Friday, January 4, 2013

The quarterback class is looking very deep for 2013. So deep that players who used to be starting fantasy quarterbacks are being pushed out of the top 12 by the promising young quarterbacks that lit up the league in 2012. Some of the players that are being pushed down out of the starter tier this year are some big names like Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Michael Vick.

This is being written before free agency, the draft and training camp so things could change but as of January 4th, 2013 this is my quarterback sleepers list. I am going to assume that things are as they are today. Also note that when I say "sleeper" I mean undervalued players (according to the "experts"). That means that these quarterbacks don't necessarily have to be picked in the late rounds although, most of them still are.

I will be waiting on quarterback again this year as it has proven to be a solid strategy for me in the past few years (These value based draft charts emphasize why I believe that). If I am in a 10 team league I have no problem taking a quarterback in the mid-late rounds without taking a back up quarterback. This strategy works fine if you are an active owner, if your wrong about your QB pick you can't take too long to cut him loose for the hottest free agent quarterback you can fine. I don't draft a back up quarterback (except in 14+ team leagues where good back ups have trade value, 2 QB leagues and maybe in 6pt passing touchdown leagues) because I believe they provide little value and that the more teams without backup quarterbacks the better the strategy is (less people owning backups yields better free agent quarterbacks available). The other reason not having a back up quarterback works well is because quarterbacks are easy to claim off of the waiver wire as they are rising in value (as opposed to RB's where as soon as one has a big game hes claimed in every league). Anyway, lets get to the list of sleepers.

Sleeper Quarterbacks

Colin Kaepernick
The recent wave of young quarterbacks with legs has shown that scrambling quarterbacks have a very high floor in fantasy football. Consistent scoring from the quarterback position is key to success in fantasy football. It is the one position where a 0 causes your fantasy team to lose about 80% of the time. Kaepernick has a strong arm that he's not afraid to use which is shown by his 8.32 yards per attempt average he is also a good decision maker which is shown by the fact that he has 10 touchdowns to only 3 interceptions. His accuracy is impressive with a 62.6% completion percentage, a very high number for a first year starter. In the final 8 games (the games he started) CK7 accumulated 304 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. In ESPN standard scoring he averaged 17.75 fantasy points in these 8 games. That fantasy point average would rank Kaepernick as the 7th quarterback this season if he had done it over 16 games. Hopefully, next year the 49ers change the offense to more suit CK7 and increase his fantasy production for us owners. A full off-season as the starter can only benefit him as last year was his first year as a starter. I have seen him ranked outside of the top 13 for the most part in the early 2013 fantasy rankings and I would be very comfortable with him as my starter in a 12 team league (maybe even a 10 team league).

Michael Vick
This pick is mostly banking on Vick landing on a team that has a better offensive line and that he ends up with a coach who understands that Vick is best when he is throwing quick passes or scrambling. Most of Vick's struggles have come on 5 step drop passes where he is asked to read the field and make decisions facing pressure. Vick was bad this year but, he still averaged 15.375 points per game (ESPN standard) in the 8 games he started at the beginning of the season. He only managed 1 touchdown this season which is the same as last year but the fact that he had 9 in 2010 makes me believe that he is more likely to end up with 3-5 rushing touchdowns. Vick's upside and name recognition are his greatest value, if he starts to tear it up out there you can bet that ESPN will be hyping him up again like crazy which will cause his trade value to shoot through the roof. Vick is one of the few quarterbacks I would consider drafting as a back up assuming he lands in a decent location for that reason. The price tag is going to be cheap this coming year as I have seen him ranked by most in the 14-20 range of quarterbacks. The small investment allows fantasy owners to worry less about Vick's injury prone label.

Philip Rivers
The Chargers are aging and Rivers is coming off of a season where he averaged a mere 6.84 yards per attempt. The biggest positive statistic about Rivers last year was that he still managed to maintain a solid completion percentage at 64.1%. His problems mainly has stemmed from too many interceptions and a lack of yardage. River's eclipsed 4,600 yards in both 2010 and 2011 but in 2012 he regressed to 3,606 yards. That's a big step down. I think he will be closer to 2010/2011 form here in 2013. Hopefully the Charger's pick up another solid receiver as I'm not sure Danario Alexander can be counted on to stay healthy and Floyd is better off as a number 2 receiver. An offensive minded quarterback would be helpful to Rivers as well. The bottom line with River's is that he has been a top fantasy option before (top 5 in 2010) and this year I've seen him ranked as a 12th round pick (around 20th ranked QB) on quiet a few sites and I think at that price he could provide good value.

Others I like and Notes: Jay Cutler (as 20th-23rd QB), Peyton Manning (as 5th/6th QB). My top 6: Rodgers, Brees, Brady, Peyton, RGIII, and Cam (in that order) before a drop off to the next tier.


Subscribe to RSS Feed Follow me on Twitter!