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Fantasy Football 2014: The elite NFL Quarterbacks

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With the NFL Draft over, its time for Fantasy Football baby! ESPN experts ranked all the players and positions with much controversy. We open with the glamor boys, the quarterbacks. Dan Salem and Todd Salem debate in part one of this week’s TD Sports Debate. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate the NFL and sports.

 

TODD:

Now that the NFL Draft buzz has subsided and rookies have hit camp, the time has come for fantasy football talk…obviously. That is the next logical step to take in the 12-month football season.

ESPN did its part by holding its fantasy football draft summit last week. They took a dozen or so analysts, barred them up in a room and told them to come up with much-too-soon rankings for the 2014 season.

Let’s take a gander at these, starting with the highest-scoring position in fantasy: the quarterback.

The top ten they came up with is as follows:
1) Peyton Manning
2) Aaron Rodgers
3) Drew Brees
4) Matthew Stafford
5) Cam Newton
6) Andrew Luck
7) Robert Griffin III
8) Nick Foles
9) Russell Wilson
10) Colin Kaepernick

Any issues here? There are a few surprising names that we aren’t used to seeing on a list such as this. There is also one prominent name that is missing. Mr. Tom Brady was ranked 12th by the panel. After last season’s performance, maybe that’s fair, but it’s still Tom Brady, right?

 

DAN:

Woo! Fantasy football is one of the main reasons I love the NFL Draft. The first is obvious; to see who my favorite team, the New York Jets, select to join the green and white. A close second is to find out which new players were added to the teams of my fantasy football keepers. We get four keepers in my league and one of them is Mr. Matthew Stafford who ranks fourth on ESPN’s quarterback list. Go Lions’ offense! As to the fantasy football quarterback top ten, I have several issues with the list and one BIG problem.

First my HUGE problem with the quarterback top ten; where the expletive is Tom Brady? You say he’s down in the twelve spot, well who the hell is eleven? And for that matter, how do you rank Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, and Colin Kaepernick all ahead of Brady? These experts must be thinking Tom is on a downward trend, but they are giving the benefit of the doubt to way too many other guys. Tom Brady belongs firmly at number five, right behind Matthew Stafford and ahead of Andrew Luck. Cam Newton falls back to seven and both RGIII and Russell Wilson drop out of the top ten entirely, with Philip Rivers moving up into the ten spot. This whole thing is bogus.

Now for my issues, which boil down to one key element, sustainability. The ESPN QB rankings obviously put a ton of weight on a quarterback’s ability to run the ball. Now sure, if a quarterback runs a lot then he will rack up the points, especially if he gets into the end zone. You know what else will happen, injuries. No quarterback can sustain a consistent running game for more than a season or two without balancing it with a passing attack. I see too many names on this list who are runners without a proven passing game. Ahem, Cam Newton, RGIII, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick. The risk of drafting one of those players ahead of someone like Tom Brady or Philip Rivers who has proven season after season that he will throw for points is way too high.

I also see a haphazard application of last season’s success to this season’s rankings. Cam Newton had a tremendous year last year and is ranked high because of it. However, the season beforehand he did not do so well and his team has taken a big offseason hit on offense. The flip side is RGIII who had one great year, but was mediocre last season. The ‘experts’ are banking on his further resurgence. Neither quarterback has proven an ability to sustain high fantasy production. Buyer beware.

I’ve thrown too many spears at ESPN’s list to not end with my own version. Have at it brother; I’m not immune to criticism.

Fantasy Quarterback top ten – Dan Salem edition:

1) Aaron Rodgers
2) Peyton Manning
3) Drew Brees
4) Matthew Stafford
5) Tom Brady
6) Andrew Luck
7) Cam Newton
8) Colin Kaepernick
9) Nick Foles
10) Philip Rivers

[Part two - Passing vs Running at QB]

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Tags: ESPN Fantasy Football NFL Philip Rivers Quarterback Quarterback Rankings Robert Griffin Iii Russell Wilson Tom Brady

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