Fantasy Football

2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts: Signal Fallers


Quarterback is always an interesting position to discuss when it comes to fantasy. With the plethora of high powered passing attacks in the league, there are ample quarterbacks to go around in a standard sized league.

That’s why the most important thing you can do when drafting a quarterback is to just avoid messing it up. Drafting a quarterback at a spot where he ends up overvalued is the worst. Just think about how many people reached for Andrew Luck last year with Melvin Gordon available at around the same ADP.

This article will look at four quarterbacks who are currently being drafted too high and will likely not return value congruent to their ADP. Meanwhile, you can also check out my article on quarterbacks who will do the opposite in my Quarterback Sleepers column.

2017 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons

The 2016-2017 MVP had a career year all across the board on his way to finishing as the QB2. He set new career highs in every single major passing category last season all while throwing the least amount of passes since his second year in the league.

And that’s exactly what scares me.

Ryan is currently drafted as the QB4 according to ADP. However, people drafting him that high are expecting his 2016 numbers and he is unlikely to deliver similar numbers again.

While all of his outstanding stats look like outliers, the big number to look at here is the TD%. This measures percentage of touchdowns thrown when attempting to pass. In 2016, he put up a 7.1 TD% — more than double his previous year’s mark and significantly higher than his career 4.46% mark.

I see a lot of parallels between him and Cam Newton last year. Newton was also coming off a stellar MVP season and was the first quarterback off the board. In his MVP season, he threw for 11 more touchdowns than any of his other years and elevated his TD% from his previous career average of 4.28% to 7.1%. The following year, he regressed to the mean, putting up a 3.7 TD% and finishing as the QB17.

I don’t think Ryan will far that fall, but he certainly won’t return QB4 value. In addition to a likely regression to the mean, the loss of Kyle Shanahan will be bigger than most think. Shanahan is an offensive genius, leading top-9 offenses six out of his nine years as an offensive coordinator.

Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers

Speaking of Newton, he is another player that is being drafted too high based off of reputation. Newton was the QB1 in 2015 by a significant margin, but it seems that season was an outlier. He crashed back down to earth in 2016, finishing as the QB17 while also posting the least effective rushing season of his career.

Newton has never been a spectacular passer, only throwing for more than 24 touchdowns once (his MVP season) and only topping 4000 yards once in his rookie season. Where he generates the most value is as a runner and he seems to be slowing down. Over his last eight games, he carried the ball only 33 times for a mere 98 yards and one touchdown.

The Panthers seem aware of this and confirmed Newton will run less this season. In addition, they’ve extended Jonathan Stewart and drafted Christian McCaffery. Newton also lost his best home run threats in Ted Ginn and Philly Brown, who the Panthers replaced with a possession receiver in Curtis Samuel. There’s not a single deep threat on that roster for Newton to throw his signature bombs to.

If the Panthers are intent on moving away from the two things that made Newton the fantasy star he was, you can expect him to disappoint those who think they’re still getting prime Cam Newton at QB7.

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

It’s easy to look at the Chargers’ weapons and become enamored with Rivers this year. Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin, Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, and Melvin Gordon?! How could Rivers not be a top quarterback?

The answer is simple. His upside is not that high and it falls even lower by one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.

Rivers hasn’t finished as a top 10 quarterback in four of his last five seasons. This is all while being among the league leaders in passing attempts each season. Like his draft mate Eli Manning, he throws too many interceptions and contributes nothing as a runner.

Meanwhile, as a product of being in the tough AFC West, Rivers will face a murderer’s gauntlet of defenses this year. He begins the year against the Broncos, Dolphins, Chiefs, Eagles, Giants, Raiders, Broncos, then Patriots. He has some better matchups in the second half, but we’ve seen Rivers struggle mightily against great defenses, making him borderline unusable in the first half of the season.

Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles

If you let an Eagles fan tell it, Wentz was basically the second coming of Joe Montana in his first four games; throwing for seven touchdowns and one interception. However, during the rest of the season, he only managed nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

I’m not saying Wentz is a bust in standard leagues – he averages around QB18 on draft boards. However, in 2QB leagues, Wentz is not the best option in that range.

Wentz had some of the worst advanced passing stats in the league last year. He was 39th in passer rating, 31st in yards per attempt, and 32nd in fantasy points per dropback. The additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith should help, but with the third hardest fantasy quarterback schedule, I believe Wentz is at least another year away from being a major fantasy contributor.

2017 Fantasy Football Position Previews
QuarterbacksRunning BacksWide ReceiversTight Ends

For more F6P preseason coverage please visit our 2017 Draft Kit section.

About Kevin Huo

Kevin is a fantasy football writer for Fantasy Six Pack. He considers every angle - whether statistical or theoretical - when weighing his options and isn't afraid to be a contrarian. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMHuo

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