Monday - Jul 22, 2019

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Raining On The Parade

Well, a fresh new week is upon us.

Brett Favre is adjusting to his new surroundings and those in the fantasy football community are adjusting their cheat sheets.

One more player has been dipped into the quarterback pool.  

Of course, it didn’t take long for the FF experts to weigh in on this one. They’re pretty much in agreement.

Though

Brett Favre does have upside, he should be drafted in the 7th or 8th round as a low-end starter or top-flight backup.

 

I know that for some of you, it’s not this ranking that’s important. It’s the word that is attached to it: ‘upside’. This word carries optimism. It carries excitement. It looks appropriate when used to describe the fantasy potential of

Brett Favre.

Unfortunately, I’m gonna have to rain on this little parade. Upside or not, I don’t think that Favre should be drafted as a low-level starter or even a top-notch backup. In fact, I think that he should be avoided completely.

For those of you who think that you can slot Favre right into your lineup, let me paint you a little picture.

It’s week one, and Brett has had about a month to absorb the Jets offense. He doesn’t have a firm handle on the playbook yet, but he’s good to go. After all, he

is

Brett Favre.

So, for the season opener, it’s off to

Miami. Not an intimidating opponent to say the least. During the game, Favre makes some mistakes, but he is able to rely on his veteran-savvy, football instincts and powerful right arm. This is enough to exploit

Miami’s porous defense, and Brett puts up a couple of touchdowns. Not a bad way to kick things off.

Then Week 2 rolls around. This week’s opponent: the New England Patriots. Enter Bill Belichick, who has a better understanding of the Jets offense than the quarterback running it. This doesn’t bode well for the gunslinger. Instincts and strength can only carry him so far. Predictably, Favre is outclassed; he is eaten alive by Belichick’s QB-killing defensive scheming.

After this Week 2 beating, Favre dusts himself off and heads to

San Diego. He no longer has to worry about that ominous figure in the cut-off hoodie, but he’s in for something even worse – a ferocious defense that led the league in takeaways last year. For a quarterback that is both learning a new offense and prone to throwing the ball into coverage, this is a very bad spot.

Okay, okay… enough foreshadowing. Let me reign things in with a question: do you think that

Brett Favre has any chance to put up decent numbers against New England or

San Diego?

 

I’m not trying to draw you into a strength of schedule argument here. This is a unique situation and, quite simply, Brett stands to get pummeled by these two teams. If that happens – if Favre puts up only three TD’s in the first three weeks – are you going to feel comfortable starting him against

Arizona in Week 4? I know that I’d have second thoughts.

Let’s face it, with only 13 weeks in the regular season, you can’t afford to go 1-3. That’s a deep hole. And if you draft

Brett Favre to be your starter, you’re putting two hands on the shovel. You’re going to need another option. If you want to roll with Favre, you’ll have to pair him up with another QB that can spell him during the early rough patches. We can call this player his co-starter. Let’s examine the possible candidates.

 

Well, we can take the top nine quarterbacks off the table (I shouldn’t have to mention their names, but here they are: Brady, Manning, Brees, Romo, Roethlisberger, Palmer, Anderson, Hasselbeck and McNabb). Even if things go well for the 38-year-old gunslinger, each of these QB’s has more fantasy value than he does. So, when paired up with one of these nine guys, Favre wouldn’t be a co-starter. He’d be a backup (I’ll get to that in a minute).

Here are the realistic candidates: 

  • Marc Bulger – ooohh, he and Brett both have a Week 5 bye. This, in itself, isn’t enough to avoid the Ram’s QB. But Bulger is a bit of question mark himself. If you pair him up with Favre, you could be in for trouble.

  • Jake Delhomme – well, he won’t have Steve Smith for the first couple of games. Without his stud WR by his side, Jake is not to be trusted. You really can’t use him until Week 3.

  • Jay Cutler – same problem as Delhomme. He’s going to be missing

    Brandon Marshall for the first three weeks of the season. With D-Jack and Colbert as his starting WR’s, Cutler is a major question mark. Under these conditions, you don’t want to be forced to start him.

You might think that I’m nitpicking here, but attention to detail can make the difference between an 8th place playoff berth and a 9th place ‘thanks for comin out’. And, as I mentioned, it’s extremely important to get off to a good start. If you shackle

Brett Favre to one of these QB’s, you’re not doing yourself any favors in that regard. However, there are a few co-starter candidates that have neither bye week conflicts nor personnel issues.

  • Eli Manning – this isn’t a bad handcuff for Favre, but you’re definitely taking a risk if you match these two up. Eli has problems with consistency and Favre is learning a whole new offense. Given the situation, Brett should really be paired up with a more stable player. After all, it might be mid-season before you feel comfortable throwing Favre into your lineup.

  • Matt Schaub – like Eli, Schaub is a decent match. But again, there are issues. Schaub has only started a handful of games and he may be injury prone. When you combine this uncertainty with the uncertainty surrounding Favre, you’ve got a potentially volatile situation on your hands 

  • David Garrard – he is by far the best match. Though he’s only had one year as a full-timer, the Jags QB does figure to be consistent. He’d be a very good co-starter for Favre.

The problem with Garrard is that he’s the best co-starter for every borderline quarterback out there. Since he is widely viewed as a safe choice, those that draft low-end QB’s will be looking to land him as an insurance policy. In other words, once ten or eleven quarterbacks come off the board, Garrard is going to be something of a hot commodity. So if you really want to take Favre as your first quarterback, you better be sure that you can lock Garrard down. Or you’ll be forced into a difficult position.

Of course, you can always draft Favre to be your backup and then see what happens. But if you do, you’re going to have one major issue to deal with: Brett has a gigantic bull’s-eye on his back. He’s not going to slip through the draft unnoticed; he’ll be actively targeted. And with every great throw that he makes in the preseason, his draft position will climb. This means that you probably shouldn’t expect Favre to make it past the 8th round. He might not even make it past the 7th.

So, if you grab your

backup this early, your No. 1 QB is going to be pretty darn good. He’ll likely be one of the top nine quarterbacks that I mentioned earlier. Well, the question has to be asked: if you’ve already picked up a very solid QB, why would you waste an 8th round selection on a quarterback in a questionable situation? It doesn’t make much sense.

You see, it’s easy to say, “Take Favre in round 7 or 8 as a low-end starter or high-end backup.” But when it comes to the actual draft, this recommendation is a bit silly. I mean, if Brett does go somewhere between 75th and 95th overall (which, given his name value, is certainly likely) how many

realistic scenarios can you imagine in which he represents any kind of value?

If you draft him as your starter, you’re going to have trouble in (at least) the first quarter of the fantasy season. If you draft Favre as a co-starter, there’s really only one QB that you can confidently pair him up with (Garrard). If you draft him as your backup, you’ll have to overpay.

Maybe we should be hearing more of this: “Unless he slides down to the 10th or 11th round, don’t even consider drafting

Brett Favre.”

It is at least possible that he’ll slip that far. But I’m not holding my breath. As far as my fantasy team is concerned,

Brett Favre is persona non grata.

He’s someone else’s problem.

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