It’s that time of year; fantasy football is back, baby! I never get more sports questions in my everyday life than fantasy football. People love it. My job is to properly educate the world so that they can win their league. We start today with the quarterbacks. If you have listened to my world-class podcast, That’s Some Cheese, then you know where I’m going with this piece. Pick the wrong quarterback and it could ruin your fantasy season. Don’t fall for the cheese that the experts tell you because they’re always wrong. Last year I told you that Matt Ryan wasn’t really this good and he had a very predictably had a down year. The lifeblood of every fantasy team is your quarterback so which one should we avoid in fantasy this upcoming season?
4. Drew Brees
Drew Brees is known for being a pretty safe quarterback commodity in fantasy but that really wasn’t the case a year ago. 23 passing touchdowns isn’t acceptable, especially if you consider Brees a top 5 quarterback. The problem is that was probably by design. It was clear that Alvin Kamara has become the focal point of the offense and running the football was now imperative within Sean Payton’s system. Brees will turn 40 in January and the wheels could theoretically fall off at any time. Sean Payton has made it clear he wants to reduce Brees’ attempts as well because of that reason. 637 attempts in 2016 went down to 536 in 2017. Brees might very well still be one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL but he is no longer the stat monster he was in the past.
3. Matt Ryan
Last year you were convinced that Matt Ryan was a top-tier fantasy quarterback. 38 touchdowns in 2016 and the number one total offense in the NFL had people fooled. #theghostofshanahan is very much real. Matt Ryan only threw 20 touchdowns during the season and it was clear that there was real dysfunction within the play calling. Hell, Julio Jones only had 3 all year. I’m not sure you can count on Matt Ryan in fantasy other than a quarterback in the 15 range. Ryan also just got paid this offseason so that’s never really been a good omen either. His total yards went down by about 900. His yards per attempt went down from 9.3 to 7.7. Don’t expect things to get better in year two away from Kyle Shanahan because it flat out doesn’t work like that. Just ask Ben McAdoo.
2. Cam Newton
I think we sort of know what Cam Newton is at this point. He’s an inaccurate quarterback that really isn’t that valuable unless he’s running the football. His highs are really high but his lows are really low. Newton is a 58.5 percent thrower during the course of his career. Don’t get confused by his 2015 MVP season because that’s not the reality. The past two years, Newton has thrown for a combined 41 touchdowns. That’s not good enough. Plus, if you have kept up with the offseason, you would know that he has a new offensive coordinator. The running version of Cam is going to be seen less and less with Norv Turner who is known for 7 step drops slinging it deep down the field. Newton has a big-time arm but he’s not accurate. There’s a chance that maybe this system suits Cam but this could be a huge disaster waiting to happen. There’s just a lot of safer options to take at quarterback so there’s no need to roll the dice here. Especially considering the fact that he will probably be inconsistent from a week to week basis driving you nuts when to start him. Also, his receivers are trash so don’t expect them to elevate his play.
1. Tom Brady
Yes, I know it’s the greatest quarterback of all-time. BUT… Tom Brady is 41. At some point, it’s going to get ugly. Remember when Peyton Manning virtually fell off a cliff in an hour with the Broncos? I’m not saying bet against Tom Brady but when he’s doing right now is unprecedented. No one is this good in their 40’s. There are a ton of valuable quarterbacks out there to not take the risk. Also, add in that New England’s defense was awful last year. It forced Tom Brady to win the games by himself. I can’t be them being this bad on defense with Belichick on board. I’m not sure Brady can win these games by himself anymore anyway. Don’t forget; Malcolm Mitchell, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola, and Brandin Cooks are all gone. Add in that Julian Edelman is suspended for the first 4 games and things could get difficult for Brady like they haven’t been in the past. New England has about 800 running backs on the roster for a reason. They will run the football early and often to get Brady fresh for the latter stages of the season.