then you lost out. He’s all floor and no ceiling in 2017, which is why I have him ranked behind up-and-comers Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. (Liz Loza)
Liz’s big bust QB hit in ’16: RGIII; Big whiff: Kirk Cousins
Cam Newton, Car (99.9 ADP, QB10)
Newton had offseason surgery on his throwing shoulder and not expected to be fully operational when camp opens. That’s probably all you need to know in order to justify a downgrade. He’s also coming off the worst rushing season of his career by far, and the team upgraded its backfield in a significant way via draft, adding Christian McCaffrey. We have zero reason to think Carolina intends to use Cam as the primary goal-line rusher, a role that’s always been key to his fantasy value. And it should go without saying that the Panthers receiving corps, beyond Greg Olsen, isn’t anything special.
Cam produced career lows in both completion percentage (52.9) and yards per attempt (6.9) last season. Really, it’s tough to identify any aspect of his game or his situation that’s headed in the right direction for fantasy purposes. (Andy Behrens)
Andy’s big bust QB hit in ’16: Blake Bortles; Big whiff: Jameis Winston
Derek Carr, Oak (98.9 ADP, QB9)
It’s possible Carr is an outlier and continues to defy expectations when it comes to touchdown passes despite poor efficiency, but history suggests he’s going to need to show significant improvement for him to keep throwing so many scores. There’s a direct correlation to YPA and TD production, and Carr’s career mark of 6.5 is below gunslingers like Alex Smith, Blake Bortles and Sam Bradford. And he got an anemic 6.8 YPA over the second half of last season, so it’s not like he’s showing real growth with experience.
Carr admittedly has a few things going for him, such as an emerging Amari Cooper and a strong offensive line, but he force feeds Michael Crabtree for some reason, and it stands to reason he won’t benefit from as much volume in close (his 92 red-zone attempts last year ranked No. 5 in the NFL) with Marshawn Lynch now in Oakland. Moreover, Carr suffered a broken fibula in Week 16, doesn’t add anything on the ground and faces the Broncos and Chiefs defenses in 25 percent of his games. Carr is the No. 9 QB off the board, but he’s outside of my top-15. (Dalton Del Don)
Dalton’s big bust QB hit in ’16: Ryan Fitzpatrick; Big whiff: Dak Prescott
Andrew Luck, Ind (54.5 ADP, QB3)
Concerns tied to Luck raise multiple red flags. For starters, he’s an historically bruised QB coming off shoulder surgery who has yet to start a throwing program. Accumulated rust could weigh heavily early in the season. Previous back ailments also raise my hesitancy. Additionally, and probably most worrisome, he works behind a largely transparent offensive line, which is toxic for the long-holding passer. His protection last season was ghostlike. Among eligible QBs, he ranked dead last with a 55.6 clean-pocket percentage. No surprise, the friendly Slimers up front finished bottom barrel (32-of-32) in pass-blocking efficiency.
Shockingly, the Colts did little to address their most glaring need via free agency instead choosing to add line depth via the NFL Draft. Ultimately, the front office is banking on its young unit to mesh. Frightening. Hurries and hits on Luck will only continue.
Total it up, and the QB is a dice roll at his top-55 ADP. I’ll gladly wait several rounds later to snag the likes of Marcus Mariota (95.7 ADP, QB8), Kirk Cousins (102.9 ADP, QB11) or Philip Rivers (117.4, QB15). (Brad Evans)
Carson Wentz, Phi (ADP 92.56, QB17)
To be clear, I would have taken Luck (or maybe Carr) had he still been available to me. I’m fine to take a designer player at any position, I just have to be completely sold on that player. There’s enough red ink and smoke on Luck that I can’t view him as a safe-enough pick to command the capital. Bradley has you covered, above.
A Wentz fade applies more to the Superflex or QB2 world, or deeper leagues, but so it goes. I see a lot of dependability in the middle of the QB board, and some curious optimism with Wentz.
Are we sure Wentz is good? He lit up Philadelphia with a snappy first month, lovely. But he collapsed over his final 12 weeks (4-6 record, 9 TDs, 13 INT). His YPA dropped under 5.9 in that messy span, and his rating was a paltry 72.3 (32nd in the league).
Are fantasy players over-playing the Alshon Jeffery addition? Soft tissue issues are no joke. Torrey Smith is just a one-trick pony. Tell me, where is the improvement likely to come from?
Who should you take over Wentz? Almost anyone in that bracket. On the current ADP board I’m perusing, he’s more expensive than Tyrod Taylor, Eli Manning, and Carson Palmer, to name three; more talented players with better supporting casts. Let someone else talk himself or herself into the Philadelphia Story. (Scott Pianowski)
Scott’s big bust QB hit in ’16: Ryan Fitzpatrick; Big whiff: Tom Brady
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