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Steve Schwarz | Archive | Email |  
Staff Writer


The Floor is Just as Important as the Ceiling
7/19/18

Cam Newton

Ups and Downs: Cam Newton's volatility may not be what you want from your fantasy quarterback.

Itís always great when your quarterbacks throws up a 40-point weekend. But just as important to consistent winning is your quarterback not producing more than one or two clunkers every season. Do you want reliable quarterback play? Do you want solid point production, week-in and week-out? Year-in and year-out?

Iíve done a bit of research of the starting quarterbacks over the past five seasons and I found intriguing results.

Here are the highlights.

Many people think Dak Prescott had a bad sophomore season, and yes, the teamís record fell from 13-3 and an NFC East title to 9-7 and out of the playoffs, but Prescott actually posted similar fantasy production from 2016 to 2017.

Those same people think Philip Rivers had one of his best seasons ever in 2017. I know I did. In fact, he posted the lowest average (21.1 FPts/G) of the past five years. However, the Chargersí quarterback is one of the most consistent performers in the league so the dip was minimal.

Another steady arm is Ben Roethlisberger. Over the past five seasons heís thrown between 28-32 touchdowns and at least 3800 yards. The mastermind of one of the leagueís most potent offenses has almost all his weapons back this season. More of the same should be expected.

Perhaps Patrick Peterson thinks Sam Bradford is a ďtop-10Ē quarterback, but the numbers certainly donít show it. However, he is consistent Ö he keeps averaging fewer points every season. Others who are headed in a downward trend are; Jameis Winston and Tyrod Taylor. A graph of Blake Bortlesí production since 2015 (25.3) would make a great ďBlack DiamondĒ ski slope rating.

Russell Wilson is explosive, but inconsistent. Heís just as likely to give you 25 FPts/G as under 21 FPts/G. The good news is he hasnít missed a game in six seasons (I hope I didnít just jinx him) despite running around like crazy man. Trying to tackle Wilson in the backfield is like trying to win at the old arcade game Whac-a-Mole.

If Andrew Luck comes back healthy, his last three seasons were elite for fantasy owners. Obviously thatís a big IF, considering we still havenít seen him throw a football for real since New Yearís Day 2017.

Which Drew Brees will show up in 2018? The superstar passer from the decade before 2017 or last season as he ran a balanced New Orleans Saints offense? Iím thinking heíll be closer to the 20.1 FPts/G of last season than the pass-happy quarterback of the previous era.

Cam Newton had one fantasy MVP season (2015) and four Philip Rivers level seasons. Donít pay too much for the chance that lightning will strike twice in the same spot. (The odds of getting struck by lightning twice in your lifetime is 9,000,000:1).

Case Keenum hasnít posted a single 20 FPts/G season, including his 2017 effort when he led his Vikings deep into the playoffs. You must be able to separate team success from fantasy success. Keenum had the first, but not the latter.

I believe in Deshaun Watson, but I also believe he wonít produce points at last yearís pace (28.6 FPts/G and 31.6 as a starter). In fact, in the 115 quarterback seasons listed below, no one ever produced that total for a season and there are just six seasons at 26 points-per-game or more (5.2%).

If Jimmy Garoppoloís average looks low itís because he came it late for one game before starting and winning five-in-a-row. He averaged 21.6 FPts/G as a starter.

Average fantasy points-per-game for starters over the past five seasons (At least six starts in a season).

 QB FPts/G - Last 5 Seasons
Quarterback 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Avg Hi Low Variance
Dak Prescott 21.2 20.4 20.8 21.2 20.4 0.8
Jameis Winston 21.7 21.2 20.8 21.2 21.7 20.8 0.9
Philip Rivers 22.4 21.8 22.4 22.2 21.1 22.0 22.4 21.1 1.3
Sam Bradford 20.5 19.0 18.6 19.4 20.5 18.6 1.9
B. Roethlisberger 21.3 23.6 23.6 22.5 22.0 22.6 23.6 21.3 2.3
Kirk Cousins 21.3 22.4 23.7 22.2 22.4 23.7 21.3 2.4
Ryan Tannehill 20.1 21.7 20.4 19.1 20.3 21.7 19.1 2.6
Matthew Stafford 23.0 20.1 22.7 21.6 21.8 21.8 23.0 20.1 2.9
Marcus Mariota 21.2 21.5 18.3 20.3 21.5 18.3 3.2
Case Keenum 17.2 15.7 19.2 17.4 19.2 15.7 3.5
Josh McCown 19.5 16.8 21.2 20.1 19.4 21.2 16.8 4.4
Russell Wilson 20.7 23.4 24.9 20.4 25.7 23.0 25.7 20.4 5.3
Derek Carr 16.0 21.3 21.0 18.0 19.1 21.3 16.0 5.3
Aaron Rodgers 23.0 25.6 22.2 27.6 22.9 24.3 27.6 22.2 5.4
Alex Smith 20.5 17.8 19.8 18.6 23.2 20.0 23.2 17.8 5.4
Tom Brady 19.9 21.4 25.4 24.7 22.5 22.8 25.4 19.9 5.5
Tyrod Taylor 22.3 20.9 17.5 20.2 22.3 17.5 5.8
Andrew Luck 21.6 27.6 24.8 25.5 24.9 27.6 21.6 6.0
Eli Manning 16.7 21.9 23.0 19.0 17.2 19.6 23.0 16.7 6.3
Andy Dalton 23.6 17.9 22.7 20.3 17.2 20.3 23.6 17.2 6.4
Joe Flacco 18.2 20.4 21.6 19.6 15.0 19.0 21.6 15.0 6.6
Matt Ryan 21.0 22.6 20.0 25.7 18.7 21.6 25.7 18.7 7.0
Drew Brees 27.3 24.5 25.3 26.4 20.1 24.7 27.3 20.1 7.2
Cam Newton 22.5 22.3 28.5 21.2 22.8 23.5 28.5 21.2 7.3
Carson Wentz 17.5 25.1 21.3 25.1 17.5 7.6
Blake Bortles 16.5 25.3 21.3 19.5 20.7 25.3 16.5 8.8
Jared Goff 11.7 20.9 16.3 20.9 11.7 9.2
Deshaun Watson 28.6 28.6 x
Patrick Mahomes 15.2 15.2 x
Jimmy Garoppolo* 18.9 18.9 x
Mitchell Trubisky 14.5 14.5 x

* - started five games in 2017



Steve Schwarz served as the fantasy sports editor of The Sports Network and is the 2014 FSWA Football Writer of the Year.





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