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Dynasty Startup ADP Arbitrage - Patrick Mahomes vs Baker Mayfield


A couple of big hitters to look at today. Young, talented and to some, brash. Both have supreme confidence but show it in different ways. Patrick Mahomes is coming off one of the greatest seasons of all-time for a player at the quarterback position. 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns is perfection by almost every measure. With Tyreek Hill officially back, he has all of his weapons in tow and he could have another remarkable season in Kansas City as they try to win their first Super Bowl.

Baker Mayfield is not everyone’s cup of tea. But he is talented nonetheless. His 27 touchdowns in only 13 games beat the previous rookie record for touchdowns held by Peyton Manning. With Odell Beckham Jr. entering the lineup across from Jarvis Landry this offense is set to explode much like the Chiefs offense did last season. If another quarterback gets close to 50 touchdowns this season, Baker Mayfield has a chance to be the one to do it.

Both of these players come at a high cost in dynasty startup drafts. Mahomes is going in the third round while Baker Mayfield is not far behind in the sixth. If you are really gutsy and want to make people like JJ Zachariason angry, you could draft both of them. Realistically, you're going to have to choose which young QB to rely on for the years to come.

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Pat Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

QB1 | Pick 2.12

The Golden Boy. The best thing since sliced bread. Say whatever you want about him, he was great last season. With weapons galore coming back, he looks to be here for the long haul.

With Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on the field along with the potential breakout of Damien Williams at running back, it is hard to point to someone else as the choice as QB1 this season.

The steep price is where you have to figure out your comfort level. Currently going as the last pick of the second round of dynasty drafts, you are giving up on a lot of value. Value which is better spent on more important positions such as wide receiver or running back. Immediately following Mahomes in ADP are Stefon Diggs, Keenan Allen, Adam Thielen and Kerryon Johnson. All of these players are relatively young starters at their positions. All of these players also provide top-10 potential for fantasy owners. In a game where the difference a quarterback can make is not earth-shattering compared to hitting on a receiver or elite back, all of these players should be considered before taking Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes was far and away the best quarterback in 2018. Quarterbacks score more than other positions. But all quarterbacks on average score more than their counterparts at other positions. This means even the quarterback 2- will score more than the WR 20 or RB 20. So, whether you get the QB one or QB 20 you are making out points wise. This means going for the higher upside positional players makes a lot more sense than the elite quarterback.

If Mahomes drops to the fifth or sixth round? Grab him for sure. But at the price of a top 10 receiver or running back? Wait a while longer. Please.

 

Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

QB6 Pick 6.05

Unlike Patrick Mahomes, who can only regress off last season’s stats, Mayfield is going to improve on his. Not only did he only play in 13 games last season, he also has new weapons to use in the offense.

Odell Beckham Jr. joins the team as the WR1, replacing Jarvis Landry in the role. This not only gives Mayfield a higher-end WR1 than even Tyreek Hill is in Kansas City, it also gives him a better, more reliable WR2 in Cleveland. Sammy Watkins can be good. We have seen it in college. But he has failed to live up to his hype in the NFL due to lingering foot injuries. Listening to the Pat Fitzmaurice podcast this week, it was brought up that Sammy Watkins looks like a 32-year old receiver in the body of a 25-year old. This is true and it means he is not going to age well.

On the other hand, Jarvis Landry has yet to miss a game in his NFL career and even in a bad season for him last season, he still had 81 receptions for 976 yards. After four years in which he made the Pro Bowl and averaged 100 receptions and 1,009 receiving yards, this “down season” is still better than many number one or two receivers on other teams. Moving back to his preferred role in the slot, he will again find traction and get close to his career averages with the razor-accurate Baker Mayfield throwing him the ball.

Keeping Duke Johnson, at least until Kareem Hunt returns to the lineup is a big deal. In 2017, he was the RB12 in PPR leagues and with Nick Chubb not known as a pass-catcher, his ability in this area will be invaluable. He could have another top-20 fantasy season and perhaps make Kareem Hunt an afterthought.

All of these weapons and Baker Mayfield is a much better pick at his current price of the fifth pick of the sixth round than that of Patrick Mahomes. Whereas you would be passing up elite top-10 receivers like Diggs, Thielen and Allen for Mahomes the same cannot be said for Mayfield. Players going near him in ADP are a who's who of injury concerns and playing time battles. Players like Will Fuller, Christian Kirk, Hunter Henry and Mark Ingram.

 

Verdict

This seems simple. Pat Mahomes is going to regress. Baker Mayfield is going to progress. At the end of the season, the stats could be very similar in both camps. So, you have to ask yourself, if Mayfield and Mahomes finish back to back in the rankings, something which clearly could happen, would you rather have the potential QB1 or QB2 and Stefon Diggs, or Keenan Allen? Or would you rather have the potential QB1 or QB2 and Christian Kirk or Mark Ingram? The answer seems pretty clear.

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