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The Art of Drafting a QB

It’s a fact. When to draft a QB can make or break your draft. Sure, running backs are taken early and often. There are only a finite number of them. But, that’s also true of the quarterback position. So, why is it that QBs can literally be taken all over the draft? When should you jump on board? Lets examine it.

Some Hard Numbers

Take a closer look at the Fantasy Shark Survivor draft. Here is a breakdown of the QBs taken in the first 8 rounds:

1.07 Daunte Culpepper
2.01 Mike Vick
2.11 Donovan McNabb
2.12 Rich Gannon
3.06 Kurt Warner
4.10 Payton Manning
5.08 Jeff Garcia
6.03 Drew Bledsoe
6.05 Brett Favre
6.08 Aaron Brooks
7.06 Tom Brady
7.09 Chad Pennington
8.02 Jake Plummer
8.04 Steve McNair
8.06 Matt Hasselbeck
8.08 Trent Green
8.09 Kerry Collins

The Examination of the results

Okay, Kerry Collins was the final QB chosen in round 8 and the 17th QB overall. 17 running backs were drafted in the first 2 rounds. 17! In the 9th round, the running backs still available were: TJ Duckett, Ladell Betts, and not much else…just junk. Compare that to these QBs still available at the beginning of the 9th round: Tommy Maddox, Joey Harrington, Drew Brees, Patrick Ramsey, Jay Fielder, Kordell Stewart, Brad Johnson.

So, the question begs, it is worth waiting until the 9th round to pick up a QB? Maybe. Here are some hard numbers from 2002:

Mike Vick averaged 22.2 fantasy points per game last year
Payton Manning averaged 20.4 fantasy points per game last year
Brad Johnson averaged 18.3 fantasy points per game last year
Tommy Maddox averaged 16.2 fantasy points per game last year
Drew Brees averaged 14.3 fantasy points per game last year

As compared to:

Ricky Williams averaged 20.2 fantasy points per game last year
Charlie Garner averaged 16.0 fantasy points per game last year
Corey Dillon averaged 12.7 fantasy points per game last year
Antowain Smith averaged 10.7 fantasy points per game last year
TJ Duckett averaged 6.7 fantasy points per game last year

The Bottom Line

By waiting until the 8th round to get a Tommy Maddox you’d be giving up 6 fantasy points. But, on the other hand, if you passed on a Charlie Garner type player and picked up Mike Vick or Payton Manning you are potentially giving up 10 points per game to pick up a lower tier RB like TJ Duckett.

Guys of Value Based Drafting tend to overlook that there is always a give and take affect when making a decision. It isn’t just the best value on the board at the time of pick, it also makes a difference on what will be available later on in the draft. From the looks of the Survivor draft there was pretty decent value later on at the QB position and not at the running back position. That is pretty typical of all fantasy football drafts.

The bottom line is I’m advocating waiting until at least the 5th or 6th round before choosing your 1st QB. Load up on RBs, WRs, and even the stud TE if it makes sense prior to taking the plunge on your 1st QB. You won’t be giving up that many points at the QB position, but you’ll certainly be giving up points on the RB position if you go early for a QB. As a matter of fact, I’d probably go back-to-back QB picks in the middle rounds if there is good value at your next selection.

And why didn’t I write this article prior to picking Mike Vick with the 13th overall pick in the Survivor Draft? Damn… Big mistake….

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