I prefer being optimistic for every NFL player. I like words and phrases such as "bounce back", "upside", "high return", "value", "underrated", etc. As for the red side of the ledger, it's gloomy, negative, and dispiriting. Yet, for completeness and duty to all, I must out of editorial necessity provide the 2018 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts.
I assess my draft targets like a temperature scale. More exactly, as settings on an electric blanket - from low to high with ranges of increment. A low target has no reach value for me. Whereas, the warmer the target, the viability for a draft reach is stronger.
It's a preference (or non-preference) over the prevailing ADP ranks. When the word "bust" enters the conversation, it conjures up a vision of collapse. In fantasy, we formulate the word in different ways to broaden the scope of the definition.
Utter failures do happen. You could be the most patient owner over several weeks; waiting and waiting for your guy to break out. Finally, in frustration, you drop-kick the guy back to waivers. Thus, in effect, making a league announcement that you drafted a bust. However, there is never any humility; you just want rid of the bum and could care less.
We don't want the bum in the first place, or, for that matter, any player anywhere near approaching the bum spectrum. In this article, I hope I can help you avoid drafting a quarterback bust. At such an important fantasy position, having to toss a quarterback to waivers and spending the rest of your season taking what you can get is not an enviable pursuit.
Busts won't necessarily ruin your team, but since we cope with so many weekly injuries throughout the season, we just don't need them.
2018 Fantasy Football Quarterback Busts
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Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (ADP 61; ECR 68; QB6)
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"To give you an idea as to how unrepeatable Wentz's 2017 season was from a touchdown standpoint, let's compare him to Aaron Rodgers. Wentz's touchdown rate was 7.5 percent last year, a number that Rodgers has hit just once in his career."
Mike Tagliere - FantasyPros
Yes folks, it's the famous 7.5% touchdown rate stat. The Carson Wentz statistic that just won't let go. You read it everywhere in fantasy circles. Some chew it. Some refute it.
More than that, Wentz returns in 2018 off of ACL rehab. All reports show him doing well, but the Eagles will no doubt be cautious with their young star quarterback. However, Wentz is under pressure in Philadelphia to carry on as though nothing changed.
Well, a lot has. The Eagles won the Super Bowl because, in large part, Nick Foles upped his level during the playoff run. No doubt, NFL teams will have the champion Eagles in their sights. The Philly press will welcome Wentz back, but if any early underperformance streaks begin smudging the record against team expectations, a steady increase of criticism is sure to follow.
Philly fans are notoriously impatient. Wentz already warmed up the chorus of boo birds recently. Tough crowd. You can read about the history of the "Philly Boo", here. Okay, we all know about the Bronx Cheer and all that stuff, but Philly definitely differs. They would not hesitate to chant "We want Foles" for an entire game to make a point. Sports radio call-in shows would echo this as well.
Of course, the team is under no obligation to capitulate to the media and the fans in Philadelphia. It's still pressure though and this is the double edge the Eagles have by not allowing a Foles trade. Nick Foles would start immediately on several NFL teams.
But let's get back to a few of the numbers. Apart from the touchdown rate I mentioned at the top, Wentz also set another high bar for himself of 1.6% for his interception vs pass attempt ratio. Since 2000, only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were able to stay at or below that percentage multiple times while throwing 30+ touchdown passes. No one else. And only Rodgers was able to do it in successive seasons (2011-2012).
Okay, maybe Wentz is building into a superstar like Rodgers and Brady. No denying the possibility. The point is, the level he rose to in 2017 is hard to maintain - even for the very best in the NFL. Coming off an ACL tear too?
This is a bust article and if the definition covers the area of lower expectations off ADP, then I'm okay. It is just too bold to expect a disaster season for Wentz, at least from what I see at this point, but the arrows do tend to point south.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers (ADP 85; ECR 107; QB12)
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It seems that the early preseason hype over Garoppolo stubbornly continues to inflate his ADP a full 22 spots ahead of the experts rankings.
Five consecutive wins as a fresh starter certainly appears impressive. Especially with at least two countable playoff contenders among the opposing teams. The fantasy numbers were satisfactory and well over 15+ points in four of the five games.
That's all we have though. It really isn't enough data. Garoppolo himself lacks in nothing, but where are the weapons?
Pierre Garcon turns 32 in early August. He is number one on the 49ers receiver depth chart. Now, usually someone like Garcon holds a late career role like say DeSean Jackson, Ted Ginn, Mike Wallace, etc. He is a valuable player, no question, but where is the younger stud receiver?
Marquise Goodwin is a potential 1000 yard receiver, but few consider him a franchise face. I like Goodwin himself for PPR fantasy, but in context of real world weaponry for Garoppolo's fantasy value, the cupboard seems short of a lot of goodies.
The high ADP versus the ECR has a wide gap. The track record remains inconclusive. Garoppolo is without a deep and rich receiving group. The preparation of opposing defenses should have a better idea of how to exploit Garoppolo's weaknesses.
So, there is risk here. There is also reward, but the price should not be as high as the current ADP suggests.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
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Up to this point, I haven't really put forward a bust in the strictest definition, but with Roethlisberger, I am about to do so.
I like Ben Roethlisberger a lot. He harkens back to the day of the rugged quarterback. Two Super Bowl rings, an ambassador of the game, a Steelers legend in his own time and undoubtedly a first year eligible Canton inductee.
For fantasy, Ben isn't the type we ever proactively target. In single quarterback leagues, he falls to the late quarterback drafters. Ben usually ranks just outside the top ten quarterbacks every season in fantasy football.
The game that stuck in my head from 2017 was Week 5 against the Jaguars. The Steelers lost 30-9. Five interceptions and were it not for a touchdown he ran in himself, his fantasy point total would be in the negatives. It was among the lowest points of his career. Ben felt he lost something in his game. Retirement? Very ominous.
After that game, Ben shook it all out. He struck back brilliantly; winning nine of ten of the remaining schedule. The Steelers recovered and so did Ben. Along the way, he notched three 25+ fantasy point games, including a 30 pointer versus Green Bay at Heinz Field. Yet, somehow I sensed a last hurrah atmosphere for Ben in 2017.
The rumors of retirement persist. It's a big ask for Ben to pull another one of these out at this stage in his career. At 36, he's young next to Brady or Brees. However, the battering Ben allows himself to take every season would shorten the careerspan of most quarterbacks younger than he is.
In 2018, I expect he will shine in a big game or two, but another recovery as outstanding as in 2017? I wish I could say I had that confidence. In a two quarterback league, I would respectfully make a different choice.
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