Usually by this time of year I am knee-deep in writing fantasy football profiles and rankings. When I started NFL Draft Net, I told myself I was hanging up the fantasy football cleats. See how long that lasted? I just can’t stay away. Well, I guess adding some fantasy football in here during the slow time for draft news is better than trying to maintain a whole site dedicated to it. Let’s move on…
Today, I want to take a look at some of the rookie quarterbacks from the fantasy football angle. First off, let’s not get too excited after the seasons that Cam Newton and Andy Dalton had last year. Remember they were facing some scaled down defenses due to the lack of training camp and prep. With that, lets look at who you should and should not consider in 2012…
Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Chances are that Griffin will be off the board before you take him. That is okay, because he is likely to be overvalued based on 1) comparisons to Cam Newton, 2) his NFL draft position, and 3) his Heisman. Of these three reasons, the first one has the most fantasy relevance. Griffin could be potentially more dangerous with his feet, and could have a better supporting cast. However, as mentioned before, he will not be facing defenses that had a messed up offseason due to the lockout of 2011. You can bet that at least the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles will be aptly prepared for RG3.
So what do you do with this guy? You could take him as your starter if you are one of the last guys to take a QB, possibly platoon him with someone else. He will likely perform around the same range as someone like Matt Ryan or Ben Roethlisberger, so if we look at those guys as possible starters we can with RG3 as well. Not the ideal situation though. Be smart about selecting your backup QB. These days it is more and more important to have a solid QB in fantasy football. If you are not comfortable with that, RGIII could make for a solid backup and bye week filler. There is potential that he takes off too. With that, you may select him as your backup a little earlier than you might take one if the rest of your league has filled their starters and he is still available.
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
Like RG3, Luck will get some early fantasy looks due to his draft position and being an outstanding college football player. Don’t be the guy looking too soon. Don’t feel bad if someone else takes him, because like RG3 it will probably be too soon. Instead, look at who dropped because a leaguemate jumped too soon.
The Colts are undergoing a major rebuilding on both sides of the ball. If enough of your league pays attention to that, he could fall as far as going undrafted in 10-12 team leagues. If you are fielding one of the elite fantasy QBs, or someone you are comfortable with that doesn’t tend to miss time due to injury, you may be able to grab luck with your last pick, freeing up the earlier picks at other positions. He could be involved in shootouts in week 5 (Packers) and 11 (Patriots). This could make a bye week filler for owners with Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford, and Eli Manning.
So, obviously, if Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck are so-so, last resort starters, bye week filler, possible sleeper type guys, we know not to expect too much of Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill from a fantasy football perspective. They should not even be on your draft list unless you are in a 16 or more team league. Even then, you need to watch to be sure they are even starting for their team. In the future we may take a look at the keeper and dynasty potential, but until then, watch them and think about next year.