|Written by Matt Price|
|Friday, 15 February 2013 08:46|
Tier based drafting is an important strategy to consider when drafting your fantasy football teams. It is a much more powerful strategy than just looking at a rankings list cheat sheet because it forces you to draw lines in the sand on players and decide where the value drop offs are for each position. It is enormously helpful in deciding if you can wait to grab a certain position or if there is danger in waiting because you are nearing the end of a tier. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting my initial offensive positional tiers for for the 2013 fantasy football season. These are fluid rankings and will certainly change when we find out what teams draft the rookies, where players move in free agency, and as offseason injuries occur. First up is the quarterbacks.
The big 3 hasn’t changed for several seasons and probably won’t be changing anytime soon. If you want one of these guys you’ll likely have to spend a 1st or 2nd round pick on them.
Robert Griffin III
Old man Peyton continues to be productive in the regular season and likely has at least 2 years of above average fantasy value left in him. The other three are the young gun running QBs that enhance their value with all the rushing points they bring to the table. The latest reports on RG3 are that he is ahead of schedule rehabbing his knee and could be ready for week 1. If that holds true he likely gets pushed to the top of this tier. Cam Newton finished the season strong after a disappointing first half of the season. The worry with him is his work ethic during the offseason so pay attention to the camp reports out of Carolina. I want to see a full season from Kaepernick before we crown him, but his potential is too great to place him any lower than this in my opinion. These guys will likely go in the 3rd - 5th round.
I can see the argument for pushing Wilson and and Ryan up into the 2nd tier, but I’m not ready to do that yet. Wilson is still in a run first offense so his pass attempts per game will likely stay in the mid 20s if the game scripts go as planned. He has shown the ability to take over the game with his arm when required though. Ryan was a huge value pick last season but I think he will be over drafted this year. He had a strong first half of the season, but his numbers tailed off a bit as the season progressed. Not what you really want from your starter in the fantasy playoffs. Stafford took 685 passing attempts (an NFL record) to get to 4967 yards last season with only 20 touchdowns vs 17 interceptions. I can’t imagine that he comes close to that number of attempts again this season and he’ll need to get those TD numbers up to the mid 20s to be considered a top fantasy option again. Luck is on the rise and I have no problem putting him at the top of this tier if you prefer him over the others. I believe that this group will go somewhere in the 4th - 8th round next season.
Four veteran guys that have been wildly inconsistent from a fantasy standpoint throughout their careers. This tier is where you really start thinking about a quarterback by committee approach as I would not be comfortable with any of them as my QB1 for a whole season. I’d much rather have them as matchup plays. It appears that the Eagles are going to hold onto Vick for now so he will likely be their starting quarterback in week 1. He will have to compete with Nick Foles for the job, but I believe Vick is more capable of running Chip Kelly’s offense than Foles is. If you are going to wait on drafting the quarterback position, electing instead to load up on RB, WR, or perhaps an early TE, I would recommend grabbing one of these four and pairing them with another QB from the next two tiers shortly after. Tier 4 QBs will likely go somewhere in the 6th - 10th round range.
Talk about inconsistency. Tier 5 is the epitome of the word. All four have several big games a year, but also have several duds that can cost you a win all on their own. After Flacco’s postseason run and Super Bowl MVP, he will likely be over drafted. Don’t be that guy. His regular season production has always been up and down and I don’t see that changing much. One could argue that having Caldwell as the offensive coordinator will make him more reliable, but I want to see it first. Rivers is a guy that I think will be undervalued next year and makes an excellent QB2 in a committee. The Chargers will address the offensive line issues this offseason which should improve the production of their skill players across the board. The same goes for Cutler. If the Bears don’t do something about their line in this draft after completely ignoring it last offseason I would be surprised. Freeman posted some really great fantasy numbers at times last season, but watching the games didn’t tell the same story. Year 2 in the Greg Schiano system should see an uptick in his production. I believe that this is Freeman’s “prove it” year and that if he doesn’t take a step forward that the Bucs may look to move on from him in 2014. Flacco will probably get drafted earlier, but I see these guys going in the 9th - 11th rounds
Dalton could be higher and perhaps should be, but I just can’t get excited about him from a fantasy standpoint. The same goes for Schaub. Both are in fairly conservative offenses and will get you a solid 15-20 fantasy points per game, but are unlikely to have those massive weeks that can get you a win on their own. They are safe options, but safe doesn’t usually win you a championship.
Tannehill definitely has the ability to be as many as 2-3 tiers higher than this, but you can’t count on him as a fantasy starter just yet. If Miami gets him some elite targets the sky's the limit for him. Bradford and Locker haven’t shown enough yet on a regular basis to be considered as anything more than emergency backups or injury fill-ins.
Carson Palmer had a decent fantasy season last year but there are talks of the Raiders giving Terrelle Pryor a real shot. I think he is ok as a backup, but until we know more about what direction Oakland is going to go I would avoid. Smith will be a starter somewhere next season but until we know where we don’t really know how productive he can be. Same goes for Matt Flynn if the Seahawks decide to move him. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Fitzpatrick is no longer the Bills starting QB at the end of next season.
Avoid avoid avoid. If you draft Vick and want to grab Foles just in case I get it, but be ready to drop him for the waiver wire flavor of the week.
Look for the running back tiers sometime in the near future.
Questions or comments? Hit me up on twitter @MPricer
|Last Updated on Monday, 18 February 2013 11:36|