Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
      
Fantasy Football Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Draft Prep: Target your QB late and win

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

Before we get into the prediction about quarterbacks, I wanted to give you a little insight into my Fantasy history. My longest-running Fantasy league is entering its 10th season in 2011.

This is a 10-team keeper league, and when we started back in 2002 we didn't penalize quarterbacks for interceptions while still allowing six points for passing touchdowns. What this did was make quarterbacks the highest-scoring players by far, but it also allowed you to wait on drafting your No. 1 passer.

You could take a chance on a gunslinger (someone like Brett Favre or Eli Manning) because even if they had a big game with a couple of turnovers, all you got were the positive stats. You wanted quarterbacks who were throwing a lot, and it didn't matter if they took risks.

I've won this league three times, including last year, and only once since 2006 have I drafted a quarterback prior to Round 6. It's because of this league that I usually tend to wait on drafting a quarterback, and I find that strategy to be successful.

The prediction is here is that you will have a better Fantasy season if you wait on drafting a quarterback.

I find that the best way to build your Fantasy team is to pass on taking a quarterback early and select as many good running backs and wide receivers as possible. Obviously, if a star quarterback falls on Draft Day and presents good value – Michael Vick in Round 2, Tom Brady in Round 3, Drew Brees in Round 4 – then don't pass him up. But you don't have to reach for a quarterback to build a championship roster.

In looking at the players with the best winning percentage for Fantasy owners on CBSSports.com in 2010, only three quarterbacks drafted by at least Round 3 in a standard league had a winning percentage of .511 or higher, and that was Aaron Rodgers (.533), Philip Rivers (.533) and Brady (.512). What this shows is Rodgers, Rivers and Brady were all part of a Fantasy roster that won games at that percentage.

Quarterbacks who were undrafted or taken late that had a better winning percentage than .511 were Vick (.574), Jon Kitna (.522), David Garrard (.521), Ben Roethlisberger (.517) and Josh Freeman (.514). All of them were more successful for Fantasy owners than Brady, Brees (.508) and Peyton Manning (.505).

Follow us, Like us, Join us
Want more? Join the discussion on our Facebook page and Google+ and follow us on Twitter for additional insight while interacting with a community geared toward Fantasy Football.

Now, this doesn't mean those quarterbacks had better stats than Brady, Brees and Manning. Far from it. But it illustrates that most of those owners had quality players at running back, wide receiver and tight end and just needed enough from their quarterback like Kitna or Garrard to build a winning team.

What we're going to show you here using this year's ADP is what the core of a standard 12-team Fantasy league with a lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR and TE would start to look like if you drafted a quarterback early or waited until at least Round 7. I selected players as close to the ADP as possible to fill open slots, and I picked players that I would take in that general area. I'll rate these drafts as if they actually happened.

Judge for yourself the team you like best, but I prefer to wait on a quarterback in the No. 7-12 range in the rankings and stockpile talent elsewhere. As it showed last year, you have a better chance to win that way.

Drafting a quarterback in Round 1

Round 1: Aaron Rodgers at No. 6
Round 2:: Frank Gore at No. 19
Round 3:: Reggie Wayne at No. 30
Round 4:: Wes Welker at No. 43
Round 5:: Mark Ingram at No. 54
Round 6:: Owen Daniels at No. 67
Round 7:: Marshawn Lynch at No. 78
This is an excellent team when you consider there's a Top 2 quarterback and a Top 10 running back (Gore), receiver (Wayne) and tight end (Daniels). Add in New England's No. 1 receiver in Welker and arguably the best rookie in Ingram, and there's plenty of talent, with Lynch also having upside. But as good as this team can be, Rodgers is the only superstar given that Gore and Wayne are on the downside of their careers, and Ingram still has plenty to prove. Because of Rodgers in Round 1, you're now chasing talent at the other positions for the most part.
Grade: B-minus

Drafting a quarterback in Round 2

Round 1:: Maurice Jones-Drew at No. 10
Round 2:: Drew Brees at No. 15
Round 3:: DeSean Jackson at No. 34
Round 4:: Shonn Greene at No. 39
Round 5:: Vernon Davis at No. 58
Round 6:: Mario Manningham at No. 63
Round 7:: Mike Tolbert at No. 82
It's difficult to argue with Brees and Jones-Drew to start your Fantasy team, and Jackson could be a No. 1 Fantasy receiver, with Greene also in line for a breakout season. Manningham is solid as a No. 2 receiver, and Davis is an elite tight end. And Tolbert in Round 7 is great value. But I don't know many Fantasy owners who are comfortable with Jackson as their best receiving threat. Taking Brees in Round 2 compared to a receiver like Larry Fitzgerald or Hakeem Nicks could be a mistake.
Grade: B

Drafting a quarterback in Round 3

Round 1:: Andre Johnson at No. 9
Round 2:: Darren McFadden at No. 16
Round 3:: Tony Romo at No. 33
Round 4:: Mike Williams of Tampa Bay at No. 40
Round 5:: BenJarvus Green-Ellis at No. 57
Round 6:: Chad Ochocinco at No. 64
Round 7:: Kellen Winslow at No. 81
I like the first three picks of this draft because you get the No. 1 receiver, a Top 10 running back and a Top 7 quarterback, and even Williams in Round 4 is excellent value. But I'm definitely not comfortable with Green-Ellis as my No. 2 running back (he's more of a No. 3 option or flex), and Ochocinco is not the best flex option based on his play in the preseason even though he was the best available player in that round based on his ADP. Winslow is good but not great, and this draft seemed to go downhill fast.
Grade: C-plus

Drafting a quarterback in Round 4

Round 1:: Michael Turner at No. 11
Round 2:: Rashard Mendenhall at No. 14
Round 3:: Miles Austin at No. 35
Round 4:: Matt Schaub at No. 38
Round 5:: Vernon Davis at No. 59
Round 6:: Jeremy Maclin at No. 62
Round 7:: Julio Jones at No. 83
While I'm not a fan of starting a receiver at the flex spot, especially a rookie like Jones, I like the way this team came together. There are two Top 12 running backs, two quality receivers now that Maclin is healthy, an elite tight end and a proven quarterback. This team needs to draft Isaac Redman with a late-round pick in case Mendenhall struggles this season with his workload, but overall this team should be in playoff contention this season.
Grade: B

Drafting a quarterback in Round 5

Round 1:: LeSean McCoy at No. 8
Round 2:: Frank Gore at No. 17
Round 3:: Mike Wallace at No. 32
Round 4:: Brandon Marshall at No. 41
Round 5:: Ben Roethlisberger at No. 56
Round 6:: Percy Harvin at No. 65
Round 7:: Kellen Winslow at No. 82
This is a playoff team because Roethlisberger presents excellent value as your starter, and you have two Top 10 running backs in McCoy and Gore. Wallace and Marshall are a great duo for your starting receivers, and Harvin has the chance for a breakout year in his third season. This is a good example of what happens when you wait on a quarterback and make quality selections with your first four picks. One more running back like a Tim Hightower will make this team complete.
Grade: B-plus

Drafting a quarterback in Round 6

Round 1:: Adrian Peterson at No. 1
Round 2:: Greg Jennings at No. 24
Round 3:: Hakeem Nicks at No. 25
Round 4:: Knowshon Moreno at No. 48
Round 5:: Jason Witten at No. 49
Round 6:: Josh Freeman at No. 72
Round 7:: Joseph Addai at No. 73
This is my favorite team thus far because Freeman is underrated as a quarterback, and you see the type of talent you can acquire if you wait to draft him in Round 6. How can you argue with an elite running back like Peterson, two standout receivers like Jennings and Nicks, a Top 3 tight end in Witten and then a capable flex option in Addai? This team has championship contender written all over it, especially if the reserves are quality players. And if you draft Freeman and are concerned about his ability, all you have to do is take someone like Sam Bradford or Kevin Kolb in Round 8 or 9.
Grade: A

Drafting a quarterback in Round 7

Round 1:: Roddy White at No. 12
Round 2:: Calvin Johnson at No. 13
Round 3:: Shonn Greene at No. 36
Round 4:: Felix Jones at No. 37
Round 5:: Vernon Davis at No. 60
Round 6:: Jeremy Maclin at No. 61
Round 7:: Matthew Stafford at No. 84
If you know anything about the way I draft you know I love the start to this team. Getting two stud receivers when drafting at the end of Round 1 is a great start, and then you can draft two running backs with upside like Greene and Jones. Davis is an elite tight end, and while I would prefer a running back at flex I'm OK with Maclin since he was the best talent on the board at that spot. Stafford obviously has some risk based on his injury history, but you can back him up with a safe No. 2 option like Joe Flacco or Eli Manning in Round 8 or 9.
Grade: A-minus

An expert's view …

CBS analyst Steve Beuerlein is a former NFL quarterback and an avid Fantasy Football owner. I spoke with him recently about some quarterbacks you can take with a mid- to late-round pick on Draft Day like Freeman, Stafford, Bradford and Kevin Kolb, and here's what he had to say.

On Freeman: It's an understatement that he made a big jump last year. The way he played was unbelievable. A lot of people didn't know who he was because he played for Tampa Bay, and they didn't get a lot of TV coverage. He's a top-notch quarterback, and he can make plays with his arm and his legs. He's established himself, and now the bar is high for him to do it again.

Check out our Fantasy Football podcast!
There is no better source for entertaining Fantasy advice than our Fantasy Football Today podcast. Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg and Adam Aizer will help you pass the time as you anticipate Draft Day 2014!
Latest episode | Subscribe today!

On Stafford: I don't think there's any reason to think he won't have a great year. With the guys they have on the outside, Matthew Stafford is set up to have a big season. He has all the tools. But the proof is in the pudding. If he can stay healthy, Stafford should play well this year.

On Bradford: That guy is going to be the standard bearer for many years to come. He played well last year with not a lot of talent around him. Let's face it, even though Steven Jackson is still good, he's not the same running back he was earlier in his career. Bradford showed me a lot as a rookie. He is going to be wowing people for many years.

On Kolb: He's going to be a fun one to watch. Kolb has the weapons, especially with Larry Fitzgerald, and I like the move to get Todd Heap. He has good weapons and a good coach that will allow him to carry the football team. I'm still not 100 percent convinced he's worth what they paid him. But he has a bright future, and this is a good spot for him.

I asked Beuerlein if he had to pick one of these quarterbacks to start an NFL team with, and his answer was somewhat surprising.

Said Beuerlein:"If I was pressed it would have to be Bradford. Second would have to be Freeman because I've seen it from him. He's a proven commodity. Stafford would be next, but he has a lot of variables."

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

Want an edge in your draft? Download the Fantasy Draft Kit App.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Ravens re-sign Derek Cox
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:26 am ET) The Ravens re-signed cornerback Derek Cox after letting him go Saturday, reports the Baltimore Sun. He has 13 interceptions in five NFL seasons.

Browns add players to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:21 am ET) The Browns signed quarterback Connor Shaw, linebackers Justin Staples and Keith Pough, offensive linemen Patrick Lewis and Karim Barton, tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi and receiver Charles Johnson to their practice squad.

J.J. Watt gets six-year, $100 million extension
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9:10 am ET) Texans defensive end J.J. Watt agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension, including nearly $52 million guaranteed. The deal makes Watt the NFL's highest-paid defensive player.

Watt has 36.5 sacks in three seasons.


Sammy Watkins risky in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:25 am ET) The Bills haven't had a bonafide No. 1 receiver since the days of Jim Kelly to Andre Reed, but rookie Sammy Watkins has the talent to be their best wide receiver since the franchise's Super Bowl era. Sure, Eric Moulds, Lee Evans and Stevie Johnson were fine, but with the right quarterback, Watkins can be special.

Unfortunately, Watkins will be catching passes from second-year signal caller EJ Manuel. The team seems to have little confidence in Manuel being the answer at quarterback just one year after drafting him in the first round. Kyle Orton was pulled out of retirement and handed a pricy one-year deal, and one can easily picture the scenario where he's starting games for the team in November and December.

Will Manuel respond to the job-security threat with elevated play? His best shot is to feed his star rookie early and often. Bears cornerback Charles Tillman has made a career off shutting down No. 1 receivers, but he's not the same player at 33 as he was at 25. While he was a plus in coverage as recently as 2012, Tillman struggled on the field between injuries last year. If Watkins had a top-16 quarterback delivering the ball, I'd like him for a big game in Week 1. As it is, Fantasy owners would be best holding off on starting Watkins until the quarterback situation plays itself out for better or for worse.


Fred Jackson may have trouble finding running room in Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:04 am ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson will face a Bears team in Week 1 that did a terrible job at defending the run last season. However, his Week 1 success may not be as pre-ordained as that of running mate, C.J. Spiller.

Unlike Spiller, Jackson does much of his work without the benefit of big plays, grinding out his numbers by taking what the defense gives rather than providing a home-run threat on any down. While most of the members of the Bears back seven that was responsible for surrendering so many big plays has returned, the team has overhauled the defense line, signing three new defensive ends and drafting two rotational defensive tackles.

Two of those free-agent additions are Lamarr Houston and Willie Young, the two players that graded out as the best 4-3 defensive ends in run stop percentage last season, per Pro Football Focus. With those two players in tow and second-round draft pick Ego Ferguson taking up space in the middle, Jackson could have difficulty converting on short-yardage or goal-line situations.

It's also fair to wonder how many long scoring drives the Bills will be able to put together if Jackson and the offensive line can't stymie the line's potentially improved rush defense. EJ Manuel hasn't done enough at this point in his career to trust his ability to pick defenses apart with his arm. If the Bills have trouble finding the red zone, Jackson could wind up being a Week 1 Flex option Fantasy owners come to regret.


C.J. Spiller could ride big plays to productive Week 1
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:39 am ET) Bills running back C.J. Spiller has feasted on big plays ever since emerging as a Fantasy weapon. In 2012, he was third in the league in breakaway percentage, a statistic tracked by Pro Football Focus that determines how much of a player's rushing yardage total is accrued on plays of at least 15 yards. Spiller topped the league in the category last season. Clearly, if he can find a seam, he has the ability to wrea havoc on a defense.

Spiller will be squaring off with the Bears on Sunday. Last season, the Bears turned in by far the worst run defense performance in the league. They surrendered 2,583 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per rush, both marks placing them last in the league. They overhauled the defensive line in the offseason as a result, drafting two rotational defensive tackles and signing three defensive ends.

But if those players can't keep Spiller bottled up at the line all game, he's a threat to break a long touchdown or two. While the Bears run defense was obviously porous as a unit, the back seven was particularly offensive, ranking last in Football Outsiders' second-level yardage and open-field yardage statistics. The Bears didn't do much to upgrade those two levels of the defense either, meaning plenty of broken tackles and long gains are there for the taking if Spiller can find a little daylight. He's a trustworthy RB2 in Week 1 and a must-use in any Flex conversations.


EJ Manuel will look to conquer road woes Sunday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:20 am ET) Bills quarterback EJ Manuel endured what could at best be described as an uneven rookie season last year. Going 4-6 as a starter, Manuel particularly struggled on the road, where he turned in poor performances against the Jets, Browns, Steelers and Buccaneers before turning in a quality performance against the Jaguars in Week 14, his last game of the season.

Manuel opens this season on the road as well, heading to Soldier Field to take on the Bears Sunday. He'll be facing a new-look Chicago defensive line, rebuilt after the Bears defense struggled to generate a pass rush last season. Whether that pass rush can be effective could be the key to Manuel's success; the quarterback averaged 6.9 yards per attempt when under no pressure last season, but just 5.0 yards per attempt when faced with pressure.

Is there a good reason to start Manuel in Week 1? Not really. Every Fantasy team should be looking at a healthy roster heading into the beginning of the season, and there are anywhere from 14 to 20 QBs worth using over Manuel no matter the matchup. But a good performance in an unfavorable environment against a potentially improved pass rush would go a long way towards making the second-year player Fantasy relevant in 2014.


Patriots claim Don Jones off waivers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Patriots have been awarded safety Don Jones on waivers from the Dolphins and waived offensive lineman Chris Barker in a corresponding move.

The Patriots will likely be looking for some extra insight on their Week 1 opponent after bringing the former Dolphin into the fold. The move leaves the Patriots with six safeties on the roster.


Jets release Ellis Lankster, re-sign A.J. Edds
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) The Jets released cornerback Ellis Lankster and re-signed inside linebacker A.J. Edds Monday.

Report: Chris Conte to start if medically cleared
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9/1/2014) Bears safety Chris Conte will be the team's starting free safety in Sunday's season opener against the Bills, provided he's medically cleared to play, ESPN reports.

Conte has been locked in a position battle with rookie Brock Vereen, and despite suffering a concussion during the team's third preseason game, he's done enough to be named the starter. It wouldn't be surprising to see Vereen overtake Conte in the starting lineup, with the latter grading out as a below-average starter, according to ProFootballFocus.com, who particularly struggles in run support.


 
 
 
Rankings